I’m Back!

Hi everyone!

I haven’t posted in oh so long, I know, I know… Though I do have reasons, mainly associated with University. I believe I mentioned in previous entries about my dissertation; considering the amount of effort I was already putting into it (working in the lab for hours, writing up results etc. etc.) once I went back to University and had to attend lectures, workshops and finish other coursework, I just didn’t have the time or energy for artwork or blogging. Every time I sat at the computer I would open up a document and start working on it, so when I finally did get some time to do something other than work, the last thing I wanted to do was type more words.

But now I have finished my dissertation and I find myself wanting to type again. There are words and things appearing, so here we are.

The family and I went out for my mum’s birthday today (though her birthday isn’t for a few days, but we thought it would be easier to do something over the weekend, since weekdays tend to be busy) and decided to invite my boyfriend along :) It was really lovely and he seems to be getting used to my family’s oddness, but his presence did raise an interesting question. Do I call him my boyfriend? Now, I don’t mean this as in ‘are we actually dating or not?’ We are definitely dating. Rather, as he and I are both adults now… well, he more so than me but that’s beside the point. Anyway, is it still alright for me to call him a boyfriend? This was the discussion between my family and I, haha. Manfriend sounds too… weird. Partner makes it sound like we’re in a business partnership, while ‘significant other’ is just, bleck. So yeah, trying to come up with something else to call him, which could be interesting.

We also had a bit of a scare with our Leopard Gecko, because he wasn’t eating anything. Even though we know they can go for a long time without eating, this was still a concern, since he’d been eating really well only a few days previously. Asked some advice from the local reptile/pet shop type place, where we get the food from. One of the staff members asked if he seemed thin (he isn’t), or lethargic (again, he isn’t) or if we’d noticed any peculiar behaviours. We mentioned he would come out of his little house and seemed to be looking for something, would get really excited whenever I took him out of the tank and that his tail had made a strange quivering movement a few times. The guy smiles and says ‘oh well, it is Spring now, I think he’s looking for a female, geckos tend to stop eating when they’re looking for girls’. Apparently we have a randy gecko and he seems rather interested in me. Perhaps this is why he likes hanging out in my hair? Who knows? XD

Well, I don’t have too much else to say at the moment, this was just a journal to get me to log back in and actually write something again. I’m currently working on some blog posts for a friend, since I co-author on her blog, so that should be fun :) OH YEAH! I can start going to the gym again! You guys have no idea how happy this makes me. When you spend over 6 months living half your day sat down in a lab or lecture theatre and the other half sat typing at a computer, while eating whatever might come into reach (usually biscuits) you start to feel real unhealthy. But I can run and lift and row and cycle again, oh god, so happy ;_;

Whelp, think that’s it for now.

So yeah, have a picture I doodled.

Because you're worth it.

Because you’re worth it.

Week 13

Well, finally managed to get on the computer long enough (not to mention with enough inspiration and energy) to actually write a post. So, what’s happened the past couple of weeks?

I put out a fire, that’s something I suppose?

Not a big one mind you, I found a yellow pages – for those who don’t know, this is a big phone book and it’s.. well, yellow – smouldering away in a back alley. Whoever set it alight in the first place seemed to have tried to put it out, but I could see residual flames were starting to lick their way around the pages, getting steadily larger. Now, the book itself was on pavement, so a non-flammable surface – but their was a hedge nearby and a park just round the corner, I didn’t like idea of someone’s hedge going up, or for a small child/dog to touch it. Removing my water bottle from my bag, I poured said water all over the book, putting the flames out good and proper. I had a small drink first though, before I poured it all away, haha.

Small fire story aside, update on my younger sister. She seems to be recovering well from the removal of her wisdom teeth, the stitches have all pretty much dissolved by now and the more she forgets that her teeth are ‘supposed’ to hurt, the less she mentions them. We reckon a fair amount of her aversion to certain foods and drink (if they were too hot, cold or hard) came down more to her being afraid than any actual pain, but she seems to be alright now :)

Introduced my cat to mouse too. I’d thawed some mice for my snake to eat, but he didn’t take all of them (hadn’t realised he was about to shed) so I decided to see what Sheeby would make of one, as we’ve normally locked her out of the room while snake-feeding is going on, given her track record of sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong and causing havoc. Having taken it upstairs to where she was sleeping on my sister’s bed, I took the liberty of photographing her reaction;

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She kept looking at it in this way that said “I want it. I don’t know why I want it. But I want it.” Then her pupils swelled – this happens when she gets excited – and we worried she would make off with the little rodent, so I got rid of it. Though, I will say I also let my dogs take a sniff of the mouse, they were much quicker about trying to snatch it out of my hands and eat it.

Speaking of dogs, Blue’s been back to the vet (again) because he was violently throwing up. This has been happening a lot more frequently than we would like, but no-one seems able to get the bottom of the problem. This time, a more senior vet realised that Blue’s stomach was making really peculiar sounds and he was belching a lot. A quick listen down the stethoscope later, of which Blue did not enjoy given his aversion to anything cold, the vet came to the conclusion that, among other, food-related issues, Blue has a ‘leaky bowel’. This allows bacteria into places they should not belong, making him sick. This also explains why the antibiotics seemed to cure his vomiting. I swear, that dog is such a liability, but we love him anyway. The silly thing.

Quote(s) of the week; “Gas-powered stick!” “Throw a blanket over it!”

So basically I showed my boyfriend this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnZdiR7YbN4 featuring an adorable little character called ‘Catbug’. Now he and I go around shouting quotes from the character at each other. His favourite is ‘gas powered stick’, mine is ‘throw a blanket over it!’ That’s why I put both quotes there :D I could have pretty much put every quote from the video in there, but I’ll let you guys watch it instead.

Yes, we’re odd. I know. :3

 

That’s all for now!

 

Week 12

Only a day late this time, I’m getting better at this haha! I was going to post this last night buuuut… it didn’t happen ^^;

Well anyway, with that out of the way; we managed to finally go out for a very belated birthday meal for my younger sister, everyone just kept falling ill! But we managed it in the end :) She invited my boyfriend along, which meant the family had a great time teasing me and making me blush (I blush real easy and the redness isn’t just on my face, it spreads down my chest too). But it was all good fun. Younger sister managed to eat an ice cream sundae that’s meant for two people, after having had her main meal, it was quite impressive really. I did a similar thing in the same place a few years back (an American style diner, so BIG portions), but ended up having to sleep for a few hours because I was so full, she didn’t seem to have that problem!

I think I’ve been looking at too many insects, I’ve even started dreaming about them! Peculiar dream involving a giant beetle – I say giant, it was bigger than my hand, but for a beetle that’s pretty big – trying to eat my pet gecko, so I had to save him from this insect. It was strange.

Quote of the week: “I’ve got rugby balls in my eyes.”

My younger sister, what she actually meant was her eyes are ‘rugby ball shaped’ and that’s why she has problems with her sight, but the idea of her having rugby balls for eyes was rather amusing.

 

Okay guys, I want to explain something that’s literally just happened/is happening.

My younger sister has just come back from the hospital, having had an operation to remove some wisdom teeth – they kept getting infected, so the dentist/hospital staff figured it would be best if they just took them out. She’s still under the effects of the anesthetic, so she is acting most peculiar… My mum said she should go upstairs, where she could eat dinner in bed, since she isn’t supposed to be doing much of any kind of activity and she just yelled out “I wanna watch television.” The words in themselves aren’t odd per se, but the nature of her voice currently, well, that’s a different matter. I think the only thing I can relate it to off the top of my head is the way young lads sound when their voices are breaking, with strange pitch changes and sound inflections in the wrong places. My mum’s currently having to hold the dog back while he sniffs her face so he doesn’t jump up and potentially hurt her, it looks rather silly. Aww, I think she’s feeling cold now. Got her wrapped in a blanket while we get her a hot water bottle. Seems she reacted more strongly to the anesthetic that normal, because she was so scared all day. (Literally, she’s been worked up since 7am and didn’t go under until gone 4pm, that’s a long time to be scared about something.) She isn’t allowed to eat anything other than soft foods and they can’t be hot or cold, only lukewarm. Oh dear. Now she’s getting upset because it hurts, she’s whimpering, I feel so bad for her D: Still, all things considered, I think she’s doing really well, better than a lot of ‘normal’ people I’ve encountered.

 

So, I think I’m gunna end this one here.

Week 11

Okay, this time I actually have a good excuse for not posting last Sunday; I had to go to hospital.

Yep.

When you get up one morning in pain and start peeing blood, it’s probably a good time to go to the hospital. Turns out it was a UTI and they were worried the bacteria might spread into my kidneys since the urine test results showed my infection was off the scale (trust me to not know I’m ill till I have an ‘off-the-scale’ illness). Good news is, I’m okay now, had some antibiotics to get on top of the UTI and everything seems okay now, had my last tablet this morning :)

Anyway, enough about that I think. My sisters and I have been playing a lot of the latest Pokemon games (X and Y), which makes them really happy in itself, but when I discovered the ‘Wonder Trade’ feature and showed them how to use it… well. I think I could almost grab their excitement as though it were a tangible object. Every time I come home they’re telling me about a new set of random Pokemon they received from Japan, Italy or the USA, it’s rather adorable really. I’ve gotta say actually, I would highly recommend Pokemon X/Y, I’ve been really enjoying them (and I haven’t properly enjoyed a Pokemon game since Emerald) :)

I’ve been finding very interesting things in Uni recently with my invertebrate taxonomy, especially since I’ve started using a special microscope in the lab I work in; basically, it’s got a camera attached to the top, which is connected to a flat screen TV hanging from the ceiling, everything I see down the microscope comes up on the screen! It allows me to take photos of some of the stuff I find, which I can now show you guys! :D Check out this spider for instance (a money spider, from the family ‘Linyphiidae’, in case you’re interested), it has a see-through abdomen, I mean, how cool is that?!

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Be prepared for many more invertebrate pictures in future >:3

Quote of the week: “Such a shiny, shiny philtrum, gotta love that shiny philtrum.”

I uhm… yeah. Whenever I hang out with a certain group of my friends (if you guys read this, you know who you are!) random things like that inevitably end up being said. During that same evening, we conducted an interesting psycho-analysis type thing using Dragon’s Dogma which I’m hoping to go into more detail on the ‘Articulate and Intricate’ blog that I sometimes write for, so look out for it! :3

 

Whelp, I think that’s all for now ^.^

 

Week 10

I am so very, very late with this post. First with being stupidly busy with University assignments, then going to France, one of the dogs falling ill, then myself falling ill, I just haven’t really had the drive, or the time, to write a post. I didn’t want to just post some rubbish for the sake of posting… I may have to make these more of an ad hoc kinda deal.

But here I am, writing one now!

It was my younger sister’s birthday last week :) Wow. She’s 18 now, when did that happen? Seems like it wasn’t too long ago she was a kid going to school with me… well, anyway, I think she got the things she wanted, one of the new Pokemon games seems to be keeping her entertained anyway! She was given a GPS device too, since she loves Geocaching (or rather, she likes sending the rest of us into the undergrowth to get them so she can write in the book and put a new item in there, haha), shame she was feeling a tad ill though. There are three chocolate cakes in the cupboard now. Yeah. Three. I don’t think we have enough yet.

I mentioned one of the dogs was ill before didn’t I? Blue had been to the vet a fair few times last week because he’d been vomiting and his stomach was in a lot of pain; each time he came back drugged up and so spaced he looked like he’d died. Seriously, the first time we brought him back he was on his back, his breathing slowed right down and his eyes rolled up into his head. Turns out, the painkillers he was given also contained a sedative and… well… we now know he reacts very strongly to sedatives. I had to carry him everywhere, it was sweet in a way, but also kinda silly. The next time, even though the dose was halved, he still ended up so spaced he couldn’t stand. I wonder what he was seeing while off his face like that? He kept staring very intently at the wall, maybe it was talking to him, or had pink elephants dancing on it? I had to save him from the evil fly later in the evening too, oh he’s so brave.

Oh yeah! A friend of mine got some 10 week old kittens the other day and I got to meet them! :D Man I love kittens. Here. Have a photo of them!

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My family used to breed cats, so we would sometimes have litters of kittens running around, I do miss them. I reckon I’ll get kittens again in the future :3

You know, I don’t know why, but I choose the worst times to think deep thoughts. Right before I go to sleep usually. The latest of these thoughts occurred as I was brushing my teeth a few days back; I recalled driving back from the woodland site where I had been collecting invertebrates for my University project, I had been eating a sandwich at the time (yes, yes I know, a silly thing to do). It got stuck in my throat. I was ok, swallowed a few times and dislodged it, everything was fine, but it so easily might not have been. Then, it got me thinking further, if the rule of Infinity applies – anything that can happen, will happen, has already happened and is happening right now – in another dimension or Universe, I did die that day, or at least the person representing me did. Either by choking and crashing the car, or getting too distracted and crashing etc. Scary thoughts before bed.

But enough of that.

Quote of the week: “Kittens are great chick magnets.” “Well yeah, look I’ve got two girls in my house right now!”

It’s true, kittens (or puppies, or anything else small & cute) are great ways to get a girl’s attention XD 

Oh. My. Goodness. The latest episode of Gogglebox was just on TV, it’s basically a program that records people in their living rooms while they watch TV; my family were watching it and I decided to have a look. The scene from X Factor where one of the contestants sang ‘My Heart Will Go On’ was playing, the song itself was really good, but the reactions of the various people just made us all laugh so much. Some were imitating the Titanic scene, others swaying, or mouthing the words, it just really amuses me what some people get up to haha XD  Oh and my sister just decided to sing the song in a very high pitched fashion, I think she stunned the gecko, the way he’s staring out the tank at us. Either that or he wants to come out. Hmm. Maybe I should stop writing and take him out for a while :)

 

That’s all for now!

Week 9

Helloooo everyone! I’m late with this post (again) I’m sorry D: Life is just crazy, so yeah… Plus, I’ve managed to cut myself right on the tip of my fourth finger on my right hand and I keep forgetting as I type and hit it on the keys and it freaking hurts! Just.. like I did… then. GAH!

Anyway. I learnt some interesting things while doing my Biology stuff in the lab over the last few days. First off, I collected my final set of specimens for my project the other day. One set of traps were ‘bubblewrap traps’, literally you secure a large piece of bubblewrap round the trunk of a tree (I used some twine) and after a couple of weeks you carefully roll up the bubblewrap while holding a bag underneath to collect any falling insects, before putting the bubblewrap itself into the bag. Later, you collect all the specimens from the bag and bubblewrap into a specimen pot with some liquid in so they drown. I know. I know, I felt terrible, but I have to be able to study them under a microscope ): Here’s the weird thing. Most of the insects (centipedes, spiders and ants) froze up and died pretty quickly, but the woodlice continued swimming around for a while. I figured, ‘well, they are the only terrestrial Isopods (a mostly sea-faring Order) so they can probably last in liquid for longer’. So I put the pots in the car to drive them back to the Uni. Over an hour later, by the time I got in the lab, the woodlice were still alive. Not even just barely, they were still full-on swimming, in screenwash of all things! Well… the alcohol killed them pretty quick afterwards… But yeah. Woodlice. Tough little things. I was so very close to taking them out of my samples since they’d fought so hard to live ): Not only that, I found a parasitic wasp that I haven’t come across before, from the family ‘Trichogrammatidae’ (basically a family of teeny tiny wasps that parasitise the eggs of other insects) and I decided to read the bit of information about them in the book I’d keyed it out from. Turns out, in some of the species from this family the males are wingless and mate with their sisters inside the host egg within which they are born, dying without ever leaving said egg. I mean, talk about creepy right?

I climbed 30 foot up an oak tree too :3 Been learning about tree climbing with harnesses and stuff, finally got to actually climb a tree the other day! It was kinda hard to get used to at first, because you have to know where to attach all the harness points and how to do so correctly, then how to switch from the chest/hand ascender to the descender mid-climb, that kinda thing. The movements a bit odd too, like stepping through the air, but I got the hang of it pretty quick, then I’m off up the tree :) It was really fun! I really liked hanging around in the tree, even if my legs hurt the next day.

Quote of the week: “It’s not real, it’s on TV.”

Ah, the logic of my younger sister.

An amazing thing just happened while I’ve been writing this. My younger sister was fast asleep, we’ve been talking for the past half hour or so and she hadn’t woken up, snoring and everything. But then my mum mentioned chocolate cake and suddenly she shot up, very interested in the idea of having some! Now we’re all falling about laughing about it. Hahaha.

That’s all for now! :3

Week 8

I know, I know, I missed another week. I’m sorry. Uni work and other things have been taking up a lot of my time and when I get back I’m just really tired and I don’t want to do anything but look at kitten videos and *neh, neh, neh, excuses*

But anyway! Here we are again, with some updates about, well, my life I guess?

Hmmm… what have I done the past few weeks? Other than be stuck in the lab with hordes of insects that I have to identify. Hmm. Well, when I was last up at the woodland site (where I collect my insect specimens) I had the life scared out of me by this thing;

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You know when you see something in your peripheral vision and your brain can’t quite figure out what it is, so the instant reaction is ‘OH GOD IT COULD KILL US, ADRENALINE TIME!’ Well, that’s what happened with this thing, till I figured out it was just some kind of clay fox-something-or-other. I still think it’s kinda creepy. Sitting in that little cave. Watching.

Just to mention, I haven’t really been home all that much lately, either I’m at University or at my boyfriend’s, so I’m not really sure what’s been happening back home really, haha. Oh! Except my younger sister had her first experience with alcohol. She had one glass of wine (I’m going to stress this, one) and she ended up telling us later that she felt weird, kinda spaced out and that she had a really bad headache. Sounds a bit like a hangover no? I think her and alcohol don’t mix somehow!

My boyfriend and I had a balloon baby. I know, it sounds weird. Well, it looks even weirder.

See?

See?

I believe his name is Hans. Basically, some friends of ours have had a baby and they had a pair of red dungarees that didn’t fit him, there was also a balloon in the room. My boyfriend decided he could put the balloon in the dungarees which, after a period of maneuvering while trying not to pop the balloon, he managed. Thus, Hans was born. I don’t even know anymore.

Quote of the week: “Went to a job fair and pretty much all of it was hair and beauty… oh and soliciting. WAIT!! NO! I meant solicitors!”

That was me this time, you know one of those moments you really wish you could take back something you’ve said? It was worse because I was talking to my parents at the time. Awkward.

As a final little note, my Papillon, Rio, hurt his back the other day, so the vet prescribed him a bunch of painkillers. He’s now doped up to the eyeballs, so the world is a great place to him. Silly little fluff.

Not as long as I wanted to make this one, but that’s all for now XD