When I go away for the weekend, I always intend to do the sort of posts that involve many pictures interspersed with clever commentary. But then I remember that my life is essentially boring (I meant to start with a picture of our driveway, which has just been resurfaced, and so is blocked off with orange tape. It would show the sort of suburban squalor that we were escaping. Really, with the way the real estate market is these days, b&c would probably be lucky to get $700K for his house, which, after all, is probably not much more than 3,000 square feet. I'm basically a less-rich Stepford wife, when all is said and done.) and I never get enough pictures. I'm not sure how the photo essayists do it. It would be one thing if I were traveling alone, but I'm always with one or more other people, and I really hate to be the guy who's always saying, "Go on ahead, I need to get some pictures of these young men playing volleyball." I suppose that after a while, your friends get used to you being that guy, but I'm not sure I'd ever want to be him. And taking pictures makes me look voyeuristic (which I am, of course). What I really need is for my digital camera to be put into a cellphone. My camera has a pretty good lens, especially considering the pittance I paid for it, but I feel very conspicuous using it. I can get a picture from my cellphone and never look like I'm doing anything other than checking messages, but the pictures are crap. Anyway.
We arrived at my friend J.'s place around 11:30 Friday night. If I'm going to Rehoboth, I leave by noon or after eight. Otherwise, there are several spots where the traffic is unbearable, even if I'm not driving. The picture above is the view from J.'s porch. There are a large number of McMansions in the development where he lives, but J. opted for a very modest four-bedroom townhouse. Because it's all about being at the beach, the house is sparsely and appropriately furnished. These birds, for example, have a prominent place: the landing outside the master suite, on the third floor, where no one ever goes.
The main part of the house is your typical ramshackle beach cottage. You know: mismatched wicker, faded walls: the sort of thing that won't make you cringe if a little sand gets in the house. Note the sailboat, carrying the nautical theme into the living room.
Seriously, could anything be more modest and unassuming? And, well, beachy?
I'm pretty sure that J.'s mother furnished the entire living/dining area with no more than $50,000. J. has plenty of his own money, but since he's too busy earning more to deal with things like choosing furniture, it's a lot easier to let his mother pick things out and pay for them. I didn't get any pictures of most of the rest of the house. J. always insists that b&c and I stay in the master suite when we're there. I think it's silly, but the master bathroom kicks ass, so I don't complain. God forbid we should be in the second best bedroom, where the dedicated bathroom only has a standard sized bathtub instead of a Jacuzzi.
Maybe he has us stay in the master suite because we painted the second bedroom, and he doesn't want us to be reminded of that. He had a bunch of people over to help paint a few years back, and while everyone else argued over paint colors and made endless trips to Home Depot, b&c and I painted. The others did pitch in from time to time, and that was good because then I got to fix what they'd done. It was awfully nice of them to ignore my warning that the ceiling paint wasn't the same as the wall paint since then I got to go back and paint over the wall paint that they'd put on the ceiling. And since the ceilings are only ten feet tall in that room, I only had to be four feet up on the ladder.
Anyway, J.'s place is fully equipped with a wide selection of his favorite movies:
What, after all, is a beach house without the deluxe edition of Pearl Harbor? I'm not sure that you can see the CDs all that well, but it's a combination of various types of dance music. When I first met J., six or seven years ago, he told me that his favorite musical artist was Donna Summer. You have to admire a guy who sticks with the classics. Something I saw on Bravo a month or two ago got me started wondering what sort of film or music I'd want playing if I knew that I was about to die. I reckon that J. would want to hear "Bad Girls," but I'm not ruling out the possibility that he'd want "Dancing Queen."
My own choice would be very similar: I would want to hear Wilhelmina Wiggins-Fernandez singing "Ebben? Ne andro lontana" from the beginning of Diva. Sadly, I was unable to find a good picture of Wilhelmina Wiggins-Fernandez online, but according to this page about Queen Loseyateefa from the Atlanta Rollergirls, HRH Loseyateefa's celebrity resemblance is to Ms. Wiggins-Fernandez. Also to someone named Taral Hicks. I am not familiar with Ms. Hicks, and it is also difficult to find a picture of her that is larger than a thumbnail. Fortunately, I was able to find her astrological chart online, and perhaps from that you can judge the resemblance to her majesty, whose picture follows Ms. Hicks' chart. I report, you decide. Queen Loseyateefa's specialty is listed as "One Hitta Quitta/Throwing Elbows," and her weapons of choice are "Rusty Nails/Thunder Thighs." Some might opine that royalty is not what it once was, but, again, I offer no opinion.
Anyway. Saturday morning, after I confirmed that fucking your partner doesn't count as sex if you do it before breakfast, b&c and I decided to take an early walk along the boardwalk. I'm not a big fan of being out in the sun during the height of the day, but at 8:45, it was only about ninety-five degrees out. The town and the beach were already filling up, though you can't see it from these pictures.
Poodle Beach (the gay section) was still deserted, of course, and I didn't get a picture of either the hot volleyball players (straight) or any of the hot joggers (not so straight), but I did manage to get one of some wildflowers. They seemed not to mind my voyeurism.
That was as close as I got to the beach. J. and b&c went back later in the day so that b&c could exercise his god-given right to wear a speedo, but I did some shopping and played some video games. J.'s bf D. showed up around 7:30, and we all had some snacks and then went to dinner.
After dinner we decided to play a game. B&c dislikes card games. D. is very anti-competitive, so he suggested that we play Risk because nothing is more cooperative than a game where world domination is the goal. B&c had never played risk, and he is also anti-competitive, so naturally he and D. were the last players standing.
When I was seventeen or so, I was over at my best friend B.'s house one Friday evening, and B., B.'s father, B.'s brother, B.'s brother's girlfriend, B.'s sister, and I all sat down to play Risk. I don't remember who won (it wasn't me, though: I'm pretty sure that I've never won a game of Risk in my life; it's a wonder the Bush administration hasn't tapped me to lead our troops in Iraq), but I do remember that the game went all night long and that every half hour or so, B.'s father got up to make himself another pitcher of whiskey sours. I was raised in a teetotalling Southern Baptist house, so this behavior was quite a revelation to me. The drinking didn't seem to affect B.'s father's play, though.
Anyway, as I said this past Saturday night, any time you sit down to play risk at 10 and the game's over before midnight, everyone's a winner. When the last infidel had been slaughtered, I tried to make everyone dessert by putting some lemon sorbet in wine glasses and topping them off with some prosecco. J. and D., though, are on diets, so I had to eat twice as much. How I suffer for my friends. To spare them from any additional temptation, the next morning I used up the rest of the prosecco in a mimosa. After brunch, b&c and I drove home. On the ride, I finished my re-read of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and then fell asleep. B&c listened to a cd of 32 songs by Ned Rorem and attempted to interest me in anecdotes from Mr. Rorem's diary, but I figure that if your biggest claim to infamy is that you bottomed for Leonard Bernstein, you can't be as interesting as Lord Voldemort.
When we were halfway home, I saw a car with a Virginia vanity license plate: EDITR. B&c still doesn't get why I think that's funny.
3 years ago