Monday, December 9, 2013

Dumpster Diver

"Stop buying the unneccessary.  Toss half your stuff, learn contentedness.  Reduce by half again.  List 4 essential things in your life, do these first, stop doing non-essential.  Clear distractions, focus on each moment.  Let go of attachment to doing, having more.  Fall in love with less."  - Minimalist's Mantra

Always, I'm reiterating my lack of attachment to material things and the obvious neglect of accumulating that one would except of someone my age.  In my early 20's I made very little money but some how managed to travel and see and do more than could be justified if put on a balance sheet with income vs. expenses.  I smile now because of all the things I missed about "growing up", being able to go and see different places was it...and it's worked its way back into my life.  What I make now is a laughable fraction of what I had at one time accomplished but I am the happiest of my life.  We just returned to reality after spending Thanksgiving in south Florida and before that we pulled a hastily put together 4 day trip to Islamorada. On the short trip we only packed one litttle bag and as an after thought realized we could've saved the money and put it all in a back pack.  As we waited for the baggage carousel to start up, we hear Velcro being paged.  Our luggage it seems took the later flight and was currently enroute to NY.  They gathered our hotel information and let us know it would be in later that night and they would deliver it to us.  All the quicker that we could get our little rented car headed south.  Alabama Jack's on Card Sound Road was our first "neccessity" stop.  One can not live on Bailey's and Coffee alone, but add conch fritters and beer to the mix and respectable food pyramid can be accomplished. Being that I was in jeans our next stop was at the big lobster for an $8 sundress.  Our list of things we figured we didn't want to live without follows.  Liquor, styrofoam cups, bananas, toothbrushes and toothpaste, peanuts, and some lotion from the dollar store....and a pair of flip flops for the man.  Our luggage didn't show until late morning the next day...we had decided over coffee and bananas that qtips and deodorant were the essential second day items if still no bag.  For the Thanksgiving trip I made sure the phone charger was in the backpack along with a pair of shorts and flip flops, all other "things" can be lived without.  

I have over the years found some of my coolest possessions by or in dumpsters...other's discards have become my little treasures.  Thinking back, the first dumpster score that I recall also is one of only two times that I've ever had to actually "dive" as most things are left more accessibly propped beside said dumpster.  It was a dark room enlarger.  I had a little darkroom at the time, set up in the back of the dive shop and the enlarger that I had was tiny, ragged and very limited as to what I could accomplish with it.  The one I found was the cat's meow.  Luckily there was little else in the dumpster and it was behind a strip center of businesses so no nasty stuff was in there.  Over the years I've gotten a covered cat pan, a Gamecock dog leash, a fake palm tree, a whole box of plates, glasses and knives (even an electric one), a carved african statue, a foldable wheelie cart, and a surfboard that was signed and painted by a what appears to be a group of college kids that were on a bus trip with a surfer driver named Rich.  He made quite the impression, judging from the things they wrote on the board.  It now hangs in my living room as my main piece of "art".  There are more, but I just can't remember them all right now.  My plates came from the Habitat Store for a quarter a piece and they look just like the ones Junior Saprano had, thankfully I don't have his wallpaper.  I have, had several very nice and probably decently expensive sets of dishes.  Someone else still has them.  I am accustomed to dropping everything and walking away.  It's just what I do. I am a runner. When things start going south...I run.   I would be lying if I said I never try to figure out why I am... how I am.  I can't pinpoint any one thing but as with all of us life as a process is what makes us what we are.  My dad was a preacher and when I was a kid we moved about every 5 years.  The house was provided furnished so all we did was box up our stuff and throw it in a truck.  I remember that they had a bedroom set for me that got moved along each time.  When we left we were instructed to "make a clean break" so that the new preacher and his family could form bonds.  Basically leave, don't stay in touch and don't come back around.  Now it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the collation between that and how I am now.    

Since loosing my little girl, Roger may be getting just a bit spoiled.  We celebrated his 13th birthday on November the 15th.  I'm not really sure about the date, but I got him when he was 8 weeks old and that was mid January so I picked a date and it stuck. For his birthday he got a beer and  a treat puzzle.  The beer was stretched out over 2 days... he burped like a shirtless pot bellied man at a Nascar race, then started barking the top of his lungs while cirlcing us...drunk talk.  The puzzle was an attempt of giving him some entertainment along with his snacks.  It has 4 little trap doors for kibble and it spins around inside...pretty challenging.  He had it mastered inside of 5 minutes, my dog is obviously a genius.  He takes after me.  For a 91 year old he is amazingly busy.  His hearing kind of comes and goes...most times I come in I have to go upstairs and nudge him awake...then it's on just like he was a puppy.   I spend time with him on his was in the closet and once lying in there with him,  I figured out he has the best room in the house.  It's small and confined and dark...something my bedroom isn't since it's a loft and  the living room skylights double as bedroom skylights. I considered pulling the cushions off the couch and taking over the closet.  When I come in at night I sit in the floor beside my bed on his bed with him and read or watch netflix on the ipad until he falls asleep.  The problem was even with his little doggie tempurpedic bed my ass was making it to sleep before the dog.  After a few vodkas, it occured to me that I had an airo mattress in a closet so dragged it out and pumped it up for him.  Now in my bedroom there is my queen size bed with a queen size airo bed in the floor beside it.  Some nights I sleep down there with him...he is a bed hog.  

I am in a good place.  Despite all of my quirkiness, I have someone that likes me just like I am and humors me when I stalk Iguanas or when I want my picture made doing the Heisman pose with a coconut that I found on the street.  Everyone should be so lucky.
(No Iguanas where harmed for this photo op)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My Little Girl

Carletta - April 1995-September 30, 2013.

"Being a Mother doesn't mean being related to something by blood.  It means loving something unconditionally with all of your heart."

The back cushion of the couch is still dented from where she would jump off the counter after eating.  She would run wild and bank off the furniture...dig on the corners like she was shreading the couch even though she had long been without claws...lucky for Roger.  I would hear a squeaky sound from another room and come in to find her scratching on the tire of my bike, making cat music.   Sometimes her meows would get stuck and last for atleast 10 seconds. She bailed off the second floor balcony twice... one time she was gone for 2 days.  Just when I called Scott over to help me find her (I was convinced she had hidden and died in the house) he opens the front door and calls me to come see who was sitting on my porch.  She came running in demanding some food.  She could punch roger in the face from standing underneath him, which is where she would wind up most of the time as he danced excited all over and around her.  I wonder how many times he got slapped by her....and still never understood the look she was giving meant an ass kicking was headed his way.  As much abuse as she dealt out to him he always watched out for her.  One time she got outside and Roger was going nuts running from me to the car and barking like crazy...he had hemmed her up under the car and was freaking out cause he knew she wasn't supposed to be outside. She would stand on her back feet and dig at your waist to be held and as soon as you would pick her up she would drop her head to butt it into was her way of kissing...I would make the clicky sounds on the top of her head and she would wrap her little paws around my shoulder like a hug.  That clicky sound is how I called her and Roger when they were little and she never would respond to anyone using "kitty kitty" on her.

Carletta came from a neighbor of a friend...they had a calico kitten they wanted to get rid of but when I got there to pick it up they had changed their mind to keep that one but wanted to give away the little black kitty.  They told me the calico was a bit bitchy but the black one was a sweetie, so I took her.  She was named in the drive thru of the Kentucy Fried Chicken in Kings Mountain.  I remember leaning upside down to ask her if she liked Carletta or Carlitta better.  She was under the back seat of the van hunkered down...she never did like being in the car.  I can see her just like it happened yesterday...its funny how our minds freeze certain moments for us.   She opted for Carletta because Carlitta sounded a little trashy and a touch hispanic.  I can't even fathom the number of times over the last 18 1/2 years of everydays that I've said that name.  I called her Leetle Gurl and picked on her about her dangle belly as she got older...when she would run it would swing side to side.  She has been the only constant thing in my adult life outside of her little brother.  She was with me through all the good times and bad stuff and moving and breakups.  She never got nervous when boxes started packing the way Roger does...she would raise hell from the kitty carrier on the ride to the new place but as soon as I opened the door she would scout out the new place for sunny nap spots and locate the closest heater vent to lay on. She loved laying on the balcony in the sun or in front of the sliding glass door looking out.  one time she had a relationship with a lizard that would come hang out on the glass door everyday with her...she would put her paw on the glass where he was then fall asleep in the sun.  We use to  living room dance when Roger was a puppy...Carletta and Butthead and him...the two waiting for their next dance would sit patiently around me while I spun and sang to whichever I had in my arms.  She thought that if you were sitting she had to do her best to hold you down in case gravity wasn't enough.  She was the lovingest sweetest little girl I could have asked for.  Roger was the only one that could ever bring a grump out of her...she would look at him like he was a big dumb dog but would make biscuits on his fur when he laid down.  Her biscuits were brutal for no bigger than she was...I use to rub her little shoulder blades and it would make her ease up on the spastic biscuits.  She made her last biscuit on my arm a few days ago.  Her last day she didn't pur...I use to say to her..."I hear that little motor boat running"...she had the loudest purs.  I would wake at night to a pur on the left time it would be on the otherside and the next down at the foot.  She loved to be held in my crook of my arm for naps...she would fall so hard to sleep that she would be limp and you couldn't make her move, I've even stood her up and she still stayed asleep...or it could've been a ploy.  I spent her last night with her in the closet floor, I  slept beside her on Rogers bed.  I wish I had held her more and loved on her more and fussed less when she meowed at the top of her lungs for more milk.  As I held her at the vet's office for her last few minutes, I cried into her fur and told her I loved her and breathed in her smell...I hope she knew that she was so loved.  That night she sent me the most beautiful was as if she wanted me to know she got there ok.  I got her ashes back and a card with her tiny little paw print and some of her smells like her.  It feels better having her back home with me and I will forever talk to her like a crazy old cat lady.  Her little milk bowl will go back to being my salsa dish but Carletta will always have a little sunny corner in my heart all to herself.

This is from sometime around 1995 when both of us were babies.
Carletta giving me one of her head butt hugs on my 30th birthday.
This is how they woke me up every would reach a level of near frantic if I tired to ignore them.
Carletta being the lap cat that she loved being.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Things I'm Beginning to Figure Out

"In the end we conserve only what we love.  We will love only what we understand.  We will understand only what we are taught." - Dioum

I made a list of the things I say on a regular basis.  Sparkyism's if you will.  

- There are 2 things you can't hide. Money and stupidity..they both eventually show up.
This one is normally used in response to someone flashing around expensive stuff or being a moron.

-Timing is essential.
The biggest and smallest things in life happen when the time is right.

-Perception is reality.
This plays into the next one.

-There are only 2 things in the world that you can change - Your mind or your situation.
On an old cork board that I've hauled around forever I have a little push pin holding this up "I made some studies, and reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.  I can take it in small doses, but as a lifestyle I found it too confining.  It was just too expected me to be there for it all the time, and with all I have to do, I had to let something go.  Now, since I put reality on the back burner, my days are jam-packed and fun-filled..."  I have no idea who wrote it but it speaks the truth.  If we pay attention to all the bullshit thats available for us to focus on, it's easy to stay less than happy.  Our thoughts create our feelings.  Change your thoughts or get up and pack your shit and head to an island...the choice is all yours.  We are victims to no one.

-Denial is a strong pill.
Normally this is in response to someone turning a blind eye to a blaringly obvious situation in order to maintain a lifestyle of accumulation.

-If you don't feed them or fuck them...don't worry with them.
That really narrows down the people and things that we  have right to worry about. It takes it down to Velcro and my fur babys that I need to be concerned with.  Everyone else is an adult and I believe should have all the same rights to bad decisions.

I'm learning that maybe we don't have to "figure life out".  The simple of it is this, we come here alone, we leave alone...the shit in between is called life.  Life ends when our body decides to tap out.  In our existence we are only given one human suit and we alone are responsible for it.  I don't believe that we are only allowed one trip around and get stuck listening to choirs of angels or exposed to mass heat and damnation begging for a drop of water... or whatever.  But I do understand that we only get one shot in this lifetime...with these people and this hand of cards.  I am not one that wants my trip to end early because I forgot to take care of the ONLY FUCKING THING keeping me here.  Now I'm sure there are those who would argue about my drinking, but as I see it Vodka takes the corners off of life's coffee table so that I don't bang my shins.  

All the 20 some yr olds seem to know what they are doing. From being there I can only beg to disagree. Actually the 60-70 some year olds I know are still very aware of not knowing what they are doing. The difference is with age we can admit not knowing what the fuck is going on. Of the people that think they know where they are, I'm afraid they are blissfully unaware. Much like politicians they are liars regardless. They either lie to us or lie to themselves.  I wrote that when we were in Charleston a few months back, more specifically at the Shem Creek Inn and found our way to the tiki bar that sits next door.  It was full of kids.  By kids I mean anyone mid 30's and under.  The ones that are still trying to find their way via over dressing and over spending to impress people they either don't know or don't like.  Why I have always felt so unattached to people around my age range is yet to be determined.  It's like me not being able to hang out and be one of the girls.  Most women talk about whoever leaves to go to the bathroom. Me... I forget about whoever left and am somewhat surprised when they come back.   

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Perpetual Mid Life Crisis

"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why" - Mark Twain

Clearly I have one of the two figured out, but that second one is eluding me in a major way.  I heard the other day that women typically hit their mid life crisis at age 34 and it lasts for 5 years.  Men at age 43 and it normally lasts for 10 years.  The signs that you may be having a mid life crisis include the sudden and overwhelming need to simplify your life.  The list went on from there but I stopped paying attention.    I guess since we can't count my lack of giving a damn in my 20's then its pretty accurate for me. I was 34 when I threw in the "fuck it" towel on my marriage and walked away from all the tethers of possessions and real estate.  Then I bought and filled up another house only to feel suffocated and get rid of all of that stuff too.

On my 40th birthday I went to the gym with my pants on inside out and a tag the size of Rhode Island hanging out the crack of my ass...I know this because some old lady came up and pointed it out to me.  I thanked her for the information and finished my work out and walked my ass and tiny state dangling from it home.  My right boob currently has second degree burns on it from the curling iron (I have no idea how the fuck it happened but it just typical of me. Surprisingly I was sober. ) And I still make a habit of boiling eggs for half an hour.  I've struggled lately with failure or my perception of it...perception is in fact reality.  Velcro has hugged away more tears in the last few weeks than he has likely ever seen from me before.  The grown up day job, I've walked away from and gone back to bartending for now.  All hope isn't lost but the wind was knocked out of me to with the admitting of defeat.  Like the car sick feeling you get when the world is spinning out of your control.  My footing feels to be regaining and I'm working on letting go of the feeling of needing to be in control of my life.  The illusion of control.  I am proud of my cat like reflexes that always seem to get my feet back underneath me before I smack the ground.  This time though, I must admit I didn't do it entirely on my own and that's a good feeling too.  In the past, the last few weeks would have triggered the packing my shit and an exit stage left, but running isn't on my agenda anymore.  I have though taken 2 loads of shit to Goodwill, so I am positive I'm not settling into an accumulation stage.  The balls of my 40's may not be in my death grip yet but I'm working on it.  

"Know you're not the only ship out on the ocean. Save your strength for things that you can change, forget the ones you can't.  You gotta let it go." - Zac Brown

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Purple Bathrooms

"The world of the Pirate is thought to be radically different from Kings and Warriors.  While Kings and Warriors are exalted more, the Pirate is envied most by the King." - William Corinthus

That was written by a friend almost 20 years ago.  I went in search of it after in a conversation with Velcro I brought it up but couldn't remember the exact words.  It seems the less we have and the happier we are with it, the more others take notice of our minimalist approach.  I've always wanted people see life a little bit differently from knowing me, but lately I've noticed it's more him being that example to others. 

I've been intrigued by the idea of house boat living for longer than I can remember.  Once I found John MacDonald's Travis McGee novels it only fueled the fire.  In case you are in the dark, Travis McGee was the main character of a series of novels that he wrote from the mid 60's through the mid 80's.  I think there were 20 some books.  He was Magnum PI ish and lived on a houseboat name the Busted Flush (that he won in a poker game) at the Bahia Mar Marina in Fort Lauderdale.  Slip F18.  Our never miss bar in Ft. Lauderdale, Bahia Cabana, sits on that marina and I never sit there that I don't think about Travis McGee....even if he was fictional.  I wonder if there is some kind of marker on F18, or if that slip even exists.  One day I intend to walk those docks to find out.  All this came about from seeing a handful of house boats last night.  I guess that's more of a Florida thing because you seldom see them in these parts.  It reminds me of a trailer with pontoons and I'm pretty sure I'd be a good candidate to live on one.  I'd like it if a car wasn't necessary and one could exist with just a bicycle and a kayak and a floating trailer.  A bar within walking distance would be a necessity as well. 

Dog just farted.

I finally upgraded my tired Droid and got an I Phone.  Although I love the little notes screen so I can jot down all my random thoughts, me and the phone are still on a get to know each other first date.  It keeps auto correcting me.  If I type pussy that does not mean I meant pussyfoot...and not for nothing, I thought my dad was the only one that used that word.  Shit is not shot...and hoohah is not hookah.  Your next question may be why me and my phone were making notes about pussy.  First I must point out an obvious.  Our skin is basically the same all over our bodies...with the exception of the elbow...and the nuts.  Why is the elbow make out of the same stuff as "the boys"?  That leads me to tell the story of a woman I worked with many many moons ago in Charlotte.  She had one of those big brown flat moles on her forearm, right close to the elbow.  That in it's self wasn't really the problem.  Problem was it had black hair growing out of it a lot of it.  It creeped the shit out of all of us in the office.  One day I asked my buddy if he thought she might have an elbow "down there" since her pussy was apparently on her arm.  Twenty years later I'm still laughing about it.  The folks in that office use to tell me I was driving the bus to hell.  When I left, one of my going away presents was a set of keys. 

To update on my most recent egg boiling I predicted I forgot them again.   It wasn't quite 30 mins but the house smelled like an omelet.   By a similar token I've noticed some asshole turns my clothes inside out and when I do laundry I have to reverse...every. single. thing.  There is never one thing turned right side out...socks...tshirts...shorts...nothing.  The only thing separating me from being a teenage boy is that I do put most things in the hamper and there are no playboys or stiff tube socks shoved under my bed.  I'm fucking awesome.

Trying to think back, I can't exactly remember if have had purple bathrooms in 3 or 4 of my houses, but it was always the thing I purple bathroom. It also always went hand in hand with moving almost immediately.  I'm not sure why as soon as I redid a bathroom purple I felt the gig was up, but it has always gone in that order.  Not very long ago I made a list of all the places I've lived and times I've moved.  When comparing that extensive list to my 3 or 4 purple bathrooms there probably is no collalation to the color of my bathroom walls making me move.  My spare bath, better known as, where I keep the cat pan, is one of the last rooms that I've tackled in my condo.  I've had purple paint swatches wedged beside the medicine cabinet since a year ago when I had tile put in.  I also have not had a mirror in there in that amount of time.  Divine intervention in the form of a $13 mirror this week got me back on track.  I opted to fore go the purple paint and landed on a funky muted kind of Caribbean blue.  I feel like I am where I'm going to be for a while and didn't want the strange vibe purple bathrooms seem to carry with them. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

How To Boil Eggs

The Truth in 13 words - "Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the fuck happened."

How to boils eggs, or at least how I do it, put eggs in pot...add water...put on stove...wait for water to boil...note time. Go about your business for a minimum of 30 minutes or until you start asking yourself why the fuck your entire house smells like an omelet.  Recall vaguely something about eggs.  Cuss.  Run to kitchen.  Cuss again.  Run cold water over them.  Put them in fridge and eat as normal.  Actually they were much easier to peel than the last batch that I cooked for the "right" amount of time.  Now I'm out of eggs and the whole bizarre process will start all over again and I already know I will completely forget them and cook the water out of the pot.  On a more adult note I've discovered how to get the same bad egg cooking 40 year old to take vitamins...they have grown up chewables that taste just like Flinstone vitamins. Only problem is that they don't have purple ones shaped like Dino and now I'm over vitamining myself cause there is no one to stop me from eating them like candy. With all the wrong stuff I manage to consume I'm thinking a few extra vitamins is really the least of my worries. 

It's been just under 3 years since I decided upon moving that there just wasn't enough room in my car or my life for an iron much less an ironing board.  At some point late last year I broke down and bought an iron.  The only reason I bought it was because I found it super cheap at the Ollie's store.  I wondered why it was in a brown box and not the kind you normally see in the store.  When I got it out there was a sticker on it something to the effect of "refurbished".  This mattered little to me since it took me probably 5 more months to pair it up with an ironing board.  The newly formed couple sat propped against the wall of my bedroom for another month or so before last week I finally took the twisty tie off the iron cord and rubbed this strange hot metal thing across my wrinkled little Harley shirt. Don't get too excited I'll always be more of the "turn the dryer back on girl" than I will the iron wielding domestic goddess. 

Right now I'm sitting on my balcony listening to my neighbors argue.  Not that I'm "listening" but its hard to ignore.  One of the best parts of the Velcro and my relationship is our ability to talk to each other.  I know that my clamming up has been the demise of most of my past relationships.  I've gotten old enough and smart enough now to recognize patterns.  It came up while we talked on the balcony one night this week, that I question why it's "shaming" to have had several substantial relationships that didn't work out.  And in the same breath no one shames people for over staying an unhappy marriage by 25 years.  Why do/should I feel bad that when things started going the wrong direction I choose to move on.  Is that not fate's way of getting you to the right place at the right time?  You have to wonder how many people are missing out on their true destination because they are doing what we've been raised to think is right.  Rules are bullshit...and living by imaginary ones has never been in my cards.  

"No matter where you are in life right now.  No matter who you are.  No matter how old you are...It's never too late to be who you are meant to be."  Jerry & Ester Hicks

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Is This The Edge Or The Middle Of The Road?

"We should all start to live before we get too old.  Fear is stupid.  So are regrets." - Marilyn Monroe

Some how I turned 40.  I've been asked if it bothered me....and my answer was no.  Truth be told I half expected it to but it was just like any other day, except everybody made a big deal over me.  I am, however, the person who jumped out of a plane at 14,000ft free falling at over 100mph only to land and think that it was short of  any thrill factor.  I sit in the middle of the row when it comes to being excitable or up settable.  Since our kayaking venture in the mangroves one has arrived here for us to spend our summer on.  Its a tandem, which is a first for me but my 5th kayak to date...Velcro's 1st. When it arrived I realized, like I some times do, that I tend to do and have done more than most when it comes to adventurous and outdoorsy stuff...although it doesn't seem like living on the edge to me, just normal.  I rappelled a 100ft cliff...climbed the side of mountains trusting a rope a carabiner and someone I barely knew.  Free bouldered rocks relying only on my fingertips and toes and shear determination.  Saw 169ft of the Bimini Wall with thousands of feet of ocean below me.  Sat on the ocean floor taking pictures of sharks being fed just feet away from me.  Para sailed...did a body building competition...fished 60 miles from shore when I couldn't even guess which way land was....and now ride my own motorcycle only to be highly annoyed when I cross a state line and am forced to wear a helmet.  I guess its no surprise that I bore easily and have a tough time sitting still.

For my birthday Velcro took me back to the Keys.  We kayaked the mangroves again and he actually let me chase a crocodile until we were right beside close that I couldn't paddle that side of the boat without wacking it.  It was a little guy which is probably the only reason he let me get us so close but awesome none the less.  I've mentioned before that the only form of history I give a shit about at all is that of the Keys, which leads one to think (one being me)I may have been there in a previous life...or something.  Some where in my early 20's I learned of the Atocha, the Spanish galleon treasure ship that sank somewhere between Marquesas and the Dry Tortugas in a hurricane in 1622.  If you don't know the story it was found by Mel Fisher's dive team in the 80's after he spent the better part of 20 years looking for it.  I can talk forever about such things and as easy to ignore as one of these rambling stories of mine could be, some months and months ago I told Velcro that I had always wanted a coin made from the silver they found on that wreck.  My unexcitable zen white peaceful self jumped up and down and squealed when my little birthday box was opened to my very own Atocha coin.  

My early 20's were spent diving and traveling and in general spending way more money than I made but living like there was no tomorrow.  Somewhere in my late 20's I got all serious about work and started taking all the things that don't matter way too seriously.  Accumulating stuff and in turn relating that to being successful. My early 30's brought on marriage and houses and cars and vacation homes and more and more stuff.  So much stuff that I never imagined being able to walk away from it.  But at 34 I did.  Still not done with trying to have stuff I bought another house and furnished it all the way.  Three and half weeks before my 35th birthday I watched a good man die before he was done living...and you know what all I've done since then.  Now at 40, I find myself having reverted back to my early 20's where material possessions mean nothing and I have little clue as to what I want to be when I grow up. These days our lives are planned around sunny days, tide charts, motorcycles, kayaks, boats, the balcony and trips to Florida.

Happiness is having something to look forward to and some one to take along for the ride...Yep, think I've got it covered.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Islamorada, Island of Misfits

"Drink and Navigate the Island Life" - Barstool Sailor

The first birthday in the year of 100 was spent in what has become my favorite place on this big blue ball we call home, Islamorada.  My travels are rather limited to make such grand statements but there's something about that halfway point in the Keys   Cast of characters included Wingman, Coon Dick (CD), one Nanner, CoPilot and his girl the Dogwalker.  I'm not sure how we all managed to descend upon such a small plot of land at the same time being that most of the time we barely manage to find each other if a happy hour is involved. I can only imagine of some drunken coordination and odd planetary alignments involvement.  I'm going to have to start carrying a recorder, as taking notes is tough and even tougher is the deciphering of them later.  I think that I must've signed on a 3 year old with a drinking problem to do shorthand conversation notes on my behalf.  Some of it doesn't even appear to be in the English language. So suffice to say I'm working more off of memory than my attempts of documentation.  I'm going to include links to alot of the places so if you ever head that way you can find them.

It was our second visit to the Breezy Palms.  It's old Florida Keys style right on the ocean at MM 80, with a little marina and beach...heated pool and all kinds of flavored coffee creamers.  If you want more frills than that you can pay an extra $150 a night for nice warm cookies at the Hampton front desk...or you can be us and just walk through the lobby and pick them up when leaving their tiki bar.  It's all your choice.  When we arrived CD had already been there long enough to get the maintenance man Mark drunk one night.  Mark is what I imagine when I hear Key's critter. He refuses to cross either bridge that links to other parts of the think about it he's not so different than most of the folks at home that fear "the bridges" or the "state line".  He had the odd story of how he got there and no real plans for staying or leaving even though he had logged ten years.    He was a very talented painter and collector of oddities and old bottles.  His paintings were all of local railroad...ocean scenes.  He seemed someone that material things meant nothing to.  Before the night that we met him was over he made us take pick of his antique Avon bottle cars and sent Wingman home with a box full of old bottles.  Now in possession are an old Jeep CJ Wrangler and a model T...the jeep still has some Hi Karate or something in it.  I attempted to wear it out one night but was met with a bit of resistance from the Velcro.

CD, always being my go to guy for information, came up with so many stories that I'm thinking that he needs a biography written instead of a blog.  I'm not sure how up until this point we had missed the astrological sign conversation.  It's rather common knowledge of my views of the Virgos.  If you offended by my opinion, it either means you are one or you've never been married to one. Period.  Since finding out that CD is in fact a Virgo, I've learned that they are tolerable when properly medicated.  I've never seen the side of him that he refers to as neurotic, worrying constantly about "bats in the cave" and such.  He was the first to point out just that situation "You got a bat in the cave there buddy" to a non booger suspecting Wingman.  The true test...I asked him his views on touching the drawer or the  handles when closing dresser drawers.  That will draw out even the most closeted and cleverly disguised Virgos.
He started referring to Wingman as "lover" after about day 3 of them sharing a bed.  Of the two I would guess CD is the lighter sleeper, since every morning we were entertained with stories of what Wingman did in his sleep the night before.   After I saw a poolside conversation headed toward something I would imagine CD didn't want aired to all of the world, I was forced to give the obligatory warning. "DO NOT TELL ME ANYTHING THAT YOU DON'T WANT IN PRINT!"  Undeterred he continues "So you've never had the crabs?"  "" ....pause...."me either".  There was a very lenghty conversation that followed with the boys enlightening me on everything from pinchers to the use of Rid.  My love of knowing everything about anything that no one cares about made me a sponge for this new random knowledge.  I now consider myself somewhat of an expert on dick lice... if you need any questions answered. 
I heard about first "pieces of ass" and tricks of the trade passed along from a local lifeguard named One Lung.  One Lung long since gone said the trick was to leave your zipper down when coming back from the apparently worked on the subconscious and you were guaranteed to get laid. I'm not feeling it but who am I to question tried and true. The joke for the rest of the week was who was going to try it out.  The stories ran wild and I did all I could to write as fast as he talked...a close acquaintance woke beside a particularly unattractive "coyote" and found there was a glass of water with teeth in it beside the bed.  As he faked sleep he saw her roll over, shove the teeth in and chug the water...offers for breakfast were declined. 

Barstool Sailor was playing at Island Grill our first night in town so we stopped in to see him.  A singer songwriter playing Islandgrass music, he can be found in different bars almost every night. We know this because we stalked him all over the island...creepy fucking tourists that we are.  After Velcro asked him to sing Wagon Wheel for me the first night he never forgot my name or sing it when we showed up.  The Hampton that is right beside Breezy Palms has an Outback Steakhouse in it and part of they have a tiki bar ocean front. We walked over to see Barstool Sailor and Wingman knew everyone at the bar.  What part of North Myrtle Beach that we hadn't brought with us had found their way down on their own.  I was quite stoked to meet the Judge (he came with his own nickname)  I'd just finished reading both of his books and had heard stories from Wingman.  Because I am a supreme dork, I should not be trusted on first encounters with those that I have heard about and want to meet (flash back to my meeting CD).  I doubt he expected to be greeted with "OH Holy Shit I love your books!"  No since in a sugar coated approach I say.  I can't believe we had to travel close to a 1000 miles to make friends with people I see across the bar at home. 

We made a few day trip runs to Key West and Marathon, mainly in pursuit of stone crabs or fish sandwiches and drinks in a different locales.  Superbowl, also known by us southerners this year as who gives a shit bowl, was also Velcro's birthday.  All I ever get is about a once in a life time accidental Easter overlap on mine...and no one wants to throw a party and drink for that.  We spent the afternoon at the Post Card Inn, you know, eating fish sandwiches and drinking and listening to Barstool Sailor.  It was my first live exposure to the jet pack.  This may be the coolest thing I've ever scene.  They strap a super powerful water pump to your back and you shoot around over the water like a super hero.  I want one.  I can also imagine jamming my head through the roof of the tiki bar or taking a header into the swing bridge at home but those things can be worked around.  (I had a video but it appears I lack the tech savvyness to get the damn thing uploaded)
CoPilot and his Dogwalker have rented a house for the month on the bay side a little farther souther on Lower Matecumbe Key.  We all piled up for some birthday celebrating...the sunset...some wings...some dog leg humping... 

The highlight of the night was somewhere between their little dog Fluffy falling in love with Wingman's leg and me getting my very own coon dick.  Although it caused an argument over which end was attached and which end is used.  I am positive I was right and will not be swayed to believe differently.

Quote of the evening, "I wish Wingman was ready to go now so we can get in the bed and watch the second half".  Its my belief that the boys had spent too many nights in the same bed when the situation had desensitized to that point. 

It seems that most of the adventurous things we did, most of the breakfasts we ate, and all of the things we bought all came from or happened at Robbie's Marina.  Possibly the best $5 spent the whole week was on Tarpon feeding. They give you a little blue bucket of fish and a warning.  "Careful of the pelicans...they know what's in the bucket."  We were greeted at the door leading to the dock by the pelicans, it was like excusing yourself around people in a crowded street...they were just inches away trying to stick their heads in the bucket.  The tarpon were from 3-6 feet long and everywhere you could see.  You had to sit down and lean over the water with the little fish in your hand.  The fish weren't super aggressive...more laying back and eyeballing the fish as it dangled above their heads. All of the sudden this fish almost as big as me had my hand up to the wrist in his mouth.  I squeaked like a dog toy and felt like a little kid.  I've never had so much fun.  I was a lot quicker to let go of the subsequent fish.

Back at the Hungry Tarpon the following morning, our breakfast standard place of the week, I'd made the executive decision of wear bathing suits to check out the kayak rentals.  It's no secret that Velcro doesn't have as much of the adventurous spirit as I myself and I'm sure he was a bit apprehensive.  I had talked him into venturing into the ocean kayaking while in the Turks & Caicos but it wasn't what I would have considered ideal situations so I was pretty impressed that he big boyed up to try it again.  They rented by the hour, half day and full day.  Convinced that there was no way he would want to stay  out there over 2 hours, we figured they were getting a good ride out of us since we went for the 4 hour option.  The wind having laid down from earlier in the week, they said we had a couple of kayaking options.  About a half mile out the Atlantic side was an island called Indian Key.  It was inhabited in the 1830's by a wreck salvager and his "colony" for lack of a better word.  There was a general store there that sold over $ 30,000 in one year.   The island was attacked and burned down one night by Seminole Indians, at the time all of the keys had been abandoned with the exception of Indian Key and Key West 13 of the 60 some people where killed.  History has always been my most detested subject  but recently I read a book about Henry Flagler and the building of the over seas railroad, so the Keys history is interesting to me these days.  You can imagine how annoying I can be with this kind of information under my belt.  After kayaking to the island and walking all over it we headed back to check out the mangroves.  They supplied us with a little water proof map attached to the boat via's a good thing that I don't have the navigation skills of the average female.  We paddled down larger canals that ran behind houses, finding the crocodile that we'd heard had been known to nap on a particular sea wall.  Her name was Fluffy (good thing she didn't want to mount a leg too).  If I was guessing I would say she was 7-8ft long and appeared to be a lawn ornament.  We paddled right up to her and took pictures, her right front leg was tucked back like she'd been walking and just got tired and laid down.

Later on in the afternoon when we came back by her tail was straightened out and her head came up and every move made was followed.  Trying to paddle closer to see what would happen, I couldn't get the boat to work like I'd become accustom to...I turned around to find Velcro braking and back paddling like a fucker.

Not far down the canal from Fluffy the wide channels shrank to narrow canopy mangrove covered creeks.  Some areas were so low that you tuck your paddles and guide yourself by the roots, others you just had to time your strokes to not nail the trees.   There was a small finger creek where we saw the bubbles from another croc...I am also somewhat of gator expert also since watching back to back episodes of Gator Boys on Animal Planet.   Even I knew paddling into that little cut to look down through the water on it was a poor plan....and I don't back down on the normal day.  The kayak shack had given us a cooler to use and I'd gotten a 6 pack....its the new gatorade.  After about 2 beers a piece we realized there's no where to go pee.  I figured we could just stand up since you could see the bottom but after sticking a paddle into the ubber squishy bottom that plan was abandon.  I'm not sure how much you know about mangroves, but there is no ground's all roots and water.  So we edged the nose of the kayak up into the roots and overhang and managed to overhang to become one with nature.  "You're peeing in the boat!" made me readjust...that can't be fully appreciated unless one has tried to stand on pee out of a tandem kayak.  In just over 3 1/2 hours we returned our rental.  As many times as either of us have been to the Keys, we've never seen this side of it.  I doubt we will ever go back that we don't kayak the mangroves. 

Our last night in town we decided to stop back in the Island Grill for happy hour.  Brenda Starr, an amazing raspy voiced island looking chick was signing R&B and reggae.  If you're in Key Largo and the upper Keys look her up.  Hog Heaven was next on the bar hop list but as soon as we walked in the non verbal agreement was that there was too much sausage in Hog.  Deciding last minute to stop in Morada Bay for a picture of our ladder back chair by the water, we rolled up just after sunset...just like the first time it was unplanned and wound up being perfect. 

The next morning we headed the slow way back to Ft Lauderdale on the slow decent back to reality.  Bahia Cabana is on the edge of the Bahia Mar Marina, where the infamous Travis McGee lived on his house boat the Busted Flush at dock F18 for so many novels.  It's become a traditional every time we're in town stop.  At some point the Hog Heaven evacuated and all the sausage descended upon the bar.  One side of the bar was covered by what I call bitter know the kind, that have very happy men somewhere because they are being left alone only at the expense of whichever of the girls have the smallest bladder.  Between them and the airport I turned to Velcro with the observation that women are bitches and people are assholes.  If you are in the Spirit terminal at the airport there you will know that it is JAM PACKED...ALL THE TIME.  People, your luggage does not have a passport therefore does not justify having it's own seat.  I wish I had more of a hairy ass...enough of one to walk over and throw some one's bag in the floor while looking at them and picking my nose.  Also, if you have white hair and wear a suit in the are a tv my book at least.  The modern version of a medicine man was in the row in front of us on the plane.  He wore a Doc Tari hat and started immediately about some miracle drug with an almost  hypnotic effect on his two accented row mates.  The man being a little older was skeptical and eventually asked for ID to see if the medicine man was in fact as old as he claimed to be since he magical potion made him seem so much younger.  When the announcements were made the lady said "This is your plane, this is your crew...lucky you".  The plane smelled like either BO or roast beef, I preferred to think of the aroma as some fancy brisket.  There was no since in going for the sober approach at this point so we went for the 4 drink bargin tactic.  Velcro completely freaked out a guy flight attendant by touching his arm to ask for extra ice.  By the way he jumped you would have thought he tapped him on the ear with his dick.

Realistically speaking our everyday reality is better than most.  Most times I don't realize how different life at the coast is compared to the "real world".  Most times I do realize though how good life is with someone you can't get enough of...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Where We Started

I came across this book while perusing the bookshelf in my office for reading material to take on vacation.  It made me smile as soon as I saw it.  I would have to credit this book for sparking the first real conversation between Velcro and myself.  I took a picture of the book and decided it was time to share the story I wrote some 2 years ago. 

The Adventures of Velcro, Sparky & Wingman

The way this whole story starts seems whirlwindy as hell at best. Two guys started coming into the bar a couple of months back, I don’t remember exactly when or at what point we got beyond bar talk. (It's been brought to my attention over the last couple of years that I ignored them and if it hadn't have been for my ass they would've stopped coming in.)They are the ones to blame for my recent Florida addictions. I remember I had my Quit Your Job and Move to Key West book out one day and the rest is history. Have you ever felt a pull that you can’t describe…something that makes you look at someone and in that look you can see inside of them…and they are looking back and seeing you the same way…somewhere your souls are high fiving each other? Well that happened…and there was a connection that can’t be wrapped up in words.

My vacation time looming I decide to head south and check out some real estate.  Out of the blue this guy that started talking to me about my book says he wants to meet me there and take me to the Keys. To say that I didn’t see this coming would be a massive understatement. I’d already made plans for the trip and had to turn him down.  We met for drinks a couple of days the week before I left…and I’m pretty sure in one of my drinks there was a hook and I swallowed it. My body was happy and warm and I was planning my exit to moving to Hollywood, but I just couldn't get him off my mind. When I got back I found out I had the rest of the month off and since I'd found me a realtor I made plans to go back and look at more places to live when I exited south.

We met up and Wingman headed on south with what I would have to call a kinda sorta Walter Matthau look-a-like but this cat was way more crazy and hilarious. Velcro stuck with me and looked at condos and houses and drove down later. The gps wench picked every highly log jammed wreck infested section of highway possible in her attempt of making us miss the first nights sunset. No such luck Judy bitch…3 turnpike attempts and a tour of the Dolphins stadium later we won and got to the Lorelei just in time to watch the sun drop into the sea with rum drinks in hand. I really did pretty good with my dashboard braking through Miami …considering. We shared Sailor Jerry drinks and stories the whole way…on a side note I also proved I could pee faster than most men…just not standing up. We walked along the transient docks and found a tiki bar in the back…discovered that if you are a 1000 miles away at a tiki bar in the Florida Keys with 20 people at it…you will sit down beside someone from your same zip code. Strangely small world. Wingman makes the bonehead move of handing off his business card…which he vocally regretted the rest of the weekend. Wingman and we'll call him CoPilot had gotten a rather substantial jump out of the gate on us even with the Sailor roadies and food is needed. Down the road to Uncle’s…somehow I’m deemed best equipped to drive and that leaves the boys to wrestle the fishing rod in the back seat. Far cry past funny and since that rod survived that night the I can only give my endorsements to GLoomis. CoPilot talks the most shit of any human I’ve ever been exposed to. We laughed at him til it hurt. He was talking smack to some guys wife at the next table. When she gets up to leave…he spins around to us and says “Oh my god she has a cane…I can catch this one”. I’m positive that before she got out of there she had agreed to look him up if she curbed the jack that was with her…he meanwhile is trying his damndest to get peg leg outta there before he winds up homeless. I ate stone crabs and some of Wingman’s lobster and yellowtail from Velcro…he even snatched the last stone crab from our man on the make. It was the best time, best food, best laughs I could remember having…little did I know it was only going to be getting better. Somewhere on the ride back amid fishing rod fight the poot monster attacked the back seat and there was talk of a finger in the butt when the defibrillator kicked in…things I never thought I would hear said out loud. The boys where trying to blame each other for the farts and all I was trying to do was keep the windows down long enough to get the car aired out.

Our first night together…not sure how the mix of passion and being comfortable and feeling like you’ve always known someone can come together like that when you really just met…but it did. It might be bad though that they guys were louder next door than us…when quizzed the next day the poot monster was blamed again.

Friday we piled onto the beach and I got my first ever January sunburn. Although we’re going to blame the sunburns on some tiki bar not having a roof if put in interrogation. We had fruffy tourist rum drinks with twisty straws (that I still have and probably will until I die) I do still have the straw. That afternoon after nap time we revisited our breakfast stop that overlooked the Atlantic and watched the little pitterings of rain and the charter boats coming back in. Wingman and I shared our first sushi. We barhopped from the Tiki Bar to Wahoo’s where Wingman ran into a chick he had hooked up with 30 some years ago.  They both had the sudden realization that comes from thinking you know some of the same people only to be suddenly surprised when you figure out that you have in fact seen this person naked.  She grabbed her husbands arm and they vanished into thin air.  Wingman started drunk dialin’ everybody in his phone and reliving the moment. Ubber responsibility rolled all over us and we got back to the room before 10. A sailor or 2 and Velcro and I decided to venture back out to check out the full moon party. It was on the gulf side of the island, down by the water with palm trees and sand and torches doing the only lighting. Tank top & shorts… reggae band playing I Want to Make You Sweat…mason jar drinks with glow sticks…a shared latter back chair beside the water and the moon broke out of the clouds over the palms as if on comand. At some point a mardi gras kinda band of disappearing democrats paraded through the whole party with a huge line of drunken revelers behind. When they’d made their way all around and through fireworks started over the water. They rivaled 4th of July state side. And somewhere in all this … that hook I swallowed?...I felt it set.

Saturday morning we pile out with Wingman and head south to Key West on a day trip. Velcro U turns us back to a little café…he is the master of the U turn when he sees a missed cool spot. I proceed to fall in crush love with my breakfast. A pita with egg, spinach and goat cheese. I could eat my arm if you smeared goat cheese on it…omg I had completely forgotten how much I love that stuff. We covered the Overseas Highway and every subject imaginable…like how I like quick answers to the no less than a 1000 questions I ask a day. The quicker the answer the more likely I am to buy it. I learned that the satellite dishes on the poles are the Keys defense system…and I know what a Botel is now. But the little cars in a line on the dash mounted NASA computer…not so much. I even broke out the owners manual because my boys couldn’t appease me with their made up answers…still don’t know. Somewhere near the 7 mile bridge I hear the stick…stick…stick sound. Followed by eye contact and possibly one of the most random statements ever…”I love Velcro…its some amazing shit”…as he’s sticking and unsticking the little pocket on the leg of his cargo shorts. That statement landed him a name and made me giddy that I may have just found myself a fellow random zinger.

The Conch Republic is our first stop and I have my first ever cracked conch chased with screwdrivers. We figure out at Schooner’s Wharf that while in a tourist town you should check your entire surroundings…for web cams. And that there is no possible way that there’s a health department in south Florida since to get to the guys potty you must go through the kitchen that also has birds walking around in it. I scored a key lime pie on a stick (because I think someone likes me) and even managed to get my carb conscious guys to take a bite. We wandered the streets with tourists and laughed too much at some near moped misses. Another beer at Kelly’s where the rather fish savvy 3 of us got stumped by the fish of the day then headed back norther.

I’d been to Mangrove Mama’s once a few years ago and had clams that only compared to the one’s I had earlier in Hollywood . I was pretty excited when Velcro decided it was a necessary stop to make. We had rum drinks and grilled mahi. There was a Barstool Sailor sticker on the wall and when my questions get no answers google fills in all the gaps. We find out the Barstool Sailor is scheduled to play at Morada Bay ...scene of last night’s full moon party. A plan is hatched. But our perfect weather moon lit night had been replaced by a gale force wind and cold front. When we got there, Mr Barstool Sailor had been cancelled, so we had our knock your dick off rum drink and headed to Hog Heaven. Wings, hog balls, and a good amount of making fun of ugly people…Wingman took a picture of me and this guy who had somehow managed to bowl me over inside of 2 or 3 weeks. While we were making fun of what could be turning into a very scary orgy a cat comes in with 2 huge bags of stone crabs. Wingman waves him over scores them both for 30 bucks. Jury is still out, but the guess is that he jacked them from somewhere and needed drinkin money. Not something that needed worrying about…we had all the stone crabs we could eat.

Without sounding like a 5 year old I can’t explain how enamored I was with the back up camera. Upon leaving the Hog Heaven I had Velcro take a picture of the back up screen while I was lying behind the car on the ground making the little sensor scream. I had been drinking all day long…in my defense and no the picture didn’t come out…much to my disappointment. I dig that he humored me. I’ve always thought I would probably die at the hands of a minivan in a parking lot. It’s good to know that with all the new high fangled technology my survival rate is improving. At one point though Velcro asked while backing up where his entire surroundings were…as we rolled backwards in neutral…nice. Guess I still have to potential of getting plowed over.

Sunday we packed up and headed towards Hollywood stone crabs in tow, in search of butter. A detour stop at Alabama Jacks for drinks and back on the road. It didn’t take my Velcro long to start screwing with me…after we check into the hotel and after his semi heart attack from thinking we were going to have bunk beds, he’s standing at the door doing the hurry hurry come here quick thing at me. Pretty much had never requested that I move fast so I’m thinking its gotta be something cool…note to self…do not trust this side of the Velcro again. He makes me run to the door to see none other than an old dude in an itty bitty speedo…and of course he’s right on top of me by the time I stick my little unsuspecting head out the door. Now that I’ve been had I was only hoping that Wingman would walk out and get the full frontal effect that I’d just been suckered into… but his luck with timing was better than mine.

With newly purchased crab hammers we ate all the stone crabs we could hold and washed them down with Sailor Jerry. I was told I would never have to crack my own crabs again…and I’m starting to believe him.

Down on the boardwalk we drank beer and watched football at the straightest bar in town…not a queen in site. There was the over clapper that was entirely clad in Dolphin wear. He had on his fake Super bowl ring that could probably double as brass knuckles and at one point mid super clap it flew about 3 foot in the air and landed smack in the ashtray. This man should not ever get laid.

We headed back for drink refresh and found the trolley stop. When we got on we took the front seat and Wingman wandered back to a safe zone. “This thing smells like ass” says Velcro. The fart fog was almost visible…it would have caused airport delays. The trolley driver man had crop dusted us…bad. So we giggled like little girls and tried to hold our breath to down town. Whiskey Tango for football…someone along the way started feeding me margaritas just to see the show. Poor potato deprived Wingman is still talking about the potato skin he had…pretty sure it may have saved his life. Cab back to the hotel…no farts. We hung out by the fire with sangrias watching the big screen and all hopes of me winning the bet slip away. Jets suck and I love loosing a bet to Velcro…

Monday we kinda talked about having a massive burger at LeTubs but timing was off so we rode up to Dania Beach . We sat in the sun and drank Coronas. There was a dude there via 5 months on a bicycle from Wisconsin playing a duck taped up guitar and singing for travel money. The boys had commented that even on tequila I really don’t change so much when I drink…they changed their minds when 2 beers had me giggling and snorting when we got back in the car. I am really bad at keeping a straight face when I’m up to something. Velcro is breaking a sweat, cussing and cranking up the AC when I finally come clean about turning his seat heater on high. I’d been waiting to do it for days but couldn’t find an opening where I wouldn’t get caught…think I got called a little fucker…he he.

Another U turn at the Bahia Mar Marina launched me into a Buffett song quote Travis McGee rambling one sided conversation. The U turn also landed us at our lunch destination on the water over looking the marina. There were cotton candy vodka drinks that I was sworn to secrecy about…apparently guys don’t want people knowing about such indulgences unless there’s a body shot story involved. Later my keen navigation skills mixed with cotton candy vodka headed us down a one way street on the way to the craziest junk ceiling décor Irish bar ever. A manatee swam by in the waterway and Wingman and myself were pretty sure someone yelled Velcro’s name…could’ve been the manatee. One more beer stop and shared key lime pie gum that caused sexual sounds later I was at the airport.

Quite possibly the best trip of my life. There is no better feeling in the world than falling in love…especially so unexpectedly. If I could bottle it I would be a millionaire a million times over.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Begin 2013...The Best Year of My Life (so far)

"Low on money but we're getting by and we're getting high on life" - Barstool Sailor

For once the Holidays weren't dreadful as they have always seemed to be in the past.  I doubt we'll be getting a Hallmark movie made about them, but it was uneventful and we got to spend time with the people that matter and that's a pretty good step.  The days after christmas where spent wandering the streets of Savannah.  I packed Beaver to go along with us, mainly because I am hell to sleep with if I don't have something to hold on to...and secondly for his comic interjections.  The ride down was tough, the decision has been made that I-95 gets avoided on the day after xmas from here on.  I had to contact Coon Dick to find out if beaver poop was normally found in pile or pellet form, as I could only imagine that Beav had crapped my luggage from all the75mph to 0 stopping.  As always on call he provided pictures (they are more woody looking turds) and a stern warning to steer very clear of the poop as to avoid getting a case of the "explosive diarrhea".  Apparently there are actual health dangers involved with coming in contact with real beaver poo...who knew.  The first day there we located the best happy hour bar ever (which when traveling is always priority), thankfully it was right after we found some food involving tater tots at a bar unfortunately involving fat cuban lesbanese.  Their night probably went rougher than ours since they were already into the baby guiness shots well before dark.  A very unsuspecting guy was about to loose his date to the duo of questionable head giving...I figure it would be like a cat cleaning his ass.  How appropriate that they were at the place were the shirts say shuck me, suck me, eat me raw.  Yes, Velcro is now that proud owner of one...shirt that is, not overweight lesbanese.

The worst hangover of my life was the result of the little Bayou Cafe, I was somewhere in my very early 20's and just remember about ten 2 for 1 bloody mary's with tequila. (bad idea in case you were thinking of trying it.)  Whether or not its still the same place, not a thing had changed including how they pour a drink.  Of the local guys at  the bar one appeared to be quite the expert at lock picking and had his tools and a lock teaching the was kinda like the "How To" clinics at Home Depot but with liquor.  I think they appreciated that we were from a tourist town and basically know how to not act like one. Ricky, the low give a damn bartender brought out a free chicken pizza for everyone to share, but for the life of me I can't remember which night.  I have a guest check with scribblings on quote "I used to go out after 8...but when you do you just get arrested and to to jail to get butt fucked, so...we don't"  I can only guess that was something that I said and with much thought I believe it was in response to the music starting at 9.   We ate and drank our way all over Savannah and Tybee Island and I think one night stayed out until almost 9...crazy like we are. One night we cabbed it to the Crystal Brew Pub..."Um, do you mean the Crystal Beer Parlor?" from our cabbie.  "Sure, whatever, that's what we said".  Only to call him back in about an hour to come get us from the Crystal Burger (Velcro is awesome and he makes me laugh)...he must've known who we were because he showed back up. 

So far as my reflexion on 2012...I know there were lots of ups and downs, but in comparison to 2011 they seemed mild.  I had the man I love by my side the whole time and we weathered all of the storms together. I was afforded some opportunities that I could have never imagined were in the cards.  The challenge to make that into a career for myself is still everyday but give me a chance and I can do anything.

This is a milestone year since collectively me and the Velcro will be 100.  I want to travel and see and do and experience more than I ever have.  I want to BE in everyday.  I'm not so big on resolutions but I've got some pretty strong  expectations for myself physically speaking.  I intend to be one bad ass 40 year old.