South Park Self

fruitful, in various ways

Hah! Few and subtle are the pleasures of an academic administrator. About a year ago I suggested to a department head that the admissions process for his programme was unwieldy and made no sense, and proposed an alternative. His department staff loved the idea. He disagreed and rejected it, and it vanished into the dank mists of "might have been" without a trace. Today, in a major faculty meeting, he calmly proposed precisely the amendment I'd suggested, as a response to various problems that were arising as a result of said unwieldiness. My earlier proposal of exactly the same thing was not mentioned. I am, however, too busy punching the air and doing little dances round my office to care particularly. My influence, it is sneaky and latent but you cannot resist it. Fear the administrator. Fear her.

In other news, there's an avocado pear tree in our back courtyard which has grown quietly and greenly to itself for twelve years now, since we moved in. It's never been particularly healthy, being prone to a sort of leaf-edge browning which I am unable to define or treat, although it's been a lot greener since my late papa hammered a bunch of rusty nails into its trunk about four years ago. (Avocado pears are into masochistic piercings. Who knew?). This morning I noticed that, for the first time ever, it has a tiny little green avocado pear growing1. Just one. But it's a start. I may go out there with a hammer this evening and further attend to its masochistic pleasures by way of encouragement. Gods, that sounds dodgy.

Last Night I Dreamed: I was living in the basement of a rambling house on a hill with the entire cast of Big Bang Theory and, for some reason, herne_kzn. The former were subtly annoying and prone to histrionics, the latter was obscurely comforting. While I'm rather fond of herne_kzn I have absolutely no patience with Big Bang Theory, which rather suggests that once again my subconscious hates me, at least a bit.

1 Gosh, the avocado has a weird sex life, quite apart from the piercings fetish. I just spent ten minutes reading the Wikipedia entry, and it's all odd gender swapping to strict timetables rigidly defined by sub-species. I suspect ours hasn't ever fruited owing to really poor timing and considerable sexual frustration.

  • Current Mood: pleased victorious, smug
  • Current Music: Magnetic Fields
Re: Yes
I'm more usually wincing at the sexism and the howling stereotypes, so I'm afraid the laugh track gets right up my nose. One of these days I should probably get drunk enough to watch the first half of the first season, after which it apparently gets better.
I seem to remember that getting them to fruit is a combination of the right nails (for metallic nutrients or something), a suitable compatible avocado tree being situated upwind, and The position of Venus in the right astrological sign.
Avocado sex
Hmm, I don't think mine has any piercings but I'll check. It fruits generously every year. I think it's a Fuerte (largish, smooth green skin). I don't know if there are any other avocado trees in the area but I guess there must be.

Mine also has the brown leaf thing. Since I ignore it mostly and water it maybe once every two months I had assumed it was just lack of attention :)
good lord, interesting article. The poor, sexless, unreproductive banana is basically a mule and we cultivate it thoroughly unnaturally. The disease-prone aspects are terrifying, actually. Don't tell wolverine_nun, she's mad about banana bread, and bananas are entirely precarious.
The nails act as an iron supplement. (Insert tasteless crucifixion joke here.) A rather more dramatic solution to iron deficiency than using an iron chelate feed.

And yes, to get fruit you need a virile male plant close enough to get the necessary done. Or you could ask Howard to engineer some sort of substitute involving a robot arm :)

Your story of politics at the Cherished Institution sounded like a story card straight out of Echo Bazaar! You got a 2 point increase in Persuasive and 20 Whispered Secrets, I'm sure.
Wikipedia thinks that avocados should be self-fertilising if they get their timing right. Mine clearly has rotten timing.

Actually, the Cherished Institutional coup seems to be pumping my Admired as well as my Persuasive, I'm getting quite good at those "have a moral afternoon, make sure everyone knows about it" sort of occasions. Have you got into the Court yet? new content is lovely.

Apropos of nothing at all, last night I dreamed you had been studying kung fu since the age of 6 and were a secret martial arts master, but had given it up because of your pacifism. Anything you want to tell us about your superhero identity...?
Ah, the avocado (the name being derived from a word meaning 'testicle', hur hur) flowers are different sexes on different days! Fascinating. I wish I could do that. My previous understanding was based on a gross over-simplification. Thanks for setting me right. Nature never ceases to amaze.

Vis-a-vis your apropos, no, I sadly possess no martial artistry or what might be considered superpowers of any sort. Which is probably a good thing, since I'm not a pacifist either.
Well, to be fair, they _are_ subtly annoying and prone to histrionics.
You have thoroughly cheered me up though :)