Where the Wild Things Were Review

This book, written by William Stolzenburg has become important to me. Where the Wild Things Were gave me a wider more comprehensive and illuminating view into the relationship predators have with their environment, and their relationship with humans throughout history.

Using stories of discovery and grand ideas, Stolzenburg takes us through the recent history of trophic ecology and conservation biology. What made this book so well received was the writing style. It was storytelling at its best for wildlife biology.

I was introduced to many characters in this history, some still living. I was enlightened about the process which led to the scarcity of top predators in the United States. By the end, this book comes to a hard truth about a possible future without predators maintaining balance. It was important that Stolzenburg did not try to create a Band-Aid or hopeful twist where one does not exist. He gave us the facts and his opinions and left us to create our own.

With his charismatic writing, appropriate examples and convincing logic it would be difficult not to develop a soft spot for wolves, bear, cougars, and more. Where the Wild Things Were is full of valuable information that every person who cares about nature should absorb. I will be rereading this book for years to come. It is a good reminder of what I need to prioritize in my activism.

Ten out of ten, would recommend to all. Even if biology is not your thing, you can enjoy this book.

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Art Created From Pain

Earlier this summer I learned that an acquaintance from college broke off an eight year long relationship with her boyfriend. I was shocked and saddened. While this person and I are not friends, she is a kind and well-meaning person, therefore I could sympathize. Such a sudden change in support system, one that accompanied her through such a long and highly transformative portion of her life, must have been difficult to face. She has taken to social media more than usual, I assume as a method to move forward. She must have her own prescription set up.

Anyway she started writing poetry as a means of healing. Every time I see her poems I am moved to write my own poems. Unfortunately I get stuck on what to write about. I love to write poetry that is dark, eerie, and soul-searching. This is not an easy thing – I need to be in the accurate headspace to achieve those types of tones and mood.

It shouldn’t be that way. I should not need to be in a bad place in my life to create the type of poetry I enjoy writing. So, this post is more of a self-encouragement to try to sit down and just try writing. Do not let the writing block stop you from releasing the bubbling yearning of putting poetry on paper.

 

The Wedding Thoughts

I don’t know when or how I will get married. There is not even a guarantee of who I will marry, though I know who I hope it will be.

Often when I get engrossed in looking at engagement rings and proposal stories I imagine what my ring or story will be like. After looking at the same types of posts over and over I begin be feel jaded and think that I don’t want an engagement ring. The tradition after all was started as a marketing campaign by a diamond company not even one hundred years ago!

When someone asks me to marry them, it will be because they love all of me so much that they cannot bear to be without me as their romantic life partner. They will want to marry me for my silly sense of humor, sweet sensibilities, my passion for my work, my resilience, and every other piece of me they have experienced so far.

I do not need a ring to symbolize my connection to him or my belonging to someone. I may want one because I love rings and dainty jewelry, but he can surprise me with jewelry whenever he likes during our time together. Often the ring overshadows the moment, the monumental moment when one human asks another human to spend the rest of their life together, I don’t want a ring to do that. Hopefully he asks me and the photo I take or post is of us embracing, sharing a laugh, or enjoying a good view with no ring in sight to steal the thunder.

 

The Monster In the Room

Recently came home, in the Bay Area, to begin working in my graduate lab. Within one week I went from a stressed mess to an angry soul to an apathetic nomad. Maybe I learned something from this, maybe I’m just acting like a spoiled or entitled person, but either way I’m coming away from it feeling melancholy.

Moving away from San Diego, my home for the last six years, and more importantly moving away from my love was a calculated decision. I needed to begin my graduate career, which included working in the summer in the lab. I had procrastinated looking for Bay Area housing that would be a suitable distance from my lab, therefore I reentered my parents’ home with no move-out date in mind. Well, school started in about a month, so I had until then to find a place.

I made the decision to put my foot down from the start to live and sleep in my old room – pretty much a storage room where joeline sleeps once a week. If I was going to be staying for a month and waking up early to drive at least 1.5 miles to and from lab I’d need some private space. The alternative was sleeping on the floor in the living room where I’d wake up with the first step some one took down the stairs in the morning. joeline wouldn’t have it. After a week of going back and forth, up and down, I just couldn’t win. This was partially because of my personality and partially because of hers. She likes to stir up drama, she needs to get her way, and she always puts herself first. I made it clear that I knew I was being selfish with my demands, but I had good reasons (beginning grad school + long early commutes + being an ultra light sleeper). Unfortunately I am understanding, reasonable, caring, and flexible. Jason was angry that Bhai would ask this of me, and that I would concede. I think my mom might be the only person who could understand why I stood down in the fight – at the time I was conflicted by my surrender as well.

That first week was terrible because joeline’s behavior always brings the worst out of me. One of the many reasons I do not want to be anywhere around her. I snapped viciously at my parents, I acted uninterested towards the kids, I couldn’t think of anything other than how much I hated her. I’ve learned that while I have every right to feel and be angry in a situation – my emotions are warranted regardless of what others say or believe, but it was unhealthy to allow that anger to take root in me and spread an intense negative energy. I was becoming someone I hated. I strive on positivity and good thoughts and letting go of things and focusing on what I’m grateful for. That is what I learned about myself away from my family, while I was in San Diego. So I knew I was different and I needed to change that.

It would have been much harder had Jason not found me a place to live. Besides putting my gears into overdrive through some reality checks he guaranteed me a place to live with his parents, conveniently situated 30 min away from lab. I cried from the relief and joy and love. From then on I could see my future. It was a little weird, but it was wonderful. I could deal with sleeping downstairs for two weeks over a month or longer. Although that didn’t stop me from getting angry whenever joeline popped up (in person or in my thoughts). So far my most effective way of getting over it is to remember that I have so much love an happiness in my life. My parents are there for me, my brother is there for me, my mom is an adorable ray of sunshine for me, my friends are true, I have a baby who mostly takes care of herself, and most of all the love of my life is my rock. There are so many positives in my life that are the reciprocal in hers so I will be okay in the long run. Sleeping on the floor for a few weeks, being woken up too early, it will all mean nothing in the grand scheme of my life.

 

A True Horoscope

I don’t believe in horoscopes, but like most people, I can find myself agreeing with the predictions and personality traits of a Capricorn.

This one in particular was pretty spot on. I thought it was amusing so I wanted to save it.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

Do not fight with her. Ever. Just don’t. Have you ever heard of a relationship where the girl is always the one that is right? This is exactly what will happen when you date a Capricorn. Be prepared to never win a single fight that you have with her. She knows everything. Also, when you get into a fight she will randomly just assume that you’re going to break up because of it, even though it is just a regular fight. Your family will absolutely love her because of how respectful she is when they meet her.

Taken from an Odyssey Post.

The Baby Issue

Ever since I believed in the idea that Jason and I would be able to be together forever, I would visit the idea of children with him. It was extremely important for me to know where he stood with children and how many he wanted to have.

The subject of children isn’t popular or easy to bring up when you’re still about two years in and still grasping for a real career. There were a few maybe two or three times I had brought it up, none of those times lead to any serious conversation, but I need a serious answer. Much of my life I was set on not having kids. I preferred to adopt children that were already alive and needed a home rather than bring another human into the world – this world of ours that is already overpopulating with humans. I’d rather see one less child in an orphanage. Therefore I needed to know and I needed Jason to know where I stood.

This weekend we went to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and in the parking lot after we arrived I bluntly posed the question. “Do you want kids?” He gave me a straight answer that day. He would like to have kids some day. One maybe two. No more than two. And he’s willing to adopt if it came up. That’s all I needed to hear. Now that I heard from him that adoption is a real option in his life I can let this issue rest for a long time.

My Current

I have been having trouble writing for the past few months and when I brought this up with a coworker she suggested that I was in a phase of processing. Hopefully I can exit that phase soon and begin to express all those processed thoughts. Although, sometimes it’s just a matter of sitting down and forcing myself to lay out a few things to give my jumbled mind a break. Here it goes:

  1. With the free time I’ve had lately I often perused the make up guru side of youtube. I always appreciated seeing a video done by an Indian girl with a skin tone similar to mine. However those were found very far apart.
    Well, today I went into Ulta on a whim and with the amused notion of using my nipple color to help match me to the perfect nude lip color for myself. Lo and behold I actually found a perfect nude lip color – honestly I think the nipple thing worked. I was searching for colors that were close in color to my nipple and was able to hone in on one. The brand Lorac, the color Tawny. I wore it out.
    Once home I searched on Youtube for reviews of these Lorac colors and was hit with the desire to make my own video. The quality wouldn’t be great, but at least I could help that one Indian or brown girl looking for the right product.
    I’ll probably write a little script and do this, though I’ll need to learn to market such a video, my saleswoman savvy isn’t up to par with the best of them.
  2. I went to Rosarito, Mexico with Jason, Max, his girlfriend Jennifer, and her two friends Teddi and Sumita. We stayed in an adorable AirBnB (my first airbnb), and unfortunately it was only for a night – I’d love to have stayed for another night. I got a little more rest and relaxation on this trip compared to the first one. We lounged in the house a little, lounged on the beach with blended drinks and churros. We played King’s Cup (my favorite activity), went out dancing (which could’ve been better), and the next day we did some shop sight seeing, but not before eating at Tacos el Yaki. Everyone jizzed over those tacos. Getting back over the border to SD was a bit of a stress, but we made it to the baby girl.
  3. Case in point, I came back to this post 22 days later. I cannot remember what the third thing was that I wanted to write. Today former FBI director (fired by trump) James Comey testified in front of the Senate intelligence committee about the Russia probe, Jeff Sessions, his own firing, etc. As these things often go there were really a few key pieces of dialogue that became the “buzz quotes” surrounding news coverage of the testimony. Comey states that he does not trust trump, and that he believes trump to be a liar. Other things about Russia were a bit jumbled. No clear answer was given about whether trump is to be pressed with any charges of criminal intent. Overall while it was a big deal, and it sheds a little light on the whole Russia probe debacle, I am unsatisfied with a lukewarm outcome. But the real world doesn’t always work like a movie. Things will continue to move slowly in the government, and hopefully sooner rather than later something will come up to bring impeachment to the table.
  4. I am tired after coming home from work. I put off the things that aren’t TOO necessary like cooking. My spare time isn’t being used very efficiently – it’s not being used in a way that I am satisfied with. I wanted to volunteer at a dog shelter or animal rescue. That didn’t work out. (Mostly because I feel guilty for leaving my baby home alone to go play with other dogs). I would like to read more, to write more, to create more. I would like to feel a peace of mind in all of my sfsu planning (and that will require a lot of diligent house hunting/email sending). Arg.