photo by Sheri Dixon

Saturday, October 8, 2016

"Border"line Insanity

So my friend Carla and I drove from Austin to San Diego (actually Del Mar) yesterday and today. From Austin it's a route that skirts along the wee north side of our border with our neighbors to the South---the dreaded Mexican border.

We saw no teeming masses of rapists and murderers swarming across it.

There was no impenetrable wall.

It's a horrible, endless, festering and depressing starkly beautiful yet lonesome area of deserts and mountains.

There were, however, checkpoints.

Three of them, to be exact.

When we approached the first one, my mind raced at all the things we could be questioned for, and I ticked off every one in my head.

-There were 18 guinea pigs in the car- guinea pigs don't get rabies so don't need health certificates to travel across state lines

-There was a baggie of cut up carrots and 6 apples in the car, so if they asked about fresh fruit and veggies we could just hand those over

-There may have been a partially consumed bottle of Rumchata in the back seat...

The entire car is filled with our luggage, the guinea pigs' supplies including several 40 pound bags of bedding, and 8 or 9 carriers---some with pigs and some without...yet.

So we steeled ourselves for the obviously inevitable search of our vehicle.

We approached the checkpoint, noting the nine armed agents and the super-enthusiastic German Shepherd. There was a dog who looked at every working day as THE BEST DAY EVER. Carla said, "He's going to eat the pigs."

Finally at the front of the line, we rolled down the window as the agent peered into the car. "Are you American citizens?" he asked. "Ummm...yes. Yes, we are."

"OK- you ladies have a great day."

...and we proceeded on our way, noting the vehicles that had been pulled over for further searching- every one with a driver who was...browner than we are.

I should have been relieved that we didn't have to unpack and repack all our shit or set our pigs out in the sun or open our suitcases to reveal our middle-aged chick clothes and daily supplies.

But I was unaccountably pissed off. Really, really pissed off.

"What the hell??? How did he know we're not running drugs???" I fumed.

"What kind of moron would say, "No- I'm NOT a citizen?" Carla added.

"Seriously- we could have had drugs in the suitcases, drugs under the pigs in their trays, drugs tucked into the middle of the bags of pine shavings to mask the smell!!! WE COULD BE DANGEROUS, FOR FUCK'S SAKE!" <<< Me- but you already knew that.

Just then Ward called. "Hey, Caramia! Where are you?" And he got the recap of what you just read.

At the end of it, I added, "That was bullshit! Just because we're two middle-aged chicks we get a pass? If I were running drugs, I'D SEND THEM WITH ME BECAUSE I DON'T LOOK DANGEROUS. Maybe I'll start running drugs..."

"Ummm...I'd rather you didn't" Ward said in his calm and rational way.

He really is the only thing that keeps the world safe from me.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Ahhh...Rested and Ready

So I leave day after tomorrow for ten days. I leave. Not we. For the first time in over two decades, I'll be going away for more than a weekend and Ward's not coming with me. For the first time in almost that long, I'll be going away for more than a weekend and Alec's not coming with me.It will be the longest time we'll be apart and I'm coming home on a Friday afternoon...after they leave for Denton for two days, so it'll be an addition three days without seeing them.

I'm going with friends to (don't laugh) the ARBA convention. American Rabbit Breeders' Association because that is, confusingly enough, also one of the big shows of the year for guinea pigs and I have 4 I'm bringing to the big show. Two friends are flying, another friend and I will be driving all the pigs across the desert Southwest and ending up in Del Mar CA. Two hella long days of driving across the desert with heat-sensitive rodents that are the pinnacle specimens of all our respective rodent-breeding endeavors, four days of stinking like rabbit pee from the 100,000 rabbits that will be there, competing against the other 800 guinea pigs that will be there, spending time with other friends from all over the nation, delivering pigs I've sold and picking up pigs I've bought (this is a hub for being able to get bloodlines you otherwise can't get without putting them on an airplane- and the prime example of my friend Cathy's husband's assessment that guinea pigs are really just furry little trading cards) and then driving back home thru that self-same desert in two days. It's going to be a blast. And I'm not kidding. OK, now you may laugh.

The point is...I need to be rested. I worked late last night, got home about 11ish, had dinner and was in bed by 1am. Not bad. I'm good on 6 solid hours and I get up at 7am. Today and tomorrow will be busier than yesterday as I prepare home and work for my absence and the pigs for their moment in the spotlight. Yes. Baths will come into play along with tiny little pedicures.

Making lists is the main thing I'll do today- packing lists for me, the pigs (food and bedding to keep changes to a minimum during the outlandish ten days they'll be enduring with their usual good humor), shopping lists, lists of what I'll need to bring to cook for friends while there...lists.

Bed at 1am and fell promptly asleep as I do. And I can stay blissfully asleep as long as nothing bothers me and alerts my "mom ears".

2:15am Bonnie starts whining in a rhythmic weird she does when she forgot to pee when we let them out a mere two hours previously. I'm on the other side of the house. Surely Boy will hear her- she's right next to his head.

2:30am Get up and let Bonnie out. Turn around and there's Sorcha- "Oh. Bonnie gets to go out but I don't?" Let Sorcha out.

3am Let Bonnie and Sorcha in because they are barking at invisible nocturnal squirrels.

3:30am Realize out of a dead sleep that HEY! Yanno what would be GREAT on this trip? AUDIO BOOKS! If I order them NOW they'll probably be here before Wednesday morning!!! Grab my phone to find audio books that will be here by Wednesday. Books ordered. I have no fucking idea what they are. Golly I hope they're good.

4:15am Ward gets up to pee.

4:30am Dammit, now *I* have to pee.

5:45am Fizzgig gets hiccups so mighty the entire king sized bed weighed down by two humans, 100 pounds-worth of dogs and a geriatric cat still vibrates from them.

6:15am Sirius starts grooming himself under the covers and up against my back with that oddly disgusting sucking noise he makes.

Annnnnddddd...I'm up.