Thursday, May 27, 2010

It Must Be Love

In my single years I was a very intolerant girlfriend. I ended relationships on a whim, and often badly. You don’t call me enough? You’re outta here. Call me too much? See ya. You’re wearing that in public? Sayonara. You sing off key? Adios, muchacho,

Don’t even get me started on bad table manners, or bad manners in general. It is not OK to agree to go to a family function with me on a Sunday, but just have your date from the night before leave moments before I arrive to pick you up in the morning. And don’t go to a frat party when the last you heard from me was my voice on your machine saying “Hey, I’m stuck in Johnston, my car broke down. Can you please come and get me?” And don’t be surprised if I get really mad and leave a dozen messages on your machine calling you an asshole and my future ex-boyfriend for doing just that. And then don’t be equally surprised when you actually do become my ex-boyfriend the very next day.

A Google stalking session revealed that the boyfriend in the first scenario above married the woman who left his place that Sunday morning. The other boyfriend in the second scenario never understood why I was so mad at him, and I wonder if he’s ever told that story to his wife and I wonder whose side she took.

But marriage is different. Well, for starters I didn’t marry a man who has ever even thought of doing the above. There is something encompassing about marriage. The things that once annoyed the crap out of me about ex-boyfriends now don’t bother me so much because the man I married is so much more than the habits that once drove me up a wall.

For example, when I go to bed before my husband does, he routinely comes clomping up the stairs loudly talking to the dogs and wakes me up just after I’d managed to drift off. On the rare occasion that I sleep later than he does, he whistles the M*A*S*H theme song while he gets ready for work, and he does it loudly.

But there are so many great things that he does, that it doesn’t matter that he wakes me up. I mean, he talks to our dogs as they are all getting ready for bed and often covers Griffen with his t-shirt so he won’t be cold. He whistles the M*A*S*H theme song while getting ready for work. How endearing is that? Never mind all the other zillions of little things he does to put a smile on my face.

I spend my entire days at work gazing at pictures of Todd and missing him horribly, even though I’d just seen him in the morning and will see him in the evening. It used to be that going to work was a break from my relationship. But now it's an interruption.  A three day weekend is looming, and I am so excited that I will get to spend every minute of it with Todd. Friday afternoon cannot come soon enough.

So those other boyfriends? They were just practice.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How It Ought To Be

Over the weekend we headed up to Vermont for a whirlwind whiplash weekend. (How’s that for alliteration!) With the exception of Saturday morning’s activities, this really is how life is meant to be spent.

My usual summer bitter mood is creeping in, though I am trying like hell to fight it. The summer bitterness comes from the fact that I am still expected to go into work, despite the fact that the weather outside is perfectly sunny and in the 80s. Every year at this time I lament the fact that I am gainfully employed, and start looking for the previously untapped get rich scheme. I get suckered into things like the promise of winning $2.5 million dollars for purchasing a Reese’s peanut butter cup. And then not only am I not $2.5 million richer, I am sporting extra flesh about the hips as a result. Then the summer bitterness spirals into flabby bitterness.
But, as I said, I am trying like hell to fight the summer blues. As of today there are 44 more days until the great sailing trip to Lake Champlain. And the weekend adventures will have to sustain me until then.  (And I am editing the crap out of the book right now, in preparation for selling it.  Bitterness is motivating!)

Saturday morning we went to Chipman Point Marina to celebrate the life and mourn the passing of our dear friend Dick. Dick and his family owned the marina and we had kept our boat there when we first started sailing together in 1999. On Saturday morning as I was in the ladies room I could hear the conversation from the porch below waft through the window.  Dick often popped in and out of the conversation as he made his way across the porch and into the marina office.  I paused as I washed my hands and felt tears come to my eyes. I could swear I heard his voice.  It belonged there, and I've heard it from that very spot so many times.  I’ll never get to hear one of his stories through that window ever again. The memorial service was beautiful, and exactly what he would have wanted. The stories shared were funny and sad, every attendee laughed and cried. His spirit is still at Chipman Point, though the place will never be the same without him.

We left Chipman Point and headed over to the campground on Lake Bomoseen. Todd’s sister, her boyfriend and their kids were already there setting up their camp. We set up ours then all piled into the dive boat for a swim on the lake. We cut the motor in the center of the lake and jumped in. Then we all howled at the cold; it was only May 22 and the lake probably just thawed earlier that week. My muscles grew stiff from the chill, and we decided that taking turns on the tube was a better option.  I grinned widely as I clung to the tube, and felt the icy spray from the boat's wake in my face. 

Sunday morning found us back on the lake for another adventure. This time we headed over to the beach, parked the boat on the sand bar and played in the water all afternoon. Sandwiches were inhaled, sticks thrown for dogs, and skin glowed pink from the sun. Soft serve was eaten (OK, maple soft serve? It’s like having breakfast in heaven!) and then we piled back into the truck for the long ride back to Rhode Island and to real life.

It was exactly how a weekend ought to be, and I am trying not to rail against the injustice of the necessity of the paycheck.  But indoor confinement in a cubible is starting to make me itchy again. 

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Wah-ka Wah-ka Wah-ka

If you haven’t seen today’s Google logo, go see it now. I’ll wait here for you, go check it out.

And there goes my afternoon. Up in dots, ghosts and Pacmen. (And then I'll probably be fired.) 

Today is Pacman’s 30th birthday. It was, and still is, one of the most famous video games of all times. It appealed to both genders, as it wasn’t a shoot em up in space kind of a game that were so popular in the early 80’s. It was highly addictive as well, and I am sure the that the one at the Enfield Roller World, where I used to play it, weighted a metric ton from all the quarters I’d pumped into it.

I was 6 when the game came out. But I didn’t know about it until I was 8. My sister Margaret taught me how to play it one day after school. She took me along for the ride when she had an eye doctor appointment, and because I was such a good girl she took me to a pizza place where they had Pacman.

She shoved a quarter into the slot, and showed me the premise of the game. “You have to go around and eat up the dots. When you eat the big one, the ghosts turn blue and then you can eat them.” Then later on, as I got the hang of it she warned “Oh, watch out! They’re changing back and now they’re going to chase you again.”
Then she ran out of quarters. Then we got an Atari at home and we played it there. My neighbors had a handheld Pacman. Well, a handheld video game in 1982 was roughly the size of the laptop I am using to write this post. But it was yellow and awesome.

Before we knew it, Pacman was every where. There was even a song on the radio called Pacman fever. It was on an album sold by K-Tel. (OMG! Do you remember those K-Tel commercials??) Pacman machines showed up in every Mom and Pop pizza joint. They had the kind that you had to stand up to play and the table top kind you could sit at and play. Player 2 sat across from you and played his turn from there, while you nibbled on your pizza conveniently located on the game’s table.

And now it’s 30 years old. And just about every person on this earth knows what it is and how to play.

Well done, Namco. Bravo.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Sounds of Summer

Thwap thwap thwap go the flip flops. I can hear them on my own feet, and on the feet of just about everyone else.

Crunch goes the pile of seashells at the high tide line on the beach when I walk across them.

The soft ba-dap ba-dap bad-dap of dog paws hitting sand, and the eventual sploosh of a Labrador gleefully bounding into the surf.

The chirping of the birds of the feeder. Just yesterday I saw the pair of cardinals again. She was resting on the deck railing while he went to the feeder. He took a single seed then hopped along the railing and placed it her mouth. Cardinals need to be seductive too, I guess.

The humming of the hummingbirds as they shoot by, flying upright in such a way that doesn’t seem aerodynamically possible.

The whooshing of the wind as we take the first topless doors off ride in the jeep. Followed by the crispy chomp into a sugar cone.

The low moan of a lawn mower somewhere in the neighborhood, followed by the fragrance of freshly cut grass.

The sizzle of burgers on the grill. Followed by the quick hiss of the bottle top on a cold beer bottle.

The soft sloosh of a sharp knife effortlessly slicing a watermelon, then the slurping of the juice before it inevitably ends up on my chin.

The sputtering as an outboard motor comes to life, followed by the high wail of turning the throttle all the way up.

Sabine’s diesel rumbling, then eventually it’s silencing as we turn it off and raise the sails. The sound is diminished, but the forward momentum is still there. It amazes me every time, still.

Waves gently lapping against the hull, the snoring from an afternoon nap on deck in the sun, and the satisfied sigh from a long stretch after waking from that nap.

The Darth Vader like inhalations off a regulator while underwater, and the gentle force of bubbles traveling upward and breaking the surface.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why I Shouldn’t Be Allowed in Public without Supervision

Yesterday I was visiting a 3-story office building. I stepped into the elevator and pressed the button for “3,” and an older woman came in behind me. She leaned toward the elevator control panel and verified that the “3” light was on. I waited for her to push the button again, because everyone pushes the button again. But she didn’t and it made me smile. And she needed to explain why she didn’t push the button; despite the fact that it had already been pushed.

Woman: I am going to the same floor as you.

Beej: I expected you to push the button again.

Woman: Why would I do that? You already pushed it.

Beej: Because everyone pushes the button, even though they know it’s already been pushed. It’s just a thing that you always see people do.

Woman: Really? I don’t think I’ve ever done that.

Beej: You do realize that pushing it again makes the elevator go faster, right?

Woman: Really? I didn’t know that.

Beej: Yep.  (Elevator opens on third floor, I get out.)

Woman: Wow, I guess you do learn something new every day.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Living with the Bubonic Plague

While I was on my technology induced blog vacation, I have contracted what seems to be the Bubonic Plague. So it’s just as well that I haven’t been able to post, as you were all spared the gory details of my annoying symptoms.

I am back to eating solids now. Kind of. On Sunday I got cocky. I ate all kinds of things. And what didn’t I do for a Klondike bar? Oh, you’ve no idea! I ate pizza! Glorious pizza! Todd made jambalaya from scratch. The recipe called for roughly 8 metric tons of cayenne pepper. I arrogantly ate a few bites, and then promptly held my hands against my jaws to prevent my face from melting from the heat.

Yesterday morning I struggled through a few bites of toast for breakfast, and fed the rest to the dogs. I boiled an egg, and then split it in half for each dog as well. I got cocky and tried to eat a plain turkey sandwich. It took three hours to get through about ¾ of it before I gave up. Will someone explain to me why I thought Greek yogurt would be a good idea? Because really? It wasn’t. At all. Todd made me the world’s blandest chicken soup for dinner, and I ate about three bites of it before I declared I was done eating anything for the rest of my life.

But today is a new day. I am feeling better. My energy is returning. It’s amazing the effect that food has on my energy. My fuel tank is full. I am not doubled over in agony. My stomach isn’t making noises only heard from caged lions. And I am about 3 pounds lighter. Win win!

The major downside to living with the Bubonic Plague, is the lack of energy. We’re getting ready to launch Sabine, and there is still oh so much to be done. Working on weeknights is largely a bust, as we’re both tired from work. (I don’t know how we used to do that all the time? It used to be that we’d work on the boat until a million o’clock on weeknights and still go do our jobs. Where have those days gone??)

On Saturday we went to the boat, and then Todd promptly drove me home again. I squandered the day in a disoriented haze of illness. On Sunday, we made another stab at working on the boat, and declared the day a wasted effort as well. The new fuel tanks are inside the boat, but not hooked up to anything. The radar, while now functional (!!!) still needs to have the wires chased up the mast and through the interior of the boat. The boat’s a damn mess and it smells bad, too.

But there’s always next weekend.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

I Knew I Married Him for a Reason

Todd fixed the blog a few minutes ago, and I'll be back to posting again soon.