Saturday, August 30, 2008

Everything I needed to know I learned from my cat.

All change, even change for the better, is bad.

The best way to bond with people is to hunt vermin together. Sometimes, the vermin must be clandestinely introduced. They will never notice that you are hunting for the same lizard a third time.

Yelling in an irritated fashion is the best way to get people to help you.

Food tastes better when you drag in into a shadowy crevice and pretend you killed it.

Nothing other people are doing is more important than helping you groom.

The stuff lodged between your toes? Delicious!

Tasty things are definitely worth digging through the trash.

Sometimes parts of your body plot against you. Bite them for their impudence.

Gaslighting isn't a sport, it's a way of life.

Friends exist so that there's someone you can leave stuck on the roof more than once.

Siblings make excellent bait.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm a grown-up

When we house hunted in Redding, it was a bit hellish. I didn't know what the neighborhoods were like, so I'd pursue a cheap house out into the middle of county services territory. (I recall a vivid trip to a dumpy house next to the veterinary quarantine, juvenile detention center, and rock crushing plant {6-2:30, M-S}) We had no local references and the shady credit reports of recent graduates. I had a job, but Señor C did not, and that was not viewed with equanimity by potential landlords. Eventually, I stopped bringing him house hunting, and instead towed along a chipper coworker/roommate who is still on our lease, though she only stops here to leave lemon tarts and smooch her boy.

Now we're looking for a place to live in Davis, and it's easier. I know where everything is, and have a very strict idea of where I want to live. (Downtown) Also, now I know the magic words: "job", "deposit", "fiancee", "references". You would not believe how nice people to young professionals house hunting in a college town. It's pretty cool.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I'm actually pleased about this. Strange

Apparently, a $250 electricity bill will do what the slow destruction of the biosphere and gentle repeated reminders from your sweet love will not. Señor C has shown himself open to all sorts of energy saving ideas- like turning up the thermostat when he leaves the house and not having a window open and the air conditioner on at the same time. Baby step, people, baby steps.

Please note: I was in the car with all four of my co-workers today, and for some reason we compared electricity bills. They all had bills under $40, and mine was obscene. It's like they live twelve years ago or something.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

This weekend we have the ideal houseguests. We've been able to decline three distinct invitations with the excuse "Oh, we'd love to, but we have people visiting." and they've spent the entire time having sex in the spare room. We don't even have to feed them! I knew there was a good reason to live halfway between Arcata and Sacramento.

Also, they brought lemon tarts.

Friday, August 22, 2008

When I came home I found a stack of dishes in the computer room. There's a brownie pan, a pasta bowl, a bowl that once held Chilean coleslaw, two plates that held what appears to be tomato sandwiches, and three peach pits. I'm irritated that they didn't make it to the dishwasher, but I'm bizarrely comforted that my latest nutureing attempt went so well.

If the botany thing falls through, I could be a good long distance mommy! Right? Right?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Save the date.

I am accepting entries for botanically themed poems- whenever I try to write one, it comes out as a limerick.

I gots me a new job, working for the mothership from whence my botany concepts sprang. I've been polishing bits of the job description for cocktail parties instead of filling out required paperwork. I give you the top three explanations:
1.) Oh, just a little botany work- filling out comparison data for a much larger survey. The pay could be better but it should give me some good keying experience, and Señor C will be able to get a real job. (Friends, people who I want to think that I am modest, considerate, and kind)
2.) 401K, bitches! Full medical and dental! Vision! Overtime! Sick leave, paid vacation, and unemployment! Who's getting her teeth cleaned? Who's getting a physical? Oh yeah. (Coworkers, shambling along in their fifth or sixth or thirteenth season as temps in W-town, people who abandoned botany for real jobs.)
3.) Cough. Well, it's basically co-ordinating a statewide survey with multiple agencies, then hiring and leading a small crew in those surveys, then the associated data processing. I wouldn't worry about those state budget cuts though, it's financed through the NSF. (Inlaws. Outlaws. INLAWS.)

I'm real mature.

So apparently my sense of humor is dry. I never realized that some people weren't getting my jokes until some of those shambling co-workers started treating me like a prima donna. I AM a princess, of course, but I try very hard to hide that at work. I cornered the timber beast in the next office and blackmailed him into telling me what was up.*

So, a few weeks ago, I was talking to Tim in Timber (year 13 shambler, not timber beast). After the initial "Where are good places to eat in Weaverville, I heard you found a giant fucking tree" chit chat, he asked me about my upcoming wedding. I'm tired of assumptions that I will share details of far distant party planning at the drop of a hat, so I've been trying to see how over the top I can go. My wit ran long this time- and he believed me, the sap. He told everyone else, and now I'm a running joke on the compound. The only thing I can do is add the the legend, so if you are asked about it, complain about the cost or something. As a favor. Highlights follow.

-I'm totally into cruelty free products, and they usually boil those poor silkworms to make silk. I'm getting a dress made out of shed cocoons, but they chew their way out, chopping up the fibres, and so it's real delicate and must be hand spun. It's costing a fortune- all my fire money went to a down payment.

-Everything on our registry is solid silver, because it's all about commodities. I know they're expensive now, but think how expensive they'll be in a couple of years! People should be glad we opened it early....

-It's really important to us to get married on a date that can be represented in binary, so it's either 01-01-10, 01-10-10, etc... We're shooting for 10-01-10 because 38 is the sum of my lucky number (17) and his (21).

-Of course, I must have a spring wedding, so we're moving everyone to the southern hemisphere. But there's a flower I want in my bouquet, and it blooms only in the spring up here. Señor C has a third cousin with a couple of greenhouses down in Chile, but she's really being unreasonable about turning one of them over to growing fawn lilies.

-Do you know how hard it is to find a South American priest willing to co preform a ceremony with a Wiccan priestess? They just start rambling on about the one true God when you ask them. Jesus, can't they be just a little bit considerate of other peoples' cultures?

*My... high strung... work leader recently contributed five pounds of gourmet fresh roasted coffee to the local coffee fund. This resolved spiraling coffee debts she had accumulated. It is fragrant, sustainably grown, fair trade, and a dollar of each purchase price goes to help gorillas. The whole office claims it is the best coffee they have ever tasted, and that the ground gorilla really adds flavor. She looks at them darkly. Yesterday I caught our genial timber beast filling the coffee machine from a bag (Hidden, I shit you not, behind a wall panel in his office) of coffee so cheap that the manufacturers didn't spring for a scripted font. He swore me to secrecy, and I used this against him. Obviously.
The debt collection agencies that haunt the former inhabitants of our house have started to hire genial old men. Either that or Ms. Duchose moved and didn't tell her grandpa.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fuck Al Gore

Y'all might remember my pretensions to being earth friendly. I think a few of you were around for the hemp wearing phase, and might remember my endless lentil salads as I tried to eat for a small planet. Or you were around for the Laurel's Kitchen era, the no car period, and the reclaimed and scavenged food periods. I'm very sorry if you were. That's more than any friend should have to stand.

It was harder to keep up my actions in Redding. There's no damn Co-op here, and everywhere requires ten minutes in the car. Still, I kept the faith- starting a little garden out back, supporting the farmer's market. car pooling to work (We lived with a young woman for whom I had very limited tolerance just because I was always assured a ride to work.) Sure Señor C kept secretly throwing my compost scraps into the garbage when he thought I wasn't looking. Sure, I had to buy a second car when our last roommate moved away. What matters is that I was trying.

During the weeks of fire, I was working sixteen hours on, eight hours off. It was sweltering, and I laid panting and trying to sleep in the tiny barracks, thermostat at the approved 84°. I drove endless loads of cargo along tiny mountain roads with the windows down, breathing in the sweet carcinogens. After I got off work, I wandered through the office, turning off lights in unoccupied rooms. Greener than thou? Certainly.

I drove a huge truck from Coffee Creek to Redding on Jorge's birthday. We met for a quick lunch- the first time we'd seen each other in days- and then I drove down to the Anderson helibase. I arrived and found that the order for the next three days of MREs had not been filled, and drove to our house to wait for a couple of hours.

After my 2.5 hours of sweltering car, imagine how pleased I was to find the house a clement 72°, completely empty, every light on, and two windows open.

So as long as I live with Señor C, (forever!) fuck being green. I have no hope of changing his essential nature.

I secretly put the carefully separated recyclables into the ordinary garbage today. That's what brought this little rant on. I AM THE PROBLEM NOW, CONQUISTADOR! MWAHAHAHA!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Ah, Anicardiaceae

When the various bigwigs came to Redding to look concerned and promise money, they all wanted photo ops with firefighters. One of the engines from Weaverville was dispatched to stand behind everyone and look patriotic. (It's not like they had anything better to do, what with all of the fires.) Rumor has it that a couple of the high spirited lads doctored their hands with Toxicodendron before their handshakes with the great leaders. Watch the politicos carefully, next time they are on TV. Is there a rash? A certain itchy stance? One can dream.