TIL #3: Big Pours

Well, it’s been a long month for being literally the shortest month of the year.  But February is behind me, and I guess any February you can walk away from can’t have been that bad.

It was actually really, really awful.  Which has had some of my sister’s wisdom on my mind over the past couple of weeks.  So, today’s Golden Nugget is courtesy of my wise older – and only – sister.

We had been discussing wine, tangentially, while trading texts.  I was complaining about having to get a refill and she teased me about how she had trained my nephew to fetch, or something.

I was immediately jealous and found myself questioning my indirect and situational lack of progeny.  I teased my sister a little, but also praised developing a solid, gentlemanly skill like pouring wine at an early age.  I think the ‘Phew was 15 or 16 at the time.  And frankly, knowing a good pour is an important part of enjoying wine.

Here’s how to enjoy – truly, legitimately – wine:

Start with good wine.

Decant or aerate.

Serve in glassware that enhances the overall sensory experience.

Repeat step three.


A little known fact, or adhered to, as I’ve come to learn and experience – and practice – is that good wine glasses are made to hold a 3 ounce pour (I think it’s 3, might be 5…I’m old and get confused!) that allows the bowl to hold the wine and keep the bouquet from escaping so that you enjoy the wine and aroma as part of the same enhanced experience.

How precious, right?

Still, it’s a fact.

So, how do you know if you’ve got a good wine glass?  Here’s a fun tip:  filling your glass visually to the hip or curve of the bowl should be 3 ounces.  If you have a good wine glass, the bowl should be shaped so that you can lay the wine glass on its side and the 3 oz pour doesn’t spill out.

Try it.

Here’s another weird wine fact:  there are about five perfect pours in a bottle.  Five.  This is perfectly symbolic of my singlehood, reinforcing that there’s no one for me to share with.

My sister and her wisdom was, basically, “Fuck that” in teaching her boy to pour.  She taught him to pour with a heavy hand.  I was offended, me and my delicate sensibilities, but I got it.  There was no telling whether the boy would be around when she needed a refill versus playing a vidya game or just being out screwing around, like kids do.

Get it, sis.

Here’s the impact this wisdom has had on my life, I usually drink wine alone or with the Silver Fox.  Instead of arguing about the extra glass – which is mine, of course – we split the bottle into two servings each.

It works well.  Except on nights like the other night, where he says he can only have one glass.  You’d think that would throw off our delicate balance, until he comes out of the kitchen with a full glass.  The Fox is pretty low key, so when he does something so overtly hilarious, I really cherish it.

Personally?  Over the last couple of years, I’m down to three servings in a bottle.  

This works well for me.  Especially on nights where The Fox and I watch some TV and split a bottle.  He’ll leave after we finish our two glasses and a few shows so that I can, presumably, head to bed.

If I’m not ready for bed just yet, I’ll open a bottle and have another drink.

Sometimes I’ll even finish that second bottle.

But here’s where being me really pays off:

I had 2 glasses with the Silver Fox and 3 glasses by myself.

There are 5 glasses in a bottle of wine.

Despite what my recycling bin tries to tell me the next morning, I’ve had 1 bottle of wine.

Is it semantics or is it some antics?

With me, I think you know what you’re getting.


And, yes…this TIL was posted out of order.  The month called for this topic to move up the list.  TIL #2 will be along soon enough!

TIL #3: Big Pours

Celebrity Sighting

A couple months back, I was looking at one of my associate’s phones while she gushed about Carnie Wilson and Enrico Colantoni having come through her store at PDX.  What had really set her gushing was that Carnie had apparently come back through a few weeks after her selfie-session and remembered my associate.

I could see that being kinda exciting for one of us Normies.

Then Fred Armisen wandered through her store being his low-key, awkward self.  He left without making eye contact, buying anything or being recognized by my star struck employee.

Cue inward laughter.

Seriously, how did she recognize someone as obscure as Enrico Colantoni and not one of the stars of the show named for and filmed in the town she lives in?

Oh, well.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her.

But, championship timing, Universe.  Really, well done! 

Later that week, my parents took me out to lunch to enjoy the last hurrah of Summer.  Well, it could have been the last hurrah.  Turns out, it wasn’t.  In these parts, though, Summer is kinda like a virgin’s erection:  it could finish up without warning.

So, there we were, Mom, Dad, me.  Their dog, Buddy…sitting outside enjoying lunch.

I always enjoy my lunch visits with the parentals.  Even more so when Gus Van Sant is sitting over their shoulders.

It got me thinking about the game Black Sheep Bro and I would play when we went out drinking with our respective mates of the moment.  He was living with one of my employees from Linens ‘N Things – Jackie Jackass – and I was with <gulp> Sacha.

JJ was the one who introduced the game.  She was also – is! – this amazingly vivacious person.  There is basically sunlight pouring out of her eyes.  She also has an amazing ability to connect with people and bond groups of fairly disparate backgrounds.

Me, because of our mutual workplace connection.

Sacha, through their shared creative passion.

Black Sheep Bro…I don’t know what it was. Maybe she has a thing for guys with small johnsons who don’t take too long.  Who knows?

Since Jax suggested it, we were all pretty much game for the game.  She has a gift for making everything sound like a good time.

If she suggested a theme park based on awkward medical procedures, I’ve no doubt that she’d find investors.  

“Let’s get another Colonoscopy!”  Can you imagine the souvenir shop?

And then – poof! – we were playing Celebrity Sighting.

Simple rules:  do nothing but what you’d normally do, in our case that’s chat incessantly and drink obsessively, and when someone with the slightest resemblance to a celebrity crosses your field of vision, mutter “celebrity sighting” and state your case.  I think this is where I developed my ability to resist looking around like a crazy person when someone says, “Don’t look now…”

<Glares at Silver Fox>

Anyway, we had an uproariously good time with this little game.

Everything from <insert ethnicity here> Yul Brynner whenever a bald guy with any minimal degree of sex appeal walked by to Paddignton Bear if someone crossed our paths wearing a yellow hat or blue wool coat.

The more ADHD you are, the more successful you will be at this game.

Oh, and there’s no score keeping.  Your efforts either earn you a “No way, not even close!” type comment or your entry was the best one ever.  

There was really no in between.

And it seemed so familiar.  I didn’t discount the possibility that Jackie Jackass had been exposed to this through some other channel, nor did I find it outside the realm of possibility that she just made it up and living in LA had made it all feel familiar.

How can you ever really know?

Of course, when I saw the movie Kiss, Kiss. Bang, Bang I immediately thought “Native American Joe Pesci” was comic genius.

I didn’t immediately assume that Jax had riffed on the game from this movie, either.  The movie came out well after she introduced us to her version of this game.

Plus, if we made a celebrity behavioral mannerisms version of this game, she’s easily a frenetic personality match for the movie’s star, Robert Downey, Jr. so if she had stolen it from the movie…meh.  Whatever.  That didn’t happen.

The game has just been around.

Shortly thereafter, I saw this Facebook post and was reminded of the time I was getting my haircut at my Stephen’s Salon in Long Beach.  As I’m leaving, I’m walking backwards-ish talking to my stylist as I leave and turn around and run right into the wall known as Dolph Lundgren.

I have too many similar run-into stories like that to credibly deny that I’m not a celebrity hazard.  I bet the union distributes “How to Avoid Galby Injuries” pamphlets like my employers distribute flyers about avoiding Slips, Trips and Falls.

When I was working at FAO Schwarz in the Beverly Center, I came out of the stockroom, finishing a conversation over my shoulder while going through the door.  Stepping on Sally Field as I exited.

She’s so tiny.

Strangely, another time heading into Stephen’s Salon, I was running late and weaving through the courtyard crowd.  Unfortunately for her, Chaka Khan ended up being an unseen obstacle in my path.  Fortunately for me, I didn’t knock her over.

Not all the way, at any rate.  She’s kinda built like a weeble, as it turns out.

My first serious normal boyfriend took me on a date to a comedy show.  It turned out to be a filming of a VH-1 comedy show called Stand Up Spotlight, starting one Ms Rosie O’Donnell.

I don’t remember much about the show, itself…it was – god – almost 30 years ago!

I have to go be old now.  Bye.

I guess that means that I’ve had this t-shirt hanging in my closet for close to 30 years, then.

Now I’m depressed.  That whole time of my life was so sweet and innocent.  I hadn’t yet learned how to be jaded and embittered about my past.  And the few years prior had been a collectively hellacious learning experience.

Ok…more better memories.

I ran into Gordon Sumner – better known as Sting – many times while I lived in LA.  Of course, I’d seen him perform live a couple dozen times, so running into him was somewhat organic.  Have you ever heard the urban legend about the guy that fell off of his bench while eating ice cream in Palm Springs and landed on Sting?  

That wasn’t me.  I doubt it really happened. Total urban legend.

Sacha and I went to Europe a few times during our relationship.  On one trip, I think it was Amsterdam-Paris-Monte Carlo but my memory gets our trip legs confused, but one of us popped off with a Macy Gray non-sequitur that had us both Holy-Shit-Best One Ever-ing.


It was her.

That morphed into us seeing posters for her shows in every town we visited, vis-a-vis, Macy Gray stalked us through Europe.

Ok, jumping around in time, now…

For no reason, D-Slice invited me to go see Elvira, Mistress of the Dark one year after we had both moved into the same adult dorm.  The invite was for no apparent reason, that is.  The reason to go see Elvira is obvious: she’s awesome with a side of awesome.

She was screening her campy self-titled movie, which has the added bonus of containing one of my favorite movie lines ever.

Let me set the scene:

She’s helping her all-American boyfriend (she has an all-American BF, there’s hope for me yet) set the marquee at his movie house.  She’s up on a ladder and reaches down to get a letter from him, hitting her head on the marquee as she stands back up and falling off the ladder.

Classic Slip, Trip, Fall scenario, right there.

Anyway, she falls in dramatic, B-movie slow motion before being heroically caught in the arms of her boyfriend…

BF:  (concerned) How’s your head?

Elvira:  (discombobulated) I haven’t had any complaints.


I’ve got this blog-entry placeholder just called Thomas.  It’s about a guy I worked with at Linens ‘N Things in Houston.  Maybe I’ll put some legs on that before my Staycation ends.  Who knows?

Anyhoo…also during my time in Houston being a busy worker bee for LNT, I was lucky enough to run – not literally, for once – into Mary Lou Retton while she shopped.  Good lord.  Have you ever heard the idiom/career advice about finding a career that matches your personality?  Yeah, MLR did that, for sure.  What a dynamic personality that lil dynamo had.

Plus, she makes Sally Field look like a giantess.

Speaking of giants – and monsters – Barbara Bush, Sr shopped at that same store.  The first time she was in, while everyone else hid behind drapery displays peeking out at her as she <gasp!> shopped just like a Normie, I got to reluctantly assist her with a tablecloth.

Me:  What size cloth do you need?

BB:  90”.

Me:  Ok, here you go, sweet cheeks.  (That last part is just editorial)

BB:  No, that’s not big enough!  I want it hang to the ground!

Don’t we all, sister?  But that’s not really practical now, is it?

Me:  Ok, well that’s gonna be a custom size, you know.  This cloth will only have about a 12” drop, depending on the actual diameter of the table.  

BB:  (getting agitated) I told you…it’s a 90” table!

Jesus.  She has a literal 90” dining table.

Me:  Oh, well…like I said, that’s gonna be a custom job.  Normal people don’t have tables that big.

Let alone, somewhere to put them.  I’d bet the dining rooms in most homes aren’t even 8’ across.  I’d also bet most wallets wouldn’t afford a 120” diameter tablecloth, nor the table it would go on, let alone the house that has a big enough room for it.

But that didn’t stop this Houston Home Girl from being butt hurt and side-eying me like I didn’t know what she was talking about as she walked off.

At least I didn’t knock her over.


The next time she came in, I was busy doing busy manager stuff and didn’t see her until she was checking out,  I walked by the register just as my associate was gushing, “Mrs Bush, I just want you to know that my husband and I would take a bullet for you!”


Like a bullet would dare even try to mess with Babs.

She saw me walking by as she ripped the check from her book and gave me an impressively withering look.  She’d been working on her side-eye game in her retirement,

That same associate later bought the Former First Lady’s check as a memento.

What the actual fuck is it about celebrities?

I think I prefer Jackie Jackass’ game much more than real life celebrity experiences.  Luckily, Portland provides plenty of opportunities to play Celebrity Sighting.

Even if I’m only playing with myself these days.  You’re welcome, Diezel.

There’s this David Ogden Stiers lookalike that rides his Segway through the Pearl.

The Fox and I see him during our morning coffee excursions and occasionally later in the day while we hang out at Thelonius Wines.  He’s a character, I can tell by the way he corners on that Segway like he just doesn’t give a fuck.

“What are you gonna do, Mail-Truck-I-Just-Cut-Off, hit me?”  If he had a free hand, I’m sure it would be sporting a one-fingered salute.

It’s a nice surprise to see my David Ogden Stiers Celebrity Sighting while we sip wine. The proprietress and The Fox like talking all things Game of Thrones during her downtime.  The Silver Fox is just happy to talk to someone that likes the show and understands what the hell he’s talking about.  He also loves that she casually let slip that she used to go to Bonetown with one of the stars.  

While that led an extra layer of amusement to this screenshot that I’d sent to The Fox

I’m still just not a fan of the show, and without my wreckless segway commuting David Ogden Stiers doppelgänger, I’m stuck with only a skateboarding Captain Jack Sparrow to entertain myself with during their conversations.

Now, that’s quite a Celebrity Sighting in itself, but if I spend too long thinking about him, I can easily talk myself into believing the person behind the celebrity caricature could easily have some of the less amusing pirate traits…

So, I don’t.

Ok, I’ve gotta go.  There’s a t-shirt I need to put up for sale on eBay…

Celebrity Sighting

Mental Health Day

It’s amazing what a change of scenery can do for one’s peace of mind.  

A change of routine, even for a day.

It really proves the old adage about getting away from it all.

The Silver Fox asked me if I wanted to join him for a day at the Fox family beach house a few weeks back.  Just down and back in a day.  The house actually belongs to his former wife and current traveling companion, Sallory, but he still gets visitation rights when it’s not rented out.  

Or to punch out a honey-do list, as was the case here.  The house has just had its kitchen expanded and a yurt added to increase its capacity.  As if the view alone wasn’t enough of a selling point for potential renters.

But why limit the view to eight tightly-packed-in eyes?  Plus, the one bedroom beach house was perfectly fine when it was just mom, dad and two young sons.  Now that they’ve added a daughter-in-law and grand-toddler to the mix, I’m sure the yurt will make the beach house much more Fox family friendly.

Of course, I declined the invite.

He had planned his trip for a Wednesday.  My typical days off are Thursday and Friday, so the timing was a non-starter for me.  He suggested I just take the day off and I humored him with an “ok” and a chuckle; I think we both knew I wasn’t going to pursue that option.

I’ve never wanted to do drag.  I half-heartedly dressed up once for Halloween back in the 90s and got compared to a True Lies-era Jamie Lee Curtis, but past that, costumes were never my particular brand of escape.


I have a semi-roster of potential drag names in mind.  I mention this because in this instance my drag name would be Sarah Dippity.

Yes, in a rather serendipitous turn of events, my boss reminded me of a vendor sponsored golf tournament taking place soon and suggested that I take the Wednesday in question off in exchange for “working” through 18 holes on what would normally be my Friday off.  Now, a) I thought the thing had already come and gone without any follow-up and was fine with that; and, b) the tournament would involve my peer manager who has provided me with enough reason to afford him the absolute minimum amount of attention from my favorite person.  You could say that this golf outing exceeded that bare minimum threshold.  You could also say after his out of control demonstration of hostility toward me in early June – and subsequent absence of apology or even hint of remorse – that I was in no way considering getting within a golf club’s length of him.

One of the primary reasons I needed a mental health day, right there.

So, I told my boss that I would take Wednesday off and then (hu)man the shop while he and my festering wang of a peer went off and played golf.

I probably worded that a little differently, irl.

I excitedly agreed to the day trip with The Fox.  Well, excitedly with conditions: I got to drive.  I don’t drive myself and I’m a terrible passenger.  There’s a winning combination.  Why The Fox is my friend is sometimes so not obvious…but luckily for me, he is and off we went.

The first leg of the trip was Portland to Monmouth.  The first stop was at his youngest son’s house and then we moved on to Sallory’s home, which is located on a picturesque hilltop parcel of land.  

It’s a literal idyll, as was much of the drive between his son’s house and this majestic, old family home.  We took these back roads around fields, along the river, over small hills, through fields.  So serene, calm and beautiful!

Of course, I was manic.  The excitement of driving once again, being out of my routine, with my best friend and out of the city kinda overwhelmed me.  It was euphoric for me.

We had stopped at Costco for gas.  “Because it’s the cheapest price!” – a common consideration in fuel purchasing with The Silver Fox.  

I did my best not to do the Rain Man math on what the savings on that cheapest price equates to in real money.  Last time I’d done that – a total of $2.30, if you’re of a curious mind – I think I’d been kind of a buzz kill.  I mention this because I think the restraint I showed in not announcing the savings our pit stop at the Costco had generated along with the ebullience I was feeling just being out on this day trip left me defenseless against my own personality when I looked down at the dash after a few miles and side roads, only to realize that an idiot light had been engaged.

“Oh, god!  What’s that?!?”  Strangely not the last time I’d blurt that out on this road trip. I sure hope I remember to tell you about the spider!

Jolted away from his true best friend – er…I mean, his phone – The Fox looks up and does that crazy head thing that people do immediately after hearing the words, “Don’t look now, but…”

“What’s the small car over the big car with the squiggly lines between them mean?”


I repeated myself.  Enunciating very clearly and speaking slowly as if it were the words themselves that he hadn’t understood.  I knew he was capable of deciphering my gibberish, but I hadn’t provided him sufficient context to really give an answer.

“Google it, quick!  Before we lose cell service.” I commanded, because: country back roads.

A few moments later, he waved something in front of my side-eye and giggled “George” at me.  My first thought was, stop showing me pictures of the damn dog and look up this light!”  In my mind, we were clearly in a crisis situation…not just impending doom but also me breaking his car.  Upon turning to face him, I realized he was showing me the Owner’s Manual for the car, complete with bite marks where his pooch had gotten hold of it.

Ok, maybe I’m his best human friend, third overall.  The top two spots are a toss up.  Hehe.

“It’s a traction control system of some sort”, he mumbled.

I was doing 60-65 on the back roads of Monmouth – which is saying something, since most of the non-back roads we traveled usually came with a brief history of the major thoroughfare that road used to be.

“Well, it seems to be kind of an anti-rollover system”, still distracted.

I semi-slammed on the brakes upon hearing that as we were moments away from a 60 degree turn and still pushing 60 MPH.  I’d prefer to have all anti-rollover assistance functioning properly under those conditions.

Thus began my erratic litany of pointing out each occurrence of potential disaster – I guess “occurrence” and “potential” don’t really go well together, alas – the possibly malfunctioning anti-rollover system would be helpful in avoiding.  You wouldn’t really think I’d have a lot of opportunities to exploit that system failure, but did you know that River Road used to be – I know I’ll get this wrong – the old hwy 99?  

Plus, it just follows the river, so it’s super curvy.

Plus, plus, it’s right on the river, so it’s sunk and warped over the many decades and was super bumpy.

I had many chances to amuse myself before we finally arrived at Sallory’s.

The old family home is beautiful in and of itself, but add in the decades of family history and it becomes so much more than a nice house with a breathtaking view.  Recently, The Fox mentioned the three generations of Sallory’s paternal ancestors’ portraits lining the stairwell walls and I couldn’t recall ever noticing them…I definitely needed to make a point of checking out this additional rich layer of family history this trip.

That moment in the stairwell turned patriarchal hall of fame paired nicely as a bookend to the momento of the more recent family that I encountered as I wandered the grounds.  I’d taken a moment to chase a loose chicken – being away from the city was clearly having a positive effect on my state of mind – I chased the chicken stiff-armed like a child, enjoying the mild alarm the chicken displayed as she ran just fast enough to stay ahead of my shuffle.  

Her alarm suggested she knew a chicken choker when she saw one.

Ok, I couldn’t help that entendres…I threw it in strictly for Diezel’s prurient reading pleasure.  Plus, I’m not really one to abuse animals.  Living with Myrtle is the only defense I need there.

When I stopped, I found myself on an abandoned basketball court.  Touched only by time for the last decade or so.

A testament to the kids who had grown up here in this place with parents who cherish them.

We were just stopping long enough to pick up some items needed to re-stock the kitchen at the beach house and were surprised to find some homemade jam left out for us to take home as a thank you.  Freezer jam is my absolute favorite, so I was touched by the unexpected gesture.  

Sallory had recently confessed to me that The Fox had pretty much converted her to iced coffee drinks over hot, specifically cold brew, and understood that I had turned him on to it.  She then went on to tell me about this great cold brew she’d found at one of her local stores and how she’d convinced the other local store to carry it also.  It’s called Stok, and she loved it.  I told her I’d have to keep an eye out for it, since I trust her taste.

Funny, when I said that, I hadn’t thought that we would find a stash of six bottles in her garage fridge.  Maybe The Fox had, he used to live here, after all.

You know what goes great with freezer jam?

I’ll gotten gains, that’s what.

The car is loaded up.  The grounds are surveyed and revered.  It’s time to point the car toward hwy 20 and get going.  

The Fox asks if I need to use the bathroom before we leave, that’s a negatory.


“You sure, it’s about 90 minutes away”, he persists.  I’m oddly conflicted in my consistent negative response after the Monster I had before we left and the cold brew I had on the way down.

“Actually, I think I’d like to crack open one of those Stok bottles and have another cold brew”, I say.

“That does sound good!  But let’s grab some out of the fridge!” he declares as he emerges from the car with our two empties.

“Are you drinking the melted ice water out of my cup, through my straw?!?”, I demand. The Fox literally stops.  Disengages his lips from my straw slowly and sheepishly responds, “Yeah…oops?” as if it’s more question than answer.

“Do you have another straw?” I ask, channeling my best Chandler Bing.


“Fine”, I grumble.  “I’ll just turn it around!  What gets into you?” I smirk at him as he heads into the garage.  I think one of the things I enjoy most about my relationship with The Fox is how my faux exasperation is met so perfectly by his unflappable and amused “who’s going to care in 100 years?” demeanor, which makes him nearly immune to my butt-hurtedness.

We’re driving again.

He’s telling me how they’ve been working on a bypass on hwy 20 that cuts about 15 minutes of old single zig-zaggy lane highway off our trip.  The new construction veers off the old highway and then rejoins it on the other side of the hill, taking you over the top of the coast range, through some of the clear cut forest.




I doubt that I’d been on this road within the current century, so every turn was new to me.  I could definitely – usually – tell the old highway from the new, still…it was like seeing it all for the first time.

The panorama of the ocean in the distance over the folds of mountain between us and it from the top of the pass.  Not to mention the briefest glimpses I got of the view 180 degrees behind me.  Well, not for the first time, I resisted slamming on the brakes to get a better look.

Oh!  The idiot light stayed off after I restarted the car when we left the Monmouth house.  So, one less thing to worry about!

I’m overcome by new natural beauty at each turn in the road.  My soul is swelling with new energy.  I can feel the peace of mind returning.

We get into town and it’s time to decide, once and for all, the answer to the question that has haunted the second leg of our drive:  Oscar’s for a burrito for lunch or Mo’s for some ubiquitous beach food?

I confess that I’m feeling some Mexican food, which The Fox says is fine.

We’re driving up the coast highway.  


“Hey!  Was that THE Oscar’s we just passed by?!?”

The Fox looks up, “Oh, yeah! I guess we’re going to Mo’s!” and flashes me that sheepish look for not-the-final time on this trip.  Decision made.

Depot Bay.

Beverly Beach.

I’ve moved on from announcing potential rollover situations to declaring “I’ve been there” in a monotone as we pass places where – get this – I’ve been.  

No context.  

Just a simple, “Been there” as we pass by.

For his part, The Fox either ignores me or dismisses me with a “Wow.  You’ve gotten around” that lacks a certain curiosity.

Otter Rock.

I pass the gravel alley known as A Street that the beach house is on and park by Mo’s.  It’s lunch time and The Silver Fox treats me to fish tacos…which I have actually never had before.  I gobble them up while giving the trio of families traveling together the stink eye.  This place, as you can see from the picture, is tiny.  There’s four tables on each side of an aisle that allegedly each seat eight people.  They are occupying two of them and blocking the bathroom door with their sprawl.

Oh, now I have to pee.

Despite my urethral discomfort, when we leave, I bee line it for the railing overlooking the Devil’s Punchbowl.  The Fox bee lines it for the car.

I stop.  

“We’re not going to go look?” I ask dejectedly.

“Nah, I’ve seen it a hundred times” he replies.

I shrug.  I kinda have, too, but I still manage to inject my acquiescence with a qualifier, “It’s just been about a decade”, I mumble, getting in the car.

I mention this for no reason.


None at all.

Speaking of mentioning things…the beach house is occupied when we arrive.  This fact had been shared with me during the drive.

I mention that fact not because it bothers me…having been an airBnB host for a couple years, stayed in pensiones while traveling abroad and spent a couple of college semesters in dorms…I’ve shared space with strangers.  The house guests are a retired married couple.  Only the husband is home when we arrive and he is outside washing windows.

On his vacation.

People are funny.

He and The Fox are familiar with one another and chatting away.  He’s a bit hard of hearing, I decide, and is yelling in that way people do when they can’t hear themselves that well.  He’s explaining that he’s a putterer and when he sees something that needs to get done he just does it.  

Like the windows.

Or taking the top of those shrubs over there down a few inches to improve the view, he’s yelling.

This view.

Yup.  Nothing wrong with that!

I head out back to check out the new yurt.  Locked.  But I know I’ll get to see it later.  I turn to leave and am hit with this.

Whatever they charge for this place, it ain’t enough.

The Fox shows me my job.  I’m there to schlep stuff out of the bedroom closet and back into the kitchen.  It’s like four shelves of stuff.

Easy, I say.

“Well, there’s stuff in the shed, too!” The Fox says, promising to show me later when he shows me the yurt.

Told ya.

I’m about three shelves complete in the bedroom when the wife returns.

“Oh, I’ve just been out to The Devils Punchbowl for a walk!  It was magnificent!” she says.

She’s not un-right.

We’re introduced, and she finishes her story.

“There was a mother whale and her calf playing right off the shore!” she exclaims.

Thats the last time I see that look of his this trip.  Hopefully, it’s not my last chance to see a mother whale and her calf in my lifetime…from a safe distance.  I just look at The Fox and he looks at me like he’s busted as I think, “Seen that a hundred times?!?” knowing that he probably has and sparing his ears of the actual words.  Poor Fox.

“C’mon, I’ll show you the yurt and the shed” he says, changing the subject.

The shed is about four more shelves of kitchen stuff.  This is the easiest conscripted labor that I’ve been forced into in, like, ever.  I knock that work out in several trips and then finish up the closet.  It felt like it took about 20 minutes, and that includes the time I took to screw around taking pictures and staring at the view in – what was surely open mouthed – awe.

But my best friend made it easy on me, telling me to put the stuff on any flat surface I could find and he’d start putting it away.


As I walked in with the last of the kitchen supplies, I announced that I was done, telling The Fox to have fun and that I would be outside if he needed me.

The wife-in-residence chortled, caught off guard by my jovial abdication of assistance.  I’d forgotten that we had an audience, and she had a view of a kitchen with stacks and stacks of wares on flat surfaces that were no longer visible.  

The Fox was standing in the midst in open-mouthed shock at my announcement.  He hadn’t even finished wiping down the insides of the cabinet and drawers.

“A deal is a deal”, I declared, paying him back for the missed whale watching opportunity.

Of course, I helped him unpack and put away.

We were finished by mid-afternoon.

Suddenly, we looked around and there was really nothing to do.  I further realized that for the past several minutes, we had just been kibitzing and tweaking things…and I realized that our definitions of finished would take a back seat to Sallory’s final assessment so we could really just be done.

We still took a few minutes to play with the myriad light switches in the kitchen, realizing that there were lights everywhere in this new space with multiple controls…I say “realizing” meaning he’d turn one light off and I’d see a switch across the room that was “on” and turn it off, reactivating a light that he’d already turned off from across the room.

It was like a chase scene montage in a Scooby Doo cartoon.


Back in the car, we admit that whichever route we take home we are going to hit the final and unavoidable obstacle in our drive – I5’s Terwilliger Curves – during the peak of rush hour.  The Fox gives it over to the fates of his electronic best friend’s wisdom and tells me we are going home via hwy 18, which will take us north through Lincoln City and the west into Portland.

A route that passes two casinos.

Give me strength.

To distract myself, I resume my monotonous travelogues, keeping The Silver Fox up to speed on places I’ve been.

I even sprinkle in some stories about the context of those visits, once even earning the coveted ✌🏽prize.  That’s an award I’d created for The Fox to stop him when he shared a story with me for the second time. I was very excited to have my old brain validated with this momentary trophy.

But I still finished my story.

We had a few hours to kill, after all.

As if a day with your best friend spent in beautiful, scenic locations needed to be better, we arrived back in town for an impromptu wine tasting being held at our neighborhood wine shop.  

Of course, we stopped in for a taste.

And then split a bottle.

And ordered some bruschetta from the Italian cafe a couple doors down…which their adorable waiter delivered to our sidewalk table in front of the wine shop.

After which, I went home and slept like a damned baby.

Mental Health Day