Dorks

My brother asked me if I was doing a carry-on bag for our trip.

I told him that I was, and he said that he was hoping/planning to do the same for the whole trip (with an exclamation point at the end!).

That was in text messages.

Talking over the phone a little while later, after our tickets (one set of them, anyway) were booked, we discussed the bags again, and the matter of bringing only a carry-on bag plus a purse.

‘My biggest concern right now is really what watch I’m gonna bring,’ he says to me.

‘I know what watch I’m bringing!’ I counter, and my mom laughs behind me, knowing full well what my brother must have just said, and laughing at him for it (not at my comment alone).

I only currently wear the watch this same brother gave to me several months ago.

It is awesome, and I wear it lovingly and with pride at the company, at my brother for finding and supporting it, and a little at myself for wearing it.

eone Bradley Compass Graphite

My brother knows this, and so does my mother, so we all got my teasing joke of a comment, and, once I told my brother that Mom was laughing, we all laughed at his dilemma.

My brother has an entire collection of watches, each one different from the rest, and all of them stellar quality and style…, and I would guess that they add up to around a hundred thousand dollars altogether…

He typically travels with three watches as a minimum – a casual chic, a sport, and a work watch that doubles as formal.

Sometimes, I believe, he brings something like seven, when it’s a longer trip, and he’ll have varied activities in which to participate and events to attend.

I always bring my one watch, and simply remove it whenever I do sport.

(The moment this company comes out with a sports-safe version of their watches, however, I am totally likely to have two watches, and quite suddenly so…. until that time, however, I have just the one.)

We absolutely love my brother’s love of watches, and I laud him for and value his efforts in creating watches with an awesome private watch company that has begun to make watches for him and to use him and his sports to create advertising for their watches…. frankly, he has done what we all dream to do, by turning a dorky passion into something that not only allows him to pursue his passion but to be encouraged in it and to be paid through it, all while always having a wonderful time with it all.

I am proud to share blood with him, and I love having fun with him around his love of watches (and many other things, too, actually).

At the end of our call, I ask him how the boating went with his friends earlier.

He tells me that he took some pictures, and so he’ll send me something.

After a few moments of flipping through photos, he sends me a wrist shot of the watch his buddy temporarily swapped him for two of his watches…

Seriously, brother?… You went boating, and you took pictures, and the only photo that actually comes out of it all is one of your wrist and a watch, where you really can’t tell that you’re out on a boat in the first place?

But, for him, of course it is. πŸ˜›

And, to be fair, when I saw the photo, while my secondary comment and thought related to the aforementioned concept, my first thought and comment were immediate: “His Carbotech!”

I knew exactly what watch it was, and even I was excited that my brother was getting to wear this watch… πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

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Duhβ€”β€”-nun!

I have found myself thoroughly enjoying my latest hard copy book, Jaws, much to my surprise (although also kind of not to my surprise – it is actually highly acclaimed by reliable sources, and it made one of my favorite films [we can get into the irony of that another time]).

I started reading it two nights before going sailing… and I strongly considered picking another book, due to the timing, but I really wanted to start reading Jaws, and I was determined that reading it would be no different from having seen the title and thought about it already…

And I was right… with both the concern and the thoughts.

It would have been very good for me not to think about sharks right before going out sailing, during which time I, at some point, would want to get into our cloudy, sand-filled water, and I would have had the idea of sharks in my mind just from having seen the book – whether I read it or not was of little consequence, because the damage was already done when I crossed it on my bookshelf.

And so, I struggled to get into the water while out sailing…, but I asked for company and we made it work… I didn’t stay in for long, but I still enjoyed being in the water for a brief bit, and it ended up starting a whole chain of people jumping in and enjoying the water, which was actually quite fun.

Anyway…, I’m liking the book a lot so far.

I love that 1) Peter Benchley has found a way to pursue and share his passion (sharks) with the world through his fiction and non-fiction books, and 2) he has a good humor in the introduction regarding the changes he made for the book to become a film.

And I am thoroughly enjoying the humor and style with which he writes (well, wrote, technically)… I’m actually laughing at terrible situations, because he addresses them so well as to bring out a sense of comic relief… and I, somehow, find it to be quite lovely, in its way.

(And I mean that… I actually laughed aloud at a scene where a body is found, it was so comically written, but incredibly tastefully so.)

I’m hardly more than a couple chapters into it (of around 15), but I highly recommended at least those first two and a half chapters. πŸ™‚

We’ll see how the rest pans out, now, shall we?

P.S. We did have a good time on the boat, at least.

Post-a-day 2019

Weekend snob

– So, how has your weekend been?

– Well, yesterday, I went sailing, and today, I attended the Houston polo finals…. so, rather posh, I dare say…

(Totally hashtag posh, right?)

What’s funny about it, really, is that it wasn’t anything near as posh as it sounds.

The sailing was on an approximately 25-foot sailboat that belongs to a friend of a friend of a friend (technically an old coworker of the guy (super smart space engineers) my friend was dating for a while, but whom she isn’t really dating anymore, but they still sometimes do things together, like this)…

The polo match was because I’d found out about a Groupon for super discounted two-packs of tickets, and so I found a friend to go with me and live out another one of my “Pretty Woman” fantasies…

Both were quite hot and sunny, and much less interesting than they sounded at first, but were wonderful nonetheless.

And, because of them, I am able to go to bed tonight with a sense of silly giddiness at how funny life can be sometimes. πŸ™‚

I don’t need to live that life, but it certainly is fun to have the occasional sprinkling of it here and there, and especially when I am able to share it with people I love. πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2019

Speedboats and slow thoughts

I might have shared about this already, but I’ll share it again, because it’s on my mind…

I was thinking tonight about this boat thing.

(Well, actually, I was thinking about Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and how I’m looking at reading it with a friend, so we can talk about it, but that this time I might do well to make a list of reasons why it’s good that I didn’t live in Pride and Prejudice times.

You see, I usually get lost happily in the story, such that I am sad when I finish it and just return to real life… it only ever takes me a couple or few days to read, because I end up doing little else once I start reading it.

And so, at the end of it all, I am covered with a sort of depressive feeling of my life being inadequate and/or uninteresting and I likely to be anything wonderful compared to the world of which I’d just been dreaming in Jane Austen’s book.

Anyway, so I was thinking about making a list of reasons, right?

I’d thought, ‘Oh, the whole bathing part makes me glad I don’t live there… that’s for sure,’ because I like being clean, and clean didn’t seem to be so precise a thing in those days, and smelly was all too common…

‘But then,’ I thought, ‘I couldn’t have ridden on speed boats or gone water skiing…, though I could have ridden on big boats between countries… like the Titanic!… only not the Titanic, because that was terrible, and, besides, it was much later in time, anyway…’

And that was then I thought of tonight’s topic renewal!)

Sophie Kinsella has a book where the main character has amnesia… when she watches her wedding and honeymoon DVD to help jog her memory, she sees herself beside her husband, who happens to be driving a speedboat.

She is absolutely delighted by the fact that her husband can drive a speedboat(!), and brings it up in her mind somewhat regularly, partly as a reminder that it it worth staying with him, despite the fact that she doesn’t remember him or seem to have a connection with him, and partly just as an adorable and silly reminder of how amazing her life has become (since she can last remember it), because, goodness, a man must be amazing if he can drive a speedboat(!), and it is even more amazing to be married to such a man.

Totally silly, I know, but that in no way changes the fact that I love it every time I think of it.

The main character does such a good job of convincing the reader of her belief in the fact that her husband’s skill is spectacular, that I found myself even thinking how amazing it would be, even dating someone who knows how to drive a speedboat.

‘Wow!’ I would think, ‘What could that be like, knowing, let alone dating or marrying, such a person?’

And this thinking continued for rather some time – even a couple or few years, I dare say – before something absolutely absurd hit me.

Growing up, two of my grandparents lived in a private community of lakes a ways North of Houston.

It would take us about two hours, door to door.

My uncle kept a ski boat there.

And we grew up kneeboarding and water skiing.

The damn broke terribly when I was supposed to start to learn to ski, but I eventually had the opportunity, when the damn and lake were restored.

And so, for the last couple years my grandparents lived there, I was the only child living at home, and so the only one who went to visit with my dad whenever he went up (the other went, too, but nowhere near as often).

My dad, therefore, taught me just about everything needed in terms of caring for and using the boat.

The ski boat… a speedboat…

Meaning, of course, that I not only know my dad as someone who can drive a speedboat, but that…, well,… I know… myself… you see…

Yeah… not too sure how I missed that one… for years.

πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Not so impossible after all, to find someone who can drive a speedboat. πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

Nerding into the finish line

Tonight was great.

I turned in the hard copy of my paper (digital copy was earlier today – I just couldn’t get to campus until after work), and then somewhat spontaneously went to dinner with a friend from college (finally, it worked out for both of us).

Dinner was great.

The restaurant we picked, which the friend had picked at random from the two options I gave, was shut down, and so we went to the other option, and the pumpkin red curry special was just what I’d needed and wanted on this cold and windy night.

I ran into an old friend from dance while having dinner, and that was fun.

The friend and I having dinner together talked a lot about boats, because he works with boats and art, and then we finished a crossword puzzle.

It was a nerdy affair, and I definitely loved it – a rather perfect end to the semester for me, really.

Post-a-day 2018

An Evening of Moon River, and more

Moon River, wider than a mile, I’m crossing you in style some day. 
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker, 
wherever you’re going I’m going your way. 
Two drifters off to see the world. 
There’s such a lot of world to see. 
We’re after the same rainbow’s end– 
waiting ’round the bend, 
my huckleberry friend, 
Moon River and me.

Β© 1961 Paramount Music Corporation, ASCAP

So go the lyrics to the beautiful song that is sung by Audrey Hepburn in the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, and which was written for the occasion.  They have been in my mind all night tonight.  I likely still will be singing them and humming the song tomorrow, and possibly the next several days or weeks, too, imagining Miss Holly Golightly sitting on her windowsill in jeans and a gray sweatshirt, strumming her small guitar, singing the song while her hair dries in a towel on her head.  That was her one genuine moment, where there were no airs put on and no facades blocking the view; dreamy longing and total honesty were there, coming to life in her music.

Why, you ask, is all of this on my mind?  Well, because of just that.  My cousin makes jewelry from guitar strings.  (I do a little, too, but not to the same degree.)  Since that particular scene had Holly being simple and honest, showing her core, she loved the scene.  Since it included Holly’s playing the guitar, it became relevant to my cousin’s jewelry.  You see, this neat art gallery in Galveston decided to do an “All About Audrey” exhibition, in which all of the selected pieces were submitted by various individuals in the community.  The only requirements were that the art be vegan and be somehow about Audrey Hepburn.  So, my cousin used guitar strings and fake pearls to construct her own version of the famous “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” necklace (with the aforementioned information taking part in creating the idea).

Tonight, the art show had its opening, and my cousin’s piece was part of the show.  So, my mom and I attended the opening.  The opening happened to be a costume party, with the theme being ‘your favorite Audrey’.  I genuinely liked the honesty moment in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, and the fact that it directly related to the reason we were going – to support my cousin’s guitar string jewelry inspired by that scene – made it an easy preference for my attire for the event.

And so, I put together the clothes, had my mom help me with a white hand towel on my head (I had to take out the seams to make it long enough to tie correctly.), and looked up “Moon River” chords.  I only have a full-sized guitar with me, so I figured my ukulele would do well for the completion of the outfit.  Since I was going to be carrying around my uke, dressed as a character who sings an incredibly famous song, I figured it only fair that I make an effort to learn to play the song myself.

And it was a good thing I did!  Not only was I requested to play, but I was asked to play three times.  The third time was the coolest, because the second time had already been a sort of sing-a-long for a lot of the people at the gallery, but the third was everyone.  I was on my way out of the gallery, heading to dinner with my family who had been in attendance, when a lady at a table complimented my outfit and asked me to play.  The man at the table asked if I could play, because, of I could play, he could sing.  And so I started up playing, singing with him, only to be joined after only a few seconds by the entire gallery.  It was so beautiful, it was almost spooky.  People had all different reasons for being there tonight, but we all shared the experience of true bliss and community as we sang together tonight.  Reasonably fitting end to the week that included International Peace Day (Thursday), I think.

There are two other fun aspects to this.  The first is that we the went to dinner, all of us dressed in our various outfits.  Most everyone looked to be in normal-ish attire for our current life and times, and it was even somewhat high on the classy side, and all black and white.  My mother, however, was in a genuine formal 60s dress that is just about the color of Tiffany’s boxes, and is floor length, polyester, and very 60s.  I was in jeans and a sweatshirt, and had a towel on my head.  Just imagine seeing our party at a casual restaurant – what on Earth would you think?

The second fun aspect is that this isn’t the first time we’ve done something like this.  For the 100th anniversary of the Titanic, we attended a tea and luncheon that was tied to the Museum of Fine Arts’ temporary exhibit on the Titanic.  The idea was to experience tea like back in the day at an actual teahouse in town, and then gonover to the exhibit.  We did exactly that, but dressed in period-appropriate attire.  Aside from the servers at the teahouse, we were the only ones dressed up.  At the museum, someone asked to sketch me (and did), people took pictures of us, and we had several inquiries about whether we weren’t part of the exhibit.  It was a grand old time, and felt somehow totally normal to me.  I guess that’s just how we roll in my family.  Cool, huh?  πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2017

A compliment to remember

About a year or two ago (though, I think it was two years ago), I received one of the most memorable compliments I have ever been given.  I was reminded of it today, as my mom and I drove around in the sunny daylight that was following our storm so nicely.  With all of the rain and flooding, many people have pulled out their trucks and boats, and gone to the rescue of those in need of water transportation in areas that formerly were roads (and which, I suppose, likely still are, just beneath all that water now).  For this reason, I was reminded of a particular friend of mine who has a boat.  (Or, at least, he did have a boat when we last were in touch.  Currently, I’m not so sure, because we simply haven’t been much in touch since I moved to Japan.)

This particular friend was a childhood friend.  In fact, he was one of the neighborhood kids. I secretly – or so I thought – had crushes on him and his brothers when we were all little, and we all would play together all along the street, the whole lot of kids.  Anyway, as everyone moved off to college and parents moved off the street, a lot of us rather lost touch.  Here in there, though, we each would see others briefly in life.  About two years ago, this happened for me with this particular friend and his brothers.

We were at a country-western bar/dance club in Houston, and I recognized them.  Sure, they were all massive men compared to the last time I had seen them, when they were all possibly in college.  Big and strong, burly men was an easy way to describe the guys who stood before me in this bar.  I was amazed, though delighted – I guess scrawny little boys can grow up to be big, strong men, after all. πŸ˜›

It was as I was talking with one of them that the memorable compliment came.  He said to me simply, “You’re gorgeous.”  And he said it multiple times.  I’m not sure how many times exactly, but I know that it was more than once.  What really stood out about it was not so much the words (though they were amazing), as how he said them.  I can still hear it, even, it was so impactful.  He did not say them in any condescending way – ‘How unexpected that you would be gorgeous,’ – or as though he were hitting on me – ‘Hey, let’s go to my place, gorgeous.’  He was simply stating something he believed, and earnestly, with feeling.  It reminded me of how girlfriends (true ones, not the fake kind) might talk to the girlfriend who has just found the perfect dress for something, and is thrilled, or who is all dressed up for a big date or presentation or her wedding – there is no jealousy or dishonesty, but pure love and honesty in the declaration of her being gorgeous in that dress.  He wasn’t being sleazy, but truly gentleman-like, and it was amazing. It really was.

And that was it.

Because of this brief interaction I had with this friend, he has remained in my regular thoughts these past couple-ish years.  Every so often, I am reminded of him, and I am grateful for him, and I wonder how he is doing (and I usually get distracted by something or other before I am able to send him any kind of message to check in, but I occasionally manage it).  This weekend especially, I have wondered how he is doing, over and over again, and I finally managed, after however many days this storm has been, to check in with him.  It was brief, but I made contact and found out that he and his family are doing okay.  They all hold special places in my heart, because of their various roles in my childhood, but he has an especially dear one, thanks to his beautiful compliment, whenever that was.

Post-a-day 2017