Renée@Rutgers
A California girl who's not in Kansas anymore.

More pictures here on my flickr.

Will gets in these moods sometimes where he likes to go driving. This is the kid who called me up one day in August and said, “Hey, I don’t wanna walk around or anything, just wanna drive. Do you want to come to this restaurant in Pennsylvania with me and get lunch?” So we drove over 1.5 hours into PA, had fantastic burgers for lunch, and came back. Was a fun trip, he has lots of funny stories and it’s fun to just talk about random crap in the car.

So yesterday he shows up at Demarest—I guess I should also mention that he doesn’t go to Rutgers. He lives in Monroe Township, works for the parks department and part time at a nursery. He went to high school with Flake, who does live in Demarest, and he hangs out a lot and is friends with a lot of people here.

So he shows up, wants to go driving. He knows that I like to take pictures and he said he’s been wanting to take me here for a while for the leaves. This is actually the Raritan, much closer to its source, and he likes to fish here in the winter. So we walked along the path, scrambled on the rocks, was a fun time.

Stopped for food, went back to Dem for the hall government meeting, and then he wanted to keep driving so that was why we went down to the pine barrens to take star pictures.

Some pictures from last month’s Cook/Douglass Community Day. It was kind of like an interest fair for clubs, there was free food, and they got a hot air balloon. Line was too long otherwise I would’ve gone up in it, but I was satisfied wandering around taking pictures of the nice afternoon light.

Full album here.

Tuesday of last week my Natural Resource Management class went to Duke Farms, which is private land that’s been restored to natural NJ forest/wetland/meadows. They have a deer fence to keep the vegetation from getting too browsed, and on the property they have beavers, otters, foxes, raccoons, and a nesting pair of bald eagles. So we walked around on some trails, learned some stuff. Was a nice field trip.

The farm picture on the left is Cook campus at Rutgers, I got to where we were leaving a little early and took some pictures with my tablet. The orchid was in the café at Duke Farms.

Wednesday I ventured into the city to watch the NLCS game at Finnerty’s. Was super duper fun, despite shlepping to the city in the rain. The prices were ridiculous but the atmosphere and company was great. Nice to watch baseball with some like-minded people.

Pictures from stargazing tonight. Only took a few so they were faster to process than the ones from the gorge, have about a hundred of those.

See all the pictures here. This album includes some from the last time I went to this same place with Will and Rachelle last semester. Will also wanted some pictures of his car, so I tried the long exposures on his Corolla.

Potential spontaneous road trip?!

Rachelle has vacation plans in Vermont, and the rental car place she was looking at said they were open on Sundays. Goes there, they’re closed on Sundays. So Will might drive her the 4.5 hours up there and he’s trying to talk me into making the drive with him. So potential 9 hour drive on the spur of the moment…this is gonna be interesting.


Okay, Rachelle found a ride to Vermont so Will didn’t drag me along on a car ride with him. Instead we went to Ken Lockwood Gorge and I took pictures of pretty fall trees and we saw a great blue heron catch and eat a trout.

After that we went down to Stafford Forge Wildlife Management Area and I took more star pictures. Will let me drive some on the way back and I learned about driving in places where deer will dart out into the road.

So I mentioned that we did stream surveys in the RUEP on Tuesday, and I did make it back out there on Friday afternoon with my friend Dan. See the whole album here on my flickr.

Midterms

Don’t even know how, but midterms already? What. Introductory Geology was yesterday, Animal Nutrition on Thursday.

Not sure if I’ve mentioned it, but I’m taking a class called Principles of Natural Resource Management (NRM) that’s three hours long, meets once a week. Every other week we ditch the lecture hall and have lab in the ecological preserve on Livingston campus.

Two weeks ago we were in the forest sampling trees, today we were doing stream surveys. But it was absolutely gorgeous. I think I’m going to go out there Friday afternoon with my camera and try to take some nice pictures.

So on Saturday morning I woke up and it was pouring rain. Talked to Brett, and we both decided we didn’t want to deal with going into NYC with the weather the way it was. (Of course it cleared up by the afternoon, but whatever.)

So instead we went to World of Beer and hung out there. Which was kind of a mistake, considering the Rutgers-Michigan game started an hour and a half after the Giants game. Also football bias is stupid—it’s the baseball postseason(!!!) and when we got there every single tv had football on, college or NFL. Ridiculous.

The great thing about WoB is that they have a bunch of kinds of cider. I was amazed at how light this one is, it’s almost clear. Second ingredient? Champagne yeast. Didn’t even know that was a thing.

The whole bar was stupidly crowded with Rutgers fans, and they put the football game on the big tv and the baseball game wasn’t even close to being over. Brett got hungry so we ended up leaving before either game ended, got food, and then went back to his house. I thought the Giants game would be over by the time we got back, but no, it was the 10th inning.

Switched between games until Rutgers won, then we just watched baseball. Eventually Brett had to leave to go to a comedy show at midnight. Get in the car and my friend from high school texts me, “HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT” and I’m freaking out because I no longer have any idea what’s going on. Get back to my dorm and find out the Giants won, and then was hanging out with friends around the building. So it was a pretty good night overall. Also because the Devils beat the Rangers 3-0 in the last preseason game, so all my teams won.

If we win the NLDS, I am determined to get back to NYC. Excited for today—Introductory Geology midterm at 3:20, then I get to go back to my room and watch game three. Go Giants!

So on Saturday morning I woke up and it was pouring rain. Talked to Brett, and we both decided we didn’t want to deal with going into NYC with the weather the way it was. (Of course it cleared up by the afternoon, but whatever.)

So instead we went to World of Beer and hung out there. Which was kind of a mistake, considering the Rutgers-Michigan game started an hour and a half after the Giants game. Also football bias is stupid—it’s the baseball postseason(!!!) and when we got there every single tv had football on, college or NFL. Ridiculous.

The great thing about WoB is that they have a bunch of kinds of cider. I was amazed at how light this one is, it’s almost clear. Second ingredient? Champagne yeast. Didn’t even know that was a thing.

The whole bar was stupidly crowded with Rutgers fans, and they put the football game on the big tv and the baseball game wasn’t even close to being over. Brett got hungry so we ended up leaving before either game ended, got food, and then went back to his house. I thought the Giants game would be over by the time we got back, but no, it was the 10th inning.

Switched between games until Rutgers won, then we just watched baseball. Eventually Brett had to leave to go to a comedy show at midnight. Get in the car and my friend from high school texts me, “HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT” and I’m freaking out because I no longer have any idea what’s going on. Get back to my dorm and find out the Giants won, and then was hanging out with friends around the building. So it was a pretty good night overall. Also because the Devils beat the Rangers 3-0 in the last preseason game, so all my teams won.

If we win the NLDS, I am determined to get back to NYC. Excited for today—Introductory Geology midterm at 3:20, then I get to go back to my room and watch game three. Go Giants!

Friday afternoon after geology lab. It’s getting to be the most beautiful time of the year. :)

RUPA (RU Programming Association) puts on an event every fall semester called Scarlet Harvest. It’s on Douglass, and there’s free food, crafts, and music. So I got warm apple cobbler, made a s’more with one of the fire pits, and got hot apple cider.

While I was hanging out this senior named Andy Trinker was playing on the stage and I’ve had one of his (original) songs stuck in my head all weekend.

Friday afternoon after geology lab. It’s getting to be the most beautiful time of the year. :)

RUPA (RU Programming Association) puts on an event every fall semester called Scarlet Harvest. It’s on Douglass, and there’s free food, crafts, and music. So I got warm apple cobbler, made a s’more with one of the fire pits, and got hot apple cider.

While I was hanging out this senior named Andy Trinker was playing on the stage and I’ve had one of his (original) songs stuck in my head all weekend.

Last night visual arts and culture studies had a joint section on henna, and I asked Christian to do a mehndi on my hand because they’re so pretty. He’s an art major, and it came out a lot better than if I’d tried to do it on myself. 

In light of the Giants winning the wildcard game last night, I think a return trip to Finnerty’s is in order. (I spent my 21st birthday at a Giants bar in NYC watching baseball.) I wasn’t totally serious but I told a friend about it and he said he’d come with so I guess this is really happening. Planning to go on Saturday for game two of the NLDS.

Last night visual arts and culture studies had a joint section on henna, and I asked Christian to do a mehndi on my hand because they’re so pretty. He’s an art major, and it came out a lot better than if I’d tried to do it on myself.

In light of the Giants winning the wildcard game last night, I think a return trip to Finnerty’s is in order. (I spent my 21st birthday at a Giants bar in NYC watching baseball.) I wasn’t totally serious but I told a friend about it and he said he’d come with so I guess this is really happening. Planning to go on Saturday for game two of the NLDS.

Changing seasons.

Yesterday was pretty warm so I ended up eating lunch on the hill over Passion Puddle with my friend Neil. Was enjoying the leaves starting to change and the couple blue jays flitting around the oak tree.

But so I’m sitting there eating my salad and then this happens.

me: Salads are too complicated!
Neil: It’s a wonder you can dress yourself.
me: I can even dress my salads!

Bad joke, but we had a good laugh.

It seems to be concept-y for the sake of being concept-y.

— My friend Flake, about Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.

Deerfest!

So my friend Will who took me to the shooting range last month is an avid hunter. And it’s a tradition that every time he kills a deer, there’s a deerfest. Which is basically just get a bunch of people together at our friend Flake’s house and eat the deer meat.

I don’t think I’d ever had venison before, but I really liked it. Zak made a deer stew with snow peas, carrots, potatoes, and corn; Will grilled steaks, made venison parmesan, and then bacon wrapped venison loin. So freaking delicious.

So that picture is from when Will shot the doe (bow hunting, I might add). Then he needed a freezer to keep about a hundred pounds of meat in before we cooked it. Anthony (jokingly) offered up the teeny tiny freezer attached to the microwave-fridges found in every dorm room, and Will took him up on that. And somehow they made it all fit in there. No idea how they did that.

Muzak.

I get the feeling this is probably pretty common among college towns, but New Brunswick has a huge music scene. Macaulay Culkin did a show with his band The Pizza Underground last semester, but I didn’t go. Anyway, one of my friends lives in a house off-campus that hosts touring and local bands for basement shows, they call it Cape Canaveral. I went to my first show last month, and another last night.

The bands were Golden Dorado (guess they don’t have much of a web presence), Morus Alba, and Vundabar. I’m not usually a huge fan of concerts but the atmosphere is just really cool, I guess. I mean, I still like this music now, but it was definitely better in my friend’s basement.

Couple of friends talked me into going to a bar with them afterwards, and I got a belated birthday drink out of it and it was nice just to hang out and talk. It still feels really weird to be drinking in a bar, I feel too young. I actually got a couple drinks with an older friend of mine (he’s 30) on Thursday afternoon and I didn’t get carded, which was astounding.

Speaking of astounding, the Scarlet Knights are beating Tulane 24-6 with a minute left in the third quarter. Holy cow.

Revolutionary Road

Last night in cinema studies we watched Revolutionary Road. (Which, weirdly, is the first Leo movie I’ve seen all the way through.)

Wow, what a fantastic movie. Sad, but hard-hitting. I’m actually really interested in reading the novel it was based on now, as I’ve found that books tend to convey things with more depth than their film adaptations.

Anyway, excellent commentary on the American dream.