Sand Reclamation

I have always known that my folks are a bit eccentric. 

 Some of you may know that my dad breeds birds. He has a bird room filled with hundreds of exotic finches. The other day, I helped my mother clean out the cages. I thought this task consisted of sizing fresh newspapers to line the bottom of the cages, replacing the old lining with the new lining, and sprinkling it with fresh sand. It is almost like changing their sheets, except they are messy eaters and crap all over their bedding. 

“Don’t throw away the [bird sh!t] with the old news paper at the bottom of the cage,” My mother instructed me. “Dump it on the floor so we can reclaim the sand!”

These are all the tools you need to start you own sand reclamation project.

I then started dumping the bird excrements on the ground, curious about this “reclamation” project. Once I finished laying fresh lenins in the bird cages, I tried to tip toe out of the room unnoticed. I failed at this task because the bird room is a converted 11×11 bedroom.

 
“Don’t think you’re done yet!”……”Now, what you do is sweep everything into a big pile.”
*Laila sweeps everything into a big pile*
 
“Good, now what you do is pick out all of the hay and large pieces and throw them away. Then, sit on the ground, scoop up some of the pile, and put it in the sifter. Stick your hand in there and move it around so all the sand comes out. Then when there’s no more sand, you throw away what’s left over in the sifter.”
*Begrudgingly, Laila performs the aforementioned task*
“That’s it. Get all the sand out.”-Mom

“Oh, don’t think you’re quite finished.”….”Now, you have to get very low to the pile of sand and blow out all the seeds.”

*Laila proceeds to lower her face to the ground and blow out all of the seeds from the sand pile*
 
“Don’t think you’re quite finished!!!”, Mom is chuckling under her breath. She thinks I don’t notice. “Now you have to take the [shovel] and scoop up the sand. But you have to lean it against your arm so none of the sand falls out. Then walk over to the sand bag and dump in the sand!!”
*Laila then scoops up some sand, braces it with her arm and waddles over to the corner to dump the reclaimed sand in the bag*
 
And that, dear readers, is how you reclaim sand for your dad’s bird collection.
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It’s not called winter break. It’s called a vacation.

I’m on vacation now. A few things to know about vacation:

1. It is not a ‘break’, such as fall break, winter break, spring break or summer break. It is vacation, and there is only one of it to be shared among the four seasons.

2. It is not a few weeks or even a few months long. It is just under two weeks. It is designed to re organize your stuff and prepare for the next year of moving and working.

3. No one asks you how school is going anymore. Also, people have stopped congratulating you on graduating.

4. Unlike ‘break’, you can afford things on vacation. Time, rather than money, becomes the limiting factor. I’m sure this is also a product of single life. 

On the first day of vacation, I did some budgeting and such with the help of my parents. “I’m very proud of you. Now I want you to start a filing system.” My dad then disappeared into his office and retrieved a small plastic filing device with a few hanging folders in it. “I want you to have this. You can keep your files in it.” For those of you who know my dad, you can imagine the significance of this event. I have three files: Whataberger, Credit Card, and Other Important Documents. They have sub folders, but this is not the time to reveal my intricate and highly classified filing system.

Day two of my vacation, I went to the fabulous Las Vegas. I went to see the Sun Devils play Boise State in their bowl game. Those of you who saw the game know the result, those of you who didn’t – all you need to know is, I actually went to Las Vegas to meet up with my favorite engineer and badass friend, Francis. The visit was short, but really fun.

We ran into some other former classmates from ASU.

Francis and I graduated together last May. We made a pact to meet up in random places and explore the world together. Vegas for a day after just a few months working is a nice starter.  We indulged in some in-room dining.
 
 After a quick visit to Vegas, I returned to spend some time with family in east Texas. I am not sure if I should give these folks aliases, as most of them are you, the readers. Anyhow, here we go…
 
“The Kardashians are moving to Dallas.”-My sister
“Whoop whoop, who gives a —-“-Me
“Only Khloe is moving to Dallas. With her boyfriend.” -Mom
….
“The only time I’ve heard mom cuss is when she said ‘Damn Christmas and Damn Easter!'”-Me
 
“I love this family. They assume [digestive distress] before theft.”-My sister
 
“That’s all there is to do in Tyler: go to target and go to the bathroom.”-My cousin, Orpheus.
 
“The stores are going to close! Hurry, call Papa Johns and see when they close in case we get hungry.”-My Aunt, Sesame on Christmas Eve
 
….
“This is such a girly morning. We’re hanging out, doing face masks, playing with the baby….”-Me
“Making lemon bars at 7:30 in the morning…”- My cousin, Sriracha
 
Orpheus hails from Houston and has an adorable son, named Zorro. Zorro likes to pretend he is talking when he is just making little noises, chase my sister’s cat without ever touching it, and do things which earn him an applause, which is almost everything he does. Zorro also likes to watch various videos on You Tube.
 
 
Orpheus and Zorro watching you tube on an iphone:
 
Other family events: One of my cousins, Yalda, invited her boyfriend-soon-to-be-fiance to meet the press.  By press, I mean the family. Let’s call this guy Fadi. Fadi is awesome. I am very excited for them and look forward to welcoming him into the family. I would love to talk about the shitstorm interrogation Fadi suffered at the hands of my uncle, Uncle Anvil, but that’s irrelevant.
 
Today, I sat next to my dad on the couch to watch some Premier League. It feels good to be home and with my parents. A morning with dad is not complete however, untill he has called Verizon to “cuss them out”. This “cussing out” was basically dad asking them to stop sending him e mails about things, as he does not care and does everything through the US Pony Express. If it was truly important, they would take the time to stamp it!
 
Happy Holidays, folks.

Greatest Hits

“Looks like you’ve got the shits and a nasty bug bite!”-SoccerDad commenting on the doctor scene of the Overly dramatic and awesome radiation movie which we have watched twice now. The Silent Source. It includes ghosts, a senseless janitor with an unrealistically attractive wife, and the most paltry closing statement from a defense lawyer EVER.

“Objection! Badgering the witness.”-Overly dramatic and awesome movie we had to watch (twice) about radiation safety and laws.

“HoneyBadgering the witness….”-Big Shot Becker

Today is my last day in Oklahoma. My departure from here and subsequent arrival at (my parents’) home is limited only by my speed of packing, which has been slow. I am very excited to leave and spend time with my family.

Strangely, I feel that Whataberger has been my family these last three months. When I leave here, there will be no more HoneyBadger and Trunk Monkey antics. Beatrice, Tommy and SoccerDad will be working in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Edwin will be working somewhere in Canada, or something. His location is still not sure where he will be. Okonkwo will be working in Chad. Albert and I will be going to Houma, Louisiana.  I have termed us: Houmies!!

A photo from our trip to Arizona over Thanksgiving

No more Big Shot Becker. He will be working in New Mexico. Gertrude will be joining me in Louisiana. There are a couple dozen co workers going to work all over the world.

 
As for me, I have several days of “vacation”, before reporting to Houma. Most of these days will be spent hanging out and dodging my mother’s request to pack my things. A few of these days will be spent with my grandfather, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Some of my vacation days will be spent goofing off with old friends. I am thoroughly excited for all of this.
 
This blog has become my personal scrapbook/journal. Thank you, readers, for taking an interest in my life. This ends Chapter One: Welcome to the world of  Oil Field Services, Corporate America, and Paychecks. Keep an eye out for Chapter Two: Welcome to Houma, Rookie!

Greatest Hits

Here’s a short collection of some photos from my first three months of having a professional job.

Notice how clean our hats and onseys are....Hardly working, my friends

 

Some Monkeys in Albuquerque, NM

 

Room with a view. Thanksgiving Break.

 

Houmies in the Air and Space Museum outside of OKC.

 

That hat says "Whataberger"....

 
 

View of the training facility as we drive down the hill

 

I was so nervous to get this grade back. I set it to my desktop background to keep me motivated. That grade says 94.

 

This is the river behind our apartment complex.