Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
On a crystal summer day on Lake Winnipesaukee, we took a tour on the Doris E. A tour of the lake, mind you. A tour of the Doris E would be limited to an upper deck with exhaust blowback; bridge; cabin with chips, Snickers, and a head; and the bow, where we eventually ended up.
I can recommend this tour, especially if you are looking for the kind of stimulation that doesn't require you to do anything, which was the vibe of our crew as we rolled into Meredith: Dr A, Otto, Bruce Wayne, and myself.
I'll be the old one. Dr A should really be the one reading Camille Paglia.
(if you would like to catch up on characters, you may link now, but I find it more enjoyable to read first and link later. But whatever suits your lunch hour)
For 2 hours you will hop from shore to shore, being treated to the sights and facts and the stunning panorama of a mountain lake. There are no pictures; we all forgot our cameras.
Dr A (with irony): "How will know I had a good time?" This line in response to my admission that I no longer remember any anecdotes of our North Carolina vacation some years ago except those in the videotape we made of it.
There is nothing fancy about the Doris E - It seats about 50 in plastic ER waiting room chairs and is open to the air. There is a crew of 2. I have already mentioned the dining car.
Winnipesaukee is the 3rd largest fresh water lake in the US (asterisk - contained within 1 state. So they claim. Even then, I could not corroborate this fact in 10 minutes of online research. Winnipesaukee did not make the top 20 on wikipedia, but when you consider that most things ahead of it are shipping channels, I think we can still be impressed. The Quabbin Reservoir is only half this size, not a true lake, and you can't take a boat tour. Where was I?)
So the Mary Celeste--- I mean, Doris E. We are alternating between chairs and rail, all enjoying not being at work. Until...
I complain a lot about not having what I consider a practical trade, but times like this on a boat when abolsutely no one needs the have their idea broken down into tasks and timelines, I can be grateful.
Waiting on the pier at Weir's beach for "the all clear to go ashore on the gangway," a boy of about 6 or 7, sitting in front of us with his grandmother, suddenly fell to the floor. Slipped on water? Tripped on rope? Who even knows, but I saw it myself, and I charge that his guardian angel wrestled him out of his chair onto the floor. They can be scampish that way.
We heard this loud thrrrump (it trilled, shakesperean, because it was dramatic) and he popped up, looking stunned, then burrowed into Nanny's lap, mostly because the 9 year old girl in another party had also seen this happen.
Dr A assured Bruce Wayne, "You're on vacation."
He's fine, we all murmered to each other, he's fine, embarassed, what happened? but fine. Until... a few minutes later... we notice the dark stain spreading through his hat. Down his neck.
Wow. Um... Wow. "Bruce?"
For a minute or two, he tried to let the proper authorities handle the situation. After all, hadn't we been treated to a safety lecture each time we left a dock on this island hopping tour? Isn't this a Merchant Vessel on the 3rd largest lake (with some disclaimers) in the United States? Our captain appeared with bottled water and a paper towel. Several adults provided useless care to a scared boy with blood on his hands.
Too much to ask of a certain kind of man, really.
He stepped over, put his hands on the boy's shoulders and said, "What happened, buddy, did you bust your melon?"
Dr. A exchanged raptured looks and declared him Dreamy.
The mother from the other family (they are not with the injured party) says, in a hopeful and not suspicious way, "Are you are a doctor?"
"I'm a medic," he answers. ("ma'am," would have been too much. And out of chatacter, really.)
Over lunch, he had been telling us the importance of having his ambulance set up just so, because in a trauma situation, you can't fumble for your 4x4s, and if you have to ask a stander-by "Hand me the gauze!" it should be folded and placed label-out so they can see that's what it is. And of course he is right, and I said he would get no dissent from this group -- Dr A the Covey Keeper, Otto the original Anal Retentive Orientation Leader, and your humble narrator you already know.
He had one such stander-by bring him gauze and tape, dropped us from his field of vision, and taped up a boy who was now no doubt as in love with him as the rest of us. They put the bloody hat right over the bandage to hold it down, and our friend took his seat again.
Some more feckless jerking by the merchant crew, on and about the boat, including this guy, who may have been the company's medic, but he never said so. He yells over the bow, "Who was the paramedic," and I did not yell back, "Well not YOU," because I don't like to make a scene ( I like to write a scene) and our man stood tall, all shoulder and bicep tattoos, and said "It's a quarter inch lac," in that "nothing to see here" way we like in our first responders.
well that was too much for us. we weren't letting that go all day.
Nanny and the Boy did not exit the boat -- perhaps you might have chosen differently. Perhaps his mother his saying this right now as she calls her girlfriends with this story. But they stayed with the tour, and eventually our injured soldier came around and was back on the rail enjoying getting sprayed in the face and getting some attention from the girl from the other party (who, I should add also "checked in," as they teach them nowadays, after the adults had left by looking him in the face and saying in true empathy, "are you okay?" Paul Harvey will add, "and that girl grew up to be... Eleanor Roosevelt. and now you know...")
There is no moral or conclusion to this story. It's a blog, not Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories.
The captain let the injured boy drive the boat for a while and when we docked again, there was interest in filling out an incident report. I suggested Bruce note on his contact information that he was the only one to take any meaningful action (because now I think I am at work too and we should track this risk).
We went back to Surly Acres for wine and cheese.
No one fell off the deck.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
1) Boy Scouts promised to DO. Girl Scouts promised to TRY.
Like shampoo that "helps restore vitality and luster," we are not truly accountable.
2) "...especially those at home."
I learned over dinner tonight that not everyone learns the same oath. My dinner mate, who was reciting along with me, went off on some other direction that kept her obedient to the cadre of the Scouts, but allowed her to leave the house. "And obey the Girl Scout Law?" What about the needy people at home, without proper first aid? and sit-upons? Who is looking after them -- well, trying to look after them?
On my honor, I will try...
By the way, try this some time. Recite the Lord's Prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance together. It's spooky. Like this
If you can throw the Girl Scout promise in there too, good on ya.
On my honor, I will try to do my duty to God and my country, to help other people every day, especially those at home.
I do not find this exact version in any (easily reached web-based) reference. The 1963 Brownie handbook, which is certainly the version I was indoctrinated with, has a Brownie promise that is nearly this. My handbook was the fat orange one with the plastic fold-over cover. Anyway, you can now substitute another name for your god or belief system. You promise to "do your best," which does sound like you are working harder at it, but still not a real commitment. As a trade-off, you now help them "at all times," which is more vigilant, I think than "every day." And you don't have to help people at home. Well, I guess you do, you can just lower them in priority. And earn your badge at a neighbor's house.
On my honor, I will try: To serve God* and my country, To help people at all times, And to live by the Girl Scout Law. the GSA put the asterisk in, not me
Crazy Girl Scout facts
1. Dorothy Stratton was national executive director. Not the Dorothy Stratton you're thinking of.
2. English Brownie Scouts must also try to do their duty to the Queen. Everybody wants somethin'.
3. The GSA can shut me down for using the wings without their permission
don't tell them about THIS
Great Girl Scout links
creepy social realist coloring book
Roundups with money
Glengarry Girl Scout
Proof the cookies shrank
Give me a child until she is seven, and I will give you the dork
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Like being able to dump my discards there?
Still, seems like a great deal on books, doesn't it?
And honestly, don't you have Charlotte's Web? If you are giving Charlotte's Web to a kid, don't get one with a magic marker stripe down the side.
Can customer service answer questions about shipping charges, US sales taxes, and other hidden charges on my bargain book?
I don't think they are hiding anything; I just think they want to get to know you before they become your book discounter.
So go in eyes open. And compare to used copies on Amazon, which will be in similar condition.
Inter-library loan is a pretty cool service too.
Monday, July 13, 2009
In her American burkha, highball in hand, the Hostess gets to be more comfortable than her guests, undistracted by fears of pantylines and snapped garters. No belts no pins no pads.
The difference between the caftan and the muumuu is that the caftan is fierce: Liz Taylor wore a caftan. Barbie had a caftan. Barbie would not wear a muumuu.
Ladies, if you feel you are not gaining enough ground in your domestic squabbles, try looking more like his mother. Not his mother now, but how he remembers her" hot rollered Liz Montgomery hair without a part, surprised U's drawn over her opalescent-blue lids. A blouzy loud-mouthed broad with blood-red fingernails.
Get yourself a caftan and a brandy snifter and Edward Albee your living room.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Dan Rather vs Roy Blount, Jr.
The Thrilla in Vanilla
Bad-Ass Dan, Chicago 68
Speaking of Chicago 68, this has also always been a favorite of mine. Listen carefully to hear Buckley call Vidal a "Queer."