the sometimes senseless ravings (and the occassional rant) of an aspiring marine ecologist who may enjoy killing things a little too much

Friday, June 10, 2005

The Good, The Bad, and The Tropical Storm

so when i checked my bank account yesterday to see if my paycheck from DISL went through, i got a pleasant surprise. i had assumed that i would be paid at the same rate for the TA thing this summer as i was last summer. however, i am making an extra $4 an hour this summer. kick ass. on the other hand, i'm also doing much more work this summer than i was last summer, as i'm actually working on my project now.

speaking of work, i spent the morning scraping epiphytes off of turtlegrass leaves and weighing them. exciting stuff, right? anyway, after that i had go and do the TA thing and get out fish identification guides, specimen jars, and dissecting trays for my students. i hear that they've evacuated pensacola beach and perdido key because of this freakin' tropical storm (which will probably become a damn hurricane before it hits). but did they do anything at dauphin island? of course not. yes, they told everyone that if they wanted to leave, they had to do it today because the causeway would be flooded tomorrow, but otherwise it was business as usual. classes didn't dismiss early (even though USA cancelled its saturday classes), and the caf will be open for its regular hours all weekend for the kids in the dorms. the point is, we still had a lab exercise this afternoon. the students had to key out (i.e. identify) all of the fishes we'd caught on the boat last week. so, i spent the afternoon helping students identify fish. and now my hands smell like fish. i've washed them, like, 8 times since i last touched a dead (and preserved) fish, yet my fingers still smell fishy. it makes me think of 50 first dates when adam sandler's character offers his fishy hands to drew barrymore's character for her sniffing pleasure. and fish is so not a happy smell. i'm pretty good at the fish ID thing, but there was this one juvenile clupeid (the menhaden/shad/sardine family) that had me pulling my hair out. o'brien wasn't much help there. we eventually gave up trying to identify it. i keyed it out as being a skipjack herring, but it looked more like the picture of the spanish sardine. anyway, we eventually just put it in a jar and labeled it with the family name. but now i smell like fish, and it sucks ass.

it was doing that sideways raining thing that happens at the beach in the summer sometimes around the time i had to migrate from the lab to the classroom. umbrellas don't do much good in that situation, so i was wet and freezing when i stepped into the air conditioned building. that was our first taste of t.s. arlene. at least i don't have to go anywhere tomorrow. i'm hoping the storm hits east of pensacola so it won't be bad here. i still have to bring in the random stuff on my patio (including my bonsai tree) so it won't get blown around. i know that i vowed after ivan to get the hell out of here if there was the threat of even the weakest of hurricanes hitting close by, but as arlene is still just a tropical storm (although a strong one now) i won't be going anywhere. i'm riding this one out in my apartment in mobile (which was actually fine during ivan, too - if only we hadn't gone to flomaton and stayed with chad's parents...). we rode out a tropical storm in our apartment a couple of years ago. i can't remember the name of it...lily, perhaps? anyway, that turned out ok, so maybe this one won't be bad. keeping my fingers crossed, people.

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