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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Blatant Tugboat Fraud!

As I was straining bits of cereal out of the 1% this morning, I was also straining the old gray matter for what to post about.

Touchdown Jesus. It's gotta be Touchdown Jesus. No, I'm not trying to be sacrilegious... Lemme 'splain: Since we really have no other entertainment to speak of, we thought it would be funny to teach Jack the ubiquitous "SO BIG" trick yesterday.

For the uninitiated, you ask your child in a big funny voice, "How big is Insert Name Here?!" And they're supposed to respond with their little arms raised in a touchdown pose and everyone goes SOOOOO BIG!!!!! Simple, right? OK. So we do it a few times sitting in the ship's library and it really does nothing but bore the Captain. He doesn't cotton to stupid human tricks and is generally above the crew's love for low humor (especially puns).

Fast forward to 6:27 PM at church. Guess who decides to play SO BIG with the entire rear half of the church? That's right. In between putting the serious moves on the nice lady behind us (again), the hands would go flying straight up at some very inopportune moment. So that's what made me think of the huge mural in Notre Dame Stadium, the so-called Touchdown Jesus. Jack also couldn't stand being left out of the song service, and belted out a few earth shattering notes of his own. I'll give the child the "E" for effort. And an "L" for loud.

The skipper is increasingly hard to handle lately, and is so wriggly that we're thinking about entering him into a calf scramble (as the calf). The kid looks like he's breakdancing as you just try to hang on to an arm or a leg or an ear. Wild and free, that's clearly his native state.

As you'll notice from the picture above, the Captain has uhh, acquired yet another ship (don't ask). Er, it's a tugboat, really. Jack has a blast in it, especially beeping the goofy horn. The Skip really thought he'd made a nice addition to the fleet with this one. But what totally threw water on the whole thing was finding the huge warning cast on the hull: CAUTION - NOT TO BE USED IN WATER. What a ripoff.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Tale Told by an Idiot

Faulkner's* take on my last 12 hours, because it's just that kind of day:
Hit hit hit hit pounding in my head hit hit hit hit one eye's gone blind thinking of stealing baby's Oragel for the hole in the roof of my mouth chip maybe? granola probably but hurts nonetheless arm numb pop old Rx from torn hammy soaking in a painfully hot tub for to fix my back muscles they might be angry holding baby through all of spicy crawfish boil hit hit hit bark stupid dog now a crying baby hit hit hit.
*I chose Faulkner because I can't lay hold of enough expletives to realistically lay some fake James Joyce on You People.

So you might have gathered that today I'm swimming through the lovely soup of malevolent brainwaves that is the migraine headache. Goes without saying, but bear with your correspondent, as he's having major trouble doing stuff today. Like tying shoes. Like making offshore financial statements down at the cinnabar mines. Like remembering which IT desk to call for what. I need a clone. Immediately. Lemme clarify: I need a clear-thinking, ruthless clone. Immediately.

The crew had themselves one very tolerable weekend, for sure, and hope you did the same. It didn't start out that way. We braved the excessively soggy tempest at Home Port 2.o! The streets turned to Diet Dr. Pepper-can-floating rivers of ickyness! Noah floated by the house heading west. We talked over the possibility of hitching a ride, but talks broke down when it was discovered that I don't have 2 of everything. I have, in fact, one of everything: 1 ne'er-do-well, mischievous English Setter, 1 beautiful and patient Her Majesty, 1 illustrious Captain, and 1 of well, me. So no luck there. We managed anyway.

As it often does, the weather cleared off suddenly and by Sunday afternoon it was a superior day in Port of Houston. Our Church Class had a crawfish boil about four o'clockish where the mudbugs were VERY capably prepared (attaboys for Justin and Ben). I have deep respect for the kind of work those dudes did over the open flames. The grub was fantastic. Have you ever witnessed 80 lbs. (that's EIGHTY pounds) of crawfish? No? OK, you have not lived. There, I said it.

I had to work pretty hard at peeling enough of the little goobers to feed myself AND Her Majesty. H.M. eats 'em. However, H.M. doesn't peel 'em, a distinction that ends up being problematic for the Help (that's me). Terribly unfair? Sure it is. And that, folks, is what 2nd Class Citizenry is all about. My hands go blurry as they're clocked peeling at 39,607 TPM (tails per minute).

So all in all, it was a nice visit with Our People (and Our Dinner) over there. Jack soaked up all the sights and sounds, and came very near to soaking up some of the cayenne pepper in his little eyes, which wouldn't have gone over well, I'm thinking. He also came very near to making his old dad wear an eyepatch when he beat my retina into submission with a dangerous-looking rattle (the skipper prefers the term blackjack). LOTS of pulling up this week, lots of crawling, lots of talking, yada yada yada. I mean, na-na da-da ma-ma.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Stand-up Routine

I am 32 years old. I have never, ever, EVER laughed so hard that I vomited. Jack turned 9 months old on Easter Sunday. And incredibly, he's already notched this one. And he kept laughing before, during, and afterward. This kid is getting more and more talented every day.

These are the small events that parents regale friends, family, and their children's future spouses with for decades to come. Oh, and this one was goooood.

You remember Animal from The Muppet Show, right? I mean, who doesn't? The Muppet Show was children's programming at its absolute zenith. The insanity of it all, complete with pig soap operas, the cast of Star Wars, John Denver, etc. was something to behold (go blow a quarter hour on Youtube, you'll be the better for it). I digress.

Well, Her Majesty decided to do a heretofore unseen hair-flipping Animal impression for Jack, who was feeling a bit giggly anyway. Sent him right over the edge. I was called in from another room just in time to witness the unbroken laughter and then spitup rolling down his front as he stood in his crib. Comic genius, that was. Comic genius. And I'll try to get covert video footage of the impression. It was like this.

No doubt Our People have all heard the great news about the US sea captain rescued from pirates off the Somali coast this weekend. Captain Jack keeps abreast of the competition pretty well, and had a few professional observations that he shared in the Officers' Mess this morning that he bade me pass along. Listen up, ye dogs:

1. Do not mess with Navy SEALs.
2. DO NOT MESS WITH NAVY SEALs.
3. Do not mess with anybody even remotely associated with USSOCOM, most especially Navy SEALs.
4. Pillage, plunder, and generally have your merry way with any ship in the accursed Spanish Navy, as is (probably) completely legal to do under orders from Queen Elizabeth I (unless there are US Navy SEALs around, in that case see #1 above).
5. Stay the heck outta the Gulf of Aden. There are better ways to get over to the Subcontinent. Like flying Emirates first class. Curry is not worth dying for. Almost, but no.

I've also posted a picture of the skipper with his cheese-out fake smile, his enormous new shoes, and his appropriately enormous Easter Basket. Enjoy.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Of Bunnies and Political Ambition

It's tough to be the Easter Bunny. You've basically got one day to shine all year, you're the secular competition for a deeply religious holiday, you're rumored to lay eggs, and millions of people bite the heads off chocolate effigies of you. Just when you think it couldn't get worse, you've got to head down to the Galleria and sit there sweating under photo lamps to make eight bucks an hour in a meet 'n greet-slash-photo op for kiddies. You get there late, and you're harangued by the little sprogs. It's not that bad since you hammered 4 Colt-45s for breakfast and can feel your big ears tingle, but there's this one kid. This one kid that has a smile on his face, is giggling and loving life, poses for the picture like it's his job, and then spits up all over your mostly clean white fur. Your inept assistant makes it worse by daubing you with paper towels, essentially making a foul smelling papier-mâché on your lap. Awesome. That time you took the egg-hunt in Phoenix and ended up hopping 7 miles in 119 degree heat? Today you're nostalgic for that gig.

No doubt you've already guessed that our hero was that kid. Way to go, skipper. I didn't know there was a blacklist for the Easter Bunny, but um, there is. And we're #756.

No, I do not have pics. Well, I do have pics, but they're hard-copy, and since somebody stored the ship's color scanner in a crate down by the bilge pump, we're without an operable color scanner. Suffice it to say Jack was ubercute. But you probably guessed I'd say that.

Saturday, El Comodoro drug an exhausted Majesty ashore for Date Night. After getting a long awaited Thai fix, we discovered the neato Waterwall by Williams Tower. We walked around a bit (okay, Melanie walked, my Thai food and I sloshed) and really felt like we were in another country. Maybe a steamy Berlin. Houston obliged, as there were probably 3 or 4 different languages being spoken around us. Naturally.

As is pretty much customary for us, we went over to El Tiempo on Sunday (shocking, I know) and tossed Jack in a high chair for I think the first time. He liked the vantage point: he could really make eyes at all the ladies around us. And boy did he ever bat those Mr. Snuffleupagus eyelashes. You could feel the breeze coming off them. Maybe we can get a renewable energy credit next year when we pay tribute to the Crown. The little smoothie really is starting to use his big smile more in public, too. In between articles on Politico yesterday he mentioned that he definitely needed to shake more hands and kiss more babies. I think he's got his eye on a 2045-ish gubernatorial run. Not one to miss an opportunity to hone his skills, he really put it to the lady behind us at church last night. She didn't have a chance what with the babytalk and the smiling. Like throwing a hunk of top sirloin to a Lion. I couldn't watch.

Our Captain has once again raised the bar: he pulled up to standing a few days back (repeatedly). I think he likes just to frighten us, so, smile still on his face, he keels over dramatically just to keep us on our toes. He's babbling a LOT now, mostly mama, dada, and "th." Yes, "th." So evidently he's prepping to say things like, "THeodore" and "THat doesn't match" and "THird world dictatorships ought never to be allowed to develop nuke programs."

Couldn't have said it better myself.