Our nautical Christmas 2012

My tugboat man brought back some treasures and cool marlinspike seamanship projects he worked on while he abandoned me was away for two months.

What do you think of the captain’s welcome home signs?

whatever

This picture frame is huge–2 ft. x 3ft.

Marlinspike seamanship picture frame

This is a close-up view of his masterful work.

close up frame

My mariner found a float in the harbor and crafted a delicate netting in black.

netball

And then we worked together to make it into a lamp! The base is a piece of driftwood. The captain’s making some fancy knotwork to embellish the shade.

lamp

Princess Rosebud was spoiled with a necklace from a craft fair somewhere near where Santa lives.

Sparkly!

Sparkly! Shiny!

 He fashioned a pretty little handmade tray with copper tubing sides and handles and filled it with shells and driftwood!

tray

We had welcome home festive cocktails of cranberry juice and vodka with a fresh cranberry in our antique champagne glasses.

cranberrycocktail

And yummy ginger cookies…

gingercookies

Our Downton Abbey-inspired dinner table.

xmasdinnerHis mess, which has since been cleaned up!

suitcases

Now he has a new project–when he’s not surfing– refinishing a rowboat and making it seaworthy.

rowboat

Such is the life of a tugboat captain’s wife! I’m a happy girl, that’s for sure!

Where Was Your First “I Love You”?

(And booze, because of course.)

Christmas
Wednesday, December 25, 1991

This was our first holiday together after I figuratively walked to the edge of the cliff and jumped off by telling my tugboat man I loved him the first time we shared a cup of coffee.

I was positive he was going to break up with me.

My ten-year-old son was with his dad for the day.

My tugboat man and I went to the gym in the morning for a little holiday workout before they closed at noon. The house was freezing when we got home. I remember going to the thermostat to turn on our central heating.  It’s rare that we need the heat on continuously here in SoCal; we use it briefly to take the chill out of the air.

It was (like it still is) a sad home when my son’s not here.

On the way home from the gym we stopped at a liquor store and bought a small bottle of Jagermeister250px-Jagermeister_bottle and a bottle of Rumpelmintz.rumplemintz

I was in the bathroom when I heard him. He very quietly said, “Rosebud, will you come into the family room? We need to talk.”

Oh NO, NOT the dreaded we need to talk. This did not sound good. Not good at all.

That’s breakup speak, I just knew it. But on Christmas DAY??? Who would do that? I know we had kind of fast tracked our relationship after that first cup of coffee–he even had been introduced to my son during a  work-related event or two and things were moving along great-or so I thought. Maybe things were moving too fast and he was getting cold feet. All kinds of doomsday scenarios were floating around in my head. All I knew for sure was that I didn’t want to come out of the bathroom; I stayed there, heart pounding, tears welling up in my eyes. I looked at myself in the mirror.

Why today of all days? What did I do wrong?woman_crying_m

I was still wearing my workout gear with an oversized plaid shirt. Nineties grunge, ya know?

At some point I steeled my nerves and came out of the bathroom to get it over with and figure out how to endure a breaking heart.

He was sitting at the small dining table we have in our family room where we eat informal meals. There were a couple of shot glasses filled with Rumplemintz (peppermint schnapps). He looked very serious. I mean, like he planned to deliver really bad news. He pulled out a chair and said, “Have a seat.”

tablechair

I said, “No. I don’t want to.”
Nice guy. He was going to get me drunk, break up with me, and run out the front door. This could be the worst day of my life. Seriously. He was going to do this before I could get a Christmas present from him? Seriously?

“Oh, come on. I need to tell you something. Come and sit down right here.”

Oh. Shit.

I forced my sad little plaid covered self over to the chair and looked down. I looked anywhere but at HIM. I didn’t want to see him for the very last time.

He wasn’t saying anything. I could feel him looking at me. At that point, I was thinking to myself, oh hell–just get it over with already! I gotta get myself a gallon of ice cream and start on it asap.

Finally, he reached over, took my hand and said, ” I need you to know that I love you.”

WHAT? You set me up for a break up scenario and you were planning to tell me that you loved me? WTF? 

I had anticipated the worst possible outcome. Instead, once again–he surprised me.

Crap. I can’t go any further with this story! He just told me that I can’t write the rest of what he said ‘cos it’s private–not for anyone to hear but me is what he said–but I can tell you it was lovely and sweet, and I’m so glad he’s here now–home for Christmas–because I’m always reminded of that first year.

If you don’t have to drive anywhere, try our special holiday tradition cocktail, the Reindeer: mix equal parts Jagermeister and Rumplemintz. Very potent!

Where did your most memorable “I love you” take place?

Happy Everything, Everyone!

Aside

I’m going to spend the next couple of days reading and commenting on a crapload of posts piled up in the old inbox–oh yeah, and enjoying the homecoming of my very own tugboat man! Merry Christmas to all and I hope you all get the presents you asked Santa for! Hugs and kisses from SoCal
xoxo

The little sign says Princess Rosebud but it doesn't show up very good

The little sign says Princess Rosebud but it doesn’t show up very good

T’was the night before the captain comes home!

A miracle occurred and at the very last minute, my tugboat man has been released from his assignment and is on the long  journey home. Because of the great distance he must travel, it takes two days but he’ll be arriving on Friday, which means another drive to the airport at midnight. It’s an unexpected joy, and in honor of this great occasion, I have written a poem based very loosely on “Twas The Night Before Christmas“.  It won’t win any prizes, that’s for sure!

Twas the night before arrival
when all through the house
there was a lot of vacuuming and bleach
with not a single dust bunny too far to reach.

The little sign says Princess Rosebud but it doesn't show up very good

The sign says Princess Rosebud but it’s hard to see.

The f-me boot was hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Capt Cranky wouldn’t be too tired to…you know, (overshare).

The sheets are perfumed and ironed with care
because FINALLY my tugboat man would soon be there.

There’s granola and cookies and cupcakes, too
And vodka and whiskey, and champagne flutes.
Let’s all hope I can find that missing corkscrew.

I did a mani and a pedi and some ‘scaping, too
for the reason that you-know-who would heed the clue

I’ll  drive to the airport and what might I find
but a very, very tired husband who’s ever so kind.

And what to my wondering eyes will appear
but last minute gifts so shiny and sheer.

And I in my vintage Valentino
and he in his new fuzzy robe
will sit by the fire and sip champs ever so slow.

NIne more days ’til Christmas

Relax, have a cup of ginger tea or something stronger, and remember…

stressed is dessert spelled backwards

Life sucks and oh, yeah, there are a-holes everywhere

I added a little tease to yesterday’s post about Anne Hathaway‘s wayward vagina that was awinkin’ and ablinkin’ at the photogs. It was like she had a big arrow pointing to what’s called a fannie in UK SPK. (Trust me, DO NOT go to England and ask anyone where you can buy a fanny pack). It was all waving back and forth, “Hey, look at me! Don’t waste time following LiLo or Honey BooBoo. Come on in, y’all! Take a peeky-weeky.”

end of the world

Is this for real?

I was full of brag and swag a couple weeks ago when all the planets were aligned and I got the vintage Valentino and that handbag, and I was skipping through my days throwing a little enchanted fairy dust to the right and to the left, la la la. The extra shot of Grand Marnier in my Perfect Margarita was the Missoni sweater I got at that same consignment shop. BTW, I really have two arms, one was busy snapping the pic.

missoni2

Well, it all came to a crashing halt. Nothing catastrophic–just a minor mis-alignment.

Signals of doom and gloom

The first harbinger of misfortune is the apparent neverending absence of my hubs whom I had expected home for sure by Christmas. Now I’m gonna be lucky to see him for our nineteenth wedding anniversary February 20.

The second toll of the bell occurred when I was cutting my lawn and my dumbass bitch neighbor stopped by to watch me for a bit and then snarkily ask why I don’t get a divorce since he’s never here. AND she wasn’t joking, not that it would have been funny, anyway. Way to go to be supportive, bitch. Hey, why don’t you make your husband wear a shirt so the school kids don’t get an anatomy lesson in old man buttcrack and wrinkly manboobs, huh?

And the third (‘cos things like this come in threes, right?) happened at my gym. I don’t know why these things always seem to happen when the captain’s gone–that’s part of the whole message, I suppose. The boot camp class I attend starts at 9:00 a.m. and I like to get there a bit early to claim my upper right quadrant spot on the floor.

Here’s why: 1. I’m an ex-ballet dancer and I need mirrors to survive. 2. It reduces germ exposure if no one is in front or to the right of me. 3. I like to look at myself (refers back to #1.)

If you promise not to hate me, I’ll offer up a confession here. I LOVE to work out. I love to lift weights, work my muscles ’til they scream, and feel the burn. I enjoy challenging my body to exceed the previous day’s reps, weights, or endurance. For me, it’s very empowering to feel and be strong. Short girl syndrome.

I’ve turned left at the stoplight into the center where the gym is located.driving into the gymI’m in the left of the two one-way lanes. The car next to me drifts into my lane, cutting me off, so I honk and keep honking because I have to slam on my brakes to avoid getting hit and also ‘cos I have nowhere to go except up on that grassy median. The car turned right at that first entrance to the gym.

I couldn’t see who it was, but I assumed it could possibly have been an elderly driver who was going to attend the “Silver Seniors” area of the gym. I checked in and walked down the hall to the room where they hold the Group X classes which is directly across from the weight room. I saw a friend of mine, said hello and then,

“I sure wish I knew who cut me off when I was driving in here.”

From behind us, we heard a voice,

“It was me.”

Cool, an admission of guilt with a witness. It wasn’t an elderly lady; it was a sour faced older guy with greasy gray hair and a straggly beard. I said,

“Hey, you cut me off back there. You were taking up both lanes and I had nowhere to go. You should really be more careful.”

Well…he went batshit crazy, ballistic, out of control, yelling at me in front of what was now a whole group of my friends who were waiting for our class to begin. I have never seen this person before; we had no history, nothing.

“Just shutUP and get your ass in that room for that bullshit you guys do. And fuck you! And shut the fuck up!”

and then some random crap about how I didn’t have to be driving next to him at the same time that he was there ?? and a few more “fuck yous” before he walked into the weight room.

I didn’t ever respond back to him cos I got it, he was crazy–but I also don’t think any woman should accept any kind of abuse from anyone, and I know he never would have been so abusive if the captain had been around, and that pissed me off even more. I went to the front desk and explained to the manager what had occurred and asked him to document this incident and have a talk with the guy cos not only did I not accept being mistreated but he shouldn’t allow that kind of behavior in the gym. The big 6ft 4inch baby didn’t want to do it, but I was pretty insistent so he had a talk with him. By that time, some of my body building friends were on the scene and they were enthusiastically providing me with security. Apparently, that guy is known as being a jerk in general, but has a real problem with women. It was very unpleasant and I was pretty stressed out by that attack, but my friends convinced me to stay. Since then, I’ve been driving the hub’s truck in case he wants to hurt my car since he obvs knows my wheels, and I’m being extra careful not to make eye contact with any other potentially unstable lunatics who want to bully me.

The pic makes it look like the carpet is stained, but it's not.

The pic makes it look like the carpet is stained, but it’s not.

Things just don’t seem to be going my way right now. Look at the empty space where our Christmas tree would be. No wonder I stay here and glue seashells all day. It’s a jungle out there. I’m all set for 12-21-12. How about you?

All I want for Christmas is you…and a credit card with a high limit.

While I’m hard at work on a new post–or maybe it’s a chapter of my book...please enjoy the musical interlude.

 

It’s a dedication–of sorts–to the physical representation of the disembodied voice of my tugboat man. And while the lyrics might say, “all I want for Christmas is you” and that IS true in an existential way, it’s not the only thing I want for Christmas/Hannukah. Yes, I did get my Chanel Grand Shopper Tote, I mean, I could hardly represent my hood without it. Yo. But now I need the matching wallet. And although the GST is a roomy, serviceable day bag, I still very much need the 2.55 with the gold chain for all of my sparkling evening events. Which right now is zero, but once Tina Fey realizes that I am going to be her most prolific, witty, banter filled writing and producing partner, then I’ll be showing up at all the MAJOR parties. Maybe, just maybe, if I’m very, very good, I’ll be able to negotiate with my tugboat miser man and work out a mutually satisfactory deal, if ya know where I’m going with that. Wink. Wink.

P.S. And if you’re thinking to yourself…well, try this…imagine me imagining you with a thought bubble, “Is she really this shallow?” and maybe you’re getting a bad taste in your mouth about this whole “enchanted” person and her apparent obsession with Chanel and shopping, what if I was just a really good writer–but I’m a seventy-year-old MAN–or what if I was really the mariner, and I’m the one on a tugboat, and I have a scruffy blondish/silvery beard and all the boy parts and this is my secret persona–WHAT THEN, huh? Paradigm shift? Could be, ya never know…

Hairy Hannukah Harry and the story of Hannukah 2012

…or the continuing saga of my life. As my first husband’s mother said to my mom, “isn’t it such a shame you wasted so much money on her education. She doesn’t really seem to do much of anything, does she?”

Looky here, readers, you all need to stop whining right now. Right now, I say!

I’ve peeked inside your private lives. Here’s a typical scenario:

8:00 a.m. You’re home with your spouse before leaving the house to go to work or he goes to work while you “stay home to take care of the kids” which really means you’re going to Tweet and shop all day and change a diaper or two, only if necessary. Not all of you, but enough to make it true. And I know it’s true ‘cos who do you think I tweet with all day?

Spouse: “I’ll home home at six. See ya.”

{Smooch goodbye}

crzy cat lady bathrobe

This is awesome.

Wife pulls the ratty bathrobe a bit tighter and rebelts it because an important message is acoming…

“Now you come right home after work, don’t stop anywhere; no bars, no strip clubs, nothin’. You come right home, ya hear me?  I’m making something special for dinner tonight.”

Spouse: “OK”

He walks out to the car. Five seconds after leaving the house, before the car even backs out of the driveway, he totally forgot everything his wife said. Typical, right?

6:00 p.m.- no hubby

6:15 p.m – no hubby

6:30 p.m. Here it comes…the power texting, phoning, emailing commences.

{no response}

burned dinner in oven7:00 p.m. Dinner burns. wife drank all the wine, spends time sharpening knives. Candles burnt down to nubs, the smoke of one burnt out candle with its acrid scent floats through the air.

The scissors come out to make a few strategic alterations in his favorite t-shirt.

She opens another bottle of wine.

8:00 p.m. His car drives up, front door opens, “Hi honey, I’m home!”

“WHERE. WERE. YOU.”

‘Wha? Why is it so dark in here?”

Where. were. you. I called. I emailed. I texted.”

“Ohhh…didn’t I mention I’d be late today? I -uh- thought I did.”

-End scene-desperate housewives

OK, I could go on and on but the point is that when 99% of you get mad at your significant others when they’re late; when work or whatever–delays their arrival at the appointed hour–you all need to STOP WHINGING AND WHINING about it!!

Since the world revolves around me, take a walk around South Coast Plaza in my shoes (not the Gucci ones, tho. I wear a 5 1/2 and your feet’d stretch ‘em all out.) I was expecting the captain tomorrow, Thursday. I cleaned the house, washed the windows, planned and anticipated the whole homecoming–even made a new welcome home sign–and he called and said he’d be LATE.

HE’S GOING TO BE A MONTH AND A HALF LATE!

HE WON’T BE BACK UNTIL SOMETIME NEXT JANUARY 201THREE!!

I’m not saying not to be pissed at your inconsiderate spouse–I would never think to deprive you of that joy–just think about ME next time.

OKAY?

Your “late” and my “late” are two different things altogether.

Ahem. Now, to give equal time to my cultural background as a full blooded Jewish American Princess, may I formally present to you my Hannukah installation….with the one and only Hairy Hannukah Harry holding the torah. Eight candles represent the eight days that I had to wait before I could spend more of the captain’s hard earned money and buy a huge bottle of Chance by Coco Chanel (of course.)

Hannukah candles

Forget Elf Shaming, try Hannukah Harry!

Chance by Chanel

Of course I got the larger size. ‘Cos I’m worth it.

Best Christmas Decorations EVER-Haters, line up! Yoo hoo, Pinterest, I’m calling you!

I was inspired by other topnotch decorators who so kindly blogged about their DIY Christmas tree masterpieces.

In fact, I was so inspired and so thrilled to be stuck here all alone for the millionth time during the holidays that I created a masterpiece of my own, just for you, my loving internet family. S

o, Cousin Fur and Aunt Cheeky and Second Cousin Far Removed Tracy F for Fantastic, this one’s especially for you guys.

As I looked around my house, the elliptical seemed like it had the best “bones” to adorn.

Plus, it had a ready-made beverage holder!

I didn’t have any Maxi-pads or other feminine hygiene products–‘cos THAT ship has sailed–if you know what I mean. {Hey cool, a nautical reference jauntily tossed in. Damn, I’m good!} 

I added a toilet paper garland, a couple of Sophie Kinsella novels, two glittery seashell ornaments, a bottle of wine in the beverage holder, a white plastic poinsettia, a few EMPTY gift bags, and a festive plush Hello Kitty toy.

You can’t really see it very good, but there’s a chocolate bar too, which I luckily don’t have to share with anyone! I’m such a lucky girl! This is the best use I’ve found for the elliptical. Hanging freshly ironed shirts on it is a close second.

Carry on with your day; just take a moment to let it all sink in. Don’t HATE…Emulate.

Decorated for Christmas elliptical decorated elliptical

Life Lessons from a Tugboat Man

Last night at 7:00 p.m. I received the call I was hoping for from my merchant marine tugboat captain husband. He was heading toward home, with an estimated ETA Thursday evening. Yeah! Joy! Visions of a naked tugboat captain was dancing in my head–uh–of course I meant sugarplums-hee hee, his sugarplums, that is. I need to stop that right now. This is not THAT kind of blog. Home for Christmas and home for Hannukah, which starts in a few days. “I’ll be home for Christmas” was playing over and over in my head. It was originally a song from World War II, but it’s still relevant. 

Maker of lists that I am, I got right on it. I organized the next few days into chores to do, projects to list not porncomplete, and his fave foods and beverages to get.
The time he’s on assignment is a weird limbo for me. I wait and wait and wait and wait. Don’t get me wrong, my days are filled with lots to do so I’m not just hanging around binge-Tweeting or anything. Hah! Of course that’s what I do, ‘cos the captain doesn’t approve of my Twitter habit. He gives me a dirty look and tells me to “stop laughing like a maniac” so I go cold turkey when he’s home. I went to sleep last night intending to wake up extra early and get to work with a renewed sense of purpose. With a cup of coffee in my hand, I checked my emails. This is what I read:

Bad news they just turned us around the ship needed us after all so we are headed back to______. No kidding either no idea what will happen now, crazy. We can’t believe it. LU

WTF??!! Are you f-ing serious? Again? You would think I wouldn’t be so shocked about an abrupt course change after all this time, right? I should be used to it by now, is that what you’re thinking? Well, I confess to being a lover of immediate gratification. I really hate waiting for anything (like that Chanel), and waiting for him to come home goes against my nature. I want him home NOW. Right NOW. Not whenever. I need a drink. Oh right, I can’t really drink anymore. Now what am I gonna do?

Not only is my MM a tug and tow master, he’s sailed boats all over the world. We had a ketch a few years ago but  I’m not much help; I like to let him do all the work. He’s definitely my better half (no argument there) and this is one of the life lessons he’s taught me (tried to teach me) using sailing as a metaphor. Life is like jibing and tacking and luffing, beating and running–all those things he does while I just sit there. I only move when he yells something about the boom hitting me. “You can’t fight the wind, you have to learn to work with it and manage it to reach your destination.” I get it, I get it. There’s no point being upset about something you can’t do anything about. You need to accept it and make lemonade out of lemons and all those other overused and tired platitudes. That doesn’t really make me feel any better, though. I had a list, I had plans, I had anticipated the end to my five weeks of enforced solitude!! I have my own words to live by…”When your husband’s delayed, buy some seashells.” That’s what I did today…seashells on a plate

I spent another couple of hours setting up my little tugboat photo sesh with every loose pearl I could find to create a new header for this blog. tugboat with pearlsAfter that, I stalked the captain on the live ships satellite map and emailed him to let him know I had my eye on him. He said he should have some updated info on Monday and I should “standby” which is another tugboat-y type term. I have to prepare myself for the call that says he’s on the plane and I need to go to the airport, which means I better take care of some much needed personal stuff, ya know what I mean?? If only I could cross my arms like I Dream of Jeannie, blink, and he’d miraculously appear! I just tried. No luck. Still here, still alone…Oh, and a final thought, you do NOT want to mess with a pissy Jewish princess. No, you do NOT want to go there. Trust me.