Saturday, August 23, 2014

Optimist, Pessimist, Humourist

I love my work - I really, really do - however, in general, and as wildlife biologists have long surmised, it is not particularly exciting. Sure, there are wee bits of it that are fun (like that part where ridiculous sums of money show up in my mailbox, whee!), but no one is ever like, "Because dichotomous key! Bwahaha!"


In fact, sometimes my work is so dull that I just fall dead asleep on the prairie and only wake up because I'm snoring so loudly. (To be fair, this was near the end of a marathon field stint and I was pretty tired in addition to bored senseless.) (But no excuses for the times I woke myself up by drooling on my hand or dreaming elk were jumping on me!) Some people drink chamomile tea in the evening; I just tuck a Daubenmire frame under my pillow and pass out cold from the sheer boringtude it emits.

But I seem to have fun, right? That's because I have this superpower, you see: I'm specially equipped to have way more fun than is reasonable in a given situation. I have fun all by myself, just in my own head, in spite of all the botany I am subjected to on a daily basis. (Really, it's the only way I could even cope with it. I know some botanists - okay, well, one - who have completely zero sense of humour and I seriously don't know how they haven't offed themselves yet.) If you're specially equipped in this way, you're likely to find that hilarity is all around you. It's like how optimists see good things around them and pessimists see bad things: I see funny things. But it wouldn't be a superpower proper if just any old schmoe could do it, so let me clarify further: I see funny things like Superman sees your gotch and Haley Joel Osment sees your great-great Aunt Helen. I see... beyond.

Or maybe I'm just crazy. Who knows! Either way I'm having a ton of fun, and my Tuckeb runneth over.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Yay Crew Cab!

I won't name names here, but *some* motel in *some* small town in Saskatchewan gave away my room reservation the other night. I had had trouble booking a room in the first place, but by the time I got into town at 8pm and discovered my predicament the entire place was a hospitality dead zone - as was every town within a 2-hour radius. As more than one front desk clerk helpfully pointed out, "We're an oil town, ma'am. It's very busy here." Yes, thank you. That's why I made - and lost - a reservation in the first place. Given the constituency of the average oil town motel, I don't doubt I could have found myself some "shared accommodations" quite readily, but I'm not really in the market for that sort of shenanigans these days - particularly not with oil town motel constituents.

I had work to do so I couldn't afford to keep wasting time looking for a room. I gave the back seat of my truck a serious appraisal, then drove to Wally World to buy a pillow (yay $3 bargain bin!).

I fired off the proposal I was working on at 10:30 from the lobby of the local McD's (yay free WiFi!) and set out to find a suitable camping spot. Dark, quiet, cozy - you know, all the things one could want for a back seat adventure. And in fact, I had just settled in to my selected location when another species of back seat adventurers arrived and parked a short distance away. Then another. And then a couple of what appeared to be purveyors of illicit goods, just for good measure.

Oh. Right. Dark, quiet, cozy. I've really lost my edge the past twenty years or so - this hadn't even occurred to me. I felt almost embarrassingly straight, just standing there brushing my teeth and applying witch hazel toner with an organic cotton ball, beside my truck full of botanical guides and granola bars, while these people carried on with their shady weeknight activities. (Seriously people! On a Monday?!)

I relocated to a well-lit, bustling location and settled in for an uncomfortable night of little sleep.

I don't believe in bucket lists - I don't need another to-do list interfering with my life - but when something sortof rad and random happens to pop up, I jot it down on the post-hoc list I've got going. I call it the Tuckeb List, 'cause Anti-Bucket List and Fuck-it Bucket were already taken.

Spend the night in a parking lot? Check.