We all saw it coming...

...but none of us really acknowledged its potential. It is really weird. Thinking back on it, the first team I cheered for was the Green Bay Packers. The first quarterback I respected, as I got to know the game, was Brett Favre. Favre was our quarterback and is the only one I have really known for our team. It's definitely going to be different next year. Feels funny...

Thanks for such good times Brett!


So, I suppose things are happening. Things are changing, as always--this life, all life, is chaotic. Entropy, heh.

You take a half breath and it catches in your throat. You don't feel the need to breathe, but you feel the loss of some innate ability. You know something is supposed to happen now, another step is supposed to come after the one you just took. It's just not there and you're at a loss. The feeling radiates down your chest and you feel your lungs quiver. What now? You can't exhale, you can't inhale, but you have to do something. What is it? What is this lingering action that fails to grace an outcome upon its query? And, why? Why now?

The excitement, the nervousness, the rushing adrenaline and paling unsuredness. May is coming up really quick right now and I'm excited as well as nervous. For the first time in 18 years I will not have school to look forward to (or dread although I know that I'm going to miss it like crazy) come this fall. Instead I will have job searching, insurance, payments, upkeep, rent, and the like to worry about. But, no more school--at least not right now.

I got something for this summer! I'm really excited about this (and of course nervous as well--but I think more excited than nervous). It is with a graduate student in the zoology department here at Madison. We will be out in Glacier National Park doing surveys for a small lagomorph called a pika: picture a small rabbit with short ears, rounded ears--like a cross between a guinea pig and a rabbit.

So, we'll be out backpacking (lots of off-trail) around the park looking for possible nesting sites for these guys. When we see something that looks like it might have them, we're gonna get to it and look for sign. If we do find evidence then we will mark it on the map and with the GPS before moving on to the next site. Lucas said that a lot of the weeks he does are 4 days on, 3 days off. I'm really excited about this: it sounds like fun, it sounds like I'm going to learn a lot, I'll be in the mountains, I'll make some great contacts, and I'll get a bit of money from it.

Another great thing I kind of happened into is what I'll be doing for spring break. There is a program here called Alternative Breaks. I applied and got into one that goes to Kentucky. We are going to be backpacking along this relatively new trail while helping restore and build the paths for it in southeastern Kentucky (just north of the Great Smoky Mountains). What an adventure this life is turning into.

Things right now just feel good. They feel--on the verge. I'm on the edge, ready to dive off. I'll be graduating in May and will be starting a great new leg of this journey. I'm trying to just do the things that I WANT to do right now. The things that are exciting and the things that sound fun. And, you know what? I'm actually having a good time.

I'm meeting more and more people too these days. There's always the confusing/complicated issue of relationship forming--I never really am sure enough where I stand with people to make huge leaps. But, even where I'm at right now with is ok with me. I feel like things are going to start happening... I suppose they'll be all the more interesting with my future starting to take shape.

Exam over, brain=off

Think of 15 of your favorite movies, go to IMDB and find quotes for each. Post the quotes. When someone guesses the movie, add the movie name and the person who got it right. (No fair using IMDB to find the answer.)

1. The Great Outdoors, banantalis
Chet: "Bear... bear... Big Bear... big bear chase meeeeeeee...!"

2. Saving Private Ryan, calentir
Captain John H. Miller to Private Reiben: "You want to leave? You want to go off and fight the war? All right. All right. I won't stop you. I'll even put in the paperwork. I just know that every man I kill the farther away from home I feel. "

3. Legends of the Fall, banantalis
One Stab: "I thought Tristan would never live to be an old man. I was wrong about that. I was wrong about many things. It was those who loved him the most that died young. He was a rock they broke themselves against however much he tried to protect them."

4. Interview with the Vampire, banantalis
Lestat: "Evil is a point of view. God kills indiscriminately and so shall we. For no creatures under God are as we are, none so like him as ourselves."

5. Once, leaijrn
Girl: "How come you don't play during daytime? I see you here everyday."
Guy: "During the daytime people would want to hear songs that they know, just songs that they recognize. I play these song at night or I wouldn't make any money. People wouldn't listen."
Girl: "I listen. "

6. Braveheart, banantalis
Young William: "I can fight."
Malcolm Wallace (William's father): "I know. I know you can fight. But it's our wits that make us men."

7. Jurassic Park, toriafloria
Dr. Ian Malcolm: "The lack of humility before nature that's being displayed here, uh... staggers me."

8. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, leaijrn
Chance/Narrator about Shadow: "There was more to that ol' boy than I give him credit for; I was soon to learn just how much more. But, even in that moment, I had to admire his faith, wherever it might lead us."

9. Sixth Sense, calentir
Dr. Malcom Crowe to his sleeping wife: "I think I can go now. Just needed to do a couple of things. I needed to help someone; I think I did. And I needed to tell you something: You were never second, ever. I love you. You sleep now. Everything will be different in the morning."

10. The Shawshank Redemption, banantalis
Both quotes by Red/Narrator: "I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up DOES rejoice. Still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend."--or--"Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane."

11. Memento, banantalis
Leonard: "Memory can change the shape of a room; it can change the color of a car. And memories can be distorted. They're just an interpretation, they're not a record, and they're irrelevant if you have the facts."

12. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, banantalis
Pintel: "You're supposed to be dead!"
Captain Jack Sparrow: "Am I not?"

13. The Lion King, banantalis
Simba: "Yeah, but it still hurts."
Rafiki: "Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or... learn from it."

14. Gladiator, banantalis
Maximus: "Do you find it difficult to do your duty?"
Cicero: "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to."

15. The Green Mile, calentir
Paul Edgecomb: "We each owe a death - there are no exceptions - but sometimes, oh God, the Green Mile seems so long."
Brutal to Percy about now deceased Del: "He's even with the house now, and you will keep your hands off him."

Yes... But, really? Why so early?

You're the time of day right around sunrise, when the sky is still a pale bluish gray. The streets are empty, and the grass and leaves are a little bit sparkly with dew. You are the sound of a few chirpy birds outside the window. You are quiet, peaceful, and contemplative. If you move slowly, it's not because you're lazy – it's because you know there's no reason to rush. You move like a relaxed cat, pausing for deep stretches that make your muscles feel alive. You are long sips of tea or coffee (out of a mug that's held with both hands) that slowly warm your insides just as the sun is brightening the sky.

Oh the places we go

Wow, life. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this being my last semester. I'm not sure if it has struck me yet or if I'm really good at just moving on. Maybe both. I'm meeting with my advisor on Thursday to go over one last check to make sure that I have everything in order. Then I'll apply for graduation and...well. Come May I should be done with my undergraduate work. Crazy.

Jake and Karen are engaged!!! Oh my gosh! I'm so happy for them! I can't really put it into words. I mean, it was expected but at the same time it's just a very happy moment. I'm glad I'm here to share it with them. And it means a lot that they are sharing it with me (I'm pretty sure I can have the position of pet dog if they'll give it to me).

Mexico was really amazing. I had such a good time. I really learned a lot, had fun working in some new areas of conservation and research. I went snorkeling for the first time. I went body surfing for the first time. I got to see some very amazing sites and we had some grand adventures.

(no subject)

I'm back from Mexico. And I really learned quite a bit. I learned things I like, I learned things I don't like. I forgot a bit about who I was and I came across some new bits. New people, new places, new experiences. Things I had let go of in my life seemed to come back to me. Lots of stuff: the trip was great.

And it's back to school now although the transition is rough. I can't wait for this semester to be over, yet I don't want it to end. I'm torn, right now, between a lot of things. Torn by people, torn by faith, torn by the future. And yet, everything is good. I suppose this is me being accepting. Accepting of what has become, what is happening, and what lingers in the near future.

There is so much I'm bursting to talk about, but I must wait just a little bit.

That time of year again...

And the biannual cycle continues. Here's what I'm predicting for my grades for my classes and later I'll post the real grades. It's really more for me than anyone else.

Class (credits): expected grade/actual grade
Zoology 315--Limnology (2): C,BC/B
Botany 460--Ecology (4): B,AB/B
Zoology 360--Extinction of Species (3): A/A
Biology 152--2nd Sem. Bio (5): B/B
Wildlife Ecology 375--Cons. in W. Mexico (2): AB/A
Cumulative 3.06-3.19/3.313

*EDIT* That was a nice surprise! Two of my grades were higher than I thought they'd be. Ended up with a 3.3 and my cumulative is still a 3.411. Alright, I'm outta here. Up to the Packer game and then down to Mexico.

Definitely my worst semester yet--academically. But, I've been the busiest and I think have actually had the most fun this semester. I really feel like I've been finding myself, despite how cliche or stupid or sappy that sounds. I guess I'm just falling into my own. Ups and downs have happened; that's an intimate part of my life at this point. But, I'm just starting to get more comfortable with what I know is me. It feels kind of good.

Exams are done on Tuesday and then a much needed break. One more semester after this. Whew...

Made Aware

It turns out that few choices in life, in real life, in the waking moments of now, are made simple; there are minimal things made plain and clear. The paths we follow are not so clear cut that they hone in our perception to the easiest of choices that we witness in fantasy. Choosing can be very hard and can hurt very much.

PS--If you tend towards those that are pure and virtuous, whole and unblemished of all Pringles, then do not accept any that have traveled through the mail. They come out quite crumbly ;-)