Monday, August 16, 2010

Now accepting applications...

My friend posted this on craigslist in hopes of finding a new employee...but honestly this same criteria would be valid for my ad. Just substitute "girlfriend" for "garden" ;)

Small residential garden maintenance company in search of part time gardener
Flexible schedule
Right now at least 2 days a week and could offer up to four in busier times of year
The gardens are in San Francisco and are designed by landscape architects or garden designers. They are interesting and beautiful. Our main focus is regularly scheduled maintenance on existing gardens but occasionally we will be doing small installations. Experience in both areas a plus.
You will be working with Queer, smart, open minded, gentle, creative, personable, optimistic, happy people with wide ranging interests and a strong work ethic. It would be great if you also cultivate these qualities. We work humane hours, take a 30 minute paid lunch, enjoy each other’s company and work hard to get the job done and make the gardens look amazing.
Expect to pay your taxes on the income from this job. It is not under the table.
Pay rate determined by your skills and experience.
Our scheduling is organic and revolves around existing jobs, new projects, various vacations and our/your other jobs/commitments. Work is steady. You will have more, never less, hours if you want them.
You have:
Experience with maintaining outdoor ornamental gardens of various styles.
Interest in and experience with ornamental plants and their care.
Used brooms, shovels, clippers, ladders, hedgers and hoses and understand their various applications and how to work with them safely.
Worked outside in all weather and know how to keep a good attitude while cold, wet and wind blown.
Experience pruning small fruit trees, roses, vines.
Knowledge of irrigation systems, low voltage lighting systems. Handyman or carpentry skills a big plus.
A valid DL, clean driving record and are able to drive and park a 20 foot truck safely and with confidence.
Your own truck and own tools (a plus but not necessary)
A strong back.
You are:
The perfect combination of burly and delicate… as in you can lift up to 50 pounds and carry that 50 pounds up several flights of stairs over and over for a couple of hours or you can step lightly in flower beds and deadhead tiny pansies without crushing them to a pulp with your boots.
Self directed, reliable, punctual
Observant, organized and keep your work space and tools clean
Quiet and focused when working, disciplined, respectful of clients' homes and privacy
Someone who likes to work alone and also in groups, you take direction well but also can figure out what do to without micro management
A good listener and communicator
Not afraid to get your hands or clothes dirty, or of insects, spiders or small furry mammals.
A non smoker
Dog friendly.
If you eat healthy you will get along great with us at lunch time. We don’t stop for fast food.
An active nightlife and the the accompanying recreations are probably not a good fit since working outside tired and hungover is a drag for you and for the rest of us who have to work with you.
If you think you want a trial run on this team please get in touch to set up an interview.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The things we do for love...

I remember going off to college wanting to know if I was a lesbian or not. All throughout high school I was clueless about which team I wanted to play for...I was pretty sure everyone merely "tolerated" their boyfriends (as I did) and lived for sleepovers with their best gal pals (I had a lot to learn!).

College is the archetypal time to experiment. I kissed some boys just to get to kiss the girls, and finally lost my heart to a woman. I hadn't had sex of any kind so I thought this would surely be the litmus test of my sexuality! YAY! After weeks of platonic hanging I took a deep breath and calmly invited her back to my place for the evening, trying to appear as indifferent as possible. Luckily I was SUPER sophisticated in college ;-) My futon was on the floor. I didn't have any clean dishes. I grew basil and pot on the windowsill. With all this going for me it was surely going to be easy to seduce her...and it was.

The next morning I was full of smiles and eager to impress her. I hopped out of bed and cooked up biscuits, eggs and bacon. She ate it up and headed off to class. I was sure I was a lesbian! And I was confident I had a girlfriend!

About a month later she and I moved in together and I was SHOCKED to discover she was a vegetarian! How could this be?! She had eaten bacon on that fateful first breakfast! Bacon is the devil's meat! The worst of all meats! She sheepishly admitted that yes, she had eaten the bacon on that first morning together because she had lost her mind a bit (no doubt from my incredible charm). But that bacon had been the first meat she had eaten IN HER ENTIRE LIFE!

OK. Seriously? Let's forget for the moment that we later discovered this girl was a pathological liar and just take this story at face value. Her parents were strict vegetarians. And she had never eaten meat. Ever. Yet she ate the bacon up without so much as a HINT of trepidation.

Now I was young and didn't know this facet of relationships. This was my first of many exposures to that crazed phase of new attraction that makes vegetarians loony enough to eat bacon. Not sure if it has a name...some say "Honeymoon phase" or maybe "How About You Tell Me You Are a F-ing Vegetarian And I Won't Make Bacon Phase".

In the years since that experience I have wondered about our brains...or hormones...or whatever it is that has the power to make us behave that way. How in the heck can a cute girl get you to sit through a movie like Hot Tub Time Machine and actually ENJOY IT?!

And we all know we aren't fake laughing to the stupid jokes in Hot Tub Time Machine - we are actually enjoying that infantile humor just because the hand of a girl is ever so slightly resting on your leg.

At least my 20 year old self was astute enough to recognize that first moment I witnessed it...though I can't say I understand it any better now. Biologists may say that it is our body's chemistry conspiring to ensure the propagation of the species. Religious nuts...well they think it is a sin so let's not go into that. But to me it feels like you leave your "self" a bit. You leave your routines behind, plug into a new connection, and see what new things there may be to learn.

I can tell you that my college paramour became a carnivore...and though our relationship lasted about six months, her love of bacon persisted ;) And to her I say "You are welcome".

And learning how to laugh at Hot Tub Time Machine with new friends and an amazing girl at your side? Well that is a skill I am grateful to have the chance to acquire.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Boston Med: My new favorite show!

It may be wrong - but I count watching it as "study time" :)

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Five dollars

Three weeks ago my elderly mother called needing tylenol. She didn't want the name brand "over priced stuff"...would I mind running up to Publix, getting a bottle of generic tylenol, and scooting over to her place?

Keep in mind that she has a nursing station one elevator below her that stocks tylenol. I figured she just wanted some company so I did as she asked.

Two weeks ago she called again, complaining that the "off brand" generic wasn't working. Would I run back to the store and pick up some extra strength tylenol? She was sure that would do the trick. Ever the dutiful daughter - I did as I was asked.

Last week my mother called - this time in tears - and said that the only kind of tylenol that she had ever used with any success was the liquid gel filled. She knew it was a bit much to ask...but could I run to the store and get her a bottle?

I am sure that at least a part of my mother feels that it is my fault she resides in an assisted living facility. Without me asking the doctor "unnecessary" questions like "Would you consider someone in my mother's condition able to live on her own safely?" then life would still be grand. She would still be out driving her Lincoln into mailboxes and trashcans getting her own damn tylenol. So some of the errands she asks of me seem to be just for the sake of making me run all over town. But hey, if it makes her happy...

Last week when she called I was about to have a friend over to study and wasn't in the mood to drop everything to help. I gently reminded her that she had two other kinds of tylenol and even VICODIN at her disposal. Yes I understood her sciatica was bothering her but I was busy.

I hung up the phone and the guilt came creeping up. How cold-hearted does one have to be to ignore a 78 year old woman crying?!


I called my study buddy and explained I had to cancel on her and run some errands. First stop was Publix where I got liquid gel filled tylenol, liquid gel filled advil (anticipating next week's call!) and some ointment. I go to the register and that's when I realized I had left my wallet at home. Luckily for me (or for my mother I guess) the cashier was a woman I had seen over the years out around town - our kids had gone to preschool together. And without me even ASKING she reached over the counter and swiped her debit card. "Just come by tomorrow and pay me back".

Sometimes I can't believe the kindness out there in the world :)

Next stop, my mother's. By this point it is pouring down rain and I run up to her room soaking wet. She is thrilled to see me and clapped her hands thanking me over and over. Her next sentence was "I guess you want money - or is this your treat?"


I told her that YES she had to pay me back. The total was $35.

"All I have is two 20's - could I just give you one?"

The bickering went back and forth for a bit before she finally gave me the $40. And she ended up getting so mad that she won't return any of my calls. I suppose when she asked me to go downstairs and get her $5 in change I should have said HELL YEAH! rather than AREYOUFUCKINGSERIOUS?!?!

Maybe I should keep calling over and over again until she picks up and "forgives" me.

Or not.