Thursday, August 5, 2010

Snail Daze of Summer

The Sunday before last Trevor and I took a nice leisurely bike ride to the local mexican joint for some late afternoon tacos.  Discussing our plans for the week we realize that the following weekend (now this past weekend),  we had made contradicting plans.  I made plans for us to drive to Santa Cruz to visit friends while Trevor made plans for us to host our friend Jed who is flying in from New Jersey for a visit.... I had wanted to leave for Santa Cruz on Friday but Jed didn't get in until Saturday afternoon.  It was our friend Joe Joe's birdthay on Sunday so we decided to suck it up and make the trip regardless...even if we had to drive up one day and back the next.  It wouldn't be an ideal trip, but hopefully it would be worth it and the driving wouldn't be too much.   Trevor texted Jed to make sure that'd be ok.  Then he decided to rearrange the contacts on his phone and accidentally deleted all of them....oops.

The following week we met friends for a BBQ on Monday, had a "girl's night" Tuesday, went to bed early Wednesday, a different girl's "girl's night" Thursday, then another BBQ on Friday.  We woke up early Saturday morning, packed our bags and a cooler full of beer, made some chicken & cheese and hummus & cucumber sandwiches, picked up Jed from the airport and headed north on the Pacific Coastal Highway.  We decided to take the scenic route to give Jed a nice view of the California coast.  Winding along the Big Sur stretch of highway added about 2 extra hours to the journey but you don't get views like that back in Jersey.  On the way we saw elephant seals and zebras.  Maybe that made it worth it.  I tried to keep in mind that this was Jed's first time in California and may be his only opportunity to see an elephant seal and the Big Sur cliffs, and I do really hope he like it, and it was a great day fro driving it.  But part of me just wanted to get there as fast as possible!  Espeically when you're sitting in the back seat on a super windy road next to a big heavy cooler full of beer and ice and on the other side of that cooler are 3 fluffy comforters, a mattress pad, and a few pillows that seem to be expanding and every time the car turns the cooler creeps more and more onto your seat and you can't push it back because you're not strong enough and you know the next time the car turns it will only just creep back over and you'd only be wearing yourself out....holy clostrophobia!

Six and a half hours later, we arrive at our final destination....The Snail House.  Occupied by two slugs named Jimmy & Sally.  Jimmy is a friend of mine from Rutgers.  He also loves science but more so the science of dirty little critters and wilderness as opposed to sterile labs and medicine.  Sally is also from Rutgers but I met her after I graduated. Sally likes big critters like Jimmy and makes beautiful things with a sewing machine.  She also has really good taste in thrift store purchases.  Jimmy and Sally moved across the country together which was the first time they ever met in person.  Now they live in a house that's shaped like a snail shell.  Sound strange?  You wouldn't think so if you knew them...

For the past couple weeks our friend, Jason, also a Rutgers alumni, has been squatting in the snail house living room.  Jason is an ecclectric guy with a passion for poems, music, and good times.  He has an unrivaled ability to grow a beard.  He also has an endless knowledge for sea shanties and the like...

Our friend Joe Joe turned 27 on Sunday and what better way to celebrate the new year than a party in the woods with old friends.  Joe Joe is from Michigan originally but currently lives in San Francisco for school.  He took the two hour bus ride down.

E-man, lead singer from the band Emanual and the Fear (see Emanuel and The Fear of Getting Up For Work in the Morning ), and good friend to all, heard of this gathering of the minds out in Santa Cruz and made the trip out from New York as well.  His girlfriend Alice came along too. 

So that's Jimmy, Sally, Jason, Joe Joe, Emanual, Alice, Julie, Trevor, and Jed.... 9 people. Oh and Smudge.  Was it Smudge or Spudge or Spud or Smud?  Anything with an "S" pretty much went for this poor little dog that Sally was dog-sitting for over the weekend.  He was a pretty cool dog.  That is, he was pretty cool until he vomitted all over the back seat of the car twice and was diahreaing everywhere.  Yes, that happened, but no it did not ruin the weekend.  Although it did taint my impression of the Sludge master.

Saturday night started with a tour of the Snail House followed by pizza and beer, and more beer, then more beer.  Slightly inebriated, musically-inclined friends quickly fades into all out jam sessions when you live in the middle of the woods with a piano, full drum set, multiple guitars, bass guitars, and for those with less coordintaion: the tamborine and good ol' pots and pans.  It is here that the brilliant weekend theme song came to be: "Somebody's getting married to a dawg I know by nayayayme!!"  We also sang "Happy Birthday" to Joe Joe and had a dance party in the living room where we hoisted up the birdthay boy like he was part of a Jewish wedding.  The birthday party also included indoor skateboarding, a bathroom party with a ceremonial beard shaving, some good ol' porch-sitting, and excellent bed-time nest building.

Jimmy and Jay stayed up until the sun came up which was unfortunate for the rest of us as Jimmy, being one of two people with a door to their sleeping chamber and a curtain over their sky light, was able to sleep in well past the 8am-9am time frame where the sun rose high enough to creep through the sky lights and side windows blinding all of us sleeping birds and warming our faces to the point of  "Ok sun we get it, there's no point in trying to pretend...we'll get up already."  I say Jimmy sleeping-in was unfortuntate because Jimmy is a fantastic baker and chef and I'd imagine everyone else was getting nervous with no sign of Jimmy and must be thinking the same thing ....I wonder what we're going to do for breakfast?....  I never made pancakes from scratch.  I usually buy the pancake box where you just add milk or water.  If I'm getting fancy I'll add some blueberries. That is my baking specialty.    But I'm getting nervous that people were getting hungry, I'm getting hungry.  I want to make pancakes, but Jimmy doesn't have a pancake box he only has the raw ingredients and I never made them from scratch.  I was pretty nervous that if I started making them from scratch I might do it wrong and ruin all the ingredients and then Jimmy would wake up and be disappointed that I ruined all his flour and now he has nothing left to make delicious pancakes with and everyone will go hungry!... I waited a couple more minutes before deciding...I am making these people pancakes.  Joe Joe walked me through an online recipe, we added some red food coloring for some extra style and ...'poof'... salmon colored pancakes.  That'll keep the wolves at bay.

The day went on with more live music and everyone took a turn in the indoor/outdoor shower.... the shower which opens up to the sky.  Emanual took a nice relaxing hot shower, only to turn off the spout and have a bucket of cold water dropped on him from above.  Gotta love the old college humor!  As long as its not you that is.  Sally and I had a fashion show on the roof where I got to try on some of Sally's new creations and purchases. Then we gathered the troops and headed to the beach.  There we found two dead seals, played a round of "bump, set, spike" and extreme frisbee, explored a watery tunnel, and found the accidentally nude portion of the beach.  Later that night Jimmy the group divided into the boys in the kitchen talking about who knows what and the girls in the living room chatting about ideal weddings and what celebrities we think we look like...typical. We later reunited and fell asleep watching youtube videos. 

I called out of work on Monday.

Monday morning Jimmy made fresh vanilla bean pancakes for the group and then I took a bubble bath in their clawfoot tub.  We went for a nice long hike in their backyard which conveniently happens to be a redwood forrest.  Climbing around on rocks and trees and through can get pretty wild pretty quickly.  Later that night we had a lovely dinner out on the patio, where we played the game: Name 5 countries that when spelled with all capitol letters will have all open letters  (example of open letters: E, T, L, S  example of closed letters: O, P, R, D, B).  Get it? Can you name all 5?

It was a weekend full of good friends, good food, and good fun.


Colleen said...

i don't get the countries thing...sounds like a fun weekend tho!

Bridget said...

Jesse and I were thinking for a while last night of these 5 countries. Could not come up with one! Give us a clue

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