Monthly Archives: April 2010


Just a little short teeny tiny post as we hurl ourselves out the door and into a REAL LIVE NASCAR RACE.

I’m lookin’ forward to it but its not like I’m a big fan, but then again maybe I WILL be after this.

The only time I usta watch NASCAR was on the odd, rainy, stay-at-home-positively-nothing-else-to-do-weekend. The weekends when you’re sippin’ beer and staring out the window at nothing and you’re brain’s idling in neutral and you’re wondering if maybe breathing’s gonna become something you might need to think seriously about.

One of THOSE lazy ass weekends.

But most times, Miss Carol and me would go to lunch at one of the bars down here on the island on weekends and they’d have the race on.

And I was like, whatever, dude. NASCAR’s everywhere. Lots and lots of high speed left hand turns. Yawner.

Except maybe this time it was different. It was the first race that the FOX network did and something about the way they punched it up or the way they made it interesting hooked me. We got home and Miss Carol took a nap and I watched the whole race for like, the first time ever. Including the wreck at the end that killed Dale Earnhart.

Since then I’ve followed NASCAR kinda, sorta. It’s not a big thing in my life. I’ll turn it on, if I remember, and let it roll while we go to the beach or whatever. Keeps Cutter and Tug company.


When we were offered a sky suite at the Richmond race we were all like, oh, HELL YA.

So that’s where we’re headed.

I’ll let ya know if it’s worth it.

On another note, thanks for the e-mails concerning and concerned about Tug. He’s finally fine as frog’s hair. By Monday he was keeping food down and by Tuesday his poops were more Tug-like. (like ya need to know THAT)

Who know’s what goes on with these guys and why they have to make me crazy, but he’s good again.


Last Night.

I used to read everything John Irving wrote, loved his storytelling, his quirky characters and the back-to-front, future-to-present timeline he uses in his stories.

But then I stopped. Reading him, I mean, and I don’t know why.

I recently picked up Last Night in Twisted River maybe mostly because I liked the cover or maybe mostly because it had been so long since I’d read anything by him.

Whatever the reason, I’m glad I did.

Last Night in Twisted River is John Irving’s twelfth novel and, I think, one of his best. Ranks right up there with A Prayer for Owen Meany and The Cider House Rules if you ask me.

The novel opens in 1954 in a Coos County logging camp. Following an unfortunate and accidental murder the logging camp cook and his 12 year old son are forced to flee Coos County and become lifelong fugitives. They are protected (shielded?) from the implacable constable who doggedly pursues father and son across the decades by the cook’s oldest and best friend, Ketchum, a larger-than-life logger who had previously sworn to the cook’s late wife to always take care of them even though he’d been unable to save the life of a young newbie logger whose name and wallet lead the cook and his son to the first of their new lives.

Always quirky, Mr. Irving is.

The story continues, following father and son throughout their years on the run as they move and change their identities and try to live normal lives in the aftermath of that unfortunate and accidental murder, staunchly protected by the ever vigilant Ketchum who stays behind in Coos County to keep an eye on the implacable constable.

Last Night in Twisted River is the darkly tragic story of lifelong friendship and love between the logger, the cook, and his son. It’s a great read even if, towards the end, John Irving injects a bit too much of his politics and even if the ending itself is a little, perhaps a tad, a touch, maybe a trifle, implausible?, it’s still one of those books that you don’t want to ever end, one of those books that you’d like to move into the pages of and live with the characters.

Next on oceandoggy’s reading list- Dog On It by Spencer Quinn


Tug’s sick.

And that makes me sick.

It was on Friday that I first started noticing that Tug’s poops weren’t quite right (I’ll leave that at that) and then on Saturday he threw up once and Sunday not only were his poops not quite right but he was throwing up everything he ate.

His eyes are clear, his nose is cool and damp, and it (whatever IT is) hasn’t slowed him down at all, he just can’t seem to keep anything down. Since both Cutter and Tug are normally so robustly healthy it’s always a shocker and a concern when one of them gets the least bit sick.

For me anyway.

Not so much for Miss Carol.

While I worry and feel helpless and imagine all of the sorts of terrible diseases that Tug might be fighting, Miss Carol just kinda takes it all in stride, happily telling Tug that his stomach just isn’t feeling very good right now and that he won’t be getting any carrots at TreatTime tonight.

I know I’m probably just being a little girlygirl and she’s probably right, it’s probably nothing, and he’ll probably be fine tomorrow, still, I just can’t help but wonder what Cutter would ever do without his lifelong littermate.

It’s gotta be nothin’, right?


We were walking the dogs on the beach, where walking equals screaming after them hoping they’ll at least listen enough to occasionally saunter back and get a biscuit from Miss Carol.

It was a nice morning for Cutter and Tug to be running away, sunny, warm, the ocean an emerald green with just a little swell running. Maybe I wouldn’t even miss them.

So I started watching the fishing boats while thinking about a life with cats. Or maybe hamsters.

There’s a longing, a pull, a yankin’ that makes ya wanna head out to sea and work on a fishing boat. It looks idyllic, free of encumbrances and runaway dogs, lofty even, especially when the weather’s nice like it was.

But I know the reality.

I helped pull a gill net once and I have friends who’ve worked the boats. It’s brutally hard, usually cold, always wet labor that mostly seems to happen late at night or the early morning when the tides change.

It’s a tough way to make a livin’.

But it’s sure pretty to look at and yearn over while wonderin’ if Miss Carol will chase the fool dogs this time or if she’ll wait for me to do it again.


I don’t get it.

I really don’t understand why women, especially really good-looking women take all the time to get made up, get their hair done, and dress really smokin’ hot, and then cover up their faces with huge welder style goggles.

Call me stupid, call me out a tune with fashion, call me dickhead.


Honestly? The gigantic total tint face obscuring windshields are like beach-chic burqas if you ask me and I don’t know if the pretty women and girls are hiding or maybe just craving anonymity in a world where no one knows them to begin with or what.

But maybe I’m being too harsh, too misunderstanding, too loser-like, too not-in-touch. Hey, it’s not like I haven’t been accused of that before in the past, trust me.


Whatever. Like I’m some kinda fount of fashion?

But, while we’re on the subject, check this- Why is it black guys ALWAYS look cool in their shades?

I think Miss Carol would have his child.


A coupla things happened just recently (well, the ONE thing happened recently, the other I just recently REMEMBERED) that really made me think.

Just last week while I was being dragged by a winter rental she was in her driveway unloading her car and Tug naturally stopped to take a dump on her yard.

He likes an audience.

While I was waiting for him to finish so’s I could pick up his poop, the winter rental woman calls out to me, telling me how much she likes watching me being dragged by, walk my dogs each day. She goes on (because Tug is still going) to tell me how much he reminds her of her Lab that she just recently lost to cancer.

He was three.

When I tried to sympathize, to tell her how sorry I was, she just kinda shrugged it off like it was no big deal. But I could tell by the way she looked, the way she paused and watched as I was jerked walked away that she sorely missed her dog.

And then, as I trudged on cursing and yelling at Cutter and Tug, I remembered one evening last summer when I was once again being dragged by walking the boys and a car that was going by suddenly stopped and the driver jumped out asking if he could just pet my dogs. He gets down on his knees right there in the  middle of the road and wraps his arms around both dogs as Cutter licked his face and Tug pawed at his shoulder.

Did I mention he’s bawling?

He’s a touron and I’m thinkin’ he’s probably drunk or somethin’ but it turns out Cutter looks just like the dog he’d had until the week before when his soon-to-be-ex-wife left (put?) his dog in their garage with her car running. He tells me all this while he’s wiping his tears on his shirtsleeve and backing back to his car. He gets in, thanks me, still bawling, and drives away and I never see him again.

And the point?

I think the point is that I’m once again learning a lesson I shouldn’t need to keep re-learning.

Sure, there are times when Cutter is barking his annoying three-part bark because he wants the apple I’m eating or when Tug sits staring at me at five o’clock in the morning, huffing hot dog breath in my face, ’cause he wants to go out that makes me wonder-


But then there are the other times, times like when Cutter will come into the Me Only Room and lay down on my feet while I work or like when Tug will jump up next to me on the couch leaning against me, sighing, while I read or watch TV that I know-


And then to hear those stories I just wonder Why I EVER wonder Why?


Ya know.

We all work hard.

We all work late.

We fuckin’ bust our asses.

But there’s times when it becomes maybe too hard, maybe too much.

Miss Carol had another cutover at the hospital this weekend and I was gonna make dinner tonight and tomorrow night so’s all she’s just gotta do is come home, have a cocktail, and eat, and sleep.

After doin’ what I had to do today I went through a couple a cookbooks, decided on some cool stuff to make for dinner, and shopped and was all, like, locked and loaded and ready.

And then Miss Carol calls at 8:30 tonight and tells me it’s gonna be a while longer and maybe we just try the dinner thingy tomorrow and do I mind?

*big pause, deep breath*


So I put everything away and turned down the music, and went to bed.

It’s hard.


I don’t like confrontation of any kind. I kinda just like hangin’, ya know?

OK. A little back story.

Last fall I did some work for this old woman. Let’s call her WOW (as in, wacked-out-woman). Among other things I replaced the locksets on a couple of her doors. While I worked she told me how hard her life was, how frightened she was, and how she felt that her granddaughter’s husband had broken into her house.

She seemed like a pitiable little thing, kinda like a little field mouse caught in the headlights. Seemingly a little shocked by what life was tossing at her.

I felt bad for her.

But as I worked on her house over the course of the next several days I started to realize she was maybe not so innocent or sorry seeming. She was coldly calculating and ya know, like maybe a WOW?

Fast forward a couple a months and she’s calling me wanting me to send her something in writing detailing the damage done to her front door (um, none?) by her granddaughter’s husband whom she’s had arrested for felony property destruction with intent.

Oh fuck. Like I need this.

So I e-mail the scary little WOW a short declarative stating what I’d seen and done and figured that’d be the end of it, right?

Not a chance, not so fast Mister.

Fast forward a couple a more months and on Monday I get home and have a subpoena rubber banded to my door requesting my attendance in court.

Hoo boy.

So I go to court. And the mousey WOW thanks me like I have choice and tells me what she and her lawyer want me to say. I nod and don’t listen. There ain’t no way I’m lyin’ for anybody.

Well maybe for Miss Carol or Cutter or Tug. But that’s it.

And we go into court-a weirdly surreal place I’ve never been to-and go through the whole swearing in, questioning, witness-calling experience.

In the end the rodent WOW had no evidence other than a smoldering hatred for her granddaughter’s husband. The case was dismissed and I felt kinda glad for the guy.

I don’t know. nor will I ever, the whole story, but I was amazed and sickened by that woman’s driving vindictiveness and vile hatred. It opened a door into the human spirit I hope to never see again.


Outsider looking in.

My Insiders All Access Pass got cancelled last night.

It was Ladie’s Night and it was Miss Carol’s turn to host(ess?) which meant I was supposed to take my nasty male bits and disappear.

And I tried.

Fleeing the estrogen cloud I went upstairs with a book, some beers, and a really cool feel for an evening spent drinking and reading quietly and alone.

And I tried.

But then Miss Carol started bringing tour groups up to see our upstairs, women who had somehow missed seeing our, um, bedroom? And me? Sitting there reading and drinking and maybe looking forlorn and lonely all by myself?

It was a little bit like being in a petting zoo.

So I smiled and hugged and laughed and talked and wondered if there would be some kinda reciprocity and I could get some of their food.

But there wasn’t and I didn’t.


Sunday. Bigday.

Yesterday started out lookin’ like it was gonna be epic and maybe life changing. Miss Carol was gonna work on her cure for cancer and I’d decided that World Peace was at the top of my list of must do’s.

But then this happened.

Which meant this.

And lots and lots of this.

Which, you know, led to this.

Which meant life was good, just not overly productive.