More adventures in business travel

Maybe sometimes, I exaggerate, but this is the internet, and I can’t lie on it. We all know that if it’s on the internet, it’s true.

I got myself some dinner and went on to the hotel. Arriving in the parking lot, I noticed a news van in one of the spots.

Me: What now? What can possibly happen in this stupid town that’s newsworthy and also happens to be at my stupid hotel?

The cameraman is more or less standing in the middle of the lot, daring me to run him down. I swerve around him and park. In the time it takes me to get out of the car and get to the lobby, he’s managed to take about half the free cookies that are on the desk.

He wanders off to set up in the lobby.

Seriously…a live news feed from my hotel? Really, Action News, it’s that bad? This is the best you can do.

Of course, having visited the site and seen headlines such as “Pet Insurance: is it worth it?” maybe something happening here is news after all.

As I’m checking in, I decide to flex my funny muscle for a moment.

Me: A news crew?
Desk Lady: Yes.
Me: Really? I go to Tennessee for one week, and it’s newsworthy
Her: (Looking at me funny-like…still looking at me) Yea! You should have stayed here!
Me: Really…they’re setting up for a newscast here in the lobby?
Her: (sensing my apprehension and recognizing me as one of their frequent guests who also happens to also be a frequents complainer about the lack of water, clean towels, toilet paper or heat in his room). No…it’s not about us. (Whispers) It’s a guest
Me: ?
Her: There was a fire (not at the hotel). The guest was saved.
Me: Human Interest story?
Her: Yes
Me: (Checks room number…4th floor! Far away from this nonsense). Well…’night then.

A news crew in my hotel. They’d better not come knocking on doors for reaction shots. Because, if they do, Philadelphia’s Action News team is gonna get a look at my hairy ass.

Seems we’re having an odd-looking child

So…back to the doctor today. JewelrySlut had an ultrasound scheduled. This one was to test for Down’s indicators. The quick indication is that things look fine. That’s goos.

We also brought Shmuppie. She enjoyed the proceedings.

Apparently, we’re not having a snowman or a bird.

We’re having an alien

Here’s a side shot

Here’s the baby…staring into your soul

Buy me a fish; I’ll cook you dinner

Hand me a fishing pole; I’ll stab my fucking finger.

In the spring and fall, we go to a local lake and rent cute little boats. Sometimes, it’s a pedal boat, other times a canoe. No matter the boat, by the end, we’re all usually wet and Shmuppie is crying. It’s good times.

At this lake, several people can be seen dotting the shorelines, fishing for whatever lives in the lake.

When we’ve been to Emerald Isle, the highlight of the trip for Shmuppie, by far, has been our trips to the Bogue Inlet Pier. It’s a huge pier that sticks out a few hundred yards into the ocean. People line up along it and fish for God knows what.

After seeing all this, Shmuppie started pestering us to go fishing. We delayed as long as we could but there was no stopping her. Finally I relented.

But first; a brief history of fishing in my family.

Year: 1979 or so
Place: Lake Tahoe
Occasion: We lived in CA at the time so us and 2 other families went to Tahoe for a long weekend or something. The fathers drank and went to casinos and the mothers watched us kiddies. Or something. I barely remember it.

One afternoon, we all went fishing. I have spotty memories of this. We had 6 adults, 3 or 4 kids and probably another 2 or 3 infants (my brother included in that last bunch). Everyone caught a fish…even the infants had poles propped to their strollers and they caught fish. All but one person, of course. My father caught a garbage can lid. Mind you, this was a pond that was stocked with fish and was more or less there so tourists could toss a line, catch something, hold it up, squeal, and then go back to drinking and gambling. Nope…the old man caught a slab of metal.

Year: Some time later.
Place: Basking Ridge, NJ
Occasion: Said aforementioned younger brother wants to go fishing. I don’t remember the details because I wanted no part of this. Poles may have been bought. Perhaps even little sharp things. In any event, they went to the opening day of fishing season and caught exactly nothing. I think that was the last time the 2 of them went fishing. I don’t think the bonded much more until little brother discovered that there was something to do on Sundays that did not involve playing assorted band instruments (Football).

Year: 1990 or so
Place: Oregon
Occasion: I’m on vacation with my grandmother. We’re on a bus tour of the Canadian Rockies and west coast. We’re in Oregon and there’s an offer of a salmon fishing trip. I’m excited. The Lake Tahoe Experience has been deleted from my mind and I have not fished in at least 10 years. Plus, there’s a guarantee that salmon will be caught. YAY for fishing!

We find another person on the trip to take me fishing. We bundle up at about 4:00AM and head out. It’s cold as hell and damp (Shocking when you consider that it’s Oregon). We set out. At some point, the sun rises. No fish are caught. We troll for hours. It warms up a tad. We troll. As we’re about to head back (I have not had even an inkling of a bite) I catch 2 salmon.

The whole day sucked.

This brings us to the present. On Christmas morning, I presented Shmuppie with a little card with a picture of a fishing pole on it. I told her we’d go out after Christmas and buy her a fishing pole.

There was much rejoicing.

So, right before New Year’s, we bought a fishing pole. In fact, we bought 2. They came together in a cute little package.

There was less rejoicing (by me at least).

Fortunately, it’s been cold since then and the prospects for fishing have been nil. However, warm weather is coming tomorrow. Spotting an opportunity to give JewelrySlut a few mid-afternoon hours to nap, I told Shmuppie we’d try to go fishing tomorrow.

So, I decided to unpack the poles and see what I could see.

Holy shit.

I opened the packaging and out tumbled 4 pole-things and 2 reel-things. I figured that the poles must somehow get connected to each other. That was easy. I even lined them up so they seemed to be straight. I have a keen eye like that.

Then, I dealt with the reel things. I stared at them. They stared back. I had no clue, short of a wad of duct tape, how to connect them to the poles. There seemed to be about a billion pieces missing, or one iota of knowledge into the fishing arts.

But wait! The little foam handle thing seems to move. Maybe if I slide it over the end cap of the reel, it will lock into place! PULL!

I think I almost broke it.

Look, dummy! It’s threaded. It must turn. I start turning the pole. Mind you, it’s over 5 feet long and is not wildly flopping about my office. Success! I have attached the reel thing! The ceiling fan still works, no bulbs were broken and the pole is in one piece. I am truly a salty seaman.

On with the hooks and shit.

They’re in a little plastic thingie that’s been molded into 9 compartments. In the compartments lies an assortment of things. I have no clue what they go or why I’d even need them. Well…that’s not true. I see hooks. I know what they do. The rest baffles me. The packaging is also held shut by 47,000 staples. I go to work on the staples, ever mindful to avoid having anything fly out of the little compartments. I may not know what the things do, but I’m confident that they’re sharp.

I pry off the staples and grab one of the little lure things. It’s cute. It’s got a little rubber worm thing, a mirror thing and SHIT! GOD DAMMIT! Son of a BITCH!

It’s got a hook. Clearly, I am no smarter than the dumbest fish in the pond.

There are little bobber things, feathered devices of death and a length of neatly coiled green nylon rope. I haven’t the slightest clue what it does. It’s not long enough for me to hang myself with, that’s for sure. The whole thing is 9 compartments of potential puncture wound.

So, let’s say we go fishing. Let’s say I can figure out how to string up the reel (or whatever it is that you do). Let’s also say that I can figure out how to get a hook or lure on it. Let’s say I can cast it and not hook my lip or eye in the process.

Let’s then say that we manage to hook something and reel it in.

Seriously. What happens then? Do I have to remove a live fish from a hook? Fish have teeth, don’t they? I have gutted a dead fish and prepped it for cooking. That’s fine. I can handle it because, at that point, it’s food.

That may be the winning moment for us all. I will likely scream and flail about like a little girl. Blood will be shed. Do I need to bring a hammer with me? You know…to bash the little fucker’s brains out (the fish, not Shmuppie)?

Just picture that for a moment. I’ll be screaming and waving a hammer around in the air while the little multi-toothed device of death (again…the fish) flops around wildly. No doubt by this time, Shmuppie will have become bored and will have managed to get trapped under something heavy.

I promise to bring the camera when we go.

This does not end well for them

The Dr.’s office just called. JewelrySlut is not home. I had the nerve to answer the phone. Rather than give me the information they needed to communicate (it had to do with setting an appointment), the nurse asked for a cell phone number. This was said with a tone of “So we’ll never have to talk to you and your penis-having woman-demeaning self ever again”

These fuckers at the office have no idea what they’re getting themselves into. I am going to be their worst nightmare if they don’t shape up and stop acting like …wait for it…all the ladies out there who are easily offended better start cringing. You all know me well enough to know what’s coming, don’t you. Big Momma’s coming out!


There…I said it.

I’m not taking it back because I mean it.

I know what it looks like, but Mommy is not having a bird

We had the ultrasound last Friday. I already think I hate the doctor’s office JewelrySlut has chosen. Silly me…I chose to go along to see the sights and meet the doctors.

I was wrong for making this decision. Apparently, my lack of a vagina made it acceptable to be downright nasty to me. I also got to remember just how un-scheduled a women’s medical practice is. I remembered back to the winter of 2001 and the 2-hour waits for scheduled appointments.

9:20 – We arrive for a 9:20 appointment.
9:45: They call for JewelrySlut and I follow. I get sneered at. Do I need to announce my love for JewelrySlut and that I intend to stick around and not abandon her to the Sistahood of the Baby Momma?
9:46: I am told “Go sit on the couch”. I respond that I don’t see any couches (We’re in a hallway). A horribly rude nurse points down the hallway. I wander about and find a room with a couch. I sit.
10:00: Sit. Getting irritated
10:15: Sitting. Irritated
10:30: Sitting. Wondering if I’ll make my 11:00 conference call.
10:32: A nurse calls a male name. Mind you, it’s not mine, but, seeing as I’m the only penis-owner in the area, I assume they’re looking for me.

I enter the exam room and JewelrySlut is all up in the stirrups. They’re doing a fancy internal ultrasound.

Side note: When I asked how having a long, cylindrical probe inserted into your ha-ha could not, even the slightest way, be arousing, JewelrySlut told me it was too slender to really do anything.

WOOHOOO!!! It’s official! I’m not alone in not being able to arouse my wife!

There on the screen is a fuzzy image of what appears to be a small snowman. I get to see them take some measures, verify that there’s only one, and learn that the due date is Aug 31. We see a wiggly part that we’re told is the heart.

The doctor leaves and JewelrySlut dresses. She needs to have some blood drawn. I am rudely told by a nurse to go back to the couch. Why, I can’t say. I retreat to the little room with the couch and wait.

I hate the nurses there. There is no reason to be that rude and I ask JewelrySlut to mention it next time she’s there. I intend to come to the appointments, but I’m not going to be seated in some room the whole time and not get to see anything. I have asked JewelrySlut to talk to them about this at the next visit.

So…Friday rolls on. Shmuppie comes home from school and I’m working. At one point, I find time to run upstairs. (This is where it gets cute)

We grab the picture and summon Shmuppie into the kitchen and away from the TV. We hand her the picture.

Us: What’s this?
Shmuppie: A picture.
Of what?
Something gray.
Yes…what do you think it’s a picture of?
I don’t know. (She thinks). Is this a picture of me from when I was in Mommy’s belly?
(We get excited). No. It’s not a picture of YOU in Mommy’s belly.
Oh. Is it a bird?
No…it’s not a picture of YOU in Mommy’s belly.
(Smoke rises from the kid’s head. She’s working this one through. The little hourglass above her head is twisting back and forth)
(Screams) Mommy’s having a baby!

JewelrySlut wells up and Shmuppie jumps into her arms and immediately starts crying. I shoot a glance to JewelrySlut. Is this good or is this bad? The kid is sobbing.

Honey? Are you OK?
(Bawling) I’m just so happy. I get to be a big sister!

Much crying ensues. All is well and Shmuppie seems thrilled. She has requested that, after this one is born, that we have another. We said no.

So…we’ve known since Christmas Eve. JewelrySlut peed on a stick as we were putting Shmuppie to bed that night. Of course, as was the case last time, I was sick and could barely care. A few people were told prior to last week, but now more or less everyone knows. Facebook will do that.

So…that’s what’s happening. Booze consumption is way down at the house, but donut consumption is up. Last time, JewelrySlut gained 50lbs. She claims that there’s no way she will this time and will be back to her fighting weight by Christmas.

Me? I’m along for the ride. I’m going to have to sit with my boss and figure out how we’re going to make this work. Once August rolls around, my travel schedule is going to have to change. And, by change, I mean stop.

Until that time, I have an insane schedule. I need to go to Memphis in a few weeks and I’m constantly shuttling back and forth to PA. I’m trying to plan an April vacation and hating all major airlines as a result. It should not cost $800 to fly to the Caribbean!