Welcome to our balmy blog! Amidst the preparations for the upcoming 20-person mission trip that arrives this Sunday, I’m trying to make time to keep hacking away at getting you all up to speed. (When I say hacking, it’s only because I have a very “productive” cold, right now.)
Siblings learn to kill together: One would think, given my love of all things Jason Bourne and her love of crouching over ponds and slamming fish against rocks, that me and my sister, Smeaphie, would be better at warfare tactics. But, we’re not. Plain and simple. In fact, it took our family until this Christmas for us to begin a structured training program of how to go about covert operations. I don’t usually try to be subversive to someone’s parenting techniques, (It seems I usually AM, but I’m just not trying) but while we were home, I had the chance to learn how to play a game called “Modern Warfare 3” (MW3), and I found that I couldn’t just keep it to myself. So, one day, when my mom had left me alone with my sister, I enticed her down to the living room, gave her a Red Bull, and slipped an Xbox controller in her hands. The next thing I new, it was like 13 hours later, my hands were duct taped, and Smeaphie had dominated so much that all the characters in the game had laid down their arms and were on their knees up close to the screen, begging her to please take a bathroom break or something so that they could re-group and figure out what all the fighting was even for. (Don’t judge me, all you people who are judging me. You think Snakes-n-Ladders or Trouble were any more benign when we were kids?) (Or Scissor Tag?)
Kryptonian undergarments: This was the second year in a row that I got Superman Underwear! Last year, I experienced the repurcussions of joking around too much by opening the underwear package and putting them outside my clothes; my mom snapped a pic and within 2 minutes it was on Facebook. (Luckily, at that point, my mom hadn’t figured out how to tag someone in a pic)
Consistent Airport Security Fail: So, I like to keep my travels pretty streamlined. I like to have my pack in order and everything where it should be. I prefer to be on time, if not early. Now, you all know that Jacelyn likes to travel with as much as is possible, if possible, and she is consistently 5 minutes late (at best). So, one would think that airport security would have issues with her clutter and take one look at me and simply wave me on through, possibly complimenting me on my physical succinctness and offer to give me a piggy back to my gate. It’s the oddest thing, though. When we get in line to go through security, it seems that all occasions inform against me. I swear that my name is on a “Not Remotely Threatening, But REALLY Fun To Mess With” list. (Yes, the TSA has one, I just don’t know how I got on it) (Bets are on Smeaphie) Anyway, for the last couple of years, when we line up, I get everything packed into one pocket in my backpack, completely remove ALL personal possessions (even tooth fillings, just to be safe), place them all on the conveyor, and then proceed to be run through every, single security measure that the TSA has at their fingertips (I said “fingertips” on purpose). Everything from that weird, huge piece of cotton that they smear all over your bag to idle chit-chat with the officer while I wait (which I’m sure is designed to find out how I react to extreme boredom). And, no matter what prep work I put into it, the ending is always the same: me trying to justify the large amount of binder clips, rubber bands, and twisty ties that I must have with me at all times, and Jacelyn chilling in a lounge with a magazine. I usually find her just as she’s either finished a R.E.M. cycle or a 1-hour massage. It’s infuriating. And it has been true to varying degrees no matter WHERE on God’s green earth we travel. (It’s clear that the therapy is not helping my anger in this area)
Feliz navidad: We met up with Jacelyn’s parents in the San Juan, Puerto Rico Airport on Christmas Eve and travelled to Dominica together. Beautifully uneventful.
McGorge: Yes, again. Always.
Fleas, rashes, bowel obstructions (Burt, or course): While we were in the States, we left Burt at a kennel on Dominica. It was recommended by a friend and the woman had a great, thick Cockney accent, so I thought, “What could go wrong? The Brits are great at animal care, right? It was the taxation without representation that we took issue with, not their PETA infractions, right?” Anyway, at first he seemed fine when we picked him up after 12 days. He seemed upbeat enough, but I should have known something was up when I walked in to get him and he was lounging in a recliner with a smoking jacket, reading a copy of “The Complete Works of Jeremy Bentham“, which he set down with a pithy sigh when he saw me come in. Anyway, the next day, we noticed that not only was he scratching a LOT, he also had fleas jumping off of him like crazy, a red rash near his eye, and was now taking like 5 minutes to complete the act of Canine Valsalva, which is highly uncommon for him. At first, I chalked the bathroom time up to having adopted the “British way of doing that“, but later changed my mind. Well, that was two months ago and all three health issues have, for various reasons, gone away. We ARE having trouble breaking him of the habit of trying to tax us on all of our tea, though.
If you pray, when you pray, pray for us.
On to the next thing…