Friday, September 30, 2011

Busy busy

Well, I've had a busy week. I went to an all-day Forensic Anthropology Seminar, finished the first draft of a paper, went to the Jane's Journey documentary premier, gave a talk at the Zoo's Conservation Institute, and then went to an all-day workshop on camera trapping in biology. Phew.

My talk at the Conservation Institute was ok. I haven't spoken in public for a long time, like maybe a year and a half, and I was really nervous, so I stumbled a lot and was just a bit off. I did however get to talk to the Director of Animal Behavior (Mr. Director) and am really excited about the possibility of doing a post-doc with them. I have a long way to go before I even graduate, and have no idea if I could even get a post-doc position there, but I think I nearly fainted when Mr. Director started talking about a field station that they help manage in Cameroon. There are gorrillas, chimps, drills, colobines, mangabeys, and guenons, not to mention forest elephants, red river hogs and a plethura of other animals. For some reason, I got a bit woozey when he said "gorillas." I like gorillas and all, but have never had a particular desire to work with them. Or so I thought. Wow, would I love to do some work there. Again, I am getting way ahead of myself, but am excited at the mere possibility. GORILLAS!

On an unrelated note- does anyone have a wonderful spouse, who is bright, and successful, and all round fantastic, yet, can't seem to understand the difference between GARBAGE and RECYCLING? Just wondering. Hypothetically, I can see how that could get freakin irritating. Hypothetically.

Oh, and is there anyone who's kitty seems to love sleeping, yet thinks there is no reason for you to sleep? Maybe your kitty, punches you in the neck or bites your goddamn nose at 4am? Hypothetically, that could get fairly f*%king obnoxious. Hypothetically, of course.

And on and equally unrelated note, here are some little tent bats in Costa Rica:

Aren't they adorable?

Happy October eve.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I need to get out more

Have you ever thought that you look perfectly sane only to have someone take a picture and show you what a nutbar you really look like? That's what happened to me.

I know the lemur hat doesn't help, but come on, its gotta count for something. Right?

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Ron got some kind of moustache app on his phone. Kitty LaFleur and I were the victims.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Average length day

When I teach osteology, I have the following rules on spelling mistakes when grading quizzes:

- One letter, ok, but watch it
- Two letters, 1/2 points, sucker
- Three letters, no points, its not a word

My only exception is if the "mistake" changes the meaning of the word, like  what could happen with coronoid and coracoid. Where am I going with this? Check out my cup.

That, my friends, is not a word. No points, Starbucks. The dude that called it out said "Mar-len-k-bee-z." So I guess, that's who I am today. Marlenkbyz. Well, I guess its better than "Barfi."

On another note, today is the first day of fall. I can't really think of anything to say about that other that we are experiencing completely average day lengths, and that is really lame. So, if you haven't seen this before, or even if you have, check it out and have a chuckle:
OMG, that cracks me up! Blamo! S*%t is going to look so seasonal.

Also, in case you are in the San Diego area, next Wednesday I am giving a talk about lemurs and Madagascar at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. If you are thinking my blatant self-promotion is garish, don't, because I really only know like 3 people in San Diego and one of them is Kitty LaFleur. And she screams bloody murder when I put her in the car, so she isn't coming.

Lastly, Ron and I are going to Costa Rica for Christmas. TOGETHER! How exciting! We rented a little house on the southern Caribbean coast.
There literally will be monkeys in my back yard!

Ok, happy average day length day to all.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Important Interview

Last week I agreed to let a 12-year old home-schooled kid interview me about lemurs. Apparently, she loves lemurs and is making an Imovie about lemurs and lemur conservation. She just sent me her questions in preparation for tomorrow's interview and I think they are completely adorable. Here they are:

  • Do Ring-tailed Lemurs live in packs or groups?  How are the groups separated (female/male, age groups?)?
  • How did you choose to become a Lemur scientist?
  • Are Ring-tailed Lemurs the only lemurs you work with?
  • Are all Ring-tailed Lemurs born with rings?  (Dalmation puppies have no spots at birth)
  • Are Lemurs color-blind?
  • Have Lemurs changed in size or appearance through evolution?
  • Have Lemurs existed on any continent besides Africa?
  • Can Lemurs be aggressive or harmful to humans?  (If so, what is your experience?)
  • My favorite Lemur is the Coquerel's Sifaka. What is yours?

I especially like being asked what my favorite lemur is. I'm going to say George Clooney, for sure. How can you not love his hair do??

Now, I mustn't f%*k this interview up. First, because that is a rule I *try* to live by. But second, because I don't want to taint a young impressionable lemur loving mind and have her thinking lemur researchers are all a bunch of wackos. And third, because this is my first official interview as a "lemur scientist." 

I'll let you know how it goes...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Moving on

The following conversation ensued this morning at Starbucks:

"Your name please?"




"Mar-len-ey? Is that with a T or a Y?"


(Very puzzled look and a long awkward pause pause) 

Its with an N.


So, I guess I should add MarlenyTY to the ever-growing Name Game list.

Ok, time to get back to and wrap up the cornstarch story. The cornstarch, as it turns out, was for a prosthetic penis which was apparently uncomfortable to wear otherwise. How did I find out? One night I decided way past my usual bed time that I must have some ice cream. So, I took myself into the kitchen, where Morgan was doing some washing. Of said prosthetic. Being awkward as I am, I HAD to continue with the operation-ice-cream mission. I was like, sorry I interrupted your genital cleansing, but I am a robot and I must get ice cream right this second (insert robot voice). Its like if you walked in on someone in the bathroom. You would apologize and leave, right? Well, I'd probably just go ahead and pee right over top of that poor traumatized person. AWKWARD (insert robot voice).

So, I thankfully didn't get caught up in any all-girl-illegal-underground-cornstarch-wrestling, which really would have done nothing for my productivity. The cornstarch awkwardness ended and things got back to normal. Until one day shortly after when Morgan and I were leaving the house together. Recall that Morgan and I had now been friends for like 3+ years and were in our second year of cohabiting. I caught a glimpse of Morgan putting on his shoes and got a bit freaked out. It seems I finally made the mental switch to 'Morgan is a dude' and suddenly felt as if I was in the presence of a stranger. And a man stranger at that. Whom I lived with. It was so very strange, and of course I got over it, but I was surprised at how binary my thinking was. And that I am apparently some kind of sexist. Even I, who consider myself quite liberal was so completely closed-minded that I couldn't mentally place a new gender on someone I knew. Someone I knew well. And I was all weirded out by living with a man. Well, a man who wasn't my husband that is. Huh. Who'd a thunk?

Don't worry, I did quickly get over myself. Like as if I was the one going through a MAJOR life change. Morgan's transition, believe it or not, had nothing to do with me. Which is weird because I am pretty good at making things all about me. Like right now. Its a bit nauseating really. Does being self-aware of your self-centeredness make it any better? Naw, its still annoying. BUT important... To me.

Well, I am happy to say that Morgan is doing well and is happier than I have ever seen him. Plus, he now has a beard, of such grandeur that I am sure Ron will be jealous. And Morgan has moved on and has another roomie. Next term I will be all alone, Morgan-less, thinking about poor widdle me and how the bottoms of my pants are wet from the freakin snow.

Happy Friday.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Not Dead

I just wanted to let everyone know that I am not dead. I can't seem to find enough time in the day to do all the things I should get around to. My blog, apartment, waistline, etc., are all suffering due to my lack of attention. I'm so busy working on school stuff that my days whip past, and ACK, every time I look up its 4pm, again. 4pm means that the day is nearly over, and Ron will be home soon, and Kitty and I have to get cleaned up. 4pm comes way too fast.

Anyhow, here is a quick cell phone photo update of my recent events:

Last week we had a major power outage in San Diego. Actually it was from Orange County to Tijuana and all the way to Arizona. Ron and I had to go to the grocery store, which was partially powered by generator electricity. The line-up was enormous and took nearly an hour to get through. The guy in front of us waited that entire hour for gummy worms and beer. Wow.

Here is Kitty LaFleur with her bf Celery LaFleur.

OMG. French toast at Hash House a go go. I got to see my old  friend (our friendship is old, not her) Lorena Christensen. My favorite quote from our breakfast together: "Well, you always did attract the weirdos." And that is as true as it gets.

Here is Kitty LaFleur pretending to be a dog.

And some of my plant samples, before I paid $165 to send them away. 

And Kitty LaFleur again, just being adorable.

Oh and here is last night's Green dinner! Yum.

I gotta get back to work. Its nearly 4pm somewhere...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cornstarch, Part 2

My plan for today was to get some exercise and go to the beach. Yet somehow I managed to watch movies in bed, eat pie and ice cream, and go nowhere. Gotta love Sundays!

Anyhow, getting back to the cornstarch story and tidbits of my experiences with Morgan's gender transition. Oh, and a bit about pronoun use. I say "she" when I am talking about Morgan before his transition, and "he" afterwards. It was really tough to break the "she" pronoun, but I must say that I was pretty stellar at correcting other people.

One of the first things I asked Morgan after the transition news, was "are you going to get the surgery?" Which peeps, for the record, is a super lame thing to say to a transgender person. Its like if some one tells you they are pregnant you say "congratulations, that's fantastic!" NOT "was this planned" or as I once very awkwardly asked someone "is that a good thing?" Foot. In. Mouth. If anyone ever comes out trans to you, say something much more eloquent, like that you are happy they are going to feel more comfortable in the world, or that you admire their courage, etc.

OK, so I'm happy for Morgan as are all of our mutual friends, and things just keep rolling. Now, I consider myself fairly liberal. Honestly, I don't really care what other people want to be called or with whom they share their bed. As long as no one is being victimized, what's the difference to me? None. In fact, I (along with most of my CU cohort) was much more shocked when Morgan told me he was switching to cultural anthropology. It was like "you're a dude? No s*&t, but cultural? Wow." No offense to my cultural colleagues,  of course.

But then, one day when I came home from school (recall that Morgan and I shared an apartment in CO) there was an enormous container of cornstarch on the kitchen counter. Morgan does not cook. At all. And contrary to what he thinks, microwaving cheese doesn't count as cooking. "What's with the cornstarch?" I asked. His response "you don't want to know." OMG, now I am scarred. Why wouldn't I want to know? I am pretty difficult to offend, would this cornstarch secret offend me? Is it something illegal? Should I call the authorities? Why why why don't I want to know??? What I actually envisioned was some sort of underground illegal high-stakes girl on girl wrestling ring, in one of those tiny blow-up kiddy pools, in the center of the living room. What if I came home to early? Would I be sold into this world of underground illegal high-stakes cornstarch wrestling?

Well, I think I'll leave you with that cliffhanger today. Next time, I'll spill the beans on the cornstarch and my coming to terms with having a male roomie.

Happy Labour Day!