Monday, November 14, 2005

Sunset / Moonrise With Cold Fingers

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Originally uploaded by Rosemary Grace.
We drove into the nearby mountains yesterday afternoon, hoping to get lunch at a bakery, and finding they were out of everything but nachos at the snack bar. So we had nachos and danish pastries for lunch, then carried on to a little bit of offroad driving. The trail we were on turned out to connect with one of our favourite longer trails, but there was a gate closed across it, so we didn't get to do a big loop, just got out of the car and wandered along the trail for a bit. It was pretty chilly, but that felt nice as long as we were walking. It felt like real November weather. We got back to the vehicle just in time to avoid being stuck in the dark without flashlights. For the last few minutes of walking back, Matt had his camping knife ready in his hand in case of coyotes or mountain lions.

I must admit I was being cheerfully oblivious to the whole "we're in the wilderness" thing. I'm so used to living in a place with city parks, and even if you do go off into the Scottish wilderness, you're hardly going to be leapt upon by a pissed off rabbit or a rabid sheep and have to defend yourself with a bowie knife. The wild haggis keep themselves to themselves. Sometimes it's a little daunting to realize that people do get jumped by mountian lions here, not often, but a couple of times a year. Maybe I should get myself a camping knife too, all I had yesterday was a pair of tweezers I brought in case of a close encounter with a cactus.

Lions and Cacti and Bears! Oh My!

O.K. No bears here, they're further north, but I know what to do if I encounter one: run, but not up or down hill, AROUND a hill. Seriously, they can't run with one side higher than the other, but they can climb trees. So if you ever encounter a wild bear run along a hillside, don't climb a tree like everyone does in the movies.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Watch what you say

Not that long ago I was commenting that my new post-wedding life contained few significant landmarks and deadlines for me, and that that was a good state of being for me.

Well, evidently the lull was too much for me and I needed a new project, because I've decided to apply for graduate school. Specifically to study epidemiology and add the letters "MPH" (Masters in Public Health) to my name. "M.P.H." The post graduate degree that sounds like a stifled burp. Seriously, try it. Try saying "mph" and making it sound scholarly.

So besides my current biostatistics class (in which I have earned a "A" every week so far, go me) I now must start studying for the GRE, which is a post-graduate study entrance exam type thing. Standardized test a la I.Q. tests. I've already signed up to take it in the middle of December, just to make it real. The application is due March 1st. So there's two new deadlines I'm counting down to: Mid-December GRE exam, and 1st of March application due, including spiffy letter of intent and worshipful reference letters from my boss and her cronies. My boss is very supportive of this, I'm very relieved, I was a little afraid to tell her I'd suddenly moved up the schedule for deserting her.