Thursday, May 29, 2014

I'll stop after this. Promise.

At the risk of alienating all of you with never-ending school banter, I will say that this is the last post on school because BAM, it's over.

I've been graduated.

Meanwhile, did you know that's the grammatically correct way to say it? Learned that during my undergrad, yes I did.

From a psychopathic professor who would put my hand to his scratchy bearded mouth and yell into it.

My undergrad was weird.

This time around though! Also weird, I'm afraid.

But less mouth-to-hand screaming, so that was a relief.

Could have done without all of the rank hippies eating themselves free of the cover crop rows, lunatics running rampant in the greenhouse breaking plants, blind high stoners wandering aimlessly through lab messing shit up and the general teenagery Santa Cruz-ness of it all, too, but I guess that's part of the fun?

Sure, fun. Let's call it that.


Heh. I love it when people said that back in the day when nobody used swears. "You're 23? Like fun you are!"

Anyway, random.

And, hey! I have time for random again! I mean, sort of.

Like yesterday when I searched up my final grades and found that I did, in fact, get all As and then took that as a cue to conduct a little activity demanded by my dear friend, Shelley.

See, she's been on my case for oh 2 years or so to put my As up on the fridge and take a picture.

And then a hundred other people said that to me over the last two years as I bashed them about the head and ears with my test and course scores because I'm terribly self-congratulatory.

I'm also overly-familiar, rudely blunt, foul-mouthed, unforgiving of poor grammar and spelling and not that good at mowing the lawn.

And now that we have some of my most heinous flaws out there for you all to ogle, check this shit out:

I call it my Shrine of Self Congratulation.  Also Where the Tonic Lives.

That's right. I kept all of my school paperwork and tests organized for just such an occasion and also because I'm self-indulgent and sentimental.

It's making me nuts that the folders are out of chronological order.

Now, contrary to my previous declaration, I didn't actually get all As on all things. I mean, yes, I did get all As on my final transcript, but there were a few exams here and there where I didn't get As. Thankfully, some of the professors are tech-fearful and don't use the online learning system so I couldn't see all of my final exam scores, but one of them is less fearful than others and I know that I got a C on a final last semester.

A C! I know. Horrid. Still though, I got an A in the class, so let's pretend I never told you. I need to remain pure in your minds.

Instead, look at this and swoon. That's what I did and, because I'm also terribly self-involved, I assume that's what everyone will do.

Perhaps it's my self-involvement that fetched me the 4.0 transcript that I've always wanted. Or maybe it was the fact that this was horticulture and not, say, organic chemistry.

Or maybe it was the socks.

Definitely the socks.
And since these guys served me so well for the last two years in school, I thought they might have enough juice left to get me through another interview yesterday.

For a job I REALLY want.

A job that's REALLY cool.

And REALLY scary. So scary and cool that I will probably need to wear these socks every day for the first six months of the job if I were so lucky as to get it.

I need to learn how to darn socks.

It would appear that my lucky socks are running out of lucky. Or lucky is running out of the toes? Or? Whatever, they have holes.

Either way though - now you're safe. No more school talk on the blog.

We'll just go back to talking about Oh noooooooooo and the garden and dongs, ok?

I make no promises about it during NaNoWriMo though. Which I'm hoping to do again this year after a two year hiatus. And during which I *may* write up a short story compilation covering the crazy of my last two years.

But not on the blog! You are free from schoolishness talking and grades and shit like that.

Be free!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Oh nooooooooooooooooooooooo + graduation

Oh you guys.

I feel like I want to sit here and spill my guts to you about finals week, graduation, job interviewing all over the damn place and the drama of it all, but no.

I need a break from mentally chewing on that all the fucking time.

Instead, let's talk about how I inadvertently turned Duchess into a rolling pub.

Let's party.

Firstly, do you remember when I was all, "Hey! We brew beer and my Greenhouse Design and Operations instructor brews beer! And I designed my final project for that class around a greenhouse for hops! I think I'll give him a growler of our homebrew when I turn in my final!" and then people were all, "What the fuck are you thinking, jackass? You can't just give a teacher a big jug of beer when you turn in your final. That's called bribery. Or it's inappropriate. Or maybe illegal. JUST NO.", and then I was all, "Oh."

Do you remember that?

Maybe it just happened on Facebook, I can't remember.

Whatever. That happened and I didn't end up giving him a growler of our homebrew after that final, which was the first semester of classes by the way, which was two years ago by the way, but then the next semester, when I sat down for my second semester of classes, he was all, "Hey! I have a project for you!" and then proceeded to walk us all the way out to the back of the greenhouses to show me the abandoned raised bed area and pointed to a bunch of huge tubs full of what looked like aborted fetuses from the set of Alien and thus my hopyard was born.

At least they grow up pretty.

And from that hopyard and our home hopyard and many orders from Williams and Northern Brewer and More Beer! and the other brewy establishments around the damn country, we have spawned and shared many, many beers, including one that was brewed with my work hopyard's Magnum hops which I named accordingly.
I'm so original.

I think you know that I shared these with my instructor. And my greenhouse boys. And the nursery manager. And so on. Because I'm inappropriate. WHICH YOU ALL KNEW SO WHY WAS EVERYONE ACTING ALL SURPRISED BEFORE?

Sheesh. It's like I don't know you people sometimes. Or you don't know me? Whatever.

SO, for the oh nooooooooooooooooooooooo part...

Last month, when my inappropriateness had been fully restored, I decided that for my instructor's birthday (who, incidentally, is also my boss, program chair and professional job reference - cue the inappropriateness), I'd give him a fabulous growler full of some more homebrew. Because we've been trading homebrews back and forth since last spring and we have a favorite growler maker because we're ridiculous like that and because he'd ogled the growlers we'd shared beer in before and it just made sense.

Because I've embraced my inappropriateness so fuck off, then, if you don't like it.

I mean, right?

And he was into it! Because, obviously. The growlers they make are beautiful things.


So, he enjoyed the brew (which was actually Ballast Point Sculpin rather than homebrew because our homebrew was still conditioning and this is what was in the keg at birthday time)(also, I told him that it was the Sculpin, so it's not like I pretended that it was our masterfully crafted beer or anything. That would suck.) and then he finished brewing a Nelson and filled up the growler to share back with us and YAY full circle beer sharing was happening and then oh nooooooooooooooooooooooo...

See, I was down at the greenhouse that day, as I am most days, and when he handed off the growler to me, all full of Nelson deliciousness, I immediately texted Bubba to let him know what was going to be joining us and our BBQ for dinner, and then I tucked it carefully into this retardedly elaborate and mostly ineffective Subaru trunk organizer between folds of cushioning canvas shopping bags before I headed back up the hill to go home.

It's about a 45 minute drive up a windy mountain highway from the greenhouse to my house and I didn't want it rolling around or really moving at all during that trip, so I made sure it was all carefully snugged in before I hit Badass mode and rode the lightning home.

Cue the lightning.

All was good. Sun was shining, sunroof was open, Pantera was thunking and I was headed home to study my face off and then Bubba and I were going to BBQ and drink beers and...FOOP!

What the fuck was that?

You know that sound when a cork comes out of a champagne bottle? It was kinda like that. Except not as loud. Although that could have been because of the Pantera.

Anyway, I tried to ignore this almost definitely the sound of an exploded ceramic growler in the trunk of my beloved daily driver for at least 10 minutes.

Nah - it couldn't have exploded. I'd see beer spraying everywhere back there in the trunk. It'd be on the ceiling of the car. 

I'd definitely smell it...oh what is that IS THAT THE SMELL OF BEER? 

Oh nooooooooooooooooooooooo...

But, oh yes.

Driving up a windy mountain highway with no good spot to turn out and even if I did turn out, no way to clean up what was inevitably a huge mess and oh by the way no Nelson for our BBQ and what about my instructor/boss/program chair/professional referral's birthday growler that's probably totally inappropriate?


Well, I just drove home.

With what I was imagining was a tsunami of fucking beer sloshing all giddily from side to side in Duchess's trunk, splashing against the windows and soaking into the trunk carpeting and maybe seeping down into horrible places into which nothing should seep.

And I made such complete peace with the huge disaster unfolding in my trunk that I even stopped at the grocery store on the way home, as previously planned, to get a few things for our BBQ and I didn't even open the trunk.

Because what am I going to do? Open the trunk, have a meltdown in the grocery store parking lot and then close the mess back in the trunk and drive home?

I mean, I could have. And maybe a few years ago I would have. But now, no. I've changed again. OR I just save my meltdowns for the privacy of my own driveway where I can really let loose with the soul eating swears.

Honestly, I'm just not sure if the rest of the world is ready for an oh nooooooooooooooooooooooo moment.

So, yeah. I backed into the driveway, took all the groceries into the house and unpacked them. Then I changed my clothes. And had a little lunch. And got my studying stuff out.

And basically tried to pre-calm my shit down so that I didn't flip out and, like, cry or kill someone when I went to open the trunk of the car, and that turned out to be a pretty good plan after all.

Because, even though it was still oh nooooooooooooooooooooooo, it wasn't as oh nooooooooooooooooooooooo as it could have been.

Oh noooo?
Oh. No.

This was, like, a 4 on the 1-10 oh nooooooooooooooooooooooo scale, where 1 is, like Oh? I can clean that up with this napkin from my lunch. Pffft. And 10 is, like, GET ME ROTO ROOTER AND RICHARD DEAN ANDERSON BECAUSE THIS SHIT IS GOING TO TAKE A MIRACLE TO CLEAN UP.

Because the combination of the retardedly elaborate and mostly ineffective Subaru trunk organizer and the simple and highly effective rubber Subaru trunk mat managed to keep the open seas of beer contained so completely in the rubber mat's gullies that NOT A SINGLE DROP OF BEER GOT ON THE CARPET.

Not one.


This mat has seen some things and this beer was the least of its worries.
This carpet has seen nothing and it'll stay that way.

Now, sure, it was a huge loss of beer and the growler would never hold beer again and I had to take everything carefully out of the trunk and rinse it off on the lawn, but the car never smelled like beer and there wasn't any window splashing carpet soaking mess to deal with.

Amazing. Wonderful. So glad I didn't look at it until I got home so that I could imagine all of the worst possible outcomes and then come to find out that, eh, it's not really as much of an oh nooooooooooooooooooooooo as imagined.

Which was all made the more obvious when I emailed the Portland Growler people, who we love even more now than before, and told them what happened and they had mercy on my inappropriate soul and sent me a replacement growler.

THANKS, GUYS! YOU'RE RAD! And welcome in our home brewery any old time.

So, yeah - boss's beer exploded in my car and I didn't have a meltdown.

I HAVE changed.

Though I retain the right to a finals/graduation/WHAT THE FUCK DO I DO NOW oh nooooooooooooooooooooooo meltdown this week.

Because, obviously.

Oh, and the busted growler is now serving an APPROPRIATE purpose by being a tree waterer.

Beer and plants. It's what we do here.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Nothing really to do with garlic scapes.

Obviously garlic scapes are the answer to all of life's woes.

I'm going to do that annoying thing where I put up pictures that basically have nothing to do with the post's context whatsoever except that they were also used to distract me from the issues at hand, so I'm hoping they do the same for you.

Forget your worries and look at this crazy ass garlic.

Because who has time to stress out about an interview tomorrow, a big plant sale this weekend, setting up a new hydroponic crop next week, a different in-person interview next week, finals in two weeks, graduation in three weeks and having to murder at least two people to get registered for a fall biology class when the garlic is scaping?

Look into my eyes and tell me what your fucking problem is.

At least that's my reasoning anyway.

I tried to convince Bubba that garlic scapes were the answer to life's mysteries last night when I proposed that I make a frittata with them, but then he activated his gag reflex and shunned eggs forever because he's even wussier than I am about eggs and so instead we had garlic scape pesto which was fine but WHOA HOLY is it hot.

Always surprises me how hot garlic can be. And how dragon-like my breath can become. Rowr.
So, yeah - got a lot happening in the next few weeks and all of my coping mechanisms are in full effect. AKA - we restocked the bar over the weekend, I spent a lot of time in the garden cleaning up the meadow so that it'd look less like a homeless encampment, I'm cooking some new shit and we are cracking out all of the old classic movie sagas.

This is how I cope. Don't you judge me.

Just eat this, watch the TeeVee and try not to fucking freak out for a second.
We watched Alien (the first one with Sigourney's hair) and then Prometheus (gorgeous and plotless) on Saturday and when Bubba saw the healing power of old sci-fi on my Crazy, he did something that he absolutely-never-except-this-one-time does:

He bought DVDs.

Because *this series* is only available on iTunes otherwise and't *do* iTunes in this house and because he knew it was the best way to keep me from completely losing it and because he loves me (or fears me?) he bought the complete Star Wars saga on Blu-ray.

And for that - you don't have to eat eggs.
You see why I love this man, right?

You should love him, too. Otherwise all of your lives might be at risk.

Hey! Also look at what the garden's doing. That's a good distraction, too.

Rocky Top Mix is happening.

Artichokes and onions are, like, MAKE DINNER FOR THE NEIGHBORS and shit.

The Red Baron onions are officially always going to grow in my garden yay.

The bees are working.

I'm picking bouquets when I get stressed, so, you know, every 5-10 minutes. I'm running out of jars.
The poppy field is also working.

The cucumbers basically suck.

The lettuce and alyssum are growing together just as I tell other people to do.

I have so many limes on this one wee tree that I'm concerned for its safety.

There are so many grapes on the vines that I'm concerned for the fence's integrity.

I hope you are as distracted as I am. Go have a good day, you. And quit freaking the fuck out, already. You're scaring people.