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They keep coming back!

1 Aug

Last weekend The Boss and I dropped our kids off with my parents in upstate New York.  They were in for a week of boating, beach, and goofing off without mom and dad around.  It’s great for them, as they get the freedom of being without their parents, and they get to do all sorts of great activities.  It’s great for us as we get to do adult things and have actual conversations.  Not to mention we can go out and stay out as late as we want (9:30 baby!).

Sadly, they both came back yesterday.  And we’re stuck back into the same old song and dance.  Fighting over the remote, feeding the dogs bits of their dinners, etc.  Oh well, it’s only for 5 days.  Then we all go back up for a week of fun.  This year we’re bringing some friends with us.  And their 4 kids.  What is wrong with us?  Are we crazy to have a house with 14 people and two dogs?  Did I mention that two of the kids are under 3?  Yeah.  The 4 older kids I know we don’t have to worry about.  They’re a piece of cake.  If they get annoying, we can send them across the street to the playground, or drown them, or send them to the beach.  The littles, who knows.  At least they’re not my kids….

Perhaps the best part:  After our week of vacation, the kids are staying for another week and a half.  The Boss may go back to join them, so I’ll have the whole house to myself.  YIPPY!!!!!

How to not get caught sneaking out after curfew

20 Jul

Time for another summer camp story.  Back when I was 13 I started working during the summer at Camp-of-the-Woods.  I worked there for six summers.  I came away from there with a greater sense of independence and a bunch of awesome stories.  My last summer working there, I was a Boat Guy.  What does that mean?  Basically it means I was a slave to a girls camp on the island in the middle of the lake, I gave sailing and boating lessons to people who probably had no business being out on the water, and I taught waterskiing.  I also learned that if you look like you are on official business, people will leave you alone.  Part of catering to the island’s every whim entailed carrying  a radio to be at their beck and call 24 hours a day.  While I hated having to carry the radio, it did have its uses.  My buddies and I loved late night boat rides and hanging out on the lake smoking cigars.  What better way to accomplish this than to leave our bunk house at midnight walking right past the curfew checkers and explaining that you were needed on the island and your buddies were going along to watch for rocks, logs, etc?  Nine times out of ten they didn’t have a radio, so there was no way for them to check up on us.

So kids what can we learn from this?

  1. Sneaking out after curfew is fun.
  2. Hanging out at night in the middle of a lake on a brand new ski boat is awesome.
  3. If you look like you are on official business, you probably won’t get caught.
  4. Make sure no one talks.
It’s that last one that will make or break you.

In which I jump from a perfectly good boat

19 Jul

Yup, you read that right.  I have repeatedly jumped from a perfectly good, moving boat.  Where did that land me?  Well in the water for one, and on one occasion in a heap of trouble.  Back when I was 14 I had a little 12′ aluminium boat with a 9.9 horse power outboard.  For me, this was just about perfect.  I had my own boat.  I could take it out fishing, swimming, etc.  A buddy of mine had a similar sized inflatable (think Zodiac) with a 9 horse power motor.  We would take them out, race each other, snorkel from either boat, and just have a great time out on the water.  Somewhere along the way we (along with my cousin) thought it would be cool to get the boat up to speed and jump off the side (ala Baywatch).  We did this for hours on end.  Sometimes we’d all jump with one of us having the kill switch strapped to our life jacket, other times one would stay in the boat and swing around to pick us up.  We never thought about the consequences of us jumping from a perfectly good boat with a prop in the water spinning at about 3000 rpm…  We never thought about hitting the water at 20+mph.  All we thought about was how much fun we were having.

Yeah sort of like that…

So we’ve been jumping from the boat for weeks.  We. Are. Pros.  We could put the “actors” on Baywatch to shame with our skills.  Then of course fate, or karma, or whatever has to intervene.  My cousin and I jump from either side of the boat while our bud stays on board to pick us up.  He swings around to get me, and turns just a bit too much.  I am hit by the front of his boat and forced under.  Fortunately, he has realized that he is going to hit me and pulls up the motor before I get chopped up into chum.  Unfortunately I am trapped under the boat by my life jacket.  I’ve never been one to panic in tough situations.  I also never panic when I’m in the water.  I very quickly assess the situation and realize that there is no way that I am going to get out from under the boat with my jacket on.  I remember unbuckling my jacket, swimming out from under the boat, then reaching back under the boat to get my jacket.  My cousin and friend were amazed to see me alive.  This is why I hate to wear a life jacket.  The only time I wear one is when I’m on our wave runners.  Kayaking, hanging out on the boat, swimming, whatever, I won’t wear a life jacket.

20 Jun

Day 10:  A song you can fall asleep to:

When I was working at camp (we discussed this in Day 2) I used to fall asleep listening to Simon and Garfunkel.  The perfect song to fall asleep to has got to be Bridge Over Troubled Water.  It has to be.  I’m listening to it now and falling asleepppppppppppppppppp ah! Huh?  What?  I’m awake.  Jiminy.  I hate when that happens.

Day 11:  A song from your favorite band:

Crap.  Now I have to figure out who my favorite band is?!?  Double crap.  Can’t I narrow it down to my top 10?  I can’t?  That’s not the point of this?  Why not?  Why can’t I just post 10 songs by 10 bands and call them my favorites?  I’d be doing it wrong?  Why?  Because it’s about learning about a person through music?  Why?  Who the hell thought of this thing?  Okay Fine.  I’ll take a stab at it.  Now, who the hell is my favorite band?  Not The Who, though I LOVE The Who.  They rock, plain and simple.  Not the Beatles, though I do love their music.  Not Van Halen (if you asked me 20 years ago, yes).  Not Dave Matthews Band (if you asked me 10-15 years ago, yes).  So who?  Jack O’pierce is awesome, though they broke up years ago.  Dispatch, though again, they broke up (now back together, I’m happy to say).  I guess it has to be Guster.  They are the band I have the most music from on my ipod.  They are a band I love to see live.  They are a band who I actually buy their music.  So here’s a song from Guster, I guess they’re my favorite band.

Day 12:  A song you hate:

There aren’t many songs I hate, but this one takes the cake.  Way over played, won too many awards, and generally sucks monkey balls (In my most humble opinion of course).  I honestly can say that I hate this song.  I always have.  I always will.  I actually can’t stand anything that Celine Dion does.  Her and Cher can go die under a rock someplace.  I know that’s a hate filled comment, and I don’t actually wish them bodily harm, however, their music sucks.

 

Day 6: A song that reminds you of somewhere

14 Jun

Today is Day 6, A song that reminds you of somewhere.  Once again, I have a problem (big surprise, huh?).  So many songs remind me of somewhere or something I was doing somewhere.  From Rusted Root’s The Cat Turned Blue which I listened to while playing video games on my brother’s computer to the Baywatch theme from when we used to play Baywatch at camp.  I’ve got favorite songs for driving, favorite songs I sing while snowmobiling, etc.  It’s so easy to pick a song that reminds me of somewhere, that I’m having difficulty with it.  Looking back at my life, I can’t help but be brought back to Camp and all the great times I had there.  There are definitely songs that stick into my head when I think of those great summers.  During the summer of 1996, my dad, brother, and I had just bought a new boat.  We bought it from some friends who had gotten a new boat and were looking to get rid of their old one.  It had very low hours on it, as they rarely used it.  Most of the boats we’ve had have been unique in their own way.  This one was no different.  It was white on the top and had an orange hull.  When my friends saw it, they immediately thought of the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard.  Every time I hear the theme song from The Dukes of Hazzard, I am immediately brought back to all the great times we had on my orange boat.

30 day music challenge: Days 4&5

13 Jun

Let’s start with Day 4 – A song that makes you sad, shall we (Why yes, that would be the logical order of things)?  That’s another tough one.  In my post on Day 1, I stated what I thought were the requirements for a favorite song.

“A song that has some meaning behind it.  There should be some deep     emotional bond with the song, or an event that took place while the song was playing (even if it was only in my head).  Good music should leave a lasting impression upon you.”

If I have formed emotional attachments to some songs, it would make sense that there would be at least one that would make me feel sad, wouldn’t it?  After taking the entire weekend to think about it, I believe I have an answer.  Yes.  Yes, there are songs that make me sad.  Take Jackopierce’s song Jacob, for instance:

I have connected with Jacob in the song.  He goes through some very emotional trauma in the song.  I know the ending is very strong and happy, but the beginning and middle are quite sad.  I picture my son calling his grandmother and her saying that his mom doesn’t love me anymore.  That just breaks my heart.

Another song which makes me sad would be Harry Chapin’s Taxi.

You really feel for Harry in this one.  His long lost love comes back into his life and all he gets for reliving the good times they have is a quick “We must get together” and a $20 bill.

On to Day 5 – A song that reminds you of someone.  There are so many songs that remind me of people.  Usually, it is a song that was playing during some event or function we both happened to attend.  It could be as simple as me and so & so driving in the car together.  Should I think of a person first, then a song that reminds me of them?  Or think of a song, and apply it to someone in my life?  Way back when I was working at Camp, I met a guy who would become one of my best friends.  Sadly, I’ve lost track of him over the years, but I know if we were to get together, it would be just like old times.  We sang this song during the Airband competition in 1996.  Every time I hear it, I think of him and the awesome times we had at camp.

In which I pull a prank at summer camp.

12 May

For 6 summers I worked at Camp-of-the-Woods in the Adirondack Mountains of New York.  I, along with many others, pulled countless pranks during the long summer months.  Mom, if you’re reading, you may want to stop doing so by the end of this paragraph.  Some were innocent, some not so innocent, all where hilarious.  Some I got caught, most I didn’t.

Working at Camp is always a trip.  You’re away from home, in a new environment, and you’re meeting new people all the time.  Some of my best friends I met while working at Camp.  We still keep in touch, sharing stories of the stupid stuff we did as kids.  We did the usual stupid stuff, like streaking, pouring cold water in the head of the dude in the shower, and sneaking out after lights out.  This is not one of those usual stupid things.  This is MONUMENTALLY stupid.

I lived in a small cinderblock room with three other guys.  We all got along well enough.  Sure we pulled pranks on each other, but they usually weren’t too bad.  There was a time when we made the smallest roommate we had sleep on the floor (which was gross, btw) because we turned his bed into a sculpture.  Then there was the time we did something that was really bad.  Once again, involving our poor smallest roommate, we first duct-taped him to his mattress.  “Big deal” you’re probably thinking.  Well, I’m not done yet.  After he was duct taped to his mattress, we duct taped his mouth.  Couldn’t have him screaming, could we?  Then we dragged him down from our hillside room to my boat at the docks.  Once we had him on the boat, we took off to the swim dock, a little floating platform at the end of the swim area.  Making sure he couldn’t get out of his sleeping bag, we un-duct taped his mouth and took off.  All of the campers were already at breakfast, and then they would head directly to chapel, so no one was around to hear him scream.  I think he was found close to lunch time.  We never did get caught, and he never told.  He was a good guy, and very smart.  The retaliation would have been awful.

Did you ever work at a summer camp?  Have you ever pulled a stupid prank?  Share your stories in the comments below.