Heartworm… of a sort…

Returning from the airport well after midnight on Saturday, it wasn’t until lunchtime today that i was reunited with my canine life partner, Mr. Pickles.  After letting my kids know that i’d had a great time, but was doing battle with a mild case of “Mummy Tummy” after eating some bad nachos at a rasta bar, i got this from my daughter:

Sorry to hear about your tummy trouble, though you and Pickles share similar circumstances. I woke up on thursday to an extremely irritating puppydog demanding his walk. When i let him out, he shat a lovely brown liquid. When going downstairs for my run, i discovered that he had left me a “good morning” present: a splattering of poo all over the theater room floor that loosely resembled a Pollack painting. Dog’s got talent…

By the time i was in the airport on Saturday, my son called to inform me that the gastro-rocketry had gotten worse – now with much pukage.  Including a rather spectacular splat on my bed*.  He took the pup to the vet first thing Saturday morning, and the doggie doc wanted to keep him for the rest of the weekend.  It seemed fairly serious.

Sunday was a very long day.  It’s hard to describe, but the presence of this large brown dog – breathing, rearranging his dulaps, groaning or sighing in his sleep – is something that we’ve all gotten used to.  He doesn’t constantly beg for attention.  He’s just always there.  A quiet, comforting companion.

As we go about our business, he moves from room to room – flopping on the bedroom floor as i put away my laundry, dozing at the top of the stairs if i’m mucking around in the utility room downstairs, coming in to say ‘hi’ if i’m in the bathroom for more than a few minutes.  Mostly, he sleeps.  Hardly an overpowering presence.

When he’s gone?  Everything is wrong.  Feng Shui fucked up to the max.  It’s as though the household heart has stopped beating.

Given that the doc’s office was closed on Sunday, i wasn’t able to get an update on his condition.  Fearing the worst, i called this morning.  I was overjoyed to learn i could pick him up at my convenience! 

Still no idea what jacked his delicate digestive tract, i’m simply delighted to have him home again… even though my current endearing name for him is “Shitstain”…

Still not 100%, but glad to be home...

Still not 100%, but glad to be home...

* The Boy earned himself some bonus points by laundering all of my bed linens – and making my bed – before i returned home… And both of them spent many hours scrubbing the gnarliest of gnarly dog messes from carpeting… Thankfully…

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Breaking News: Stupidity Outbreak at Atlanta Airport

From the “I could not make this shit up files”:

Killing time during a 3 hour layover at the Atlanta airport.  The drunken yabs sillier folks from the SCUBA posse have encamped in the Samuel Adams brewpubbery on Concourse C. 

While continuing our ridiculous alcohol abuse having a relaxing dinner, i was coveting the pub table near the electrical outlet.  As soon as the gentlemen at the table left, i scooted in that direction and plugged in both my cell phone and the power cord on the laptop.

Within a minute of settling in, i was approached by a management-like-object.  i was informed that i could not use the two outlets.  The policy of the establishment was to block off the outlets to prevent transmission of viruses into their system.

Drunk Confused, i repeated her statement back to her – loud enough that my compatriots (and half the people in the bar) could hear:  “Let me make sure i understand this, you don’t let people use this electrical outlet to make sure that you don’t get viruses downloaded into your system?”

She affirmed that this was indeed the case. 

Many astonished glances from the folks nearby… and with a straight face i unplugged both electrical cords. 

Fuck swine flu, folks.  We have bigger problems in the ol’ United States of America…

Scuba Nuggets

No, not something accidently left in the wetsuit after a bout of “Mummy Tummy”… some random neural firings from about 4 days of salt water-based recreation…

– Lucked out:  If you’re going to be stuck on a dive boat with 16 people for a week, it’s a little bit of magic if there are no assholes in the group.  And we got the magic…  Odd collection of folks, for sure, but very cool.  And yes…. Much. Debauchery.  Oh, i’ve met my match with some of these folks!

– SCUBA Pranking:  Learned a few tricks from the seasoned divers.  If you want to tweak someone?  Load the pockets of their dive vest with bits of sausage.  After you get submerged, the sausage bits start to release from the mesh pockets, and the largish grouper come to feed… *snort*

– Night Diving:  This is just on the hairy edge of terrifying.  Add a very strong current (5mph) at about 50′?  There were about a dozen of us trying to stay in a group… Holy. Shit.  Not likely to do this again until i’m somewhere with no current… and have several thousand a few more dives under my weight belt.  Did i say “Holy Shit?”

– Surprises:  Not sure what i expected, but was stunned to see several barracuda, a few sea turtles, nurse sharks and a gigantic pregnant green eel…. had to be 6′-8′ long… But the most delightful surprise so far?  The flying fish.  Somehow i always thought they were located in the south pacific.  Schools of ’em… flying alongside the boat!  Astonishing in the sunlight!

Apologies for being absent in your comment boxes… but i’ve only got a few more days left here, and i don’t wanna miss a thing!  Surf’s up!

Night diving = terror.  Didn't even see any octupii - we were moving too fast!

Night diving = terror. Didn't even see any octupii - we were moving too fast!

Making Friends

Arriving in the hotel lobby yesterday afternoon, it was a busy place.  Our group of 12, plus others coming and going.  We are the ‘new kids’ with the dive shop, and other than some brief interactions with the Dive Leader as we empty our wallets at his dive shop, we really don’t know the people we are going to be spending a lot of time with this week.

We were standing next to the two assistant Dive Leaders, both total hotties in their mid 30″s.  The young men had been making polite conversation with us as we waited for the others to finish the check in process.

Passing directly in front of us was a young couple, early-mid 20”s.  Possibly newlyweds.  He had his right arm in a full cast.  She was a tiny thing, in a bikini top and shorts, with a rack for the ages.  As they passed, i commented to my friend “did you catch those?” – but of course he was too distracted to hear my question.

The Assistants heard it and sort of grinned.  One said to the other “motorboat”.  i said “How do you think he broke his arm? ‘Man Injured in Motorboat Accident. Film at Eleven”.

Yep.  They now know that daisyfae isn’t exactly another Polite Suburban Hausfrau being dragged on a dive trip by Adventuresome Hubby…

Ack!

It’s about 5pm here.  Left work early.  i have to leave for the airport in exactly 11 hours.  That’d be for a 6am flight.

i have a suitcase that contains:  wetsuit, fins/mask/snorkel, buoyancy compensator (dive vest), swimsuits (yes, two, in case there is a blowout), dive boots, SCUBA log book, regulator/dive computer…

i have a backpack that contains:  iPod, noise canceling headphones, passport, chargers, ASUS 900eeePC baby travel laptop, point and shoot camera, memory cards, portable keyboard, optical mouse, books for plane, assorted chargers and cables and geek-shrapnel.

i have not yet packed one article of clothing.  The resort is NOT clothing optional…. 

Holy shit

i’ve always traveled a bit by the seat of my pants…  Likely to be even more sporadic than usual for the week.  Surf’s up!

Fantastic Voyage

It’s not really a ‘bucket list’.  You know, the list of stuff you want to do before you die.  But there’s no shortage of people places and things i’d like to experience before i check into the big dirt hotel.  i got my SCUBA certification on Labor Day weekend, 2006 to celebrate my divorce.  Coincidently the same day that dearly lanced and departed Steve Irwin suffered the indignity of a stinger through the heart….

When people ask “why”, i’ve got a litany of perfectly fine answers.  “Two-thirds of the Earth is covered by water, and i need to be able to get there”, or “i’ve always dreamed of diving with the Whale Sharks – 45 foot long, plankton-eating mega-sushi!” or “i need a ‘return-to-the-womb’ experience so maybe i can start over and get it right this time…”

Nope.  None of those started it.  It was because of this movie: Fantastic Voyage.  And more specifically, the vision of Raquel Welch in that white, zip-front wetsuit.  Hot science babe, shrunk in a submarine with her science posse, traversing the body of some creepy bald dude.  Got no idea why it marked me, but it did. 

It looked better after the white corpuscles gnawed on it a bit...

It looked better after the white corpuscles gnawed on it a bit...

While rooting through the local dive shop, doing a little shopping, i was discouraged to learn that not only did they have no white wetsuits, but all suits are now designed to zip up the back.  Shit.  A nearly audible pop as the fantasy ruptured.  i found a 3mm shorty that will suffice.  But i’m wondering if the Dive Master will get pissed off if i wear it backwards?

Bring on the dogfish...

Bring on the dogfish...

i’m skipping town in a few days for a dive trip to Mexico.  My first time in salt water, looking at fish that are not a dingy shade of brown… Drift diving, which means you gear up, jump out of a boat, sink to the desired depth, and let the current carry you along.  Theoretically, when you’re done, you ascend and there is a boat waiting to take you back to shore for fruity cocktails and a poolside siesta. 

i can guarantee that in my mind i won’t be poolside.  i will be strapped into my miniature research submarine, anxiously hoping that the creepy bald dude can work up some tears and cry me the fuck out of his head before i return to normal size…

Cleaning house…

The house of the heart.  Good to keep it tidy.  While excavating my office last week, i stumbled upon an ancient e-mail from my dear friend Yoda.  As i perform inventory on my soul, this was timely…

So much held in a heart in a lifetime.  So much held in a heart in a day, an hour, a moment.  We are utterly open with no one, in the end—not mother and father, not wife or husband, not lover, not child, not friend.  We open windows to each but we live alone in the  house of the heart. 

Perhaps we must.  Perhaps we could not bear to be so naked, for fear of a constantly harrowed heart.  When young we think there will come one person who will savor and sustain us always; when we are older we know this is the dream of a child, that all hearts finally are bruised and scarred, scored and torn, repaired by time and will, patched by force of character, yet fragile and  rickety forevermore, no matter how ferocious the defense and how many bricks you bring to the wall. 

You can brick up your heart as stout and tight and hard and cold and impregnable as you possibly can and down it comes in an instant, felled by a woman’s second glance, a child’s apple breath, the shatter of glass in the road, the words “I have something to tell you,” a cat with a broken spine dragging itself into the forest to die, the brush of your mother’s papery ancient hand in the thicket of your hair, the memory of your father’s voice early in the morning echoing from the kitchen where he is making pancakes for his children*. 

i am becoming more than comfortable with my future as a solo act.  A life lived fully, punctuated by remarkable friends, my smart and fabulous children, delicious lovers and even assorted members of my family – if only for comic relief!  Keeping collateral damage to others at the bare minimum.  There will be heartbreak and joy, delight and disappointment. 

What is a roller-coaster without ups and downs?  A commuter train… and nothing more.

Time to clean the “house of the heart”.  Fix up the guest rooms, set an inviting table – but make myself comfortable with a good book, a bottle of wine… and the demons in my head.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* Best American Essays, 2005, page 28, Brian Doyle, Joyas Valadoras. 

kthanxbai

At 19, i’d just completed my freshman year in engineering.  i was – to put it mildly – an underqualified wet-behind-the-ears doofus when i first walked though the doors of my current employer.  Upon graduation, rather than look for an actual job, i stayed on, accepting the perfectly adequate offer dropped unceremoniously at my feet. 

i grew up there.  Starting as a lab rat, washing expensive samples down the drain, meeting my husband in the laser test cells, graduating, breeding, making it through graduate school while working full time, stumbling and fumbling my way up the career ladder.  Over the course of 27 years, i’ve done virtually every job the organization offers to technical staff members – from “ground pounding experiment grunt” to management and strategic planning.

They were good to me.  Granted, i worked hard for most of that time – the last couple years being the exception.  Time off without pay to stay home with my babies, flexibility to pursue projects on the fringes of plausibility, opportunites to test boundaries and freedom to do the job in my own style – no one can ever accuse me of being a corporate drone

Today was my last day.  i am DELIRIOUSLY happy!  On Tuesday, i delivered my final product, which was a shotgun blast to the head of the zombie dinosaurs, also known as “F-Troop“.  It’s up to the management folks to behead the corpse and burn the remains to make sure there is no sequel.  It was satisfying to have the last word, in what amounts to a six year argument.  

So, in my fantasy world, this is what i really did on my last day in the office…

Except in my fantasy, the lottery ticket wasn’t a misprint!  For the record, i did utter “suck my big black dick!” as i left the building for the last time… A few of them have truly been “blisters on my taint”.

The door did not hit me in the ass on the way out.  Onward…

The Morning After

 i have delicious friends.  i also have an issue at the moment with a gentle pounding in my brain.  tequila.  it was dinner.  happy birthday to me.  ow… 

Was very surprised last week when some family photos appeared in Facebook-world.  Many photos i’d never seen before.  Over the weekend, a cousin began the tedious process of scanning in photos from her mother’s photo albums.  And there we were…  Nice way to celebrate my 47th birthday.  Well, posting photos is easier than writing while still ensconced in a tequila-induced hangover cloud…

Shhhh…. please read quietly.  ow…

that is either a flaw in the photograph, or i was tethered to the ceiling by a small rope through my nose.  either is possible...

that is either a flaw in the photograph, or i was tethered to the ceiling by a small rope through my nose. either is possible...

 
 
 L-R: Sister T, Dad, Sister S, Brother T, daisyfae sporting a turd-filled diaper, Mom

L-R: Sister T, Dad, Sister S, Brother T, daisyfae sporting a turd-filled diaper, Mom

 

Family Pouting Contest, 1967.  My brother lost.  i earned bonus points for sweating profusely.  That's me in the orange...

Family Pouting Contest, 1967. My brother lost. i earned bonus points for sweating profusely. That's me in the orange...

 

i'm going to grow up to be a twisted, cold-hearted woman, writing trash about my family.  mom knocked out my teeth.  wanna buy my gerbil? 

i'm going to grow up to be a twisted, cold-hearted woman, writing trash about my family. mom knocked out my teeth. wanna buy my gerbil?