the adventures of a girl, her dog, and two cats.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

april showers

A week ago Monday I had an opportunity to go out fishing. Although I'm allergic to seafood and don't really want to hurt or kill nature for entertainment, I hate to pass up an opportunity to get out on the water and I want to develop skills to serve as a mate on fishing charters. Those mates can make some good tips on a half- or full-day charter, and if I can do the job looking cuter than the usual old salts, well, I figure my tips would be even better. I've found that "soft skills" aren't much rewarded financially and are easily outsourced offshore, so I'm on a mission to stockpile some "real" skills like fishing, sewing, and fixing mechanical things. On my few trips out rockfishing I've learned how to put out the planer boards, clip in and send out the trolling lines, keep an eye out for knockdowns, bring in the lines, tidy up the reels for storage, and clean the lures. I've brought in a few fish, but I still need to learn how to safely net the fish, remove the hook, and filet it up. Although I learned a lot on this past trip (thanks Cap'n Chris and Mate Bob!) and we had 14 lines out, we didn't get so much as a nibble. It didn't look like other boats were having much more luck, though, so I don't feel too bad. The fishing gods must have sensed me typing this and in walked the captain of a local charter boat asking if I could work a charter this Friday. Fingers crossed I do well, make some good money, and get invited back for more work. I should be able to make as much in tips as if waiting tables, but with the potential for more. And it's time on the water, getting some exercise, and developing a skill I can take with me anywhere.

As you may recall, one Tuesday the car died and the following Tuesday I learned the A/C in the car doesn't work and I lost all my important keys (other than car keys). Perhaps the most important of the lost keys was the only key to the lock on my storage unit. So last Tuesday I started my errands with heading to the storage unit to pay the bill and see if they would cut the lock for me. The manager said of course they could cut the lock...for a fee. My heart sank; I'm painfully broke and whatever it cost was coming straight out of the small grocery budget. Then he smiled and said "Just kidding! Of course we'll cut it for free." I just had to sign a liability waiver saying I'm me and won't be upset they cut the lock, et cetera. Annapolis Self Storage rocks! Sparks flew, it smelled like melting metal, and voila! The 5'x5' unit is not even waist high with stuff, much of which just needs sorting, tossing, or donating.

Items I like to keep in the car were at the top in the storage unit, e.g. a trunk organizer, jumper cables, beach chair, hockey skates, emergency overnight bag, and my portable backgammon case. It was a rainy gloomy day so I hit up a fellow liveaboard and suggested I drop by after picking up my groceries and we could play some backgammon and hide out from the rain. He's very competitive, a racer. I'm not. I wanted him to have an edge since he was new to backgammon so I let him pick the black dice, which I suspect to roll doubles on a higher-than-average basis. Although he did roll doubles often, apparently I just have a gift for rolling more of them. Even when I didn't need them my double sixes kept coming up. After just three games he said he never wanted to hear me say "box cars!" again. I guess there's a hidden competitive streak in me, after all. So I promised to let him win at chess.

Having totally lost track of time hiding from the rain, it was about 1:00AM as I was finally heading home. But if it's Tuesday the universe has it in for me, and the car was dead again. I got a ride home only to find that the gasket in one of the port lights had come out of its track and what seemed like buckets of water had rained onto the settee and pillows. There's really no fixing it when wet, so I had to pile towels and a basin below the port to try to catch the rain. A couple days later I managed to get the gasket back in, though it still leaks a bit (I seriously hate the design of these port lights), but I'm still without a car. Every time it freaks out and fails it's been raining. The dealer is thinking it may need a new computer, but the part is elusive and I think they need to figure out how water is intruding and shorting it out so I'm not continually replacing an expensive and hard-to-get part. In the two months I've had the car it has run less often than it's been broken down. At this point whenever I'm about to cry I just start laughing kind of hysterically, like I'm on the verge of a psychotic break. At least I can look at the situation and laugh!

The rain, south winds, and high tides converged to flood the parking garage at the marina with a good 5 inches of water. Water didn't come over the docks but it was close and the boat was high above the pier. I wore my foulies all day Wednesday and had to sit on the deck to jump down.

After what seemed like endless rains, we got some sunny, warmish weather and the dock water was turned on. I borrowed a pressure washer from a dockmate and spent Sunday giving Ambrosia a bikini boat wash. I spent four hours going over the decks with the pressure washer. The boat went from gray to white. One guy said he always found it cathartic to clean the boat like that, and I have to agree. She was just caked with grime and it definitely gives a sense of accomplishment to blast it away. By the time I reached the cockpit I was feeling rushed because the temperature was dropping and winds were kicking up. I didn't want to be caught out in a thunderstorm. Gratefully it passed us by. I spent another hour working on spots by hand and still have more to do to clean up the topsides, but she looks so much cleaner and brighter now.

Come Sunday evening I had a bunch of chicken to cook up but no one was up for coming over for dinner and drinks so I was on my own. I've always left grilling to men. Everyone needs their own "turf," their own things they are good at, skills they get to "own." Since I'm a pretty decent cook and baker, I like to be in charge of my galley. So I've always left the "killing beast over fire" Neanderthal thing to guys. I let them own that primal manly task. But being a single gal and (perhaps overly, painfully, stridently) independent, I have to do for myself these days. For a while I've been using a little George Foreman grill, which I actually quite like. However, it only fits a couple chicken breasts or burgers and if I'm cooking in larger quantities (as is often the case), it takes a long time and there is a lot of clean up. So, this past Sunday I got a fellow dockmate to show me how to light the communal grill by the dinghy dock and lo-and-behold, I grilled up my first batch of chicken by myself. Folks walking by ooh-ed and aah-ed; one family said they wouldn't have gone to Boatyard for dinner if I'd been grilling when they walked by, another guy said it smelled delicious and could smell it a block away. I'd say the real skill in it was marinating the chicken for a few days in a Ziploc bag with olive oil, garlic, fresh ground pepper, and kosher salt, but I guess my grilling abilities aren't too shabby, either.

I had been planning on moving slips but don't like the slip open on the main pier. I'd be stuck between two power boats (which cuts off breezes and could make me feel boxed in) and the view would be of a shabby boat at the marina next door. I'm going to pass. I was mostly resigned to staying put, which pup dog would probably like and would avoid drama dealing with Comcast, but the parking garage noise and being right next to another liveaboard really do bother me. There is another slip possibly opening up on a pier with a gate (so less risk of strangers walking up to the boat) and the docking situation would likely be relatively simple, but that slip would cost almost $1,000 more per year than where I'm I obviously don't have right now. So, we'll see. I think I would have more privacy and peace and quiet there. It's an adjustment being in a more urban/commercial marina with all the noise and foot traffic, but I think what is harder for me is all the liveaboards, gossip, and unsolicited advice. I've got to get the boat fixed up so I can take off on some mini-cruises and get away.

Although it'd be nice to fall in love or at least find a good guy and have a playmate this spring and summer, I'm so thankful that I am not trapped in a stale or bad relationship. I'm saddened when I see someone encoupled with the wrong person, staying by default because inaction is easier than action. There is an enormous opportunity cost to doing that because the love of your life might walk right past you but not see you because you were on another's arm. I keep telling myself (and want to yell at my friends): Don't settle! You deserve better. The person you're with deserves better. No one should ever be pressured to get married or have children, nor pressure anyone else to do so. Marriage is hard. Marriage is a partnership and a sacrifice. If you don't wake up every morning wanting to be there, you are shortchanging yourself and your "partner." If you wouldn't stay if there weren't a legal bond between you, you sure as hell shouldn't be together. Too many people marry for all the wrong reasons, under all the wrong pressures. Too many women marry because they want a wedding, because all their friends are doing it, or because they think they can't have a kid on their own. If a guy truly loves me he won't need legal papers, or a name change, or a joint checking account. He'll show he loves me by being there in my bed every morning and not fucking anyone else. By being his own person, independent, self-fulfilled, seizing and sharing his dreams.

One thing I think we often forget is that we are not responsible for anyone else's happiness. We are each responsible for our own happiness and only when we love ourselves, are independent and complete in ourselves, can we truly love someone  else, seek only to lift them up, not pull them down or revolve around them. I don't want to be the center of anyone's universe (well, other than pup dog's). It's too much pressure. And it isn't love, it's obsession or dependence; there's a very big difference between those things and love. Jealous people, like drunks and addicts, don't truly love. They lack the self-value and self-confidence to do so.

I consider having some fun here and there, but I know I won't be satisfied with that. Even if it's just a physical thing, and especially if it's just a physical thing, I don't want to be with anyone that there isn't just this immediate, gut, pheromonal desire to rip each others' clothes off. I deserve that kind of passion. Anything less than that is selling myself short. So I have to stick with my mantras: Don't settle. Just keep running. Be the lioness, not the gazelle.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Your 2nd to last paragraph got me. It sounds so simple, but to me, is so complicated. But how does one change to loving themselves if they haven't been? How do I fix this problem? You don't know me well...but I have learned recently that I don't know me well either. How does one (me) build up self value and self confidence? That's what you need to blog about or write about or something.


Thanks for reading! Have you had a similar experience you'd like to share? Have a link to an interesting blog fellow readers and I might enjoy? Just want to say hello? Post your comments below. I'm a smart, resourceful girl doing things her own way, so I just ask that folks keep the unsolicited advice to themselves.