UNESCO World Heritage Sites visited
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Kitteh belleh
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evilgerbil
My little fella.
Bug
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Books read in 2012
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evilgerbil
  1. The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. LeGuin (1/2/12)
  2. Middlesex - Jeffrey Euginedes (1/7/12)
  3. The Mammoth Hunters - Jean M. Auel (1/13/12)
  4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling (1/14/12)
  5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkhaban nbsp;- J.K. Rowling (1/15/12)
  6. The Plains of Passage - Jean M. Auel (1/18/12)
  7. The Shelters of Stone - Jean M. Auel (1/20/12)
  8. The Neon Bible - John Kenny Toole (1/21/12)
  9. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling (1/27/12)
  10. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling (1/8/12)
  11. Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut (April)
  12. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins (May)
  13. Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins (May)
  14. Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin (June)
  15. Diving into Darkness: A True Story of Death and Survival - Phillip Finch (June
  16. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne (June)
  17. African Magic: Traditional Ideas that Heal A Continent - Heidi Holland (June)
  18. The Club Dumas - Arturo Pérez-Reverte (June)
  19. Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother: Stories of Loss and Love - Xianran (June)
  20. Catching Fire Suzanne Collins (July)
  21. Game of Throne - George R.R. Martin (July)
  22. Skagboys - Irvine Welsh (7/25)
  23. The Last Juror - John  Grisham (12/27)
Can you tell I was sick for all of January and February and did a lot of reading in bed, and also that school pretty much killed me? I ran out of things to read in Mozambique and ended up reading Catching Fire 2 or 3 times.
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Cayman
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evilgerbil
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Here are a few photos I uploaded from the trip. This is the south side of the island as we're leaving to go diving. I haven't uploaded the ones from Grand Cayman yet. I didn't take too many,partially because it was a non-stop working research trip and not a vacation, but also because everything was wet and sandy and I don't have a waterproof housing. Having already lost a camera to a tiny bit of moisture from wet clothing, I kept mine well hidden most of the time. My dive buddy has some pictures of me swimming through a hole, and being courted by a large grouper, but she hasn't sent them yet.

Did I have fun? I'm not sure. It was exhausting from the get go. We left LA at 9pm on a red eye and the gaps in travel and 2 connecting flights meant we did not arrive until 5pm. I have not recovered from how tired I got during this trip and I've been back a few weeks. At least it was pretty! Very, very pretty. I'm very happy that I got to run off by myself during our layover in Grand Cayman. It was a relief to get some alone time, and I loved the gardens, the iguana project, and the locals I met.

Books read in 2011
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evilgerbil
  1. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk  - David Sedaris (01/02/11)
  2. Abhorsen - Garth Nix (01/10/11)
  3. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything - Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner ( 01/11/11)
  4. The Selfish Gene
  5. A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin (1/11) -- reread
  6. A Clash of Kings - George R.R. Martin (2/11) -- reread
  7. A Storm of Swords - George R.R. Martin (4/11) -- reread
  8. A Feast for Crows - George R.R. Martin (5/11) -- reread
  9. The Road - Cormac McCarthy (5/11)
  10. Ringworld - Larry Niven (6/15/11)
  11. Iron Council - China Mieville (7/14/11) -- reread
  12. A Dance with Dragons - George R.R. Martin (7/19/11)|
  13. Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook - Anthony Bourdain (8/11)
  14. Mostly Harmless - Douglas Adams (8/11)
  15. Kraken - China Mieville (10/23/11)
  16. Hocus Pocus - Kurt Vonnegut (12/5/11)
  17. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot (12/24/11)
UGH. School consumes my life and allows for no reading.
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Next summer's internship
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evilgerbil
I picked a bad time to check my email, because I have a paper due in a few hours and I just found out I have been accepted for an internship in Mozambique next summer!  I'm so excited!!! I want to learn Portuguese and maybe a few words in the local languages. Turns out I know how a song in Swahili form when I was a kid. I can't believe I remember that, but unless I sing it for someone and they recognize it/understand me, I don't know what it means. I'd love to get a technical diving certification, same with rebreathers. The acceptance form I have to sign states that unless otherwise specified in written contract, I relinquish all rights to data I collect. The lab does work with people who use their data for dissertations, so it's possible I could get an undergraduate research paper out of this depending on what I am assigned to work on. I'm more interested in macrofauna like nudibranchs, in fact my review article is on how the shift from the physical defense of a shell to the incorporation of dietary obtained allelochemicals allowed for an adaptive radiation within the clade, resulting in a huge number of species. 

!!!!!!

Halloweeeeeen
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evilgerbil
Halloween 2011
I'm Kelly from the British TV show Misfits, and Jeff is Doc Brown in Back to the Future Part III. I'm making that face on purpose because when Kelly is not threatening to give someone a slap or kick them in the balls, she is scowling. Jeff didn't have time to get a costume at all and he seemed dead set on wearing that trench coat because he knows I hate it -- it's falling apart on some places and it looks like someone skinned several brindled pit bulls and sewed their hides together. He was going to fall back on being a cowboy, when I suggested adding a crazy wig. He didn't think he could pull it off but one of our friends got it in 2 guesses. I actually spent a bit of time on my costume. I couldn't find an orange work jumpsuit in stores and did not have time to order one online so I had to buy a "convict costume" and paint over the "Department of Corrections" lettering, and glue in the zippers. Which I somehow did not line up at all. My real hair is only about 5" long and the ponytail is a weave that I confgured to go around my hair put in a bun. I guess it looked pretty real, because no one could tell it was fake! No one knew who I was but that's ok, the only way to watch the show here is on Hulu. Someone thought I was Lindsay Lohan. As if.

P.S. Yes, I am making a duck face, because Kelly is scowly and that is what she does.
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Field work
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evilgerbil
Today, Kady, Deborah and I went to 
 
We caught lots of
The mud was so soft I sank in repeatedly up to my knees, then mid-thigh. At one point I tried to dislodge myself and fell over backwards. By the end of the morning, I looked like this. Except wearing a wetsuit.
 
 It took us a few hours to clean everything up after all the mud. When I was putting away the net, I found a spine from one of the rays. I thought Jeff might want to see it so I put it in my pocket. Unfortunately, I forgot, and now there is, somewhere in the apartment, this.

Summer stuff
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evilgerbil
Field work is neat, but tiring. Especially when one has be up at 4 a.m. to be on time for summer low tides. I have no idea how many calories I burned in setting up, pushing and hauling the net, running around sorting and cleaning up, but on both Saturday and Sunday, I had no energy left. They'll tell you that being in the water at 5 a.m. is great because you've got the entire day left after the morning survey is done, but leave out that you won't have any energy. Between a freelance web project, volunteering at the Aquarium, helping grad students, the Cabrillo Beach survey last weekend, and looking for an apartment, I haven't had much time to relax. The neighborhood is pretty energetic right now with beach traffic and all of the students being out of school, so it's not like I'd get much peace and quiet anyway. Jeff and I submitted an application on an apartment in Westchester today. It's a bit smaller than its nearby Fox Hills cousins, but the rent is also $500 cheaper. It would actually be a decrease in rent for both of us. The managers did not look too impressed with us for some reason so I hope they don't find some reason not to lease it to us. Poor Jeff has been waiting on his job to hire him on full time for ages, and we've been waiting on moving for months, now another nervous wait to see whether we get this place. I've never been turned down for an apartment, but his credit isn't the best. We'll see. 

I was looking forward to summer being a time to reconnect with friends, but I don't know how much that is going to happen. I've gotten into a routine of keeping myself very busy so I don't have time to notice being lonely and isolated. Los Angeles is just full of busy people. Rushing, rushing, always rushing. Tara's bachelorette party is in a few weeks and though there were only a few of us on the email list going around to pick a date, the first responses were from women saying that they had no time and would be unable to make any date. One was barely able to make it to the wedding. One is doing a PhD program, one travels a lot for work, one is just starting a business. Like a bad marriage, I'm looking forward to leaving this city when I have the means. 

Think I'll take a walk down to the heron tree. I used to pass this big tree that had a colony of night herons and green herons in it, but I was usually on a run and didn't have my glasses. There are many things I will miss about this neighborhood.

6 months behind on photos
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evilgerbil
Not that I have taken many. I haven't had much of a social life and when I am doing things, I just don't think to reach for my camera. I rarely even take it with me anymore.

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Winter
Riding the tram to Mt. San Jacinto to go snowshoeing. A rainy day.
Christmas on the peninsula.
Jeff and his niece Joee in the snow at Pine Mountain.


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Spring
Hiking in Schabarum Park in Rowland Heights.
Wrath of Khan and George Takei at the Egyptian Theater
Record Store Day at Fingerprints 
Bearded iris at the L.A. Arboretum
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