December 29, 2006

Hiking in New Hampshire

Ben and our friend Phillip flew up one way to Rhode Island on the day of my last 2 final exams. We drove up to New Hampshire and spent a wonderful weekend with Ruth Chaffee and her parents and brother, and girlfriend Lauren. Contradanced in Mont Pelier, VT one night, hiked up Gile mountain and Cardigan mountain (pics are from the latter hike), had a delicious root vegetable dinner and generally enjoyed the company of eachother.

December 10, 2006

Dream 13: Red Kittens

I dreamt that one of the 4 cats I live with gave overdue birth to 7 kittens, all of which were nearly full grown, and had red fur. Really red fur. Like this cat, only longer fur.

December 5, 2006

My dance students

They make me haap-py when skies are grey....
(troupe OmBellyCo; troupe at Green Street Studios, Monday night YMCA, Tuesday afternoon YMCA...several people are missing from the photos but not from my heart!)

November 30, 2006

a day at Panera

How often are you spending the day sitting and studying at an eatery, when a random woman comes up and asks you if you mind her taking pictures of you? It was a first for me. But she was kind enough to share the pictures. (Me and my friend May studying urinary physiology).

November 19, 2006

What's a vet student to do when she can't fall asleep? Also, a dream.

Last night I couldn't fall asleep. Words that I never used to know were running through my head.

When I finally did fall asleep, I had a dream that was also a dream I probably never would have had before. I dreamt that I was learning how to inseminate cows again. The woman who was showing us, stuck her arm into the cow's rectum, and got very surprised. "Oh my god!" she exclaimed as she pulled out a big fish. The fish was still alive! But it was really sick and very fat from eating so much cow ingesta--you could hold it up to the light and see just how full it was. We put it in a bucket of water, but it just sort of floated, so we got some euthanasia medicine to put into the water to put it out of its misery. Back to the cow: you could feel not only the placentomes (spots on the uterus where an egg attached) but also all these little miliary lesions where the fish's spines had injured the reproductive tract as it swam downstream. Ew!!!

November 17, 2006


I guess you can't spell slaughter without laughter, but I felt slaughtered this morning during our Micro exam and don't feel like laughing.
300 pages of microbes and everything about them--Genus, species, virulence factors, diseases they cause, clinical signs they cause, pathogenesis of their virulence factors, species affected, reservoir of that microbe, what diseases are similar to them, what they look like under microscopes, grossly, whether they are gram positive or negative....and so on.
I had my mnemonics to remember all the facultative intracellulars, the obligate intracellulars, the gram positives, the obligate anaerobes. I knew all the diseases/clinical signs caused by all the microbes.
And that translated to about 1/3 of the test questions.

November 14, 2006


This epiphany brought to you by my friend May, who has excellent (and funny) insight.

"Southern and Midwestern people (sample size: 2) have a regular accent, that they use for talking, and a drawl, that they use when they're joking.

So... probably the people who have heavy Southern or weird midWestern accents all the time, are just always joking.

So... Republican votes are probably just meant as a joke.

Great big joke."


I want to drop everything and become a lichen expert. They're so varied and amazing and beautiful and have such good names. Yay for fungus/algal symbionts!

November 12, 2006

Up a cow's butt

Guess what i did last night and today? I learned and practiced AI-ing a cow! not Avian Influenza, nor Artificial Intelligence, but Artificial Insemination. Whoo, i had no idea how friggin strong cow anus sphincters were! She cut my blood circulation off, had me pinned in there....worst massage i've ever had Ha ha ha!!! My left arm is SO sore. But it was a really exciting, interesting experience and now I know how to feel for a cow's cervix, how to direct an AI gun into it, and how to feel when it is in the exact right 5/8" space within the uterus in which to inject the semen. Maybe that sounds pretty weird, I think my standards for normal/acceptable are pretty much out the window by this point. Anyway, I had a good time. And I am now certified to artificially inseminate any cows you would like. I'm your girl.
[learning how on a fake cow butt (plywood, nylon stocking, and reproductive tract from the slaughter house).
Is that a smile? or disgust? I can't tell]

why Sir Elton John rules

excerpt: "organised religion doesn't seem to work. It turns people into hateful lemmings and it's not really compassionate." Therefore, let's ban it.

November 8, 2006


I would like to direct your attention, dear reader, to a story about my downstairs neighbors. They're rednecks through and through and it makes me feel at home somehow knowing they're around. (story written up by Jessamyn, my roommate.---it's funny, go look!).

November 7, 2006

November 4, 2006


I got myself an electric blanket to curl up in while I study because I was perpetually cold otherwise. Mmmmmmm, warmmmmm. (As an example of how cold my blood runs, my massage was cut short last weekend because I was too cold, even with 3 blankets over me...)

quick break

Open Mic held at school last night marked the first time I've taken some time for Me and dance this semester (I love teaching, it provides fresh air and sanity...but it's still a job. This was just for me). A few hours of preparation, watching and enjoying, performing, followed by dinner with most of the performers----it was great. A bunch of my students from the YMCA came to see me dance which was very sweet and encouraging. At the end of the open mic, Heather was playing her penny whistle, and the audience asked if she could play something I could dance to. So we tried it! It was very fun, and good to dance to live music again. The audience loved it and Heather was really excited about it too. Maybe it'll become a 'from now on' sort of thing. Fun!

(took an exam in pharmacology that morning, and have another exam on wednesday. the exams are never ending. the fun factor has to just get stuck in there somewhere!).

October 30, 2006

Happy Halloween!

[the tiger costume i made this year.
i live with a witch, but she's a cute one!
one of Kenn Minter's comics which seems seasonal.
an old postcard.
a picture appropriate coming from a vet student.
awesome picture by Jody Larsen of Tarasita, vampiress, of THRILLER fame.]

October 28, 2006


Spent the day at Blue Lake Alpacas, learning a little more about these little creatures. Amazingly, they are mostly farmed as an investment, not for their fibre (at least in this country) because they cost tens of thousands of dollars, but they are insurable, unlike stock market investments. The fibre is amazing quality; finer and less scratchy and more soft and warmer than sheep wool--but because there are only a 100,000 in the states, there is not enough demand to have a special alpaca mill to make the fibre the driving force for farming the alpacas. The aim is to create a million alpacas in the states to make the fibre worthwhile. In the meantime, it's an investment. Interesting, I thought! These creatures are similar to the llama (another camelid), but smaller, and less domesticated which means that they are easier to deal with (size wise), but they are more skitish. Today, we gave them injections--good practice for us, though I think we stressed the herd out by being so many in number (8 vet students). I learned lots, and had fun playing in the rain, the owners were SO nice (even gave us cookies and a little toy alpaca when we left!)--they really hoped to get us out there to increase the likelyhood of us learning more about alpacas because there are not really dedicated alpaca doctors, and most vets treat them like sheep or goats. But the difference is that alpacas are worth thousands of dollars as opposed to $10-60. Therefore, the owners are willing to pay for fixing them instead of sending them to slaughter! Cool.

Are Parasites Making You Fat?

So reads the cover of the trashy magazine "First". I picked it up at the local supermarket because I was procrastinating (by getting food) studying for my parasitology exam. The proposition that parasites make you fat is pretty preposterous, just so you know. Though I suppose you could say that they make me fat indirectly: parasites live, they infect animals and make them sick, vets have to know about them, i am in vet school so I have to study them, and as you can see from the chart (simplified version of what we had to learn for this exam), I have to sit for long periods of time to learn about them, and sitting is pretty inactive, therefore the food I eat is stored as fat til I get out of vet school and can use the fat in my normal life which includes things like exercise. Funny.

October 21, 2006

Ask Joey

A mental breakdown occurred on Friday and exhausted me.

I felt pulled in so many directions, bits of me everywhere: in the dance world, back home with Ben, here at school, etc. Of those three versions of me, I could see clearly where the first two would take me if I dropped everything and focused on that particular version of Alyssum, but the third Me--the one in vet school--was the one most grounded and most rational, and yet, the one whose potential future was the fuzziest. Why, then,/How, then, could I be spending 90% of my time on it and so little time on the other parts of me? For the first time, the answer to "Do you want to be a vet?" was "I don't know" instead of "yes." And for something that demands so much of my life, so much of my life force (!), "I don't know" is not good enough. Hence the breakdown.

My advisor suggested reading the Ask Joey columns from the Sacramento News and Review. I found this article that might be helpful for anyone finding themselves unable to balance their lives.

She says that what we DO with our time reflects our values more than what we say our values are. I think my breakdown had to do with the fact that, since I lost my goal (do i want to be a vet, and if so, what sort?), I found myself spending inordinate amounts of time doing something that didn't reflect my values. What are my values, again? I'm trying to spend this weekend reflecting on that question. I think I can reclaim my goal, but I need major inspiration. [The good thing for most students is that they want to work with dogs and cats, or horses, or even food/fiber animals--so when they get overwhelmed, they have the hospital on campus where they can go to see people doing what they want to do. It's immediate, and serves as a reminder of why they're there. For someone like myself who went to vet school for the nebulous reason of "conservation"....there's not really that sort of feedback and support. Was vet school the right place to get my education?]


I am less exhausted. Contemplating the offer to take a "leave of absence" to figure out my life. But have to jump back in and take the exam that I missed Friday on Monday, and study for the exam on next Friday...can't stop being a student just because I had a "mental health" day.


Mentally Unbalanced.

My friends seem fine!

October 16, 2006

Two Dreaming Tigers

A dreaming tiger tabby cat, Brim.

A dreaming Tiger Lily Locheart.

Urinary Physiology

The first lecture of urinary physiology is given by Dr. Engelking, the man who failed me first year, and whose exams I could NEVER do well on, and whose classes made first year (both times) a living hell for me. I walked up the stairs a couple minutes late to lecture, heard his voice, and stopped dead in my tracks. My heart started racing, I started getting choked up, and tears started welling. All this before I had any time to even register that it was Dr. Engelking. When I did realize why my body was reacting so violently, I turned around, walked back down the stairs and did not attend his lecture.

October 15, 2006

Clinical Signs of Parasites

[um...this was supposed to be posted 10/15/06....]

I'm studying for parasitology where we have to know the Genus species of several hundred parasites along with their life cycle, their host, general characteristics, how they infect the animals, clinical signs, how to diagnose the parasite, as well as how to treat and control the parasite. I'm hung up for the moment on clinical signs.
"Diarrhea and ematiation"
"diarrhea and dehydration"
"dark green diarrhea"
"bloody diarrhea"
"irritation, inflammation, and diarrhea"
"loss of conditioning, and green diarrhea"
"black tarry feces, emaciation, death"
"chronic diarrhea, weight loss"

Wait a second. We have to be able to think, "Aha, that is definitely DARK green diarrhea and not just plain diarrhea. I know exactly what I'll be looking for".

Wait another second. "Green Diarrhea"!?!?!!?!! Doesn't ALL cow shit look green and runny?!

October 14, 2006

Louisville visit

not only did i go to the AHVMA conference....I also got to spend a few hours being a real human being, visiting with family (seeing my neice for the first time), with Ben, with friends (Lauren, Ruth, and Phillip). very happy.

October 11, 2006

AHVMA Conference

The reason I needed to be extra productive last week is because I went to Kentucky this past weekend for the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association conference in Louisville. Three days of lectures given by some of the country's most knowledgable holistic practitioners. I spent the most time between 3 different doctors who really ran the gamut of extremes from simple, practical to extremely spiritual, complex holistic medicine. The first doc, my favorite, Dr. Karreman is a bovine (dairy) practitioner from PA where many of his clients are Amish and/or organic farmers. Because organic labeling is so strict, and allopathic treatments like antibiotics (etcetera) can not be used, veterinarians who care for organically-raised animals have to use 'old school' treatments like garlic cloves and lime (powder, not citrus). Dr. Karreman is so down to earth and practical that anyone who is likely to dismiss holistic medicine immediately recognizes the appropriate applications of his methods of treatment and accepts them.
The second lecturer spoke about Chinese Herbal Medicine which is more eclectic, and uses words like "qi", "liver stagnation", "wood disturbances", and "shen". With words like that, which are very abstract and don't refer to anything literal, it is very easy to be put off immediately and be doubtful. But after 5 hours of lecture of case studies, I realized that these words serve as metaphors for things/situations that actually exist. The terminology has been in place for thousands of years, so rather than changing the vocab, people just spend their time learning the medicine. The take home message was that rather than treating the symptoms, we treat the individual animal--that is, you and I might have the same diagnosis of "seizures" or "topical dermatitis" but the underlying cause of these is variable from one animal to the next. That makes a lot of sense to me, and seeing the cases really gave me new openness to this form of treatment.
The last lecturer was a woman who dabbles in just about everything--acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, homeopathics, shamanic journeying, Celtic tree lore, tongue/pulse reading, and so on. She was speaking specifically about "shen disturbances" where "shen" refers to your spirit, both mind spirit and soul spirit. She spoke about the cases that no matter what is tried--allopathic medicine, holistic medicine....nothing works, and usually this can be attributed to a "shen disturbance" or "soul loss". She gave the opposite example of the herds of cattle in Africa that are parasitized to heck and starving, and very unhealthy in many ways--but they never die! And her reasoning is because they are appreciated by the people who care for them so much--therefore their shen/soul is complete, and that gives them much health/strength. Okay, I can see that--certainly stress is a great factor in immune response. She gave 2 hours worth of varied combinations of treatments. Each treatment was different, and each was geared to treat a different type of soul-loss or stress (ie; ADD type stress; poor learning, fearful, restless at night stress; treatments for calming; treatments for clearing phlegm (mental and physical phlegm) to increase intellect; stress caused by torn responsibilities; stress from exhaustion/overwork; treatments for tension around neck and shoulders, defensiveness; warming treatments that invigorate depressed, broken down patients; treatments for animals that constantly have accidents; etc). Then the final hour was devoted to teaching Shamanic journeying, for the purpose of finding your "power animal," a part of yourself that acts as a sort of guide or guardian angel or whatever you want to call it. Soul loss, she said, can sometimes occur because your power animal has been lost, and if you invite it back, you will be on your way to being whole again. These ideas are at once esoteric and fundamental. With my stepmother being a Shaman, I am somewhat familiar with the rhetoric of shamanism, and it seems so basic, in so many ways, that there is nothing offensive or weird about it. It feels strange at times, to be comfortable with it because of my present cultural heritage--but when you break it down, cultures around the world regardless of creed or religion have similar beliefs and practices, and in that way, Shamanism is universal. Anyway, the shamanic journeying for ourselves was meant as an introduction into journeying, so that we can journey for our patients and find their 'power animals' for them if need be. With lights off, and a simple drum beat going, we were allowed 10-15 minutes to try journeying and see what came of it. She was impressed, but not surprised, that at least half of us were successful--she attributed our success to our innate intuition with animals as veterinarians.

So that was the conference, in a nutshell. Of course I came home with beaucoups amounts of free samples from the exhibitors.

October 5, 2006

list of accomplishments this week

I wanna say that I have the best support system in the whole wide wor-orld!

I am always so touched by the words of encouragment and funny stories and well-wishing that my friends send to me. In recompense, I am happy to say that it has kept me going this week! I have been very nose-to-the-grindstone. This list is just for myself, really, to remind myself that sometimes I'm productive and that I can do it when I have a no-nonsense attitude. Here's what I did:

study for Neuromuscular/Skeletal exam
take that exam
finish reading/taking notes for all my Molecular Biology/Micropathology for the exam next week
prepare a powerpoint presentation on mosquitos as vectors for my parasitology class
organize all the holistic club memberships and dues/checking account
talk to financial aid office a couple times
research ACTH and cortisol levels for problem based learning
epidemiology and biostatistics homework (two of them, ugg...)

Hmm, it doesn't seem like much written like that.... It's so much more satisfying looking at my list of a ton of things, almost all marked off with various highlighters. The color=my productivity. Yeah!

September 30, 2006

How to keep the bastards from grinding you down

Wish I knew.
I'm pretty good at being optimistic, but chronic financial issues, long distance relationships, school related stress, and sleep deprivation have this niggling ability to grind down the most optimistic of us, from the inside out (I tell you, my impetigo flares up way before I feel stressed). Sometimes I want to shut the door, ignore parents, try to ignore my friends and boyfriend, bills, hunger, tiredness, other responsibilities, and just STUDY to get school overwith faster. But it doesn't really work like that, and even thinking that makes me feel beaten down because it admits that I can't deal with it all. I remember the day before the first day of school talking to students ahead of me who said they dropped their boyfriends and other friends because (in a snooty voice) "who has time for that shit when you're in vet school?!". I vowed then and there that I would rather be miserable and human than bitchy, disdainful and callused.

Ground down, but trying to exist constructively as a mushy pile of positive goo,

September 27, 2006

Death is part of every life

I came away from my PBL class (post below) feeling like there was an answer (maybe many) to be had, but that I just couldn't see it. I gave lots of thought to the matter, plumbing my feelings about what my responsibility as a vet will be. People look up to veterinarians not just for their clinical knowledge, but for their [supposed universal] compassion and insight. With this in mind, I asked myself what I would consider when presented with the task of helping my clients prioritize their decisions. Boiled down, I found lots of ethics and opinions of my own. Obviously, I should not allow these personal beliefs and conclusions cloud my consultation. So what insight can I offer? Again, after much consideration, I realized that this is what I can offer:

We in the west (as Mick has so poignantly pointed out in a comment below, and as Mom has reminded me this morning) are generally not okay with death. This leads to occasional circumstances (more common than one might realize) where inordinate amounts of energy, time, thought, emotion, and resources are poured into a situation than is necessary, or even significantly effective. That is, one can eat right and exercise as much as possible, and the person will still die. Similarly, we can ultrasound, blood transfuse, treat with antibiotics, and monitor an old cat with chronic renal disease, but the cat will still die (and probably sooner than an old cat without chronic renal disease). So, then, is it worth all the energy to try to keep it alive? Well, the worth is something that each person will have to decide for themselves. However, one point that we can always remind them (and ourselves) of, is that "death" in and of itself is a neutral essence. It doesn't matter if something is alive or dead. It really does not matter. That isn't to say that we won't miss a person or animal (or plant) if it dies, especially if it had a positive influence in our own lives (we will also miss them in a negative sense if they had a negative effect on our lives)--but note that we place that importance on the life; it is not inherent. Similarly, my life seems important to me while I'm alive, but if I'm not alive, then it doesn't matter at all. As long as I am able to contribute to the world, and enjoy the world myself, my life is worthwhile to me.
This brings us to the second point to remind our clients (and ourselves) of; suffering is something that is uneccessary, and it can be dealt with. Some suffering may be worth the sacrifice to get through to see the other side (vet school for instance). This sort of suffering may increase the contribution and enjoyment of self and others in the world. But other sorts of suffering are simply unneccessary. As doctors, we can attempt to alleviate suffering through treatment and care. This runs the gamut from prevention, to antibiotics or surgery, to euthanasia. As we consider what treatment or care to use, it is important not to keep euthanasia as a last resort, but as a method of alleviating suffering equal in viability as anything else. With this in mind, and truly accepted (DEATH IS NOT BAD), the options can be considered more clearly. Euthanasia is often not so much a question of "artificially ending" a life, but of determining when to cease artificially extending (via medicine) that life.
Worth can be measured in the ability of something (person, animal, etc) to contribute to the world around them, and (in the case of living beings) the ability to appeciate the world around them. As an owner, part of the measure of your own worth to the world around you is by how you distribute your resources. Resources may be allotted to your pet, or may be to your family, or your job, or charities, and so forth. Therefore, when presented with a situation in which euthanasia is a viable treatment alongside an expensive or time/labor-intensive treatment, it is not necessarily "selfish" to weigh the considerations of cost as a reason to opt for euthanasia. If your resources are better put to use in other realms and the ability of the animal to contribute to or enjoy life is compromised, then euthanasia may be appropriate. Not good, not bad, but appropriate.

September 26, 2006

Unexpected Emotion/Ethical question

In PBL (problem based learning) today, we were discussing a hypothetical old, skinny cat who had an infection and renal disease and who couldn't stand up. Medically, we spent the past couple weeks figuring out all the things that were wrong with it and what we could do for the animal. Good medicine meant taking an ultrasound of the kidney, giving it fluids, keeping it in the hospital for 5 days, doing a blood transfusion and checking in on the animal every couple of weeks thereafter, and keeping it on antibiotics, high blood pressure meds, etc. All in all if it were a real animal it would have cost ~$2000-3000. The animal had gained weight and seemed bright and alert and was doing better a month later.

As we discussed the case, I just broke down inside, wild confusion in my head, "This medicine is exciting, how neat that we can actually help the poor cat. But it still has renal failure and is an old cat. Is it worth two or three thousand dollars to try to fix an animal that will never be a perfectly healthy animal again? Two or three thousand dollars plus all the resources that go into my education to be able to work up this case, plus all the physical resources to do the medicine (plastic, plastic, plastic, ultrasound technology, lab work, blood work, more plastic...)---it seems so wasteful; there are so many more pressing issues in the world that would benefit from those resources than an old cat with a chronic disease. Things like conservation/ecological education, starving people, political corruption, alternative energy sources, stopping genocide, promotion of peace...... Yet, to that single person that owns the cat, this may be just as important. Or maybe not. And as the veterinarian, the doctor, what I present to her will make the difference in how this is handled. So do I tell her to just euthanize the animal? Do I go ahead and do all this medicine (that most clients, especially in states like Kentucky where the health and wellbeing of the people is fairly degenerate, and animals are a far second in priority) or just maybe a couple of the treatments which would cost significantly less but not give the animal as great a quality of life?"

I brought some of these issues up to my classmates, frog in my throat, tears welling--and they took my concerns seriously. But they also were quick to rationalize it. Which made me confirm that they are made for cat/dog work, and I am not. I simply can't see working in a field that seems based on luxury. Owning pets and feeding them is a luxury that we in this country take almost for granted (I have had poor clients not pay their electricity bills in favor of their animals' antibiotics, so I see how important it can be for people to have companions, but this is an extreme case). Owning horses is an even greater luxury (though I wish we all owned horses rather than cars at this point). And therefore I can't see myself working as a small animal or horse vet. Cows, goats, sheep, llamas, etc---these are owned by people for sustainance and clothing which seems more basic a need. Of course, in this country, the way cattle are "grown" is deplorable and I'd have even more problem working in a field that supported that industry. Sigh....

Just 2 nights ago I was saying that I could maybe work as a feline vet since I love cats so much (petting 6 cats in a day=good day for Alyssum) and seem to have a "way" with them. I just didn't expect to get so upset about this, it came out of nowhere, I didn't see it coming.

Back in the Saddle

After a week of stress and not much productivity at all, I have finally hit a stride (that I hope will last) with schoolwork. Pacing myself is not really an option, but staying constantly productive helps to keep the moving target of exams and reading from moving further away. I have been steadily working on an hour of material at a time, doing the best I can to not let myself get overwhelmed with the pressure of it all. I wish I didn't get exam scores back and that they could just tell me if I passed or failed. Because passing is all I need, but low passing grades are SO stressful for me with the reality of what it's like to have to repeat a year behind me. Sigh. Just plug away, plug away!

September 20, 2006

Takes All Types

Just a follow up from yesterday's post, reminding myself that it takes all sorts of people to make this world of ours go 'round. We need single-minded people to be as dedicated to one thing like many of my classmates are--because otherwise I doubt there'd be as many veterinarians in the world. And there's already a shortage. I venture to say the same about most hell-long professional paths. Just because my "worthwhile" is not their "worthwhile" doesn't mean they are bad people. In fact, they are very good people. It's not worth putting effort into worrying about.

September 19, 2006

Smart does not equal Intellectual

Vet schools are really good at getting "smart" kids to come join in. Good ACT, good SAT, good college grades, good GRE score, good writing skills for the entrance essays--impressive enough to convince college professors to write good recommendations. These kids are pretty much really smart (then there's a few like me that were good at convincing people that they were smart, but really, they were just good students. There's a difference). However, being smart is not synonymous with being intellectual. Something I miss in many (not all) of my classmates (future collegues) is a certain maturity that comes from self-reflection, reflection on the world around them, innate curiosity, interest in things they're not good at as well as those they are good at, genuine care for things like history, literature, politics, the environment, epicurean endeavors, art, and so on. And most of all, discussion--real conversations about these kinds of things.

September 17, 2006

13 hours

of straight, hard-core, good studying!

Microbiology 9-10
Respiratory Physiology 10-12
(took a shower, ate lunch)
Epidemiology/Biostatistics 12:30-2:30
Resp. Phys. 3-4
Pharmacology 4-5:45
Micro. 5:50-7
Holistic Club presentation 7:20-10:40
(talk to Ben til 11)

September 15, 2006


Our housewarming party included a fire and fire-play (and glowing hulahooping) next to the pond in our back yard. Good new home.
[Dave and Illysse duet with poi, Mitara and I play around the fire, Good ol fashioned drum circle, Jessamyn with upright posture and poi, Ursula in her silvery galaxy girl hoop attire]