Friday, August 22, 2008

Some Vacation

Normally Todd and I take two weeks off for vacation, but because I’ve just started a new job two months ago I just do not have enough vacation time accrued to be able to take two. Todd decided that he’d take this week off and then we’d take next week off together.

Let me tell you about Todd’s vacation so far.

Monday I came home to Todd and one of his co-workers geeking out in our office. He did manage to stay home that day, but he worked remotely as he had a client experience a problem that required his immediate attention. Then he and this co-worker were crowded around the computer scheming about something work related. Though I am thankful that during the day he did manage to get a few honey-do’s done. He took the trash to the dump that couldn’t get picked up curbside. (It's been piling up for awhile now, and was starting to bug the both of us, but we couldn't seem to get it together to bring it to the dump. Oh, and how ridiculous is it that the dump here in Podunk, RI isn’t open on Saturdays? It’s only open 6 AM-3PM on weekdays. Insane!) He also built a scuba gear washing station that’s under the deck, just outside the walk out basement door and washed our gear from our dive on Sunday. Then he fixed the ceiling fan in our bedroom, and we are now enjoying the fact that we don’t have to unscrew the light bulbs on the fixture so we can run the fan while we sleep. Really, it’s the simple pleasures.

Tuesday he was at home, but he worked all day on a presentation he had to give on Wednesday.

Wednesday he gave his presentation. He also had a major project at work that required his attention. He went into the office at 7:00 AM and didn’t return home until close to 8.

Thursday he went into the office again for 7-ish. He busted his butt all day long, but managed to squeak out around 6 or so and we went sailing with some friends.

Today he’s at home. Today he will go jet skiing with a friend. And hopefully he won’t have to do a stitch of work today. My man works very hard, and here's hoping that he'll have a day of fun after the tough week he's had.


Next week we’re on vacation, and I am climbing the walls I cannot wait. Tomorrow we’ll meet my brother Kaz and his family as well as Todd’s family at Six Flags in Massachusetts for a day of fun. Sunday we’ll chill at home, then Monday we’ll get on the boat and sail around the bay until Wednesday.

On Thursday we’ll jump on a plane and head to Ft. Lauderdale, FL to do some diving on Friday and Saturday. We’ll chill on Sunday and wait out the 24 hour no dive before flying window, and fly home on Monday.

Now how’s that for a sweet vacation?


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Who Was that Woman?

Just today at work I was walking out to go to the ladies room in the hallway. We keep the doors at work locked at all times, and we all have the swipe card things that we use to get in. I was walking out at the same time as a co-worker, and a woman walked in as we were walking out. I looked at the woman as she passed me, and watched her wander over to a cube. I assumed she belonged there, but it kind of bothered me that she didn’t look at me and say hello, and my spidey senses began to tingle.

“Hey, who was that woman?” I asked my co-worker in the hallway.

“I don’t know. But she looked familiar,” co-worker replied.

Instantly I was reminded of the time when I worked for a in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The building where I worked was an 18 story building, but nine of them were for parking. I worked on the tenth floor, which was the first floor that contained offices. We had the same set up, where the bathrooms were outside of the locked doors of the offices, and we all had swipe cards that we used to get in. We were strongly discouraged from propping the doors open for any reason, just as we are at my current office.

One afternoon an email circulated from HR which said that a number of my co-workers had their wallets stolen from their bags at their desks that day. Their credit cards were used on Newbury Street in Boston, which is kind of like the Rodeo Drive of Boston and houses expensive boutiques like Versace. I opened my backpack and saw that not only my wallet was still there, but my debit card was still in there as well. I breathed a sigh of relief and continued to read the email.

The Boston Police department had apprehended a woman who had stolen the wallets of my co-workers on the same day. The email, again, warned us about letting strangers into the building. I listened to my co-workers rumble about not having recalled letting anyone in. But I had to laugh when the Boston PD described the woman, and the description was relayed in the email.


She was a black woman who stood six feet tall.

She wore yellow, turquoise and orange clothes.

Yet nobody in my office recalled letting her in. That’s what happens when geeks don’t look up from their computers, or look beyond their pocket protectors.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Program

Let’s take a break from all discussion of life changing decisions for a moment and talk about our fabulous weekend. This blog’s title isn’t called “A Life of Adventure” for nothing, right?

Last weekend Todd and I had a whirlwind of fun and adventure. But let’s back up to the weekend before for a moment. There was a robin’s nest in the pretty flowery bush just outside of our workshop. The hen only laid one egg, and we’ve been keeping an eye on it for the last few weeks. Last weekend the egg finally hatched, and my nieces and nephews admired the baby bird that sat under its mother’s body to keep warm. Then this last Saturday I noticed that Nemo was sniffing around under the bush. I didn’t think much of it at the time, as he’s a beagle and can basically be considered a nose with legs. Later that morning Todd and I were outside and I learned what Nemo was sniffing at, the baby robin had fallen out of its nest, and the mama robin was nowhere to be found.

Todd scooped up the robin and put it back into the nest. We left for the afternoon, as I had my workplace’s company picnic down the road, and then we went out to run some errands. When we came home in the evening we saw that the mama robin hadn’t returned to warm her young’s body and to feed it. Concerned, we called a wildlife rescue hotline and learned that we should prepare a shoebox with a heating pad, an old T-shirt and see if we could warm and then feed the baby. We brought the baby in and tried to warm it. Then we mashed up some blueberries and tried to feed it. I am sad to say that the baby bird died around midnight on Saturday night.

On Sunday morning we woke up, still a bit sad about our failed attempt at rescuing this poor baby bird. To ease our sadness we packed up our dive gear and headed to Fort Wetherhill, in Jamestown, RI for our first dive of the season. I am trying hard not to pay attention to the fact that it’s the middle of August and I’ve just gone on my first dive. The dive was wonderful. We only went to a maximum of 28 or so feet. But these 5 white fish with vertical black bars followed us around for the entire dive. They swam circles around us, and we just kneeled on the bottom and watched them for awhile.

Now I can’t wait to go on vacation next week, so we can dive some more.

Labels: ,

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Life of Uncertainty

All of you, thank you for responding to “Indecision.” I don’t know if it’s the case that neither of us has the courage to go first and say “Hey let’s do this,” or “Hey, let’s not do this.” Just yesterday Todd joked that we’ll be in the old folks’ home when we’re in our 80’s still trying to decide. He turned to me, sucked his lips in as if he’d lost his teeth and said in a perfect imitation of an old man, “So, devil woman, you think we should have a baby?” I cracked up over it, because he says that when he's old he's going to call me Devil Woman, and say things like "Git me my tonic, Devil Woman!" I tried not to pay attention to the way the question made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and the way I feel the question looming behind me all the time, sometimes more so than other times.

I think it’s such a permanent decision. And no matter which way you go you just cannot undo it. I almost want the decision to be taken out of my hands by either a surprise pregnancy or learning that either of us is infertile. Almost.

Just last week I was talking to a co-worker who said something very interesting about the way he makes his decisions. He has a very interesting way of looking at life, and I find him very wise. He said that he looks to nature to help him decide. ‘What would normally occur in nature?’ he asks himself. I thought about it for a few minutes, and we got to talking about it. He said “Well, in nature animals reproduce all the time and our bodies are designed to reproduce and perpetuate our specie.” Then I asked him, “Well, OK, but is it in my nature?” Then I threw up my hands in frustration.

Todd and I talk all the time about things we’d do with are theoretical and non-existent children. We look at other families we know, and talk about how they live and what, if anything, we’d do differently. Would we switch to all organic foods like my sister did? Would we spank our theoretical and non-existent children? Would they ever eat anything produced at McDonalds? These are things we discuss all the time. He jokes that we’ll name our daughter Chlamydia so that the boys won’t go near her, and call her “Clammy” for short. We can talk about all this stuff, but still cannot come to a conclusion about whether any of it (aside from the name Clammy) will ever be a reality for us.

From what I’ve observed, being a parent is the hardest job in the world, and you don’t ever get a vacation from it. Is that what I want in my life? But, the hardest job also brings the biggest reward, doesn’t it? Will I look back on a childless life and regret it? Will I look back on a life with a child and regret not having the freedom that childless life allows? It's not like I can give birth, try it out, then return it like I would with a car that turns out to be a lemon.

I agree with the sentiment that I’ll know it when I am ready. I am struggling with the concept of having a feeling that I am not already familiar with. When I fell in love with Todd it was a feeling I was unfamiliar with too. And everyone else around me who was falling in love and getting married all said the same thing “You’ll just know if he’s the right one,” and that’s the same thing I say to other people when they talk about elusive concept of “the one.” I am sure that it’s the same thing--I’ll feel it in my gut.

But really I want to know if I will ever feel it. I really want to know how it’ll all play out before I step onto the field.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


The PlayStation blared from the living room on Sunday. Twelve year old Madison and ten year old Spencer talked trash back and forth about who would win the next race in the game. Music flowed from the computer speakers in the office, as fourteen year old Rachael browsed the hard drive for music that she would like. The glasses and silverware clinked as I unloaded the umpteen cereal bowls and silverware from the dishwasher. Four year old Cassidy tugged on my shirt and asked me for a glass of water, for what seemed like the thousandth time, because I kept forgetting to get one for her.

“This is what it would be like, you know,” Todd gestured around the kitchen at all the sounds that our nieces and nephews made.

“So,” I plopped a glass into the rack in the dishwasher, “Do you think we should do it?”

“You ask me that like you expect me to have an answer,” Todd said, and fidgeted with a half filled bag of baked cheese doodles.

“If everyone put as much thought to this question like we do, the human race would have died out long ago,” I sighed as I wiped out the bottom of the kitchen sink with the sponge.

He laughed a bit, but I know that he’s as torn on the question as I am. It’s the same question that’s been plaguing us since the earlier years of our marriage. Should we have a child?

Well? Should we?

I’ve asked nearly every mother I know how they knew that they were ready for a baby. They all say the same thing, “I just knew I was ready.”

“But how did you know? What did it feel like?” I pressed

“I don’t know. Just ready, I guess,” they all shrugged their heads and turned to tend to a wriggling infant or a bumbling toddler, or a petulant teenager.

I don’t know what ready feels like. Have I felt it already and just didn’t recognize it? I can feel the confused look of every mother I know bearing on me. The look that says, “You’re weird. What do you mean you didn’t recognize ready?”

What I am looking for is certainty. What I am looking for is a neon arrow that either points to “ready” or “not ready, wait a little longer” or “no, don’t have a baby. Ever.” What I am looking for is certainty that our baby, our child, our teen, our adult offspring will be a cool person that we’ll actually like to hang out with.

I remember when my cousin was pregnant with her first child; she emailed me with her fear that she wouldn’t like her child. She was so afraid that her child would be somebody that she didn’t enjoy spending time with, yet she was also afraid to admit that out loud for fear of being branded as “weird” or even a “bad mother.” Well, it’s a legitimate concern, isn’t it? I emailed her back with, what I hope was a comforting notion, that she liked herself and she liked her husband. It stood to reason that she would then like her child, the direct product of parts of herself and her husband. And of course her child is cool, because she’s cool and her husband is cool. Her child was so cool that they went and had another one. She didn’t email me again with any fears during the second pregnancy. She was sure her second would be cool. And of course he is.

I was able to comfort my cousin in her time of uncertainty, I hope. Yet here I am with this huge question that weighs on me with each passing day that I grow another day beyond 34 years old and closer to 35 years old. In each day I teeter on the fence, afraid to tip into the mommy side, and afraid to tip over into the child free side. I walk on top of the fence, and I watch each side from the elevated view. My balance never wavers, I walk a straight line on top of that fence everyday, my eyes fixed on the horizon and waiting for the neon arrow to appear. I calculate that I will be in my late 50’s when my theoretical and non-existent child would graduate from high school, and with each day that passes I will be even older then. My feeling of readiness changes from minute to minute as I think to myself, “Ooh, was that a ready feeling? Or am I just hungry for lunch?”

I look down at my feet, firmly planted on top of the fence and command them to pick a side and jump to it. They remain in place, and my eyes continue to scan each side looking for a safe place to land should I ever decide to jump.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Spreading the Wonder

There’s something magical about taking people sailing who have never been on our boat before. There’s something inherently beautiful about the look of wonder on the faces of our guests the first time the sails fill with wind and the boat moves without having to rely on the rumbling engine. I love hearing the questions about the various pieces of equipment on the boat, and smile about the time my brother Kaz once asked me “Hey, what’s that propane tank for?” and I dryly responded “The grill.” My dad once lifted up the plastic scissor-like object off the foredeck and asked me what it was for. When I informed him it was the pooper-scooper for cleaning up after the dogs, he winced and dropped the gadget where he'd seen it and unconscioulsy wiped his hands on his pants.

This past weekend my sister Chris and her 4 kids came to visit , and we took them for our first sail ever on Saturday. It was fun to watch my nieces and nephew, whose ages range from 4-14, stumble around on the boat as it moved beneath their feet until they eventually moved comfortably as they got used to the motion of the waves against the hull, and the slight tilt of the boat as the wind filled the sails. My sister, a mother of four who is accustomed to being at the center of the action, sat aside as I showed my nieces how to raise and lower the sails.

“It’s so nice to just sit and do nothing,” she said, sipping her wine.

“Yeah, and how often do you get to do that? Just enjoy,” I replied, laughing. She lounged on the deck of the boat, and stared up at the sails and the sky.

Chris has never seen me sail before. I’ve been a sailor for 10 years, and I’ve never had the occasion to take her out because her kids were younger and needed more of her constant attention. She watched me haul in the jib sheets to tack the boat and trim the sails. She watched me command the helm while Todd set the anchor, then pulled it in. Then I took the helm again as Todd and our 12 year old niece, Madison, took the sails in and then when we motored into the mooring field and he picked up the mooring lines and tied them to the boat.

“Wow, Beej, you really know what you’re doing,” she slightly gushed.

“I can fake it,” I shrugged.

“Don’t let her fool you,” Todd beamed at Chris, “Your sister’s a sailor.”

“I dare you to take your hands off the steering wheel,” our 10 year old nephew, Spencer, interjected, trying to incite daring recklessness in his aunt.

I took my hands off the wheel, shook them around over my head with reckless abandon and said “AAAAGGGHHHHH!!!!” He nervously laughed and stared at me in awe. In Spencer’s experience, in cars and motor boats, one does not take their hands off the wheel for fear of losing control over the vehicle. But on a sailboat it’s different, and I explained it to him. Things happen a lot slower on a cruising sailboat like ours. I told him that it’s still vitally important to pay attention at all times, the captain doesn’t have to grip the wheel constantly when there aren’t any obstacles near by. Spencer seemed intrigued by the concept, and tested it out when it was his turn to take the wheel.

One by one they explored every inch of the boat, above and below decks. Rachael learned to raise the sails. Madison recited the names of the sails and ropes that operate the sails that she had just learned from her Uncle Todd. Spencer checked the depth gauge at the helm and periodically reported the current depth of the water beneath us. Cassidy stood on her 4 year old tip toes and strained to see over the compass located just behind the steering wheel, as she captained the boat.

And I fought back the tears of joy and pride at having my family thoroughly enjoy something that is such a large part of my life.

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Best of Both Worlds

Thank you all for weighing in on yesterday’s Life of Dilemma post. Todd and I talked some more about it last night, and I think we’re going to do both. Kind of. Our vacation starts on Saturday 23 August, and ends on Monday 1 September. We have 10 days to play with, and there is a lot that he and I can do in 10 days.

We decided to bail on the Block Island plan. As much as we love Block, and as sad as it is that we haven’t been there for 2 years, there’s simply too much to do so that we can make that trip happen.

  1. Our diesel engine eats fan belts. We don’t know why. Every mechanic we’ve spoken to doesn’t know why. The last thing we want is to be so many miles from shore and have our fan belt bite it. The stress that possibility produces would outweigh any relaxation benefit we’d get from being on Block for an entire week.
  2. We don’t have any chain on our anchor. On Block Island there is a gimondo anchorage. Which is great, because anchoring is free. But if you’re us it’s not as happy of a thing. We do not have chain on our anchor at the moment, because while chain does wonders for helping to keep the boat where we left it, it’s impossibly heavy to lift by hand. And while we have a new anchor windlass in a box, we don’t have the time it would take to install it before the trip. Anchoring with a rope as the anchor line would also cause more stress than it would relieve, as we would constantly wonder if our boat will be where we left it.

At the moment our solution is to be on the boat for 5 of the 10 days. There are still plenty of places in Narragansett Bay that we haven’t been: Dutch Harbor, Allen Harbor, Westerly, etc.

Then for the other 5 days we’ll dive in some places we’ve never been. We’ll camp, we’ll hike, we’ll swim and all around rock out.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Life of Dilemma

Vacation time is nearly upon us, here in Podunk, RI. I am offering you, Internet, the opportunity to weigh in on what Todd and I will do for our week of vacation. Normally we do 2 weeks, but because I’ve started a new job in June I can only take a week. Todd will take the second week anyway, and will likely do cruel things like email me pictures of him and the dogs napping, lounging, and goofing off while I am working. Nice guy, huh?

On the way in to work this morning we talked about our upcoming vacation, scheduled the last week of August, and what we should do with that week. Originally we intended to sail to Block Island and anchor there for the entire week. But this morning he brought up sailing for half the week, then doing day trip adventures for the remainder of the week: diving, canoeing, camping, etc.

I am torn. Both ideas are equally attractive to me. Here are the pros and cons of each vacation idea. Tell me which one you would pick if you were on a game show and had the chance to win either of these vacations.

Behind door number one, the sailing vacation.


  1. We will be on the boat for an entire week. Our boating season has been off to a late start due to the big leak. We only went on 1 weekend trip so far and have only been night sailing on weeknights a handful of times so far.
  2. We haven’t been to Block Island for a few years now. We love Block Island, and the idea of spending a relaxing week there is very appealing to us. Oh, and there’s a guy who sells pastries off his boat every morning and every evening in the anchorage on Block. There’s nothing better than hearing the guy on the Aldo’s bakery boat calling out “Andiamo! Andiamo! Andiamooooo!” every morning as you wake up. *sigh* it truly is a magical place.
  3. Then there’s the restful vacation aspect of spending a week in 1 place.


  1. There is little variety in activity in Block. I mean, sure we can rent mopeds or bring out bikes and explore, go kite flying, lounge on the beach and chill out. But that’s just about it.
  2. We’d likely kennel the hounds while we’re on this trip. So we’d spend about $500 on kennel for them.
  3. Coming and going to Block is very weather dependent. If there’s fog we’re stuck out there or stuck at our home port because our radar isn’t working yet.

Behind door number 2, the multi-adventure vacation.


  1. Variety. We’d sail for a few days. We’d camp for a night, we’d canoe, we’d dive, we’d do this and do that.
  2. Cost savings because we wouldn’t kennel the doggers.
  3. Our adventurin’ season has gotten a late start because Todd was sick this spring. We haven’t yet been diving, camping, canoeing or anything that we love to do. So this kind of trip would give us the chance to do a lot of that.


  1. We wouldn’t get to go somewhere for an entire week and just chill out and have a relaxing vacation. We’d likely be on the go constantly.
  2. We wouldn’t spend much time on the boat. We spend so much money on it every year, that it feels wasteful to not spend as much time on it as possible.
  3. We would probably spend a lot of money in gas getting to dive sites, camp sites and everywhere else we’d go.

So, knowing what you know now, which would you pick?

Labels: ,

Monday, August 04, 2008

What's This Under Me? Oh, it's the Bandwagon

I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and create a photo mosaic from photos gathered from flikr based on these questions. What you do is you answer the question and take a picture from the first page of results and create a mosaic.

1. What is your first name?--Beej. Apparently in flikrland, Beej will get you a guy walking on a trail, with a signpost in the foreground. Though the color of the sky is extrordinary in this picture.

2. What is your favorite food?--Pierogi. This picture has blueberry pierogi on it.

3. What high school did you attend?--East Windsor High. Searching on just East Windsor High returns a "high voltage" sign in Flikrland. I don't recall any classmates being electrocuted, however. Though I could just make one up. Here goes. Benny Finklestein was screwing around in chemistry lab and jammed a chem lab spatula thingy into the electrical outlet on the bench, and voila!

4. What is your favorite color?--lime green. Mmmm... I wonder if Todd would object if the new doors we bought for the house were lime green.

5. Who is your celebrity crush?--Jack Bauer, from 24. He's my boyfriend.

6. What is your favorite drink?--mojito. I love the picture on the glass. It's like it's saying "I am mojito man! ARRRGGGGGGG!!!!" I often say that when I drink mojitos too, but it reall depends on how many I have.

7. What is your dream vacation?--sailing to australia. Oh, look at this healthy looking hand tugging on some piece of rigging on a red sailboat. *sigh*

8. What is your favorite dessert?--creme pie. The chocolate on this pie just makes me want to run my fingers through it and lick my fingers until the top of the pie is bare.

9. What do you want to be when you grow up?--happy. In my high school yearbook under my ambition it is written "2 B Happy." I think I am getting there. Now this beluga whale looks so content swimming around, doesn't he?

10. What do you love most in life?--Todd. Hmmm... husband metamorphasized into a butterfly. I wonder if that butterfly has facial hair.

11. One word to describe you?--adventurous. Yeah, I crave a good adventure. Though I don't think I want to hang on to the outside of a bus as it rides along. OK, maybe I'll try it.

12. Your Flickr name or other on-line nickname.--beejie. My nickname conjures a guy in a wetsuit with a crazy 'stache? Sweet!


Friday, August 01, 2008

En Espanol, Como Se Dice “Dang”?

*In Spanish, how do you say “Dang”?

Several years ago our dear friend Mike came over. We were lounging around, channel surfing and having a few beers. We stumbled across the Spanish channel broadcast of “Joe Dirt.” We watched it for a few minutes, long enough to hear the dialogue translated into Spanish, and it sounded like “Blahblah blahblah blahblah… DANG!” We cracked up laughing at the ridiculousness of hearing a long, drawn out, Joe Dirt style “Daaaang!” as it contrasted with the smooth flow of the Spanish translator's booming voice.

I have become obsessed with my traffic report on this blog. It’s so interesting to see the different ways that readers have come to find me on this corner of the web. (Don’t be shy folks, come in, comment, sniff around and stay awhile. I don’t bite, I promise!) Yesterday I came across someone in Spain who found me by clicking on a link that took the same look and feel of my blog but translated all of it into Spanish. I’ve been surfing through it, trying to reconstruct my entries with my rudimentary Spanish I learned in Mrs. Bowman’s class in high school.

Normally I scored A’s in high school Spanish. I love learning languages, and I had a blast in Spanish class. But occasionally Mrs. Bowman would ask “But Beej, how will you ever find your way if you are lost in Spain?” when I wasn’t feeling like learning on that particular day. One day I was feeling like a fifteen year old smart ass and replied “Well, I just have to find someone who knows where ‘Casa de Pepe’ is, and Pepe will show me around, right?” For some reason in Spanish class we had to learn how to ask “Donde esta la casa de Pepe?” which, of course, translates to “Where is the house of Pepe?”

I was browsing through the Spanish alter-ego of my blog, and stumbled upon a comment by Taoist Biker (or, Biker Taoista, en Espanol) here in which he said “Dang!”

Looks like there really is no Spanish word for “Dang!”