Finals Week and Fall 2015

Wow, I didn’t realize it’d been so long since I posted!

This week is finals week.  In Weight Training class, I had to submit a final project outlining a workout routine utilizing all muscle groups.  I took my last Math chapter test yesterday, and depending on my grade on that test, I most likely won’t have to take the Final Exam for Math.  Humanities Final is this Tuesday, and we did the review today.  It looks manageable.  Those three classes I’m expecting good grades from.

And then there is Biology…

I struggled all semester with this class.  My grades have improved over time.  My first test in the lecture class was in the high 60s, the second in the 80s and the last one was a 98.  I got an A on my Powerpoint presentation on Microbes and an A on my display about GMOs for Earth Day.  So, in theory, if I pass the take-home final exam, then I should pass the course.

The Lab is equally confusing.  Despite again struggling with the class, I got good grades on the test and a 95 on what I thought was a pretty pathetic lab report.  I know my lab notebook isn’t a good one, so I’m not sure how I’ll finish the course, but it’s looking plausible that I might pass?

I got my acceptance letter from University of South Florida – YAY!  Well, sort of.

I’ve been “conditionally accepted”, which means they aren’t happy with my completion ratio. Figures that it’s inescapable.  They also messed up a few of my transfer credits, so I pointed that out to them, and they’ll be reviewing my transcripts for other errors.  Surprisingly, pointing this out to them only took a ten minute visit to the Admissions office.  While I was there I stopped by the Students with Disabilities Office, to make sure they’d gotten all of my paperwork.  They confirmed I didn’t need anything else and that I’d receive an answer in 7-10 business days.

I’m kind of surprised how smoothly the transition to University is going.  I’m cautiously optimistic, of course, waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Here’s hoping my grades are good this semester, so I’ll the credits will transfer and I won’t have to repeat any classes.

TTFN!

Painting

For those who don’t know, I did a four year stint in art school (I barely passed but who is counting?) and in my spare time consider myself somewhat of a painter.  Now that classes have ceased for the semester, I have plenty of time to indulge in artistic endeavors.  As it stands, I finished a painting just last night, called “Pretty Toy”.

pretty toy low resLike most of my paintings it’s Acrylic on stretched canvas, this one is I think 16″ x 20″.  I normally have them set up to sell as prints, but sadly, my cat destroyed my scanner, so no-can-do.  I’m hoping a friend of mine will be able to photograph them at high enough resolution and clarity that I’ll be able to make prints out of them.  I don’t want to have to spring $20 per image to scan at a professional scanning company.

If anyone is interested in checking out the rest of my paintings – and links to prints for sale – you can check them out at Art Punx Studio.

Here’s a few Instagram photos of recent work.  Enjoy!

Finished piece, Untitled. #painting #acrylicpainting #acrylics #popart #tribal #contemporary #ontheeasel

A photo posted by Zuri Grimm (@spookeriffic) on

Androgyne #androgyny #painting #acrylics #art

A photo posted by Zuri Grimm (@spookeriffic) on

Finished #painting no title yet. #arts #artist #acrylics

A photo posted by Zuri Grimm (@spookeriffic) on

Tampa Bay VegFest: Report!

Today we took a trip downtown for the 2nd Annual Tampa Bay VegFest.  It was myself, Baron and his 12 year old daughter, so I wasn’t quite sure how well this was going to fly as a outing, since the only one really interested in vegetarian and vegan food options was me.  I kept my fingers crossed, and prayed that nobody said anything insensitive or embarrassing while we were there.  I brought my camera, but ended up only taking 2 pictures.  Upon retrospect, I should have taken more, but I always feel like I’m imposing on people when I ask if I can take a picture of them or their displays.  I need to get better about that.

Arriving there, it had a huge turnout.  I mean, much MUCH larger than I had thought.  I thought that something along the lines of a festival of this nature would have a rather niche turnout, but it was surprisingly packed.  Where we parked had us coming into the park right by the food area, at one end of the festival, also where the band played.  I know there wasn’t much space, but having the band right next to the food vendors made ordering a bit difficult, because you couldn’t really hear.  The music was good, upbeat and not too off-putting, good enough to appeal to a variety of age ranges.

We decided to make a circuit of the park first, before settling on getting something to eat.  There were plenty of vendors of information about the benefits of vegetarian and vegan diets, cruelty-free living and eating, and animal rescue organizations.  A few tents offered test samples of various products, from cheese spread to sausages, and a few artists and artisans offered their goods up for sale as well.  There were pups, kitties and bunnies up for adoption by a number of groups.  All in all, there was a diverse collection of animal-friendly and animal-free diet and lifestyle related products and organizations that everyone should find something of specific interest to them.

We went back to the “food court” area, and decided to find some food.  Sadly, the Philly Cheesesteaks were all sold out, or I would’ve been on those like a crazy person.  Instead we decided on tacos and burritos from a Tampa fixture:  The Taco Bus.  Baron and I each got a “beef” taco, while his daughter ordered a burrito.  The three plates, plus drink came to $20, which was exorbitant for the amount of food we got (though the drink was pretty big, the tacos were tiny).  They were tasty, but again, small.

After our meager eats, we were still hungry (his daughter didn’t finish the burrito, it was fairly sizable).  I went to another stall and got a slice of “Farmer’s Market Pizza” from Pizza Fusion.  At $1.25 a slice, the price was reasonable, and it was topped with veggies and soy cheese.  Now, I love pizza, and I found it incredibly tasty.  It wasn’t hot or even relatively warm, but it was still nummy.  Baron went to the booth for Loving Hut and got himself some curry and toast.  While not incredibly spicy, he was impressed with it, and he enjoyed the non-meat product they used in it despite considering himself a “meat purist”.  They’re located only about a mile or two from the apartment, so we’ll be checking out their restaurant in the near future.  Our last stop was to Gone Bananas, where his daughter had frozen whipped bananas with chocolate syrup (similar to soft serve), while we continued on to our second circuit of the grounds.

Upon embarking on our second circle of the park, we slowed down to get a better look at the individual tents and what they had to offer.  A number of vegetarian and vegan groups from the Tampa and greater Florida area offered information for beginner vegetarians as well as recipe books and ideas.  We learned about a Tampa based CSA and a local Horse Rescue group.  Baron’s daughter got stickers and pins from an anti-fur group, and we tried new brands of Tofurkey slices and non-dairy cheese spread, as well as another vendor who was giving out taste samples of non-meat sausages.  A few of the groups that stood out were:

  • St. Pete Community Acupuncture – They offer an affordable sliding scale fee, and while a bit of a drive from Tampa, might be a good option for the pain in Baron’s herniated disc.
  • Going Green Tampa – The #1 place to find eco-friendly businesses and events in the greater Tampa area
  • Parbawatiya Kadampa Buddhist Center – I’ve watched them on Facebook for a while now, but always wanted to attend one of their beginner meditation groups.  I’m also interested in their upcoming “Meditation, Lunch and UN-Cooking Class” on October 29th, though I probably won’t be able to make it.
  • Tampa Bay Organics – 100% organic fruits and veg delivered right to your door.
  • Sweetwater Community Farm – Located right here in Tampa, offering Community Supported Agriculture and crop shares.  They also offer educational programs and community building opportunities – since 1995.

I was hoping there would have been more products to sample – specifically Larabars since they were one of the sponsors and I’ve never gotten a chance to try them – but all I managed to come home with was a “Raw Rev 100″.  It’s a Raw Revolution 100 calorie raw organic live food bar.  I was a bit wary of it, since it was chocolate coconut flavour and I don’t normally like coconut, but I found I really liked it and actually finished the whole thing.  I was a bit miffed that the lady giving them out offered other passers-by coupons and didn’t offer one to us.  I wonder why?  The bar itself was chewy and chocolaty, and had good flavour.  I’d like to try out the other flavours as well, because if this was a flavour I don’t normally like, the ones I do should be pretty tasty!

All-in-all, it was a pretty good day.  We had good parking, no parking ticket after our meter ran out, and aside from the thing with the food being too little for too much, the festival I think was a success.  I look forward to next year’s festival, and going to it with a better understanding of what to expect.  Thank you Whole Foods Market and the other sponsors for putting on together a great day for everyone.