So I had an offer to go to Bent-Con this weekend, which I sadly declined. Even though the offer was over two months ago, I knew– knew with instinct that the weekend was going to be insanely busy, so when I asked Mate, I let him know, honestly, that I understood if he needed me home. Yeah, sure, playing with all my buddies in a comic book venue would have been awesome. In fact, the Little Vampire people were there, and Elizabeth got a picture of them waving at me that broke my heart–but…
Well, let’s just say my instincts were right on.
To begin with? On Friday (while I was getting “Why aren’t you here you silly bint!” texts 😉 I was one of the drivers at the Nimbus Dam Fish Hatchery. In fact, I had to recruit Mate, because they still needed one more driver after I volunteered.
Anyway, it was fascinating– but it was also kind of depressing.
I mean, at the beginning of the tour they gave a little tour, and there was a “Wheel of Survival” for the Chinook Salmon. Folks, it didn’t look good. It was like, maybe 1/20th of the original batch of fish made it through the life cycle, from egg to fry to stream swimmer, to estuary of adolescence to adult sea resident and then back up into the river womb, where, after all of that surviving, the fish get to have their one jizz and die.
You heard me. One jizz, and they die.
Except, you know, Folsom Lake took all but 7 miles of river in which to jizz and die, so the hatchery took over, to, you know, both expedite the process and improve it for volume.
So these fish make it all the way up the river, men put them in sorting stations, figure out who’s pregnant or who”s ready to pop his wad, and then– get this– KILL THE FISH, FORCE THE JIZZ/EGGS OUT OF THEIR BODIES, and MIX IT ALL IN A BIG BUCKET.
I mean, I’m sure there are fish there getting sorted, flapping their tails going, “Yeah, motherfucker, I’m GONNA break your fucking nose! Cut off my head before I jizz, will ya! Assholes, take that!”
Anyway– we went and saw eggs, fish, dam and pretty lady Fish and Game Department ranger, who gave such a dynamite talk she had me pondering things like “adolescence is the estuary of humanity– neither fish nor fry, neither fresh nor salt water, just stuck, being battered by the currents of all forces, seeing if the strong survive” and, you know, that poetic gem about fish jizz which I’m sure has you all diving for the brain bleach as you read.
It was a good day– and ZoomBoy was enthusiastic about how we had performed our service as visible parenting units–go mom!
And then there was today.
Squish had her game first, and then we drove to see her brother play.
My directions were to go down a road called “Walerga” and turn left on “PFE.” Now, PFE stands for Pacific Fruit Exchange, and it’s a throwback to the days when the railroad went out there. It is, essentially, acres upon acres of farmland, behind which hides cute little developed suburbs.
And somewhere is a big building that passes as a middle school. And it dead ends in the world’s teeniest continuation high school.
And I wasn’t sure which one of these bizarre places in the middle of nowhere Mate and ZB’s team was playing. I finally picked the second one I stopped at, and hauled our shit across a parking lot and a tennis court to sit in the sun and watch our kid play. Mate looked at me in askance as I trudged up– I was a bit late.
Anyway– so there was that, and on the way home, Mate took the kids (since he had to take one of his players home) and I headed to Mr. Pickles, the superior sandwich place. Of course, on the way back I missed my turn and ended up in the land of Butt-Hurt Lost. I followed my nose, though, and soon found myself in familiar territory again and… oh wait– was that a Mr. Pickles I hadn’t seen before? It was a Mr. Pickles I hadn’t seen before. And it was charming. And they employees rocked. That place shall be my Mr. Pickles forever. So, see, even wandering around in Butt-Hurt Lost can have positive consequences, right?
And after that, Squishy had a birthday party– and the little girl’s mom had told her mom that I was a knitter. And lo and behold, she needed help. So Squish ran around this backyard that could fit three of my houses in it and got her face painted (the turtle was a nice touch) and I spent a pleasant forty-five minutes teaching a very charming woman how to knit a pumpkin. Seriously– of all the places I’d expected my day to end? That was not one.
And when we got home? I’d forgotten, but Mate has Zoomboy at a King’s Game.
Well, tomorrow is a reaction to the fact that next weekend– Zoomboy’s birthday weekend– is going to be all soccer games and King’s Games and end of the season pizza banquets, so this weekend?
We’re going to the San Francisco Zoo with ZB’s friend Sam, whom we haven’t seen much of in the past few months. (Sam switched schools, and his mom and I have both been minivans passing in the night. We miss the hell out of each other, though– we have a craft date after Thanksgiving!)
I”m sort of excited. I mean really excited. Especially since Zoomboy doesn’t know about Sam– he’s going to be so surprised! Anyway, after that the climax of my weekend is going to be bringing my car in on Monday for a much needed overhaul (we had the oil changed and it got a tune-up but it’s still making noise. I think it’s something external and not too serious, but I want the noise to go away).
So, yeah. Phew. You know?
It sounds like a blast, and I’m sorry I missed it, but with all that going on this weekend, I really think it’s a good thing I didn’t go to Bent-Con!