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I’ve decided to end this blog. It was a way for me to chronicle and make sense of a certain chapter of my life that has come to a close. There is no need for me to continue here. I don’t know what’s ahead, but I hope it’s good. Thanks for reading.

-Betsy

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January 15, 2013 · 11:14 pm

I don’t say these things enough

Thank you, Mom. Thank you for giving me life. Thank you for encouraging me and truly believing in me, no matter how crazy my ideas seem to be. In fact, thank you for giving me my crazy streak, the innovator streak, the always see where you can push it streak. Thank you for raising the questioning malcontent I am, always engaging me and arguing with me instead of dismissing my questions about the universe. Thank you for working with Dad to give me a wonderful childhood filled with learning, animals, magic, and above all peace and warmth. Thank you for reading to me every night before going to bed joining me as we went on adventures with Harry, Bilbo, and countless Avi heroes and heroines. Thank you for singing along with me to John Denver cassettes in the car. Thank you for being a safe harbor rather than an antagonist during those awkward, often painful teenage years. Thank you for setting me free when I needed to go out into the world even when that meant we had to be apart. Thank you for the laughs that bring tears to our eyes and leave us gasping for breath. Thank you for the arms always warm and enveloping opened wide for when the tears come. Thank you for comforting me unquestioningly even when you can’t understand the dark patches I fall in from time to time. Thank you for making me feel like the most special and spectacular human being in the world everyday when secretly I know that title belongs to you. Thank you for being there, always at the other end of the line whether it be cell or skype waiting to listen patiently to whatever I have to say no matter how rambling and incoherent. Thank you for being my sounding board and my cheerleader. Thank you for creating such a wonderful, strong, and loving marriage with Dad the likes of which I hope I can have one day. Thank you for putting my happiness first, always, even when I don’t deserve it. Thank you for being a strong woman and the perfect role model. Thank you for truly being my best friend. But most of all, thank you for loving me unconditionally. I love you, Mom.

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Sleep is for the weak (and less addled)

I don’t care if you’re pro or anti Lana Del Rey (After much debate, I’m pro, by the way), you have to admit Ms. Del Rey knows what’s up.

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Love you Liam, but no thanks

Friday night the lad and I went to see a film. It feels so awkward calling him my boyfriend on here, maybe just because I have a huge fear of sounding like one of those girls who unnecessarily gushes about their fellas. Anyway, the lad is my significant other Ryan, for future reference. He being the huge Liam Neeson fan that he is, I do enjoy his work too, though, wanted to see The Grey. I, being far too behind on recent cinematic releases, had no idea what he was talking about. A quick Google search at work revealed it to be a film about a bunch of oil workers who experience a plane crash and have to battle the harsh Alaskan wild. Not exactly the kind of thing I typically go for, but he was taking me out to dinner, and I wanted to be obliging.

The verdict: that was the longest couple of hours I have had to sit through in a long time. I hated it. Not for any of the reasons I was expecting to, though. Yes, it was rather brutal and bloody throughout. Yes, there were long expanses of entirely too drawn out tense moments involving ravines, rivers, and blizzards. And yes, there were gruesome deaths. However, what I found the most disturbing and difficult to watch involved what I had going in expected to only be a minor subplot. Instead it turned out to encompass the the whole flipping film.

I should say before I reveal, that I suppose this is a spoiler. If you want to see the film despite my warnings, read no further. I should also say that I am a complete sap when it comes to animals as well. I am not a sap that thinks they’re all cute and cuddly cartoonish versions of their actual natures or anything. I respect the fact that they are wild. This fact is actually what caused me to be so offended by the film in the first place.

Alaska has wolves. No surprise there. Wolves are pretty high up on the food chain there. This means they hunt the available game within their territory to nourish their bodies. This is especially crucial in the colder months. When several wounded, weak, lumbering humans are dropped right in their territory in the late Alaskan winter (I’m pretty sure this is when it took place. It seemed that way at least), there is suddenly a new addition to the food chain. Yes, it is then entirely plausible that these men would become targets for the pack. I also realize that every good story has a villain. Any elementary student could tell you that. However, I really do not appreciate the fact that that the villains of this story became the wolves. The film superimposed human morality on basic natural survival instinct. Instead of a pack trying to maintain their strength enough to make it through.

I think the portrayal of wolves in this film is extremely bad form in light of the recent de-listing of wolves from the endangered species lists in Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin and allowing for the shooting of wolves who attack human property among other instances. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that wolves can be a danger for farmers and their livestock, which is frustrating, but those wolves are doing what their kind have been doing on those lands since long before the farmers were there. They’re acting on instinct not some malicious desire to plague the humans. It’s not fair, as the film does, to impose some human notion of good vs. evil on the species.

I don’t want to become anymore political right here. It’s obvious enough I was raised by two park rangers and conservationists, and maybe I misread the film, but my suggestion if you are like minded and don’t appreciate seeing the unnecessary mutilation of a wolf corpse, go see something else.

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Goodbye, Little Man

Our boy, Fin, passed away tonight. He had been in pretty steady decline for the past couple of months. He had been seizing pretty severely and frequently since we got home this afternoon, and from the noises he was making it was pretty clear he was experiencing some pain. He passed quietly, though, with us around him at nine o’ clock.

He was a very good cat who spent eighteen years with us. We’ll miss having him around, but we’re glad he’s at peace now.

 

 

Happy journey, Finnyguy. Love you much.

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Holiday Recap

Well, my first day as a twenty-three year old is rapidly reaching its close. I am very grateful for all of the heartfelt birthday wishes. They were very sweet. The day was not particularly eventful. Our eighteen year old cat has been on a steady decline in health for the past few months, and we’re afraid the inevitable end is imminent. I’m not big on birthdays really, and we usually keep the celebration low-key. We go see a film or two and eat dinner out afterwards. Today, Fin was in such bad shape that I couldn’t justify leaving him at home alone. The three of us took turns sitting with him and trying to coax him to eat and take some water out of an eyedropper. He had a couple of seizures and what we suspect may have been a stroke. It’s always hard to watch a beloved pet make his slow exit. We have to go out tomorrow, and I’m not thrilled about the thought of having to leave him.

Our holiday was nice and quiet this year. We spent Christmas Eve helping our friend Bev in her shop, and then we came home for an early night. Christmas day, we spent time around the fire in the hearth, exchanged our modest gifts, and just enjoyed the peace and tranquility of being at home in our little nuclear family. We wound up the evening by watching my three favorite holiday programs, “The Snowman,”  “Mousehole Cat,” and The Holiday.

I love the animation for both “The Snowman” and “Mousehole Cat.” The flying sequence in the former is beautiful. Oh! And the music! God, it’s gorgeous. I love the whale. “Mousehole Cat” always makes me want to drop my life here and move directly to Cornwall. Both films are rather subdued too. I don’t like tinsely jingly Christmas things.

The holiday was nice, but, as always, I’m glad for it to be over.

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It’s that time of year again

Well, I have a week and a half left of my first semester in graduate school. The to-do list is getting shorter. Today I was able to check of my museology paper presentation. It went okay, I guess. I hate presentations like that. I largely winged it, just because I was want for time to prepare. It is a very short paper by graduate seminar terms, and I basically have it all figured out. I got some helpful and not so helpful feedback from my peers, but at this point, it’s a little late for any real changes.

I am both looking forward to and not looking forward to going home. It will be nice to see my parents and our friends and get together for the usual holiday gatherings, but I know I will be bored sitting in the country isolation before long. I will miss my cadre back in Gainesville and the trouble we get up to around here. I will not miss work and schoolwork, though. I’ll keep myself busy with my photography at home. I have catching up to do on that front.

The past week was not such a great one. There was a lot of personal stress to add to the scholastic stress. I’m glad I had such a nice Thanksgiving holiday beforehand. It softened the blows of last week a smidge. It’s funny how personal troubles come at what seem to be the most inopportune times. I mean, there’s never a good time for them, but they always seem to pop up for me around finals for some reason.

Death is something that comes around holidays in our family. This year was no different. My grandfather took ill a few days before Thanksgiving, and it was a steady decline until he finally passed last Thursday. I should be clear, before I get a lot of misplaced but well meaning condolences. I was not close to my grandfather by any means. Quite frankly I never liked him at all, and I hadn’t actually physically seen him in three years or so by my own choice. This is not the forum to explain why, so I won’t because that’s no one’s business but my own. However, death in a family is always hard in some way or another. A couple of my relatives who I do care about and love very much were deeply affected by his passing, and it is hard to watch those you love suffer. Death, when close, also makes one pause to consider their own mortality. He was the last really of that generation left in my family which means that my mother’s generation is now on the front line, so to speak. We all shifted positions, and now I am in her place where she is in her father’s. It’s strange, and though I hope they will be around with us for many years to come, it’s odd to view my mom and aunts as the next in the queue. Enough with the morbidity, though.

Well, now I should get on to the next project that needs finishing. I don’t know how long I’ll make it before falling asleep, though. I was up too late last night. Oh finals season…

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