going crazy @ work again. did some degree audits and whatnot and am reminded how short i am for an A.A.: 1 speech class, 2 math classes. signed up for speech. have to re-test into the math to skip a prep course.
yes, folks, i am a total retard when it comes to the math.
unless you had a recent standardized test, when you register at college, you have to take a placement test. a perfect score would be a 120. in english, i got a 119. reading, 118. when i brought my scores back, the guy looked perplexed: "i didn't even know you could get a 119." misplaced comma? anyway, my math score was something like 60. no laughing!
i took algebra and geometry in high school and that was it because that was all that was required of me. and i don't like math. fast-forward a whole bunch of years, and i don't even remember that much.
anyway, instead of paying $150 for this "three credit" math prep class (three credits which count as nothing), i'm buying the damn book and learning myself. then onto college algebra, which i also hope to test out of so i won't have to wait.
the CLEP rocks. i took the CLEP for spanish and earned 8 college credits (that do count) in, like, 45 minutes. i got nearly a perfect score there, too. :) so anyway, think it's too lofty an idea to study for and CLEP out of college algebra?
the problem is that until i have my 60 credits and my A.A., going to a 4-yr is somewhat more complicated. i can take classes, but i cannot enroll. if i can't enroll, i can't get financial aid. not that i qualify for anything beyond loans anyway, but better loaned $450 per class than rent money.
so yeah, that's what's happening now.
i'm kind of confused. what happens after the A.A.? what 4-yr program do i enroll in? what do i want to do? i think i've found a niche and a passion in helping the helpless neighborhood critters, but learning to, say, be a vet is all math & science, baby. neither of which being my strong points, that makes me a big hesitant. on top of that, if i enter a 4-yr program for biology, i should've taken different classes these first two years instead of all this fun spanish and french stuff. which means more than two years of classes for my first "two years" of classes. dammit.
look, sloths in a box. not related to subject whatsoever. just cute. :)
on one hand, regarding the bio major thing, i mean.. how many class-A idiots are out there, majoring in biology? and i'm not an idiot. so i should be able to do it, right? i mean, it may be hard, but i should be able to do it with some actual effort. on the other hand, math is the one area where i really really know what it's like to be a stupid person and THAT'S NOT GOOD. does that make sense?
one day i realized i was always squinting and it dawned on me: this means i need glasses. squinting is what people who need glasses do. well, one day i was in math class and the professor was droning on and i was TRYING to process it, but my brain just wanted to quit. my brain hurt. and i went, "oh my god, this is how some people feel about EVERYTHING. this is what being stupid feels like!" so at least with me, it's just math. and football. and following directions. and eating cute little octopuses. and, you know, waking up really early in the morning on purpose.
so, back to the proverbial..
yeah, so i'm a flickr geek. sue me. :)
input would always be appreciated. :)
and now - WARNING! BEFORE YOU SCROLL! HIDEOUS DOG BELOW!
Look! I like margaritas too!
Alli came over Monday. We went out for dinner & margaritas. Or, shall I say, dinner & margarita. We got very tipsy and I started oohing at the cops at the table next to us. Then, after they left, of course, I took this huge pinata off the ceiling. Sat with it under the table as I tried to talk the host into letting me have it. He wasn't swaying, so I walked out with it instead. Ran out. Giggling the whole way.
Then we saw the cops on our way back to the car. Walking with our green-giant sized bottle of Dos Equis.
No, occifer, don't worry. We're completely sober.
This is abnormal how? Anyway, I got so many cuties I can't help but share. This is a picture of the Fluffers that I really like. It captures him well.
Did I ever mention that Fluffy is the only cat that sleeps in bed with me? It regularly occurs that he gets so into me rubbing his belly that he nearly falls off the bed, and has in the past. Now I watch out for him.
They move quite a bit for being so tiny and helpless. Kind of annoying to try to take pictures of them, actually. But this one worked out okay - you can see how much the guy in the corner is not in control of his brand new little body.
Not much going on with regard to the new arrivals. They eat, nap, eat, nap.. Yep, they're pretty much livin' the life.
I brought Scooter the Cooter's basking light into the bedroom last night so I could get some decently lit pictures without torturing everyone with the flash. As you see, the results are alright; still a bit blurry, but at least there's no flash there to ruin everything and blind the little guys before they even open their eyes.
Mama has not been eating lately, which is worrisome. Luckily, I have some vitamin gel stuff made for cats so I squirt some in her mouth as she protests; at least she's getting SOMETHING.
I picked her up last night and it was amazing holding her without four babies in her belly. She's so tiny, like a little ragdoll.
The kittens are really nuts about eating. They crawl all over each other to get at the nipples. That little black one definitely has it goin' on in the (relative) size & strength department, so he can kinda shove the other ones away when they're feeding. I'm like, there are plenty of boobies for all of you! Share! Live with love! But they don't listen.
I love to see them snuggling and content, napping after they've filled up their little kitten bellies.
Can't wait until they get big enough to play with.. ! :D
So now we know the reason I was mauled the other night.
If I would've had a functioning hand, rather than the useless claw hanging at my side, at 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, I would've been boarding a dive boat. Instead, I was awoken from peaceful dozing by the cry of a kitten. I sat up and there was a kitten on the floor by the side of my bed, placenta still attached. Fluffy and Mamacat were up on a storage container I keep there for them to sit on, looking at the newborn kitten like it was a mouse. Scary!
So I went into action and got a former tortoise enclosure that was to act as her nesting box. I tried to give it to her a week ago, but she kept peeing in it. This time, she used it right.
I had lined it with blankets covered with a towel and set her inside with the baby. She licked, licked, licked. I had read they typically had births a half-hour apart, so I was chillin' when the second one started to come out. This is when I ran for my car to get the camera.
I wasn't as prepared as I wanted to be, but I had read up a little so knew enough to help/not get freaked out when, for example, Baby #4's feet came out and then WENT BACK IN. Mama also didn't chew off any of the placentas like she was supposed to, so I cut the umbilical cords for her. She left Baby #3 in the amniotic sac long enough for me to get worried and open it myself. But once they were all out, she was the picture of a good mama - licking, nursing, cuddling.
So now the poor girl is sick and has four babies to take care of, but she's doing quite well. If one cries, she scoots over to show more of her belly.
Anyway, here they are! I'm sure they will have the best documented kittenhoods in the history of photography, so keep a watch on my Flickr kitten set!
She squints for pics. And was sick here. See the eye? Lucky for me, Alex is a vet and was able to put me at ease about her since he wasn't alarmed at the icky eye.
People keep commenting that these guys are ugly. I don't get it. In person, the first people say is, "What a beautiful cat!" Then they laugh at the tails, all squirrel-style.
Don't get down on a cat cause s/he isn't photogenic, people. It is not becoming of you. :)
My friend Alex (Alex the Vet - now there are two Alexes!) got this pic of Fluffy with his eyes open. SLRs are like magic, see?
WARNING! BLOOD ALERT!
got home from dive last nite and saw this cat, being friendly. pet, pet, pet. then it bit me. hard. AND scratched. left arm ugly & immobile from pain when i move it. :(
This is an older pic I took of a page in my Learning Chinese Symbols book. Ha!
Look, it's Mamacat!
Even though I had 11 things that just about made me cry, it was a pretty good damn weekend, if you don't count Saturday up until 8 p.m. or so.
The diving was post fish ID class. I had a really miserable first dive, on which I got hit in the head hard by a guy on the line during our way down. The wreck was infested with divers, and really bad ones at that - ones that walk their dive, ones that use their hands to pull themselves through the wreck - and I was short a wetsuit and didn't feel I could get my buoyancy right. I guess this is the reason I used up my air in about 20 minutes (sorry Ralph, Alli!). When you're on a small dive site, like a wreck, and you have a lot of people.. well, for me, it's not even worth it. I spend most of my time worrying someone's going to hit me (it happens), or that I'll hit someone (" ") and none of my time actually enjoying my surroundings. I really hated the first dive.
Then we jumped in the water on the second dive and I immediately felt comfortable again. Phew. Puffers and hamlets and eels and no one's fins in your damn face: now that's the diving I know & love. :) :) :)
Can I reiterate a sentiment I had after my checkout dives? Sure, Stace. Okay.
It struck me as we were coming up slowly from our second dive (I came up slowly! Go me) and we were approaching the surface: It's just another world down there. And while I slowly drift upwards, and the parrotfish darting from here to there fade into a blue-green blur, I am amazed that this world exists and that I get to spend time there, 2500 PSI at a time.
SOME PICTURES (By the way: Please hit me the next time I go a whole weekend with only taking, like, five pictures. Okay? Thanks.)
Mary, our resident sandbird, taught us the international sign language gesture for "Snook Head Soup"
Alli also shared gestures, but the Canon was too slow to capture them.
Can you see how cool Alli is with her little Wal*Mart shirt? Yes, Alli is one of the coolest chicks ever. :)
My dinner companions. (L-R: Mary, Ralph, Donna, Alex, and Alli)
Do you believe such an innocent-looking group of people managed to scare off three tables of people just TRYING TO ENJOY A PEACEFUL DINNER, THANK YOU VERY MUCH? Of course not.
Actually, Fluffy's sister is. But I get to watch. :)
She's living at my house for now, until she has her babies and everyone is weaned.
I'm really excited. Even now, I get to feel them moving.
She doesn't get the litterbox concept, so the past couple of days have been pretty stinky, but today she went to the bathroom and will stay there until she figures out where to go. She's not happy about it, but she pooped on my couch and that is JUST NOT ACCEPTABLE, so she will have to cope.
Anyway, yay - kittens! And they'll be adorable, so I will be able to rehome them no problem.
This cat, who I call Mamacat, is a sweetie, but much more timid than Fluffy. They look identical when I scratch right under the chin, though, and it about makes me cry. I can't even explain. I just love Fluffy so much that to have his sister there, and to be able to help her with her babies, and help her for in the future - no more going into heat and getting terrorized by all the neighborhood bullies... It's a very good feeling, even if I have had to do like three loads of smelly laundry in the past two days.
I left my JOB in my STUPID CAR whose A/C NOR RADIO WORKS RIGHT today to deal with my BROKEN FRIDGE in my NOW HORRIBLY DISORGANIZED KITCHEN and it was 600 DEGREES OUTSIDE (780 with humidity) and then swore at my STUPID BLINDS because they wouldn't close right and it was HOT AS HELL in my living room.
Then I realized neither of the cats had come out to greet me, which is unusual.
After a 10-second scout, I found Kitten atop the comfy bed in the breezy, cool bedroom. (Elliot was under said bed, I'm pretty sure.) I laid down with her for a few moments, petting her and listening to her purr.
I never wished so bad I were a cat.
Or, you know, unemployed.
But, alas, back to work..
And it is great! See, Elliot loves it already.
It's a sofabed. It was fun to move! Really! I had to recruit our neighbor's Mike Tyson (but short), complete with neck tattoo, who lives next door. I stood back and looked horrified while Ralph and Johan (I'm pretty sure I'm remembering his Dominican name wrong) moved this puppy into my living room.
Johan hung out with us for a little bit afterwards and he said the coolest thing which I just cannot relay correctly. Basically, he noted that he has some Puerto Rican neighbors that go at it all night. "And I respect the fucking, but man.." He RESPECTS THE FUCKING. Hm, maybe you had to be there.
Anyway, Ralph is the man. 3.5 hours of manual labor, plus lots of driving, in exchange for some fishbowl-sized margaritas when it is NOT 10 p.m. on a Sunday night. Yay, nice people!
She looked nothing like this when I moved in. Then the cats all sniffed "softie" wafting from apartment #2. I've stopped feeding the strays right outside my door (I do it down the street).. all except for Catherine. She gets fed on demand since she's too shy to eat around the big boys. I was worried she was pregnant for a bit, but now I really just think she's fat.
Catherine in her svelte days:
Kidding, I can't have any more cats. But I really would like to make this guy come around and find a home for him. He hangs out outside my house all the time.. past being fed. It would seem he just wants some attention. He's still scared of me, but it only takes a few minutes of talking before he'll let me pet him. Then he gets all into it, and I cringe because he's covered in little scabs and stuff. But I pet away anyway. Maybe we can make him better. Anyway, Ed, want a cat? You always wanted a boy cat! :)
See? He ran away, but stopped this close and just stood there. For like a whole minute. Then he came back..
This picture was taken in Cuernavaca. I'm reminiscing about some of my time there today. Flickr is great for that: "I've been at that restaurant!" "I remember that building!" Thank gosh I never saw these little gatitos or the poor ninos would've had to share my pesitos with the poor gatitos.
Anyway, it was a march out, fully geared up, and then a bit of a swim out after that to get to the site, which is marked by a couple of jacks placed on the beach. I was getting knocked around in the surf - wearing fins in water that suddenly got very shallow, and contrastly not wearing fins in water that was too deep and getting stranded. Matt and Alex came to my rescue, respectively. Matt even held my hand on the swim out, which I appreciated hugely since I'm always falling behind on the swim and was already a bit flustered by the surf-zone beating. See, now, Matt, I've mentioned you. A few times in the last few posts, did you notice? :D
Matt's pic of the aerojacks underwater.
Starfish are neat. They're just so weird they hold onto an air of mystery, no matter how long you stare. And I'm such a big nerd - I really could've just laid on the sand and watched it "walk" ever.. sooo.. slooowly.. for, well, much longer than allowed when you have buddies. This is a great thing about diving! For people who like to observe and admire nature, there's no way you can get closer topside! Underwater, lots of stuff 1) is stationary; 2) is confident in its hiding spot, whether that's a hole or its shell; or 3) goes slow like this. Observe away!
You know, I'm sorry that this poor fella's dick stopped working ages ago, but that's no reason to take it out on the nice, trusting little spadefish. Grr.
Anyway, we ended up doing over 100 minutes. I started sharing Alex's air on the swim in when I got to 500 psi. The swim in was really cool, too - lots of starfish and other critters to wave at as we passed by.
Ahh, diving. :)