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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Ahhh...My Patriotic Spirit!

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet




"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Ahhh...My Patriotic Spirit!

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Today is the 4th of July, Independence Day, following right on the heels of Canada Day. So happy holidays to my North American friends! (I don't think I have anyone from Mexico on my flist, so I'm safe. :^P)

In honor of the holiday, Bobby wore a Finland shirt and I wore a Puerto Rico diving shirt. We got a good chuckle off of that. Well, technically Puerto Rico is an American commonwealth, so I said that my own patriotic spirit was more in the lines of saying, "American mainland, I shake my fist at you!" and hopping off to Puerto Rico to open a diving outfit to Mona Island. (I wish.)

It was hot in Maryland today. So Bobby and I did the logical thing and went out to engage in some physical exertion of an outdoor nature. In other words, we went hiking. It was very hot, the trail was very overgrown, Bobby got a tick on his leg and I got some sort of strange rash above my knee that has since stopped burnin' like a mofo, which is a good thing. When we got back, it was 97F/36C. The trail wasn't a difficult one...but did I mention that it was very hot outside today? Then we really did do a logical thing, put on our swimsuits, and went down to the pool. After about fifteen minutes of me floating and Bobby practicing clearing his mask underwater, we were called out of the pool because of an imminent thunderstorm that never manifested. But this is true of a lot of storms around here, which are all blow and no show.

Bobby made a delicious dinner tonight: turkey burgers for him and vegetarian barbecue chicken for me, waffle fries with KFC honey mustard sauce, baked beans, and loaded salads that contained lettuce, four kinds of bell pepper, red onions, cucumbers, hardboiled egg, imitation bacon bits, croutons, and sunflower seeds. It was delicious and I ate waaay too much and feel quite unnecessary now.

I don't think that I've officially mentioned that Bobby and I are going away again next weekend to Ocean City. Yep, we planned this one pretty much the day we got back from Puerto Rico. It lessened the sting of leaving Caribbean sun for hot, humid, sticky, rainy Maryland. Ocean City is an annual pilgrimage for most Marylanders; it is a little town on a slip of land between the Atlantic Ocean and Assawoman Bay. (No, I did not make that name up. I could not make that name up!) Bobby and I generally find ourselves there two or three times a year. It makes a nice weekend trip.

Ocean City for us is about tradition. It was pretty much ten years ago to the day that we went to OC together for the first time when his family invited me along on their weeklong vacation. Since then, we've fallen happily into a rut where Ocean City is concerned. We stay at the same hotel in the summers, the Buckingham Hotel on 15th Street. (In the winter, when rates are low, all bets are off, and we try to stay in the bling-bling places.) We eat at the same restaurants and tend to get the same meals. Phillips has a fabulous seafood buffet with a pasta bar that keeps vegetarian-me happy. La Hacienda is my personal favorite, and we always get vegetarian delight burritos for both of us, which might just be my favorite restaurant meal on the planet. Brass Balls Saloon is a must for breakfast; that's the Bountiful Burke Breakfast, which is a weird name for a weird combination of scrambled eggs over hashbrowns with cheese sauce over top and ginormous biscuits that weigh as much as my head and that no one can ever finish. We walk the Boardwalk every night, usually blow some money racing each other in the arcades, ride the rollercoaster and the Ferris wheel and the Crazy Dance, and spend at least a half-hour out on the fishing pier, trying to avoid leaning our elbows in fish entrails as we watch the ships come in.

(The Andrea Gail, by the way, from the movie The Perfect Storm, was from Ocean City, Maryland.)

Then comes sitting on the white wall that lines the first few miles of Boardwalk, people-watching. Marylanders are a strange lot to begin with, and the strangest of them flock to OC, so you are guaranteed some entertainment for the cost of an Atlantic Stand lemonade and some chocolate-covered strawberries from Candy Kitchen.

And of course, it's beach by day, for both of us would live amid the sand and sea if we could, though Bobby likes to ride the waves while I prefer to lie in some form of shade and either read or write. The sea is immensely inspirational to me, as evidenced by the sheer number of plotbunnies that I packed in my luggage on the way back from Puerto Rico.

Ocean City is one of those places with landmarks that I remember from the time I was knee-high and forming my first memories. For example, there is a liquor store called Anthony's that has had this animated neon sign of two dancing beer cans and wine bottle for as long as I can remember. I used to look for it on Coastal Highway at night when I was young, intrigued by their neon kicking legs. I still look for it now. My first glimpse of "Beer Wine Beer," as it has come to be called in our family, means that the summer is officially underway.

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I took that picture last summer, wanting an icon of the animation. I haven't gotten around to doing it yet because the pictures require some tinkering that is beyond my Photoshop abilities and Potter and I haven't had time to sit down together and work on it.

It is amazing to me the things that take on some sort of deep, personal meaning that--centuries from now--will never earn mention in any history books or probably even be remembered. Much of Ocean City is that way for me. We know in Maryland that if we got a Hurricane like Katrina here, the little slip of land that is OC would probably be washed away. Of course, this would have an enormous economic impact on our little state...but the emotional impact would be much worse. This little town has grown into a symbol for so many people; Bobby and I had our first vacation and our first kiss there, ten years ago, on the brink of our lives together. Ten years later, we're still not tired of the place.
  • OMG La Hacienda?!?!!? They have Teh Best salsa!!!!!!!! I love that place!

    I also went swimming, but it was cut off by a real thunderstorm. Go figure. (Though maybe now there won't be fireworks-caused wildfires).

    No hiking (in Tejas? HAHA! Our awesome mountains, you know...) or anything, though I did wake up to Ye Olde Drumline warming up for the parade. (Nostalgia? Heck no! Parades suck, and I definitely do not miss them! Especially not parades which take place in July).

    Now we'll have blueberry cobbler...yummmmm!
  • I can *so* see the beer and wine doin' the cancan...

    *pops more sweettarts and coke chaser*
  • vegetarian barbecue chicken

    Vegetarian. Barbecue. Chicken. Ooookay.

    Ocean City. I just want to see any ocean again. *sniffle*
    • Vegetarian "chicken" is actually pretty good in its modernized form. The type we use is called Naked Cutlets and is supposed to be the most popular chicken substitute in Europe. But it actually tastes sorta like...well, chicken! :^D

      I require seeing the ocean every few months, so I can't imagine going without it for long. Well, if you ever travel to the US, if you can make a detour in Baltimore/DC, we'll have to spend a day in Ocean City. ;)
  • You know, I really don't think it's fair to talk about such things as OC when I've fallen in love with the place and I'm 3500 miles away :-P I think there's something terribly wrong with doing that to me :-)

    Me and Sharon have already started planning our summer 2007 trip to OC when we come over to visit. There will be lots of board-walking, lots of going into every shop on the boardwalk even though most of them are the same shop repeated :-P going to the Dough Roller for breakfast, mini golf (or crazy golf as we call it) and playing in the Ocean for me while Sharon sits and watches from the beach, probably whilst reading a book.

    We should all go together so me and Bobby can play water football or something (do you all play water football?) while you and Sharon can happily chat in the shade....yes, I've thought way too much about our next trip to OC :-P
    • Awwww...I'm sorry to have given unfair temptation. {{{{{Kirsty}}}}} But you've just proven yourself a bona fide Marylander for your love of OC. ;)

      There will be lots of board-walking, lots of going into every shop on the boardwalk even though most of them are the same shop repeated :-P

      Lol! That is so true, isn't it? I mean Sunsations alone...how many Sunsations are there in OC? Fifteen, twenty, maybe? Yet all of these little stores are crowded and have been there for years. Marylanders have a love for souvenir kitsch, I guess!

      We should all go together so me and Bobby can play water football or something (do you all play water football?) while you and Sharon can happily chat in the shade....yes, I've thought way too much about our next trip to OC :-P

      Yes! We must do this! Hurry back so that we can do this! :)
  • Oh and on a funny related note....even though Independence Day is to celebrate America's independence from Great Britain, I don't think anyone has told GB this. In the restaurant at work yesterday we had an Independence Day themed menu complete with Maryland Chicken (which Sharon googled and apparently ya'll don't eat, but it is real :-P)...so you'll be happy to know we celebrating over here for ya'll too :-P
  • I've been waiting for this post, you know... wondering what fun stuff you and Bobby have been up to yesterday. It sounds like you had a great day, though the heat would have totally discouraged me and I would have only sat in some cool, shady place with a cold beer in hand.

    All those descriptions of delicious food have made me VERY hungry. It's almost noon here so I think I'm going to make myself a snack after I post this comment.

    Ocean City sounds like the perfect little getaway, a dreamy little settlement on the coast where you can rest, refresh yourself (and the muses, too). The fact that it holds so many beautiful memories for you is all the more reason to feel almost at home when you go back there. Do take pics next week-end and spam us all you like. ;)
    • I've grown quite tolerant to hiking in the heat. I used to have a rule that I wouldn't hike if temperatures exceeded 85F/29C, which is pretty much every day in Maryland, May through September. So I'm glad to have gotten over this aversion because now we enjoy much more hiking. :)

      And pic-spam is guaranteed in Ocean City! I'm trying to do a "hometown tourist" kind of thing, taking pictures in the local places that I love the most. Who knows how they might change as the years go by...and it will let those interested on my flist vicariously visit my home state!

      I'm definitely doing OC next weekend, then also historic Ellicott City and downtown Baltimore, probably Washington, DC too, though DC is such a hassle that Bobby and I don't visit it for fun too much.

      All those descriptions of delicious food have made me VERY hungry. It's almost noon here so I think I'm going to make myself a snack after I post this comment.

      Lol! I meant to tell you that the other day, when I posted the comment to you about the time that I ate four cheese enchiladas and other assorted foods after a chemistry exam, Bobby came in the room shortly after and I asked if he remembered that. Of course, he did. That night is pretty legendary, as I think that I ate my weight in food (to borrow a phrase from AMC!Feanor). But guess what he made for dinner that night? Cheese enchiladas...just because of that comment! :^D
  • What a cool post, first it perfectly summarizes our wonderful day yesterday, and it totally makes me look forward to OC next week (which isn't a good thing since I am sitting in the daily drudgery that is work).

    We have so many fond memories of Ocean City, and so many more that will be made in the future (just think, diving some of the old wrecks off of the OC and Rehobeth beach coasts). I don't know what it is but ever since I was a wee lad, I have always been quite obsessed with the sea. It's almost like whenever we go to the ocean, of any variety, I am coming home. It's kinda weird and hard to explain, but I get the feeling that somehow I belong there.
    • I get that feeling too, sweetie, as you know. To me, the Elven "sea-longing" was like...okay? Doesn't everyone have that?? :^P I've always been drawn to water, particularly the ocean, above all else. And nothing inspires me like the sea, as you also know, since my head is fairly bursting with ideas after Puerto Rico!

      I also can't wait to try some wreck-diving. I remember when we first started dating and we spoke of those wrecks with such awe, like "OMG, there's a shipwreck down there?!" Now we'll be going to see it! Squee!

      (Four days left! :^D)
  • Nice to hear you and Bobby had a nice time yesterday! I for my part spend my whole day anxiously biting nails because of the soccer match in the evening. But then the Italians won and now I'm a very happy little Heroine. ;)

    You know, I can understand your getting emotionally 'attached' to Ocean City so very, very well. You can leave me nearly wherever you want - especially when it comes to Italy - and in one week or so I'll feel at home there. And I really get attached to so many of the little things, too. I've been often thinking of going on a vacation to the place where I stayed one of the first times I went to Italy, but at the same time I fear what might have changed. Does the osteria on the road bend still exist? And do they still have that little store with the hand-made soap? Or does my favourite coffee place still serve focaccia primavera? It would feel so strange to me to come there and find everything different. But still I think I'd go there again. :)

    BTW, the funny thing is; as much as I love and sometimes miss the sea, in Italy I don't even necessarily need it. O.o
    • I thought of you when I saw Italy win! Bobby was watching the game, and I said, "Well, Unsung Heroine will be happy." :^P

      You can leave me nearly wherever you want - especially when it comes to Italy - and in one week or so I'll feel at home there.

      We have that tendency too, to make a place like home after only a few days. After two days in Tampa Bay, we drove it like we owned it! People tend not to even know that we're tourists--which is good for a variety of reasons--and this makes me shake my head at the fanny-pack-sportin' people wandering in small puzzled clumps like they've landed on another planet and not just another US state!

      I've always been emotionally attached to Ocean City. When I was young, my parents would ask what I wanted for Christmas, and I'd always answer, "Ocean City...." :^P
  • What a great post! I could almost imagine myself there! And interesting stuff about the Andrea Gail! I loved Perfect Storm and can still remember the awesome boat!

    And you know? You are the ONLY one who mentioned ANYTHING about the fact that Canada had a holiday too! So thanks! (I could have mentioned it myself and figured out how to post a banner, but I didn't, so it's my own fault!)

    But trust you to remember! You are the BEST!!!
    • Hee! If you saw the Sil summary for last weekend too, I wished happy holidays to the US and Canadian members on HA as well! :)

      Our National Geographic calendar makes it hard to forget since it has nearly every holiday on it, unlike some of the US-centric calendars.

      Btw, as I type this, my boss is on his way up to Niagra Falls, so if he makes it as far as Toronto, if you see a large, African-American man and his very gregarious wife asking around about casinos, it's probably Johnny....
  • Oh... my... god... BEER WINE BEER!!!!11!11!!oneone

    Now I have to go, for I have seen the red, glowing, neon light!
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