Sunday, July 22, 2007

My Summer

It’s been quite a while since I last wrote something and pasted it here. Of course I could blame this sudden burst of babble on great literary influences or other such impressive notions, but that would be lying. Really, the only reason I suddenly feel the urge to write is because I have two hours to wait until it is my turn to read the house copy of Harry Potter and I currently have nothing better to do. I mean, it’s not like I could be doing anything productive, like laundry, right now; though I do think that pile of dirty clothing in the corner may have mutated into a member of the order Xenarthra and be slowly advancing across the room towards me.
So, asides from wrestling children’s book away from my equally mature housemates, what have I been up to this summer?
Errrrrr… being a scientist? Yeah, that sounds good…. Mmmmm…. Science.
No, really, I am playing scientist this summer, I even got me one of those mythical, magical, mysterious entities know as “grants” (evil cackling goes here). While still in Costa Rica I applied for summer research funding and someone in an office of money related matters must have liked my proposal (I bet they were awed by my impressive command of English grammar). So here I am in Berkeley for the summer with a large but dwindling pile of salamanders.
Yep, the salamanders and I get a lot of quality time together, because not too many other folks are around Berkeley this summer, bummer. The unfortunate salamanders that I am studying seem to have run into a nasty infectious amphibian fungus, that, preliminary results show quite conclusively, greatly reduces their success at staying alive. I think I can sum up my current research results as intellectually exciting, but emotionally depressing.
But enough about science, research, and salamanders; as astounding as it may sound, there is actually more to my life then those. I am still playing Ultimate, but on a pretty mellow team this summer. We practice two to three times a week unless we get chased of our field by a horde of several hundred summer camp kids. You would be surprised at how often that happens.
Living in a an urban setting like the Bay Area really makes you appreciate nature, especially when “nature” presents itself as a dead vole that needs to be turned into a museum specimen. And this brings me to another activity that I seem to have acquired; working at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology on campus skinning and stuffing small mammals. It is pretty much taxidermy for research purposes. Weird, smelly, usually slightly gross, but also kinda cool in a very twisted rat brains on my t-shirt sort of way. I think this will really be a skill that will give me that extra boost needed in today’s competitive job market.
That pretty much sums up the more odd bits of my life right now. Really there is nothing more of interest to discuss. My social life is really not something that anyone would find the least bit entertaining; especially not that part about a boy….