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Dammit, this almost never happens

I had just written this uber-long thing about the weekend in Port Angeles (aka P-Tang, Port Ang-uh-leez, etc.), but right before I was going to submit it, Firefox crashed. That’s what I get for browsing Friendster. What follows is a much condensed version of the original, since nothing infuriates me more than re-writing things.

The primary event around which the weekend revolved was Roark dropping my cell phone into Lake Sutherland. We had just been paddling around the lake in the canoe, drinking beer, playing loud, out-of-tune Neutral Milk Hotel covers, and as we approached the dock my cell phone, which was sitting on the picnic table on the dock, rang. Someone answered and talked with the caller, Aiko, who was to et a firsthand transcript of the horrific events that followed. Roark jumped out of the canoe, grabbed my phone, then promptly pushed me away from the dock with his foot. I paddled back, and he tried to push me away as I held onto the ladder for support, all the time holding my phone just out of my reach over the water. Finally he tossed the phone into the canoe, and I grabbed it and leapt at the dock while Roark pushed me away with his foot. I barely made the jump, slipped, and fell forward, dropping the phone, which then slipped over the edge and sank into the water, still on and glowing blue. It stayed on most of the way to the bottom. Aiko’s message said something like, “I heard something about you being in a canoe, then a struggle, and then silence. So I’m afraid your phone got dropped in the lake.” She’s a perceptive girl.

After swearing at Roark for a while and arguing about the possibility of retrieval and the best way to do so, I finally dove to the bottom of the lake and grabbed the phone. It sat on the bottom for at least fifteen minutes, while the various people on the dock discussed ways of getting it, the best idea being to extend a 12′ boathook down to the phone, which we located in the dark (it was past ten) with Mark’s flashlight, and then having Roark “climb” the pole down to the phone. Unfortunately, the water was deeper than the hook was long. Finally, fed up with the discussion and knowing the phone would be getting more broken every minute it was submerged, I ordered Mark to hold the flashlight steady and dove in to get it myself. Everyone was very impressed with the diving display; but that’s only because they weren’t on swim team for four years.

We promptly took the phone apart and set the pieces out to dry. I estimated that it had around a 50-50 chance of survival after drying off.

The next day, Kelly taught me to water-ski, which I managed to do by the fourth attempt. But just as I was feeling comfortable with whizzing over the water, staying up for 30 seconds at a time, I was shivering uncontrollably and had to return to the dock. As if in karmic retribution for his role in the demise of my phone, Roark fell off the skis and badly sprained his ankle; for the remainder of the trip he answered to “gimpy,” “cripple,” or “ugly.”

The next night Roark and I returned to the canoe to launch a surprise fireworks blitzkrieg. Since the fourth was a Monday, most of the wealthy property owners on the lake (and there are many) set off their stash that night, and the lake was awash in the multi-colored glow of the rockets and flares. Roark had bought a ten-mortar array at a fireworks stand earlier in the day, and we set it on top of a makeshift raft which we launched away from the canoe after lighting. Everyone on shore was surprised, to say the least, when the mortars began bursting practically overhead. Afterward, we tooled around the lake for awhile with PBRs and a guitar, and at one point sang a very loud Star Spangled Banner that earned applause from a few places on shore.

Just before we left in the canoe, some of Kelly’s friends arrived in their own, smoking cigars and carrying a secret arsenal of rockets and roman candles, which they proceeded to fire at the shore, despite Kelly’s parents’ cries of “no no no!” Roark and I, sitting on top of the boathouse, returned fire with a bunch of those ground bloom things that spin around emitting colorful flame. It turns out that if you light one of those in your hand, wait for the fuse to burn down, then huck it high into the air, it will ignite before landing in the water and stay lit afterwards, making some interesting noises and light flashes. We threw many of these at the attacking canoe, and one of my long bombs came within two feet of a direct hit.

After I had made Roark feel really guilty about my phone all weekend, Kelly’s ex boyfriend gave me his old phone, the social crisis mostly averted. I had been testing out my old phone periodically all weekend, assembling the drying pieces and then plugging it in with my fingers crossed, always with the predictable, disappointing result. I plugged it in again for the hell of it when I got home yesterday evening, and lo and behold, the damn thing lit up. After spending 15 minutes on the bottom of a lake, it now works perfectly — it even preserved all the phone numbers I stupidly saved on the phone’s memory, rather than on the removable SIM card. I learned my lesson, though, and this morning went through and transferred all my numbers onto the chip in preparation for the next cataclysmic failure.

We made it home in time for me to attend the fireworks show at Gasworks Park, which gets better every year. This year they unveiled their newest firework technology: cubic fireworks. Instead of exploding into the common sphere, these ones actually expand into the eight lines of a cube, at right angles. It was amazing. I wondered aloud if there was anything left for us, as a species, to accomplish. Afterwards, the whole gang went to the Monkey, where we had a pizza delivered and, for the first time, I wasn’t carded by the bartender. Finally, I am a regular.

That thing I said about the photo update was a huge lie. Oh, there are photos. But forthcoming? Let’s call it eventual and be done with it. Stick around long enough and you will see photos, rest assured.

Also, Architecture in Helsinki is amazing. You must hear them to remain in my good esteem.

Posted in Musings.


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