Thursday, August 30, 2007

Vacation **updated**

Well, kind of.

Xteen and I really don't go too many places mainly because we just bought a house and I'm not a very good flyer. So, when the opportunity came for us to spend a long weekend in Vermont with some friends of hers from work (in a house that one of her friends owns with her siblings), it was an easy choice: Not spending $200/night to stay somewhere and not flying. Sign me up.

Xteen and I decided to leave Saturday morning, so we went out Friday and bought a bunch of shit to bring along with us. We were looking forward to this, because we get along pretty well with the folks that would be there and, quite frankly, we needed a break.

So, we leave our house around 10:00. It's supposed to take about 2.5 hours according to Shitheadquest, but we're thinking we can do this bad boy in 2 hours.

Survey says?

Strike one.

Once on the first major highway we have to take, there is nothing but brake lights for miles. We left 10 minutes ago and we are already a half hour behind schedule. I feel like I am at my doctor's office, when I have the first appointment of the day, but somehow, I'm left sitting in the waiting room for 45 minutes.

Anyway, it turns out this is a result of construction. Of course it is. Everything is always under construction. From what I could tell, this project involved a lot of hard-hatted jacked up dudes sitting around pointing at shit, while another hard-hatted jackass sits in a giant piece of machinery and fiddles around with the controls in such a haphazard manner, it reminds me of my great-grandmother trying to figure out an iPod.

We get past this mess and are able to go the speed limit for approximately 3.6 seconds before everything comes to a grinding halt again. This time, we find out miles and miles down the road, that it is a huge backup onto the onramp of another highway that is causing the mess. That makes sense. Since the onramp is in the right line and we are in the left. Glad I sat in traffic for 45 minutes in the lane that the backup wasn't for.

Anyway, we finally get some speed going and start driving through western Mass. and finally Vermont. Somewhere around here, I fell asleep.

Good thing I wasn't driving, eh?

So, we finally arrive in Vermont at 1:00 and it is really beautiful. The house is nice. It's at the foot of a mountain called Mount Ascutney. Our friends are setting up a volleyball net for the inground pool and drinking beers. Things are good.

It's about 95 degrees out and I'm in my customary garb for such weather: black t-shirt and dark jeans. Boots. You know. Stuff that it makes sense to wear when you are already sweating your balls off.

We unload the car, which consisted of bags upon bags of Doritos and popcorn, a case of beer, an iPod friendly boombox, a board game, two books (this one and this one), clothes that would have lasted for Tom Hanks' entire marooned life in Castaway, pineapple juice, two cameras, and, of course, a watermelon.

We unpack and go sit by the pool. Everyone else in bathing suits, splashing around. Me, Johnny Cash, delightfully broasting all of my internal organs. Finally, I can't take it anymore. So, I grab a beer.

Eventually, I end up changing into shorts (while keeping the same black t-shirt on). This is a big deal for me, because I hate being seen in public with shorts on. Just a thing I have. Same thing with sweatpants. I won't be seen in 'em.

That wardrobe change lasts about 20 seconds as I go outside and say "Fuck this, I need to go in the pool". So, I go back in the house and put on my bathing suit which I bought about three years ago. It still has the tags on it. I put it on and am greeted with a wave of anxiety which I am also certain is not actually agita brought on by the combination of the mass quantity of Spicy Nacho Doritos and beer I have downed in a 15 minute span.

No, this anxiety is because I have to take my shirt off in public. Another thing I can't stand to do. On top of having the worst farmer's tan this side of the Mason-Dixon line, I also have have the physique of a beluga whale. After much trepidation, I remove my shirt and proceed to suck in my flabbalanche, which not only does nothing to lessen the horror of my no-pack abs, but also causes me to walk and look like I am constipated.

I take about an hour and a half to get into the water. It's cold. But we all have fun. Then, it's time to grill up some lunch. Burgers, dogs, sausages, a turkey tenderloin. All great stuff. More beers. It's only 4:00 on Saturday. Long night of partying ahead. Soaking in the scenery. The nice breeze. That seems to be getting a little stronger. The warm sunlight. Which is starting to go away. All while the breeze is turning into wind. I look up. The sky looks like someone cleaned out a fireplace all over it.

Then, I hear the thunder. We all scatter. It's dark. We're gathering as much shit as we can and bringing it in the house. The wind is really whipping up. I'm dodging flying monkeys while trying to corral all of the pool toys and get them into the shed which proves to be about as frustratingly inefficient as, well, dodging flying monkeys.

Finally, everything is picked up. We get into the house before the first drop hits the ground. And there is no electricity.

That makes sense. Up in Vermont, the weather is really moderate. They don't get thunderstorms in the summer or blizzards in the winter, so it would make sense that the entire town lost power because someone sneezed.

The storm starts. Vivid lightning, downpours. We all scurry around an unfamiliar house looking for candles, matches, flashlights, batteries, and beer. Then it dawns on folks. The house is on well water. With no power, there's no water. Nothing from the faucet and most importantly, nothing in the toilet. So, you have 8 people in the house who have had various quantities of beer, frozen alcholic drinks, Doritos, and grilled meat. And no bathrooms. Nice.

The storm finally passes and me and someone else decide we are going to go a house right up the path (actually the girl's mother's house, but no one is there right now) to look for more supplies. We get there and it is dark. And spooky. And we forgot to bring a flashlight. Nice.

We come back with like 2 AA batteries and candle that looks like a baseball. Lights are still off and people are starting to get hungry, so the host decides he is going to grill dinner since it stopped raining. Steak tips, grilled veggies, and even rice. All on the grill. About 8 seconds after the grill is loaded up and started, another storm begins. This one is even worse than the last one. Lightning is crazy, illuminating the whole sky. This one is a hell of a lot closer too. So, the host turns off the grill, full with dinner, and wheels it under the back door awning. No biggie...we'll just wait this out.

Then we hear, "FUCK!!!"

It's the host and he has discovered that the buckets of rainwater cascading down the awning is flooding the inside of the grill through the vent.

So, me, the host and another dude go out in this raging thunderstorm and try to get this bohemoth of a grill in the house through the small back door. After Moe, Curly, and I finally are able to accomplish this feat at the cost of shredded skin and pulverized groin muscles, it immediately stops raining. So, we bring it out again and finish grilling dinner.

Still no lights as of about 10pm. After dinner, we decide to play a board game, have dessert, and try to stay awake. It's been lightning non-stop since about 4 and this is no exaggeration. At one point a massive bolt hit the tower at the top of the mountain and the accompanying sparks spelled out "Fuck you Dim" over the night sky. I would have a picture of it, but I was a little slow getting to the camera because of my shredded skin and pulverized groin muscles.

Around midnight, folks are getting tired. It's dark, people have had a lot to drink and eat, and the bathrooms are still not functioning. We've gone through our entire supply of bottled water to boot. I'm starting to feel like Tom Hanks in that movie with the volleyball. That one.

The lightning has still not let up, which probably explains why the electricity isn't on. But we all decide to go to bed. Just as I am about to drift off, I hear the rhythmic beeping of a utility truck outside the window. I get up, look out the window, and flip him the bird.

The lights come back on at 1:30am, but at this point, no one has the energy to do anything other than go to the bathroom.

In the morning, I unknowingly brush my teeth with brown water. Nice. At least I then proceed to run around the house, turning every light in the place on and flushing every toilet just because I fucking can. Needless to say, the rest of the weekend wasn't quite so eventful.

Hope folks have a nice holiday weekend. I'm off to get my haircut. My first in about 3 years. Maybe I'll post some before and after shots next week. Wish me luck.

**Update** - Since this post, my piece of shit car officially died and that little romp in the pool I had in Vermont has resulted in a nasty ear infection. Yep. What a kick ass week I've had.

- Dim.

Monday, August 20, 2007

High School Musical

I'm just looking for some site hits.

Love, Dim.
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