Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wombat Den

It seems like half my posts now concern the damn Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. What else can I say? I've developed a worrying addiction to Freecell? It's still not raining because the world is ending? I'm limping along in work with a slowly dying computer- breaking down like a man who worked hard all his life or an old car- system after system going down, nearly impossible to fix anything, and more and more elaborate workarounds seeming rational. The latest to go was the CD drive- I took it into the IT guys and they took it for 36 hours, deleted all the malware that they dismissed in the past, and handed it back with admonitions to not download anything iffy. I knew the Microsoft Online Office stuff was dodgy. Immediately thereafter, I hauled it back to them again so they could fish the files they'd hidden back into view and reestablish my user account. But guess what isn't fixed? Guess who still needs a CD drive? I don't have a firewire port, and the only CD drive around requires one, but maybe... Really dull. Let me tell you about vermin.

The cockroaches are doing fine. I usually post the sensational side of the story, so I should note that we are unsure of the source of all the baby roaches in the lab- possibly it is just a local infestation. However, we do have confirmed MHC young present in the enclosure, happy and growing swiftly.

There's a weekly seminar on Ecology; today's lecture did not include the large fuzzy things that get funding and everyone was chatting about supporting non-charismatic microfauna. Of course the roaches were brought up as an example, and of course I said that they were very charismatic when they were not stealing my food. The man I was chatting with winced and said that the idea of them crawling under his skin would forever make them not charismatic. I nodded, and then asked if he took a lot of meth.

That's a conversational Claymore mine if there ever was one. It makes sense! Roaches under the skin is a common delusion of meth users! I was just concerned! But really, what was I thinking? What if he'd said yes? Oh man, what if he is a meth user? His teeth are pretty good... What if he saw me checking his teeth and complexion? What's it like when you mention a harmless quirk, and then your conversational partner starts examining you for signs of drug abuse?

So yeah, critical banter failure. Sad.

In further notes, has forever ruined a song that was a great favorite of mine: Wombat Den. It's about a wombat defending its den against an interloper- or possibly a sexual partner. The ambiguity of this relationship and the creepy wombat mating behavior really made it stand out from the other generic pop/rock songs. Yeah, that song? Won't Back Down, Tom Petty. Thanks, internet.