Thursday, June 08, 2006

A Trifle Glazed

I just got back from dinner, most of which was spent scribbling madly away in a notebook like the eccentric, wild-haired* spinster I’m sure the entire waitstaff took me to be. I had planned to write up a blog entry based on my notes about what I’ve been up to the past few days. But now, one dirty martini and one lovely hop-perfumed Wakonda IPA later, I am feeling like that is way too daunting a task. I seldom have more than one drink and I’m feeling a trifle glazed.

But here's one thing from today. Someone set up a swing over a dune on a remote hiking trail. How gonzo.

Gonzo Swing

The swing is suspended from a tree that is growing out of the ground at a precarious 45-degree angle. Of course, I wanted to have a go. The thing that persuaded me that it was safe was the message painted on the seat and the fact that someone took the time to varnish the seat. I figure anyone who’s going to go to that much trouble to cut out a round swing seat on a jigsaw (or whatever kind of saw you use to make something round), paint a warning on it, and varnish it can be trusted also to hang it from a strong-enough rope and a reliable-enough tree.

And, you see, I’ve lived to tell the tale. Unfortunately, about the only thing that happened after I managed to maneuver myself onto the swing, was that I twirled around counterclockwise for a bit. I couldn’t really work up any momentum that would have given me thrilling glimpses of the dunes beyond. Still. I’m glad I gave it a whirl. It brought back fond memories.

My dad constructed an almost identical round-seated swing (sans safety warning) in our basement. I loved swinging on it. Especially in the winter while my dad “jogged” around the perimeter of the basement.

Speaking of eccentric. Here’s how my dad’s jogging routine went. First he’d put on a record—either Neil Diamond (Moods—I know this comes as no surprise) , Joni Mitchell (Ladies of the Canyon) or Miles Davis (Bitches Brew or Kind of Blue) and then he’d shuffle around the basement in his bathrobe and floppy old-man slippers like these. That’s how my dad stayed in shape in the winter. And I guess that’s how I spent quality time with my dad when I was a kid.

OK. Just one more tiny thing about today. I finally found a place in Florence, Oregon that serves good food and has great atmosphere to boot. It’s called the Waterfront Depot. I spotted last evening while digesting a rubbishy, overpriced meal from another place. I could tell immediately just based on the authentic Whitbread sign that this place would be right up my alley. I walked in and it definitely had that British pub feel to it. Wooden floor, wooden tables, wooden bar with senior citizens spooning. A massive photo of perennial sots Peter O’Toole and Richard Burton given pride of place over the windows looking out on the river. I blame those two entirely for my allowing myself to be overserved.

Anyway, for ten measly bucks I got a beautifully cooked crab-encrusted filet of halibut and a Caesar salad. What a deal! And to sweeten the deal, literally, I got a free slice of Mexican chocolate cake for being nice enough to move to another location so that a party of four could have my table.

That meant I was then ensconced near the high-traffic Loo with a View™, but that cake more than made up for it. Also, it then occurred to me that I might as well have a bit of a tinkle in the Loo with a View™. Here’s the view one sees while perched on the commode. Here’s the view one would see if one had brought binoculars and a chainsaw into the Loo with a View™. I must say it was one of the more pleasant restaurant bathrooms I’ve been in. They store wine in there as well. Sounds like something you might do, Diana.

*I don’t know if it’s the wind and the salt-air or what, but my hair is sticking out horizontally from my head like Bozo’s, adding greatly to the eccentric spinster vibe emanating from me.


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