Monday, November 10, 2008

Men, painting and idiocy

I've decided that I don't NEED a third child - as OddJobb is doing his standard 'man regressing' routine, and now I follow HIM around, cleaning up after him.

Case in point - we've lived in this house over 4 years now. When we bought it, we really liked the faux-finish done in the master bath and bedroom (apparently, it is 'rag off' technique, which always makes me think 'flame on' a la the Fantastic Four).

Anyhooo... this faux finish is a light yellowy-beige overlaid with an olive drab. Very nice, very neutral. It's even ON the ceiling (tray ceiling) - in other words, you WAKE UP looking at it.

But recently, thanks to moisture and windows and such, we need a touch up. In SEVERAL places. (Once upon a time, OddJob attempted such a 'patch job' by, ummm, SPONGING technique over the non-sponged wall. Not a good look.)

ANYHOOO... so we're all sick, the kids are hacking up lungs and bouncing off of walls thanks to the baby crack liquid albuterol, my mother is calling with her standard 'black hole of need, sucking the life out of me' phone calls... and OddJob is in the basement, trying to find the paint to match the master bath and bedroom. Because none of it is, like, LABELED or anything.

And all of a sudden, I hear his voice just SCREAMING for towels.

APPARENTLY - he found the matching paint. The stuff I remember as olive drab. He decided that, being all TIM TAYLOR, best course of action was to screw... SOMETHING.. on to his cordless drill, stick said something into the can of paint.... and completely cover the workroom in the basement MIX the paint.

Only what I vividly recall as olive drab (for the last FOUR YEARS) somehow, OddJob remembers as ... PINK.

Yes, I head down with towels to find OddJob AND the basement doused in pink paint.

Four years, same ceiling, not a drop of pink ANYWHERE, but in fact the OPPOSITE color on the spectrum. NO, he's not color blind.

Or, apparently, SMART.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I'm evil

I just sent my potty-training 2 year old down to the basement with instructions to tell her father "I poopy!! Need go potty!"

And it WORKED. He's actually coming up here to DEAL with it.

Baaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaa.

This never happens.

Great weather we're having....

Wish you were here.

OK, not really.

Cold, wet, gray, and everyone has a sniffle. Ahh, winter, she be a-comin'! Yay! Not!

This is the time of year when souther job offers get VERY SERIOUS consideration in this household. Where Texas and Florida - they aren't looking too bad.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

And we're finally BACK!

Geez Louise. Sick kids. Sick me. Sick computer (which was by FAR the worst).

But NOW - all healthy! Well, over-sugared thanks to a wonderful Halloween (and enough warm weather to T-or-T WITHOUT coats, which is a big big deal up here).

And my computer is back from the Geek Squad for only a hundred zillion many hundreds of dollars. But it's HEALTHY. And moving faster than the speed of smell, whee!!

Now if I can just load pics, I could post away like a mad thing, since the weather is gray and damp-ish and cold (ie: perfect for a night in with the fam)!

GOOD to be back!! Wheeee!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Checklist and countdown....

Popcorn? - popped
Wine? - poured
TV? - on
Children? - currently melting down as OddJob pulls them out of the tub and puts them down for the night.

We are READY!! For a night of flipping between the VP debate (cue the 'Flounder from Animal House' - "this is gonna be GREAT!!!") and the Cubs game!!

Voting - will be assigned to the team that steps on their collective dicks THE LEAST in the next 5 weeks....

Or the team that makes it to the World series!! Go Cubbies!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Big bad deep sigh.................

A very, very dear friend of mine just moved. This morning. Almost 12 hours ago.

To a land far, far away, known as 'Deepinahearta', aka TEXAS. Yes, I lost ANOTHER friend to a land that has a season known as 'crispy'. Which they seem to think is preferable to the Chicago season called "Freaking bitter cold and windy GRAY".

So I am bummed. Really bummed. Need cigars and whiskey and poker kinda bummed. I've been bummed for a good 2 weeks leading up to this (hence the absence) but today took the cake.

So now that OddJob is home, the necessary tequila consumption (it's MEDICINAL!) shall commence.

And when I come out of my dark poker-needing funk, I'll write more. From OUTSIDE this black hole. Of missing Wendy.

Booooooooooooooooooo!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Water is wet and icky..............

At lunch today, a friend of mine turned to me and asked "So when is Ike predicted to get to Chicago?"

Ummm..... that would be YESTERDAY, babe.

That sound you hear is my husband sucking water out of the carpet around the basement sump pump. Something about the thingy attached to the thingy and an 1/8" hole and a vapor lock... that resulted in a completely soaked 6-foot-diameter-circle section of basement carpet.

Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabulous.

We got off easy though - several people I know (such as
baglady Jill) were in much worse shape, and have huge rolls of sopping carpet sitting next to their mailboxes. Or got to try out their new canoes from their front doors. Or went to Menards for an hour, and came outside to find their minivan floating (saw that one live and in person!).

So all in all it was gray, cloudy and damp this weekend (I think we had about 9" of rain in our town overall).

So in order to keep the kids entertained... we took them to our gym and went... SWIMMING!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

no time, gotta run....

Sick Children. Bad weather. Cook county under tornado watch. Boss leaving on vacation - him in panic mode, therefore Jolly in panic mode. Husband working late.
You get the idea.

Once life returns to normal-ish, will be back!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Rude people

(cue the 'way back when' music)....

Several years ago, OddJob and I ran into a couple that we know from a time known as "when OddJob was athletic". The man (Person M) was on a team with OddJob, and they got on fairly well, and M eventually married the woman (person W) that he had been dating.

And whattaya know, they had moved out of the city and were living not far from us in suburbia!

I remember meeting M, no recollection of W (other than she was blonde) but we had children of comparable ages, and OddJob hadn't really formed any friendships since the demise of his role on said sports team. So they invited us to their sons birthday, we invited them to a BBQ, I was bending over backwards to try to be nice to W (didn't really have much in common - she still seemed very off-hand about me, which I found kinda weird) but M was very nice. They (looking back, or at least M) appeared interested in friendship.

One evening, had them over for dinner, with both of their children. It went very well. They were all eager to have us over - and named Date X about 3 weeks out.

About 1 week before Date X, I called (as I hadn't heard from them) to firm things up. M answered, seemed rushed, seemed not to remember any plans for Date X, said he'd check and call me back.

Never heard from them again. Kinda let THAT one go, but was very puzzled.

.............2 years later............

We spent this morning at #1A's first soccer game.

OddJob is coaching, which isn't going swimmingly with #1A. But so far ALL the parents have been not just polite, but making a real effort to be involved and nice. And this is NOT easy for several of the Moms, as 1 is still at the 'rudimentary English' level, several others are obviously recent immigrants (you can tell, because their sons KICK ASS at soccer). We're all still learning everyone's names, being somewhat cautious with each other (aware that we're all new to each other and there might be some cultural differences, and why step in it if you don't have to?).

But so far, so good, and there is a lot of group cheering for all the boys from all the parents, and none of that obnoxious "Go get HIM! Take that ball away from HIM!" highly-competitve nonsense from the sidelines. Because these kids are SIX.

As I'm wrangling #1B, snacks and water for the players, and other Moms, a man walks up to me and says "Hi JollyRoger".

I look up, and this person seems... mildly familiar? I'm thinking furiously, and finally say "Gee, sorry, you look familiar??" .....??

And he's all "Hahahaha, it's M".

As if it's perfectly acceptable to completely pretend that you don't have the grace to look mildly embarassed that you were a rude putz to me and OddJob and haven't spoken to either of us in years. (insert eyeroll here).

Me (very much taken aback and not really sure how to handle this one) - "Oh. Hi".

Then W materializes from behind M, and screeches in a pack-a-day-Marlboro voice that makes me wince "Oh, is that #1B?? I haven't seen her since she was a BABY. Wow, she's a MONSTER now!!!!".

To which I'm thinking "Wow, as if I needed MORE of a reason to completely avoid either of you in the future. Nice opening line there W."

Apparently M & W's son is playing on the opposing team. How do I know this? Because not long after this interchange, I hear a pack-a-day-Marlboro habit voice just SCREECHING "Go After him!! Take the ball away from him!!" from the OTHER teams sidelines.

And the meekest, mildest Mom on our team, the 'butter-wouldn't-melt-in-her-mouth' Mom says to me in thickly accented English:

"Geeeza, whose da beetch??"

And I couldn't help thinking - Thank you, higher power, for sending me the sign that it's NOT JUST ME!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Thoughts on Running

I have been running.

Which is really kinda huge, for me. I wasn't brought up to participate in team sports (frowned upon by the 'rents) and neither of my parents did ANYTHING more athletic than the occaisional bike ride.

And I'm short. Almost 5' 2", with the build of... not a runner.

But I've worked at it, and several of my Momtourage out of my local Moms group made a pact - run the Chicago 'Shamrock Shuffle' in 2008 as a group, or die of shame and endless riducule forever after.

So I trained. All winter. I even got OddJob to train WITH me. And this was a big deal, as OddJob was AN ATHLETE from the word GO. Swim team, HS wrestling and football, and rugby. Heck, when I met him he was playing rugby on the National level for the U.S. Combined Services Team, the All Army Team, ETCETERA....

And I ran the Shuffle. I was the oldest Mom in the group to do it (and damn near the shortest... actually, I think I WAS the shortest) and I posted the second fastest time of the crowd. Woo to the HOO for me! (AND - I was 36 hours back from a vacation in Mexico, with a respiratory infection, and (sorry, TMI ahead) right smack dab in the middle of a raging period).

And I'm pretty sure I hadn't run a step SINCE, until about a month ago.

But the 'Shuffle pact' crowd resurrected to torture ourselves into doing a 5k last Sunday. Ouch. Minimal training, 90 degrees, high humidity... what's not to like? (gasp, retch, ack)

Somehow, this has shamed OddJob into maybe, FINALLY, getting back into shape again. Because he stopped playing rugby (yes, I ACTUALLY put a gun to his head) about the time #1A arrived. And has basically fallen into major disrepair since. The weight-gain, still-eating-like-an-athlete, recently diagnosed with freaking GOUT kind.

And he's made REAL promises to get up in the morning to go running (I DO NOT RUN in the AM. AT all. Ever.)

To the point where we had an ACTUAL conversation along the lines of:

OddJob: I really, SERIOUSLY considered going running this morning.
Me: (swilling wine) Erp?
OddJob: When my alarm went off this morning, I put REAL EFFORT into considering it.
Me: (attempting to wrestle clothing off of #1B for bath) uhhhh...hmmmm??
OddJob: Seriously - I actually TRIED to get out of bed.
Me: GET OFF THE BED!!! UNBUTTON YOUR PANTS BEFORE YOU TAKE THEM OFF!!!!!
OddJob: I think it's progress.. really, I'll be SO much closer to getting out of bed TOMRRORW and actually GO running...

Go OddJob!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First day of school! Just like Nemo!

Yep, it's happened at last - #1A has begun Kindergarden.

And I think I we did very well today! Took him to before-school care (Kindercare), watched him get on the bus to 'real' school, followed the bus like some rabid stalker , met him on the playground, watched him parade in to 'real' school....

and not even a backwards glance from our tough little #1A.

UNTIL I called Kindercare about 1/2 hour after 'real' school let out. And got the scoop from the center director.

APPARENTLY, #1A got out of school, looked around, realized we WEREN'T there (and the schoolbus to Kindercare was), and burst into tears.

Because he missed us? No.
Because he didn't like school? No.
Because he DID like school and didn't want to leave? No.

Because.... he had given his Luke Skywalker bobble-head toy to Dad for safekeeping (rule #1 - NO TOYS at 'real' school rule #2 - NO GOING COMMANDO at 'real' school). It's been tough enough keeping underwear on this kid.

And he wanted his bobblehead BACK, and Daddy WASN'T THERE to return it. Thus much boo-hooing.

Going to be an interesting year....

Monday, September 1, 2008

Long weekend and ridiculous politics...

Had a lovely weekend of BBQ's, parades with the kids, a Cubs game (they lost, Boooo!) and I even ran a 5k!

.. and watching hurricane Gustav and the whole Palin debacle.

I'm going to choose to remember the fun part. But I must admit, the whole Republican almost-Veep-nominee and 'babygate' kinda stole the show today.

OddJob and I knew NO ONE sitting around us at the Cubs-Astros game today, yet 'babygate' was THE TOPIC of conversation amongst complete strangers (OK, the game was a snoozer until the Cubs ALMOST pulled the ninth inning out of the hole... but didn't. Sigh.)

Guess I'm just not a fun of electing and campaigning. Will this be over with soon?

It was a good weekend to try and avoid the computer.. and phone... and camera... since everything technological seemed to be going haywire Thursday and Friday... and ONCE AGAIN, I called it...... but to explain.....

When things in life went horribly awry, my mother would wander around muttering about 'mercury... retrograde' and go hide under the covers (or something). To the point that I STILL say this. Heck, I said it online on my Moms group message board this past spring... only to find out it WAS in retrograde. Since then, whenever technology goes afoul, significantly in a short span of time.. well, I seem to have a mercury-in-retrograde-o-meter going on.

Betcha that's how Sarah Palin is feeling right about now.....

Monday, August 25, 2008

"Swanky!" which now translates as.....

Gay.

Who knew?

My best friend Marcia (she of the east-coast, near-Philly, why-haven't-we-transferred-out-there? variety) had a gift certificate to her choice of a list of restaurants. And a BABYSITTER.

So being fearless (and time-constrained) she briefly scanned her choices, and settled on a little bar-restaurant billed as

"Swanky, stylish restaurant & bar scene. Brunch & dinner served"

Really, how far off the mark could this married, middle-aged, parents of 2 actually BE?

.......... ummmmmmm.......... judging by the baskets of 'Trojans' helpfully provided outside of each of the 4 co-ed bathrooms..... pretty damn far off the mark.

And hey, I always thought her husband was kinda hot, apparently I'm not alone.

Well, OK, I'm alone for MY people!

Well anyway, other than the cranking-loud grinding gay bar, they had a lovely time in the tiny but elegant courtyard dining area, and a very lovely meal. And Marcia's husband was CHECKED OUT, a fact he little appreciated.

Marcia says she'd go back for the food... probably WITHOUT her significant other. Too bad I'm all the way out HERE in the midwest.

Because stuff like this almost NEVER happens to us! (well, except for that time I got hit on by a TRULY gorgeous blonde woman IN the ladies locker room of the Chicago Yacht Club, Belmont station.....still shaking my head over that one...

Because face it, I'm kinda hot hot-ish. Or well preserved.

OK, I'm not Marcia's HUSBAND or anything.........

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I hate Home %*(@#*&!_#?! Depot

Oh. My. God.

And to think I used to own stock in that place!!!!

Anyone else just LOATHE the self-checkout? I had to run out for stuff, with the kids, and I go there so rarely I forgot what a HUGE PITA it is.

#1 - NO employees are actually around to ask 'where is X'?
#2 - If you DO find someone, they will tell you they don't know where X is anyway, then just WALK AWAY.
#3 - the self checkout (shudder).

Ahh, the self checkout. It never works BY ITSELF (which is the WHOLE POINT, isn't it??). They have a permanent staff of the annoying "help at self-checkout" employee there to help with the 4 self-checkouts that never let you just SELF-CHECKOUT. That outta tell you something.

Apparently, it won't work because my son was just barely leaning against it. When annoying "help at self-checkout" employee arrives, this is what she tells me. So I move #1A.

#1A is pissed off.
#1B takes his place, and won't move. I have to damn near YANK her out of between the checkout and the cart....

...and she starts to MELT DOWN and SHRIEK.

AND I LET HER. Because these HD assholes employees DESERVE to be annoyed too, at this point!

Then I try to pay. I push the buttons. NOTHING happens. Annoying "help at self-checkout" employee arrives AGAIN (she's been avoiding me because of #1B, who is still shrieking and turning purple-ish now) and asks "Did you push the button?"

YES I DID. HOW many times do I need to push it?

So we leave, #1A grumbling, #1B shrieking, and me muttering under my breath IN A VERY LOUD WAY that we are NEVER COMING BACK HERE. There is a Lowe's RIGHT across the street!!!

Deep breath.
Better now.

Is it JUST ME?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Tag, I'm it! The ABC's of Meme Award...

I got a little bloggie award and a tag for a meme!! Ree over at TheHotfessional gave it to me - my first! An award!! Woot!!

I have very little idea what any of it means (and look mom, no rules!) so I'm going to fake it and try to do this anyway!

A. Attached or single? Attached - very, very legally attached ;) Although with the new reorg at work, we'll be in the same 500 square feet. Which will, I'm sure, do wonders for our marriage!
B. Best friend? Marcia (Marcia Marcia). Although everyone else calls her Marci, I KNEW HER WHEN!
C. Cake or pie? CAKE. Unless it is my bourbon pecan pie....
D. Day of choice? Friday. Something about Friday just breathes relief...
E. Essential item? Undereye concealer. Or maybe sunscreen?
F. Favorite color? Red red ruby redrum red.
G. Gummy bears or worms? These are the choices????
H. Hometown? Chardon Ohio, I guess?
I. Indulgence? Pedicures. And professional gray covering haircolor!
J. January or July? July, duh, sailing!
K. Kids? Two. And I will NEVER DO THIS AGAIN (pregnancy and birth, not the kids. Kids are good!)
L. Life isn’t complete without? Wireless internet and rum.
M. Marriage date? 7/5
N. Number of brothers & sisters? 1 sister
O. Oranges or apples? both - while in sangria. Otherwise, forget it.
P. Phobias? The dark!
Q. Quotes? “ A good friend helps you move. A REALLY good friend helps you move a body."~Anonymous
AND
"Measure what is measurable. Make measurable what is not" ~ Galileo Galilei

R. Reasons to smile? My sons smile, my daughters giggle, and the fizz from a fresh bottle of tonic...
S. Season of choice? Autum.
T. Tag seven peeps! Tagging and handing out bling-bling below
U. Unknown fact about me? I have exceptional hearing. When I did the DODMERB physical, the Navy guys CRIED that I was a girl and couldn't serve in the submarine fleet. But my hearing is so good outside of the range of the human voice, I can barely make out what anyone is saying due to the background noise. (Someone upstairs has a very very twisted sense of humor...)
V. Vegetable? Sugar snap peas a al Costco
W. Worst habits? Biting my nails.
X. X-ray or ultrasound? Too many of each to count...
Y. Your favorite food? Sushi!
Z. Zodiac sign? Aquarius with Capricorn rising. Apparently, the most likely sign to commit suicide! (who writes this crap, anyway??)

I got this cool award!!


My taggings go to:
Hok over at hokgardner
Barb over at Sothethingis
Andrea over at rickandreawalshfamily
Jill at DaisyBags

Whirrrr, whirrrr, whirrrrrrr..........

But where is the 'clunk, clunk'??

We have a new fridge. Because the dishwasher died. That makes sense, right? Well, it also has to do with the refacing of the kitchen cabinets.....

I'll 'splain here..... the dishwasher died (you know that). So OddJob decides that not only do we have to replace it (duhhh) we have to replace it with stainless.

To match all the other WHITE appliances. (eyeroll, please)

For some reason, I went along with this. Because the dishwasher is on the OPPOSITE side of the kitchen from the fridge and the in-wall ovens.

So not long after, as we are FINALLY REPLACING the gawd-awful pickled oak cabinets that we have both LOATHED for 4 years, the cabinet guy asks "so, replacing the rest of the appliances too?"

And OddJob says "hell YEAH" in the same breath that I say "hell NO".

Guess who won?

The only part that I won was about 2 days before stainless-monstrosity-fridge is due to arrive, when the fridge guy calls saying "Uh, youse guys know that fridge you ordered? Yeah. They like don't make it anymore. But I'se gots a floor model, howse about 200 bucks off if its got no dings or nuttin'?"

Well why not. Sure, knock $200 of this thing. I played no part in its' picking anyway. Anyways?

Whatever.

So here we have a mahhh-velous magnetic-stainless French-door (ooooh la la) fridge with ice and water in the door. And it PLAYS MUSIC!! Oh yes, the kids press a button and it plays a little tune (dading DaaaahDING!) as it switches modes from ice to water to... some other kind of water? Heck if I know.

Aaaaannnnyyyyyway.. here I stand, I've Da-dinged my way to the ice function, and it's whirring away to beat the band.

But no clunk clunk.

This is the LAST TIME that OddJob buys a major appliance unsupervised. All flash. No function.

crap. What does that say about ME????

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Rage

Rage. I has it.

Had a LOVELY chat with the Cook County Police Monday morning, about 2 AM. Our mailbox had been destroyed. AGAIN. That's twice in 8 days.

Seriously??

Here's how it went (cue the 'way back when' music).... After I came home seasick , I had a glass (or 2) of wine with OddJob, took a Lunesta and went to bed.

Woke up at about 1:30 AM to the sound of... fireworks? Lifted my head and looked out the window



Where I saw: nothing.

So I went back to sleep (kinda noticing that OddJob wasn't IN bed with me, and I think lights were on in the house?) but totally not caring but too sleepy...

About 20 minutes later, I hear a RACKET.

Look outside window again (OK, like this, but dark like 2 AM)



Only this time, there is a total piece of shit somewhat beatup, ancient silver vehicle that I can ALMOST see in front of our mailbox.



What, you can't see a mailbox? (THANK YOU. Please explain this to the Cops when you see them).




It's right THERE. Behind the tree. Next to where the car was.

Anyyywayyyyy.......... from what I could HEAR, at least one kid was working feverishly, BY HAND, not a baseball bat to be heard, destroying our mailbox and ripping the post out of the ground.



UNDER the streetlamp.

They may be destructive, but at least they're stupid.

I SPRING out of bed and run downstairs (again noting that all the lights are on, the front door is open, and OddJob is busily sawing logs, passed out on the couch, totally oblivious).

At this point, either the moronic kids were done destructing, or they saw me, but they hopped into their muffler-less piece of crap car and took off.

Oddly, I did NOT get a good description of the vehicle or the kids. Thanks to the great view of our mailbox from the front door.



Which would be like this, only darker at 2 AM.

So I start yelling like a banshee, which only SLIGHTLY rouses OddJob, and I'm yelling things like 911 and COPS and KIDS and MAILBOX...

... and he looks at me as if he was thinking Who ARE you? blearily, doesn't speak, and slowly walks UPSTAIRS. (We will discover later that he had a glass of wine WITH me - then finished the bottle and had 2 more. Way to go there, OddJob! <-- insert eyeroll here).

I'm still fuming and raging and tired and drugged (Lunesta, that's my story and I'm sticking to it) and just RAGING. I dial 911, then hang up thinking "well that's dumb, I'll just google the Cook County Sheriff".. not realizing that if you call 911 and hang up, they call you BACK.

The phone rings, it's 911. Oh crap. So I give them my totally reasonable sounding and completely coherent version of events.

At which point OddJob comes BACK downstairs (he's apparently been upstairs, wandering around, for about 10 minutes) and announces triumphantly:

"The kids aren't in the mailbox! They're in their ROOMS!"

Seriously, I was almost widowed at that point.

Anywayyyyy................. after a conversation with 911, they send over...... easily the most desperately bored police officer I've ever met. This guy wouldn't LEAVE. He took my shut up OddJob, I made way more sense than YOU did totally coherent statement, wrote up an incident report, and left. Finally.

Oh, and they took out the neighbors mailbox too. Only they weren't home. So we took the pieces and left them on their front porch, leading them to believe that the hooligans responsible were at least REMARKABLY polite.

And a week goes by. And nothing.

And then - Monday AM, 1:30, I wake up to see..........a total piece of shit somewhat beatup, ancient silver vehicle behind my tree, and a kid working like the devil to destroy our NEW mailbox, BY HAND.



Literally, there's superglue holding it together.

I am STILL torqued off. Even figured out how to rig up an ancient webcam as a motion sensing detector and got these pics Tuesday night



and this


Yes, I know. They suck.

What I REALLY need is a decent focal length IR video camera connected to a joystick and a gatling gun.

But I'm betting that's illegal. Sigh.

Because you KNOW these idiots will be BACK. (fume, fume).

So if you have any GREAT ideas (that won't injure the mail carrier) now is the time!!

Inner Peas

Things I need: more veggies, and inner peace.

Been a-ragin' lately over various enraging and moronic life thingies. So I will be posting about the raging, once I'm done raging.

Kind of like the classic line from Tootsie "I'll pick you up at 3 and enrage you".

So I'll leave you with a little something from #1a

video

Monday, August 4, 2008

North Wind: 1, Jolly Roger:0

Seasickness.

Or should that be 'lake sickness'?

North wind: 1 Jolly Roger: 0

The lake gods were against me on Saturday. The boat was finally back from the Race to Mackinac and the 100-miler, and I even brought new rail meat crew with me (very cute guy from work).

However, Zenda was against me. And our goddess-like foredeck crew. And the owners' visiting-from-out-of-town daughter. Because north winds (here) equal BIG WAVES (aka 'chop') which is a godawful somewhat unpleasant sailing experience. So Glinda, good witch of the north, you are officially on notice that you are NOT WELCOME here anymore!

We left the harbor on an absolutely stunningly gorgeous Chicago summer day (and lots of Lollapalooza music) and headed out. As soon as we left the harbor breakwater, the CHOP HIT. Ouch. Since we were motoring, the boat would 'fall' down the face of a wave to a horrific THUUDDDDDDDD! And the crash would cause all these lovely-sounding reverberations through the boat. Nice.

We're about 50% of the way out to to race circle when two of the owners and myself start discussing just HOW MUCH we really want to do this. It's not a 'boat of the year' (BOY) race for us (translation - it doesn't really count), the wind is blowing 20 knots (right at the edge of "white knuckling it" weather), slated to build in intensity, and we have 3 very new and fairly useless crew out of 9.

After a lot of teeth gritting (and myself and foredeck goddess turning even more verdant shades of seasick) we decide to just bag it, head in, and eat.

Which was great, except for the "jolly roger sitting at the rail preparing to heave" for an hour.

Not a lot of eating for me (what it takes to succeed at amy diet... sigh..) But the "newly hot" crew from work LOVED it. Which could be bad. I'm highly susceptible to "hot guy" distraction while sailing!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mackinac - Part 2, where there was SUN

And the weary, teeming masses did arrive on Mackinac, and it was gray, and it was cloudy, and darkness was upon the faces of the wives and girlfriends "shore support", and they dranketh, and eateth, and dranketh some more....


And it was a dark and stormy night.... and then the boats got in! CanCanDeux, Painkiller 4, Regardless, Fineline, just to name a few. And the sailors were wet, yet parched. And they dried off, and did drinketh! And happiness was upon the land of Fudge and horse poo, and the next morning...

there were boats

and more boats

and lots of wet things that needed to be dry.

and lots of dry sailors things looking for a drink.

And behold - for there was An Awards Party!.
And Sugar Cane had been turned into Rum! For truly, a miracle had occurred! The tired, became more tired! The sober, became less so!


Anyyywayyyyyyyyy............


Regardless took a 5th in section, which is pretty damn fine what with 25 boats in their section. But last year, they took a first. By a LOT. So the bar was high, but hey, at least a flag to fly on the forestay (cuz Regardless doesn't have enough of THOSE, snort).

And the party continued, and there was much rejoicing. Or something. Drinking Rum.

Look, matching outfits! Yes, no fashion faux pas is too much for the team spirit of Team Regardless! (that's me on the far left -shudder-). And what else are we doing? Drinking Rum.

The Team, doing what they do best (that's Bill W, OddJob and Tim M). Yes, Drinking Rum.


Corky even brought Betty Boop to the party (she was on the sail up - lucky her. Not.)


A lovely sunset dinner with the Team. With wine. Lots and lots of wine.


Awards given out by CJ and OddJob (yep, you win CROC Jewelry. Yes, they actually MAKE this stuff...)


Just to give you some idea of what we have to live up to on this boat - this is one of the owners, C. He's just been give a dinosaur piece of Croc Jewelry (no mercy here). This is the guy we send UP the mast when something goes wrong (better him than me) and in the winter, he relocates to Colorado, where he is a ski instructor 6 days a week at Breckenridge. The guy is SEVENTY-TWO. As in actual people years. Blows the rest of us away.


Finale - a great fireworks display that evening. Ooooh, aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh.

On the ungodly long drive home, we spotted this sign at a gas station:

Seriously - they can keep it.

100th Race to Mackinac - Part 1

We drove, they sailed, the boat didn't win (like LAST year). And I think I might be off of fudge for life. Yep, it was a party....

But I'm getting ahead of myself... first, there was the drive from Hell . OK, it wasn't THAT bad yes, yes it was but Zenda was against me (that's the goddess of weather. She and I have had WORDS).

Shelly (off of CanCanDeux) and her kids and Mom and I got on the road at 8 9.



And stopped for breakfast for an hour.



See? It's CHOCOLATE PARADISE here!

And admired the price of gas (oh so CHEAP!!) on dah Oooopeeeee (that's the UP. Upper Pensinsula, MI).

See?

The farther you go into the exact freaking center of nowhere north, the better it gets. Prices are falling!



And had weather.

And it was getting dark....

And we I began to panic when we I realized that we had a time change and were in danger of NOT making the last ferry to the island, and would have to stay at some creepy motel with the sign outside announcing "highly recommended by Owner!!" (didn't get a pic for that one, but it is THERE!).

But we DID make it Shelly's Mom Priscilla is pointing out that Mackinac is THIS island.
And me.

Got pretty pics on the way out....

like the Grand Hotel

(Shelly's #1)

Then hightailed it to our respective hotels. Armed with fresh clothing, ninety gazillion women hit the Pink Pony (REAL pic of the Pony) where much alcohol was consumed, and I (amongst others) was groped by a man claiming to be gay. I think he lied....

And stayed out Way. Too. Late.

And staggered down for breakfast the next morning with the very hungover...


and went shopping for overpriced sailing crappola to wear proudly for eons to come! We did indeed find some sailing stuff, crammed in between shops like this:

and this:

because apparently there is a law here that you must have some of this:

every 10 feet.
Seriously.

Which leads us to... my #1 problem with the island of Mackinac. See, they don't allow motor vehicles (except the fire engine). They have horses. And I might have mentioned the fudge shops. You see where this is going, right? Yes, the predominant, uh, reek fragrance on this island is a combination of FUDGE and HORSE MANURE. Kinda scars you for life. Ever been near a paper mill? That smell that just lingers forever, somewhere between cinnamon and diarrhea? Yep, that's what we're dealing with. ALL. DAY. LONG.

Anywayyyyyyyyyyy...............
there was lunch....

And I gather a 45 minute bike ride around the island. Because that's how big it is. (But I took a nap instead).

And croquet. (but I was still napping).

and happy hour.

and dinner.

And a really cute bartender named Steve..


who made sure that Shelly got the BIG version of this drink called a CAPE CODDER (get it Shelly?? Vodka and cranberry juice has a NAME!) and not the little weenie version that the OTHER bartender gave her at first. No siree. Steve wasn't going to stand for THAT!

Then it was time to head to the tent at the finish line, to huddle in the cold and pouring rain, waiting for Regardless and Cancan and FineLine to actually FINISH. Which they did, but it was 10 PM and raining so No Pics For You!