Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The dog is fine

As Luke, who should be my PA, explained, the dog is a lot better. He had cellulitis as a secondary thing to an allergic reaction to something, probably grass. He's on all kinds of medication, some of which got lost and was found in the fridge. My dad tried to pretend he'd done that on purpose.

And for the record, KIDSes (pronounced K-I-D-Ses) are undergraduate students. It comes from a fieldtrip (that I did not attend) where the lady in charge of catering got upset by someone's offensive language and yelled out "Don't say @%^$# in front of the KIDSes!"

It's been a very hectic few days, Saturday was Carla's kitchen tea, which was a lot of fun, but also quite crazy to set up as she was sick and hardly left the house all week (update: she's a lot better). So I ended up sitting in the kitchen, trying to tie bows on champagne glasses at something like 10:30 at night, rushing home, colapsing and then leaving super-early the next morning to cut bits of wire and arrange beads into boxes and so on.

The whole event was quite fun, very relaxed and quite tame compared to others that I've been to, but I'm pretty sure that was a good thing! So I got home afterwards and passed out on my bed to be woken 2 hours later by a phone call about another kitchen tea coming up. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! But I had to get up anyway to go to a 21st birthday party, where I ended up spending about 3 hours on a trampoline. I hurt the next day!

I was going to post whenI got home, but then I saw in the History on the home PC that someone in my immediate family is reading this, and it upset me. I don't know who it is, but I'd really appreciate it if they actually told me...

And then yesterday was running around like a maniac, giggling through pre-labs and the TAing a neverending flower-prac. Speaking of which, I have marking to do...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

because I'm tired of reading

I worked today! Not that much, but enough to be able to go to bed knowing that my waking up actually had some purpose besides getting a sore head and neck (bad dream, fell out of bed). I'm nowhere near where I planned to be today, but it's all progress and I'm starting to get excited about my project again.

On the downside my dog is sick. He was looking a bit ...not right... yesterday and he was licking his paw. Tonight he has almost no fur on his mouth and his paw looks HORRIBLE! it's almost hairless too... so I put some disinfectant on it all and a sock over his foot to stop him licking it (he looks adorable!) and I'm going to see how he is tomorrow. I can't get him to the vet until at least tomorrow afternoon, unless it's really bad, in which case Luke and Kelly will be TAing all aloooone! *evil laugh*!

One of the students from the field-trip made a little movie-thing of photos and videoclips from the trip and screened it today. It's really cool, I wish we'd done that for our third-year fieldtrip. I remember getting really depressed coming home from that because I missed it so much. That's the crappy side of being a post-grad. you get to go on trips, but it's hard to actually go the way we did when we were KIDSes. Anyway the movie we saw today was awesome, but I must admit, the clip of me falling over in the mudflats was a lot cooler in my head (less - for lack of a better word - ungraceful). Still funny though!

I also chatted to one of the new honours students in my lab today. She's actually really nice, I think we'll get along ok. She's also started her own CC - a homeschool tutoring company, and said I can work there occasionally. I'm not sure if I'm going for it, but at least the opportunity is there. I saw the other honours student too, but he and I don't see eye-to-eye much. he's still very much an undergrad at heart (aren't we all) and hasn't learned to distance himself from the KIDSes too well. I'm not saying that being friends with them is bad, it's just that he doesn't spend any time with the people in his own class (who are nice kids, really). So a) he'll have little/no authority when it comes to teaching his 'friends' and b) when the pressure starts, which it will, no matter how chilled he is, he'll be all alone with friends who have no clue about what he's going through. I would never have made it through last year without all the help and support I got from the honours room. I doubt he's even got a desk there yet. And every time I try to show that I'm around if he needs anything he freaks out because he thinks I'm stressing. I'm not. I just know what happens if you leave stuff too long. He's a really nice guy, I'm just not sure we'll be hanging out too much in the next year!

Anyway I'm going to go to bed to fall asleep over another paper. I missed working hard!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

because I'm too lazy to post, and I don't want to annoy all my friends

Sarah just sent this to me. I generally don't like sending these around because I know a lot of people get annoyed by the 'send this back!' part. I'm also too lazy to make a real post because (short of going to a dress fitting, downloading articles and making a bead coaster) I've been pretty unproductive and have nothing interesting to say.

Here goes:

Remember to send yours back to the person who sent it to you!

a. Ever been so drunk you blacked out?
Once. I promised myself it would never happen again.

b. Put a body part on fire for amusement?
At work we used to pour Benzine on our hands and light it and then high-five the flam to each other. It was hot, but it didn't really burn us. It was so much fun!
c. Kept a secret from everyone?
Yes, I have quite a few. The trick is to keep quiet about the existence of said secret and then nobody bothers you about it.

d. Wanted to hook up with a friend?
Does making friends with someone because you wanted to hook up with them count?

e. Ever thought an animated character was hot?
The captain in Mulan...

f. Had a New Kids on the Block tape?

g. Been on stage?
A lot...

--- Favourites ---
a. Shampoo?
This stuff my mom got me that smelled like bubblegum. I've enver been able to find it again.

b. Soap?
The Clicks moisture burst range.

c. Colour?
Yellow and blue

d. Day/Night?
It depends on how much sleep I've been having

e. Summer/Winter?

f. Favourite TV series?
Lost or Prison Break.

g. Food
Tomato soup, peanut butter curry, anything with creamed spinach and/or feta

h. Favourite Advert
that Cell C one where the lady keeps hurting herself.

i. Favourite Movie
The Boondock Saints, Thank You For Smoking

--- Right now ---
k. Eating?
I just had lunch, which was a chicken, lettuce and tomato sandwhich on wholewheat superhealthy bread.

j. Wearing?
Jeans, slops and a blue tshirt

l . HAIR is?
dark brown. Straightened at the moment thanks to my fantastic boss!

m. Drinking?

n. Thin king about?
Getting to work! Must. Stop. Procrastinating!

o. Listening to?
The new Faithless album. It's really awesome!

--- Last 24 Hours ---

q. Cried?
r. Meet ANY new FRIENDS?
s. Cleaned your room?

--- Do you believe in ---
a. Yourself?
Not really
b. Your friends?
c. Santa Claus?
not anymore. We used to booby-trap our rooms every christmas. I think the mousetrap in the Christmas stocking is what ended it for us.
d. Tooth Fairy?
I had the tooth mouse when I was small. I used to leave seeds for him with the tooth in a slipper by my door.
e. Destiny/Fate?
I think we make our own.
f. Angels?
g. Ghosts?
--- Friends and Life ---

a. Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?
no. I think it's a good thing at the moment.

b. Who have u known the longest of your friends?
Cathy. we meet when I was 2 weeks old.

c. Who's the shyest?
probably Lynne.

d. Who's the weirdest?
that's about a 20-way tie. We're scientists...

e. Who do you go to for advice?
Lara, sometimes Jo.

f. When do you cry the most
When I'm stressed out.


Monday, February 19, 2007

resolution #43: I will be antisocial

I've decided that the root of all my problems is that I'm too social. After I left the wedding at midnight on Saturday and came down with flu on Sunday, proceeded to get very little done at wits all day today and now have to take a day off to do wedding stuff tomorrow... I've had enough.

The problem is that I just like people too much. I mean, in general, I wish there weren't so many, that they behaved better while driving and so on, but I like spending time with certain people. Today, after giggling our way through a prelab and getting horrendously bored during a tree identification lab, Luke, Kelly, Luke's sister and I went to have tea in my lab. Then Laura joined in and Brett and it was really nice. So I got to wits at 9:30 worked until about 11, went for coffee, got back to work, got lunch (my mom packed me a slightly dubious sandwich) went to the prelab to the lab and then only left about 2 hours later.

And every time I think about the huge workload that's being procrastinated I cringe and then carry on messing around. To make things worse I found an old PhD, and now I feel all inadequate. Maybe I'm just not ready. The only thing that's stopping me from deregistering and leaving the country is the fact that if I were doing masters I'd be just as ineffective as I am right now.

Anyway, I'm going to attempt to do some work and then go to bed.

Sounds like fun.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I'm such a Scrooge!

I haven't blogged forever. I'm sorry, but being so unproductive tends to leave me feeling extraordinarily guilty and I hate to admit it anywhere!

Last week was vry unproductive. I did do some stuff. Like go shopping for wedding gifts for two of the three weddings coming up, going to spend some quality time with my boss (who is one of very few people in this world who can straigthen my hair without the associated Diana Ross effect (i.e. it comes out smooth and un-poofy). I nearly fainted at a dress fitting and realised that if I'm going to stand for a whole ceremony I have to practice wearing the shoes more often. I also put a whole to-do list for the month togther, finalised some things with my supervisor and organised all my readings into folders. All the while spending a huge amount of time at Biosoc.

The thing is, my project has to be divided into 'chapters' and it's really hard to focus on each thing all alone. so I was wheelspinning because I dodn't know where to start. I hope this helps, because otherwise I'm deregistering and taking a one-way flight to Russia or something to hide from allo the people who have been so supportive.

Thursday was Luke's birthday. I gave him a jar of marshmallow spread in the morning and we went shopping for a present for Laura and got falafels for lunch. I also went along to the zoo and went inside the room with the lizard display. Sungazers are SO cute! They also showed distinct evidence for appetitive behaviour and learning... probably just my anthropomorphism shining through, but hearing the keeper arrive and running over to where the food dish usually goes is pretty obvious.

On Thursday night I went to Primi in melsrose arch for Luke's birthday. I got there first and ended up reprising my role as Luke's PA when I was shown around by the waiters and chose an area to book. It was a real awkward-turtle moment! It was a really nice and chilled evening, we sat around and chatted and drank teapots and took bizarre photos.

Friday I decided to be productive, so I sat and organised my readings, helped out some honours students with a variety of things, went to an awesome talk on Macaws in south america and went off to biosoc. After that I went home, changed and headed out to the other side of the world to Laura's birthday bash. It was also fun, albeit mildly awkward at first considering I got there before anyone that I actually knew, but I got to know a few people and it was fun. the place was strange. It had couches and things to sit and chat, but the music was really loud so it was chatting by way of screeching things to your neighbour and repeating yourself a lot. I also got them to make me a special drink that Joey always makes me, so Luke, Laura and I ended up with blue tongues. More hilarious photos followed.

Today I woke up feeling horrible, staggered over to Joeys house so she could do my hair, came home and collapsed for half and hour and headed of to a wedding. I really didn't want to go, but I'm so glad I did! It was a stunning wedding. I'm not generally prone to the whole girly 'awww' reflex, but seeing two people whon I really care about glowing and crying and really meaning what they said was so special. As someone who has been to literally dozens of weddings (when you're little and you sing, people make you perform at weddings for the pure kitsch factor) today was really really special.

So now I feel like a total Scrooge in the way I've been treating my brother's upcoming wedding. I'm really excited for it now, not just because I get to have a really fantastic girl as a sister, but because it really is worth all the fuss.

Anyway, I must be off, the reception starts in an hour and I have no idea where the place is...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Unproductive in my bizarreness

Weird stuff is still happening. I've got to the stage where I can say "Oh look, a goldfish just carried a man out of a burning building"as if it were perfectly normal. Not really, but it's getting to that.

I got my flashdrive from my supervisor today. It's really pretty, white, 2Gig, quite fast data transfer (at least into m laptop, not my desktop). At the moment I'm typing this to pass the time while I copy the last batch f music from my desktop to put it on my laptop. i have a pretty big usic collection, so that's taken quite a while!

I had a dress fitting for the wedding yesterday. My blood pressure plummeted after about half an hour and I nearly passed out (high heels and all). I fund out that sugar water really does help and that it is possible to retain your sense of humour when you're feeling awful and nobody around you can speak English. I also had a really long talk with my future sister-in-lw, which was fantastic!

Today is my last day with my supervisor around for a while, so I'm trying desperately to get everything sorted out so I can just get some work done while he's away without needing him to ok anything. I haven't really succeeded because there are so many distractions at wits. to be honest I think i'm going to spend the next week or wo at home just working like crazy. I intend to have a draft of my proposal ready by the end of next month, so I ust get my butt in gear for this. I refuse to be apathetic about this!

Otherwise I've been spectacularly unproductive for the last few days and that's about it. My music is copied, so I am going to attempt to ge back to work.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

And bizarre day continues...

The rest of the week was pretty weird. A lot of odd things happened and I finally gave up trying to understand the world at all. I decided that although the 7th of February must be bizarre day officially, the rest of the week kind of build up to it and then trails off slowly...

On Thursday I managed to come up with a big Question for my project and I sat down with my supervisor and discussed it. It's looking good, very rough around the edges with LOADS of other things I can add in. I'm worrying a bit about time constraints, after all if I did honours in one year, and each chapter in a thesis is like an honours project, that means in 4 years I can do about 4 studies. And considering that I basically did 2 projects last year (4 if you count the seasonal things), I can probably cram in 8. Or 16. Who's counting? It's also looking like I'm going to be going to my field site in a few weeks time to look around. It makes sense, I can't really write a proposal based on a system I've never seen before. I'm really excited to be going there so soon!

Yesterday was the world's most unproductive day for me. some people from Hawaii were coming to visit and I was supposed to drive them to Wits, but they didn't confirm. fortunately I was exhausted and was able to sleep in with a relatively clear conscience in case I was called to go and fetch them. Finally I just went to wits to find out that they'd somehow managed to get there themselves so I ended up joining the other behaviour group and the people from Hawaii for tea.

It was really odd, they had hardly any accents at all and they were very un-zoologist looking. They knew a lot of people studying just about anything and they talked about a lot of fascinating stuff. After that I went to the lab, did very little and went for lunch. After that they gave a talk and then Luke and his supervisor and myself discussed the talk for ages and then we sat around not doing much until the honours students finished lectures and we could go to Biosoc where I found the hidden stash of Brutal Fruit (warm, but still infinitely better than beer!) and from there we collected Luke's sisters and friend and Luke's friend Athena. after dropping off sisters and friend, Athena, Luke and myself went to a restaurant called Soi, which is a Thai/Vietnamese/I-can't-remember-but-there-were-a-bunch-of-places type restaurant. It was really nice, stunningly decorated and the food was really good, especially the chocolate mousse!

This morning I woke up late and decided to take Max, one of my dogs, for a walk. It's been a long week and I had a lot to think about, so I ended up dragging him all over my suburb and then along the nature trail along the river (the Braamfontein spruit) which is a really pretty route. When my best friend, Gloria, lived a block away we used to walk there almost every day and sit on the bridge over the river and talk about stuff. We had a huge fight about 5 years ago and haven't spoken since. I haven't really missed her until today. It's hard to live in a goldfish-bowl like our department, where you know everyone and they know you and every move you make is discussed. The problem with walking alone is that you can think things through, and if you tend to be oversensitive like me it can be a bad thing.
I found that on the other side of the river was a big rocky outcrop, so Max and I went exploring and then sat and watched the lizards there for about half an hour. By the time I got home he was exhausted and could hardly lift his feet and I realised that we'd been gone for over two hours and I had to go shopping for shoes and beads (no particular order) before work.
I ended up swimming first and then fell asleep, so I only had time to rush out and find shoes. I was successful!

They're beige, rather than the goldish colour that Carla wants, but I'm sure I can get them sprayed for the wedding. More importantly they fit, they're comfortable and I'll definitely wear them after the wedding (I'll put up photos of the other shoes if you want. They're... not my style...).

From there I rushed off to work (amid a rather nasty rainstorm) and found that Lara was working with me. so I bombarded her with all my troubles and she did what she always does: listened, sympathised, put it all in perspective and yanked me out of my comfort zone.

Unfortunately we couldn't go for drinks after work, as is our tradition, because Joey wanted her to go and keep her company while a bunch of her husband's friends were at her house watching rugby. When I explained how annoyed I was she agreed to straighten my hair tomorrow, so I'm not angry. To tell the truth I'm just tired and I'm going to bed now.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

national bizzare day

The 7th of February is now officially 'Bizarre day'

It all started out in my usual reading-blogs procrastination session of the morning. I stumbled across this post: this post
It mentioned the 'awkard' turtle, a hand signal that could be used in an awkward situation to express the awkwardness of a situation without saying anything to the instigator of said awkwardness. It kind of replaced mutterring 'Awwwkward!' in a high-pitched voice or saying 'this isn't awkward at all' to each other.

Anyway, shortly after reading it, I actually started getting some work done, when Luke arrived to beg me to stand with him in all the queues for registration. So after finishing the paper I was reading Iwent off to join him and explained the turtle thing. Then it all started.

At first it was small things, like the girl in the queue behind us standing really close and giving me a really angry look, or people we didn't like takling to us as if we were all best friends. It escalated to seeing that the guy who makes our student-cards has put a picture from Dragonball-Z onto his card instead of his photo and Luke saying "Be friends with the strangers. They stop you from going CrAzY!' as a rather odd looking individual walked into the room that we were leaving (same doorway. Awwwkward!). By the time Luke's registration was over my thumbs were beginning to ache from the turtle sign.

Once that was all done I went back to the lab and pretended to work, when my supervisor and one of his new students walked in and had several awkward moments (although that's not too unusual, as anyone who knows the guy will tell you!) along with a long discussion about keeping a spot for someone whose name is still a mystery. Then we sat and looked at dead chameleons for about 20 minutes before I ended up on a quest for distilled water and he ran off past me going 'Shooo-eee!' - which is also not too unusual.

About an hour later Luke and I headed off to get lunch where we stood behind some gigantic guy who was getting way too friendly with his girlfriend in the queue, while very loudly yelling about the fact that there were 'too many faggots wearing pink' around. The only people anywhere near him were Luke (wearing blue) and myself (a girl).

After that, while we were waiting for our food we went to get drinks, and all of them were warm, so we went, warm drinks in tow, back to steers to fetch our food and switch the drinks for cold ones. The were really sweet about it and exchanged them for me, when some random guy at the counter started a conversation with me about the good deal I had got because he triend and they made him buy a new drink. Awwkward.

From that we went to watch the Weakest Link that Laura was running, where there were some unbelievably stupid contestants (Q: what is the white of the egg called? A: the yolk!) and a rather annoying presenter. Tom won and we were very happy for him.

After going back to the lab during a million other bizarre things that I can't even remember I was almost trembling with the weirdness of the day. I ahd an hour or two in which I procrastinated once more, before Laura called to say that the pub-crawl had reached Biosoc. So we went and met some rather strange people, including 'well-endowed girl', some guy with a palm-frond down his pants, Laura's friend Selwyn and a few others.

We joined the pubcrawl for a little bit, but as we hadn't got tickets, we couldn't get free drinks and sharing Laura's wasn't working too well, so we left and went back to Biosoc. The whole point of this was to get free drinks from a guy we're friends with there, but he'd left so we ended up sitting with a bunch of honours students for about an hour and a half chatting. It was really nice. I've missed the social side of being in honours. I don't miss the insane workload, but I really miss the honours room and all the people we used to see and the weird conversations we had.

By the time we left it was too late for me to go off to a church thing, but I was glad about that. Not because I didn't want to go, but becuse my mom was going to talk to them about a lot of the things she said on Sunday, including evolution and I thought it would be better for me to stay out of it rather than get annoyed and offend people and cause trouble. I figured that if I'd resolved an issue for myself I should let the others do that too, rather than forcing my views on them.

The final weird thing for the day was when my mother got home and we sat and talked about it for a while. It's very unusual because usually a conversation with my mother is either instructions from her and single-syllable answers from me, or it escalated into an argument in a few seconds. But I sat on the kitchen floor cleaning out my dog's paws (she has allergies) and she sat at the table with coffee and we discussed a whole bunch of stuff. Like what we believe and how it fits together and how it's ok sometimes if we can't understand. It was really really nice.

So diarise it now. 7th Feb, is INTERnational bizarre day!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I'm stressing because I have so much work to do. Ia'm also stressing because I'm not stressing enough about the work I have to do. I mean usually I have no problem getting up at a ridiculously early hour and rushing to wits and staying there all day. So although I get distracted super-easily, I get enough work done before everyone else arrives and after everyone leaves to make it worth it.

This week I have slept through my alarm-clock every morning, never got to wits before 8:30 - 9:00 am and left every eneving when it was still light. it's ridiculous! Today I arrived at 9 and have spent a grand total of maybe 3 hours in the lab.

In the meantime all I've done is come up wth a lot of reading to do as well as a framework that might or might not work... I feel so... unproductive.

The crappy thing is that I have a reputation for working incredibly hard, but I really don't. I'm just so unproductive that I put in incredible hours at the lab and manage to get the usual amount done. And if I get myself stressed enough I can turn those wasted hours into incredibly productive ones.

I just wish I could get stressed enough.

Monday, February 05, 2007


I told my parents about my run-in with Creationist-girl and the Christians. My Dad and I had a good laugh about it once I'd calmed down. My mom went on the warpath. This all unfolded right before she started a sermon-series about New Age theories and beliefs. So she's been working in how fundamentalism can be harmful and that evolution is actually ok.

It's really sweet to see her protecting me like this, but I sit through each sermon dreading the moment when she tries to explain evolution. We've got a protocol whereby she comes and runs a fact-check by me ebfore she preaches, but she can get carried away. Does anyone know a good layman's book explaining the basic principles of evolution? It's her birthday tomorrow...

In other news I just sat down and outlined a potential project and various questions I want to answer in the next 3 - 4 years. Suddenly it's not so scary anymore, I'mjust really excited about all the cool stuff I can do. Once I see my supervisor (over coffee?!) it'll probably be all shot down and back to square one, but for now I'm ok!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

It's hot...

It it SO hot today, I don't know what to do with myself. I want to swim, but I have so much work to do still.

I was planning on working at work yeasterday morning, but when Matt arrived still drunk from the night before I had to do actual job-work rather than reading papers and so on. Then I ahd to rush off to do some shopping for Lara's birthday and then off to her birthday party last night. It was fun, at a Greek restaurant in the Design quarter, a centre I've never been to before. They have a Primi there, which was right next door. It was really nice to see Drew and Justin again, I really missed them, but I'm afraid that it was a bit awkward because most of our little gang (Joey, Justin, Drew, Nikki - who wasn't there, and so on) really don't like Lara's other friends very much. So we just sat in awkward silence for a lot of the evening. Drew was in a particularly bad mood, and as I was next to him it didn't help much...

Once Drew and Justin left it got better and the evening finished up with the waiters coming around to sing happy birthday, but first they blasted us with some kwaito-type music and made her dance with them! It was hysterical! She was still relatively soberish when I left, but half an hour later I got an sms from her to say 'thank you for your friendship' which makes me wonder about what happened next!

Work this morning was the usual, except that Nikkie (not Nikki) failed to arrive for her shift. So Matt and I watched Will Farrell movies and I failed to get any other work done, once again!

So I'm off to work now, I sketched out a basic outline for a project at work today, so now I just need to flesh it out with some actual research!

Here is a picture I took in Namaqualand while Luke and I were exploring our 'back garden (i.e. the mountains behing our house just over a small fence. Climbing it was always an adventure!).

Friday, February 02, 2007

Growing up

I was going through old photos yesterday afternoon. I realised that a big part of growing up is losing things. Yesterday was my brother's birthday, his last birthday at home considering he's getting married next month. He was hardly at home at all.

I found an old photo of me holding a lizard. I was about 4 years old. I remember chasing them a lot (they lived under our wisteria which grew around the front of our house) but I don't remember catching more than one or two. It was in a pile of photos of old friends who I used to spend all my time with. I see two of them about once a year, but even that is awkward. It makes me wonder how long the friendships I have right now will last.

I went to the vet yesterday. I used to work there (as a potential vet-student) and loved it more than any other place in the world. It was nice, I had a long chat with the vet who has been incredibly supportive of me in all my studies. I also realised that I won't be hanging out with the vets during surgery again.

I went to a church function last night. It was fun, we all dressed up (except me and my friend Sarah who read the 'smart-CASUAL' on the invite and wore jeans). when I was youger I was super-involved in the church but over the last few years I've pulled more and more away frlom it. I was wondering why, I had a lot of close friends there at one stage. Then last night Brian had an eye-patch that was too small and gouging his eye so he decided to move it to where there might be a third eye, so I suggested the top of his head cosidering the whole 'pineal eye' thing. Someone turned around and attacked me verbally because I was 'taking evolution into account.'

It wasn't that they were uncomfortable with the idea, I'm used to that (although the general response is 'lets not go there' which really annoys me). It was the fact that someone I'd never even met before about a week ago felt comfortable speaking to me like that. There was no opening for me to explain what I meant or the fact that I am an EVOLUTIONARY biologist which means that believing in evolution is as much a part of my identity as the fact that I was sitting at a church. Instead some little kid who's just left school and has never really looked at evolution felt comfortable giving me a 'talking to' about it.

Just to round off the incident when I left the little group to find someone to talk to who wouldn't attack me and not allow me to answer them, one of my friends who had seen the whole thing took me to one side and asked me to be more 'sensitive' about the way I talk about evolution.

Anyway the evening ended with dinner and watching 3/4 of the 'Phantom of the Opera' (scratched DVD, not mine) and little creationist-girl had to leave because she thought it would be too scary for her. That's right. Don't look at things that scare you.

I'm tempted to throw the whole 'growing up' thing out the window and follow her around muttering 'Darwin! Darwin!'

But I know that the only response that I'll take is to avoid the church functions in future. Because that's what I always do.