helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

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Report survival, and Bears.

Those of you who were watching my journal last week would be forgiven for worrying that I had been horribly maimed or murdered by my research report, since I never got back to livejournal to tell you that I'd survived. Actually, no death or serious injury occurred, except to my stack of spoons, which went so badly into overdraft that it took almost a week of sitting on my arse on the sofa playing Oblivion before I could think about work again. (Yes, I'm going backwards - having spent something like 300 hours on Skyrim, and nowhere near finishing it, I decided to try Oblivion, the previous Elder Scrolls game. Which turned out to be a good thing, since it's much less immersive than Skyrim (the UI in particular sucks on Xbox 360), you can't ever forget you're playing a game, and it's easier to STOP playing and get on with something else).

I am now basically fine, apart from being extra-prone to nightmares. They've been ranging from so realistic that I wake up having an anxiety attack and am useless all day, to so over-the-top that they're obviously "just dreams". Like the one I had last night about BiCon, which featured such delights as the days in the programme book being in the wrong order, so the workshop I was running which I thought was at 12pm on Friday was actually at 12pm on Thursday, and us using many tiny classrooms in a huge university block, around others which were still being used for classes. (None of which would ever happen in real life). And someone giving a talk about protein science, which I went along to out of interest, discovered that a lot of it was wrong and wondered if I was supposed to pull the "I'm a PhD student in this discipline and you're talking bollocks" tag. (Why would someone give a talk about protein science at BiCon anyway?). If the tenses in this paragraph are bizarre, you can blame the fact I'm talking about a dream.

What else? We finally went to Whipsnade, and Saw The Bears. Photos exist, but are unlikely to be online unless I can persuade Richard (the perfectionist) to spend an evening sorting them out and posting them. The sloth bears (Melursus ursinus) were small and cute and not hugely interesting. The brown bears (Ursus arctos arctos) were awesome and snuffly! We spent ages watching them since when we got there, they were mostly sleeping. Or at least, dozing - all bears have multiple stages of activity and rest during the day. So we had to wait for them to wake up.

Bear number 1 spent the whole time lying down, so she was quite beautiful but not very interesting. Bear number 2 spent most of the time doing bear yoga - sitting on her big bear bottom stretching out one back leg, then stretching out her front leg on the same side to touch it. Then she got up and started foraging for carrots and apples which the keepers toss into the grounds. Bear number 3 was way back in the forested part of the enclosure so we couldn't see what she was doing - but then she came forward and foraged too.

We also saw Very Squeaky otters, parts of red pandas (the rest hidden by foliage), a herd of wild boars, a wolverine, many penguins, Moosen In The Woodsen, and wolves. Which were very far away, and mostly doing impressions of wolfskin rugs. Also some obscure relative of donkeys, the name of which I've forgotten, unicorn rhinos, and giraffes. We did not see elephants because I was running out of wheelchair battery.

Unrelated to the above, I saw Rock of Ages at the cinema. It was immensely silly. I loved it, but then I am also the person who saw Blades of Glory on an aeroplane and went out & bought the DVD. If you love naff 80s hair metal/cock rock, watch Rock of Ages. If you hate it, don't bother.

Now I need to find someone to go to the musical with, since Richard hates all musicals.
Tags: mammals, research, spoon management, video games

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