Wednesday, July 30, 2008

another schlep

I suppose that nothing worth having should be very easy to obtain. At least, that's the lesson that I learned when I set out across the breakwater today, in search of another amazing beach.

The tide was JUST about to turn when I began my crossing, so the water was pretty high. It is a long but comfortable walk across the stones to the dunes at the very tip of Cape Cod. The picture below shows that the breakwater - in addition to providing a wonderful place for a picnic - does its job very well:

Love how calm it is on the marsh side, while still an busy, active bay on the other.

But the trip was worth it, because this is what awaits on the other side:

A calm, quiet, peaceful beach. No parties, no tents, no children...just a beautiful ocean that can only be described as glittering like a handful of sapphires.

I set up my little umbrella and towel, and headed for the ocean. After my swim, I planned to sit and read the rest of the novel I'm currently reading (Absolute Brightness, by James Lecesne). Unfortunately, I forgot about the greenheads: vicious, hideous little flies who sting like crazy in an a effort to get at your blood. For the most part they left me alone because I turned my t-shirt into a makeshift flyswatter. However, a few managed to get at me, so I killed a couple:

I left their little corpses on the sand nearby, as an example to other impertinent little greenheads who foolishly wished to partake of my blood.

I'll say this, however: between the schlep and the flies, it was worth it. I finished my book, schlepped back to town and hit the Lobstah Pot for a late luncheon.

Not a bad day, I'd say. Wish you were here (and you know who you are).

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

two amazing things

Two amazing things happened to me today:

1. I took the pontoon boat ferry over to Long Point for a couple of hours. It was unspeakably gorgeous out there.

2. My phone finally arrived. It is currently charging, and I could not be happier. Well, I could be happier, but I'm pretty happy about finally having a stinkin' phone.

Showtunes night tonight, y'all! Who wants to go?

Friday, July 25, 2008

the phone

My cell phone went on the fritz over two weeks ago. July 10, to be exact. Some power surge or something here at Grey Gardens caused it to malfunction, and it would randomly dial and redial various phone numbers, unbeknownst to me. Imagine my surprise when TimO told me that my phone dialed him some 39 times while I was ignorantly dancing the night away at the A House. Sorry, Tim.

Unfortunately, there are no T-Mobile dealers here in Provincetown. Or Truro. Or Wellfleet. BUT the interweb told me that there was a dealer in Orleans, which is exactly where I was headed on July 13 for a family reunion. Perfect. I think, “I can last a coupla days without a phone.”

Here, then, is a list of the Great Kommunications Kaper of Kape Kod:

• Went to Orleans on the 13th only to discover that the Staples there no longer sells T-Mobile phones. The nearest place was the Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis, which wouldn’t fit in the plan.

• Back to PTown on the 14th, and attempted to order one on line. However, the online ordering service refused to ship to me in the Cape, only to my home in Atlanta. Neat.

• Borrow another friend’s phone to call T-Mobile and request replacement. Irritating Customer Service Rep #1 tells me that they won’t replace the phone (which I’ve only had for eight months, by the way) because it’s no longer under factory warranty. Apparently, I bought a lemon.

• Call Samsung to bitch about this, only to be shut down by ICSR#2.

• Call T-Mobile again to find a phone. They tell me that due to the circumstances, they will be happy to offer me a free phone. Huh?

• I go through the ordering process, at the tail end of which ICSR#3 tells me that I have to extend my contract with them for another year in order to get the “free” phone. I am now perturbed.

• I succumb to this idiocy and place the order, specifically requesting that it be shipped to me on the Cape as an express delivery. ICSR#3 says, “No problem!”

• Three days pass. No phone.

• One more call to T-Mobile. ICSR#4 chirpily offers to track the package, which I then learn was shipped to Atlanta via UPS Ground.

• I blow a gasket.

• I phone my tenant in Atlanta and ask him to send the phone to me ASAP on Sunday, July 20. He says, “Sure.”

• Three more days pass. No phone. I miss the OSW and want to call but can’t and it’s really gettin’ on my nerves.

• OSW speaks to tenant in Atlanta and informs me that the item was sent yesterday.

If it arrives tomorrow (which is highly unlikely, as Saturday deliveries are not popular in this neck of the woods), it will be SEVENTEEN days that I’ve gone without my own phone. While this has been liberating on some fronts, it has mostly made me crazy.

So that’s why I haven’t texted y’all back lately. Please forgive me.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

money pit

So. Grey Gardens almost did me in last night.

I woke up yesterday feeling a little puny, and figured that I had contracted some sort of bug. Cape Croup, I think they call it. My other theory was that the toxins in my body from weeks of Tea Dances and Wave Bar and “oh…let’s just have one more” were released into my bloodstream after my massage on Monday, only to make me achy and irritable and unable to sleep. Who knows…

I turned in early last night, shooting a quick blast of NyQuil and hoping for a good night’s sleep. What I got was a thunderstorm of Shakespearean scale: cracking thunder, bolts of lightning, torrential rains – the works. It was neat, but I was trying to sleep, which I was just about to do until the ceiling in my room started leaking onto my bed.

Apparently, the door to the widow’s walk above my room was open, and the tempest had washed water into the attic, causing the leak. There it was, after midnight, I’m sick, and I have no way to stop the leak (since the house in which I’m staying is “bare bones” to say the least). I glanced out the window to the Benchmark Bed and Breakfast across the street, its “Vacancy” sign teasing me in the storm.

But, necessity is the mother of invention. I propped a chair under the doorknob to the offending door, stuffed the cracks with old towels, and spread sheets around the attic floor to absorb the thin layer of water. Amazingly, it did the trick. And today I went to the hardware store for anti-tempest supplies: Gorilla tape and 6 mil black plastic sheeting. I sealed the door with the sheeting and again sealed the cracks with towels. We got another blast today, but my plan seems to have held.

I will NOT be defeated by a cranky old house. I will NOT.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

not to rub it in, but...

Many have asked what I do in Provincetown during the day, since I'm not working while I'm here.

During the times when I don't have guests in the house, here is an example of my typical day:

*Rise with the sun
*Walk to coffee or breakfast
*Return home
*Venture out on the bike for errands or just to scope out some street I've never seen
*Home for lunch
*Mild household duties: laundry, perhaps, or wash a couple of dishes or make my bed
*Home to nap
*Dinner, either at home or some nifty new place I've never been
*Home to bed

Sigh. Now if only the OSW would just win that lottery so's we could do this ALL SUMMAH!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I'm finding it difficult to match words to feelings these days. My time here in Provincetown has been rich and full and dense with experiences and sensations. It is as if I have this massive file in my head that I need to unzip before I can look at all the images in an organized way. My blog entries these days will have to serve solely as a repository for such thoughts, lest I forget something.

To that end... a list:

* Saw Varla's new show and laughed my ass off. "Victory Lap Dance." Most memorable quote: "I just don't get circus clowns. I mean, who would want to put on a crazy red wig, slap on some foolish makeup, and pretend to be someone they're not?"

* The Junior League came and went and we sure did have fun. I had particular fun pointing out the fact that their rental home was purposely set up for sex parties. They didn't believe me. I said, "Boys, there is huge room downstairs with nine futons, a wet bar, and an enormous flat screen TV. Do the math." Bless them.

* I've witnessed one "population changeover" in this town. The circuit boys left and a new crop of regular folks arrived. It's pretty cool to be the constant.

* I was invited to a "townie" event and felt like one of the gang.

* My mom and sister have been up to visit and we had a blast.

* The Pirate Cruise in the harbor is just about the cutest thing on the planet. This guy has rigged a motorboat to look like a pirate ship and he cruises around the harbor with children, who spend the time playing pirate. They even "attack" another pirate in another ship with water canons. I'm laying on the beach, minding my own business and all of a sudden I hear a crowd of little voices screaming, "AAAARGH!" Precious.

* The Provincetown Fourth of July Parade was a hoot. It lasted about twenty minutes and included four fire trucks, some veterans, a coupla drag queens, the town selectmen, a few businesses, and TWO - count 'em - TWO Fife and Drum Corps. Who knew there was such a demand for Fife and Drum instruction that there would be two corps?

* The fireworks over the harbor were amazing. The company was better.

* Grey Gardens continues to grow on me. I'll post pictures as soon I figure out how to use my camera.

* Kenny is here and I'm speechless at how much I cherish our friendship.

* Dad's coming up on Saturday and I'm glad to offer him an opportunity to get a way from the business of a family reunion and enjoy the beauties of PTown.

* Today's schedule: bike, beach, whale watch, dance. Just another day in paradise.

Oh, and something else has happened. It's wonderful and fun and nervous and joyful and I'm sorry but I just can't bring myself to put it into words. One day I will be able to do so, but that'll have to wait.

Baby steps...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

well, well, well...

A true adventure has begun.

I've only been here in paradise since Saturday afternoon, but it has been a very busy three days, to say the least. As Glinda said, it's always best to start at the beginning, so let's just take that first step on the Yellow Brick Road, shall we?

First fun discovery of my trip? There's a bus that runs directly from Logan to the World Trade Center dock. $2.00 and ten minutes later, I was enjoying brunch at the Seaport Hotel. Not bad. Second fun discovery? Bay State Cruises will hold your luggage for you while you wait, so you don't have to schlep it if you want to go do a little sight-seeing. Neat.

I got to Boston a few hours before my ferry to Provincetown was to depart, so after brunch I went to the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston to check out the Anish Kapoor exhibit. What a remarkable, tactile, and provocative experience. I'm not qualified to comment on the works, but they left an impression, to say the least. They were also a little bit on the cruel side, because you want to touch all of them but obviously can't. This was much to the dismay of the hordes of children at the exhibit, but the flip side of that was watching the parents instruct the young ones on proper behavior in an museum: look, but don't touch. There is hope. The museum also has a "mediatechque" that is basically a raked room full of Macs that overlooks the water, where one can sit and learn about art and the museum. Pretty amazing.

The ferry ride itself was quite interesting as well. Now, one of my goals this summer is to open my heart a bit more and to try to be less judgmental, but 200 circuit queens put that to the test pretty quickly. FAR be it from me to stereotype, but the snippets of conversations around me ran the predictable gamut from drugs to the gym to the various "marital arrangements." Gross. And the steroids! My God, I put on muscle just by osmosis; additionally, my testes shriveled a little, I started to become an asshole, and my skin started getting funky. Thankfully, those effects have retreated since getting off the ferry. OOPS! LESS judgmental, Erik, LESS...

A couple that was seated across from me struck up a conversation. They were from L.A., and asked if I was traveling alone. When I said that I was, they both expelled a sympathetic, "Awww!" to which I responded, "Hey..don't pity me. I get to spend six weeks in heaven."

The ferry ride was grey and foggy as far as the eye could see...that is, until we got in view of Pilgrim Monument, at which point the clouds disappeared and the PTown I know and love came into view through the mists. I schlepped my three bags up to my new residence, found the key under the ceramic eagle on the front porch, and entered...

I freaked out for about thirty minutes. I knew that the house needed work and was basically untouched since the 1950's, but one must first see to believe. The only way that I can describe it is to remind you of the scene in "Beetlejuice" when Katherine O'Hara and her interior decorator are walking through the country house for the first time. She looks around the place with apprehension and says things like, "Oh, indoor outhouse" and "It doesn't need much...a blowtorch...a little'll be great!" Another film reference? "Grey Gardens." And no I'm not kidding. My friend and roommate, TimO, has been there for a month and has done quite a job setting the place up with donated items and found objects. I can't imagine what HE thought when he first showed up to the herculean task of making the place liveable.

So I wigged out a bit and then got myself together. I hopped in the car and hit the Grand Union to purchase heavy-duty cleaning items and some kitchen basics. Upon returning to the house, I pulled on my rubber gloves and went in. I cleaned my bathroom, unpacked all of my belongings, set up my bedroom, and did a little organizing. The moment I put a little effort into it, it immediately began to feel a little more like home.

It may not have air conditioning or cable/internet. I may be dirty and dusty and a bit creepy. It might not have a very useful kitchen, and I might have to crouch down to use the toilet in my "horror under the eaves" bathroom.


Many of the rooms have a view of the water. And It's large enough so that TimO and I never really know if the other one is there. And my room has toile wallpaper with King Neptune drawn all over it, is blue, and has blue gingham curtains on all SIX of its windows. And the breeze that blows through my bedroom feels like heaven. And there is a panoramic view of the whole town and bay from the widow's walk.

I went to to the breakwater yesterday to talk to God, and was overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude for the insane blessings in my life. Not to get too weepy on you, but I can't believe that I'm here. Nor can I believe that I get to be here for five more weeks.

Other things have happened: I've been to the Boatslip and A House. I might have been walked home from the A House by a handsome redhead who coaxed me onto the foggy beach for a smooch. I've seen the Atlanta crowd and had a lot of laughs already. And I got a Townie Pass.

But the best thing that's happened so far has been the great psychic exhalation. I'm calm, happy, and thrilled to call this place home for a while. This place that I love so much.