So this happened on our last camping trip:

Yeah, I know. I probably have some sort of hantavirus coursing through my bloodstream now, diligently working its way into my brain.  But chipmunks are notoriously cute, and I had nothing but time and peanuts.  And man, was she a little whore for the peanuts.   We named her Raihbys, because Rabies was just too conventional. Why not make her spell her name every day for the rest of her life, right?   

At first I shelled the peanuts for her, and handed them to her one by one.  She was a bit tentative, reaching out slowly taking the peanut gently, and it was really cute.  After about an hour she was like "GIMME MY PEANUTS, BITCH!" and she'd jump around on my lap and nudge my hand and if I didn't let go of the peanut fast enough she'd yank it right out of my fingers.  Finally I just started opening my palm flat with a pile of peanuts on it, and she'd jump up on my hand and stuff her face until the pile was gone.  

Initially she didn't really know what to do with unshelled peanuts. She quickly figured out she could break them open, take the peanuts from inside and stuff them in her pouch, but that turned out to be a lot of work, and it apparently took too much time. 

Eventually, she dispensed with opening them up at all and just pounded them like a porn star, shoving one in each pouch and a third in the mouth.  Then she'd hop away into the woods, and a few minutes later we'd hear her coming back and we'd do it all over again. 

We made her promise to tell her cousins to lay off our garden, too, but I'm pretty sure she was too high on peanuts to understand what the hell we were talking about.

In other news, the first one is mostly done:

Still needs to be sanded, painted and oiled… and then I only have three more to go.  I tried to convince my wife to just get folding chairs for the other three spots.  I told her we could go for sort of a shabby chic look, but she wasn't buying it.

Edit:  Chair above with the finish applied:


Loving you is easy 'cause you're beautiful.

As I mentioned in my previous post, last weekend we drove to Maine with some friends. Vidna drove, I rode shotgun, and the wimmin folk sat in the back.  We always called that "Italian style" in my family.  In this case though, they actually like to sit back there because then they can talk about girl stuff that Does Not Pertain to Us.  Because I was riding shotgun, the unwritten rules of the road stated that I was in charge of the music.

Let me tell you about the music on this trip.  It was glorious.   Last summer, we somehow got Minnie Riperton's song "Loving You" stuck in our heads, and it killed us all weekend.  It was like having a rash you couldn't get rid of.  We were all constantly walking around singing the "lalalalala" part, which, if you've never heard the song, is really, really annoying.  And it never failed -- just when I had finally succeeded in removing it from my skull by performing a mini-exorcism that consisted of simultaneously screaming the lyrics to "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC and repeatedly punching myself in the thigh as hard as I could, someone in our group would walk past me and go "lalalalala" under their breath and Minnie would be back like the persistent and malevolent demon that she truly is.  My only solace was that the person who did that to me generally did it to themselves too, because that song is truly evil and its brain-burrowing knows no bounds.

So for this trip, my plan was to gather up a bunch of hits from every year of the 70's, and force everyone in the car to listen to it.  Right around 1974, Minnie popped up, and we all sang the song right up to the point where she has sex with a dolphin. (yes, the link is safe for work.)

Luckily, that song is not the one that got stuck in our heads this year.  That dubious honor would go to a gem from 1970 called "I Hear You Knocking" by Dave Edmunds.  None of us knew the actual verses, so we were just going around singing the chorus over and over.  It was infuriating. And also hilarious.  If you're ever planning a trip to Maine and you want to inflict some 70's pain/pleasure on your passengers, here's my play list.

Last year it was just the four of us, but this year we had an extra passenger:

Come get some.

Yes, your eyes do not deceive you.  We had Action Jesus along for the ride.  Added bonus: he recited the entire Lord's prayer - loudly, and at inopportune times.  I'm still trying to figure out exactly who he looks like.  

The first thing I wondered was if he was anatomically correct, because that's just the way my 12-year-old mind works.  It turns out he has a permanent diaper.   I thought that was marginally better than the blank crotch of G.I. Joe, and it ties in pretty well with the whole rough-woven robe thing he has going on.

One thing I did not know about Jesus before this trip -- he could kick your ass from here to Kingdom Come. The dude is seriously ripped:

There's no two ways about it -- I have to buckle down and work out more.  I know it's not really fair to compare myself to Jesus, especially since he probably just raised his arms unto the heavens and commanded, "Let there be Six Pack Abs" and it was so, but at least now I have a goal to aspire to.

If anyone overheard any of our conversations, they probably thought we were complete holy rollers.

"Jesus will make the clouds go away."
"Maybe Jesus can find us a parking spot."
"I think we should bring Jesus to the beach with us."
"We won't need to see the wine list.  We have Jesus and water, we're set."
"Jesus failed us, which is why we had to drink that shitty Burger King coffee. Blame him, not me."

OK, maybe not that last one.  That coffee was the work of the devil.  Pay attention, because I'm going to share with you a little tip about beaches in Maine on Labor Day Weekend.  As you may know, they are crowded, and there are lots and lots of children and families all sitting practically on top of each other to be near the bathrooms and concession stands.  I imagine it's that way all summer.  Now, if you are like us and you don't particularly like screaming children and getting hit with the warm overspray of aerosol coconut oil from the leather-tanned lady basting her jerky-like thighs not five feet upwind from you, you can  just keep walking down the beach.  That's all you have to do.  Just walk.

Eventually, you will notice something.  First, the brightly colored toys disappear, along with the screaming children. Then it suddenly dawns on you that more and more people around you are in shape.  You have arrived at your destination, and you can spread your towels and set up your chairs.

You are now officially on the gay section of the beach.  It's not an official section or anything, and where it starts can vary from day to day.  It's simple, really.  Just keep walking until things get gay, then stop.  And let me tell you this: it's totally awesome.  Very few kids, polite people, no crowds… Nothing at all like it would be portrayed on television.*  Really, other than maybe seeing a little more peen than you normally might on any given day, you can't go wrong.


*This might annoy  (both?)  my gay readers, or maybe it won't -- I'm not really sure.  I'm certainly not trivializing the struggle for gay rights or anything, but while I was writing this, I think I may have finally figured out what I don't like about the way gay people are sometimes portrayed on TV.  

I think the producers are still trying to go for the shock value; trying to see what they can get away with during prime time.  So instead of treating it like it's no big deal, a non-event, they have to shove it in your face and (just like everything else) try to make it seem like they are being edgy and pushing the envelope.  Because of this, I have discovered something about myself.   

I apparently don't enjoy unexpected man-on-man action.  For some reason, having that sprung on me in a manipulative manner irritates me.  

Here's a half-assed analogy.  I don't particularly like sports. I don't watch sports on TV, and sports in general holds no interest for me at all.  I don't mind one bit if you happen to like sports, and I don't care if you play sports -- that's all fine, you can do what you want.  But if I'm sitting at my house watching Army of Darkness and drinking a scotch and you suddenly change the channel to the final inning of the world series just to elicit a reaction from me, you can bet your lunch money that I'm not going to want to watch it,  no matter how exciting it may be to those involved.  I just don't give a shit about the world series.  And you messed up my movie and that irritates me. 

That's the same feeling I got the other day when I was watching The LA Complex (Don't judge me. I miss Kaylee) and, in the space of 10 seconds, a badass gangsta rapper went from pushing around some kid to making out with him on the floor.  It annoyed me.  I mean, don't get me wrong -- after that, it turned into a decent character arc, and the continuing story of the rapper dealing with his suppressed sexuality is pretty good, but when I felt like I was initially manipulated into reacting a certain way about it,  it pissed me off.   


I ain't dead (yet.)

Wow.  I really need to crack a window in this place and let in some fresh air. I've been gone so long there's an inch of dust on everything.  I've actually been getting email asking if I'm OK.  So the answer to that question is yes, I'm fine.  Thanks for asking, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  So what have I been doing?

Lots of this:

Some of this:

A bit of this:

And a bunch of other happy horseshit that comes with being a homeowner.   Sometimes I really miss my apartment.   

Just got back from a trip to Ogunquit, Maine with some friends, and I am currently working on a few posts that I hope to have up shortly.  No promises though. September is my vacation month, and I have to finish these damned chairs before they finish me.

Here's a pretty moonlight picture from the right coast: