Gexx in Knoxville

This blog is about Gexx, in Knoxville

Archive for the ‘animals’ Category


Posted by Gexx on August 15, 2009

Wow!  So there are A PILE of bears out where I’m working!!  There are two Mama Bears, and the cubs are still small.  Then there are the juviniles from last year’s litters!  So this morning, M and I hike to the site, cross the stream, and then put on our boots.  If we had had sat 5 meters away, we would have been trampled to death by a faun and two does speeding by!  After we put on the boots, I spot a HUGE pile of bear scat.  It was eating cherries.  Lots and lots of cherries.  We hike the rest of the way to the site and go to the last unit we worked on, where I left my shovel, shaker-screen, and a black 5 gallon unused paintbucket.  The shovel was point-side-up, so it had been moved.  The bucket, though, had two punctures about 4 inches away from each other as well as some scratchy sections.  Nearby, we find another pile of bear scat, also full of cherries.  This one looks like the bear had the runs, though, maybe because s/he was eating only cherries.  Anyway, I guess we’ll figure out soon how bears handle ammunition cases, my preferred field case.

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The wild world of the forest

Posted by Gexx on August 12, 2009

Well, M and I, in our last excursion, discovered that the area is supporting a healthy bear population.  In one area we saw a Mama Bear with two cubs, and in another we saw a Mama with three cubs.  The second family, we saw while Mama was grubbing around a tree.  The three cubs were frolicking.  That is, they were jumping on each other and tumbling around.  Then they all tried climbing up a dead stump – at the same time.

Other animals of note include a big black beetle, a katydid, an 8 inch earthworm, an 8 point buck, and scores of turkeys.

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Field Work: deer, bugs, and more!!

Posted by Gexx on August 7, 2009

I’m really enjoying the field work.  Although I hope/plan to do more with curation and lab work in my career, there’s something empowering about going out and doing the initial discoveries.  This summer has been gorgeous! Not *too* hot for a mountain summer and not too humid.  Getting the site mapped was horribly monotonous, and it required hauling about 70 lbs (and $12,000) of equipment to and from the 1/2 mile-ish-away-off-trail site.  But now that I’m digging, I can leave my gear at the site and just carry my backpack with me.

The other day I was out digging by myself.  In the area are lots of “hogwallers” (places where the wild boars wallow in the mud, indicitive because of the high amount of torn up ground).  I heard a snap in the woods and looked up, ready to run.  About 10m away from me was a gorgeous doe.  She looked at me, I started talking to her.  She just ignored me!  How rude!  She did, however, hang around for about an hour.  This made me feel safe, as a doe would be the first thing to run off if a bear or boar entered.  When she did go away, she didn’t run, she just wandered up the ridge near where I worked.

That same day, I heard a Katydid chirping really loudly.  I found it at the tree next to me, just Katy-did-ing away.  A big gran’daddy-long-legger was sizing it up, but he decided to leave the singer alone.

Also in the area of my site are lots of trees that bears grub around.  It’s really startling, sometimes, to see the neat motes that they dig to get the ugly larvae.  Today I dragged M to the site to help me.  To get there we need to cross a stream near the trailhead, so we wear sandals in the car and across the stream.  On the opposite side, we change into our serious (dry!) hiking boots.  Today was no different.  As we’re changing into our boots, people start to gather on the opposite side and point up the tree we’re under.  I finally ask “What’s going on.”  Some kid responds “There’s two BEARS UP THERE!!”  I finish tying my shoe and we HAUL ARSE!  The trees there aren’t the strongest, so the only size bear that they could support two of are cubs.  And cubs aren’t much unless there’s a MommaBear, and the local MommaBear had 2 cubs this year.  And I do NOT want to meet up with a momma bear!

So what sort of signs will the coyotes leave behind and when will they hang out with me?

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makeup toxicity

Posted by Gexx on February 8, 2009

My friend Kazen, who will be going to Japan to LIVE in a few weeks/months, sent me this link about cosmetics.  Apparently her tinted moisturizer is banned in the EU for the chemicals in it.  So I decided to look up what I use.  I have a few bits of make-up that I carry with me.  They're rated on a scale of 0-10 with 10 being the worst.  I discovered that Neutrogena does ANIMAL TESTING!!!! But Wet 'n Wild DOES NOT!!!

Neutrogena MoistureShine gloss (flirt)- 4
Ingredients in this product are linked to: Cancer, Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Violations, restrictions & warnings, Allergies/immunotoxicity

Other concerns for ingredients used in this product:Neurotoxicity, Persistence and bioaccumulation, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Miscellaneous, Multiple, additive exposure sources, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Contamination concerns, Occupational hazards, Biochemical or cellular level changes

Revlon 12 Hour Eye Shadow (Berry Bloom)- 5
Ingredients in this product are linked to: Cancer, Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Violations, restrictions & warnings, Allergies/immunotoxicity

Other concerns for ingredients used in this product: Neurotoxicity, Endocrine disruption, Persistence and bioaccumulation, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Multiple, additive exposure sources, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Contamination concerns, Occupational hazards, Biochemical or cellular level changes

Wetnwild Mega Eyes (Amazon Greens) – 5

Ingredients in this product are linked to:
Cancer, Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Violations, restrictions & warnings, Allergies/immunotoxicity

Other concerns for ingredients used in this product: Endocrine disruption, Persistence and bioaccumulation, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Multiple, additive exposure sources, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Contamination concerns, Occupational hazards, Biochemical or cellular level changes

Almay intense i-color lengthening mascara (emerald green) – 6
Ingredients in this product are linked to: Cancer, Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Violations, restrictions & warnings, Allergies/immunotoxicity

Other concerns for ingredients used in this product: Neurotoxicity, Endocrine disruption, Persistence and bioaccumulation, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Multiple, additive exposure sources, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Enhanced skin absorption, Contamination concerns, Occupational hazards, Biochemical or cellular level changes

Neutrogena SkinClearing oil-free concealer.(fair) – 4
Ingredients in this product are linked to: Cancer, Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Violations, restrictions & warnings, Allergies/immunotoxicity

Other concerns for ingredients used in this product: Neurotoxicity, Persistence and bioaccumulation, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Multiple, additive exposure sources, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Enhanced skin absorption, Contamination concerns, Occupational hazards, Biochemical or cellular level changes

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i can has multiple links

Posted by Gexx on October 27, 2008

so LOL humor has taken many random meme turns.

So LOL Link List

Posted in animals, kittens, media | Leave a Comment »

Weekend party

Posted by Gexx on August 10, 2008

So, this weekend I attended a smashing gathering of people. The plan had been for it to be much larger, but the core group who attended were most awesome. It was me, Miss S, A, Mr. J and Ms. J (Mr. J’s long time friend who drove up from Atlanta).

S and i got there later than we had hoped, but were still the first people there. We scoped out the property, a horse farm, and found the bathrooms, the kitchens, the bbq area, and the lake. That lake was MAAAHVELOUS! It had canoes and kayaks and paddleboats and a dock and another dock and turtles and bugs and fish and…

Soon after A showed up, gave us a slightly more organized roam around, and we set up our tents (we were staying the night). While that was going on, J and J showed up … with ribs. Sweet! So we were a ribbed, brated, beered, vegetabled crazyness of food, but that’s for later. We all got the tents up, said “hi” to the others in the facility, piled up firewood, distributed beer stratigically to different locations and then donned our bathing suits and headed to the water.

After some swimming and diving (I’m so pleased with my new-found ability to flip on dives, i’m such a dork) we grabbed boats (S and i in a canoe, A in her own, and originally mr. J in a paddleboat, but when Ms. J joined they also shared a canoe)a couple of beers each, and played pirates. We stole/drank beer. S and I were UNSTOPABLE. At one point, we gave Mr. J a beer to appease him, then the next time we passed we took that one *and* the one he was drinking. We were up one side of the lake, down the other, and around all the islands. S and I found a case of fireworks on a far dock and told the others that it was beer (too far to see what it was at that point), but “we didn’t have enough cup holders for it” when they were distracted, we worked on drinking our booty. The Pretty Pretty Princesses rocked, although there was some B-movie survival throwback moments when A stood up and was paddling, looking all Amazonian and the time that we all started drumming our paddles against the boat in rhythm and then went faster and faster until we yelled and attacked.

The funny thing about boats is because you’re consistently off balance you don’t realize the effects of alcohol … until you get up. I could NOT pull the canoe up, it was killing me, and by that time some of A’s friends, including K and her puppy, and also N and C (who have appeared a few times in the blog) were able to witness it. The solution: go swimming.

So after more swimming, playing with dogs, and such, we decided to go get the grill going. I had brought 1.5 bags of charcoal and a massive container of lighter fluid. As the grill was MASSIVE we decided to use the whole thing. Enormous fire, lots of meat (and grilled cheese), we had ribs. Then, down to the bonfire. By this point it was back down to the core so we sat and talked and chatted and chilled and set off fire works.

Eventually calming down and going to sleep, the next day was beautiful! I woke up with the sunrise. surprise, huh? So I laid watching the sky change colors to a most beautiful blue, at which point I was hungry. So I got up, grabbed some hotdogs for the dog, and radishes and cheese for myself, checked the time on my phone (about 9), and took out the canoe. I was able to paddle quietly, watching the turtles flop into the water, noticing all these crazy nymph carapaces, and cruising along with the ducks. Beauty beauty beauty.

I noticed some others up, so we fixed up breakfast and revived the fire, I’m rather proud of my ability to do that also. It had been a while since I had, and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to.

Noshing on foods, packing up tents, and all that followed. Then we went back into the water. This time a grabbed a Kayak. That thing FLEW! We would have been even MORE UNBEATABLE had we utilized that vehicle. ah well.

Eventually, we did have to leave. Ah well. It was great!

The morning on the lake

Posted in animals, beer, cooking, i do have a life, overconfidence | Leave a Comment »

A rundown

Posted by Gexx on November 21, 2007

It’s been a busy while. I’m posting a blog that i wrote in my word processor a while ago, so if you scroll down, you’ll see it dated to its creation. I have quite a few fronts to report on, though, so feel free to read on.






Cats –
Orion and Neci are both getting along very well. They are still vessels of boundless kittanic energy, so they keep me going and on the ball. Orion loves spicy tomato sauces as well as beans and pasta. She doesn’t like, however, any meat that I cook. She just got her rabies shot, so my little bitty itty kitten has two big shiny radies tags. The blingbling of the feline world? The vet is actually surprised at how small Orion is, so we’re waiting as long as possible to spay her. Probibly some point in January. As she’s an inside cat, if we don’t get her before she gets fertile, it’ll be a bit annoying on our part, but it won’t hurt her. I would rather she be large enough that she goes through her surgery safely.

Neci was spayed before I was even allowed to take her home. Granted she was with a recue group, so not actually belonging to anyone, I’m sure that the sentaments if she didn’t pull through ok would be different. Neci likes to drink water… out of my glass. It doesn’t matter how much is in her water bowl and whether it was just washed or not. She goes for my water glass. I wouldn’t mind so much if she was also not so facinated witht he bathroom. She likes to walk the rim of my tub whether or not i’m in it. She also likes to watch the toilet, and once surprised a male in the bathroom by popping up between his legs and watching the happenings.

They have also learned that if my phone alarm goes off, I don’t wake up right away. That gives them time to knock it off the table and under the bed, where I won’t hear it go off again. This means that I’ll stay in bed, where they are also snuggled under the covers (except for the one to knock the phone off, who i saw go right back under the covers when I did wake up once)sucking off my body heat. Neci alone, however, has learned that if she doesn’t want music, she just needs to jump on my clock radio. In fact, I’m totally messing with her by playing music from my computer. She came over and started walking on the clock radio, knowing that if she does it enough, she’ll turn it off.


I hate school. I want to be done. And the catch 22 is that it won’t be done until i put in sufficient effort. I want real life again. I don’t mind school, but I would love to do the part time thing. Not to put the cart before the horse or jinx me in any sort, the park will be opening my old position back up. If I get it, then I can totally and entirely do my real life job, which frustrated me to no end, but at the same time fulfilled me. I just hope that everyone will be able to put up with the exhaustion and intensity that this job gave me. I do so hope that it all works out. Losing that job, even though it was from funding problems, was a huge ego drain, and I feel so incomplete without it.

Yes, I’m one of those people who define themselves by their job. If I didn’t want a job so intent and crazed, would I be killing myself at school for it? All you old schoolers know that the one thing I prided myself on was what I got paid for.


Wow – well, he’s definitly proven interesting and good. Those two adjectives are horribly insufficient, but they’ll provide a base. Well, he did halloween with me and with some of my friends. We started at Sr. Taco. While there, we invited his brother, his brother’s wife, and another friend of theirs. So there were many people enjoying themselves. After Halloween dinner, we had planned on going out, but for some reason, perhaps because it was Wednesday, we ended up going to my place to drink vodka and play with kittens. The weekend after halloween was SEAC, and well, after past experiances with official stuff and bringing a sigoth, I was a little hesitant, but he wanted to come to the friday night dance. I figured that I had built up just enough of a reputation for myself between my past job and my time put into the department that I could introduce an “outsider” to the conference. Besides, it was local so everyone from Ktown brought their spouse(-to-be). Plus, it was not the first time for my circle to meet him. We had had a pot luck a few weeks earlier, and everyone had only positive things to say about him.

So we go to the dance and have a good time. One of my friends is in the middle of an intoxicated conversation with a rather renowned SE Archie, and as we were driving her home, we had to stay with her. He insisted that the conversation continue at the hotel bar when the dance venue kicked us out (midnight).

The following evening is the department party. I was definatly wanting to bring him to this as it’s very informal anyways so it’s a good venue to debut new members of the anthropology auxilary. We all dressed up, picked up two other friends along the way, and had a blast that evening. He even met and sweet talked the prof who had been giving me relationship advice before. The interesting thing is that, if I haven’t mentioned it before, this guy went to highschool with two of my best friends (one in the department), and he graduated with my girlfriend’s sister. At this party, we found that half of the significant others in the department (ok, a bit of an overexaggeration) went to highschool with them. This is a little podunk town abotu 1.5 hours from knoxville. Apparently they train them to put up with UT Anthopologists.


I love my friends, I really do. I do with all my heart, and I would and do do most anything for them, if I can. They’ve been having it rough, both the ones down here and apparently a few of the old schoolers. Guys, you’ll all get it done. Remember what I always said in college: enough hard work will get you your way.


I’m hosting Thanksgiving! So come here! I’m doing an Orphan Thanksgiving for anyone who doesn’t have the time to head home. As far as I know, I’m doing meat, stuffing,sweet taters,a vegetable dish, and probibly I’ll make an apple cobbler just because. I currently have 4 definate guests, and two who will be showing up later (one being the boy who had originally planned on being here the whole time, but was slammed with a family obligation just this week, so I’ll deal.) I do hope that it goes well. I think we’ll be so totally fooded out, that we’ll be sooooo happy.

See – I update – occasionally

Posted in animals, beer, books, boys, college, cooking, downtown, geeking out, house, i do have a life, kittens, overthinking, work | Leave a Comment »

update on the kittehs

Posted by Gexx on October 25, 2007

my kittens are sick…. sorta.
Orion has had a continual sneeze. The vet attributes it to allergies and my house, I’ll admit, is def on the upperside of the dust containment median threshold. No worries though, right? Especially as the grandfather dumped off a ton of shtuff the other week. Well, right after he did that, Neci started to sneeze and her eyes (more specifically her third eyelids) looked irritated. We had a vet appointment for boostershots the next day, so I told the vet and she said it’s probibly just irritated. Ok, so I have two cats, one sneezing, the other w pink eyelids, but it’s normal. right??

I may or may not have mentioned in previous posts that I have never before had me a fuzzy pet. They’ve always been fish, fireflys, critterpillers, cicadas, or other bugs that I managed to sneak in and not let my parents find. Something fuzzy that actually gets sick, goodness, who knew? So Neci’s eyes don’t get better and hte weekend comes. I debate going back to the vet, but on Monday I get home and Neci, who had been all lovey and snuggly on sunday and monday morning (translate that to “sluggish”) is on my bed with her eyes gunked shut. So I use a wet towel to ungunk them and immediately call the vet. Appointment for the next day and we go. Poor Neci was lost without Orion, but we made due. Vet looks at Neci’s eyes and says

“It’s Chlamydia”

yes, my cat has the clap. The two viruses, human and cat, however, are different. So all jokes said, done, and repeated till old, my cat is not a tramp. So now we have oral amoxicillian and two sets of eye drops. Its a good thing that he’s always been rather calm. She’s also learned that Mama doesn’t let go till all the pink stuff goes down her fuckin’ throat. Even if it takes 6 tries, so she just sits still and takes it now. A cat who follows directions? Who knew??

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Kittens! pictures coming

Posted by Gexx on October 10, 2007

So I now have cats. Last week I had a cat. Last month I had fish. I still have fish, no worries there.

How this transpired:
A few weeks ago I helped run a public education program at one of the local historic sites. There, a volunteer brought a carrier with four kittens, two long haired, two short haired, two gray, two butterscotch (blue and buff, respectively if you want to use proper terminology, but we aren’t worried). Not a one the same, a mendel square of distribution. As we had no one at our section, we played with the kittens. One short haired gray one fell asleep on me, and the volunteer said “they need a home.” Well, I may be a heartless bitch, but even that was too much for me. So at the end of the day, when we picked everything up, I looked for the cat woman and told her I would love to take one home. I ended up picking the little gray one. All of the remaining kittens, I was told, were male. So we rode home, totally unsafe. I stuck him on the passenger seat, and he (thankfully) meowed the whole five miles home. He made his way to the back seat, to the back shelf (that one against the back window, you know what I mean). We get home, and I bring the little, stinky, flea ridden fuzz ball right to my massive claw foot tub and stick him in it. Then I go to the supermarket and buy food, litter, a plastic shoe box, dawn (safe for kittens, bad for fleas I was told), and a pack of toy mice. Then we go, and he has a bath. He’s rather patient with that, i’m surprised. In the next few days I discover he has “butt worms” (I learn that they are specifically tapeworms), I set up an appointment with the vet (reccomended by a friend), and the receptionist at the vet reccomends some OTC worm pills for kittens. I then go out and buy all the pampering supplies: pet bed (fuzzy brown), more toys (squeeky frog), brushes, lead, coller, tag (I decided to name him Orion as he continually pounced; I was thinking Siddartha but he was in no way calm enough), harness (yes, he will walk on a lead), and all that stuff. He sleeps with me, but a full night’s sleep is rare as he wakes up constantly and thinks that my lips, ears, and nose are toys. We go to the vet, and I’m informed that Orion is female. Oh well, the name will stay. She gets her shots, more worm medicine (another type was also infesting her), and Advantage. She is 1.9 pounds and 2 months old at this point, and her coat is noticably much better than when she got to my house a week prior.

My professor, after 3 beers, asks me how I’m doing and I tell him that it’s uneventful, save for the kitten. He takes that to mean “I am a single bitter female who has given up on human companionship” and proceeds to offer me life encouragement and relationship advice. Yay.

Still, she refuses to let me sleep through the evening. I start to close my bedroom door to keep her out, but she just cries. After some consulting about the nature of kittens, I decide I need another one.

So this past Saturday my neighbor and I went to the mall (we both have a wedding this month) and then to the petstore where the feral cat rescue people set up. I talk with them, and we pick out a quirky 3 month old female calico kitten. Her tail is broken. The tails of all her littermates are broken in the same spot, actually. This just adds to her personality. I pick up some extra supplies: another carrier to take her home with, a cream fuzzy bed, and a pink flamingo squeeky plushy. I take her home and she and Orion really don’t hit it off. They tolerate each other, but continue to hiss. One took her post on my knees, and the other on my chest (I was laying down reading) and they hissed at each other, then stared, then they fell asleep. So I think they’ll learn each other’s roles and deal well.

Saturday night we go out to grab some pizza and listen to a band. I figure it will give the cats some time without my interferance. The band was relatively decent (all cover tunes), the pizza was marvelous (sausage, artichoke, olive, tomato), Florida lost, UT won, and dancing was uneventful (as long as you don’t count the dude who kept rubbing his arse against mine and pissed me off enough that I kicked back against the back of his knees, causing him to collapse). We get sorta bored, and in trying to figure out what to do next (it’s only midnight, if we go home now, we’re pathetic), we decide that since I still have a bottle of Pearl in the freezer that one member of our party brought to the last potluck, I should host people and we’ll play with the kittens.

The kittens are overjoyed. They love people. I’m glad about that. Kitten number two, in being a little spitfire when Orion gives her a hard time gets her name Neci (pronounced by me a NEE-see), derived from Latin for Fire.

The two of them are odd. They can both eat from the food dish at the same time and not get mad at each other. But if they get bored, they get all over each other. Orion was rather nippy and sorta agressive before, but she’s taken to hissing rather often now. Neci is calm and inquisitive until Orion starts hissing and batting at her. Then she’s all sparks. Orion has started giving her a wide berth, but I’ll walk into a room and find Orion ready to pounce if Neci walks through the door. So when she sees me, she looks guilty and tries to look like she was going to play with a piece of paper, dust, or invisible string on the other side of the room. Maybe there’s some relation to how Neci like red wine and Orion likes hot sauce. I need to remember that the two can now get onto the table themselves.

I need to get a lead, harness, collar, and such for Neci. I wasn’t too pleased with the selection at the petstore there.

So now I just need to work on my house, my halloween costume, and the 30 papers due soon. Yay SEAC!

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Cats Part 3

Posted by Gexx on June 7, 2007

The cats have grown up. But that’s ok. Here’s some pictures of them as little cute things.

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No – not a cat. But he was in my backyard

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and one more not cat

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