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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Last day of April

It's crazy to think today is the last day of April. Last night I read my three poems: Daniel, Villanova, and Beavis and Butthead to my class. It seemed to go well. The book is due Monday, I have 10 more poems to write.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

G Force (so far)

Going to add a lot more.

G Force
Jessica Marie
The strands of green dyed hair hangs under my Cheesehead frizz in the mid-August Wisconsin sun. 2012 was probably the hottest summer in the mid-west that was on record. The sky above me was black, and I was praying that this rain would hold off until after the Green Bay Packers vs. Cleveland Browns game. But, as I stood there waiting for the Green Bay Metro (Cheesehead route); I had a feeling that the rain was not going to hold.
I wasn’t alone for long, a couple joined me. The guy was dressed in his Browns gear and the young lady was dressed in her Packers gear. I smiled and said, “This will be great rivalry.” They smiled back, laughed and asked if this was the right stop. It was the only stop near the Ramada, but I remember a year prior I had the same nerves about being in a new town.
“Yes, this is the Cheesehead route. It’ll bring us directly to the game,” I sounded like a pro and someone who has traveled to Green Bay many times. I just read what the paper under the bus sign had written on it (the paper was hanging up in 2011 as well).
“Cool. Thank you,” they both said to me and sat down on the curb. I turn to the young lady and ask, “how long have you been a fan?”
Her story was similar to mine: the guy (I think he was either her husband or boyfriend) said, “sounds like how she got into the Packers.” I remember when I first became a fan. Dad was watching a football game on TV and the Packers were playing. I thought Clay Matthews was cute, but the way they were playing was awesome. I decided I’d watch again and I did every week until the end of the season in January 2010. I became a full-fledged fan after reading their history and watching even more games in September 2010. I just loved their history and the team just represented me. I bought stock in the Packers in December 2011 to solidify my relationship and to show my love and respect.
I said  to the couple, “I feel bad. My green hair dye didn’t really work.”
He replied, “That’s okay. Your whole outfit makes up for it.” I obviously had my Cheesehead, but I was wearing my green Aaron Rodgers jersey with yellow tights that came from Halloween 2011, the year that I was Clay Matthews; I looked like an honorary Packers player in this outfit—I was ready for the tailgate and game! I also had a sign to hold up, since I forgot my MAKE THE CARDINALS EAT DIRT sign in 2011, which said GO PACK GO! MAKE THE BROWNS EAT CHEESE. Last year in the Packers Hall of Fame museum there was a sign showing a bear eating a piece of cheese that said to their rivals, The Chicago Bears, MAKE THE BEARS EAT CHEESE!
The Cheesehead bus finally pulls up around the corner and we get on. I remember getting lost in 2011 trying to find Brett Favre’s steakhouse for the tail gate; I was hoping that I remembered where I get off. For good measure, I asked the driver where it would be and he said he would point it out to me once we arrived.
When I first went to Green Bay in 2011, going to a tailgate party was a must. I remember going onto Google looking for one and coming upon Packer Fan Tours’ website that offered tailgate parties before games among everything. The website describes the event as “Our Tailgate Party is held outdoors just 2 blocks from historic Lambeau Field at Brett Favre’s Steakhouse in Green Bay. Starting 3 hours before kickoff, it includes an “all-you-can-eat” buffet of traditional Wisconsin “tailgate party” fare with a cajun twist! Chow down to your heart’s (and belly’s) content before pull out your Green Bay Packers Tickets and enter Lambeau.” In 2011, I was really cheap and at first I went with the children’s package that was $15. Of course, they called me since the red flag went up that I was alone and was changed to an adult ticket, which was $25.
Remembering drinking unlimited screwdrivers and eating several brats, running a relay race but not winning at it despite running as fast as I can without losing my Cheesehead, I had to do that again in 2012 and the ticket was the first thing I ordered after my game tickets. I wanted to relive those memories and Packers Fan Tours is definitely the company that offers it.

The bus driver lets me off closer to Brett Favre steakhouse compared to 2011, but I still had a trek. It took me about ten minutes to get there from the front entrance of Lambeau Field where the bus left off. When I get there, I ran into the guy I met earlier sitting at the bar at Big D’s with his Packers motorcycle. The motorcycle is awesome—it was custom made with a yellow body with the Packers logo painted on it along with some signatures. The back had a half football on it. The design made me smile and he lets me take a picture with his beloved bike.
The man on the bike and I chatted a bit more. It was still early and we had ten minutes before the gates would open. He mentioned that he had traveled a long way and was probably a person that traveled the most for this game. I disagreed and told him that I came a pretty long way. I learned that he came from Chicago and often he has to protect his bike from disgruntled Bears fans since they are rivals. Usually most Chicagoans aren’t too vicious and make fun of the bike in good spirit, but he did mention that sometimes people are malevolent about it. I explained that I am from Philadelphia and disgruntled Eagles fan can be the same way, but probably not on the same scale since they are not division rivals. He just laughs and I am thankful he didn’t ask why I’m not an Eagles fan like some other Wisconsinites ask me. I was never an Eagles fan and just never liked Philadelphia teams. No one in my extended family follows the Philadelphia teams (dad’s a Baltimore Ravens fan).

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Teddy Bear and Friends Tea at the Lincoln Room

Today was the Teddy Bear and Friends Tea at the Lincoln Room. A nice crowd came and it was a lot of fun. We played Teddy Bear guessing games, bingo, ate delicious food and met some wonderful bears.

Dad and Wesley

Susan and Beezer

Friday, April 26, 2013

WCU Civil War Day 2013 (4/26) and Art Museum (4/25)

Compared to last year, the Civil War event wasn't at all advertised (and the Daily Local wasn't there like last year). I was feeling a bit nostalgic from last year and I guess it was fate that I looked over to where they were last year and there they were! It's kind of crazy how it worked out. I hung out with them until my class at 12, then again at 1 until my conference at 1:30. After the conference I went to programs on the impact of Gettysburg and how modern medicine was shaped by the Civil War. Great day all around and a lot of fun. :) Even though I graduate in December, if they have it next year I want to go. Enjoy some pictures!


Yesterday (4/25) after work at the school and before work in the library, I went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I went to the new exhibit (from now until June 9) since I only had a few hours. The exhibit was called "Outside Art" because they were works done by non famous artists. Really interesting and awesome. I enjoyed myself.

A sculpture of a leopard (I believe). I thought the sinister look made it interesting.

Illness catcher made of iron. The artist was obsessed with sickness and hospitals. This was made to save lives.

I thought this bird painting was awesome. I love oddities like that.

The Root Monster

And my favorite (and not part of the exhibit, but it's in front of the entrance), Alexander Calder's Ghost.

Tomorrow is the Bear and Friend's Tea at the Lincoln Room. I'm bringing Wesley and mom and dad are bringing Pooh. I can't wait to see all who goes!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Finished ANS Environment Piece

Academy of Natural Sciences and How We Interact with the Environment

I frequently go to the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. Each Earth Day I try and visit; this Earth Day I made the trek and this visit reminded me a little bit of Mark Sagoff’s essay “Animal Liberation and Environmental Ethics: Bad Marriage, Quick Divorce.” The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is America’s oldest natural history museum and a world leader in biodiversity and environmental research. Their mission states, “for 200 years, the Academy has explored the remarkable diversity of our natural world, sharing these discoveries with the public through extraordinary collections, innovative exhibits, educational programming, and publications.”

When I first read the article when I was taking an animal ethics class in the fall of 2011, I never really explicitly thought about the article although I thought the article was interesting and made some good points. At the time I thought Sagoff was for the animal liberationists (since it was for an animal ethics class), but then I read his biography and the article made a lot more sense. He’s not totally against animal rights, but he thinks the theory of animal liberation is absurd since he argues that nature tends to treat animals worse than humans. “Few organisms survive to reach sexual maturity; most are quickly annihilated in the struggle for existence. All species reproduce in excess, way past the carrying capacity of their niche. In her lifetime a lioness might have 20 cubs; a pigeon, 150 chicks; a mouse, 1000 kits; a trout, 20,000 fry a tuna or cod, a million fry or ore; an elm tree, several million seeds; and an oyster, perhaps a hundred million spat. If one assumes that the population of each of these species is, from generation to generation, roughly equal, then on average only one offspring will survive to replace each parent” (42). Thus, he makes clear that the animal liberationists should focus more on getting the animal out of the wild instead of saving them from humans.

Sagoff claims and proves that “the S.P.C.A. does not set the agenda for the Sierra Club” and points out that “the Sierra Club, Wilderness Society and the World Wildlife Fund do not fail in their mission insofar as they devote themselves to causes other than the happiness or welfare of individual creatures” (40). Animal liberationists can’t be environmentalists and vice versa according to Sagoff. I tend to disagree, however, and so did the class. I look at the Academy and they house animals that can’t make it in nature. They clearly want to teach children about the environment and habitats, but they don’t let the animals die. I think that clearly shows that there can be some overlap. However, even though the Academy of Natural Sciences houses animals, they still display taxidermy animals to teach children how animals live in their environment. They paint the dioramas to look just like the environment they came from. Sagoff mentions Aldo Leopold’s land ethic that “simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively, the land” (38). The Academy lives the land ethic to bring education to the masses. I think the way in which they educate young children and adults alike is a fun way of doing things. When I was there for Earth Day, a field trip was there and the “oohs” and “ahs” of the children were amazing. It’s great to see people interested.

There is also a butterfly room at the Academy of Natural Sciences. I will admit that each time I go into that room I love to take pictures. This time around a volunteer was also taking pictures with her new cellphone. I don’t like to think I am commodifying nature, but even Leopold’s land ethics commodifies nature. Again, it’s an educational process and we learn about how even insects live in the environment, but we also use it for our gain. I remember reading something in the animal ethics class about a group being against zoos because it’s demoralizing for animals. I wonder if it’s the same for insects or if animal liberationists would include insects. The Academy treats the butterflies and moths nicely and tell children to be careful. I think this is here to educate because onlookers can see caterpillars hatch, form the chrysalis and then turn into a butterfly or moth. You also get to experience the humid environment they live in. I believe, like Sagoff, that this is important and we should preserve it. However, I think we should keep the living creatures in mind as well. I’m glad that Philadelphia has a resource like this so everyone can learn and appreciate their environment.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Environmental Essay and Academy of Natural Science

A week and a half ago I gave a talk to my environmental rhetoric class on Mark Sagoff's Animal Liberation and Environmental Ethics: Bad Marriage, Quick Divorce and I have to type up a little essay about my presentation. I'm thinking about tying it into what I learn at the Academy of Natural Sciences and what we can learn about the environment and how we interact. (Here is an outline I found of the article for you to see: Outline.)

Here is the start of my essay. I'm going to finish it first thing tomorrow morning so I can hand it in.

Academy of Natural Sciences and How We Interact with the Environment
I frequently go to the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. Each Earth Day I try and visit; this Earth Day I made the trek and this visit reminded me a little bit of Mark Sagoff’s essay “Animal Liberation and Environmental Ethics: Bad Marriage, Quick Divorce.” The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is America’s oldest natural history museum and a world leader in biodiversity and environmental research. For 200 years, the Academy has explored the remarkable diversity of our natural world, sharing these discoveries with the public through extraordinary collections, innovative exhibits, educational programming, and publications.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Ravens Ticket Ordered

This is where I'll be sitting for the game on August 22nd. It was $50 (it would have been $52, but since I was a new member of stubhub and opted to be e-mailed, they knocked off $2). Pretty good for something cheap. :) A little sad about not being able to see the Packers, but always next year! This should be a lot of fun.

I found a hotel to stay in overnight. Mom said we stayed there before, for my 16th birthday. I remember it being nice. I have to call the Tremont Hotel to see if they have a shuttle to the field. If not, a cab. Right now it's $160, but mom was unhappy with the cheaper one (she doesn't want me to stay in a 2 star hotel). She said to wait because she's going to see if she can use her rewards for the room (she travels a lot and gets rewards). I hope so! I am hoping to order the room in a week or two.

So excited! ^_^ I'm debating whether to go to the aquarium on Memorial Day weekend or wait until this weekend. Maybe I'll do both. Amtrak didn't look that expensive (I'll be taking the train there).

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Beavis and Butthead

Beavis and Butthead

Dad and Daniel would watch Beavis and Butthead
while I was in the living room playing Barbie
and nan was in the kitchen making her pasta.
I would listen to Beavis and Butthead's dumb laughter,
plotting to get laid, I didn't understand back then;
I was five, but I thought it sounded funny.
Dad and Daniel would crack up 
and comment how stupid they were,
but they were so easy to relate to, especially on MTV;
laughing as we waited for nan's homemade pasta
with homemade tomato sauce.

Nowadays it is dad and I that watch Beavis and Butthead,
while mom carries on nan's tradition;
we laugh and laugh; mom ignores us,
she hates the show, but we love the stupidity,
and although we wish new episodes were aired,
we are somewhat glad they never made new ones:
it brings me back to 1994 or 1995
when things were simple, safe and the music rocked
in the protection of nan's red brick house. 

Baltimore Ravens Preseason

Sadly, I can't afford to go to the Ravens game where they're playing the Packers. Those tickets start at $275. Instead, I'm going to a Ravens preseason and they play the Carolina Panthers. Those tickets start at $18. I found a good seat for $40. It's August 22nd. Mom's going to help me find a hotel to stay the night.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Baseball Saturday

Baseball Saturday
Jessica Marie

You loved the Milwaukee Brewers. People were often confused since you are from Jacksonville not Milwaukee. But, that’s okay: I love them too. I remember when you first started to like them; it was May 2007 and we were about to finish our sophomore year of high school. That was the year you had decided to turn our lives around, sort of by choice, but sort of by force.
“I’m really concerned about Eddie, Julie,” Ms. Regent had said to me once at the beginning of May about you.
“I know, Ms. Regent. I am too. But, I don’t know what I can do. I’ve tried everything and it falls on deaf ears.” I had replied; I knew she was trying to do well, but at that point in time no one could get ahold of you.
But, no one had to say anything; you were out with Blaine on June 4, 2007. He just graduated from our school and you were at some college dude’s house. You claim you don’t remember all the details, but you and Blaine were so hopped up on white pony and so drunk that he fell to his death from the three-story apartment.
“Oh God, Julie. My life is a mess. I need to stop,” you said to me with the tears in your eyes. It was right after Blaine’s funeral; it scared the shit out of you.
I was always bad at this type of stuff; “Well, what do you want to do with your life? You could always start there.”
You thought for a while; you had stopped crying at that point; and finally you said to me, “I want to be a travel writer. God, Julie. I haven’t watched a Packers game in a few years since I was so busy getting high. I miss it. I should go and see a game—I could start my travel writing!”
I thought you were talking crazy at that moment, but I just shook my head in agreement. The next day you bought your plane ticket, Packers ticket and a surprise in hand: a ticket to a Brewers game.
“I can’t wait to go,” you smile as you said that to me. It had been a while since I’ve seen you smile and I was happy for you.
You had a great time. You always loved taking pictures and the pictures you brought back showed what a great time they had—they also won against the White Sox, which made you happy since the Packers lost the night before. That game converted you into a Brewers fan, even though you were still iffy about baseball.
You drug me to games year after year. I’m still not a fan of baseball, but I will admit it was fun. Going to Milwaukee with you twice was an experience I’ll never forget and I liked going there better than Atlanta (at least in Milwaukee you are safer than when you are in Atlanta).
Then you joined the Peace Corp in 2010. You said you wanted to see the world and that this would be a perfect way to see it. You would always write me asking about how the Brewers were doing. 2012 wasn’t such a hot year, especially after Ryan Braun’s controversy (Ryan Braun was always your favorite, mine too and he is cute). You seemed optimistic in your letters, though I’m sure you were disappointed about your team, especially when the Packers were doing just okay. You were still in Egypt.
That was your last letter to me—“I hope you’re doing okay Julie. Even though I love traveling, I hope to come home soon. Let’s see a Brewers game, my treat!” The day I received your letter, which I guess is ironic, your mother called my mother to tell us the terrible news. As you were being transported to a site you were going to be volunteering, a bomb exploded in the car. It’s been a few weeks now and it’s been hard. I miss you. I am sitting here now at the Braves/Brewers game. It’s about 100 degrees here, but otherwise it’s a beautiful July day. So far the Brewers are winning and I hope they do; they better since this game is in homage to you.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

2013 NFL Schedule Posted!

The Packers play the Ravens in Baltimore, MD on October 13th. It's one week after dad's birthday. If ticket's aren't too expensive, I'm going to get him one. They're not on StubHub yet.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Two Daniel Poems

Which picture would you like best that I can use for the divider page (I'm breaking the book down into sections)?

I might see if I can find the original pictures. They're in a scrapbook somewhere. So, which do you like best? I'm thinking 3 since it's also about nan.

Here's the poem I'm thinking about putting on the dividing page, that will be called "Daniel."

You came to live with us in 1991,
my Godfather begged nan to take you in;
there was no fight, she was easily sold--
you quickly became family, a win-win;
we are both only children, eighteen years apart.
You were my older brother, and a best friend.
A student at Villanova, you said it was unlike Prague,
thousands of miles away from home, dressed in grunge trend
American style, but on MTV that you watched
for hours and hours, Europeans were doing the same.
Nan lovingly cooked you liver and onions just like home;
bringing Slovak girlfriends, carefully learning our names.
Maybe it was because you lived with us for 6 years,
maybe it wasn't such a shock since I was two
and nan treated you like you were her own--
these are the memories that I'm glad I knew.

I'm looking for a title for this one. Anything would be helpful!

While you were enrolled in Villanova,
you took the P&W, I always loved dropping
you off; I wished I could go with you
and could be a student enrolled in University.
It would be like when we played school,
sometimes you'd be teacher and you'd give me books--
onion-paged, crisp and easily ripped;
I made sure I handled the pages
with yellow high-lighted words with care.
It was in those moments I wanted to read,
at 5, I was bored with picture books
and I wanted to read British lit with Elizabeth on cover:
it's funny to think now, especially at 23,
I take the P&W to the 104 to WCU
(my Godfather's brother wanted me to go
to Villanova though and would pay for good grades)
and I get to read these texts to my heart's content--
I wish I could go back to the days
sitting on nan's porch with carpenter bees flying,
drinking iced tea and playing make believe.

In Memory of Olivia: One Year Later

Today marks a year since our beloved Olivia has went to the rainbow bridge. Not a day goes by that we don't think about you; we miss you a lot! Rest easy my little baby.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Daniel Poems

I started writing this in class. Just an idea. Daniel was an exchange student that lived with nan from 1991-1996 (from college until he had a job in New York, then would come to visit us until 1999 when he moved to California. Then he met a snob, got married in 2002 and forgot about us). He was like a brother to me. I decided I'm going to write 6-12 poems about the experience for my book. What do you think? Like I said, this is just in its beginning stages!

He came to live with us in 1991,
an exchange student from Slovakia to Villanova,
he quickly became family--
we were both only children, filling the void
despite him being eighteen years older.
Daniel would borrow you blue '87 Buick,
to work at In-and-Out
wearing cool shirts that said Munchadelphia.
Lovingly you would cook Daniel liver and onions
and we'd eat together every Friday night.
Saturdays were the best, however...

When I'm done, I'll post!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Saturday, April 13, 2013


I'm chatting with Christina and was talking to Andrew earlier about my asexuality. I'm writing a book about my gram for my poetry class final. I'm debating on writing a poem about her reaction. Also her reactions to when I became Muslim (she was cool with it despite her Catholicism but was worried about Americans reactions) and left Islam. Would it be too much? I'm sort of struggling because it's complicated.

Friday, April 12, 2013

SEPOS Orchid Show 4/12/2013

The orchid show at the Academy of Natural Sciences was just great. They had three floors of beautiful orchids on display. Someone let me use her telephoto lens for a few pictures, which was neat. Just a great day out, despite rain.

I went to a talk on how to care for orchids. I see why we didn't inherit my great aunt's orchids or why my gram didn't want them -- they're finicky and hard to take care of. Beautiful, though, so it's a bummer.

SEPOS Orchid Show at the ANS