Monday, April 29, 2013

So... Taylor Swift's moving in nearby

So, Taylor Swift has bought a house in Rhode Island. I've been to Watch Hill. It's a pretty area. Seems like an unusually smart decision coming from a girl who at age 23 has already had more balls in her mouth than the Hungry Hungry Hippos.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Romantic Life of the Merchant Mariner

So... I'm suffering from motivational issues here in terms of writing. I'm having issues at work.

    There's no such thing as a day off on the water. There are cargo-free days; not as many as I might like, but I have them, days when I can get caught up on the stuff I need to do. Today being such a day, we're at the yard at Brooklyn HQ having a little steel work done. I only managed about 2 1/2 hours sleep yesterday, and 3 the day before. Trouble sleeping, and an assist tug from another company that had a habit of bashing into us when I was trying to nap. Left me feeling soggy and hard to light.
   So, last night, and those sausages for lunch I taked about? Spicy. Too much jalepeno but not too much burn on the way down. Today, however, it's like I have an invisible tether keeping me 20ft from the head. I don't want to be too far, and even so, no one wants to stay in the house what with the screaming and crying and cursing God that's going on. I have to take a watch off from my walking what with my buscuits being burnt up and all.

 Anyhow, one of our brandy newie main cargo pump diesels is in need of servicing, and there's a nice cargo hatch not 20 feet away if I can't make it back to the deckhouse.

 My mother was right. I just should have been a fuckin' pimp.

 I'll check in after I have a nice seat in an ice bucket.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Stuff and nonsense

Holy cow I'm sore. Started lifting weights to up the ante beyond my daily 2mi walk around my decks. So now my lower AND upper body feel like crap. Awesome.  It's 2am-ish as I write this and after night lunch, I'll be on my walk again anyhow.
 I watch that show "Deadliest Catch" pretty religiously after it airs- I have no time for TV watching, but I'll watch it online when I can. I was very excited to hear that Josh Harris (whose deceased father was a star on the show and whose final moments with his kids and friends were filmed and aired) purchased his father's boat today after 2 years of saving and working around the Alaskan crab fleet. I never expected I'd be a fanboi, but I've got a soft spot for fishing vessel crew who step up and buy in. I have to live vicariously out here.


I've had this package of "Jalepeno Mango Spicy Chicken Sausage" in the freezer for months. I keep looking at it and wondering why and where the hell I bought that. I'm slightly afraid, but I pulled it out to thaw yesterday, and tonight I'm going to do something with it. Cook it maybe. So, I've updated my last will, dusted off the anti-diarrhea pills and informed my next-of-kin. If I don't make it, someone tell my mom I love her.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

"Americans No Die"

When I woke up for watch and learned that the 2nd Boston Marathon bomber was captured yesterday, I called my wife and asked her if she heard the news. She said "Yes. Nao I cooking deena."   Took me aback for a moment. The bombings happened about 15 miles from the Ant Farm, our home. In our backyard, as far as I'm concerned, being several hundred miles to the south just now. The bombings are a 9-day's wonder for me, as they should be. For Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife, however, violent disruptions of the way of life aren't quite as uncommon and note-worthy as they are to me, and she takes it in stride. Death, sudden or no, is not quite the same to a 3rd-world national as it is to us here.

      My wife comes from a gigantic family... I mean, like huge, and they track out to at least 4th cousins, too. No shit, at least once a month she calls me and says the exact same thing "Ai, honee, my couseen in Sao Paolo (Or Rio de Janeiro, or wherever) die today een an accident."  First off, my wife has 60 first cousins, all of whom she stays in some sort of contact with. Each successive ring of cousins grows in number. And in Brazil, just living your life is like taking part in a 'Final Destination' movie come to life. In the small city of Salvador in my wife's state within Brazil, I saw car crashes in a week within 1/2 mile of my hotel. Violent robbery is less pervasive, but has claimed one cousin already this year. They're dropping like flies, my cousins, except that the birth rate seems to compensate in the outer rings of cousins. The first cousins, though, are getting winnowed as they age.

     So, yeah, death is a more constant companion for a Brazilian girl, I guess. Lord knows, my wife has her share of dead ex-boyfriends from when she was a kid. Far as I know, she has one ex who lived. When we were dating, I was concerned I had latched onto a beautiful brown-skinned Black Widow, but it's just the New Normal at the B family residence now that I broke the mold and married outside the Scots/Irish gene pool.

 My wife and her friends joke about how Americans live forever. I credit this to our roads being safe, for the most part. I've driven in Brazil. Two words. MAD MAX.

Mel Gibson is my co-pilot. 

Between our roads and our health care system (bitch all you want. Everywhere else you die when you can't pay for a medical visit), my wife and her friends bemusedly look at the number of gray-haired fossils among us and say "Americans no die" sotto voce, like a wistful mantra.

My wife's (2nd) cousin has crashed two motorcycles, has a leg held together with staples and duct tape, and is pictured here swerving around a cow while we were going about 40. In what I swear is an unrelated note, this is the moment when I realized I should never wear white underwear ever again.

           So, now that she's a citizen, I expect my wife to be damn near immortal. She certainly isn't going to suffer from anxiety-related heart issues. I suspect that the joy and openness with which Brazilians take on each day has something to do with a greater awareness of the transitory nature of life. In many ways, I envy them that relaxed posture, but I gawk at how they manage it without going around full time in body armor and a hockey helmet.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

much needed Brazilian beauties for you

So, my mom's house is about 6-7 miles across the harbor from Boston, and my brother and sister, both of whom were there today, heard the blasts from the Marathon bombs. My brother assumed that he was hearing ledge blasting or pile driving going on at the Fore River bridge construction site a few miles away. Quite a shock to hear otherwise, I'm sure.
       As for me, I heard about it on Facebook,of all places, and turned the news on. Pretty raw stuff.
 Enough said.  I called my wife and checked in, told her about it; makes me nuts, sometimes. Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife watches the daily news in Brazil, rather than here... then again, having seen what passes for news on TV these days, she's not missing much. Anyhow, it was quite a thing. I had to knock off early, as I've got the midwatch tonight, anyhow, but as you can imagine, there wasn't much sleep to be had, and what little sleep there was, well... shitty, weird dreams.

So, in an effort to bring some much needed sunshine into our lives, here's some of the important news from Brazil for you to see. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mao De Vaca!

I’ve been quietly living with a disability for about 5 years. Not something I normally talk about here, but here I go anyways. 

 Shortly after I got married, my wife and I discovered that I was born with a genetic inability to say no to my wife. In the honeymoon phase, this made it very difficult to keep a budget, have a savings account or drive past a mall. 

          As our marriage progressed, I would occasionally screw up my courage and let out the odd timid peep of “do you think we should?” when asked about, say, buying shoes instead of paying the quarterly tax bill. This, of course, led to a constantly full closet but many sleepless nights, and not in the good sense. 

       With time, of course, as a married couple is wont to do, people get to know each other as they grow together, and my wife came to recognize that while she had a walk-in closet of beautiful designer clothes and shoes, I was wearing wal-mart fashion. This led to an awakening of sorts, and to my eventual manning up and occasionally saying no to new spending, all the while assuming that by doing so, I was saying goodbye to ever having sex again this side of judgement day. Like I said, growing together. 

        Magically, I did not burst into flame or get forced to live in exile for having said no. life went on, and we have been able to do some things that you just can’t do living check-to-check. My wife still has a decently-stocked closet, and the ‘linen’ closet is actually a shoe closet with some shelf space for linens, but in fairness, some of that is even mine. Not that I’d buy a lot of shoes anyhow. 

            So, now that I occasionally have to be the hand of restraint, my wife has taken this to mean that I am the great skinflint of the world. “Hohnee, you veddy chip! You… {gesture of a raised forearm with a clenched fist} Mao De Vaca, hand of de cow!”
“Uh… thanks?”
“Nao… mao de vaca! You veddy chip!”

Mao de vaca.  She's got a walk-in closet of clothes that cost more than my parents paid for their first house. Her purse cost a week's wages from what I made fishing when I was single...but I've got the moo moo booger hook!

No BS, that 1/2 sweater cost more than everything I was wearing. Also, my forehead looks so big now, I should be able to talk to dolphins through it. 

         Now, I joke, of course, and so does she. The fact is, I'm handsome enough that I can get by with a $9.99 Wal-Mart polo shirt and still make the girls swoon. Or maybe just pass out from nausea, I dunno. But yeah, she dresses nice, and I in fact feel silly when she buys me clothes that cost too much. My wife understands that the money I don't spend on clothes goes towards hers, and somehow in her South American way of thinking, this makes me cheap but loveable. 

        Now, when I came home from my last trip, I came home to an empty house at the Ant Farm. My wife was in Brazil organizing her mom's healthcare for an upcoming surgery. She spent a busy 2 weeks meeting, bribing and cheerleading to get everything in order, and then came home... all paid for, trip, stay, surgery and aftercare, by us, and made possible principally by the good folks who tolerate my presence here on our floating gas station, which is to say, by her mao de vaca, who thought to have a savings account just in case, say, someone needed a kidney out. 
        Long story short, my mother-in-law is recovering, less a kidney, and one surgeon down in Brazil is getting a new goddamn BMW, I'm sure. Meanwhile, my wife's family is still enjoying the presence of their matriarch courtesy of a cheap prick who did what they couldn't. I'm assuming that, for my wife's family, I've bumped the Holy Spirit out of the #3 spot in the holy trinity for the time being. My wife's uncle sent her back with a big bottle of cachaca, moonshine, basically, or maybe rocket fuel. My wife's nephew, my mother-in-law's primary caregiver, and the family joker, sends me a bottle, too, but not your traditional glass bottle. I get this:

Yes, that is a cow's foot with a bottle in it. This is now the centerpiece of my bar, which is the centerpiece of my living room anyhow. 
        Being married to a Brazilian is fun. 


Monday, April 8, 2013

it's always in bad taste... speak ill of the dead, so I'll say this: Margaret Thatcher, the "Iron Lady" who managed to successfully oversee extending the slavery and religious oppression of Ireland for an entire generation, is dead.

 I'm not s'posed to say nuthin' bad about the dead. So she's dead. That's good.