Monthly Archives: December 2009

And Happy New Year.

So it’s a new year.

And hopefully your new year will be better than the last, or if your last was so good you can’t stand another that good, than maybe worse.

But for most of us I reckon it’ll be maybe more of the same grindingly sameness that is our lives on the day to day train.

Which isn’t a bad thing. Be glad of it. Rejoice in the bland uniformity that coats and comforts most of us. Take heart and remember to focus on the little shit that makes you happy.

Whatever it is.

Whether it’s the coolieo tune played loud or a cold beer or the pretty girl in a bikini or a dog’s smile.

Revel in it and be glad.

HAPPY 2010.

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Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and Feliz Navidad and Super Kwanzaa and whatever.

I hope your oh-nine was the kind of wonderful year full of the happiness that makes us turn our faces up to the sunlight and that 10 is even better.

Lift a bottle, a glass, a cupcake. Celebrate.

And since we’re celebrating, here’s the annual, repetitive, rendition of the oceandoggy apple crack recipe.

It’s highly addictive and so easy it’s scary. Did I mention it’s scary and addictive?

Here goes-

4 bags dried apple chips- any kind without cinnamon

walnuts

craisins

raisins

24oz box of Quaker Oats cereal-the blue box

1 stick of butter

1 stick of margarine

3/4 cup brown sugar

3 tsp cinnamon

Melt the butter, margarine, sugar and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl mix everything together and then drizzle the buttery goodness over it. Mix it all up with a big spoon and give it away.

Really.

Otherwise, you’ll wake up from your apple crack induced coma on the couch with an empty bowl sitting on your greasy chest and Cutter and Tug licking your fingers.

Not that that’s ever happened to me.

Cozy.

This is Miss Carol’s favorite part of the weekend. Any weekend and especially this weekend. With the temperature just above freezing and the winds clocking out of the northeast at around 40 knots and a drenching drizzle blowing who can blame her?

It’s nice being draped in Labs.

Cutter just melts, molding himself to you but Tug slams into you before settling down, kinda like the little bully at school that wants you to like him but doesn’t know how to go about it.

Me?

I’m just listening to the storm sounds. Listening to it grumbling and tumbling down the chimney, to the wind chimes clangin’ and bangin’ around out back, to the pirate flag slappin’ and flappin’, trying to hold on.

And I’m watching the rain as it blows by in sheets looking not unlike the spanish moss that hangs from trees down in New Orleans.

And I’m wishing the dogs would just poop in the living room so I don’t have to walk them tonight.

Emeffer.

After the long, drawn out, fiasco this past spring, summer, and fall with the restoration of Myty Wyty, our 1983 Chevy Suburban, I decided to finish the job my-own-self.

I was over it, over depending on other people to do things I should be able to do myself, over the money drain, over it.

I figured most of the heavy lifting had been done, excruciatingly painfully by the loser-restorer dudes so I should be able to finish it? Right?

Right.

To test my resolve, Myty Wyty immediately broke down. Twice. Forcing me into the pit of horrors under her hood, that greasy land of inaccessibility, skinned knuckles, and potty mouth.

I’m not quite sure why I have such a head case about automotive repair. I mean, honestly? I work with tools every day, so it’s not like they’re an ill-fitting foreign thing in my hands, something ungraspable. Hell, I changed out the inboard diesel engine in our sailboat years ago.

And yet.

Car repair kicks my ass. I dread it like sunburn. I hate it and feel that the motor and the tools and parts all sense my hatred and resent my lack of desire and ability so each foray is fraught with something akin to having teeth pulled.

So why do it?

Honestly? I don’t know. It’s a stupid man thing I’m guessin’

BTW UPDATE- my entrepreneurial elf shimmied up my leg and crawled up my back and whispered in my ear-ITS CHRISTMASTIME DUMBASS, SELL STUFF.

So I put together a fairly lame collection of t-shirts, a hat, and calendar mostly so he wouldn’t yell at me. To celebrate my lameness go to doggy gear and follow the link.

You’ll be sorry you did.

Crap.

I put off writing this post and put it off and put it off ’cause I hate being negative about any book and had hoped to think of something, anything, positive I could say about Serena.

But in the end, I found I couldn’t. Maybe I shouldn’t have posted anything, maybe I should’ve just let well enough alone and tossed the book when I was through with it, but I found I couldn’t do that either.

So I decided, since this book sucks so bad, to just spew out the whole story including the ending so that you won’t be tempted to read it, saving your life a precious couple of days that you can better use elsewhere.

You can thank me later.

Newlyweds Serena and George Pemberton arrive at his logging camp in depression era NC after being attacked at the train station by the father of George’s 15yr old? 14yr old? mistress because he has a problem with George impregnating his daughter and casting her aside like a soiled condom. George kills him in the resulting knife fight, setting the tone for the whole book.

George and Serena step right into the role of lord and lady of the logging camp, perfect in every way. Each day, astride her all-white Arabian horse and with her hooded, hunting falcon on her arm, Serena rides up the mountain to where the loggers are working and tells them how to do their jobs. I’m sure there’s some kind of imagery there that was lost on me but really? she should have just flown in on a spaceship.

Together, the two of them, with the help of her devoted henchman Galloway, begin to systematically work the loggers to death, or simply kill them and anyone else who stands in the way of their completing logging operations before the federal government takes the mountain from them, all the while busily coupling, (the author’s word, not mine) trying to produce an heir. Busy, busy people.

The story climaxes when Serena, who we’re told always sleeps in the nude, finds out that she, as a result of her miscarriage, can never have children. Ever vindictive, she has the doctor killed and then sics Galloway on George’s illegitimate son and ex-mistress. George, fearing he might have made a mistake hooking up with Serena, has the sheriff help them escape so Serena has Galloway kill the sheriff and her husband instead. Are we seeing a pattern?

And the fun doesn’t stop there.

The widow Serena, after cutting down all the trees in NC in record time, moves on to South America with Galloway in tow and becomes a hugely successful mahogany baroness, employing the same strong-arm savagery used in NC. Hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

All is happiness and ruthlessness until one night, decades later, her dead husband’s grown up illegitimate son, who has a bone to pick why?, finds out where she is and travels from San Francisco to Brazil, breaks into her home and, stepping over the sleeping Galloway, kills her while she’s sleeps, still in the nude. I’m sure this was more imagery I missed, or something.

Whatever it was, at least it was the end.

My vacation.

Miss Carol’s and me’s first visit ever to the island of Cozumel off the coast of Mexico began as a vacation sitting squarely in the shadows of an Ironman Triathlon. It loomed over all of us (even though Miss Carol and me weren’t competing) as something that had to be endured before the fun could really kick in. Kinda like going to pick up your date but having to meet her parents first.

Cozumel is beautiful- luscious green vegetation and swaying palm trees surrounding brilliant white coral beaches running down into the gin-clear Caribbean Sea hued in blues and turquoises both unbelievable and indescribable and we couldn’t wait throw ourselves into her arms.

Unfortunately, the Ironman towered, daunting and implacable, with its 2.4 mile swim, its 112 mile bike, and its full 26.2 mile marathon. Think grueling in paradise. This was Miss Carol’s little sister’s third Ironman and I knew she trained relentlessly for these things and I also knew that they were like, really hard? But.

Until you live one of these things live you have no idea.

The swim start was at 7am. After an hour in the water Miss Carol’s little sister transitioned to her bike where she spent the next 7 hours pedaling around the island. Think about that for a moment- 7 HOURS ON A BICYCLE. And because Cozumel is fairly small, they had to make three circuits around the island in order to rack up the requisite 112 miles. To give you some idea and provide perspective, in between cheering for her as she passed by on her laps around the island, Miss Carol and me napped by the pool, walked up the beach to a restaurant and had lunch, drank some beers and cocktails, took showers, read and watched TV- all while Miss Carol’s little sister raced around the island knowing she still had four hours of marathoning ahead of her.

Amazing. Who thinks up these things?

But she finished and became an Ironman for the third time twelve hours after she started her triathlon, finishing with a time of  12:16:12- 11th in her age group. I was surprised how moved and wowed I was by her performance and by the sheer scope and magnitude of her accomplishment. And, of course, Miss Carol was crying, she was so damn proud of her little sister.

WAY TO GO JULCOOL!!!!!!!! YOU ROCK!!!!!!

As for Miss Carol and me? Our elapsed time in Cozumel was 5 days and 4 nights of tacos and burritos and cervezas (that’s Mexican for beer, ya’ll) and cocktails and laughter and just plain fun. And ya know what? Looking back after a space of days I’ve come to realize that, far from being the buzzkill we thought it might be, the race actually became the defining moment, the very reason for our trip, and what we will remember long after everything else fades.

It was way cool and Miss Carol says we’re gonna do it again.