Tuesday, April 29, 2008

o lord.

The conquistador lord of the undead is acting erratically- or more erratically than usual. He's not picking up facial and tonal cues to emotions, he's making unreasonable demands, and he's responding irrationally to inconviniences. Since he has a family history of early onset dementia, early strokes, and deep depression, we're a little worried.

It is the perfect time for him to go on a backpacking trip in a third world country. <- That is sarcastic.

Working lateish

Or staying late, avoiding working. Something like.

So the other day I was volenteeeeeering to play with dead plants from the polyester ages. My mentor was in the middle of a important fuck off meeting and was going to have me sit in the back, sorting dried flowers and playing with glue. Reminds me of going to meetings with my parents in my extreme youth.

Speaking of extreme youth- you know how you revisit things that terrified you as a child? How the huge gorilla stuffed animal that you couldn't share a room with at bedtime now seems small and definitely inanimate... How the really scary secretary at your grade school is actually a pleasant woman with bad teeth who babysits guilt struck children on their way to the principal eight hours a day while dealing with nervous parents and actual, you know, secretarial work? Things that through the lens of adulthood are simple, normal, even funny?

Right, yeah. There was a woman at the meeting that I used to be terrified of. She worked with my parents for six odd years, and though I grew older, she never got less scary. I recall a brief visit to her house where I was convinced she would spring for my baby* brother's throat- he seemed unconcerned, and so did my mom, so I tried to stay between the two of them the entire visit- unobtrusively**.

*This was when he was actually a baby, instead of now, when I call him my baby brother to piss him off.
**For a six-year-old

Now, I wasn't sure this woman was her until I was introduced to her and the other woman in the room. I smiled, she said something about knowing me in my youth, I looked her in the eye- and was filled with terror. I swear there were little shrieking dudes in her pupils. I turned to the other woman and said,
"I worked for a man with the same last name as you do you know him?" and she said,
"Oh, you mean my soon-to-be-ex-husband."
"Oh yes," I said, "How is he?"

It just seemed slightly less uncomfortable to say nice things about a boss I hated to his estranged wife than to chat about my youth with _her_.

Course, I mentioned the whole thing to my parents later on. Rolled the story out as a "ho ho, still can not overcome all my childhood fears, so funny" anecdote, which they love. My dad nodded and said
"Yeah, she's the devil." My mom concured;
"Did you see the way she glared at E after he started walking? Awful woman. And she killed a man."
"And had one deported."
"Right. She is the devil."

So... maybe the stuffed gorilla really can move around the room?

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Totally posting, like a reliable updater. I'm thinking this blog might become like that guy with Memento style amnesia's diary- endless pages of "Now finally completely aware" all crossed out

I'm making pasta with my mom, BTW. Mad pasta skills.

Monday, April 14, 2008

the Endangered Species Act at Work

"This plant has two known populations of severely limited size. One was unintentionally sprayed with herbicide. The other is threatened by road construction, road maintenance, power line maintenance, and rockslides."

It's like we're popular

Señor C and I had two sets of guests this week. We got to dust off the social skills that spent the winter languishing in little boxes in the laundry room. I think we were pleasant enough that they'd contemplate returning, even.

On Sunday, we had one of Señor C's coworkers over, because his girlfriend was away. He was very gracious about being called away from cleaning up after his LAN party/drunken orgy to find our house at the end of its labyrinth. We fed him, and Señor C demonstrated that he both possessed many video games and could play them as well, and then he went home to cram two days of recharging into two hours. Perfect dinner guest!

On Friday, we had a couple from the Old West over. They are actually not cowboys- they are observers from the twenty-first century stranded in the past, except when their cars need smogging. I got to practice cooking courses, (went okay- Señor C wouldn't let me put chopped hard boiled eggs on the pizza though, like a spoilsport) and they were all sweet and lovey dovey. I was envious for a while, until the imaginary Amy that lives in my head smacked me for being an idiot. Thanks, imaginary Amy!

I won't say they left the room they stayed in neater than it was when they came- but that's because they were last people who stayed there. Last time, it was definitely the case. What is this amazing square corners on made beds skill other people possess? When I run a load of every sheet and pillowcase in the house later today, I'll never be able to make the bed look that good.

They were also delightful, graciously overlooking the fact that we've been talking to no one but each other for four months. The conversation was a bit stymied by my obsession with Myers-Briggs. (but that's normal for a QMHR! It's all in this book!) I think that topic might be moved down a notch to heavy conversational repression. Along with career plans and bowel movements. Gotta work on Austen's conversational topics: "Traveling and staying at home, new books and old music."

I've been corrected on my French swearing- it apparently should actually be C'etait fucké.

We played The Game this weekend as well. It echoed my misspent youth to the extent that I didn't feel unimaginably old when I set up an appointment with a financial adviser. Maybe I'll eat some baloney faces before setting up my IRA.

The farmer's market is back! Glory is returned to the world!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bedtime is 10 pm, in theory.

I'm sitting here, teeth all brushed, freshly bathed, in my piyamamas, listening to Jorge play Stupid China Game IVI; the Green Revolution. I'll just sit here typing until he goes to bed like he promised he would do... fifteen minutes ago. Little agronomists all on the screen, discussing dwarf wheat varieties and second generation pesticides. He's playing S.K. De Datta, smashing aside competing scientists, achieving victory against thousands of dissenting farmers, wiping out raised bed rice farming and heirloom rice varietals for the GREATER GOOD.

Okay, Jorge is off to read his nighttime internets before bed. I should go nag him.

Oh yeah, guess which one of us has to work tomorrow, for money?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

How I intend to keep your son in the manner to which he has become accustomed.

Just because you were the best botanist at a timber company does not mean you are an awesome botanist.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Not Opposed to the Lunchometer, per se.

Now, if I were smart, I'd be using this time to create an industry contact by e-mailing Dr. Taylor about the secretarial work I did for him this winter. Letting him know I appreciated the training in herbarium shit, the sympathetic ear, and the beautiful beautiful notes he takes when compared to people who don't have 40 years of practice. Unfortunately, I feel like it would be transparently a bid for networking instead of a polite note. Ce' te' fouque.

Instead, I will blather about plants.

Sos I am doing some free work for the Forest Service, trying to sort out the life of a pretty little local lily. It has rust colored stamens as opposed to cream colored stamens, and it grows everywhere it can in the Trinity River drainage (or everywhere that is not reservoir/lake). What I want to do is gain fame and prestige by finding new sites or extending old populations. What my boss wants me to do is check on recorded populations. I asked "What about known populations on Forest Service land recorded by non employees?" She said "Do those last." I said "What about those weird ones with lavender stamens further south?" and she said "Plants displaying intermediate characteristics between two species, both rare, do not interest me at all."


On the other hand, I'm getting a car and a place to sleep, whilst I go look at flowers all day. Maybe I will accidentally get lost on my way to a site and find new populations. Getting lost is expected, since I am a member of the vile younglings dependent on satellites and theory of relativity to find my way, and how can you trust the laws of physics more than your gut?

I want to talk to people about these things, but they are boring subjects. Señor C is so exhausted by the mind numbing work with people that we sorta live in different parts of the house until one AM. By the time he's recharged enough to sympathize, we have five minutes to chat before it's so far past bedtime we won't be able to function the next day. I spent that time wisely, bitching about accidentally running a red light in my ongoing effort to minimize the time I spend in intersections, trying to restart a stalled car.

Sympton of Early onset Alzheimer's, (shitshit)

We were at brekkas, and the Conquistador Lord of the Undead started speaking to Señor C about his terrible body odor. There were a few eloquent sentences on the importance of laundry in perfect archaic Castilian- as well as details on how ever since Señor C brought our eggs to the table, an aroma of fetid socks wafted over our food. (They speak slower before they drink the caffeine, so I can begin to understand.)

Then I said "Isn't that the truffle oil on the eggs?"

And the conversation stopped abruptly. It was indeed the musky scent of truffles, but when your nasal passages are mostly rotting flesh, it is hard to distinguish between the two.


So I quit my job.

This seems like a pretty momentous decision to me because I am a giant pushover and the idea of bailing on a job where they've planned on having me around for field season gives me the willies. My senior year in college I was offered a job restoring a creek in the Bay Area for seven million dollars an hour, but sadly I'd already agreed to pull weeds in the old west with a pedophile. Thusly, big deal.

During my last weeks at work, I had applied for a dozen jobs, but not yet given notice. I was learning new aspects of the job cheerily and asking about our summer plans. I knew I was telling filthy filthy lies, but the secret felt so comfortable- knowing that I was lying through my teeth to people who I like and respect was like coming home.

Second, we went to see Senor C's parents this weekend. There had been a brief... respite... in our visits, because the last three were so goddamn unpleasant. This is no fault of Doña C- I lay it all at the feet of the Conquistador Lord of the Undead himself. Lady C pulled me aside, and asked if CLotU saying he missed his son to her counted towards admitting affection to his son. I said I'd pass it along to the board.

The Conquistador Lord of the Undead doesn't like me- the disadvantage of dating someone for your entire adult life (minus a week) is that it's up to parental discretion to separate out the influence of a consort and actual maturation of your child. I get blamed for Señor C's negative ambition, general laziness, and video game addiction. I get no credit for encouraging his nascent sprouts of ambition. (I'm not from a family which condones ambition. Shouldn't I get some credit from dragging it out of the murky well where it lurks?)

Now, if he would talk to me, he'd find that we have a vaguely similar goal- a Señor C with career plans. We could work together, gently nudging our favorite person towards personal fulfillment and a larger paycheck. Sure, we have different techniques- him with the yelling, monetary rewards, and denying affection, and me with the less yelling, lemon tarts, and talking all the time. I'll be the first to admit that he has a higher success rate in making Señor C 'think about doing something sometime', but he should acknowledge my victories in leading Señor C to "get the degree" and "find a job".

Short version: The worst way to get the boy out of a dead end job is to try to undermine his consort's career. Specially when she's feeling like shit for leaving the old job and lying beforehand.

It is the best way to get me to patch up a fight though. You will never get rid of me, motherfucker. I will hang around until the day you die, if only to spite you.

And because I love Señor C.

That should come first.