Friday, August 21, 2009

This Ain't No Garden of Eden and I Ain't No Eve

It was one of those weeks, kiddies. In the immortal words of Pearl Bailey, “I’m just tired.”

Each day seemed designed to put me in a deeper shade of blue. Sometimes the cosmos just drives me to drink. Of course, I really wouldn’t drink at all – It’s just that I can’t think of another way to get the alcohol into my bloodstream.

My week’s highlights start and end in my garden. At the start of the week, I finally admitted to myself that I am 90 percent certain that the amaranthus cauditis seeds that I planted last spring never really sprouted. Or if they sprouted, they were quickly devoured by the voracious vampire rabbits that inhabit my property.

But, you see, I thought the seeds had sprouted many months go. In the general area where I planted them there were many little buds coming out of the ground. So, for over eight weeks, I have been faithfully nurturing a patch of weeds. They are now quite robust.

Heading out of the garden and to my mailbox, I found some timely correspondence from my credit card companies. Since that mean ol' government is forcing them to at least try to play fair, they have decided to jack up their interest rates on existing customers. Will I ever get out debt? It seems unlikely.

In addition to my horticulture and financial failures, my romantic life made it a perfect hat trick. This week brought not one, but two separate rejections. Neither was major, but it doesn’t help a boy’s ego, you know? This has not been a week where I have enjoyed my singledom – at all.

So those stings probably only magnified a comment from an oh-so-precious graduate student. With little warning, ze decided to tell me, “I just can’t wait until I am as old you! I am really looking forward to being thoroughly middle aged.” Wasn’t that sweet? Cuz, you know, I wasn’t already feeling like Quasimodo thanks to the unending torrent of rejections coming my way. Nice. I would look into a bell-ringing gig, but I am apparently too withered and aged for that type of work.

Sometimes I wonder, where did such graduate students learn their manners? Did their parents/guardians make some type of calculated decision during their childhood? Did they decide to forgo the time it took to teach basic conversational etiquette so that they could cram in more grammar rules? All I can say is that I better never see a dangling preposition in this student’s papers.

Project Runway returned to the air this week. That might have been a bright spot, except now they film it in Los Angeles. Let’s be honest: it just isn’t the same show outside of New York. It’s over.

To bring the week to a close, this morning I headed out to check on my weeds’ progress to seed (‘cuz I am sure that all the Miracle-Gro© that I have been giving them will insure that they spread like wildfire next spring. My neighbors will be so pleased.). As I stepped off my deck and into the lawn, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. In the lawn, there was something dark blowing in the breeze. Only there wasn’t any breeze. And then I realized, it was a motherfucking snake.

My reflexes had me jump backwards three feet. I thought that snakes only lived on planes! Where is Jeff Corwin when you need him? It wasn't the first time I asked that question this week . . .

Before you all go thinking that I am easily rattled (no pun intended), this was no simple little garter snake. I am from New Mexico. All sorts of reptiles have crossed my path. We are talking about a snake, though, that was at least sixteen inches long and two inches wide.

He wasn't one of those charming, Disney snakes either. Trust me, he had neither an ermine cape nor a captivating way with words.

What he did have was half a frog hanging out of his mouth. Yes, I surprised the snake during his breakfast hour. It was a horror show. The frog’s little legs still twitching as the snake reared its head towards me in an attack posture. Apparently his parents didn’t take the time to teach it proper attack etiquette. Didn’t he know it was rude to look menacing with its mouth full?

Being superstitious (or maybe I just want such a disturbing scene to have some meaning -- any meaning), I thought it must be a bad omen. Then I realized something important. My week may have been an unpleasant one, but it wasn’t worse than the week that the frog had.


vuboq said...

Ugh. snake + frog = slightly queasy VUBOQ.

I also discovered that some of my carefully tended "flowers" are weeds. I'm ripping them all out this weekend.

Here's hoping next week is a better one :-)

Java said...

Go to the nursery, buy a plant or two, and replace the weeds with something you adore.

Sorry about the rejections. Some people have no idea what wonderful things they're missing.

Roger Owen Green said...

I would have thought Pearl Bailey would have said, “I’m just tired, darlin'.” But I could be wrong.

Maybe you should send yourself some flowers, delivered at work, preferably.

Snake + frog = more than slightly queasy.

Belle said...

and here I am... worrying that your foray into the garden gave the poor snake heartburn....

My mother used to say that weeds are really wildflowers growing where you don't want them. So you've helped biodiversity by providing a nice habitat for wildflowers!

pacalaga said...

Tell the neighbors you've decided to allow nature to take its course and show you what she wants in your yard.
And then imagine that the snake wandered off in search of tasty, mouthy grad students.

Susan said...

What's worst about the grad student is ze probably thought ze was flattering you!
And I'm with Belle on the "weeds are just plants growing where you haven't planted them" thing.

rosmar said...

Strangely, yesterday I saw a snake eating another snake.

I'm sorry you had such a rough week.

(I think there is at least a chance that the frog had a lovely week, right up until the last moment.)

GayProf said...

VUBOQ: If you are queasy reading about it, imagine having a front-row seat.

Java: I would replace the weeds, but now I am afraid to go out into the garden at all.

ROG: I do often buy myself flowers for the office. Now, though, that would just make me feel even more sad.

Belle: I assure you, no snakes were harmed in the writing of this blog post.

Pacalaga: The neighbors already disapprove of my lawn care techniques (No fertilizer, no watering). My chances of being appointed President of the Neighborhood Association are getting slimmer and slimmer.

Susan: The grad student totally imagined it as a compliment! I am not generally sensitive about age (Of course, I also think of myself as "young"), but hearing how much of a "drag" it is to be in your early twenties seemed over the top.

Rosmar: It's true, the frog might have been having a fantastic week. Still, I think being swallowed whole would put a damper on even the best of times.

Earl Cootie said...

We get a lot of volunteer plants in our garden due to the birds or wind or hundred plus years of gardens back there. I nurtured a lot of them all summer long. Most turned out to be weeds, but we did get a nice snapdragon and a couple of campanula plants, all in shades complimentary to the intentional garden plants.

Java said...

I don't suppose I could convince you that snakes are beneficial. Just give them a wide berth, tread cautiously, and you'll be fine. Wear close-toed shoes, or boots if you've got 'em.

They eat pesky rodents, too, you know. I assume you don't want mice in your house.

Anonymous said...

I spent the first twenty-odd years of my life in Midwest Funky Town, and I NEVER encuntered anything larger than a very small garter snake. This is disturbing news. Should I warn the resident family?

Rebekah said...

Oh gosh GP, you had me giggling helplessly at the quasimodo moment. I'm sorry about the little rejections too... for me they would sting even more than the grad student's silly comment.

And the snake? I would have been in the house, screaming like a banshee, and would never venture in the backyard again.

Doug said...

I'm sorry you had a crappy week. I know how things seem to pile up. Hopefully, next week will find a line of suitable suitors at your doorstep, each bearing fully grown plants to your liking and words of adoration to make you feel young and beautiful.

Frank said...

I hope you tied that little grad student bitch up over a vat of acid with your Magic Lasso and left them there.

As for those benighted souls who rejected you, they're obviously beneath you anyway, so think of them no more!

susurro said...

oh honey, your blues is so dark its almost black. but you know black is beautiful so maybe something good is coming, has to after the frog right? I didn't think snakes that big could live in cold weather.

I know its not the same having a diva prone femme tell you how wonderful you are but both your student & your prospects were smoking the good stuff when they made you feel bad about how lovely you are. If I was a boy, I'd be so all up in mid-western funky town you'd have to beat me off with a stick.

Mel said...

Sugar, from where I stand, you're a baby-faced young un.

As for the snake/frog drama, I am so jealous. I'd have been running for my camera so fast. As it is, I'm bummed that I didn't have it in hand the other day when I surprised a baby milk snake that was trying to get up on our side stoop looking for a good place to sun.

tornwordo said...

How brutal. This is why having a camera with you at all times is so essential.

Weeds are plants too. Why discriminate?

GayProf said...

Earl: As weeds go, these aren't so bad. They have a nice leaf.

Java: I would applaud the snake eating mice (or even one of the evil vampire bunnies). He is eating my frogs, though. I like my frogs.

Anon: It might still be a garter snake, but on the huge end of garter snakedom. It could also be that he was an escaped pet.

Rebekah: The rejections did bother me way more than the age comment. I actually don't care about my age. While it might be hard for a 22 year old to imagine, 35 is actually very young. Given my self esteem was at the low end, the age comment didn't help.

Doug: Actually, I would just be happy if one of the suitors was a snake handler.

Frank: It's easier to say that they are just losers than to feel it. Ya' know?

Susurro: If you were a guy, you wouldn't need to ask twice.

Sadly, one of the guys even put me into a ranking (I came in third of his current options). Wasn't that sweet?

Mel: Well, if you love the snakes, feel free to journey to MFT. He is yours to take.

Torn: I had my cell phone on me and did briefly consider taking a picture. But then I asked how likely would I be to actually blog about it?

susurro said...

ranking is just wrong on a level that made me push away from the computer. I'm sorry mb the snake will eat him next.

goblinbox said...

WTF is "thoroughly middle-aged" supposed to mean?!?! WHO REARS CHILDREN LIKE THAT?!?!

Can't wait 'til the kid's 40. See how ve likes being thoroughly middle-aged then, heh.

LD said...

Aww...I still love you, GayProf!

Patrick said...

Maybe it's a good omen, maybe YOU are the snake and the frog is the credit card companies/moronic grad students/moronic suitors.

Is that helping? At all? Just a bit? I like snakes btw, so don't take that the wrong way. Of course I like frogs too, so the analogy wouldn't work for me either.

Moving on.

Ranking system? Really? And he shared this with you? Yeah, he's a prize. But I understand that's small comfort presently. Hope life is looking up now.

Greg said...

Nature's always good for providing perspective, I find! Wild Kingdom right there in MFT.

Sorry to hear the amaranthus project didn't work out better. I've nurtured weeds for entire seasons, myself, if that's any consolation. Next year, start them in pots so you know who they are, or just buy stuff at the nursery.

OMG: no joke: my word verification is "dr oldsta".

Unknown said...

don't you love the tyranny of the plant world in the garden? beautiful plants which turn out to be weeds, or die before you figure out what they are. Other plants which spring up, as if uninvited, and then turn out to be something you kind of remembering scattering seeds for but thought were lost. :)