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Andy M.
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June 2009
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Back June 21st, 2009 Forward

Two Mega-stories from today's field work.

Story the First
I arrived to work in the field at 7am (this is Sunday, just to set the mood). It's Father's Day, the 10th one since my Dad passed. I parked the car, and looked out at the rain. It was thick. I started making up the data forms for the day, and kind of zoned into my uber-depressing mental state of overthought, as one can do when solo in the field...

I thought about the previously mentioned C-Hill friends, two of whom had not responded yet to my offer of 'one last all-u-can-eat-mussels night' that I had left yesterday....which could mean they're ignoring me...which means they may be pissed I left semi-abruptly at the going-away-party last weekend [I had my reasons, mainly in the form of the ex getting snuggly with a new beau, blatantly in front of me].
I thought about the project that I had now worked a month straight on (including nights and weekends) and still may not get done in a satisfactory timeframe [having been pushed back 2 months by the lawyers and managers (each making several times what I do) fine tuning the wording of a pointless contract] I thought of the overtime I had to put in, yet was still making less than many of my cohorts who dropped the job at 5pm.
I thought of the poison ivy rash on my hands...not many other jobs that will expose you to such awful allergens on a daily basis.
I thought about being cold and miserable for the entire 'day of rest'.
I though of the general unfulfillingness of my current life phase.
I sighed and opened the passanger side door and clamoured over the seat [my driver's side door doesn't open]. The rain came down hard. As I opened the back of the truck, the rain suddenly petered out, and stopped altogether. I looked up in amazement at the overcast. One thought rang in my head 'it's father's day, and there's only one guy I know who knows the crap of working in miserable conditions off the clock because "the job has to be done."' Tears welled up. The forecasted rain held up until I was done the day in the field. Happy Father's Day, Dad.

Story the Second
It has oft been joked, that, as my curreny project is surveying the scrub lands on the south shore of Brooklyn, I am destined to find a dead body. Ha ha ha...

Today I stumbled across a dead body. Of a dog (or some such other canine predator). BUT, it was extensively decayed (only bones and a few pieces of skin remained), partially covered, and I didn't see the skull or much of the limbs when I first spotted it. All I saw were the sholder blades and vertebrae, which are VERY similar to a human's. And it was a big dog. So for the first minute, I did think I had found a human body.

I was surprisingly calm when I saw it, thinking 'oh god, it's a body...an actual human body.' I thought immediately to call the police, but how to describe it 'I'm in marine park, about 800' East of the Paedergat Bridge, and about 50' in from the curb...you'll have to exit and drive along the walkway for...', thought of the horrible things that must have happened, became slightly nauseated by the odor and image (all sorts of bugs too). I, out of biologist's instinct (but also some morbid curiosity), moved the mugwort away from the skull (looking both for confirmation of the species, and also maybe looking for a cause of death). The teeth were of a carnivore, so I sighed a small breath of relief that it was 'only a dog'. But then I felt bad all over again. What happened to the dog? Who could do this? Did it just run away, or did someone actually kill it out here. Regardless, it was not a situation to get the police involved anymore. I'll call the park authorities about it tomorrow.

With that, now to power nap before data entry.

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