Yesterday? Exquisite. We left Providence sometime between 12:30 and 1 p.m. (CaST), and took 95 south and then west out of Rhode Island and into Connecticut. It was cold, but there were clouds to hide the sky. I'd brought Lovecraft along, just in case I needed something to read, to keep my eyes off the blue sky. But the clouds were there to keep it at bay. We reached New Haven about 2:30 p.m. (CaST). Upon reaching the Yale campus, our first destination was the Grove Street Cemetery (organized in 1796, incorporated October 1797). We parked on Hillhouse Avenue, then walked west to Prospect, then turned west again on Grove Street. Anyway, the Grove Street Cememtery is one of the most beautiful cemeteries I have ever seen, with lots of Egyptian Revival architecture. There were exceptionally fat, fuzzy grey squirrels everywhere, and great hordes of pigeons. Well, flocks, I suppose, not hordes. We soon located the gravestone of Othniel Charles Marsh (October 29, 1831 – March 18, 1899), one half of the "Great Bone War." I'm sort of ashamed that I managed to visit Marsh's grave before Edward Drinker Cope's, seeing as how I always had a much greater admiration for Cope (and someday I'll tell you the story of my incredibly tiny role in the history of the Cope/Marsh feud). I laid a dime on the pink granite monument, despite my misgivings about Marsh. Buried next to him is another Yale paleontologist, Charles Schuchert (July 3, 1858-November 20 1942), who coined the term paleobiology in 1904. Anyway, regardless of his pomposity and dirty dealings, Marsh named such dinosaurs as Torosaurus, Apatosaurus, and Allosaurus, as well as the Cretaceous toothed birds, Hesperornis and Ichthyornis.
Oh, there was a stop before Grove Street. We ducked into a computer science building on Prospect to find a restroom. It was enormous and deserted, and quickly searching the empty hallways for a toilet, I felt a little like Sarah Connor. Yeah. I'm a nerd. And has anyone else ever been amused by the fact that the psychology department at Yale is located on Hillhouse Avenue? Anyway, after the cemetery (where I will be returning to steal names), and after I stopped to tie my shoe on the steps of Woolsey Hall, we headed back to the van, and then on to the Peabody Museum of Natural History (estab. 1917, though the original building was destroyed and the museum moved to its current location in 1925). I will spare you all the gory details. I'd not been to the Peabody since June or July of 2000. Eight years. We spent a good deal of time with the dinosaurs, but also took time to see the rest of the museum (which I'd never done before). By about 5:30 (CaST), my senses were on overload. All the paleontology, anthropology, archaeology, botany, evolutionary biology, ornithology, and so on and on and on. I spent a long time squinting at Rudolph Zallinger's mural, The Age of Reptiles (1947). I bought a small dodo bird in the gift shop, and the cashier remarked how sad it was that there is not even so much as a single photograph of a dodo. Now the dodo has taken its place on my desk, next to the platypus. If I have "totem animals," I suppose they are the platypus and dodo. Anyway...we left Yale just after dark. I slept all the way back to Providence. A grand day, indeed. There are photos below, behind the cut.
After Chinese food, we ate Turkish Delight and watched Doctor Who: The Infinite Quest (2007), and it was great getting more Martha Jones. The look of the animation was beautiful, and the script was good, even if the character animation was stiff. After that, we watched (for the second time) "Partners in Crime," wherein the good doctor gets stuck with a bland, annoying woman as his companion. No, I cannot seem to warm to Catherine Tate. We've only seen the first four eps of Season 4, so we're getting them from Netflix now. Afterwards, we drank pomegranate martinis and played WoW. My disenchantment grows. And please, please, please...I know you mean well, but I need people to stop suggesting that I might enjoy text-based rp. I did. In 1995. Now, I need a visual interface. Otherwise, the rp is just writing, which is...work. I'm sorry. I'm just like that. We got to bed very, very late.
And, as I said, there are photos behind the cut:
The grave of Othniel Charles Marsh.
The grave of Charles Schuchert.
The main entrance to the Grove Street Cemetery.
The inscription adorning the cemetery entrance, which I take as further evidence that the zombie apocalypse is inevitable.
"Oh, wise Torosaurus! Hear me, as I come seeking your council. Should I continue squandering three hours a night on World of Warcraft? Or should I go back to reading, you know, books?"
To which the beast replies, "The answer you seek is to be found in the lair of a Level 38 Boulderfist orgre in the Arathi Highlands, which can only be slain with the Sword of Infinite Drudgery, which you must first acquire from a Level 50 centaur somewhere in the Barrens. Don't ask me where. Now, go in peace, my child."
Er...me and the Torosaurus scuplture (2005) outside the Peabody.
Spooky was fascinated by these skulls, taken by headhunters (though I can't recall where). She now wants human skulls to carve upon, and says that she's accepting donations.
LIfe-sized model of the Giant Squid (Architeuthis dux) in the entryway atrium. This is, by the way, the first ever full-sized model of the Giant Squid, sculpted by J. H. Emerton in 1883.
Theropods, large and small. What you're seeing here a skull of the tyrannosaurid Albertosaurus, and, indicated by the yellow arrow, a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. I had to stick the arrow in, because I'm standing in the background, looking at a display of living carnivorous plants, and the poor hummingbird gets lost in the shuffle.
Too bad this one came out blurry. The dinosaurs of the Peabody, including Camptosaurus, Apatosaurus, Camarosaurus, Stegosaurus, and Claosaurus.
An assortment of ceratopsian skulls, mostly Triceratops, with a Torosaurus skull at the very back.
All photographs Copyright © 2008 by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Kathryn A. Pollnac