December 25, 2006

Tornado Watch

Merry Christmas, y'all!

My sister, the firefighter, works 24 on/48 off and she had to work today, so we had our Christmas celebration yesterday.

Today, there is a tornado watch until 3pm.

On the bright side, the pond is getting some of its water back and the swamps are regaining some of their swampiness.

No, no white Christmas for south Georgia. Par for the course.

So, my sister isn't here now. It really wasn't as bad as I had expected. She didn't show her ass too much.


Ok. For the past three days, my mom has pretty much spent all of her time cooking and cleaning. When I came in the door, I immediately joined the fray.

When my sister got here, she was less enthusiastic. Par for the course.

But she's so bad. Like, we're standing in the kitchen cleaning up the latest round of dishes. My mom asked my sister to dry while she washed. I was doing something else at the time. My sister dried perhaps three things and then went off to mix up more cookies.

Note: The cookies my sister was making weren't for us. The cookies my sister was making were for the firefighters. We had already been over this: we would complete Christmas dinner and then return to baking, but my sister didn't listen.

So, there we are trying to cook dinner and get cleaned up. I come back into the kitchen and see my mom washing and the growing mountain of wet dishes. So, I grab a towel and start drying. My sister isn't really able to complete her mixing because we have all the dishes and because we were in the way.

My mom's kitchen isn't very big. If three of us are in there cooking, we can easily move around one another. My dad can't fit in there with the rest of us because he is fat, slow, and largely oblivious to the fury of activity around him. (He's one of those people who are in your way but, really and truly do not realize it.) But if we're washing dishes, we block off a quarter of the kitchen and we're not able to move because that's where the sink is.

So, my sister is trying to mix cookies, but not doing so very efficiently and my mom and I are working on the latest round of dishes. Not realizing that she had been asked to dry, I asked my sister to put away the dishes as I dried them.

She put away perhaps three things before returning to her extremely inefficient attempt at mixing up cookies that are not on a deadline like the rest of the meal we're trying to prepare.

Par for the course.

My dad tries to be helpful but does not recognize his strengths and limitations. He should confine himself to the yard, the grill, washing dishes, or other tasks that either fix him to a spot out of the way or set him in another area away from other activity.

My sister is preoccupied with some interest of her own and will not listen to reason when it comes to how her interests can be scheduled so as to not interfere with everything else. She acts as if my mother and I will try to prevent her from baking her cookies and so she has to just do it herself immediately. Never mind that my mom and I are trying to prepare a dinner and we need the mixer and other things.

So, that was just one thing.

The other thing happened after dinner. We finished dinner, we got everything cleaned up. We were sitting down to perhaps watch a movie and my sister went back into the kitchen. I don't think she was making cookies; I think she was just packaging up leftovers to take with her. That's totally fine.

What wasn't totally fine was that after my sister got all of her food loaded into her car and she's headed out the door, she's saying goodbye to everyone and she pauses and calls to my mom, "Oh. I left a mess in the kitchen." And with that she was gone.

My mom didn't want to worry about it, so this morning she got up and did another sink-full of dishes.

When she's in a good mood, my sister's conversation is centered around the highly specialized interests of firefighters or law enforcement... or even trucking. (She has a job that involves interacting with truckers.) In a word: boring.

Now, you might object and picture the glamorous life of firefighters who spend their lives fighting dangerous fires, saving lives, and coming home to relationships strained by the necessary emotional distance they foster in themselves. RE: Backdraft, World Trade Center, or one of those television shows that I haven't seen, but I know are out there about firefighters or cops.

No. Firefighters in Savannah apparently spend most of their time playing pranks on one another, taking their firetrucks out to run errands, and just being redneck asshats. They don't fight very many really big fires. They do rescue cats from trees. They do go to the scene of car collisions and use those machines to bust open the cars to get people out. Mostly, it's uninteresting.

And my sister wants to tell you about every uninteresting minute.

And please do not disagree or point out that the chosen course of action is not the most obvious logical next step.

I have an example. We were all sitting in the living room yesterday and my sister says, "Flibby, will you do me a favor?"

"Maybe. What is it?"

"I need you to go by one of the firehouses in New York and --"

"Oh, no."

"-- I need you to ask them for a copy of their uniform SOP's."

"No. I am not going by a firehouse for you."

"But I'm on the uniform committee and I need to review other departments' uniforms so that we can pick out new things for us."

Now, I do not know why any research is necessary for this project of hers. We're talking about a polo shirt and a pair of pants. The question is what color polo shirt and pants. I suppose they can choose button-down shirts and t-shirts as well, just to offer some variety. But that hardly makes the case that one should consult with any number of other fire departments for official statements of their uniform requirements.

Anyway, I ask, "Why don't you just call FDNY and ask them to fax you a copy?"

She just made a goofy face and shook her head as if I were a retarded person asking something completely unreasonable.

I continued, "That's what I would do. I would just call them and say, 'Hey! I'm on the uniform committee for the Savannah Fire Department, could you please fax me a copy of your uniform SOP?' and I bet they would do it."

She continued to shake her head and make the ugly face.

"I'm still not going to go by a firehouse in New York. What? I just walk up, the homo that I am, 'Hey, fellas! I'd like to know more about those snappy uniforms!' It's not going to happen."

She was not pleased by my unwillingness to assist her in this capacity.

I am unclear as to why she thought I would be willing to do that or that it would be a good idea. But that's how she is.

Oh! Get this!

One of my redneck cousins stopped by the house the other day when my sister was here and they asked how I like NYC. I told them that I love it.

My cousin remarked that he had visited twice and he liked it but he didn't think he could live there. I told him that the city probably isn't for everyone, but I love it and that it's an incredible place to live.

My sister piped in saying that she would not like to live there either. She doesn't like the idea of 4 million people being in a 2 square mile area.

She has been to NYC before. She knows that there aren't just 4 million people milling around on a 2 mile by 2 mile plane. I've told her repeatedly that Manhattan is a 13 miles long and 2 miles wide at its widest point and that the population swells to 8 million during a business day. She has seen it and she knows that there are huge buildings to contain everyone and offer everyone their own space.

But still she persists in misrepresenting life in New York City. Her hyperbole is masked in unsubstantiated numbers and amounts to nothing but a lie.

I don't care if people don't want to live there. It is crowded. The traffic is bad. Some people are rude. There are lots of dirty things in the City. Personally, those things don't bother me very much and there is so much more to life in New York that they don't matter to me.

I'm sorry, country mouse, but just because New York isn't for you doesn't mean you have license to make things up.

Oh and she's still on this "I don't eat pork" kick. As kids, she loved ham. She used to eat it all the time. In the past few years, she's suddenly decided that she doesn't eat pork. That didn't keep her from the broccoli cassarole, though. I delighted to tell her that we had put pork in it, too. She ate it, though. So much for keeping kosher or whatever stupid idea she has in her head about pork.

And those weren't the only "white" lies I observed her telling in the two days I was around her.

I used to just find my sister somewhat unpleasant at times. There were cases in which she was pleasant and fun. It's been a while since I've seen that side of her.

These days I actively dislike my sister. She's rude and unpleasant. She lacks integrity and honesty. Rationality is not a strong characteristic in her at all. She's just a thoroughly unpleasant person, if you ask me.

I hope to interact with her as little as possible. Unfortunately, she's supposed to drive me to the airport. It's 2 hours to Jacksonville from here.


Posted by Flibbertigibbet at December 25, 2006 10:56 AM | TrackBack
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