Sunday, December 31, 2006

Goddamn Lions Pool!

Is Lions the most goddamn insane pool in the world for crowds? Okay, maybe not in the world. Lord knows that pool in Paris was like a French Waterway Freeway, complete with rules and regulations galore. And what about the pool in China? Hell, that was an adventure in maneuvering the Children Rule Obstacle Course.

But Lions? What the hell is up with that place? I mean! Granted it is a holiday of sorts. Though why everyone and their grandmother is swimming on goddamn New Year’s eve is a complete mystery to Pool Puss. Don’t they hafta go out and buy their 16 cases of champagne to party till the midnight hour? Evidently not. They’re all swimming at Lions complete with every conceivable type of accoutrement!

Hell, there was a lady in the slow lane (or is it really the Chatting Lane?) with a goddamn wool ski hat on. PP kids you not! Dirty brown with little white snowflake designs. PP kept wondering what happened to all that wool when she went underwater. Thankfully, she didn’t.

And the Mammoth Whale Man? Lord help us! PP is resting for a moment at the side of the pool, awestruck at the sheer volume of swimmers. 6? 7? No, maybe 8 swimmers in the center ‘fast lane’—of course with so many swimmers it’s a little difficult to go fast. In addition to Wool Ski Hat Lady in the Chatting Lane there musta been at least 10? No couldn’t be that many? Yeah it could. So PP tries the medium lane, with only 7 or 10 swimmers, and much to her astonishment watches in rapt amazement as Mammoth Whale Man takes a running leap from the deck and plunges into the middle of the fray. And what a fray he creates! Plowing up the center of the lane. Completely oblivious to everyone else. Watch out! He’s coming thro!

And the poor Super Fast Swimmer from mills in the center lane! PP stops for a moment (she’s been hopping from lane to lane hoping to get in some sort of swim between the crowds—an Equal Opportunity Swimmer as a very witty woman said the other day in the shower) again, to survey the scene and SPS sighs heavily, completely exasperated with the plodding pace. PP nods, tries for a joke. “No one’s as fast as you are!” SFS just nods and takes off, her effortless power jetting thro the washing machine waves.

And the showers! PP tries not to think about it, but the claustrophobia is hard to keep at bay. She does get a shower. In the middle. Observes Ski Cap Lady come in and take off her cap before shampooing up her long gray hair. JL giggles and exclaims, much to PP’s delight, “IS THAT A WOOL CAP YOU HAVE ON?” shouting to make herself heard over the 6 women all soaping up and sharing showers. SCL nods. “Yup.” “WOW! What a good idea!” JL grins. It is pretty funny. PP hasta admit that.

But as Janice, the Pool Maven is hollering how everyone can share her shower and the two women getting dressed next to PP (now outta the shower) marvel at Mammoth Whale Man’s Stroke. “How does he do it? He just glides through the water. He must be so strong!” PP grimaces. That’s one way to put it. She’d call it Obnoxious, but what does she know?

Safely outta the locker room (somehow PP’s survived), JF sighs, “Well, that was quite an Experience. Ready for Cat World?”

Sighing, PP nods, “Sure, what the Hell. There’s no way that it could be as bad as the pool.”

Happy Fucking New Year to all! And may next year be filled with empty pools, languid mermaids, and lots of warm warm water!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Julianne’s Triathlon

PP is so thrilled to be swimming again in the daytime thanks to her new swim tights! Shielding her from 98% of those deadly UVB Rays! (Not that it seems like any rays get through the cloud cover 5 days before the shortest, darkest day of the year!)

Now it’s back to afternoon Hot Tub Talk, complete with JL, the Lovely I, and Serious Swimmer Cat Woman, who’s talking about training for triathlons. An activity that completely eludes PP.

“Yeah, so a lot of it was these Transitions,” SSCW laughs, stretching her long, bare freckled leg on the edge of the tub. (PP is gonna be so hyper aware now of everyone’s exposed skin at the pool since she can’t expose any!) “And I don’t know. It was a cross between Utter Boredom and a Complete Waste of Time. A lot of time was going from one activity to the other with these Transitions. Like we’d get outta the water and then walk to the car to get changed for the Bike part and eat a Snickers bar and hang out for 45 minutes and…..”

“I like the Snickers Bar part!” PP interrupts, giggling.
“Yeah, that was the best part,” SSCW agrees.
“I guess I just don’t understand why anyone would wanna do a triathlon,” PP muses aloud.
“No, me neither,” SSCW agrees again. PP has never seen her so agreeable. Maybe it was all those Snickers Bars making her sweeter? “You know,” SSCW continues, “I get done with my swim and then what? Now we have to run? Or bike? Hell, the swim was enough for me.”
“Yeah I’d think so,” PP nods.
“We could construct our own kind of Triathlon,” JL giggles in delight. “Pool. Hot Tub. Shower.”
We all crack up.
“Or how about Pool. Hot Tub. Lunch?” The Lovely I grins.
“Even better!” PP laughs along with the group, even the middle-aged White Guy from Montclair smiles. Not sure if he’s supposed to participate in the dialogue?

Well, he’s not really since he’s obviously not part of the Pool Princess Club, but we’d probably make an exception as everyone’s in such a jolly mood.

Must be the Holiday Spirit at the Hot Tub?

Hey, now that PP thinks of it, The Middle-Aged White Guy did have a bit of a white beard and a round belly and….

Santa Claus in the Hot Tub?

Sure, why not. Anything is possible now that PP can swim again in the middle of the day!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Spirit of Bianca

“I can’t believe I’m up before 10:30. I never get up before 10:30. Sometimes I get up by 9, but that’s unusual.”
“And it’s so cool swimming in the morning!”
“Yeah, I never get up before 10:30.”
PP yawns in a grin, “What time do you get up?”
10:30 Girl stares right at her. “2 or 3 a.m.”
“Ahh, well, that explains it.”

PP sinks deeper into the steamy tub. 10:30! Hell, she’d love to sleep till 10:30! Students! They are so goddamn lazy and spoiled. Why look at them, lounging about on the hot tub ledge. Bet they didn’t even swim! Lazy good for nothing students.

“And then it was after 3 a.m. and I heard Trudy close her lap top and then start sobbing hysterically.” 10:30 Girl comments matter-of-factly.
“What was wrong?” Non-10:30 Friend asks.
“I dunno. It was after she’d been trying to write this paper for her IR class, and then I think she had just emailed the professor. And then I heard her crying. Maybe she’s having a torrid affair with her and …..”

Did PP hear that right? Or is the spirit of Bianca, the Luscious AMC Lesbian Daughter of the famed Erica Kane, so far in her brain that she hears such things?

“What did you do?” Non-10:30 Friend asks, all concern about Trudy.
10:30 Girl shrugs, “Nothing. I mean what could I do? It was 3:30 in the morning and she was crying and I told her it was after 3 in the morning. She should just go to sleep. But she just kept crying.”

Non-10:30 Friend nods. Of course, what could she do? It wasn’t like 10:30 Girl could go and call up the Lesbian Torrid Affair Professor and invite her over to soothe her Student Girlfriend at 3 in the morning.

PP turns and starts to stuff her too long hair in her cap. The morning sun freaking her out in its brightness. Was she ever gonna be normal again after the melanoma? If only she could go swimming at 3 in the morning with the Lesbian Professor and Trudy. No sun and lots of sin.
Now there’s a plan!

Heaving herself outta the tub, PP gathers up her kickboard, fins and pull buoy and starts over to the pool, the cold concrete making her shiver.

“Bye bye! Have a Nice Day!”
PP turns and smiles at Non 10:30 Friend who’s called out this friendly and seemingly genuine greeting. It’s not often that ‘Have a Nice Day’ sounds sincere.

“Thanks, you too!” she hollers back.

Maybe students aren’t so bad after all, PP thinks, as she picks an open lane in the middle of the pool’s steaming morning water. A fine silver mist covering the surface. Maybe there was something sorta enchanting about swimming in the morning. Especially if the spirit of Bianca was with you!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Hotel Lafayette

“I visited San Diego over Thanksgiving. I like it.”
PP nods as she watches Dancer Woman tuck her hair into her navy cap.
”Yeah, me too. My sister lives down there.”
“I found a great hotel if you ever want one. With an Olympic Sized Pool!”
Of course, PP cries out in delight, even though it is only 8:30 in the morning and it’s so damn cold that her kitty fur is standing on end. “WOW! How cool! What’s the name of it?”
“It’s called the Hotel Lafayette.”
PP nods. “I can remember that.” She doesn’t tell Dancer Swimmer the reason why she can remember is because Dashingly Handsome Boyfriend plays Mr. Lafayette, the Hit Man, in a horror film in progress.
“And all the rooms are named after Hollywood Stars. I got to stay in Cary Grant’s room.”
”How classy!” PP exclaims, wondering what other film stars have rooms named after them. Betty Grable? Marilyn Monroe? Jimmy Stewart? Mae West? Humphrey Bogart? Jean Harlow?

PP likes the idea of staying in Jean Harlow’s room. Tough, no nonsense and Blonde.

Grinning, PP watches as DS sighs wistfully, perhaps remembering the Olympic sized pool and the balmy San Diego breezes?

Or maybe she was thinking about Cary Grant?

Chuckling, PP watches as DS heads out into the coldness, wondering how far and how long Cary Grant swam in his day?

Somehow, PP thinks that he probably spent more time poolside, sipping martinis and smoking fine cigars as she follows DS out into the cold crisp morning.