Saturday, September 23, 2023

"She's not invited to my funeral"

Every family has that one bitter aunt. 

 You know who I mean. The one who occasionally says mean-spirited and viscious things in between bouts of making proclamations on The Sorry State Of Things. 

      My wife has one or two. I had just one. 

 My aunt was the cool fun aunt when we were small. She was always up for adventures, and she and my mom took us on them for day trips or camping, etc. She was an awesome aunt. But her health failed and being a proud person by nature, she refused pain medications because of the dulling effect it had on her brain. Chronic and brutal pain became her daily bread and butter right around retirement, and thus she never did get to have fun in her last years, and the medications she did take cost her her mobility and dignity. She became someone confrontational and short tempered in her old age, someone who could really brighten up the room by leaving it, you know? 

   When Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife and I were still newlyweds, between my father's poor health, my aunt's general decline and me spending half the year on a ship, I missed out on a lot of family get togethers. Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife just wasn't welcomed into the family with carte blanche yet. I suppose there was some lingering suspicion that being as she was well, disproportionally attractive compared to me and rather in dire need of a green card at the time we met, I know that my family, with the exception of my parents and one brother, while liking her in general, were leery. When one of my brothers hooked up with an Eyetalian girl, I thought that particular glass ceiling had already got broke. And then I show up with the Girl From Ipanema. Turns out, nope. 

      My aunt had met my wife before, but she must have been having a bad pain day one Thanksgiving towards the end.  My wife, God love her, dresses well, and with class always. I might see her with jeans on once every 3-4 months.  She's more a dress and makeup 7 days a week girl. But nice clothes can't hide that she has the sort of figure that adult actresses aspire to,  and a nice dress with heels tends to emphasize a narrow waist, flared hips and my personal favorite, Ye Old Life-Affirming Milk Trucks. My wife has DD boobs, a gift from God because He obviously loves me the most. 

       On the Thanksgiving in question, my aunt, mother sister-in-law and sister were in my brother's kitchen talking, and a bunch of us, including my wife and I, were in the living room, which was visible from their position. Apparently my wife was stumbling on some English phrase and trying her best to muddle through, and there was a hint of cleavage visible, which was Too Much for my aunt, who informed the table with great gravity "Look at (Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife). She's not invited to my funeral. Her boobs are much too big." 

     My mom and sister shared a great sense of humor. They managed to nod with understanding and keep a straight face, and ease out of the conversation a moment or two later. My mom, knowing that her sister was no longer herself after years of living in hellish daily pain, knew not to take such things to heart, but she was unable to keep such a gem of a statement to herself. With brownian motion and a promise to not say anything to me or my wife and cause embarrassment, everyone heard about it but us. All I noticed at the time was that I was hearing a lot of sudden loud barks of laughter every few moments. 

      Eventually my sister spilled the beans with my mom there to remind her to remind me to take it in stride. I thought it was hilarious, and so my mom and I went and told my wife, who reacted exactly as I did. I remember Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife, after the laughter died down, looking at my mom and sister wide-eyed, and said "Ai mom, but what I can do? God gif to me really big boobs, I am supposed to wear the potato bag for hide dem?"  This caused my mom and sister to burst out laughing before my mom again had to explain that her sister wasn't quite exactly anymore.  



 I'm down to my last few days here at home. Crew change is coming up fast. Inappropriately Hot Foreign wife and I started a feijoada last night for dinner tonight.  If you don't know what a feijoada is, it's Brazilian poor people food, a black bean and meat stew, and it's incredibly good. I may post pictures later. 


Friday, September 15, 2023


 I must have been pretty tired, because I'm sleeping 10 hours a night. I've been home for 2 nights. It's a little annoying, waking up later than I want to when I'm one of those people whose productivity drops off quickly in the afternoon, but oh well. 

  Anyhow, I'm home, and it's lovely outside. I got rained on for the last 5 watches I stood. At least it's sunny and quiet here. 

Thursday, September 7, 2023

One week to go

 So yesterday I switched watches again, as we're coming into my last week aboard the HQ for the hitch, and that means it's my turn to take the back watch again, 1800-0600. 

      The heat came back on in a big way this week, so I'm thankful. I got my ass handed to me the other day after a busy 12 hour watch combined with complex cargo ops more or less kept me outside turning valves, swining wrenches and running the deck cranes for the entirety of the 12 hours, in high heat, direct sun and high humidity.   It was pretty gross. 

    Now, however, I'm working in the cooler half of the day and that's entirely to the good. 

    So my initial plan was to work over- rather than go home for my off time, I had agreed to go on an old beat up bunker barge that was being brought back into service and sailed to NY to go to work. I was dreading it a little, as it had been mothballed, and wasn't well cared for by her crew prior to the mothballing, and I know the barge well- it was my first barge when I joined this company 15 years ago and the living conditions aboard are not good. I mean, it does have a head, a working bathroom, but you can't actually wipe your ass if you have to poop. The stall, made of heavy steel, is the same width as the toilet seat, which is to say, narrow, and you have to enter the stall backwards, hips dragging against the stall sides, to sit down., and wedge your ass into position. . My shoulders don't actually fit in the stall, being wider than my ass, fat as I may be, but by clasping my hands together and reaching out with my arms and hunching my shoulders together, I can make it. Barely.. So yeah, to clean up you have to stand up, step out of the stall and wipe yer bungus out by the sink. My partner Big E, who is the size of an olympic powerlifter and also tall AF, can't even use the stall. He has to crap in a bucket on that class of barge if they make us go on there. 

 Yeah. But I volunteered. The money is good, and I spent a lot of it in Brazil last month. 

  Thing is, the deal fell through. The barge was left in Philly to work down there, and they have their own peeps to take OT down there, so I no longer had work for my off time. 

 And glory be, I am damn glad I am going home next week. I only had two half days at my house in the past few months. I'm actually pretty tired. I'll miss the money, but I miss my wife and I miss my bed more.   I am content to muddle through my last week here aboard, go home and recharge, and be back here a couple of weeks later ready to do it all over again. 

 Plus I'm not going to get more skin cancer this week, working in the dark. Trying to be positive here.