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September 18, 2002: The Dynamic Duo. Or something like that.

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As we all settled ourselves around the table in the tiny little conference room, one of the participants in this meeting suggested that we go around the room and introduce ourselves. Richard and I were at the tail end of the circle and as we each introduced ourselves a few of the others shot interested glances our way.

"Related?" one woman finally broached delicately. From across the table, King Squid flashed a grin at us before he responded to the question.

"They're cousins," he replied. Laughter. More laughter when I hissed back in a stage whisper "Shh! That's illegal in this state!"

The little group of us trainers for the Benthic Creatures company are slowly being paired off into teams, as we'll go do our training in sets of two. And today as we sat in the office discussing what we'd be doing at the meeting this afternoon, our boss noted that he was going to let Richard and I be a team together. Which means there'll be lots more opportunities over the next year or three for us to crack jokes about our relationship to each other.

It's actually pretty cool, and to tell the truth, I'm rather relieved. It's not that I have anything against any of the other team members because so far it looks like we've got a pretty incredible group. But if I have to team up with anyone, I'd pick Richard. We get along quite well together (conveniently enough, us being married and all that), and we know each other's style for dealing with people. We both share a growing enthusiasm for this job we've undertaken, especially as we continue to learn what it offers for both the Mollusks and their Handlers. Since we'll both be teaching different sessions, we'll really only see each other for lunch during the workday when we're on the road. But the main reason I'm happy about this decision is that I'll get to travel around the state with my very best friend. Okay, so the cats will get a bit more alone time than they might be happy with for a few months, but they'll survive. And hey. If I *have* to go spend a few weeks in places like Fresno or Modesto or Los Angeles, who better to share the joy than my spouse?

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