Categories
Blather Ocean Pointless Narcissism Work

Lazing On A Sunny Afternoon

It’s nice having a place to laze–a place like, for instance, my new back porch. I can hear and feel the wind through the trees, I can smell the fresh basil growing in a big pot hanging from the railing, I am comfortably out of the direct (and very hot) sun–I couldn’t ask for anything more, unless it was a beach right there in my backyard.

I have done nothing today–a monumental amount of nothing. I haven’t even eaten a proper meal yet–and it feels fantastic. So far my accomplishments are as follows: drink obscene amounts of chicory coffee brewed by someone else; learn how to utilize gadgets I didn’t know I had on my computer (including video chat–quite odd to be sitting across the porch from my roommate and hear his voice coming out of my computer at the same time); eat several extremely buttery and gooey crescent rolls, also prepared by someone else; attempt to talk my father out of depression unsuccessfully; field a brief but redundant phone call from my sister; drink half a gallon of water; contemplate lunch (though I have not gotten to the point of executing said comestible project).

I’ve watched my roommate be all sorts of productive–he’s rigging up some sort of crazy LED light system that’s going to send beams of radiant colors into the neighbor’s yard, or into ours if we turn the head of the thing. There’s talk of drilling a hole through the outside wall of the house, so he can run the power supply from inside. By the time he’s done, we may well live in a rainbow-colored space ship. Though the project is fascinating, I haven’t helped because I’m lazy–but thankfully, I can make the excuse that I’m completely ignorant when it comes to electrical wiring, which is just as true as the fact that I’m lazy. I’d be the one who’d set the house on fire before the hole had even been drilled through the wall.

In a couple of hours I have to go to work, where I’ll most likely do a whole lot more of nothing. It is, after all, Sunday–and that’s what Sundays are for, right? Maybe I can convince my ultra-driven roommates that the next project we should undertake is to build us a beach in the back yard. We’d need the downstairs neighbors’ consent, but the landlord is never around, and I’m sure we could scare up a couple of chaise lounges and a truckload of sand–there’s even a bulldozer parked conveniently up the street, unattended…

Categories
Blather Islands Music Nature Ocean People Pointless Narcissism Rant

A Tale Of Boredom In The Form Of Lists

Things I Love About Summer:

THUNDERSTORMS! (There’s one going on right now… wish I were near the ocean)
Swimming in the ocean
The feeling of having gotten just enough sun to make me tired, not enough to fry the hell out of me
Ice cream sandwiches
Eating lunch or dinner on a dock, dangling my toes in the drink
Flip-flops
Going barefoot (even better than flip-flops)
Salty skin
Night-swimming when there’s phosphorescence (or really any old time at all)
Long, protracted beach days
Reading books that are not required for school
Sailing
Wooden sailboats
Rowing
Boogie-boarding
Live music at sunset in Menemsha
Attempting to surf
Giordano’s pizza
Hitch-hiking
Wandering the beach at 3 a.m.
Camping
Bonfires
Tiger Lilies and Snap-Dragons
Explosives (fireworks–but not the big organized sort)
Wraparound skirts
Baby turkeys in my yard on the Vineyard
Shark sandwiches
Super-fresh fish

Things I Decidedly Do Not Love About Summer:

Tourists who walk around agape, as if they’ve forgotten what species they are
Mopeds
Swimming in pools
Long ferry lines and crowded boats
Belligerent New Yorkers (I know, this falls under tourists, but they deserve their own mention)
Men in pink pants
People who refuse to put sunscreen on their kids (who are so white they’re practically blue)
High-heeled flip-flops
Fake tanner
All of Giordano’s’ food besides the pizza
Having sand lodged in my unmentionables
When the air is colder than the water
Jellyfish
The dreadlocks salt water turns my hair into
Sun-hangovers
Miniskirts that are so short that you can see the girls’ underwear
Fiberglass sailboats and most of the people who wield them
Litter on beaches
Mugginess
Mosquitos and No-See-‘Ems
The reappearance of my arch enemy, the skunk
Poison Ivy

Categories
Blather Faraway Places Insomnia Islands Nostalgia Ocean Pointless Narcissism Rant Think Travel

A Salt Girl Without Salt Is…What, Exactly?

This morning I woke up two hours earlier than I’d intended due to the frantic yowling of my neighbor’s horny cat. The cat, as it is an inside cat and was hanging out on a second-story balcony about eight feet from my bedroom window, did not have any other place to go howl, nor did it have any likelihood of finding another feline to make passes at, so this painful-sounding onslaught went on for nearly an hour without relenting. When the cat had finished, someone in a rather large vehicle decided to back it up slowly, prolonging the reverse-alert beep into an epic form of auditory torture. Doors slammed. A jet flew by. Cars honked at each other. After a while even the flock of itty bitty birds that perpetually chirp outside my window (and who I’ve learned to mostly ignore) became menacing.

The night before last I was unable to sleep because my apartment had been converted, in the course of twelve hours, into a sauna. The air was so thick and heavy that as I lay in my bed drenched in sweat at three a.m., I kept rolling around as if by moving I could shake off the weight of it. It’s only May, and already I’m beginning to regret that I didn’t take the financial and emotional risk of returning to the Island Of Misfit Toys for the summer. To have enough trees to generate sufficient shade, to be free from the sounds and smells of city, to have the ocean–swimmable ocean–only a 15 minute walk away…

I am not a city mouse. With two short exceptions, both of which made me moderately miserable, I have never lived in a place where I couldn’t walk to the beach. Though the water in Monterey was unbearably cold, it was there, and if I’d chosen to swim in it at any given point, I wouldn’t have been arrested or poisoned (with the exception of Lover’s Point, that beautiful shit-filled idyll in Pacific Grove, which we locals all knew to avoid). If it got too hot during the day, I could just take a dip in the drink and cool off. I’ve never been able to understand how people can reconcile the germ-ridden ick of public pools enough to actually get in them–until now. Though public pools will retain indefinitely their title of “bodies of water I’m least likely to step into,” I can understand the desperation that the sweltering hell of summer in the city can bring a person to, particularly if that person is a child and countless hours of nothing to do while their parents are at work.

Since I’ve been on my summer schedule (four days of working in the city, three days off on the island), it’s as though I’ve been living two distinct and separate lives. In one, I do very little apart from working. I wake late, laze around for longer than I should, and on the very hot days, I pray for rain. In the other, I am up before noon, out in the sunshine, the fresh ocean breeze taunting my nostrils and inviting me to go for a swim (I haven’t yet, and I have no excuse). Half of my week is spent looking forward to the other half. Though the social aspects of my life have not changed at all in the city (all I did was work to begin with), I feel I’m constantly missing out on something that’s going on on the island, something that I should be part of because–and it’s taken me years to even consider saying this–I might belong there.

I have spent many years pining for faraway places–California, Europe, New Zealand–and I pine for some of them still. I never thought, however, that I’d come at some point in my life–and certainly not so soon–to pine for where I came from. But then, everything is circular, isn’t it?

Categories
Blather Islands Ocean Pointless Narcissism Travel

Wandering Barefoot Toward Nirvana

Grades closed this morning, which means that my semester is officially over. In addition, I have the weekend off. I have worked in the restaurant and retail industries since I was fourteen, which means that aside from pre-scheduled vacations, unfortunate bouts of unemployment and grave illness, I have not had a weekend off since probably sometime in 1994. With my free weekend, I intend to go to the Island Of Misfit Toys and spend some long overdue time with friends who’ve probably begun to forget that I exist. In addition, I intend to achieve nirvana by Monday.

The way I see it, this endeavor will require me to do the following:

1. Buy A Book.
I just finished a semester in which I had two literature classes and two writing classes, the reading loads of which required a remarkable amount of ocular tenacity and a fair amount of sacrificed sleep. What this means is that I have not read anything (I mean, truly, nothing) that was not assigned since September of 2006. That’s nearly eight months without voluntary reading. I have been looking forward to this day–the day I’m allowed to buy a book that no one told me to read–since about a week after the Fall semester began, more than half a year ago. In my quest for a book, I intend to simply meander around the book store, preferably one which allows beverages so that I can meander with coffee, and look at everything I feel like looking at until something hollers, “Buy Me!” If I find two, I will buy both. If I find six, I will buy them all. I will not rush myself, or give myself a budget, or feel guilty for buying something that one might not actually be able to count as “literature.” If it’s Michael Crichton I want, it’s Michael Crichton I’ll get (not that there’s even a remote likelihood of this).

2. Get A Sunburn.
In the past few weeks, as the weather has been getting gradually more and more fantastic, I have practically become a shut-in. As I do my best work in the middle of the night, I have been up until five or six a.m. almost every night for nearly a month. As I also need a pretty tremendous amount of sleep in order to function properly, and have great difficulty actually getting to sleep, I have wasted a great number of sunny days away in the grey cave of my room, restoring myself to a passable level of lucidity. It is almost summer (though my gut tells me we will probably get walloped with another Northeaster before the end of May), and I intend to celebrate by turning my pasty (redefining white) skin the color of ruby-red grapefruit juice. I will then go into my sister’s garden or living room and find the biggest, juiciest aloe plant she’s got, maim it severely, and slop the goo all over my toasted self until I feel better.

3. Wear A Skirt.
When I think of the word “leisure,” which is normally used in reference to other people, what comes primarily to mind is comfortable, flowy clothing. Light, soft garments which lift and switch with the wind, swirl around your arms or feet when you walk. I am in possession of a rather sizeable collection of hippie skirts, that I wear almost never, which just so happen to epitomize the term “comfortable, flowy clothing.” I’m going to bring them with me to the island, and I’m going to wear them, in true beach-bum style, with hoodies–because there is nothing I can think of that’s more comfortable than a hippie skirt with a hoodie.

4. Go Barefoot.
I hate shoes. I love boots, but I hate shoes. I love (love, love, love) walking around barefoot, particularly if I happen to be wearing one of the aforementioned gauzy hippie skirts. It makes me feel like I am allowed to relax, to do nothing, to sit in a hammock in someone else’s yard (I have neither a yard nor a hammock) and read a book about nothing in particular. As I currently live in a city with icky, dirty streets, and work in a business that requires full-coverage footwear and an inordinate amount of standing on concrete in said full-coverage footwear, the only times I’ve been barefoot since Labor Day have been in my bedroom. I can’t wait.

5. Have A Cocktail.
I do not intend to get uproariously or pointlessly drunk–I have done that enough during the semester that it need not be repeated for as long as possible. However, I am looking forward to sitting on stool by the harbor–preferably while the sun is shining and I am wearing a hippie skirt and no shoes, carrying with me only a freshly-purchased book of no literary merit whatsoever–and having a (1, one) colorful cocktail, mixed and delivered by someone else who is getting paid $2.67 per hour to stand on their feet all day, delivering food and beverages of dubious quality to complete asshole strangers. After I have consumed said fruity beverage, I intend to give the monumentously underpaid liaison of liquid a tip so large it will make them gasp, slip on my flip-flops, and wander aimlessly down the harbor, perhaps down to the beach to slip my un-shod feet into the too-cold ocean just once–a baptism of sorts, in the only water I consider to be holy.