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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Ocean City in April

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.

Ocean City in April

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beer wine beer
Well, we're back ...

Did I even mention that we were going? I don't think that I did. Anyway, we went to Ocean City for three days for Bobby's birthday and also so that Alex could go before the in-season bans on dogs go into effect. Beginning in May, there are restrictions for dogs on the beach and Boardwalk, and we wanted to take Alex to both.

Crazily enough, the weather when we went with Sharon and Kirsty for Thanksgiving weekend at the end of November was warmer than it was Easter weekend, in April. It still wasn't completely bad, though ... just a little chilly.

Sunday was Bobby's birthday. Also Easter, yes, I know, but I despise Easter, and so I do not acknowledge it. Around here, anyway, it is nothing but a holiday for the twice-a-year Catholics that makes liberal use of Pagan traditions stolen by Christianity to make converting the "savages" that much easier. No, thank you. I will gladly celebrate Spring at the vernal equinox and give Easter a big middle finger.

We went over my in-laws' for a birthday dinner for Bobby, then left around 5:30 to get on the road to Ocean City. Alex slept most of the way. He'd had a busy weekend. Beside being over my inlaws' on Sunday, our friends Potter and Andrea came over on Saturday, so Alex, of course, had to be in their faces the entire time. Such is the way of a six-month-old Golden Retriever.

We arrived in Ocean City just before nine. We were staying at the Barefoot Mailman Motel, which allows pets. We'd never stayed there before; it was better than I expected. Not surprisingly, many of the smaller lodgings in Ocean City tend to be hovels. This one, though, slightly surpassed "average" into "somewhat nice," in terms of Ocean City lodgings, that is.

Once we got Alex settled and unpacked, we put on his chin lead and took to the beach. He loved it and bolted around, kicking up the sand. He quite happily peed in the sand as well. Next, we packed him into the car and took him to the Boardwalk, which was deserted, being Easter Sunday. Marty's Playland, of course, was open. Bobby and I had good intentions of putting Alex to bed and coming back for a few games of Ocean Hunter and Lord of the Rings pinball, but we were tired too so ended up cruising down Coastal Highway to see if we could find anyplace to get something to eat, supper having been many hours ago by then. A surprising number of places were open but mostly closed at ten. And when we started looking ... it was ten. Ah well. We went back to the room and ordered a pizza.

The next morning, I was awakened at 7:30 by a Golden Retriever who just had to show his Mommy the oyster shell that he'd brought back from the beach while taking his morning walk with Daddy. There he was, standing in the middle of the king-sized bed and tossing the oyster shell up into the air. Very cute ... but it was 7:30 a.m., so I shoved him back onto the floor, grumbled at him, and rolled over.

We'd been hoping to have breakfast at Brass Balls; the sign made it appear that they were open for breakfast. Only on the weekends, though, apparently, because they were shut up tight when we arrived at 10:30. Booo ... Dough Roller was a decent consolation.

We stopped in Ocean Gallery and ogled all of the paintings that we want to buy for our house. It was very hard not to walk away with one, in particular, of ships in a harbor, but better sense prevailed, and we decided that we should wait to see what kind of room we have for paintings before buying many more. We already have one extra painting in the apartment from Ocean Gallery than we have room to hang: "Jungle Play," which used to hang in our bedroom until we replaced it with the beachscape that we bought at Ocean Gallery last summer.

Still, once we have the house, we fully intend to go to Ocean City with a couple hundred to spend and go crazy at Ocean Gallery.

We headed back to the room then to take Alex to the beach. It was in the low 50s (about 12C) and partly cloudy. When the sun would break through, the day was gorgeous. When the clouds prevailed, it got a little chilly. Bobby and I had both brought our wetsuits in hopes that it would be nice enough to get in the water with Alex a little, but we decided it best to pass on that. Still, it was nice enough to sit on the beach for an hour. We planted our chairs, put Alex on his twenty-five-foot lead, and let him have fun. He delighted in the sand, which he learned he was allowed to dig in without getting into trouble. I found a horseshoe crab shell, which he tried to eat, so I had to bury it out of reach of his lead. We took dozens of pictures, which I will post later.

He also swallowed lots of sand, which would come to be important the next day.

When it was time to go back up, we took him down to the water's edge. Being Alex the 'Fraidy Cat, he was scared of the ocean. The water would rush up the sand, and he'd run away from it. Then he'd get brave and follow it back down, but come the next wave, he'd be cowering on dry sand again.

We hung out in the room for an hour to let his little feet get dry, then put him back on the chin lead and took him down to the Boardwalk. Most of the shops were open and there were many more people to distract him, but he did great. The chin lead is truly a miracle. He discovered that he enjoyed chasing pigeons; he's been fascinated by birds for some time now, but the birds at home, naturally, are too fast for him. We walked about 3 miles/4.8 km on the Boardwalk and didn't have a single problem with him. We succeeded in exhausting him, though, to the point that we could comfortably leave him to go out to dinner.

La Hacienda was open, so there was no question of where we would go. Afterwards, there was still daylight left, so we played miniature golf: the indoor Old Pro "undersea" course. Bobby beat me terribly. I was holding my own, but the building was terribly hot and I may have been a little buzzed from the margarita I'd had at La Hacienda. We went back to the room to get Alex and took him to the beach for low tide, but he made it quite clear that he'd had his excitement for the day, so we didn't keep him out long. He did get over his fear of the ocean a bit, though, and discovered that he liked to splash at the edge of it. Of course, at low tide, the waves were much more subdued than they'd been in the morning.

After tucking Alex away for the night, Bobby and I headed to Marty's Playland. They had a new game called "Jungle Safari" (or something like that) which was pretty much Ocean Hunter 1) on dry land, 2) without the comic addition of Engrish, and 3) with much better graphics. All of which served to make it less fun than Ocean Hunter. I played four games of LotR pinball after discovering that--although the machine said 75¢ per game--it was only 50¢ per game. Excellent! Luck was not with me, however, because I never broke 4 million. Yikes. I think that my run of beginner's luck was just that ... and the fact that the game was off a bit so that it sent me to the Paths of the Dead every time I shot a new pinball, which racked up mad points. I haven't scored so high on LotR pinball since that first set of games.

We ended with Ocean Hunter, which is a fine, cheesy game in which two players sit inside a "submersible" and attempt to defend themselves against all sorts of undersea monsters. Just what two conservationists and marine science students should do with their time and $2: sit in a booth and shoot down the sharks and squid and deep sea fish that they work to protect. The game is horribly cheesy with perhaps the worst line coming while fighting the Leviathan at the end of Level Two, when the players are instructed to "Aim the Throat." Sounds like a bad yaoi, if you ask me. But it's also a lot of fun, and Bobby and I play it at least once every time that we visit Marty's Playland. We got further this time than we had yet, making it to the Charybdis at the end of Level Three. Next time, we will make it to Level Four.

On the way back to the room, we stopped at Dumser's for some ice cream. Because the logical thing to do after a huge Mexican food meal is to top it off with large quantities of ice cream ... but Dumser's is so goooood. One cannot visit Ocean City and not go to Dumser's. And I earned retribution for my devastating loss at miniature golf by whooping Bobby in a race to see who could find the most words in the Word Find on the back of the placemat before the server brought our ice cream.

This morning, unfortunately, we had to leave. Alex came back from his morning walk with a clam shell this time. Because checkout was at 11 a.m. and we had Alex, our options were somewhat limited. We took him on another quick walk on the Boardwalk. When Bobby had him on the beach in the morning, Alex peed but didn't poop. Dog poop in the sand is nicer than dog poop on normal ground because one can kick sand over it and then just scoop the sand into the poop bag. So we were maybe a block down the Boardwalk and Alex assumed The Stance. "Dammit," I said because I wasn't keen on picking dog poop up off of the Boardwalk, even though I had thought to bring an extra plastic bag. Still, as Alex squatted in The Stance, something odd happened. What came out looked like, for lack of a better description, gingerbread crumbs crushed very fine in one's hand. At first, I thought he had diarrhea (which really thrilled me ... the thought of mopping up diarrhea off the Boardwalk with my plastic bag) but it was completely dry. It took a few moments to realize that our dog was shitting out a pile of sand on the Boardwalk.

We had a good laugh about that one. He finished it off with one turd neatly on top, I picked up the whole mess, threw it in a nearby litter bin, and we were on our way again.

We'd hoped to find a place on the Boardwalk to grab some lunch before leaving (yes, even after the sand-shit incident), but nothing was open that had something other than burgers and hot dogs, which worked for neither of us. (Bobby is avoiding red meat now too.) We bought some fudge at Candy Kitchen (yes, even after the sand-shit incident) since we always bring back candy for other people but never for ourselves. Bobby also surprised me with a small stuffed skate (as in the fish, not the footwear); very cute! Finally, we could prolong it no longer, packed Alex into the car, and decided to find a Subway on the way home.

So our first Ocean City trip in April was a great success, Alex had a wonderful time (and will now sleep for the rest of the week), and I will never look at gingerbread crumbs quite the same again.
  • It took a few moments to realize that our dog was shitting out a pile of sand on the Boardwalk.
    *snort* Something about that and all that came after it struck me as hilarious. I suppose some of us never outgrow potty humor.

    Aside from tat, it ound like a really nice trip. I'm glad you had something like that. Dogs+beach=nice time

    Marta
    • Hey, one is never too old for potty humor. ;) My husband and I (26 and 25, respectively) had a good laugh about it when it happened, and Bobby said as soon as we started walking again, "Why do I have a feeling that this will end up on LiveJournal?"

      Because it was simply too funny not to share with the world. ;)
  • Personally, I like Easter! *Pops another malt egg* Any excuse for candy! *Eats some jelly beans* Besides, Cadbury Cream Eggs are my downfall - one of my many downfalls, as it were. ;)

    It still is weird that you went to the beach, when here it was 20 and snowing all weekend!!

    players are instructed to "Aim the Throat." Sounds like a bad yaoi, if you ask me

    Wow, that sounds like something my band director said once...O.o
    • Okay, now I know how Tarion got first chair ...

      (Totally kidding! Please don't kill me! :^D)

      Easter candy is the one sort I've never made. Not that it's any different from any other sort of candy except in color and mold design ... and it has nothing to do with my passionate dislike/disdain for the holiday. It's simply a bad time of year for me. Being Spring, I'm not even indoors enough to answer my LJ comments in a timely manner. *ahem*

      I'm sorry that your weather sucks. And twenty and snow in April totally sucks. It's clearing up here; may Colorado soon follow! :)
  • The trip sounds like great fun, and I can totally imagine Alex playing with the waves! Wheee!

    However, though I do understand that you don't celebrate and dislike Easter, there is no need to insult the faith of other people. I don't think you did mean to hurt anyone, but although I don't even celebrate Easter really anymore (no good service around here), you *did* hurt me.

    "Around here, anyway, it is nothing but a holiday for the twice-a-year Catholics that makes liberal use of Pagan traditions stolen by Christianity to make converting the "savages" that much easier."


    What kind of Easter traditions did the pilgrim fathers take away from the Native Americans?

    I've never heard of that before.

    Over here the tradition of Easter eggs only came up in the 13th century, when Europe was already christianized. The rabbit is even younger, it dates back only to the 17th century, and IIRC it is actually a Protestant custom.

    While the view that Christian appropriated Pagan holidays is common, historically it is not unequivocally accepted and there is no historical proof for it. Considering the desire of early Christianity to set itself APART from the Pagan creeds it actually seems rather unlikely.

    As I said, I don't really celebrate Easter anymore, but it is still one of the most important holidays in the year for me. Marta wrote one post about Easter two days ago, it's one of the most moving Easter texts I have ever read, I really recommend it to you: http://telperion1.livejournal.com/22920.html

    • I don't really understand how someone who lives six timezones away from me can be hurt or insulted by the notion that I do not like how Easter is celebration around here. (Or did you miss that very important caveat specifically put in there so that people who celebrate this holiday differently around the world would not interpret my dislike of Easter as it is celebrated around here as an insult against their particular festivities?)

      As is my understanding, most/many "Easter" tradition that we have around here are taken from the Pagans. Not the Native Americans ... Columbus only sailed in 1492 and Christianity had already taken its hold in the "civilized" world ... including its (as I understand it) largely borrowed Easter traditions.

      Now if this is up for historical debate, then I am not aware of it. I am not a student of history. But I do find it quite interesting when Christians take Pagan traditions that were around long before they were and suddenly lay a claim to them, while decrying Pagans (and any other non-Christian) in the same breath.

      A bit hypocritical, methinks.

      Now if there is historical evidence to the contrary, then I can only claim to be a historical moron. Which would not be far from the truth. But I've never read evidence to the contrary so that would explain my particular set of beliefs.

      Around here what you have are Christians who don't care to practice a single tenet of their faith during the year except on Christmas and on Easter, when suddenly they are holier-than-thou and look down at those of us who would sooner celebrate Earth's cycles on their proper day and/or choose to practice no religion at all.

      Around here, I am tired of "persecuted" Christians whining about how they are mocked, belittled, and misunderstood when they are trying to force their faith on everyone who doesn't care to believe. Which, from my agnostic's perspective, is pretty much what they've been doing since the beginning of their religion.

      Yes, I am sick of it, and for me, the celebration of "Easter" is a culmination of all of those things that I observe around here, i.e. in the United States (you know, "one nation under God"?), where I live, i.e. not in Germany (as I've never been there) where you live.

      I hope that that was clearer.
    • (no subject) - satismagic - Expand
    • (no subject) - satismagic - Expand
  • wooo what an adventure! poor pup and his sand poo... dogs are just so cute when they find their treasures and want to show them to you. :D my great aunt had a place off the boardwalk back in the early days so I heard stories a-plenty from my mom about when she visited there. haven't had a chance yet but I know it is a place hubby would love to check out. :D
    • The Boardwalk in Ocean City? Or somewhere else? (Because if it's Ocean City then, yes, you must go ASAP! And let me know when you do because you'll have two very willing tour guides. ;)

      And you will be glad to know that Alex's poop has been sand-free since. ;)
  • . . . I like Easter candy, although I can't eat it during Passover. Which ends in about half an hour to forty-five minutes, if the light through my window is any indication.
    • So you should be enjoying your candy by now, eh? ;)

      Easter candy is the one form that I have never made ... and not because I dislike the holiday. But it's Spring! The last place I want to be is in the kitchen in front of the stove!

      My mom and I had big plans to host a candymaking party for Easter this year, but on account of my parents remodeling their kitchen (to where my dad, until recently, had to lay on the floor to use the oven), that didn't happen.
  • I have three cats and while I don't have to clean their poop off the ground outside, I do have their litter box to contend with. What gets me is they are outside for hours and then the little darlings come in to poop! Yech.

    Sounds like a great trip, I always love to read about your Ocean City visits, they remind me of seaside trips when I was small. I have since lived by the sea, but it wasn't very traditionally "seasidey" and we very rarely went to the beach.

    I'm not big on Easter either, here or anywhere else, so I just keep my head down and let those who do get on with it, which is the easiest way. Although this week did spark a fascinating discussion on the Gnostic Gospels with a friend. I am not and will never be a Christian but that was interesting.

    Anyways, Beltain soon, my favourite!
    • When I was young, I wanted to live by the ocean (Ocean City, specifically ;) but I've since realized that the surest way to stop going to the beach is to live by one.

      I'm glad that you enjoy my Ocean City accounts. :) If you're ever on the eastern seaboard of the U.S., you'll have to let me show you the real thing. ;)

      And I laughed about your cats ... my computer used to sit right next to the litterbox. Yuck! I'll take dog poop any day, although standing downwind while Alex does his business ... sometimes I have my doubts!

      I would do well to learn to keep my head down with regard to anything Christianity-related. But with my big mouth and perpetual soapbox under my feet ... yes, I get myself in trouble every Eastertime. (Or at least earn lots of eyerolls from Bobby, who has listened to my same spiels and empty threats not to attend any family dinners on Easter Sunday dozens of times now. :^D)
  • I can't stop laughing at it being called "The Stance." They look so funny when they assume The Stance, too... (And this is bringing back fond memories of seeing a sign in Belgium meaning "Don't let your dogs poop here" depicted by a silhouette of a dog in The Stance with a small pile under its butt--I wish I'd gotten a photo! :D)

    I don't mind Easter much, but I don't run across many holier-than-thou religious celebrators around here... I will admit that the apparent growing trend of treating Easter like Christmas in Spring where parents buy presents for their kids is really creeping me out, though! (I mean like, DVD's and expensive toys--what's wrong with just giving your kids a basket with candy and maybe a coloring book or box of crayons or little toy or some other thing that costs between $0.50 and $9.99? If I ever end up having kids (or nieces/nephews), I do NOT want this holiday to have gotten to the point where I'm getting "Easter lists" from them!)

    Sorry, had to grumble...
    • Grumbling is always welcome. ;)

      Back in my day (back in the '80s ;), we got baskets with candy and a small toy, usually a stuffed animal or coloring book.

      A lot of holidays are becoming buy-buy-buy ... and the more they try to get me to buy, the less I do. ;) Bobby and I bought nothing for Valentine's Day, shared the cost of our SeaLife camera for Christmas and a few small items for each other. Easter ... he knows not to go there. ;)

      Speaking of The Stance ... you might like this. :^D
  • Ouch. I'm quickly scrolling down this page and thinking it is much too late to read Dawn's trip report but I'm dying for just a peek at what I am missing about the ocean, dog poop, chocolate Easter candy and Dawn (love her there) on a soap box when I see the post ("I'm going to get excited and then I will come down your throat") and the one before it which say something about "how tarion got first chair"!

    Just proves one more time that I overlook my friend's page at my own risk. This post and the accompanying comments is a definite keeper Dawn!
    • This post and its accompanying comments are proof about why I call my journal "The Bag of Weasels: Best Served with a Can of Worms"! :^D

      I'm glad that you enjoyed the post ... and ensuing comments. (They keep growing ... oh my!) Here I thought the highlight would be my dog pooping out a pile of sand but it seems to be my Easter animosity ... goes to show you never can tell when you're dealing with a bag of weasels!
  • Heh. Here I dropped in to get some vicarious thrills from someone else's beach vacation, and I read comments thread which smacks mildly of the Chimp Refuge. Mildly. :^)

    I think there's a major contrast between twenty-first century Western Europe, which is considerably more enlightened in terms of religion, and in particular science and religion, than the United States. The percentage of Europeans who accept evolution as fact, and also keep it in parallel with their faith, is much higher than the US, where science education is a massive embarrassment.

    Anyway, "around here" rings true. Here in intellectually snotty enlightened Einsteinville, the faithful are pretty cool folks, and co-exist quietly with the atheists and agnositics of the community. However, I hear tell that y'all out in the non-true-blue state hinterlands have some problems with the more vociferous fundagelical types. ;^)

    Speaking as an atheist, not an agonistic nor as a "pagan", but an atheist, I still do a lot of Eastery stuff in our household...on Easter. No raised middle fingers here. We dyed eggs every year until this spring when my teenagers eschewed it, saying that plain old hard boiled eggs were fine. My husband fixed a special dinner. Unfortunately I missed buying Easter candy (Cadbury eggs are my son's fave), and we joked around about marketing opportunites for atheists' Easter candy, e.g., solid chocolate Richard Dawkins and Darwin fish or Flying Spaghetti Monster Peeps.

    I kinda like what Dawkins says is the benign form of "gerin oil" (rearrange the letters) in which religion takes a social and comforting role for many, i.e., the "quiet faithful" as Juno notes. Heck, I even participate in that, like singing the "Hallelujah Chorus" at Christmas and going to church with my mom on occasion (I don't take communion though, er, nope, it stops there). It's the folks like Tim LaHaye & Jerry Jenkins (Left Behind) and their ilk plus the Discovery Institute morons who freak me out well and good, not two-church-visits-per-year-Christians.

    As a side bar, a close friend, who was raised in a Conservative Jewish household, and I were chatting on Sunday about the predominance of ham served on Easter Sunday, and its representation, as we understood it, of the new covenant. It always baffled me since I figured that the last supper was a Pesach seder, and there would be no traif there! My friend quipped that there was likely a plate of clams casino hidden in Da Vinci's "The Last Supper" so that is how the non-kosher trend got started.
    • When you said about blue states, that made me think because Maryland really is a blue state in terms of who we elect. But then, when I stop and actually look at the state itself, it more represents America as a whole. (Hey, we are called "little America" ...) The Baltimore-Washington corridor is very liberal. It is also where most of the state's population resides, giving us our safe blue-state status. But then when I look at the number of counties that are liberal or conservative, the conservatives win. I grew up in a rural community where out of 400 kids at the elementary school, there was one black kid (and Latinos or Asians ... huh?) The Eastern shore and Western Maryland are likewise conservative; driving out to Garrett County is kind of scary, with big crosses raised in cornfields and signs for "tent revivals."

      But then, we've always been divided, on the line between the north and south, and I guess that religion is no exception.

      And I can't resist mentioning that Cecil County is one of the hotbeds of the KKK on the east coast. Yay ... Taking Bobby to Cecil County for the first time, he said, "OMG. It's nothing but trailer parks and churches!"

      Even my beloved Ocean City ... when someone had the nerve to suggest that "under God" didn't belong in the Pledge of Allegiance, all the hotels put the defiant ONE NATION UNDER GOD on their signage.

      Most Christians around here are willing to tolerate heathens like you and me, but I have had people get in my face, and they're not always the radicals that you'd expect.
  • With every post you make about Ocean City, it sounds to me like you're talking about home. It's nice to hear that you have had a great weekend, despite the sand shitting incident. Made me laugh too, though I don't think Alex found it very funny. I'll be checking out your piccies post in a minute, to see the culprit playing in the sand. Speaking of dogs, I've also seen the sweetheart that Sharon and Kirsty have adopted. Heh, all four of you are parents now! *giggle*

    Also... I will gladly celebrate Spring at the vernal equinox and give Easter a big middle finger.

    ROFL! Good one! Her, hear, I say. I'm not into Easter either and I am so fond of the traditions over here that I have locked myself up indoors all week-end and told father and Alex to not breathe a word to anyone about my being home. See, on Easter Mondays, women over here are supposed to wait for all the male friends/neighbours/acquaintances/whatever, to pay them a visit, eat cookies, have drinks and make shitty, nobody-cares about conversation. Nooo thanks. I so wasn't home for that.
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