When I first went to the shelter where I got Nika, my cat, it was … kinda crazy. There were about a hundred cats running around loose in this building. My roommate has recently called it a “free-range shelter”, which is pretty apt.

The cats were all really chill, though. They all got along for the most part, and they seemed to be relatively happy. In contrast with the other shelter, where each cat is kept in a separate cage, and they all seem stressed and terrified, I would definitely say that free-range is the way to go.

When we walked in to the shelter, I basically just went to the center of the room and dropped to one knee. I was instantly swarmed with cats, all begging for attention. It was cat-lover heaven. One little black cat hopped up onto my shoulder, held on for dear life and never let go. We were there for over an hour, and she spent almost the entire time on my arm. I decided to adopt her. This is Nika.


I got Nika in January 2013. According to her papers, she got to the shelter in October 2008. She was a shelter cat for her entire life. Which has led to some interesting traits. For one thing, she’s got separation anxiety. If I leave the house for any length of time, she freaks out and cries. As soon as my roommate wakes up, Nika goes over and makes sure that she gets picked up and petted. When I’m home, Nika is almost always on my lap or next to me. At night, we sleep curled up under the blanket together, sharing a pillow, faces pressed together.


Now, when I got her, she came up to me. I probably would have looked for her and petted her, since I knew that I wanted a black cat anyway, but she was the one who hunted me down and was like “TAKE ME HOME I LOVE YOU!” And she’s so sweet and cuddly and loves to be held, I just assumed that she was a super friendly cat.

Apparently, that’s not quite true. Nika is one of the shyest cats that I have ever met. As soon as anyone else comes into the house, she runs away and hides. Myriad was here for a week, and Nika barely let her touch her at the end of that week. We had a bunch of people over, and one of them wanted to see her, so I had dragged her out from under my bed so that she could be petted. Later that night, I found her hiding in a cabinet, and I had to lure her out with treats.

Looking back on it, the fact of her extreme shyness really changes the way that I view our first meeting. Because either she was just so desperate to get out of that shelter that she put on her brave kitty face and sucked up to the first person through that door … or she saw me walk in and said to herself “This is the human for me,” and made sure that I felt the same way.


Personally, I like to think it’s the second one.

Published in: on May 5, 2013 at 2:48 pm  Comments (1)  


So yesterday the funding letters went out from our department. My roommate did not get any funding. But guess who did? My landlord. Which means he’s moving back to town. WHICH MEANS I HAVE TO MOVE OUT.

So. At some point in time this summer, I have to drive to NY. I know I have to do this, because I need to get my car inspected. It’s the law. I’ll have to take at least a week to do that, since it’s a two day drive there and two days back. I want to take two weeks, so I’ll have time to relax.

If I take two weeks (monday-friday with one weekend included), that’ll give me one week back in IL before I go abroad.

Well, my move-out date is August 1st. I’m out of the country until August 3rd. Which means I have to pack up all my shit and be ready to move out BEFORE I LEAVE FOR MY VACATION.

Which means that I need to come back from NY, and in that one week pack up all my shit, pack for a trip to England/Scotland/Wales, work about 4o hours that week to make up for all my lost time, AND I need to be taking a class over the summer, so I’ll have to work on that, as well.

This is gonna be GREAT.

Published in: on April 16, 2013 at 1:43 pm  Comments (1)  

Faculty Run-Around

So last semester, my adviser, Dr. H, suggested that I look into doing something with the museum for my MA thesis, since I was interested in the museum stuff. I of course said yes, because that sounds awesome.

Dr. H suggested I talk to Dr. B, the director of the museum. He also mentioned that previous students had done stuff with the museum, working with Dr. S (who was on leave last semester) and Dr. M.

I talked to Dr. M. He said that I had to talk to Dr. S.

Dr. B went back in forth in emails a couple times, going weeks between emails, at one point ignoring my email for a full month until I emailed her again to make sure she had gotten it. She had.

Finally Dr. B referred me to L, the curator. L was very helpful, and brought me out to the museum archive to show me the collection that I could work with and everything, but didn’t know anything that I would need to do from my department’s side of it.

Since Dr. S was back this semester, I talked to him. I spent 20 minutes walking to campus, sat in his office for 5 minutes while he told me that he knew nothing and couldn’t help me at all, and then spent 20 minutes walking back home so I could go to work. The most he did was tell me to talk to Dr. B.


Published in: on February 28, 2013 at 10:53 am  Leave a Comment  

Maya at the Lago

Okay. So there’s this conference. And I kinda want to go.

It’s a Maya conference (if you couldn’t tell by the title of this post). And I am interested in Mayan archaeology and epigraphy and I looked at the abstracts that they had online (not all of them are up yet) and some of them look really interesting.

So here’s the thing. It’s at the end of April. Now, it’s not the last week of April, so it’s not too close to when all my papers/exams are due. (At least for two of my classes, one of them has the stupidest syllabus that doesn’t have any due dates on it, but I assume everything is due in May.) So that’s good, or at least, it’s not a con (in the pros/cons list I haven’t made yet).

The conference will cost $80. I’d have to buy a flight: $250. The hotel is $109/night for at least three nights (the conference is technically thurs-sun, but I figure if I fly in on Thursday I probably wouldn’t miss too much?) That brings my total up to $550, maybe less if I can find someone to share a hotel room with me. Mom says that she will give me $300 if I decide that I want to go to the conference, so then it would only cost me $250, plus dinners and taxis to the hotel, etc.

Now, mom says that she’s willing to put money towards this because she thinks it’s a good idea for me to network and go to conferences like this, etc. She says maybe I’ll find someone who’s working on a project that I can get in on or something.

Well, no. Because I’m not going to do a project this summer. At this point, most people would probably be willing to let me “volunteer” for a project, if I paid them, like I did when I went to Belize, but they’ve probably already finalized their budgets and won’t be needing anyone that they have to pay. So if I did a project, I would lose money, or at the very least just not be getting paid.

The other thing is that I really have no intention of doing stuff with Mayan archaeology after grad school. And I don’t know if I’ve ever fully articulated this to my mother. I mean, one time I told my dad who then told my mom in front of me as if I wasn’t there about how I wanted to get a job in a museum, but I don’t know if she remembers that. So what I’m saying is, I don’t know if I should spend the money on a conference to “network” for a field that I have no intention of going into. Even though it would be fun. Probably.

I don’t know what to do. But the prices of the tickets go up on March 1st, so I’ve got … 4 days to figure this out and decide if I want to go to the conference. Otherwise it’ll cost like $20 more which isn’t much but it’s nice to have a deadline for things.

What should I do???

Published in: on February 24, 2013 at 2:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

A bit early

So, I don’t know why, but last night as I was trying to go to sleep I started thinking about this summer.

First of all, my car needs to be inspected in July. In New York. So at some point in time, probably in July, I will have to drive home to New York so that at the very least I can get my car inspected so I’m not driving an illegal vehicle.

But if (I guess when) I do that, what will I do with my cat? Should I take the cat with me? I’ve been in a car with her once and she wasn’t too excited about it. But maybe if I start taking her in the car on drives around the town, like just pop her in her carrier in the backseat while I drive over to Panera’s drive-through or something, just to show her that not all car rides end in the vet, maybe then she’ll calm down more and be okay with the car. Maybe.

Last year, we left Haley at my house. And that was … well … Haley tended to get angry when left alone. I don’t remember if she had messed up my room on that occasion, but I’m fairly certain she did because that was just how she rolled.

Nika is better, I think, in that I don’t think she’s going to pee on my bed when I leave the house, but she is EVEN MORE NEEDY. I would feel terrible about leaving her alone.

So the real question would be if my roommate H is going to be around, or if she’s going to be out doing her research somewhere. Because if she’s there, and willing to look after the cat, then no problem! If not …

Of course, if I bring the cat to NY, that severely limits the road trip possibilities. I can’t exactly stop at EnterTRAINment Junction or Grandpa’s Cheese Barn if there’s a cat sweltering in the backseat. Maybe I should buy her a harness and call her my therapy cat or something. I’d be willing to carry her everywhere. Or get one of those fancy dog purses like Paris Hilton? Genius plan. But EJ has a roller coaster now. And a new funhouse. Sigh.

And then, once I get past the whole cat problem, there’s the whole planning the trip nonsense. I still need to find a class to take this summer, and hopefully I can find one that will allow me to go to NY at some point. Cause otherwise my car is screwed.

And then I’d have to figure out when I was going to visit dad and when I was going to visit mom and when I was going out to my college and make sure I have time to see my grandparents and blah blah blah.

Why does NY have to be so far away?

Published in: on February 19, 2013 at 11:41 am  Comments (3)  

This is a title

So remember when I used to update this thing? At least semi-regularly? (Well, now I have a tumblr so I guess I still sorta do something blog-like although there’s not too much writing involved.)

And then, remember how I was gonna finish up that novel and then send it out and query agents? And I sent it out to a couple beta readers WHO NEVER GOT BACK TO ME OR EVER READ IT?

Yeah, that happened.

Anyway I might end up just deleting this thing. I dunno, I never use it.

Published in: on February 12, 2013 at 2:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Well …

So I finally finished this semester. I just emailed the last bit of my last project to my professor, so I am officially done.


And then there was this Tumblr outage, and I just kept checking the site over and over and it’s back up now, but not for everyone I don’t think, so no one is posting anything new.

I just keep wandering around the house. And now I’m making more pizza. I feel like I should just go to bed but now I don’t want to.

Published in: on December 12, 2012 at 10:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Right, nano…

Okay, so I’m not really doing nano this year, I don’t think.

I’m only halfway to where I should be. Haven’t written in days. This is a busy year, man.

Published in: on November 9, 2012 at 9:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

November Due Dates

November 1: Nanowrimo Starts

November 1: Storyline project due for museum studies

November 9: Museum reception

November 19: Paper outline due for archaeology

November 20: Leading discussion in linguistics; final project concept due for museum studies; modeling concept project due for museum studies

November 21-24: Dad and T in town, Thanksgiving

November 28-December 2: Teslacon, in WI

December 3: Final paper due for archaeology

December 4: Final paper due for linguistics, presentations for linguistics

I can do this, right? It’s only 50,000 words, after all.

Published in: on October 16, 2012 at 9:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

It’s getting close to November

I keep looking ahead at all the stuff I’m going to have to do next month … this is going to be a really difficult nano year!! Ah!! I still haven’t even fully plotted out my novel, which … I don’t know if I should, because sometimes my stories take on a new direction when I start writing.  I do, at least, know how it’s going to end. And begin, which is more important.

I have been so busy lately, yet I feel like I haven’t really been doing anything. It’s weird.

Published in: on October 13, 2012 at 1:01 pm  Comments (2)