Recently in Awkwardness

This semester I’m taking Forensic Anthropology, which has been pretty dull so far since it’s been all law & stuff, but now we’re past that and it’s starting to pick up. It is definitely not true that dead men tell no tales. Bones tell SO MUCH about how a person lived. Not just age & that sort of thing, but what they did for a living, how strong they were, what kind of diseases or nutritional problems they had. I’ve heard archaeologists talk about figuring out that someone was a pipe-smoker because of wear marks in their teeth.  Illnesses like syphilis & tuberculosis leave all kinds of deformities on skulls and vertebrae, and if you want to be scared into taking a trip to the dentist have a look at historic mandibles that have big holes in them from tooth infections that have eaten away the bone.

I discovered that Southern India is home to a crazy whip sword that looks like the stuff of nightmares, as if regular swords weren’t dangerous enough.

Hurricane Matthew is blowing things around in the Caribbean right now, it probably won’t hit Tampa but I’m watching it.

I got my first check ever from Shutterstock!  They have a $500 threshold for paper checks, so THAT was a good day.  Took me almost exactly three years.

If you’re like me & completely obsessed with Stranger Things but have no outlet for it, FoundFlix on Youtube has a playlist of videos detailing his theories of the show, which are pretty interesting.  I built a Pinterest board of ST fan art, which is numerous and amazing for a show that’s only been around for a couple of months.  I’ve seen most of it three times over now, but I seriously wish I could go back & watch it blind again, it’s that amazing.

Standing Rock Destruction

Quick little post, the Sioux tribes of North Dakota have been fighting the Dakota Access oil pipeline, and the company just demolished a bunch of recently-discovered historic & religious sites within hours of them being revealed in court as part of the attempt to stop the construction.  Here’s an angry letter to sign if you’re a professional/student in anthropology, history, or some related field.

Recently in Awkwardness

We are currently in the midst of our second named weather event of the season, Hurricane Hermine.  The storm itself will make landfall later tonight north of me in the panhandle, but it’s spinning off tons of rain & dropping it over the entire state.  The parking lot outside my apartment looks like a lake.  USF closed all three campuses today, I don’t have class on Thursdays anyway but it got me out of work so that’s cool.

Now that I’m a couple semesters into studying anthropology, I’ve started to notice symbols everywhere.  Words, actions, & objects so often have meaning beyond just what they are, & somehow I never really noticed.  There are so many things we do everyday that someone from a different culture wouldn’t grasp at all, it’s kind of mindblowing.

I’m completely obsessed with the YouTube channel CinemaSins.  Like to the point where I’m hearing them narrate my life.  A bird was running away from me as I was walking yesterday & I thought ‘this bird went to the Prometheus school of running away from things’.  I don’t know if that’s better or worse than the time I was in the middle of reading the Game of Thrones series, saw a little kid carrying two riding helmets while walking along behind some people on horseback, & assumed he was a squire.

Some guy murdered Pinky the Flamingo at Busch Gardens.  What kind of dirtbag do you have to be to murder a flamingo?

Also, this incredible photo essay on the Flint Water Crisis.

This Week in Awkwardness

I survived my first named weather entity of this season, Tropical Storm Colin. Basically a two-day thunderstorm where I am, I didn’t even lose power, but I know some places closer to the water had problems.  I didn’t go to the beach for this one like I have in the past, which is unfortunate because there were some WILD pictures coming from the storm front.

I signed three different petitions to have Judge Aaron Persky removed from his post in light of the appalling sentence he handed down for convicted rapist Brock Turner.  I doubt they have any legal weight, not being officially run through Persky’s district, but I figure the pressure of thousands of voices will get someone to do something.  If you want to add your name, here are the links:

Official White House Petition


There’s also 4 petitions on but most of them are from UltraViolet anyway so sign as you see fit.  Honestly, you could probably Google “Stanford Judge Petition” and come up with about 80 different things at this point.  He’s already got potential jurors refusing to serve under him so someone’s going to have to do something about him eventually.

I rode the bus all the way downtown to the River Arts District, which looked awesome but it was of course insanely hot so I didn’t get to wander much.  I love public transit.  It’s good for the environment, for not having to fight traffic, and for just getting to know a place.  I’ll ride random buses around random cities just because it’s such a great way to see an area without having to figure out where you are or where you’re going.

Speaking of traffic & transit, Florida decided that since traffic on I-275 & other highways through Tampa is so terrible, they’re going to forgo giving people any options besides driving and just add some toll lanes, wiping out all sorts of historic buildings & hurting neighborhoods all over the city.  The project will cost about $9,000,000,000 (seriously – I didn’t just add zeros until it looked good) and then only people with enough money to pay $2 or $3 per mile will actually get any sort of benefit from it.  But hey, why build a light rail system when you can just ruin a bunch of stuff to make life easier for rich people?  Basically it’s a godawful plan so I signed a couple petitions & sent a bunch of emails to various elected officials about that too.

 Crossed Off the Travel Map:

Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa. Florida

Added to the Travel Map:

Snowdonia National Park, Trawsfynydd, Wales – lakes, mountains, hiking – plus the name is kind of cool.

And some more ghost towns:

Cahawba, Alabama – the state’s first capital.

Glenrio Historic District, Texas/New Mexico.

Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark, Alaska.

Swan Island, Richmond, Maine.

This Week in Awkwardness

I now have 80 boards on Pinterest, which is completely insane, especially for someone who didn’t get Pinterest at all a month ago.  But I have to have a separate board for each state right?  And a handful for other countries & continents.  Plus it all has to be cross-referenced by activity.  What my organizational skills lack in brevity they make up in depth….

Crossed Off the Travel Map:

Lettuce Lake Park, Tampa, Florida.

Trout Creek Park, Thontosassa, Florida.

Added to the Travel Map:

Chippewa Lake Park, Chippewa Lake, Ohio – abandoned amusement park.

Paronella Park, Mena Creek, Queensland, Australia – abandoned mansion.

Plitvička Jezera National Park, Croatia – beautiful waterfalls.

Goðafoss, Iceland – Waterfall of the Gods.

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington.

Tallulah Gorge State Park, Tallulah Falls, Georgia.

Nova Scotia, Canada.

Watkins Glen State Park, Watkins Glen, New York.

Falling Waters State Park, Chipley, Florida – 73 foot waterfall into a sinkhole.

Museums of St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is one of a handful of pretty little cities out on the peninsula between Tampa Bay & the Gulf of Mexico.  With beautiful beaches & palm-lined streets it’s been a tourist destination since the beginning of tourism.

The Museum of History is on the approach to the St. Petersburg Pier, which juts out into Tampa Bay & is currently closed for construction.  It’s a small but interesting museum, $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, $9 for children, military, & students (this was the first place I got a discount with my student ID!).  Their permanent exhibits include an Egyptian mummy, general area history, aviation, a few signs about pirates, and for some reason two rooms filled with nothing but autographed baseballs.  When I went in April they had a shipwreck exhibit on that showed models & artifacts as well as the technology involved in finding the wrecks & retrieving small bits from them.

Just around the corner is the Museum of Fine Arts ($17/adults, $15/seniors/military, $10/children/students), which holds many works from some of history’s greatest artists in its permanent collection.  After viewing ancient pieces from all over the world, I found myself in the presence of three genuine Monets.  Unlike most art museums, they welcome photography in their permanent collections.

Event: Live Oak International


Every year in January horse drivers & jumpers come to Ocala from all over the world to compete at Live Oak Farms.  It’s become quite a festival, they have food trucks, vendors, even the Budweiser Clydesdale were there, all hooked up doing laps around the show ring.  It was a lot of fun except for the woman sitting next to me during the jumping saying “You can do it horsie! Oh that’s OK you’ll do better on the next one!”  It was the horse show equivalent of those people who talk to the characters during movies.