citrakayah: (Default)
Thus were was a great rain as the tears of conservatives fertilized the land. And lo, there were so many of them that they flooded the land of Missouri, and accumulated in the garage, and had to be swept out with a broom.


Jun. 17th, 2015 12:52 pm
citrakayah: (Default)
The cat died recently. Well, one of the cats, the orange one. He was old, I forget how old exactly, but still old. But he was my favorite cat. I still remember him curling up around/under my head when I was younger like he was a pillow, a great big fluffy orange pillow.

Lately he hadn't been doing so well. He'd lost weight and all. But even when he fell into what my mother says was probably a coma, even when his gums were swollen and he was completely unresponsive and having what I'm pretty sure were convulsions, he didn't die. He lingered for days. I tried to watch over him, but much as I hate myself for it, I couldn't be with him always, I just wasn't emotionally capable of it. Which I should be, given that I'm 20, dammit.

So we had someone kill him. The nice way to put it is that we had him "put to sleep," but I prefer to be frank and brutally honest.

So I say that we killed him. Because we did.

And even if I don't feel agony right now over that decision, even if it's half a week later and what-not, even--or maybe especially--if I'm relatively unemotional... I'm not sure I can make my peace with that.

Not sure if I should.
citrakayah: (Default)
So apparently I somehow managed to get a set of infected sinuses. Or inflamed sinuses--whichever it is, I'm really beyond caring at this point, because OH GODS IT HURTS I SHOULD HAVE SEEN A DOCTOR LAST WEEK.

This has been your daily cheetah service announcement.
citrakayah: (Default)
Been a month since I last wrote anything. School has been difficult, to say the least. My brain feels like it is full of fog, and doing anything not school-related that takes actual thought and willpower is hard. I could be doing worse, no question about that, but I have a good deal of inertia keeping me in place. The more I'm inactive--anywhere--the harder it is to get the ball rolling again. I'm a creature of habit, after all. And currently the habit is "crawl into bed, blow up enemy ships, and do absolutely nothing."

Which I hate.

I did get a review paper on isopods done, which was interesting to do. Had to do a lot of reading, and learned a lot as well. Among other things, I learned that Bergmann's rule has a long and checkered history, that most people think giant woodlice are cool, and that deep-sea isopods are not nearly as terrifying as old nacho cheese Doritos.

Other students in ZOOL 215 are doing their projects on feral cat colony management, the role of venom and bacteria in Komodo dragons, and turtle evolution. The first and last did fairly well, the middle one did not do enough research. I say that because in the question-and-answer session I asked about a possible test for bacteria uptake that seemed sort of obvious, and she said that that would be a good idea and someone should do that test. When I got back to my dorm, five minutes on Wikipedia linked me to a paper that had that very setup.

Despite the season, it's been cold lately, and it rained heavily today. I was caught outside at the beginning of it; I let volunteer hours slip away from me and I'm having to do a whole bunch at once. And because I'm an idiot and I suck, I missed the bus, so tried to walk over to the Science Center to volunteer. Naturally I got completely lost, but ultimately I did manage to get there... so good for me, I guess. Even if volunteering at the Science Center isn't the most pleasant task, what with all the loud children, it's something.

Formally changed majors from architecture to zoology, and have an appointment on Monday to talk about the possibility of doing field/lab work for graduate studies. I'm skeptical of my chances, given my lack of training, but it can't hurt.

Read some good books lately. The Virals series, which I've always liked, had two books I hadn't read, and some guy named Charles de Lint wrote a trilogy called Wildings which was pretty interesting. Also found some pretty... interesting... music by a person named Vertigo Fox. I usually hate the genre he works in, but the lyrics and general feel are interesting enough to overlook it.

Oh, and apparently we have MRAs on the Werelist. Granted I wouldn't expect anything different from the person who believes that plants "evolved beyond the use of brains," but still, it's rather frustrating.
citrakayah: (Default)
I haven't been doing that well lately. For the most part my issues are academic in origin, but I'm a college student, so that affects everything else. So when my grades suffer, or I feel like I'm not doing well or understanding the material well enough, I get depressed, I start to seclude myself... These days, it feels so hard to care about anything, and I feel powerless, useless, and flat-out stupid.

One thing I do know is that I'm not cut out for architecture. I've dropped one of my classes, ARC 242, which was a woods class. I liked that class. I liked the teacher well enough, I liked the lectures... but when it came down to it, I just wasn't capable of doing well in the class. I'm still taking Pyramid Guy 2: Electric Betelgeuse, aka ARC 232, but only because taking both classes will get me a fine art credit. Which I need.

I've also learned that when it comes down to it, I am very much a coward. Rather than deal with the possibility of humiliation, I flee. Not entirely surprising, but still a problem.

So I don't know entirely what I'm going to do. I do know that I'm transferring to zoology, and that that might help somewhat. I know that I won't be going into architecture, and that a fundamental part of my identity is gone--as fundamental as my identity as a therian, or my identity as a skeptic.

Architecture was how I justified my own existence, and how I avoided going insane from the knowledge I had. My belief was--and still is--that if we as a society are ever going to amount to anything of importance, anything that lasts, we have to broaden our horizons and be willing to work with any other sapient species in the universe. Also we'd have to avoid not wrecking our environment. In any event, we had to more or less get over our own egos and stop seeing ourselves as the center of the world.

Space--not outer space, but the environment around us--shapes how we relate to each other and the world. When I see something like Faner Hall, I see something that, in addition to looking like shit, was antithetical to the ideals I believe in.

A long time ago, I decided that that would be my mission--to design buildings that were closer to this, and attending architectural classes, I was always struck by how buildings that I considered absolutely abominations were praised. Seriously, there was constant praise for the same philosophy of design--and the same exact person--that produced this. That was what Corbu would do to Paris. Meanwhile, the terminology and phrasing used in describing designs, and design philosophy, frequently seemed overcomplicated.

But I can't do that anymore. I know that I will die. I know that everyone I love will die, and we shall all cease to exist. I also know that unless we somehow beat the odds, the universe will die. Ultimately, even if our legacy manages to survive the Sun's death, nothing will experience it. Nothing will benefit from it, nothing will look upon it and say, "This is good." We might as well have never existed.

I don't know what, ultimately, my path will be. At the rate I'm going I won't have much of a significant one, since both this and last semester I haven't done so well in class and this naturally causes crippling levels of anxiety and lack of confidence to the point where I wonder if I'm at all suited for college.

Granted, I don't have to decide for a while, and I need to focus on getting my life straightened out first, but not having certainty is... scary.
citrakayah: (Default)
So we were presented this scenario in my history discussion section.

In December of 2014, one of the remote provinces of our nation (the Republic of Tanzarundi) became a zone of conflict with the discovery of a key mineral used in portable communication devices. This resource can be sold internationally for huge profits, and the extraction of this mineral will provide many jobs for citizens willing to work there.

Here’s the problem: People already live in the part of the province where the mineral is located. These people include a few small bands of foragers, who rely on gathering, hunting, and fishing. Transforming this province into an extraction enterprise will certainly disrupt the environments these people need to live as they do now. In fact, it will possibly destroy many of the resources they need (local water supplies and animal habitats, especially) and ruin places they consider sacred. Once the valuable mineral was discovered last November, speculators quickly moved in with the provincial military force somehow getting entangled with different groups of speculators. This led to violence between speculators competing to access the mineral, as well as violence against the local forager groups. When folks throughout our nation heard about this, many went to protest and to create human shields to try to protect the foraging groups and the places where they live. It’s messy with the potential to get really violent soon. But there also appear to be possibilities for defusing the conflict without more violence.

As the advisory council to our national government, we need to determine the course of action for this crisis. Right now the people of our nation are not sure what we should do, and most are likely to support whatever policy we set forth as our course of action. But we have to persuade them that our course of action is ideal for this to work and ensure that we do not set off responses that could lead to widespread disorder and conflict.

Let’s be honest here. This is not really about “jobs/profits vs. environment.” We can let the less civilized nations squabble over such simplistic binaries. And this is not even about protecting the foragers who live there, although we have their most sacred animal as our national symbol on our flag (the irony is just too much, isn’t it?). This is really about us, all the people of the Republic of Tanzarundi, and who we are as human beings. Are we people who satisfy our wants and needs through violence and war because it is a normal (maybe even "natural") thing for human beings to do? Or, are we people who are not prone to make war and can come up with non-violent ways to solve our fundamental problems?

The history of humanity is complicated when trying to determine this matter. We can see conflicting interpretations in the scholarly readings we have to help us craft our policy. This advisory council has designated you as the lead member to define our policy. First, read the scholarly writings on this topic. Second, compose an argument that insists on a military solution using three ideas from Keeley’s writing, or compose an argument that insists on a non-military solution using three ideas from Wells’ writing. Do your best to convince our people that your policy is a true reflection of who we are and who we can be as human beings.

Guess what people in my class defended?

The "Trail of Tears" solution. Because obviously the lives of the tribe doesn't matter compared to the jobs and money.

That was literally their reasoning.


Feb. 12th, 2015 04:03 pm
citrakayah: (Default)
So, currently, life is pretty good. Joined a Dungeons and Dragons group at the ACHIEVE program. It’s 2nd edition (well, 2.5, really, since the DM made some tweaks), but it should be fun. I’m playing a gnoll whose chief goal in life is to punch things. Punch ALL the things. When in doubt? Punch harder. But, don’t punch non-combatants, because they don’t provide a challenge, and don’t hurt the people you punch too much, because then you won’t be able to get into fun fights with them later.

Classes are good. For statistics I have a professor with the amazing name of “Hasthika Sriyantha Rupasinghe Arachchige Don,” which I have no idea how to pronounce. I have a pretty good idea how to pronounce “Hasthika” (has-THICK-a), but the rest… oh well, doesn’t matter since he doesn’t insist we call him by his full name.

I’ve seen some very interesting architecture recently, both in terms of firms (Jones & Jones is a firm that I hope to work for someday), and in terms of actual projects (the Corinth Hut is one of the more interesting wooden buildings that I’ve seen). Unfortunately, as I discovered when doing a job search assignment, job searches for architecture jobs tend to turn up jobs without vital information (how much I get paid, what education is required), stuff not actually related to architecture (IT assistance, to use an example), and never seems to actually involve design. More proof that actually networking will end up being vital, I guess.

Pyramid Guy ended up giving us a test… over stuff he covered in a different class and didn’t review at all in the current class. He did this even though he knew that not everyone took that class. He did upload some old lectures, though… on five p.m. the day before the test. And when he went over the test in class and gave us the answers some of the answers weren’t actually answering the questions listed.

See, this is why I don’t like his class. Also that he ends up launching into long anecdotes that don’t teach us anything significant. I don’t care about the time he got lost going to the Palace at Knossos, I want to learn about the architecture of Crete. It’s very sad that his son had cancer, but does he need to spend half the class period talking about it instead of the actual material?
citrakayah: (Default)
So, I'm back at college and trying to get my life back in order. So far... well, I wouldn't say it's been fantastic, but it could be worse, a lot worse. I really do feel as if I'm starting to slowly pull my life together. My class-load for this semester is lighter, which helps, but I do attribute some of the improvement to myself. I still have to deal with some degree of apathy, but I think the medication is helping a bit.

Distraction is still an issue, but I'm getting stuff done anyway, and it's possible, just like always, to force myself to do things. I don't want to spend all day browsing wizard builds on the Pathfinder SRD.

Speaking of which, I made this guy for a Pathfinder gestalt campaign, and he is awesome.

The new laptop is working well. Perfectly, in fact. It's a Lenovo G50, not another Toshiba, and I'm being much more careful with it. This one won't get a furball of mysterious origins stick in the fan, I can tell you that.

Also found a pretty interesting book series by a guy called Jim Galford, which I promptly read. I'll try to post a review of them soon.


Jan. 12th, 2015 09:47 am
citrakayah: (Default)
It occurs to me that, despite having gone to Arizona for New Year's and rather enjoyed myself, I haven't posted about it on here.

My grandmother (on my father's side) lives in Tucson, and the area is probably one of my favorite places to visit. I've always loved the Southwest--its culture, its history, the ecosystem. It's one of the few places with cacti, you can spot lizards and snakes fairly easily, the birds are beautiful, and if you get really lucky you can see a coyote or mountain lion.

Which I didn't, but we didn't do much hiking due to it being freaking cold. In Arizona. Granted, it's the middle of winter and Tucson is at elevation, but it's still freaking Arizona.

Drive over to the Kansas City Airport was fairly easy, and so was the plane trip. Unfortunately, I was an idiot and lost a rather nice leather iPad case which belonged to my father. He was understandably irritated, I felt bad, et cetera. Thankfully they still make the things, but--guilty!

The hotel was pretty nice, emphasis on was. It's fallen into disrepair somewhat--Internet and phones weren't working well at all--but it used to be fantastic, and apparently they're doing remodeling. They also have an orange grove, with oranges one can pick from the tree.

Went to the Arizona-Sonoron Desert Museum. This was lots of fun--it's basically a combination botanical garden, museum, and zoo. Not everyone was out, on account of it being so cold I was wearing a jacket (which I usually do, but I'll get to that later), but a fair number of exhibits are indoors in heated areas, and I did get to see coatis and coyotes roaming around. Both of them have exhibits that use this nearly invisible mesh; visible if you're close to it but harder to see from far away.

They also had this nice mesh/glass combination exhibit that was basically a massive, enclosed river tank. Had fish, frogs, toads, lizards, birds, that sort of stuff. Only saw some fish and frogs, but there were a lot of frogs, and it was cold.

I have photos, I'll upload them later.

We also went to Biosphere 2, which was much nicer than I remember it... even if I'm kind of disappointed that it's no longer a miniature world and is a living laboratory these days.
citrakayah: (Default)
I have discovered recipes for cellular peptide cake with mint frosting. Apparently it has a rather meaty flavor due to the cellular peptides, and was traditionally served without any mint frosting--the mint frosting is a recent addition to the dish, but is widely agreed to go very well with the cake. Similarly, the name "cellular peptide cake" is recent; it is a description of the cake's make-up, since the traditional name for the cake is difficult to translate to English.

Frequently, warriors ate of the cake before going into battle, often pairing it with a drink mixed in the skull of an animal and drank with a hollow reed.

I look forward to consuming the cellular peptide cake, with mint frosting.

Found a good werewolf book... where the werewolf is a wolf changed into a human. I'll try to upload a review of it.

And unfortunately I haven't managed to get work done on the whole "Werelist newsletter to let people know what's going on on the Werelist and make the Werelist a central resource" thing. Yet.


Nov. 17th, 2014 04:05 pm
citrakayah: (Default)
1. Laptop is kaput. I'm using a tablet, which is horrible, and a public desktop, which is less horrible. Obviously my activity on the desktop is restricted, so there are some things I can't do (like playing Rift), which means I missed out on some opportunities to collect shitloads of artifacts.
2. My sleep schedule is fucked up beyond all recognition. I have no idea why, but at midnight I end up perky and restless, the kind of restless that makes you want to get into a fight, get into an argument, and screw something (obviously, I did none of those things, but the underlying restlessness is still there).
3. It. Is. Fucking. Cold.

And now I'm going to go off and go to the gym, which I should have done a while ago.


Nov. 9th, 2014 10:11 am
citrakayah: (Default)
Laptop is completely broken. Will try to fix ASAP. Am using tablet in meantime.
citrakayah: (Default)
Reposted from the Werelist. Others are encouraged to help signal boost this.

A diary-interview study exploring the experiences of phantom shifts and mental shifts in the therian community.


We are a group of researchers and founder members of the Therianthropy Research Group. We are interested in understanding therianthropy and researching it using a non-judgemental perspective. Our approach is to normalise not pathologise experience. Recently some of the members conducted a study to find out about the identity of therians. One of the things that this highlighted was the experiences of phantom shifts and mental shifts that corresponded to the participants’ theriotype(s). Since these experiences appear to be relatively common within the therian community we believe that further exploration of these experiences will provide us with a greater understanding of therianthropy. To clarify what we mean by these types of shifts the following are definitions; by phantom shifts we mean when a therian experiences a non-human body part superimposed on his or her body, similar to the feeling amputees report whom have lost a limb. Common phantom limbs include tails, wings and ears. By mental shifts we mean a change in mindset towards one's theriotype, which can vary in intensity and duration.

To research phantom shifts and mental shifts we would like therians who are 18 years or older and who experience one or both of these phenomena to complete a diary for one month. We will then invite you to be interviewed either face-to-face, online or by phone to clarify aspects of your diary and to help us further understand your experiences. However should you only wish to complete the diary but not be interviewed then we would still welcome your participation. We are looking for therians who do not deliberately induce such shifts but rather they naturally occur or are triggered by non-deliberate means.

You will be supported throughout the study by contact with one of the research team, who is also a member of the therianthropy research group. Previous research using diaries has found that many people enjoy the experience of completing the diary and come to a better understanding of the experiences they are writing about. At the end of the study we plan to publish our research and make it accessible to the therian community. This project has been approved by The University of Northampton’s ethics committee.

We would welcome your participation in this study.

If you would are interested in participating in this study or have any other queries please contact Dr Helen Clegg at Contacting Helen about the study does not commit you to participating.

If you wish to find out more about the Therianthropy Research Group then go to

If this is in the wrong area please feel free to move it

TRG Admin x
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citrakayah: (Default)
Well, I've gotten the design concept for my studio project down; it's going to be a nature center. As part of it, I'm designing an outdoor coyote exhibit, which should be fun to design. Unfortunately I'll need software besides Revit and AutoCAD, but that isn't all that bad, especially because I can import it into Revit when I'm down designing it somewhere else.

And I've found AZA Animal Care Manuals for several species, which is damn useful.

Elections kind of sucked, but at least a few progressive ballot measures in Illinois passed--we expanded rights for the accused. So I guess there's that.
citrakayah: (Default)
Some people have had questions over what exactly constitutes a "personal essay," since I asked that people not submit them. This was poor phrasing on my part, I intended to discourage people from submitting works that were written in an academic tone and either about their own generalized experiences or how they thought therianthropy worked (or to make a comment about the community, or something similar). This was not intended to discourage someone from writing about something that actually happened to them.

My apologies for any confusion.


Oct. 20th, 2014 11:39 am
citrakayah: (Default)
Well, I have discovered that, when you have a prescription for a mild stimulant, you should damn well use it. I haven't felt this energetic in a long time, I've cleared out all my backlog for college, my mind isn't babbling random things at me, I'm not muttering in words I can't understand, and I feel chipper.

Expect to see more of me around on various social sites, and more writing and such.


Oct. 4th, 2014 05:42 pm
citrakayah: (Default)
I'm tired.

My architecture workload is... exhausting. I feel like I barely manage to get stuff done on time, which is indeed the case. Heck, that's if I manage to get stuff done on time; I didn't for the last project even if I had a valid excuse (funeral). I wasn't the only one; half the class it seems had the same issue. Except they didn't have to go to a funeral.

Same thing for the studio class. The teacher is not happy with the class, and I can hardly blame her. I'm not happy with myself either.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm really made out for this, if this is what everything is going to be like. I don't have the mental ability to be that focused on work only. I should be, and every time I do anything except work I feel a bit guilty, but I don't have that ability, even if other people did, because before I never really needed it.

If I'm not made out for this program... I really don't know what I'll do. Be miserable? My entire future, for the past five or six years, has revolved around the idea that I would be an architect.

There are online communities I'm part of, and I want to read what people are writing and respond to it, but I can't for long periods of time. Because I need to work, and it's one thing to do something that doesn't take large amounts of focus and another thing entirely to actually put thought into something.

And short of posting a short inane reply somewhere--which feels kind of insulting--I feel like I can't reply, because I'm using all my mental and emotional energy on doing the goddamn cross section of a house in AutoCAD.

There are replies, journal entries, posts on the Werelist by people who have put a lot of thought into what they're writing. I feel like I can't do similar.

So... burnout, I guess.
citrakayah: (Default)
The Great Werelist Art and Writing Contest of Fall 2014, which lasts from the fall equinox to the winter solstice, is now officially started. The rules are simple: You submit a piece of writing or art, and a the end of the contest period, it gets voted upon, earning you a nifty prize (we do not currently have prizes officially lined up, but we had at least one person offer to do prizes for the short contest done previously, so we should be able to officially put up prizes soon).

The theme for this contest is the way we relate to our theriotype's species. These should, preferably, not be personal essays like the ones on Project Shift or Animal Quills. While those are an important form of literature in the therian community, this contest is not designed for them.

Entries are split into two parts: visual and literary. Visual art covers anything visual, whether sculpture, masks, drawing, glassworking, or carving. Literary covers poetry and other creative writing. At the end of the period, we will have a two week voting phase conducted via anonymous poll (though if you wish, you’re welcome to state your reason for favoring a particular piece), after which the top three entries in each category will be officially acknowledged.

Entries may either be hosted offsite and linked to, or posted in their own topic (or as part of a topic you’ve made a while back for your art/writing). If you are hosting your entry offsite, to make sure we see it PM the url to either myself or Mobius. If it's put in a topic here, either PM myself or Mobius a link to the post, or add the tag “fall-2014-contest” to the topic.

Entries must be original and created during the period of this contest, though they don’t have to be done specifically for this contest (if you drew something which qualifies for some other reason, you are welcome to submit it).

This may be reposted or linked to on other sites (LiveJournal, Dreamwidth, et cetera) to gain traffic.

-- Citrakayah


Sep. 21st, 2014 05:26 pm
citrakayah: (Default)
It's like most of the communities I call home have suddenly upped and died for no apparent reason. I really can't tell why, and that bothers me. In all of them there seem to be only a few people left (Skype, here, and the Werelist).

Maybe it's just nostalgia or something, but I can't help but look back to some heydey where everything was active.

And there's no "fix this" button.


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