My Husband Has a Mistress and That’s All Right With Me

I did a bad thing, tricking you that way.*

SORRY!

(But it made you click on it, haha)

My tugboat man doesn’t have a mistress.

Or…does he?

He might as well have one.

Listen to the facts:

1. He spends a lot of money on her.

2. Sometimes when the tides are right, he spends more time with her than at home.

3. He found her on Craigslist.

Here’s my hub’s newest love, a Kies custom surfboard.

Apparently John Kies is one of the best surfboard shapers out there; at least that’s what I’ve been hearing for — well, it seems like for the last twenty-four hours. Nonstop. “Look at her shape!” “Isn’t she beautiful?” “I can’t wait to get her out in the water.”

Kies custom boardSo. Here she is.

Gaze your eyeballs on her beautiful and young body, so fresh and clean, no wrinkles or stretch marks or cellulite.

I actually drove with him halfway across San Diego County so that he could check her out — get a taste of her — stroke her and examine her from all sides –all the  while I sat in the car and read a book until it got too dark to read.

And now he’s applying a coat of fresh StickyBumps warm water wax so that she’s primed and ready for their first ride. Together.

But don’t worry about me.

I’ll do all right ‘cos I’m a SURVIVOR.

I have my eye on a sweet little pearl Chanel necklace.

All’s fair, right?


 

*P.S. Apologies to anyone who may have thought I was going to reveal marital dirt…I’ll admit to gentle teasing and snarky humor at times, but I almost never share personal dirty laundry in a public forum. Not my style. Not my thing.

 

 

Another Beach, Another Bitch

THIS IS GETTING RIDICULOUS

“Yoo hoo!”

“Hey!”

“Hey, you!”

“I’m talking to YOU!”

Single girls, PLEASE stay away from married men.

Specifically, MY man.

‘k?

Do you unnerstand?

There are OTHER fish in the sea.

Those are YOURS.

This tugboat man is MINE.

Got it?


It happened AGAIN.

However, THIS time hub demonstrated that he’d learned his lesson from the previous incident and didn’t even TRY to tell me I was overreacting.

Remember when we were in Mexico?

Bitch, Stay Away From My Husband

 Part Two: “Bitch, Stay Away From My Husband

 And that’s why he’s still breathing and walking around with all his teeth.

Here’s how it happened:

Ya know how I posted My Husband Suffers From Performance Anxiety?

Well, that wasn’t the WHOLE story.

Yes, there were big waves which eluded hub’s expertise  – his timing was off, whatev.

I waited ’til he came in for a break so I could walk up to the bathroom.

I didn’t want to leave my camera bag and and all on our blanket, but a girl’s gotta pee, ya know?

I was only gone less than 10 minutes; honest.

Y’all don’t know what my tugboat man looks like, and although he’s beautiful to ME, he’s NO Brad Pitt or Chace Crawford or Ed Westwick (obscure Gossip Girl references). Or even Laird Hamilton, his nemesis. He’s getting better looking as he ages, I must say — like he came with me to a doctor’s appointment and the ladies in the office whispered to me, “He’s gorgeous” — I dunno, it’s hateful the way some guys look BETTER as they get a few wrinkles and gray hair — and we women don’t get similar responses. Oh well, another topic, another post, another day.

Back to the beach…

He’s not even sending off vibes –  trust me — he and I are TIGHT.

We’ve been a team for more than twenty years – and no one could tear us apart (INXS reference.)

So, as I’m walking back from the bathroom, I notice that — wait, let me back up and explain that the beach in this particular area is for surfing only and it’s not crowded with families — in fact it wasn’t crowded at all at 10:00 a.m.– there weren’t all that many people there, so it’s not like there was no other place to be…and I see this stupid girl with stupid blonde hair in a stupid teeny weeny bikini plunk her chair down RIGHT next to him – I mean only about two feet away from where my tugboat man was sitting.

And there was no reason at all for it.

And then she swished her stupid blonde hair back and forth just to make sure everyone (and by everyone, I mean tugboat man) noticed her arrival.

She adjusted her stupid bikini top and bottom a few times — unnecessarily, I might add — again OBVIOUSLY to garner the attention of my tugboat man.

For fuck’s sake, girl, could you be a little LESS obvious?

My ire was up.

As I made my way down the steps and across the burning hot sands of the Sahara, I assessed the situation.

Beneift of the doubt?

I DON’T F****ING THINK SO.

I announced my approach by throwing my sandals in her general direction  — wanting with all my heart to hit her in her vacant, vapid, empty head — but I curbed that violent impulse and tossed them THIS close (hold up thumb and finger to approximately three inches apart and that’s how close) to hitting her in her left leg, which was a classy move ‘cos it kinda sorta made sand  fly, which caused her to look up and see ME.

You should have seen the look on her face.

She had NO idea my tugboat man was not alone.

She was BUSTED.

Big time.

Stupid girl; she had failed to observe the signals that he was not alone (like his wedding ring) or the girly-type chair.

I picked up my towel and proceeded to shake the sand off of it (yes, in her direction) and sat back down squeezing myself between my tugboat man and this clueless female (hub is looking at me with glee and admiration and even a bit of lust in his eyes — if I may say).

We chatted a bit about his surfing debacle and what he’d like for dinner (always a topic hub loves to engage in) and then, guess what?

Stupid bikini girl picked up her towel and chair and flounced OFF.

Not just to another spot on the beach but up the steps and away!

BYEEEE!

I looked at him. He looked at me.

I said, “Did that REALLY just happen?”

Hub gave me a high five for my restraint in not hitting her in the head.

He gets it now, he really does…what I mean to say is that he understands now, he comprehends what I’ve been telling him about the predatory female and that I possess the ability to perceive them — to sniff them out, you might say.

I don’t know what it is about my husband that draws females to him.

In general, he doesn’t really even like women  — he’s like those people that don’t really like cats but they’re the ones cats jump on and gravitate towards.

Maybe that’s the secret to his appeal; a little disdain. What.Ever.

That’s the story; it made us snicker, ‘cos one of the secrets to our successful marriage is our feeling that we’re a team and we share a passion about absolute and total honesty coupled with the ability to laugh at ourselves.

P.S. And also because Princess Rosebud can go batshit crazy at any moment and her tugboat man knows it.

Hee hee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just a Cup of Coffee – Part Two

Just a Cup of Coffee…the true love story of Princess Rosebud and her tugboat man.

Click to read Part One HERE

(This might take a while, grab your hankies, it could have been broken up into three parts, but I didn’t want to prolong the happy ending.)

Fast forward to a year later, the following September 1991.

Yes, I kept my promise; no dates and no mistakes. There was the excruciating lure of nubile and suntanned young surfers but I stood firm in my resolve in spite of the half naked, salty-skinned–oh crap. Living in Southern California is sooo like opening up a fresh box of candy. It wasn’t fair, but a deal’s a deal.

box of chocolatesIf only I could have had just a teensy-weensy bite here, a bite there–oh, SO yummy–that one has a caramel center, or that other one’s coconut-filled, or a tart juicy cherry embraced by dark chocolate, or full of Baileys Irish Creamer–you get what I’m sayin’?  I’ll just bet you do. On my towel, surveying the beach, I wanted to take a little bite out of each one, so to speak.

But….I had to go cold turkey and avoid them all. Not one lick, not one taste.

I had a goal, I had a vision; I had my list–clenched tightly in my hand–WILLPOWER–it’s all about the willpower.

Here’s where serendipity might have had a hand in the convergence of our lifepaths.

In the beginning, I THOUGHT I first laid eyes on the captain when I was hired for the marketing department of a local cruise line.

Aside…because the whole idea of me and boats is a joke. I’m not what you’d consider sea-worthy. I’d only been on a couple of boats previously and became violently seasick on both of those trips.

OK, now read this – could it be the hand of fate that brought us together? Was our eventual connection forged a decade before ?
_________________________________________________

Was it luck or serendipity? 

On a romantic evening In front of the fire with a couple snifters of Courvoisier, my tugboat man and I concluded that our paths did cross, not in a prior life, but…

In the 1980s he captained a charter vessel in our local harbor–tours of the bay, dinner cruises; that kind of thing.  

In between going out to sea for four to six months, he’d come back to SoCal for a break and to surf-and worked locally.

Around that same time, my mom and I took my then five-year-old son on his first boat ride, a tour of San Diego Bay.

At that time, there was really only one boat company that offered daily excursions.

It wasn’t until we had been married for probably ten years or so– looking through an old photo album–when he saw a pic of my mom and me on “his” boat — that the subject came up.

(That’s part of me and the Coronado Bridge. Obviously, my mom couldn’t take a decent pic.)

Since there were only two captains, and the time of day we were there was during his (remembered) shift, it’s highly possible that we spoke–or made eye contact. As captain, he always greets and counts the passengers while he collects boarding passes; especially because we had a child with us. Always concerned with safety, my captain.

Our ships DID, most likely, PASS in the night (day).  

What would have happened if we had talked? I was married with a little boy–the timing was absolutely not right.  

Did we each hold on to a momentary glance or imprint on our subconscious so that our path to romance was pre-determined? 

Why did I become employed at a cruise line when I don’t even like boats?

I still have no idea.

That we met in 1991 and felt an instant connection might be interpreted as luck or serendipity. 

Which do you think it is?
_______________________________________________________________

Back to the story:  Was it merely coincidence–meaninglessly simultaneous occurance–or  synchronicity?  We agree that it was meant to be. We’re two peas in a pod, me and him.

We mirror each other.

One of my first marketing duties was to attend a downtown trade show. I vividly recall my ensemble–and before you get all judge-y and everything, let’s take the year into consideration–1991–please be kind.

You know you looked exactly the same.

You KNOW you did.

I wore a short split skirt (dare I say skort) of silky polyester-type material (I know, I know) imprinted with brightly colored parrots (cringe), a turquoise blazer, and four-inch-high red heels. Oh, and they were LARGE parrots.  I’m five-feet-tall with very curly dark brown hair. You can imagine the style when I tell you it added five inches to my height. Nuff said–stop laughing, I have nothing to apologize for; it was the decade of big hair.

The owner of the company walked by our booth and introduced me to his senior captain. I played it cool; I’m good at that–just a quick handshake and then I turned my attention to the marketing materials like I was very, very busy.

I only allowed myself a passing glance his way, committed as I was to making a good impression on my boss. Plus, I was fully dedicated to my promise to celibacy and just because he was ADORABLE was no excuse to give in to temptation. Not even with those green-gray eyes. Not even.

Since I was on a “man diet, I transformed him (in my mind) into a rich chocolaty truffle chocolate truffleand successfully used my powers to resist–at least on that particular day. During the next few weeks, our paths crossed many times; at the office with brief hellos in the hallway, and with overt scrutiny during cruises when I accompanied some of the charters. (When I wasn’t stuck with my head in the toilet. I told you the truth, I’m not a natural seawoman.)

As much as I tried to deny it–I can’t lie–there were those familiar little tingles, goose bumps even, delicious frissons of attraction. On one hand I was fighting it with all I had, yet on the other hand I spent more time in the office than I really needed to.  A little extra makeup, perfume, a few new outfits–you know how it is. OK OK, I admit it! A smile from him did something to my insides, that fluttery butterfly sensation I willed myself to ignore.

I carried The List in my handbag and referred to it in moments of weakness, and for a while I was able to avoid temptation.

Here comes the good part, y’all.

In mid-November, I met with a client at one of the boats to plan a large corporate event. As we walked up the gangway, I discovered the captain was on board in the wheelhouse. I had no idea he would be there, and resolved to ignore him, except that everyone always wants to meet a captain, (too much Love Boat) so I was forced to be polite and make the introductions.

Here’s where it all went wrong-or right-depending on your point of view.

After my meeting ended, I did not immediately leave. I stalled, meandering around the small area of shops located near the harbor. I was so mad at ME; I tried to talk myself into leaving by going over The List and telling myself that I should be writing up the event details.

Just GO, I said to myself! But guess who didn’t listen? I found myself furtively looking around to see if the captain was still there. Since the whole chocolate visualization thing didn’t seem to be working anymore, I turned him into as a gooey, cheesy, spicy pizza and I used all my willpower to stand firm–to stay focused–recounting all the reasons why that delicious piece of heaven is not worth the calories.

I swear to you, I had every good intention of leaving and driving to the corporate office, I really did, but cosmic forces had grabbed hold of my good sense.

I was powerless. The hand of fate had me in her grip–and that chicka had been working out with the heavy weights.

Finally, I could find no further excuse to drag my feet and delay the inevitable departure.

I very reluctantly and slowly walked to my car, parked in front of a coffee shop, and as if by magic, the captain appeared.

I was trying to act all cool and nonchalant in spite of the fact that my heart was racing.

“Where are you going? Why didn’t you say goodbye? “What’s up?” “How about buying a co-worker a cup of coffee?”

I demurred, saying I had to go, I had another appointment (not true); uh, I don’t buy guys coffee, and he kept badgering me,

“C’mon, don’t be stuck up, don’t you have fifty cents for a cup of coffee?”

(That was before six-dollar lattes and Starbucks on every corner.)

“You don’t want me to think you’re a snob, do you?”

[pause]

That did it.

Of course you understand why I wouldn’t want him to think any of those things, right? RIGHT? It was a matter of pride; once he turned on his charm, I was hooked. I unearthed a few quarters from the bottom of my handbag.

Yes, I bought the coffee. It’s something I can’t believe myself.

My other credo had always been, “Princesses don’t pay. Men pay.” But buy the coffee I did.

Honestly, I was borderline pathetic. Not even borderline. I was hanging on to the cliff with my fingertips.

It’s like sparks were flying off his body. I made every excuse in the book to lean over and oops, accidentally brush his arm and cop a sniff. He smelled heavenly.

It’s that damn pheromone thing. I was–still am-hopelessly–magically attracted. He’s irresistible. And he knows it.

We took our coffee outside and sat at a cement patio table. It was one of those perfect SoCal November days–balmy even. For a few moments we said nothing as we sipped from our coffee and enjoyed the warmth of the sun.

Red lights flashed on and off in my head.

DANGER AHEAD! STOP THE MISSION! RUN!

Less than a foot away from me he straddled the half-moon shaped concrete bench. His thighs were encased in soft worn jeans and my thoughts were heading into hazardous waters.

His hair was wet and looked like he just had showered.

“What are you doing here? Did you know I was going to be here?”

“No, I didn’t, I had to update the logs, and I surfed a bit earlier.”

Ah, that’s where the wet hair came from.

“So…you’re a surfer?”

That is most definitely NOT on my list.

“I like to think I am.”

Scintillating conversation, huh? I thought that was a bit arrogant, a bit–AHEM–cocky.

Later I learned that he had spent much of his youth in Kauai and he really was/is a great surfer, but I didn’t know much about him — only what I was feeling.

As the conversation unfolded and we chatted–he told me where he lived and where he had gone to college, and–those thighs, oh wait–no, not that–of course I meant what kind of music he liked and that he loves animals–I found myself listening to his voice but not hearing the words.

This is where it gets weird.

And pinky-swear, it’s all true, it all happened exactly like this. It was REAL.

He looked at me and smiled.

I felt lit from within.

My heart melted. (Even now, his smiles affect me the same way.)

I sighed. He sighed. I sighed again.

That was IT.

Everything became quiet and a calm-before-the-storm sensation enveloped me. I placed my hands on the bench because I was suddenly lightheaded–I needed support because I felt like the ground beneath shifted;  waves that triggered that falling phenomenon just before you completely succumb to sleep–like a hypnagogic myoclonic twitch.

Faintly, I sensed the planets tumble into position, the clickclickclick… of stars aligning in the heavens; the sun, moon, Venus, and Mars at that moment were singing in the universe.

Did we just have an earthquake? I jumped off the bench like it was on fire. I ran to my car, unable to deal with the intensity of the moment. He was right behind me. He was so annoying!

“Where ya  goin’? We  should go out sometime.”

I was having a hard time breathing and fumbled with my keys as I unlocked the car. I leaned against the door for support and turned to him,

“When? Tonight?”

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not known for being subtle.

“I have to work a charter later, I’ll give you a call.”

And with that, I drove off.

Of course, I never went back to work. Who could blame me?

I raced home and power-called all my girlfriends.

I was in panic mode.

I reported every detail to one friend after another. I needed advice, I needed explanations. I needed to be talked down. But no one had experienced anything comparable. No one knew what to do.

I was on this voyage alone; no rules to follow. I was in uncharted waters.

That evening I did what we are warned not to do, what mothers counsel daughters against.

I was nervous and jumping out of my skin, but also determined to be 100% honest (also on my list). How else would I know if he was “the one”? I called and left a message on his voicemail. Remember way back when we used voicemail?

“Hi, can you give me a call when you hear this message? There’s something I need to ask you.”

He called a couple hours later. I was  on my bed, reading a magazine, pretending I was not waiting for the call…dreading the call.

“Hi there, it’s me. I got your message, but I was planning to call you anyway. What’s up?”

I took a deep breath and decided it was now or never–I needed to go for it…take that chance. DO it.

”Uhh, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what happened at the harbor…I never felt anything like that EVER, and I think… I think…”

I took a deep breath and the words tumbled out,

“IthinkIamfallinginlovewithyou
andwonderifyoufeelthesame
way–orifitisjustme.”

“I mean, I really need to know.”

[Pause]   [More pause]

Oh boy. In that single, painful, heartstopping moment I wished I could hit delete and erase the last five minutes.

Palms sweaty, heart pounding, OMG, I am a total f-ing idiot–what have I just said–I’m insane, he’ll think I’m a freak or I’m exhibiting psycho pre-stalker tendencies–and then, finally, it seemed like hours of silence had gone by–I was gonna hang up and hide under my bed if he didn’t say something–he said,

“Umm, no, it’s not just you. I’m feeling the same exact way. Something happened to me today too,  and I can’t explain it either.  How about us going on a real date and let’s talk about it?”

I released the breath I hadn’t been aware I was still holding. That last planet locked into position.

I discovered my soul mate, my tugboat man.

There’s lots more to this story; some twists and turns and ups and downs, but the thread that ties it all together is how we found each other and fell in love.

Today: I wait for him to come home. And wait. And wait. And remind myself, “Don’t count the miles, count the I-love-yous”

Christina Perri, “Miles”

Just a Cup of Coffee – The Love Story of Princess Rosebud and her Captain – Part One

Today:  Sometimes he’s here, sometimes he’s not. That’s the life of a tugboat captain’s wife. Right now he’s not..

weddingpicture

Yup, the secret’s out. I’m married to Johnny Depp

The Wedding: February 21, 1994

Our song, our first dance as husband and wife. “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole
http://youtu.be/wkVuQGgx7d8

The Beginning…This is the love story of me, Princess Rosebud, and the tugboat captain.

We met when I was a year into my deal with myself to stay celibate until I met someone, uh, worthy…

Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010… At 3:40 this afternoon, I was in the threshold of our garage door that leads into the living room where I had dragged in a ladder to help with my latest project–painting the living room walls a divine shade of seafoam green–to stay busy when the captain’s out to sea. I mean, I can’t shop ALL the time. A girl has to take a break now and again, right? I set the ladder down and went back to close the garage door. At that precise moment, the glass vases on the shelves surrounding our fireplace began to vibrate and wobble. Here in SoCal, I’ve endured a handful of quakes, but never such intense shaking.

Through the open garage door I saw the bicycles that hang from the ceiling sway back and forth. As I attempted to process THAT information, the crystal lustres on my grandmother’s antique porcelain candelabras clashed and clinked. Terracotta tile flooring in the foyer seemed to roll back and forth as if I was on a sailboat in San Diego Bay, and I had a difficult time standing.

Feeling dizzy and unbalanced, I grasped the doorway for support.  My poor kitty gave me a dirty look like I had interrupted her nap on purpose. So much for the concept that animals can sense an earthquake–not this spoiled little brat.

I ran up our oak-planked steps into the family room and through the patio doors onto the deck and shouted out to the neighbors.

“Look at your pool!”

“I know, this is crazy! Are you OK? Any damage?”

“I don’t think so. A couple seashells fell off the shelf in the family room, but I was so freaked, I didn’t want to stay inside, so I ran out back. I don’t know if we should stay in the house or what we should do!”

“Us either! Let’s see what’s on the news.”

This quake was so violent that it caused the water in their pool to slosh over the sides like a mini-tsunami. We each went back in our respective homes and turned on CNN. We discovered that there had been a 7.2 earthquake in Mexico. The first reports that came in revealed a lot of damage near the epicenter in Mexicali, but no major problems in San Diego; only broken glass and falling cans at grocery stores, which seemed pretty miraculous considering the earthquake’s size.

Still spooked by the shaking and some pretty strong aftershocks, I surveyed the house, removing anything unsecured and potentially dangerous.

This is as good a time as any to confess something.

I’m a shell-aholic.

seashell mirrorI’ve got shelves and shelves of seashells in every room–including the bathroom. Everyone collects seashells, right? One here, one there, as a memory of a great beach or a fun vacation, right? Well…I’m a seashell hoarder. I want ALL seashells–there are never enough seashells to collect or buy. I make things out of some of them–picture frames, mirrors, boxes–they line the walls in our two bathrooms and even our front door, but mostly they just hang out–in bowls, on shelves, anywhere and everywhere. There is no empty space in our house, and if there is, it’s quickly filled with a shell–or a rock.

After a couple decades, we have come to an understanding, the captain and I. He thinks I’m crazy and obsessed with shells and rocks and driftwood, and I don’t destroy his surfboards if he doesn’t give me a hard time about it.

I anxiously emailed the captain who’s half a world away in the middle of an ocean. I figured that if anything would cause him to cut his four month assignment short, this might be it. The way that emailing works in deep ocean situations is through a pretty inefficient satellite; sometimes it takes hours to complete the process. If there’s a real emergency, I have a phone number to call, but this didn’t really fit the definition. I wasn’t hurt and the house wasn’t damaged or anything. When he finally read the email and wrote back, he told me to “standby” at the house phone because he would try to make a call from the boat’s sat phone. When he called, I used all my powers of persuasion to convince him to come home, but to no avail. He simply wasn’t going to call the United States Coast Guard to fly a rescue mission a thousand miles from land to bring  him home because the kitty and I were scared.

Well, I know where I stand in his list of priorities. Hmmm, I wonder if this is when I hatched my plot to get that Chanel. Hmmm, I wonder.

After that stressful event, and many aftershocks later, some pampering was definitely well deserved. That evening, I drew a bath in the upstairs bathroom we call the spa because it’s decorated in earthy tones with seashells and beach glass surrounding the mirrors and along the walls.

(I know what you’re thinking, and I don’t care.)

I lit a fragrant and calming lavender candle, eased my body into the almost too-hot-to-stand-it water, and trickled in ginger and lemongrass aromatherapy oils. Sipping from a glass of merlot, I leaned back, closed my eyes, and my thoughts wandered.

Experiencing an earthquake; the dizziness, the weightless feeling in a tub of warm water; it all reminded me of falling in love. It all felt the same… and it all started with a fifty cent cup of coffee.

Newly divorced in 1990, I speed dated a few guys, including one totally boring and slightly scary man who immediately wanted me to meet his parents after the first (and last) date, along with a couple of total idiots whose combined IQs prolly didn’t equal my Border Collie‘s. Those unsavory experiences became flashing red lights–STOP! NO! THINK!–impossible to ignore–that I seriously needed to take some time off the dating circuit.

It was the perfect time for a list.

I’m an inveterate list maker; I prioritize my errands and even list groceries in the order of where they’re located in the store– like my own custom board game–where I start at the entrance and finish at the cash register.

I wrote this particular list with the hope that if I documented the qualities desired in a significant other, the universe would deliver the right one when all the planets were aligned. Or so I dreamed.

At midnight on August 7th, 1990, with a bottle of wine to seal the deal, I made a promise to myself–I would not date (or do anything else) for a very long time, and the next one would be “the one”.

The List
1. Must call when he says he will. This is non-negotiable.
2. Must show up on time for dates.
3. Must love pets. Also non-negotiable.
4. No cigarettes. No smoking, and of course, no drugs.
5. Likes to exercise, work out, eat healthy, etc.
6. Must have gainful employment.
7. Must be nice and polite and honest and trustworthy.
8. Fidelity is of paramount importance.
9. When the time is right and he meets my son, my son has to like him. Also non-negotiable.

Fast forward to a year later, the following September 1991.

Tomorrow:
Part Two…Just a cup of coffee, the love story of Princess Rosebud and the tugboat captain

twenty years of conversation: the condensed version

This isn’t an especially sparkly or edible post, no mention of retail therapy —  I thought of this as we were driving home from the gym and running errands.

We’ve had pretty much the same exact conversation fourteen billion times over the last twenty-plus years and now we’re gearing up for a long drive up the coast to San Jose for BlogHer 2014, which means we’ll be spending several hours in the car…here is a condensed version of what a lot of our “car” time sounds like.

(Don’t you think it’d be funny to record it and not have to say a thing for the first twenty miles?)

Tugboat man: “Buckle up.”

Me: “Did you bring water?”

Tugboat man: “No, I thought you were going to get it.”

Me: Did you turn the alarm on?

Tugboat man: “No, I thought you were going to do it.”

Me: “I’m cold. Turn the AC up, OK?”

Me: “But don’t open the window. It’s blowing my hair.”

Tugboat man: “Did you see that guy race through the stop sign?”

Me: “It’s only a suggestion, remember?”

Me: “Look at the car next to us. She’s texting. The light’s green and she doesn’t have a clue.”

Me: (In Trader Joe’s) “Don’t talk to me while I’m thinking. ‘Cos you distract me, and I might forget something that I forgot to put on the list that I forgot and left in the car.”

Me: Can’t you walk faster? You are SO slow!”

Me: “What do you want for dinner?”

Tugboat man: “I don’t know, it’s only 9:00 a.m. How about if you ask me after lunch?”

Me: “You just missed the BEST parking spot.”

Tugboat man: Laughing…”Do you have any idea how annoying you can be?

Me: “It’s not as if this is breaking news. I’m the exact same person I’ve always been.”

Tugboat man: “Yes, and you’ve always been annoying.”

Me: “But you love it, don’t lie.”

Tugboat man: “Well, you got me there. But for the love of all that is holy, can you dial it down just a notch or two? Give a guy a break once in while, OK?”

Me: “Well, since you’ve asked so nicely…all right.”

I AM annoying. It’s one of the words that describes me perfectly.

But don’t worry, I’m not ALWAYS annoying, and I am a good traveling companion!

31503209

 

ME ME ME ME ME…MY FAVORITE SUBJECT

selfieleaning

Old school camera snap selfie!

A Self Indulgent “Happy Anniversary to ME!”

About two years ago, I started Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife for one reason — because my DIL told me I was kinda funny and I should start a blog.

So I did.

My son went through the process of setting up my WordPress account; I had no excuse — I had to start writing, right?

So…in my own chaotic way, I’ve forged a meandering path around the infobahn sprinkling sparkly snarky thoughts and convo and opinion as I tap tap tap on my MacAir about a myriad of subjects: never growing up, my obsessive love for Chanel, traveling, hiking, shopping, being married to a tugboat captain, my OCD love of cleaning, organizing, and collecting; cooking and baking veg-style —  oh, and seashells of course!

Did you know that I’m a midlife empty nester? I don’t like to label myself, because it seems so limiting and I am without limits, but those do apply. HowEVER, I don’t ACT like I’m old and decrepit; I resist the stereotypes.

I’m *cough* sixty going on thirteen. For realisies.

Blogging helped me reveal my own unique voice as a writer — now I have one  — or two  — or three personas, depending on the day of the week and which way the wind blows…

Sometimes I’m totes breezy and totes adorbs and srsly snark-tastic. Sometimes I’m full of  self deprecating humor, and sometimes I’m SERIOUSLY a mom (really the only job I’ve ever wanted), TTTT or I’m SERIOUSLY an animal defender. These voices ALL comprise the real ME — ahem, I mean Princess Rosebud.

And nobody puts Princess Rosebud in a corner.

I am a diamond of many facets.

 ♥ ♥  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
As of today’s date, Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife has reached 100,742 views with a staggering 10,756 comments.
 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

THANK YOU!
I’m super happy to have befriended, interacted, discussed, and shared points of view and life lessons with all of you across the universe.

I’m looking forward to meeting many of you in a few weeks at BlogHer 2014 in San Jose.

In the spirit of celebrating ME —  I’d like to invite you to join me on my other avenues of social media (unless you already do, of course)

Twitter  https://twitter.com/EnchantedCshel
Facebook  Princess Rosebud.

https://www.facebook.com/PrincessRosebudEnchantedSeashells

Facebook  Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife.        https://www.facebook.com/EnchantedSeashells
Pinterest  http://www.pinterest.com/enchantedcshels/
G+ https://plus.google.com/u/3/
RSS Feed: http://en.enchantedseashells.wordpress.com/feed/

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

 

Princess Rosebud and Her Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

I will speak in third person, not sure why, but that’s how I’m feeling at this exact moment so that’s how I’ll roll.

Princess Rosebud had a terrible, horrible, no good, VERY BAD DAY.

Her arms are crossed, lower lip jutting out, brow furrowed (as much as a Botoxed brow can be) and she’s stomping her foot.

A melt-down is imminent.

The day had started out in spectacular fashion.

Her Tugboat Man was FINALLY! COMING HOME!

He had been gone for almost a month and Princess Rosebud missed him a lot especially since he had been absent during the whole retinal tear/laser surgery episode as well as the “meeting Al Gore” event.

The house was spotless; the bed freshly made with 800 thread count linens that had been ironed and perfumed (with Chanel), ‘cos even a tough tugboat captain gets tired of smelling diesel fuel all the time and he appreciates the little things.

After hitting the trifecta: Trader Joe’s, BevMo, and Sprouts, she dragged nine bags of groceries from her car to the house and up the flight of steps to reach the kitchen (they live in a Southern California tri-level).  She then walked back down to the garage to bring up a bottle of Gruet champagne and a couple bottles of wine.

Taking care of the most important chore first, Princess Rosebud placed the champagne and a bottle of chardonnay in the refrigerator and gathered together flour, cocoa, sugar, and eggs for a baking session.

The special welcome home menu would be Caesar Salad with homemade dressing, freshly baked French bread, and a (hopefully) moist and fudgey decadent chocolate cake.

Taking a brief moment to drink a glass of refreshing lemon water, she opened her computer to check for an email from her Tugboat Man with specific flight details. The airport is about forty minutes away and takes much longer if there’s traffic, and there’s usually tons of traffic.

This is what she found in her Inbox:

From MASTER XXXXXX
Bad news they’re asking me to do another trip. I’ve asked them to keep looking for someone else but it’s a possibility. Not happy, sorry. 

(She pounded out a swift reply, of course all in caps.)

To MASTER XXXXXX
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I JUST WENT GROCERY SHOPPING FOR YOU. OMG. IS THIS A JOKE?

(Storm clouds on the horizon. An upset Princess is NOT a good thing to behold.)

From MASTER XXXXXX
I am not kidding.  I will have more time off when I do get home. Just trying to look at the bright side. Now you can eat for a while. I will call you tomorrow with the final word. Love you.

To MASTER XXXXXX
I don’t know what to say. 

(She had a lot to say, but didn’t want to say anything she’d regret at a later date.)

From MASTER XXXXXX
You and me both honey.

What was Princess going to do? She had been so very excited to see her Tugboat Man and he was now delayed for two weeks because his relief captain was unable to take over for some reason. 

It’s not like this never happens in the life of a professional mariner.

It’s always a possibility.

Other mariner spouses have all experienced the “delay”. Either the assignment lasts longer than expected, or another obstacle presents itself.

Like this. Like having to work an extra two weeks because the company is in a bind.

That’s why most of the time Princess doesn’t allow herself to get too excited or plan anything until she knows he’s at the airport and on his way.

But this story has a happy ending. Sort of.

No, her Tugboat Man didn’t get a reprieve; he’s still scheduled to return around the 26th, but Princess’ friend came over and helped her drown her sorrows with a couple of bottles of wine purchased for the homecoming celebration.

A different ending than one of Angel Boy’s favorite childhood books…

81nv120C-aL

…but the message is the same.

We can learn to cope when things don’t go our way — and in my case, a few glasses of wine turned my frown upside down!

I Met Vice President Al Gore at the Apple Store

Hey, that rhymes, doesn’t it? …Al Gore at the Apple Store

Of all the days to run out of the house dressed in ratty Lululemons — constructed from the WORST fabric in the entire world. They’re a powerful magnet for all the lint and dust in Southern California and seem to attract more grime than my vacuum.

I stopped wearing them as workout garments ‘cos they’re not very comfortable and they have a nasty X-rated propensity to outline my reproductive parts for everyone at the gym. NOT a flattering look. At least they weren’t the see-though kind. Click here to read my post about THAT.

Now that you know more TMI that you probably needed to  —  picture me in those Lululemons and an oversized “I Hiked Angel’s Landing at Zion National Park” t-shirt with a black hoodie wrapped around my waist. Oh, and my hair was tied up in a scrunchie — yes, you heard me.  A SCRUNCHIE. Shhh. Don’t. Don’t say anything. I’ve heard it all before, “Ring, ring…1983 is calling.” Heard it a zillion times. In my defense, I have longish, very curly hair and a scrunchie is the best method to tie up my hair, OK?

I had MacAirApplea 1:00 p.m. appointment at the Genius Bar of my local Apple Store in La Costa at the Forum because my MacAir was on life support with the dreaded black screen of death —  basically flatlining —  and it needed a major resuscitation. And in case you’re wondering (and marveling) at my handiwork, I most certainly lovingly applied each and every sparkle to the darling apple with my own little fingers.

Keep reading; this story really is going somewhere, albeit in a meandering kind of way. Stick with me, OK?

Did I mention that I didn’t have on any makeup? I was in a rush to get there because how can you live without a computer — a rhetorical question, ‘cos of course it’s impossible.

I checked in with one of the many blue-shirted Apple employees and was directed to take a seat at the Genius Bar to await my personal technician. There were several available stools and I chose the second one from the end. THIS WILL BE VERY IMPORTANT SOON.

apple-genius-bar-nyc

Note how close together the stools are.

Hello Kitty computer caseI settled in and took my Mac out of its totes adorbs Hello Kitty case (I hear you snickering and I don’t care. I’m proudly 13 going on 60).

My tech, Clinton, came out for a moment to discuss my issues — well, not MY issues exactly, I mean, my MacAir haha —  and whisked my laptop off to the mysterious Back Room with the invisible silver doors.

Leaning against the sharp-edged corner of the Genius Bar with the ubiquitous badge around her neck defining her status as “Manager”, I overheard her whisper to another employee, “I’m saving this seat”.

She placed her iPad down on the round stool to emphasize her statement.

“Saving it for whom?” I thought to myself. Is this like junior high where we saved seats for our BFFs? Was that the best seat? Should I have demanded to sit there? Is there anyone more important than Princess Rosebud? All these questions were swirling around in my brain.

A couple of other employees gathered around the manager and exuded nervous anticipation. “He’ll be here soon”.

My radar began to pick up on the buzz. Hmm. Who were they saving a seat for? A celebrity? An Apple bigwig? A VERY IMPORTANT PERSON?

I sniffed the air. I smelled a story. One of my former incarnations was as an investigative reporter wannabe and my curiosity was aroused.

Something was going on.

A man and a woman were ceremoniously escorted to THE SAVED SEAT.

The man sat down next to me.

His stool was so close to my stool that I could feel body heat emanating from his softly worn jeans-clad thigh.

The woman stood next to him at the end of the Genius Bar. They were both casually dressed, nothing too remarkable about jewelry — no huge diamonds or Rolex watches — just a couple of regular people.

They both shook hands with the manager. She thanked them for coming into the store. WTF was THAT all about? This was certainly different than my experience. Not that I wasn’t treated courteously, but this was a bit overly polite and way more attentive.

Now there were three employees plus the hovering manager. The woman took her iPhone out of her handbag and handed it to the manager. I noted (with my laser focused investigative powers) that her phone was encased in a J.Crew leopard print cell phone cover. Nice, but not Chanel or anything. I could see that because another employee appeared from the mysterious back room and snapped off the case, enabling me to sneak a peek of “J.Crew” printed on the inside.

Too much detail? I’m building up to the good part. Don’t leave me now!

The man was doing a lot of talking and I was only half paying attention to WHAT he was saying because I was trying to place the voice. It was a very distinctive voice, something that I KNOW I’ve heard before — a bit of an elegant and classy Southern kind of drawl, a deeply resonant sound that I found to be VERY SEXY.

For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out who it was. I ran through all the names and faces of celebrities  in my head – nope, nope, nope.

At this point, I was openly staring at him. He has beautiful eyes. I think they were blue, but I’m not sure even though, I swear, I was inches away. Poor guy, he prolly thought he had a stalker next to him. He could prolly smell my bad breath as I thought to myself, did I even brush my teeth that day? and surreptitiously opened my handbag and slipped a cinnamon Altoids between my lips.

I totally blanked (senior moment, perhaps?) and decided it must be someone who worked at Apple, maybe someone from San Francisco or something. Whatev. No biggie. I looked around. No one else seemed to be staring in our direction, no one was taking pics or coming up for an autograph.

Except for the voice. I KNEW that voice. Was it driving me crazy? You bet it was. I told you how close we were. I could have reached out and caressed his unshaven cheek and stroked his dark blonde/silvery hair. Nice hair.

Do you wonder who it was? Can you guess?

Finally, my tech came back with the good news/bad news that my laptop needed to be purged and the OS reinstalled and all would be better, but it would take a few days. Best news of all, the repair was free.

Mostly though, I wasn’t paying attention to anything he said ‘cos I was going nuts trying to figure out who was practically sitting in my lap, but I gathered up my stuff and prepared to walk away, still puzzled.

I hopped off the stool, turned, and walked a few steps away. I really did.

But the story doesn’t end there.

Another Apple employee walked up to me, laughing. She said I should see the look on my face. Huh? Oh, I guess I looked perplexed.

She said, “Don’t you know who that is?”

I replied, “I know the voice, but my brain won’t come up with the name to match it.”

She whispered, “Al Gore.”

Damn. OF COURSE. Stupid me.

AL GORE. Vice President and almost President but for a few hanging chads; Nobel Prize winner, author, and filmmaker.

What would you have done? Kept walking out the door? Missed an opportunity?

Not THIS girl. No way.

I turned and walked  back to the stool where AL GORE and his girlfriend were still chatting with the manager.

I interrupted their conversation as I stuck out my hand to shake his, and told him I couldn’t believe I was sitting there all that time and I hadn’t said anything and it must have been because I didn’t think I was seeing correctly and that he was who he was (brilliant conversationalist, right?) because I just had laser surgery to repair a torn retina and he was like (I said “like” a LOT). Don’t you like like how speedily I turned the conversation to my favorite subject, ALL ABOUT ME?)

His GF was really nice and asked me all sorts of questions about the surgery and seemed to know quite a bit about it, and then we were talking about how I had to go through that pain all by myself ‘cos my tugboat captain husband who was a PROUD AMERICAN MERCHANT MARINER was out to sea. Finally, we talked about my broken computer, and Al (see how I call him Al now that we’re besties?) asked me if I was being treated right at the Apple Store and duh of course I said yes, but secretly I was thinking to myself, “not half as good as you were treated”, and there wasn’t much else to say after that, so we shook hands again. My parting words were something stupid like, “I hope you’re enjoying my little town of Carlsbad”.

So lame.

And so lame that I didn’t snap an Al Gore-Princess Rosebud selfie, but I thought it wasn’t appropriate — so alas, no photo.

But I swear it’s true.

He’s lost a lot of weight and I think that’s why I had a hard time identifying his voice.

Wow. Now I’m thinking if I had actually touched him, the Secret Service would have had me down on the floor and I’d be writing this from a federal prison OR you’d never hear from me again.

Did I ask him about climate change? Nope. Did I thank him for inventing the internet? Nope. Did I mention that my Yale professor son would really like a tenure-track position at Stanford and could he help make that happen? Nope. Did I mention that I voted for him (which I had)? Nope. I talked about ME. ME. ME. ME.

Me in my ratty camel-toed Lululemons with zero makeup and my hair in a curly scrunchie ponytail. Good one, Princess. Good one.

Yes, I met Al Gore, also famous or infamous for that kiss to his then wife, Tipper, at the 2000 Democratic Convention.

Whatever anyone might think of his politics and/or personal life, I can verify that he is VERY SEXY up close and that’s really all I cared about at that moment. And he smells good, too! Yum.

His girlfriend is Liz Keadle and in an interesting it’s-a-small-world-six-degrees kind of thing, Liz Keadle was formerly married to Lyle Turner, founder of Invitrogen, a huge biotech company in Carlsbad, famous for their vertical integration. My son used to intern at Invitrogen (when he went to UCSD and initially majored in Molecular Biology) and met Lyle Turner on several occasions.

Crazy random connection right?

P.S. I learned my lesson. When I went back to pick up my now functioning MacAir, I wore white skinny jeans and a tunic top with just a hint of cleavage and four-inch wedges. Makeup perfect, hair blown straight. Didn’t see anyone at all. I was in and out of the Apple Store in less than five minutes. A total waste of time.

*Sighs*

Let me introduce my new best friends, Liz Keadle and Al Gore.

al-gore-laurie-david-affair

 

#AppleStore #AlGore #Famouspeople

 

Then All (Spider) Hell Broke Loose and That’s Why I Needed Some Retail Therapy

Suggestion for the day: Use Grammarly’s plagiarism check because if anybody copies anything that my brilliant Yale Professor Angel Boy writes, they are gonna have to deal with ME, the fiercest Mommy Monster EVER. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

BLOG WARNING: If spiders freak you out, pour your favorite adult beverage and take a sip or two before you continue. Keep refilling as needed.

Last night in the middle of the night; was it a dream or was it real?

I don’t know what sleep state I was in, but I FELT something crawly on my arm.

You know how sometimes dreams can be SO real?

Like when you have to pee but you’re not sure if it’s just a dream or for reals and your subconscious says if you don’t wake up RIGHT NOW YOU ARE GOING TO PEE THE BED and then you’ll remember next time that you should have listened?

No? Just me?

Too much? 

Well, this time I dragged myself out of whatever level I was in and woke all the way up and saw that I was holding my left arm with my right hand, which was pretty amazing in its own right, right?

I ever so carefully turned over and flipped on my bedside lamp with my left hand all the while holding firm with my right hand to my left arm. Get the picture?

Can we say awkward?

Slowly, ever so slowly, I cautiously spread apart my fingers  — which by now had a major death grip on my left bicep.

OH HELL NO.

YUP,  IT WAS A SPIDER.

IT WAS A MOTHERF***ING SPIDER.

BIG AND BLACK  WITH EIGHT NASTY HAIRY BLACK LEGS.

www.outback-australia-travel-secrets.com

http://www.outback-australia-travel-secrets.com                                           It wasn’t this big, but that’s how big it SEEMED.

(Thank goodness it wasn’t a black widow, but I wasn’t thinking about that at that moment.)

ALL HELL WAS BREAKING LOOSE IN MY HEAD.

A SPIDER WAS ON ME.

How did he get there?

What would have happened if I hadn’t awakened?

What if it bit me? OMG.

What do I do? What would YOU do? I didn’t know what to do.

With the tugboat man out of town for the week at some stupidass seminar, I couldn’t  punch him out for — well, who cares for what– just for being there, I guess. Of course it was his fault somehow. ‘Cos that’s the way it works. No matter what, he gets blamed for it ha ha.

I had to deal with this by myself. Alone.

My heart was beating so hard that I thought it was gonna pop out of my ribcage and I simultaneously started swearing and hyperventilating.

I only had two arms and two hands and they were still clenching each other and trying to contain the dinner plate-sized SPIDER from moving anywhere. (It wasn’t that big, but you know, that’s how it FELT.)

I mean, what the hell do you do in that situation?

If I took my hand away, he would continue on his merry way up my arm to who knows where, and if I smashed it ON my arm, I’d have a dead spider with spider juices all over my arm.

Quite the dilemma I was in, don’t you agree?

With my agile toes, I grabbed the tissue box that was on the floor conveniently nearby ‘cos I’d been having allergies and was sniffly.

With my right hand still virtually superglued to my left arm, all those years of ballet training came into play as I plucked a tissue from the box with the toes of my right foot and very gracefully (NOT) brought my toes and my mouth to meet, kind of contorting in a forward fold OVER my arms.

Envision a human quesadilla.

Good to know I’m still as flexible as a twenty-year-old, I noted to myself with pride…

With the tissue secured in my mouth, in the blink of an eye, I lifted my right hand, grabbed the tissue, and scooped up the probably by now brain damaged spider where I believe he’d been paralyzed in terror, ran to the bathroom, threw the spider-filled tissue in the toilet, and flushed.

Bye-bye spider. On to the afterlife for you.

Who could get back to sleep, right? I was traumatized. I grabbed my laptop, Tweeted about the incident and composed a list of things to do the next day, which always calms me down. List making is like that.

Which brings us to retail therapy.

Because my tugboat man’s been home for a while, I’m out of practice– and like any sport, it’s imperative to drill on a regular basis and stay in tip top shape with consistent training to hone and sharpen skills.

I’m gearing up for a daylong shopping excursion to South Coast Plaza (OMM) and thought it’d be good idea to start with a little local therapy.

I mean you wouldn’t run a full marathon without first trying out a half marathon, right?

After Boot Camp, I hit all of the local spots in an impromptu training sesh  – Target, Michaels, World Market, Tuesday Morning, Marshalls —  flexing my shopping muscles and getting my groove back.

I was pleased not to have lost my quick reflexes; whipping out the plastic in 2.5 seconds, tying my former record.

A couple of necessities, a tray adorned with roses (how could I resist), pink push up bra, cutest ever flip-flops, card for our anniversary…not too bad, nothing spectacular, nothing major, even a couple of one dollar books from the library.

No Chanel, no Louby heels, no jewelry…baby steps, baby steps.

It felt good, though…real good — to get back in the saddle.

It really is just like riding a bicycle, you never forget.

And the retail therapy successfully helped to erase the psychological trauma of sleeping with a spider. 

shoppingtrip

annivcardThe inside text: “Listening and Understanding…The key to every good relationship. Happy Anniversary.” Pretty funny, huh?
My tugboat man’ll like that. 
flipflops Who could resist gold + sparkles + a bow? Not me.

Next time, watch out! South Coast Plaza, here I come.

(FYI I get a $20 gift card for using Grammarly.)

“Bitch, Stay Away From My Husband”

So, here we are at Villas de Cerritos in our little palapa covered bungalow, having a great time, hablamos un pequito Espanol, and this single girl arrived last night and decided my tugboat man was gonna be her little surf buddy.

She hung around on our patio last night while were were relaxing after dinner, checking Magic Seaweed with my hub and regaling us with tales of how she just broke up with her fiancé BLAH BLAH BLAH.

She looks to be in her thirties, is (was) kinda pretty, longish hair, athletic body as you’d expect for a surfer.

She finally left.

This morning, we got up early, had coffee, and hub went surfing. I can’t upload the pics yet ‘cos of slow and intermittent internet, but there are some photos of twelve foot faces and EPIC conditions.

About half an hour after he left, SHE came by sniffing around, looking for him. I told her he was gone.

Now, honestly, after twenty-plus years, I am not a jealous person; he’s given me no reason to be jealous, but I was picking up on some vibes, and you know what they say about women’s intuition, right?

I had a leisurely second cup of coffee and some fresh figs; straightened up before slathering myself with sunscreen and heading down to the beach.

I had a premonition that she was going to be standing right next to my tugboat man staring at the waves, and guess what?

I was right.

I watched her for a minute, observed her body language, and had to hold myself back from kicking the shit out of her. Literally. For reals. No. REALLY.

I continued toward the beach and took a left so that i was south of where they were standing by about one hundred feet, unrolled my towel and sat down.

Finally, hub scanned the beach and saw me.

He waved.

I did not.

She waved.

I did not.

Instead, I called upon every ounce of self control and impulse control in my powers.

Smoke was pouring out of my ears, my nose, any and all orifices were roiling and boiling.

Shit was about to hit the proverbial fan.

More later. Gotta go.