Monthly Archives: November 2008

And that’s it.


This is the last of the the silly sailboat whining. I promise.

The other day, on my way to somewhere else, I went by the marina where we kept Black Magic. I don’t know why or what I was looking for. Maybe meet the new owner? Maybe make sure Black Magic was being cared for? Maybe just see her one more time? Don’t know, maybe all of the above.

What I found was an empty slip. Black Magic was gone.

And as I stood on the floating dock, bobbing in the wake of a passing boat, staring at that empty hole in the water, I realized that she was well and truly mine no longer.

I thought back on the countless weekends working on her, the too few times sailing her, the times that Miss Carol and I spent weekends on her dreaming our dreams of endless voyages.

I think that some little part of me felt that if I could just see her, keep track of her, that I could somehow keep that dream alive. But, with her, it’s gone.

And, really, I’m fine with that.

But as I turned and walked back up the dock for the last time, feeling, for the first time, like an interloper, a trespasser, I couldn’t help but wonder what would fill the void.

What’s next?

Backstory. Part tres.


So anyway.

This is Tug and Cutter on their first full day with us and the reason that we did not eat them. Cute as dreams. This photo was taken by a very good friend of ours on their first morning with us when they were basking in the we’re-puppies-aren’t-we-scrumptious-and-why-not-cuddle-us mindset that is puppiedom.

Conveniently forgetting, of course, the night before.

When we got home from NC we had a cocktail, fist-bumped each other and played with little Tug and littler Cutter. Puppies are FUN. We made dinner, cleaned up, relaxed, and got ready for bed. 

Thinking that Cutter and Tug would be good in a box with a ticking clock to keep them company (honestly, I read this shit somewhere) we, um, boxed them up and went to bed. 

HOHOHO,HAHAHA,HEHEHEHE, Not so fast, Junior.

Listening to a puppy spill his guts about being removed from his home is a little like hearing your kid sister get her arm torn off. Times two.

After fighting it for an hour or so, we ended up sleeping on the couch with the boys curled up amongst us until they had to pee. Which was hourly. Every hour. Did I mention that it was, um, every hour? All night?

Thank god they were cute the next day.

Damn its dark.


This is what oceandoggys house looked like last night. 

Usually when the lights go out all over the island like this it’s because someone knocked over a power pole on the main drag headed in.

You curse. You scream for fatalities- people should pay for making you miss your TV special on Einstein. Damn homers. Probably drunk Tourons ruining more of your life. You curse and stomp. The dogs flee and Miss Carol hisses at you.

But then you settle down and grab a coldie and build up the fire in the fireplace ’cause its gonna be a long night and you sit in the dark and muse.

Maybe too seldom we are forced to take the time to just sit. And think. And stare at the darkness and the flickering logs and settle in the quiet.

Its nice.

Gosh golly, Alice, there is a God.


It rained for about 15 days straight this week. It was like rainrainrainrainrainrain and then, just when you couldn’t stand it anymore, guess what? You got it. More rain.

Which means the surprised grass in our yard has started growing again. In NOV.EM.BER. 

Which means Carol gets to mow the lawn again. In NOV.EM.BER. 

FINALLY, though, the sun came out this morning. And with it came the news that Jack is doing better than expected.

While his prognosis still isn’t the greatest, (it is brain cancer after all), it’s much less dire than it was a couple of days ago. Turns out it was a Stage One rather than a Stage Four tumor (don’t know exactly what that means but it sounds hopeful). During the operation the docs were able to remove most of the tumor and then implanted a chemo disk (whatever that is) to kill the rest. According to Tim, Jack is in good spirits and resting comfortably.

Oceandoggy thinks its time for a coldie.

Consider this.


That two months ago you were fine.

That one month ago you began having headaches.

That two weeks ago your wife suddenly dies of cardiac arrest.

That one week ago you found out that you have a STAGE 4 brain tumor.

That tomorrow they operate on you.

That you may not survive the operation and if you do you may be in a wheelchair for the rest of your life. Paralyzed.

That all you want is to live and see your 14 year old son grow up. 

As hard as it is for me to wrap my mind around this it is the reality for someone we know. He is Carol’s youngest brother’s best friend. He was Tim’s best man at his wedding and is fighting for his life.

Say a pray for Jack and then kiss your loved ones and hold them tight.

Ladies Night.


Tonight is Ladies Night Out.

It’s the one night each month that oceandoggy makes his own dinner and cleans up after himself while Carol goes out with her friends and does Ladies Night Out stuff. What that stuff is, oceandoggy has no idea, nor does he really want to.


While Carol is out and about reveling in her femaleness with like kind oceandoggy makes his famous hot sausage and pinto bean dinner. (It’s really easy- you fry hot sausages and cut them up and stir them into a pan of pinto beans and eat them with a big spoon. Right out of the pan. With a cold beer. And then another. Cold beer, that is.)


What’s on the TV while oceandoggy is shoveling beans and sausages and beers into his pie hole? Extreme Cage Fighting? NASCAR? Football? Survivorman?

Noooo. No.No.No.No. Oceandoggy watches Anthony Bourdain. With the curtains closed so no one can see how light in the flip flops he’s becoming.

It is Ladies Night after all.

Backstory. Part deux.


So anyway.

We returned to the breeder a couple of weeks later to collect Cutter and, Carol was hoping, the runt of the litter. Carol had convinced herself over the intervening weeks that this runt was the greatest, cutest, most courageous little fella ever in the history of dog runts.

Oceandoggy, on the other hand, was not yet sure that two puppies at the same time was the best idea Carol had ever had.

We got to the breeder’s and the runt was gone. In fact, all the other dogs were gone except Cutter and, you guessed it, the big bully of the litter still sitting alone in his corner of the pen.

Except this time he looked, I don’t know, kinda confused. Kinda, like WTF?, where’d everybody go? Why am I all alone here?

Carol being Carol, instantly jettisoned any feelings she might have had for the runt and dialed in on the big bully. The breeder told us that he was the biggest of the litter and that no one had picked him, probably because of his size. And that they were probably gonna have to drown him in the creek out back because they already had plenty of dogs.

Carol turned to me, her fawning look complete with welling eyes on full blast, and Oceandoggy’s black heart softened. Just a little. But that was enough.

Meet Tug.

Carol and the breeder woman gave both puppies a bath, then she gave us the AKC and vet info, and sent us on our way. On the way home, Carol and the puppies sat in the back where they (the puppies, not Carol) immediately clawed their way up the seat back to stare out the rear view and whimper as the only home they had ever known dwindled and then disappeared.

Coming up later- Our first night together.

Backstory. Part 1


I don’t know why but this has been rambling around in my head all day. I write like everyone knows us, but I’m thinkin’ there’s at least a few who are probably scratching their heads saying Cutter who?, Tug what? Carol WTF?

And maybe, just maybe they would like some backstory. If not, tough. It’s comin’ atcha.

This is Cutter.

Four years ago we buried our last old dog. It was heartwrenching for me, holding another beloved dog as she was put down. I was done with dogs. They don’t live long enough. They chew a place in your heart, camp out, and then die. Damn them.

But then, four months later Miss Carol decided it was time, and while we were eating brunch on a Sunday went through the paper and found a breeder in North Carolina with a litter of Labs ready for adoption.

We drove down and checked out the puppies which kinda all looked alike except for the runt and a big bully that was sitting by himself in the corner of the pen. Rolling around in the general population was one that I picked up for whatever reason. He immediately fell asleep in the crook of my arm and I was smitten. Sonsabitches.

We chose him, named him Cutter, and wanted to take him home immediately, but had to wait for a couple of weeks until he was weaned.

On the ride home Miss Carol hesitated and then blurted out that she wanted the runt as well, if she was still available when we went back. I stared at her agape, my sphincter tightening.

Huh?? Two puppies, in our little house?? At the same time????? TWO AS IN 2 PUPPIES AT THE SAME TIME????. IN OUR HOUSE?????!!!!!

We stopped at a 7-11 for refreshment.

Next- Tug.



I watched this pelican for awhile this morning thinking that he was analogous of my weekend. He spent himself over and over trying to beat into the waves and get out to sea and I had beat myself against a wall trying to make things happen the way I wanted them to happen. 

I mentioned the connection to my bride tonight and she was characteristically sympathetic with my pussiness. Carol’s optimism is rash-like. (Her feelings on things are included in parenthesis)

It all started on Saturday morning. We were finishing the process of morphing our sailboat into a new(er) car for Carol and I honestly thought we could go to CARMAX and come home with her car. Wrongo. There was a glitch in the title stuff and we had to wait until Monday to pick it up. (Waaah, Oceandoggy has to wait for his new car.)

So I came home thinking I would go up to the beach with a book and a cold six-pack. No way Jose’. We had  a party to go to. (Waaah, Oceandoggy has to go to a party. And have fun. And drink beer.)

Sunday dawned and I wanted to take Carol and the dogs out on the boat. We got everything loaded and were all ready to go when the recurring water pump problem re-surfaced. I sat, staring at the outboard motor that hates me, grinding my teeth. (Waaah, Oceandoggy can’t go for a boat ride.)

So we went home and I thought I would go fishing on the beach. It had been warm and beautiful all morning. I packed up bait and lures and poles and beer and walked up to the beach. Thirty minutes later the wind had shifted and gotten cold and an annoying woman had stopped to talk to me about her life. (Waaah, Oceandoggy can’t fish)

I went back home thinking I’d watch the Redskins. HAHAHAHAHA homeboy, they’re playing on Monday Night Football. (Waaah, no football)

In despair, I figured I would go up on the deck, drink a beer and read a book. No such luck. Clouds had moved in and the wind was howling. (Waaah)

Finally, I just drank myself silly, feeling sorry for opportunities lost.

Then I watched that sad pelican, forlornly fighting for his life this morning and realized how little my little shit matters in the big scheme of things. 

I’m a lucky guy.

Happy Halloween.


Once again this year we had absolutely no trick-or-treaters. Nada. Zip. Zero.

I’m not quite sure why but I have my theories:

-maybe it was the appealing candy layout (my fault, not Carol’s-she was napping)

-maybe it was the blurry dog

-maybe it was the darkened house and closed drapes (did I mention Carol was napping?)

-maybe it was because we are surrounded by empty rental homes so it looks like no one is home in the darkened house with the closed drapes.

-maybe it was the barbed wire and concertina tape that I put up (after I was sure Carol was napping)

-maybe it was the covering fire that I laid down from the machine gun nest mounted on the deck (Carol can sleep through ANYTHING)

Maybe it was all those things and maybe more.

But whatever the reason, I win again- Butterfinger and Snicker sandwiches for me.