Saturday, February 23, 2013

I'll get you my pretty...and your little dog, too!

Sometimes I hate my children. Is that bad to say? Cause if I'm the only one feeling it - then I guess I need to know that.

I can hear them now - sitting at the kitchen table, all still in their underwear at 10:30 on a Saturday morning. Scarfing up the hash browns and sausage I've made them, after I cleaned up the kitchen mess they made me. Both sinks full to the brim with dirty dishes. Not a clean spoon or fork in the house. And I kept coming across plastic spoons. And I didn't know why. Until I did. There haven't been clean utensils for days. I've been washing one each time I need one. But what did they do? They used a disposable one. To avoid washing one. This makes me angry.

So when I called them in to eat their breakfast that I fixed - it drove me a little bonkers that one of them (ok, Thing 1, if you must know) opened the dishwasher that was running.

"No sir!" I yelled.
"I didn't know it was going," Thing 1 yelled back.
"Bullshit!" I shouted. "That thing is as loud as all get out!" (I don't know where 'all get out' came from. But it is a really loud dishwasher. I had to get an even louder doorbell to hear it over the monster.)

After that, Thing 1 went straight to the pantry where I keep the plastic spoons and started to pull one out.

"Oh no you don't," I said.

"What am I supposed to do?" he whined.

"Well, I don't know. I see three spoons and a fork in the sink. You could WASH ONE!"

"Nevermind," he said. And sat back down.

And I felt like a witch.

But you know what I did? I washed him a fork. He dried it off more thoroughly after I handed it to him, which pissed me off further. He might have said, "Thank you." But probably not.

At which point I issued an edict to all three members of TheWreckingCrew sitting at my kitchen table.

"You are not to use the plastic spoons. Understand?"

"Yes ma'am," from all three.

"If there are no clean utensils, that means you haven't been doing your chores, number one. And number two, what should you do?"

"Wash one," from all three.

And then Yellow Dog scratches to be let in and I open the back door and catch a glimpse of my broom laying in the yard - straw strewn about, handle chewed. I wheel around to face them.

"And whoever finishes eating first better go pick up my broom and put it up where it belongs. And I guess you're all going to split the cost of a new one out of your report card money since you left it out where the dog could get it!"

And I can't take it any more so I go to my bedroom and shut the door.

And as I write this, I do not miss the irony of me bitching about my broom being left out.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Aquaman to the Rescue!

Aquaman has been home for a very long time. Of course, he was gone for a very long time - so it typically evens out. He was on a boat for 2 months in the fall. But now he's been home for 3 months. That's one month too long.

Being on land for so long does things to Aquaman. Not good things. I think his gills begin to dry out and that makes him cranky. He has been ready to go back out for two months, but that doesn't matter when there are no fishermen leaving to go fishing. If they aren't fishing, he's not. So he had to take matters into his own hands.

He has a buddy down in South Texas who called him for help with a rescue.

Not a dolphin rescue.

Not a whale rescue (we actually were part of that in Alaska once).

A scientific instrument rescue.

It seems this professor had deployed several, very expensive instruments off the coast of Texas. They collect data. They ping. Or something. He went to retrieve them after a certain period of time. They weren't there. Did I mention they're expensive? And collect important data? The first rescue attempt involved the professor's graduate students. They are young, inexperienced, and don't like diving in cold water. The rescue attempt failed.

Aquaman to the rescue. He got the call on his iPhone - and the nature of this call made me think he totally needs a special Aquaman phone. Shaped like a Trident or something. With a porpoise vocalizing instead of a regular ring tone. Or a ginormous vibrate setting like a dolphin emitting sonar.

Because it's a long drive and Aquaman hates to drive anything but a boat, he decided to take the bus.

This decision involved me watching Aquaman pack what most people would consider enough stuff to survive the Appalachian Trail solo for a year. To give you some idea, I'll just let you know that Aquaman travels with a foldable pole spear. It is impressive. It has a harness that straps to his thigh when he's diving. (Aquaman. Spear. Harness. Thigh. Oh my. I might need to be alone for a moment.) But he was only going for a few days - or so he promised. He knows he overpacks. He has embraced it. He is always prepared.

I had to take him downtown to the bus stop. This made us nostalgic for our college years when we were at separate Texas A&M campuses - he in Galveston, me at main campus in College Station. Neither of us had a car our Freshman year, so we took the bus to see each other on the weekends when we couldn't bum rides from friends. This coincided with the time period when Aquaman decided to grow his hair long. Not coincidentally, this was also the time in our lives when we got offered a lot of drugs. That's what you get when you pair a young guy with a ponytail and bus stations. Even when you're not being offered drugs, bus stations can be strange places. We had some sketchy bus rides in Venezuela during graduate school. These were disorienting, all night rides where the bus stops in the middle of nowhere and Yanomami Indians get on. Or when the bus stops at a roadside stand and you're so hungry you eat an entire roasted chicken and steamed yucca. And when the bus ride's over the back side of your jeans are black from the stained seat. And at the terminal in Caracas your friend gets her wallet stolen right out of the zipper compartment on her backpack while she's walking through a crowd and never feels a thing. Or when your sister takes the bus and has the man in the seat next to her ask, "Wanna see somethin'?" You know that's not going to end well.

This time was no exception. Aquaman admitted he was a bit nervous. This was an all night trip from North to South Texas on a Friday night. Would it be just as sketchy as we remembered it twenty years before? Significantly worse? Aquaman hoisted his overloaded pack on his back, grabbed his duffel bag, and disappeared into the terminal.

I got lost three times on the way back home. Aquaman got two seats all to himself on his all-night drive to Brownsville. He texted me the next morning to let me know he'd made it safe and sound. "No one bothered you?" I asked.


"No weirdos? No strangers insisting on telling you their life story? Nothing?"

"Well, I did have a front row seat to a porno."

Ah. There it is. "What????!!!!!"

"A couple next to me were going at it all night. Pretty sure there was penetration."

That sounds more like the Greyhound I know and love. "Next best thing to being molested yourself, I guess," was my reply.

So off he went to retrieve the instruments. It went well. He found all but two. But he's not giving up. He's going back today to try and find those.

I'm sure there was some chemical reaction, some equilibrium of the ocean world restored when Aquaman touched the water again. Not to mention some happy scientists who will get to analyze that data and deploy those instruments in future studies. It's kinda neat to be married to someone who has such passion for what he does.

And you never know what he'll see on that bus ride back.