Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Boat? Boat.

Boat. BoatBoatBoat. Boat! Boat-Boat Boat. Boat? BoatBoat: Boat. Boat Boat Boat Boat; Boat.

My ever-hilarious husband told me yesterday, "And you thought we'd run out of things to talk about after we finished the house." Ha. Joke's on him. The house isn't done. My life is SO FUNNY and full of unfinished, expensive projects.

The Boat has taken over our lives. That floating clinker is the only topic of conversation. Do we register it in Alaska? How do we transfer California commercial dungeness permits? Where can we find 7x19 steel rope for less than $2.75/foot? Neat! Forfjord anchors are made in Seattle. Shit. They cost $900.

$1000 is a magical price point for boats. Everything seems to cost a grand. You start feeling pretty good about only spending $400 on a thing. Like you're winning the lottery except that little item needs a bunch of other stuff to make it work, bringing the total up to the magical grand. In the interest of self preservation I have stopped paying attention to the cost of things. It's my ostrich-like survival instinct.

What's a girl to do? This girl has focused on the color scheme and how tidy the deck will be. We have decided on light grey for the body with black accents. Grey is considered a hiding color, it disappears against the water and clouds. It's about as stealth as you can get in a 40-foot boat.

We're thinking of what to paint on our fly bridge. What do you think of this? I like how it captures the essence of life at sea. All that's missing is an Orca.

Gah. Sorry for the whine. This really is a good thing, but it's a huge project and my husband, my best friend in the whole world, has to move into his parents house for 3 months to fix Axel. I get to stay here an work to pay for everything. Short term sacrifices for long-term gain, right?

I can focus, too, on the fish we're going to have in a few short months. Last night we ate the last chunk of white king we froze last summer. I can look forward to all the white king I can eat, once Axel is seaworthy and up here. Soon, it will be Fish? Fish. FishyFishFish. Fish.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Our Big News

We bought a boat. It's a big, old, steel crabber that we're turning into a troller. I know I've talked about fishing and boat shopping before, but it wasn't real until I send a check with several zeros off to a Broker. The paperwork was final on Friday. We got her for a song.

Her name is Axel. All GnR jokes are welcome as well as any other Axel related humor. We are going to need it in the coming months. She was built in 1978 in Portland Oregon to be a halibut dragger. She spent time as a troller and a crabber. We found the builder and talked to him--he built the boat from some Ed Monk Jr. designs.

She needs a complete overhaul. You can see daylight through the wheelhouse roof, the deck has holes, and there are at least 3 abandoned hydraulic systems lurking around the bilge. She is rusty, filthy, and held together by duct tape. The hull is sound and the motor runs like a top. Although it's a Detroit 4-71 also known as a "Screaming Jimmy." Detroits are notoriously loud and leaky. The galley is topside, in the wheelhouse, so that will make my life easier than on the Leona. Axel boasts at least 3 places to sit. I am sighing in anticipation of that luxury.

Boat stands for "Bust Out Another Thousand." We need more of those fun little acronyms too. We spent at least that yesterday buying a Racor and GPS. I now know what a Racor does. It separates water from diesel and filters the fuel. I can die a happy woman.

This purchase is the next phase of our life. Our fishing life. Our food-producing life. Our hemorrhaging money into outfitting a boat life. Our selling salmon off the Axel to the public life. Our oh-holy-shit-I-own-a 40-foot-steel-boat life.

I coined a new phrase through this whole mess: "Winning the Alaskan Lottery" is defined as marrying a woman with a government job.

Friday, December 10, 2010


We have something very big happening in our lives right now. So big that I can't even overshare on the internet about it. (It is not a kid, so stop that right now.) I want to talk about it but I keep myself from doing so out of fairness to my husband and my inability to eat crow. Not a huge fan of the whole mea culpa game. I prefer to avoid the whole mess altogether.

I don't really like the roller coaster that major life decisions take you on. Remember that scene in Parenthood where Steve Martin is on a life roller coaster at his kids' play? That scene is awful and scary and gross. I wish my life were a sunny day, walking the gentle slopes, and nothing more surprising than an eagle calling to its mate. If I had my way, life would be boring and predictable and I could plan for every contingency.

So I've been living my life with fingers crossed, avoiding cracks, and not spilling salt. I don't want to jinx this very big thing, and I'm running out of "good vibe" euphemisms to throw at it. It's time to avoid thinking about it because I so don't have control over any of it.

On a more positive note, I ran 2 miles yesterday and am pain-free today. The library got a slew of new music in so I've been bopping along to Cat Power and a swear-free Kanye West. I have been referring (in my head) to the swear free music as neutered. Actually, castrated would be a better choice.

If I have no control over many major life things, I can at least listen to music that has swears.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


My musical taste, much like my fashion sense, has not really evolved since High School. Normally, it doesn't really bother me. I like whiny, indie, alterna humor music. It fits in perfectly in my fractured, technicolor mind. Except (you knew that was coming, didn't you Internet) for when I'm running.

I have proudly run every other day for two whole weeks now. My shin splints are gone but the same old shit on my ipod isn't cutting it anymore. I recently discovered the Decemberists and love love LOVE them. Just last night I was laying on my floor reveling in Picaresque. Today, out running it wasn't working. I can't listen to songs about shape-shifting lovers and infanticidal Rakes while pounding the asphalt. I am finding myself skipping through the bulk of my music because it is too slow to distract me from my task.

What does manage to work shouldn't be surprising to anybody. It's music that makes you want to shake your ass. I skip They Might be Giants to listen to Blackalicious. I avoid the Eels in favor of a raucous Gogol Bordello tune. Mr. Bungle is still working out ok, but I need something else. Salt 'n Peppa is in heavy rotation after scoring Very Necessary at a garage sale. (Ok, yes there is a whole world of music online. I am not online at my house yet. I KNOW what this makes me. A cheap-ass luddite who still buys cds. Working on a remedy.)

Running while listening to music gets me out of my head for a small 30 to 45 minutes every other day. It is a break that I sorely need, but I need new music to pull me upward and out. Where should I start looking?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The five fortunes on my office wall

A four-wheeled adventure will soon bring you happiness.

You will go far, but be sure to come back.

Your positive attitude this month will improve your present problem.

Someone will give you something.

You may attend a party where strange customs prevail.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mid-90's Country songs for Engineers

I am proud that my partner is from America .
(American Made--Oakridge Boys)

I came of age near a river named the Chattahoochee, where I drank heavily.
(Chattahoochee--Alan Jackson)

We are from the southern region of America. We like yams and silence.
(Song of the South--Alabama)

In the event of my death I want to be taxidermied and left in a drinking establishment near the jukebox.
(Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox--Joe Diffie)

A woman's life is hard. Before it was hard, she signed her letters in a cutsey way. This woman is going to find success in her father's world but has a desire to emulate her mother.
(XXXs and OOOs--Tricia Yearwood)

People have fun in an area zoned for agriculture.
(Getting Down on the Farm--Tim McGraw)

It is evident you are unfaithful. Your boots have been under several women's beds. QED
(Whose Bed HAve your Boots been under--Shania Twain)

I live in Tennessee because I make poor choices related to dating.
(All my Exes Live in Texas--George Strait)

I ignored every one's advice and followed my instincts. Now Dwight Yoakam and Lyle Lovett are fighting over me.
(I Feel Lucky--Mary Chapin Carpenter)

I am an alcoholic. I rationalize ruining your wedding by drinking with other alcoholics at a dive bar.
(Friends in Low Places--Garth Brooks)

I make really good gravy.
(Good Brown Gravy--Joe Diffie)

Did you Guess them? Come up with more! It's pretty fun.