My Tugboat Man is Gone and I’m Blue

And so it begins…

Tugboat man withdrawals. Cold turkey.

I took him to the airport at 4:30 a.m. yesterday.

Once again there’s that lonely ride home.

This time he’ll probably be gone for a month or so.

blueskywrds

I pointed my camera straight up because the sky was so blue, more blue than I’ve seen in a long time. Not a cloud in the sky.

And nope, I can’t go with him, in case you were gonna ask.

Sky blue, SO BLUE — can you believe this is an un-retouched pic I snapped in our backyard? Kind of heart shaped, can you see it? If you tilt your head just a teensy bit to the left, can you see it now?

blueskythursday2

My old friend, Willie Nelson, singing “Blue Skies” by Irving Berlin

Why Would a Tugboat Need to STOP Motion?

Yet again, I’m preparing to drive that arduous forty minutes to our airport to pick up an arriving tugboat man.

This is the life of a tugboat captain’s wife. They’re always going or coming.

Here’s a snippet of our conversation last night:

Me: “I had to put gas in the car.” (Imagine that I said it in a reproachful manner, kinda whiny, cos it’s a chore I HATE and tugboat man usually does it for me.)

Him: “Well, I hope you at least filled it, ‘cos I’m sure the only reason why you fueled up is because you were on empty.” (In a slightly know-it-all voice.)

Me: ” You are so funny. NOT. I did NOT fill it up. I only put in about twenty dollars, ‘cos I got bored standing there and plus it’s not my job. It’s stinky and dirty. And yes, Mr. Smarty Pants, it was on empty and I would’ve run out on the way to the airport to pick you up so you can see it’s all your fault.”

Him: “I just don’t get you. If you’re there with the pump in the tank, would it kill you to stand there for an extra couple of minutes? It’s only logical, right? Makes sense, right?”

Me: “Logical? Me? Who do you think you’re talking to?”

Although he was gone the entire week, continually bemoaning the fact that he missed the giant surf, this time he wasn’t out to sea.

Did you know that professional mariners need to attend lots of continuing education classes?

That involves everything from keeping up with USCG (United States Coast Guard) licensing requirements, enhanced security procedures, managing a crew, practicing medical lifesaving techniques (because captains are the medical officers onboard tugboats), fire safety and prevention, and radar.

There’s lots more but I can’t remember it all right now.

This time he was learning and being certified in something called Dynamic Positioning

US Navy 110603-N-EC642-170 The New Breed offsh...

US Navy 110603-N-EC642-170 The New Breed offshore supply vessel HOS Shooting Star uses dynamic positioning to maintain its position while performin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He often trains with simulators; probably this time, too. I forgot to ask, ‘cos our conversations mainly consisted of his whining and moaning about missing out on surfing epic waves.

Here’s a bunch of random words strung together in sentences that makes absolutely NO SENSE to me whatsoever, but is a detailed explanation that I hope y’all comprehend. (‘Cos I surely do not.)

Dynamic positioning (DP) is a computer-controlled system to automatically maintain a vessel’s position and heading by using its own propellers and thrusters.

Position reference sensors, combined with wind sensors, motion sensors and gyro compasses, provide information to the computer pertaining to the vessel’s position and the magnitude and direction of environmental forces affecting its position. 

The computer program contains a mathematical model of the vessel that includes information pertaining to the wind and current drag of the vessel and the location of the thrusters.

This knowledge, combined with the sensor information, allows the computer to calculate the required steering angle and thruster output for each thruster.

This allows operations at sea where mooring or anchoring is not feasible due to deep water, congestion on the sea bottom (pipelines, templates) or other problems.

Dynamic positioning may either be absolute in that the position is locked to a fixed point over the bottom, or relative to a moving object like another ship or an underwater vehicle.

One may also position the ship at a favorable angle towards wind, waves and current, called weathervaning. [Source: Wikipedia]

Confused? So am I…
This is a simpler explanation that even I can understand:
Sometimes when a tug is working on a project rather than simply being underway from point A to point B, it needs to stay in one specific location and not float around. DP is an advanced method to hold a tug stationary.

That was your lesson for today. There will be a quiz at the end of the day. :)

Have a lovely Friday!

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Husband Suffers From Performance Anxiety

A CONFESSION.

But it’s not EXACTLY what you think.

It’s not THAT kind of performance anxiety.

I tricked you and I know it’s not nice to do, but, well, I have no excuse.

I felt like it.

:)

Surf’s been up here in Southern California. A few tropical storms brought a high surf advisory —  thus creating a happy tugboat man.

He’s always in a great mood when he can surf or ride his stand-up paddle boards.

When he was around eight years old, he lived in Kauai and was friendly with Elizabeth Taylor‘s nephew — always disappointed that he never caught of glimpse of her. He also went to elementary school with Laird Hamilton — that very famous surfer.

My tugboat man has saltwater in his blood.

On Saturday, he told me to get ready to go to the beach and bring my camera so I could shoot vid of him shredding and getting barreled and tubed and mastering the wild surf.

This was definitely too big for me to make another attempt at reinventing myself as Gidget. (Click HERE to read all about ME.)

It was a beautiful, perfectly perfect beach day.carlsbadbeach1

Even a few seashells, but nothing like Florida.carlsbadbeach4 Cute shorebirds.carlsbadbeach6

A a proud and loyal wife, I planted myself on the sand with my Canon Rebel T3i zooming in on my tugboat man.

I didn’t want to miss a single wave.

Off he goes!

carlsbadbeach2

Nice boat – there’s my tugboat man, ready to shred!

carlsbadbeach7

Still waiting…watching…sitting…sitting…sitting…carlsbadbeach5

Is he here? Did he catch this one?carlsbadbeach8 Or this one?carlsbadbeach9 How about this wave? Do you see my tugboat man?carlsbadbeach10Nope, neither do I.

I don’t have a tripod (note to self to get one) and my arms were soo tired.

I gave up, sat down, and read a book.

When my tugboat man finally came out of the water, he just couldn’t understand what happened.

He’s a really good surfer and had been catching TONS of waves — UNTIL I got there.

Not a single wave. Not ONE.

See, performance anxiety, right?

Just not the kind you were thinking of.

Tee hee.

Update: To prove he wasn’t suffering from any long term surfing decline, he went back out without me for an “evening glass off session” (surfing terminology) and returned having caught at least a dozen waves.

I think I jinxed him. Oops.


P.S. In case you were wondering, I got hub’s permission before writing a post about this delicate subject matter. I would never want to embarrass him in a public forum.  Privately? Well, that’s a different matter entirely! LOL

 

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”

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

 

Celebrate Day of the Seafarer

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Today is International Maritime Organization’s Day of The Seafarer

“Think of something you own and which came by sea. Whether it’s the car you drive, the food you eat, the clothes you wear, the gadgets you use or the furniture you sit on, write it down and post it, adding the hash tag “#thankyouseafarer.” If you can also post a photo or video, even better,” said IMO secretary-general Koji Sekimizu.

Who doesn’t love bananas? Did you know that your daily dose of potassium was brought to you by a mariner? My own tugboat captain has docked hundreds of Dole banana boats over the years.

How about cars and trucks, marine construction equipment, coal, grain, oil, chemicals, trash, recyclable materials, sand, gravel, and timber?

All brought to you by ships and barges — and tugboats.

Right now my own tugboat man is pulling into a dock. It’s not nearly as easy as parallel parking a car…

His 150 ft. tugboat has a 1000 feet of tow wire pulling a 700 foot barge. Sorta like this, but this is NOT hub’s tug; I just wanted you to have a visual.

What has a the sea brought me?
She brings my tugboat man home safely.

I’m so excited!! It’s been a long six weeks.

Yes, even after twenty years, my heart beats a little quicker, the sun is a little shinier, my heart sings a happier tune — when my tugboat man is home, exactly like the lyrics of my favorite Christina Perri song, “A Thousand Years”

“I have died everyday waiting for you, darling don’t be afraid. I have loved you for a thousand years. I will love you for a thousand years more..”

While I’m baking and cleaning and perfuming and figuring out what to wear for the long drive to the airport, I’ll listen to my favorite songs by Christina Perri:

1. Don’t Count The Miles, Count The I Love Yous”

http://youtu.be/vl-2OHvBYX0

2.  “A Thousand Years”

http://youtu.be/q9ayN39xmsI

 

 

#dayoftheseafarer

I Said “Seaman”, NOT “Semen”. SHEESH. Grow Up, Would Ya?

With regard to the recently released film, “Captain Phillips” about the ship that was boarded by pirates, I am boycotting it. I forced my very handsome tugboat man to audition, and he went through two videotaped auditions (including sides, which is part of the script) and he was NOT hired for a major role. I believe it’s because he’s so blindingly beautiful that he would have grabbed the spotlight from Tom Hanks, who MUST have felt threatened.  My hub’s audition tape was AWESOME. So. There you have it.
______________________________________________________________________

Not this!sperm from etsy But THIS4780_CruiseShip+Captain

I thought it’d be fun and informative to conduct an interview of my seaMAN, my merchant mariner, my tugboat captain, my sometimes-he’s-here-sometimes-he’s not husband of nineteen years. What kind of man is the husband of Princess Rosebud? What’s it like being a merchant seaman? He didn’t always go out to sea for months at a time. We met in 1991 at a local boat company where he was the master captain of several vessels and I was in the marketing department, and he worked around our harbor for many years.

It was “annoy” at first sight…

I’ve written about our love story in “Just a cup of coffee” and “Just a cup of coffee, part two”  with many more chapters in draft form as the story unfolds.

As you’ll see, he’s pretty serious when discussing his career; otherwise he has a very dry sense of humor, not too snarky. He’s really a very good natured, even tempered guy. Like I always say, he’s the turtle to my rabbit.

On an enchanting side note, as I walked out of Trader Joe’s this morning, a homeless man told me I had a beautiful smile. Life is good, y’all. A compliment is a compliment. It was appreciated!

Let’s Play!

Twenty Questions for a Merchant Seaman

The interview of this mariner took place while he was home between assignments. He’s a professional mariner, an academy graduate, and has been in the tug and tow industry for a quarter of a century. He’s also captained 700 passenger vessels and worked in just about every aspect of the maritime industry (except fishing).

Thank you to TheFurFiles, tonettejoycefoodfriendsfamily, ibdesignsusa and  Yvonne La Brecque Deane for playing along and submitting questions.

WORK-RELATED QUESTIONS:

Not his tug, just an example of the type of work he does.

Not his tug, just an example of the type of work he does.

What types of boats do you work on?
Mostly I work on vessels of limited tonnage-under 3000 tons. I’ve worked on numerous unlimited tonnage ships but currently am assigned to work boats and tugs.

Do you think it’s a good career for young people to pursue?
I think it’s is a good career, but it’s not for everyone. You have to be able to live for long periods of time in close quarters with others, and it’s difficult to be away from home.  It hasn’t been dramatically effected by the downturn in the economy.

Can you talk a little about the adjustment period from being home to being stuck on a boat 24/7 in cramped quarters.
The worst is right when you report aboard find your room, bed, etc. it takes a couple of days for the pain of being away dulls then you get into a routine of standing watch and life aboard ship and your new shipmates then things settle down and its not that bad.

What do you eat while you’re out to sea?
I’m a vegetarian which makes it a bit challenging. I eat a lot of brown rice and lentils and vegetables; sometimes seafood. We stock up on high quality foods unless we’re away from port for extended periods of time, then most of the food has to come out of the freezer.

Does everyone cook his/her own food?
Most boats I’m on have a cook on board. Every once in a while I’ll bake for the crew and email Rosebud for a recipe and a coaching session–I’ve made apple pies and brownies and banana bread. She’s a great instructor.

What do you do out to sea when you’re not working?
I work out, do my knot tying, read, watch videos, listen to music, and play my ukelele.

I know that you were involved in Desert Storm. Can you talk about what role you played?
Yes, it wasn’t much but the ship I was on was prepared to support the war effort. We were loaded up with military equipment some of the exploding type but were redirected when the bombing stopped and did not reach the Gulf.

What do you do nowadays in times of conflict?
Even if we are not directly involved with the support effort, our service is important. Keeping our credentials current gives the US a support force that can be called during times of war. This has happened throughout US history.

What do you do with a dead body?
We follow the orders of the medical adviser.

What do you do if you need to restrain a crew member because of a mental break or a crime?
Restrict them to their room, or lock them in if necessary. Otherwise restrain them somehow. ZipTies work without hand cuffs until the next port of call.

How far is too far for the United States Coast Guard to make a medical rescue?
I think about 1000 miles.

Have you encountered pirates?
Not directly,  but I ‘ve been in dangerous waters where there was an elevated risk.

What’s the smallest craft you’ve encountered on the high seas?
An ocean going row boat.

What is the biggest drama that’s taken place while on duty?
Usually it has to do with unruly crew members causing trouble with other crew members or while ashore; getting into fights etc.

Have you ever been near a tsunami?
I haven’t experienced a tsunami, but have been offshore enough times during tsunami warnings. It’s n eerie feeling when you are offshore when that happens–actually being far offshore is safe because you rarely feel the effect of a tsunami in deep water.

What is the Jones Act?
Jones Act laws are what’s left of US job protectionism. We should protect the laws that protect US jobs. Without laws like these, we would lose our jobs to cheaper foreign labor. This doesn’t necessarily mean that foreigners are less safe. There are very professional foreign flag merchant mariners world wide, but most countries have the same protectionism which would prevent me from taking their work. The anti Jones Act drive predominantly rides along the lines of cruise ships which are just about all foreign flagged vessels. It is a complicated thing that gets distorted. It’s all about profit. Proponents of Jones Act laws are claim that in order to remain competitive…blah blah blah, we need to rescind these laws. They claim that since most of our products imported and exported are done so by ship, the cost of transporting these goods by US standards are hindered by the high cost of US labor. Relatively speaking, US seaman rates are higher than internationally, but in the big scheme of things our labor merely cuts into the higher profit margins that big companies would gain and do gain when they re-flag their fleets. APL (American President Lines) a company that benefited from Jones Act laws during WWI and WWII by giving them priority in carrying US goods to and from war zones have now shifted most of their assets into the foreign market. Most APL ships you see today fly foreign flags and carry foreign crews. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the end of the Jones Act in my lifetime. In the world of Costco and Walmart, its all about the cheapest goods. My job is expendable if a pair of jeans can be purchased for ten bucks.

How important is it to the economy to have a vibrant merchant fleet?
It is important to the economy to import and export goods. This has to be done by ship or barge. It is nice to buy “Made in the US”, but there is nothing wrong with buying foreign either as long as US manufacturers can compete fairly in the international market. US is restricted by environmental and labor laws that most foreign companies are not, making it very unfair for US manufactures to compete both in the domestic and overseas market. The US jobs that our merchant fleet create are in the hundreds of thousands I’m sure, but is a relatively small job creator in the big realm of things. Keeping a strong US merchant fleet provides good paying jobs to a whole bunch of people all around the country.

PERSONAL QUESTIONS; HE’S A MAN OF FEW WORDS, NOT LIKE ME!

At the time you met Princess Rosebud, did you ever think she was going to be your future wife?
Probably not at the time, I was a bit lost then, and now I’m not lost.

When will the next ChaCha purchase take place?
2028.

What do you love most about your lovely wife?
I love how she makes the most awesome homecomings that last for weeks on end and that she loves the simple things I bring home for her, like rocks and shells and stuff that washes ashore. She loves the other stuff too, but it’s not all about the nice things that I can’t always afford.

What’s your favorite movie?
Apollo 13,  Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan.

What’s your favorite food?
I love my wife’s cooking, her homemade granola, tuna melts, all of her desserts, that chocolate swirl bread, and buckwheat pancakes. I really like to eat.

What do you like to do when you come home?
It takes a while to catch up on sleep and adjust to a different schedule. I take a lot of naps for the first few days. I try to get back to the gym immediately. Of course, I’m sure you’ve read about all the surfing I do and now that I have a standup paddleboard–like Rosebud said, “no wave’s too small”, and that’s pretty much the truth. We like to hike and camp, too. What I really like to do is drive my princess around on her many daily errands from the grocery store to shopping excursions. It helps to bring me back to a normal life, as does the list of chores and projects around the house and yard.

boat_captain_fisherman_t_shirt-r3d30f65e60844ccda55bfb7dcd4b615a_804gs_512

SAILOR MERRY: Gay seaman won’t be charged for having ‘unnatural’ sex in cheating case (vancouverdesi.com)

My Fresh Obsesh

Blog Update: I don’t know what’s happening to me! If you’ve been following the life of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife for a while you might have noticed a sea change, a slight course correction, a freshening breeze.

It’s become increasingly more difficult – impossible even – to suppress the other seashells that insist upon rising to the surface…more than frivolous pursuits; pearls and Chanel, Hello Kitty and retail therapy, more than waiting for my sometimes-he’s here-sometimes-he’s-not tugboat man to come home.

The real world has rudely barged in and is guilty of disrupting Princess Rosebud’s rose-colored glasses form of reality, in spite of all the vigorous denial of that river in Egypt.

I’d much rather write about my seashell gluing and sewing projects, the search for that perfect shoe, or any of my seemingly neverending encounters with bad drivers and crappy customer service – but when animals are being abused, neglected, abandoned, slaughtered, unloved, or species threatened with extinction — it’s impossible to ignore.

My one small voice in concert with many will hopefully become a roar loud enough to effect positive change.

At least we have to try, right?

**This is a warning of sorts. You’ll be subjected to more posts that will be calls to action to raise awareness about animal related issues, defending these magnificent creatures, and providing them with the voices they lack. It seems like I should change the title of my blog to be Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife and Beeyotchy Animal Advocate-- or, too much?

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But that’s not today’s topic. Today is all Princess Rosebud in her shopping glory!

If you’ve been keeping up with the saga of my quest for the perfect wedge. here’s an update:

I’m in holding pattern. I’m not actively searching anymore; I’ve exhausted all of my resources. I’ve looked far and wide up to Orange County and have experienced disappointment at every turn. I’ve made the majorest of decisions to leave it all up to Mother Universe — when she’s ready and the time is right, she will place the ultimate shoe in front of me — and I need to stop stressing about it.

There. I’ve given it up to a higher power.

Edging out the wedge (ha ha) of Number One priority status is my new (obesh) obsession to find the perfect black suit — pencil skirt and jacket  — for my public speaking event at a hearing in Sacramento on October 2 with Defenders of Wildlife.

Normally, I don’t travel alone. I don’t like to fly, I don’t like airports, I don’t like crowds, and I don’t like taking my shoes off in potentially germ-ridden places. I’ve only flown alone a few times; to visit my tugboat man in Hawaii before we were married, and to visit my son at Yale. Going to Sacramento alone is a major deal for me.

I’m not afraid of the public speaking part of this; I don’t suffer from glossophobia – I’m afraid mostly of driving to the airport, finding a place to park my car, getting from the airport to the hotel; those kinds of things.

So it makes sense that a new outfit to boost my confidence is just what I need, amIright?

A pencil skirt can enhance one’s shape or detract from it in a most unflattering way.

A three-way mirror is a harsh critic but very necessary, especially since I’ll be standing at a podium, facing the panel, but I can’t forget about the audience behind me. They’ll have the rear view.

A good fit is priceless.

That’s my logic for probably spending way too much money. I’m depending upon this suit to speak volumes to my audience and maybe even the media. Call me a media whore, no really, call me a media whore and I’ll answer you. I’m not ashamed of it, I’ve been known to whore myself out for a few precious moments of video, as long as my makeup and hair look good and my butt looks small. Well, smallish.

My Monday retail therapy pilgrimage brought me once again to White House Black Market. They have a pretty good selection of sizes for my five-foot-tall frame. Yes, I’m a Size Two and sometimes a Zero, but I’m a FAT Two. Really, there is such a thing. I’m small but solidly built. That’s what a zillion years of ballet and training with weights’ll do.

Black suit1I was lucky; I got a lovely skirt and jacket that look professional and will travel nicely. The jacket has a half-belted back that looks great and accentuates my waist. The three-quarter length sleeve is perfect for my short arms; this way it won’t have to be taken to the tailor.

I paired it with a deep charcoal gray shell; the only jewelry a simple strand of pearls and pearl earrings, along with platform patent leather heels. And of course, my Chanel Grand Shopper Tote, ‘cos that’s the ONLY Chanel I have…for the moment.

Being so short, I’ve found that I need to dress in a severe manner if I want anyone to take me seriously; I tend to still have a “little girl” look even though now it’s a wrinkled and Botoxed affect. Ah well, aging…

These selfies don’t really do justice to the deep black; I must have a lighting issue. And they’re neck down ‘cos I’m scary with no makeup.

Since my mean and non-existent-for-the-moment tugboat man has FORBIDDEN me to get a new smaller Chanel to supplant my courage, this suit will have to do it all — carry the day.

Although…he’s NOT the boss of me (I tell him that all the time) and he CAN’T tell me what to do, ‘cos I always do the OPPOSITE.

blacksuitopenWAIT!

Hold that thought for a minute.

Let’s analyze what he said.

HE KNOWS THIS. He knows that I’m contrary and normally do the exact opposite of mostly everything he suggests. (Example: my broken wrist. He told me not to run up the hill in slippery flipflops ‘cos I might fall and I did it anyway…fell, wrist broken. Read about that here.)

MAYBE the reason why he said I couldn’t get a new handbag is FOR THE SIMPLE REASON THAT HE WANTS ME TO GET ONE!

YES! That’s IT.  Reverse psychology!

Problem solved.

Looks like I need to do a bit more shopping, don’t you agree?

Hee hee.

Call Him Master! What It’s Like Being Married to a Tugboat Captain

Here in real time, our real life.

Short and sweet, here’s our emails from about an hour ago.

It reveals all you need to know about how we deal with this long distance marriage thing.

You will notice that he is referred to as MASTER. Isn’t that just the funniest thing ever?

That’s what they call the captain of the vessel….Master.

Sometimes I’ll call him “Master” in public just to freak people out.

Email captain

Oh, and he was thanking me for sending him a current weather report. Don’t ask me why he likes whatever forecasting model I use instead of the options he has, but I send him one every day.

And you can tell who talks the most, huh?  This is exactly what we’re like when we’re inches apart as opposed to being separated by thousands of miles.

His word count is four.

Nuff said.

Have a lovely Friday evening, y’all!