Monday, July 18, 2011

It's Africanized!

I had just picked up my husband, Nick, from the train station and we were on our way home.  It is important to note that Nick was exposed to the outdoor elements and all the harsh realities of nature a sunny Northern Virginia afternoon has to offer while he waited on his bus stop bench.  As usual, I relinquished the driver seat to him for the way home because God forbid he be seen as a passenger to his wife.  I mean, it is bad enough to be forced to drive a mini-van but a soccer mom operated mini-van?  The horror!
Any-hoo, Nick was regaling a wonderfully fascinating story about his very interesting day at the office, “So in my response to his e-mail, I made sure to point out that…there is a huge wasp on my leg.”
“Hmm.  That is great, honey.”
“No.  I am not even kidding.  There is a wasp on my leg.”
“Wait, what?”  It took me a while to snap out of the stupor I tend to fall in when knee-deep in one of his e-mail sagas.
“There.  Is.  A.  Huge.  Wasp.  On.  My.  Leg.”
His strangely calm attitude left me grappling back and forth between calling his bluff and flinging myself from the moving car; the obviously only appropriate reaction to this alleged wasp.  I settled on a nice in-between.  I instructed him to pull off the road when the appropriate place should present itself while I subtly placed my hand on the door handle and angled my body for a tuck and roll exit.  Meanwhile, he was babbling on about the monstrous size of the wasp, using just as monstrous words like ‘africanized’ to describe it, which was only making the hard pavement rolling underneath us at 55 mph look all the more enticing.
After what seemed like eons, and every second that passes by when you are stuck in the car with a huge Africanized wasp (even if you have yet to lay eyes on said wasp), is like an eternity in hell.   Heaven came in the form of the apartment complex Nick finally pulled into, releasing us from the highway prison that kept us confined with what may yet be the death of us (otherwise known as Little River Turnpike).  I was now free to jump ship at anytime without the repercussions of road rash.
We each opened our door with careful control and perfect synchronization that rivaled that of the U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Team.  I teetered on the edge of my seat, ready to head for the hills or lock myself back in the car should the wasp find me a better victim than my mate.  Nick slowly got out and immediately engaged in what could only be described as a slow-motion robotic chicken dance.  Corny Collins would have killed or died to have this on his show.  Killed or died.
Satisfied the wasp was no longer there, Nick swooped around to my side of the van, “Do you see it anywhere?  Is it still on me?”  He was no longer calm.  He had lost his suave I-can-handle-anything-even-if-it-is-Africanized attitude.  Whether it was because the threat was no longer traceable or because he had just been reduced to a chicken dance in the middle of an unknown apartment complex, we’ll never know.  Either way, I responded with a contradicting, “No-YYYEEESSSS!!!” 
Looking back, I can now see that marriage has it’s perks.  Our thus far 13 year courtship no doubt helped Nick to correctly interpret my screams into what I TRULY meant to say, “Why, yes my good sir.  The offending party is, in fact, on your back this very moment.”
A quick swipe of his hand and the wasp was flying through the air.  He should have done that the first time.  Having lost his first victim, the wasp was quickly on the hunt for another.  It didn’t take it long as Nick was quick to point out, “It’s above your head, IT’S ABOVE YOUR HEAD!”  Geez, I heard him the first time.  What I didn’t hear was his sound advice of, “Get back in the car.” 
At this time I was running frantically around the car, flipping my hair like a wild woman and screaming.  It was my turn to dance and I apparently wanted to be sure to attract as much attention as possible.  We certainly had the attention; several cars lined up around us as Nick had picked an opportune spot to stop the car, blocking traffic from three different directions.
Whether the wasp was hot on my tail or not, we’ll never know.  I made my full circle around the car and hurled myself inside.  Nick, having gained his composure now that we had an audience, calmly shut the door behind me, waved sheepishly to the onlookers, walked around the car and got inside himself.
Yes, we managed to avoid a nasty sting from the Africanized wasp that day, but we’ll never know what happened to it.  In fact, it could still be in our minivan, biding it’s time for the next attack…

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A morning of Mom-hood

The background: One morning last week - everything true, nothing exaggerated (though I wish I could say it were).
The characters: Nick (husband), Jenna (1 yr old daughter), Tristan (4 yr old son), Caelyn (11 yr old son).

The story:
6:15: Wake up, check bank account.  I’ve got to stop starting my day with that.
6:30: Drive Nick to train station.
6:43: Coffee
6:45: Get everything out to make pancakes. 
6:50: Jenna wakes up (already???!!!).  Resume making pancakes.  She wants to help.

7:00: Change poop diaper.
7:03: Resume making pancakes (yes, I washed my hands – thoroughly).  Discover there are no eggs.  Text Nick:
                Me: did u use all the eggs?
                Nick: yes
                Me: darn – I was going 2 make pancakes
                Nick: no you weren’t – u have no eggs
7:15:  Drive to store.  Almost get hit by trash truck.  Reminds me I need to take out the trash before they get to my house.
7:25: Running through store with baby in one hand, eggs in another.  Have to beat that trash truck.  Grab some syrup just in case.
7:40: Coffee.  Consider adding some of that scotch.
7:42: Resume making pancakes.  Need butter – Jenna helps look for it but only comes up with the Tabasco sauce.

7:45: Get Caelyn up and off after a discussion on why he can’t wear his robe to swim practice.

7:47: What is that noise?  Crap!  Trash truck.  Race the trash cans to the curb.
7:48: Tristan wakes up.  
7:49: Make a running dive for that scotch. 
8:00: Tristan wants to help make pancakes. 

8:05: Tristan burns his finger.  Text Nanny.  Tell her there is pancakes for her if she could only get here fast.
8:10: Jenna disappears and returns with her dad’s underwear and plumbing of some sort (pipe, valve).  Wonder where it came from.  Tristan hypothesizes it came from the old man’s bank account.  I choose not to explore that thought further for fear where it might lead us.  Spend a few second listening for gushing water.  Didn’t hear any.  Everything’s probably ok. 
8:15: Burn first batch of pancakes.
8:30: Nanny comes.  Give her instructions for the day and get kids ready.
9:00: Caelyn finds deer behind our house on his way home from swim practice.  Have to take pictures.
9:15: 2 ½ hours after I started - PANCAKES!!!  Tomorrow I think I will just shoot for cereal.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

On the name

Nobody has asked why I chose the blog name, Twain Wannabe.  But if they did, this would be my response.
I love Mark Twain quotes.  I love that he has failed at many things in his life.  I love that ‘Mark Twain’ is not, in fact, his real name.  However, the truth is that most blog titles at were already taken, including bloggityblogblog.  So I had to settle for something else.  It is not all bad.  I mean, Mark Twain and I do have a lot in common.  Here is a list:
1.        Mark Twain was an American author and humorist.  I would like to become an American author, but would also accept a status as a Canadian author.  I like moose.
2.       Twain lacked financial acumen.  I don’t know what acumen means, so I possibly ‘lack’ it.
3.       Twain patented three inventions.  I think inventions are cool.
4.       Twain lost money on his publishing house.  I just started a publishing business and with website subscription fees, am so far $15 in the hole.
5.       Twain was a staunch supporter of women’s rights.  I am a woman.
Thus, the Twain Wannabe blog is created.  Boom.