Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saturday stroll down memory lane

Last month, I left off with the Alaskan cruise I went on four years ago with my extended family. That was definitely the highlight of my summer, but I still had some stories and reflections to put in my personal journal that July...

Watched this cool boat race in Sidney on Vancouver Island. It was very funny. I think the deal was 10 local teams had 3 hours or so to build their boats out of supplies from the local home improvement store. They had to get their boats around a buoy and back. Not very far, but for these little makeshift boats, it was very far. Some didn't make it. Tipping was the main problem. This one cute little blue boat, which we didn't think would even make it to the buoy without falling apart, almost won, but a long canoe that looked much better designed pulled into first place in the last 10 feet. It had Winnie the Pooh on the bowsprit. The race seemed like a really cute, fun town tradition. Wish I'd taken a picture.

7/19/05 (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince SPOILERS)
Luck can't do everything.

Finished reading Harry Potter #6, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. At one point I was guessing it was Snape, just because he was the potions guy. And I kind of knew something would happen with him by the end, since he finally got that Defense Against the Dark Arts job he wanted for so long, and no one keeps that job for more than a year... Anyway, I kind of knew also that poor Dumbledore was going at some point. I was even bracing myself for it at the end of the last book, with that showdown with Voldemort. I've just read too many fantasy/sci-fis not to know that the wise, old, powerful mentor must go before the young hero can become the true hero and defeat the baddies. That's how it goes. It was still sad, though. He's probably my favorite character.

--I have no idea what I meant with that first line about luck. It probably had some bearing on something that had happened to me that day and seemed very profound at the time, but I did not bother to record why the thought was on my mind. A little mystery I left in my journal, even for myself.

It's 7:53 pm now, and I'm listening to my iTunes and looking at my pictures. Looking at the pictures of my sophomore year room, of my bed, of my prism, of and out of my window, I am swept with an overwhelming wave of nostalgia, and I feel like crying. How I wish I could hold onto that time, those moments, that feeling. It looks so beautiful, looking in to that room. How I will miss it--the room, and the time that went with it. It is lost forever.

--Some of the photos:
of my bed under the skylights (sorry it's a bit blurry, I blame it on the awful camera I had at the time). See my sea otter blanket?

of my prism

of my window (well, the rain on the window)

out of my window

So a note about the whole driver's license thing. Why I haven't gotten it yet, even though I'm 20 now? The easy answer that I give some people is "Laziness." The more complicated answer I'll give other people is about how I just never got around to it, without driver's ed, without practicing enough, I didn't feel I was ready. That is all true, but it's not enough. I could have tried harder. Why didn't I? So here it is: I sort of missed out on that stereotypical teenager thing of feeling invincible. I think I'm going to smash myself up in a car.

Today at the New England Aquarium I got to touch the octopus. The aquarist who was with me was saying how this particular octopus isn't as playful as ones we've had in the past (we don't keep them for long, since they're not big enough to display until they're 1.5 years, and they die around age 3), but we could coax her out with food. The octopus is very, very smooth, so she feels slimy, but there's no slime residue or anything. Her skin is loose, and she's squishy, but her muscles are strong and firm. She sort of checked me out with her arms and suckers, wrapping the ends of her arms around my arm. It was amazing to feel all those suckers latching on, then letting go--she controls each one individually. I also touched her head/body. It was very cool.

Well that was a varied selection of journal excerpts. I hope to be getting back to a normal schedule some time soon; I may be starting work this coming week. My mom and brother are still here on vacation, which means I'll still be roped into a sort of half-vacation. But I will soon have pictures of my new apartment as well as some posts about Hawaii in general.


RhodeIsland Alissa said...

oo Alaska.. thats a vacational dream of mine. haha. for sure.

And ... I dont think the cat really wanted the bow.

Eleni said...

Yeah, Alaska is amazing. I highly recommend a trip there.

Well, the cat's a good sport!

brian said...

My problem with the latest Harry Potter movie was that Harry seemed pretty drunk after drinking the Liquid Luck. This is sending the wrong message to kids: after you take a shot of Grey Goose, you do not become more lucky.

Eleni said...

Hmm, I hadn't thought about it that way. I guess I don't know anyone who's quite like that when drunk. I mean, he was totally alert, I thought--kind of the opposite of drunk. High, perhaps?

No, but I really liked the sixth movie. The book didn't stand out to me so much in the series, so I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the movie. It was a great adaptation.

Sebastian said...

I was thinking about octopuses the other day -- and crustaceans, actually (they're not related, right?)

Like, they're not really animals, yeah? Or do they have a heart and a stomach and all that? Hearts are in most/all animals, yeah? So I assume we evolutionarily developed that very early on...?

There are some crazily-designed creatures out there; I must research them some time.

Sorry for the scatter-brain thing. Just woke up.

Lovely blanket btw!

Eleni said...

Octopuses are molluscs and crustaceans are a type of arthropod. Mollusca and Arthropoda are both phyla in the Animal Kingdom, as is Chordata, the phylum to which we belong. So they are indeed both animals, but at least as far as taxonomy goes, they are no more related to each other than they are to us!

Characteristics of animals include being eukaryotic (cells contain structures enclosed in membranes), multicellular, and heterotrophic (they eat thingies), the lack of rigid cell walls, and motility. Octopuses and crustaceans fit all of these. They also have hearts (octopuses have three!) and chambers that function as stomachs (though I don't think they're called stomachs technically), but these are not required to be animals. Sponges and jellyfish, for example, do not have hearts but are animals. Yes, there are some crazily-designed creatures out there, ourselves included :-)

I probably won't be using many blankets here in Hawaii and they're bulky to pack in suitcases, but I had to take the otter one with me!