Archive for the ‘weekend’ Category

Weekend

Posted: June 7, 2010 in recreation, weekend
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I had the best Saturday ever and it did not include wine, women or song. I went to bed at a ridiculously early hour Friday night and woke up at an equally ridiculously early hour Saturday morning.

I was wandering around my apartment wondering what to do with myself. Then it hit me: “Go to the beach dummy”. So without checking the weather or tide information I gathered a some extra clothes, a few apples (wonderful on the beach), my fishing gear and just took off. Alone. Gabby was staying at a friend’s house.

I was estimating my arrival at Surfside beach to be about 2:00. Hell, I was there by 12:30. I stopped at the usual Buckee’s for some squid, shrimp, a couple of burritos and a fishing license.

This is the coolest store I’ve ever known. There are many and growing but to me this is the original. I’ve always associated them with the beach but they are springing up everywhere. They are known for their immaculately clean restrooms. It’s true. I’d actually eat one of those burritos I bought in there. Of course, I’d probably be asked to leave. This place is completely jam-packed on the weekends with super long lines but I happened to catch a newly opened register. Another thing: This store’s registers are manned by seriously cute girls. Every single one. It’s like the Hooters of large convenience stores. When I told the girl I need a fishing license she and the girl at the next register both tell me that I don’t need one. They reminded me that the first Saturday of June is a freebie compliments of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (game wardens). I never knew that or maybe forgot about it. I’ve just always made a point to be current after a 1980’s quail hunting incident where my friend went to jail for unpaid tickets and I was fined $200.00 for not having a license.

When I rolled onto the beach I was taken down a bit. The water was like chocolate milk. I wasn’t too down about it. It was my very first day out there this summer and I was actually just happy to be there. I baited my hooks and waded out into the surf. I stood out there, and stood out there, and stood out there without so much as a bump on my line. At this point I actually got a little discouraged. I went back to my truck and just sat on the tailgate looking out at the water. About this time I was surrounded by two carloads of people. One on the left and one on the right. This upset me because I go out there to get away from people. I’m not anti-social, I just like my beach time to be private.

I threw all my gear back into the truck and left. I found a spot about a half mile or so down the beach that was better. This is where I stopped. This is an acceptable comfort zone for me.

I baited my line again and went back out into the surf. This time I swam out to the second sandbar with my rod and reel above my head. When I was finally able to touch bottom again I cast my line out. I don’t think it even hit the bottom before something took off with it. I now had a fight ahead of me.

Getting back to the beach with something that big on the line and trying to do so without the power of one arm when you can’t even touch bottom is quite a struggle. But it’s exciting. And tiring. When I got back to the first sandbar I started working on reeling in whatever this was. It was an exhausting give and take. It stripped yards of line and I reeled back what I could. Back and forth. With something like this it’s all about tiring it out without it snapping your line.

When I got my feet back on sand, still chest deep in the surf, my reel self destructed. A critical knob came loose and fell into the water. I thought I was screwed and would never know what I had on my line.

Guess what? Not so. With my reel completely useless, I held my thumb on the spool and carefully walked back to shore. Once I got back to the beach started winding my fishing line by hand around the float at the end of my stringer. It took forever to get this damned fish in like that. I was like Santiago of “The Old Man and the Sea”. My hands are cut to shreds and I’m sore as shit.

Fortunately I had my camera with me and took some pictures. This Redfish was 3 feet and 4 inches. That’s 12 inches over the legal limit. Sorry TPWD. I set aside half of it for my parents and divided the other half into thirds for Gabby and I. Tonight I’m frying part of it.

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Die!

I think I hate a biting mosquito more than I do an ugly three inch cockroach. You can trap and catch a filthy cockroach. You can even keep it prisoner and torture it. But mosquitos are stealthy and they are swarmers. They don’t run from you. They seek you.

My seasonal clock is ticking and it’s telling me to get back out to the beach. I spend many nights out on the beach this time of year and mosquitos are the only thing that will actually make me throw all my shit back in the bed of my truck and leave. Not even the lack of food, water or beer is as serious as a swarm of half-starved mosquitos. Usually, if you get into some wind they don’t bother you. That’s why I’ve slept many nights at the edge of the water and awakened with my fold-out chair half sunken in the sand with the surf moving in and out of my shorts.

The only thing more miserable than being eaten alive by a massive swarm of mosquitos is to be covered head and hair to toe in that nasty, toxic smelling repellant. I usually face the wind, shut my eyes as tight as I can, aim the can at my face and push the button. I cover my entire body until I’m either soaked or the can peters out. Being covered in poison is uncomfortable and not at all conducive to enjoying a night half naked on the beach.

My Dad sent me an interesting email today. It was, of course, an email that had been forwarded probably 500,000 times among he and his generation who love posting in size 36 font and changing colors every sentence. But it wasn’t another list of grievances about how this generation are all a bunch of marshmallows nor was it another fake numerical list supposedly written by Bill Cosby or George Carlin (in super-large font and in several colors).

No, this might just be helpful. It said that plain old Lysterine repels mosquitos. The mouthwash. The woman who initially sent the email cited several instances that proved it. She said that they put it in a bottle and sprayed it over lawn furniture, picnic tables, door jambs and each other. She swears by it. I’ll try it. Anything is better than Deet.

Gone in a flash

Posted: November 12, 2007 in weekend

Where, oh, where did the weekend go? It seems like I was sitting right here Friday night feeling great about having two days off then blinked and found myself in my bed this morning groaning about having to get out of it and stagger toward the shower like a new-born giraffe. Although it’s just a morning like any other, there is something mysteriously traumatic about a Monday morning. But once I’m dressed, have exorcised the morning earworm, and get a lung-full of fresh air (like my serial comma Laurie B?) I feel fine. I try to keep in mind that Monday through Friday fly by just as fast as Saturday and Sunday do.

NO BEACH FOR YOU !

Posted: August 19, 2007 in Uncategorized, weekend

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I really, really wanted to go to the beach this weekend but inconvenient responsibilities squashed that plan for us. I had to get a new battery for the truck which I could have done in fifteen minutes myself but I had Sears Auto do it and it took them an hour and a half to do it. Idiots. Complete idiots. Gabby starts high school on the 27th so we knocked out a good portion of her school supply list. Also, my thumb and forefinger are so burned that wrestling fish in the surf isn’t a very good idea. So, no beach for me ! Come back one week !

Book binge

Posted: April 23, 2007 in weekend

This weekend the Houston Public Library had it’s annual book sale at the convention center. This is where they sell off all their discarded books for ridiculously low prices. I’ve known about this for years and went the first time I heard about it but for some reason I always seem to miss the announcement. Fortunately, Laurie mentioned it in her blog and I actually made it this year. Thanks Laurie! It’s a book lover’s wildest dream. Forget half price or quarter price book stores. I came home with 22 books (some being 4″ thick reference books) for a cool $31.00. I celebrated this over oysters and shrimp on the patio of one of those seafood “boats” on the way home. Yes, I took one of the books with me.