Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Ins and Outs (more outs than ins) of the Weekend

Well, happy 4th of July (belatedly) to everyone! I hope that your weekend was full of sun, and fun, and relaxation. Our weekend was ... interesting. Good, in a "cleansing" sort of way.

SJV and I started our our weekend with promises of fun: a sailboat excursion to watch the fireworks from the harbor by Navy Pier. Rock-star seating, of course, and a chance to catch up with some friends of mine that I haven't seen for some time. (Aside: it's interesting how, once you start up a serious relationship with someone as amazing as SJV, you unintentionally lose touch with folks. I always hated people that fell away/went underground after getting into a relationship -- calling them "whipped," etc., and saying I would never do the same thing. But SJV's like, my best friend. Full stop. So it makes sense. But it doesn't mean I don't miss my other buds.)

So my buddy sent us all a map to his dock, which I scoffed at ("I know where his boat is! I've been there a million times") and SJV and I loaded up two six packs into the transition bag we got at Bigfoot (transition bags double as great Beer Carriers, for those that find a need for such transport) and I grabbed the wine. I had made a mental note of the dock number (actually, letter N), just in case, and we set off walking the mile or so to the harbor.

Two six packs in a transition bag are heavy, so SJV was the total gentleman for taking that on. And take it on he did. We walked the mile or so to the harbor, and then snaked around the docks. I saw that the letters on the dock seemed to be going the wrong way (up, not down, as we walked toward where I just KNEW his boat was) but I dismissed it. (For those of you that live in Chicago, you understand that just because something seems logical doesn't mean that's the way it's done, or set up, or organized. So I figured the docks would start renumbering.) Right as we got all the way around the harbor, I saw that the docks did, indeed, start renumbering. With two letters, rather than one. *shit*

I grab my cell phone, and call my buddy. He starts laughing. He has moved the boat to a new dock, he explains, and it's on the other side of the harbor -- very close, actually, to where we started. I added about a mile (perhaps more) to our little excursion. SJV took it like a trooper, but the six packs (bottles) were digging into his back, and although I tried to take them from him for a minute, he gutted it out.

We finally made it to the boat and hopped on. My buddy A (the owner of the boat) had asked if SJV and another friend, Mike, could help "winch him to the mast" -- the true meaning of that phrase, I still don't know. In any case, pretty soon A was dangling in a harness of sorts (that looked uncomfortable in his ... well ... shorts), holding a weather vane with his teeth perilously close to his eyes and the eyes of SJV and Mike. My friend A is nothing if not hard core. There's lots of discussion, and soon other boat-owners are looking over, half smiling and making jokes that when the guys are finished with A's boat, they can come over and help them, too. Nice to have a peanut gallery when you're going to be hanging 30 feet in the air, with a weather vane that can poke your eyes out (and the eyes of onlookers and helpers) held in your teeth, and your ... "guys" (ahem) ... cinched up in a harness that looks as if it's made for a kindergarten playground.

Soon, I hear a creaking, harsh noise, and see that SJV has drawn the short straw, and will be "winching" A up the mast. But, as soon as they start, they end (maybe 20 "winches" or so into the project). About 10 feet up, A has decided that "This Is Stupid" and the project is over.


SJV looks relieved, and I am as well. Back to the back of the boat, we're all having a bit of wine or beer, and I'm meeting some new people, which is always fun. After waiting for the rest of our crew, we start off.

SJV had been a little nervous that his stomach wouldn't cooperate for the ride. He's got a sensitive stomach, so I could understand his concern. Sometimes he gets queasy -- like when there are big swells on the lake and we're out on a long swim. But, I had reassured him, and said that swimming and sailing are two totally different things, and that I was certain he'd be fine. Now, I wasn't certain (I had also recommended that we bring dramamine) but I thought that he'd probably be okay, or at least more good than bad.

We start out, and I look over, nervously, at SJV. I am pleased as punch to see that he's standing at the back of the boat, HUGE grin on his face, saying this is awesome -- totally fun, and that it's like being on the boat in Gilligan's Island. Yahoo! We're in the clear, I think. Beers all around -- let's settle in and enjoy the fireworks.

We get to the spot where we're going to drop anchor - perfect location, just close enough to the fireworks, but far enough away, too. A does this every year, and it shows. We're sitting there for a minute, and I'm enjoying the soft rock-rock-rock of the boat. Then I look over to SJV. He's a distinct shade of green. "Sugar" he says (he calls me Sugar), "This isn't good."

Suddenly, I go into "Mama Goose mode". Off we go to the very tip of the boat, to sit and to focus on the horizon, and to think calming thoughts, etc. We're joined by another couple of landlubbers - W, who is from Nebraska, and her boyfriend Eric. We exchange a few words about how seasickness sucks, and then fall silent. SJV is, I imagine, concentrating on not throwing up. He keeps telling me he's sorry, and I keep telling him there's no need. We hear bangs and crashes from the boat-deck, and a muttered "party foul," and realize that everyone else is drunk -- and we're all focused on ensuring that W and SJV don't hurl.

I give SJV a quick kiss, and head to the deck so that I can go below and use the "facilities". There's a trick with peeing on a boat -- very similar to peeing on a plane -- but the actual toilet is tricky, too. There's a valve, and a thingy to plunge, and it's just generally hard to figure out, no matter how many times I've done it. And so, it takes me a good 10 minutes to go down, pee, come back up and ask for directions on how to plunge-flush the toilet, go back down, fiddle with it. Success! And then come back up. I climb back to the tip of the boat, and SJV is White As A Ghost, and W and Eric are cuddled up, their faces pointed away from both SJV and i.

"I'm sorry." SJV continues with the apologies, and I again assure him that everyone understands, that it's no big deal... etc. He then looks at me as though I just don't get it -- then explains that in the last 10 minutes (while I've been below) he's puked over the side at least 8 times - never once getting up from his position on the boat. The Lake Michigan fishes are, he explains, enjoying an evening of exotic Pad Thai.


"Do you feel better?" I ask. "Yep." He says.

Poor thing. We wait an excrutiating 20 minutes before the fireworks begin. They're amazing, as always, and SJV understands then why we go to the trouble and ... well ... pain. Then we're headed back to shore. Once we get to dock, we hop out, say our goodbyes, and start heading home...

The weekend continued with a similar theme. I'll post more on that tomorrow.

Until then, hold on tight!

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Idgy the Cat

Idgy the Cat