Showing posts from September, 2007

Sauna Talk

“Naaaht chaatt kaa ghaaa.”
“Quaattt….naha nah haummm…..”

Giggles, eyes shining, nods. PP closes her eyes and slumbers in the spacey sauna zone to a language completely foreign. Maybe some African language? Ethiopia? Eritrea? Ghana? PP knows that Oakland has communities of all these countries. The two women are dark skinned and ample. Their towels spread out under them on the warm wooden benches. The one closest to PP has some sort of silvery glitter substance spread all over her body, the tiny fragments falling at her bare feet looking like little bits of jade broken glass. The smell of pine and incense. Her face is covered in some sort of green goo mask.

What women won’t do to look beautiful? Or feel better? Or just commune?

“Nahhhatt…cha cha queee….”

More giggles. The gossip of women in saunas is such a part of the swim experience for PP. Has been for so many years. These women, because PP can’t understand even one word of their conversation, not only lull her into a spacey mus…

Nice & Easy

Drying off in the locker room, PP was trying to get warm. Sure, the Perfect Postcard Pool had been enchanting, but the mountain air was definitely not Waikiki! And the showers. Ok, they’d been warm enough, but frankly, PP coulda used a bit more water pressure. (Though she understood how the Tahoe area was in semi-drought mode.)

Ducking her head down to wrap her wet hair in the towel, she heard the quick wet steps of another swimmer hurry into the shower. Must be her, Super Fast Swimmer, PP thought to herself as she slipped on her clothes and started to brush out her hair. Wonder if she got cold too even with her wetsuit on?

Probably. Wetsuits helped but they weren’t a complete answer to the brisk air temp.

Out of the shower, and yes it was she, SFS, PP smiled over at her as she toweled off. “You are SO FAST!” PP exclaimed, surprising herself. Usually she didn’t engage strangers in the locker room so immediately, but SFS had been impressive.

Shyly she grinned. “I really don’t like to…

Perfect Postcard Pool

Alas, the swimming lagoon at Squaw Valley was closed for the ‘season’ but this certainly did not deter pp from finding another pool. This is what she did. Find pools as soon as she landed. And while Lake Tahoe’s turqoisey blue called to her, PP knew she was not robust enough to venture into its clear magical waters.

Too goddamn COLD!

So, off to the South Lake Tahoe Recreation Complex! Heated Pool. Six 25-yard lanes.

And……when PP and Dashingly Handsome BF arrived, completely EMPTY!!!

PP was in Heaven and hardly able to contain her excitement as she rushed into the homey office where a friendly pool girl was pouring over her algebra homework from the local Community College.

“Hi!” PP bounced up to the counter, DH following in happy contentment. After all, he’d found the pool for her on the Internet before their arrival. “Two for lap swimming. You do have lap swimming, yes?”
PP glanced through the windows at the lovely empty pool surrounded by tall dusky pines under a cool and breezy mounta…

Playful Pool Pandemonium

Did the entire city of Oakland decide to go swimming at Mills Pool today? Granted, it did turn out to be a lovely Sunday afternoon after the morning grays, but c’mon. Weren’t there any other activities going on today?

What about the farmers market?
Or Chabot Space Center?
Or a nice bike ride up at Tilden?

Was Mills Pool the only choice available?

Evidently, as PP nervously splits a lane with Dashingly Handsome BF and the Lovely I good-naturedly circle swims in the next lane even though she’s trying to do her aqua jogging. Lurking on deck are several perspective swimmers surveying the unusually crowded pool. Mills is never this crowded. Even on the hottest summer days. And what’s today? September 16?

What’s up with that?

PP thinks it must be cuz she’s been absent so long from the scene and even though she thought the Lovely I had only called her to go for a swim, in fact, she’d called ALL of her friends to come too!

Glancing over at the Lovely I’s lane, with the continued chaotic circle swim…

YMCA Values Resuscitated

“I see there’s a third person joining your lane.” Mole Man gives PP a toothy grin as she pauses at the wall to turn around, spying the ‘third’ waving at her from the other side of the pool.

PP probably frowned. At least she thought a frown. MM picked up on this, Mr. Intuitive that he is. “I tell you what, you can have my lane here and I’ll just move over and swim with the third in your lane.”
Gaping in astonishment, PP’s mouth drops open. Is he for real? He’d give up his split own lane for her circle swim one?

“You’re a Good Swimmer,” he continues, nodding and grinning. “I really admire Good Swimmers. So you should have your own lane to get a good workout in.”

Dumbfounded, PP smiles in massive appreciation, “Wow, that’s so nice of you! You sure?”
“Yeah, my pleasure,” and before PP can thank him again, he’s ducked under the lane line to allow her to trade with him.

Swimming in MM’s lane, PP shakes her head underwater. (Well, not really, but you know what she means.) The wonder of it all. Th…


After being closed for an entire week, PP expected Big Changes at the YMCA pool, so when she entered into the Pool Auditorium and was greeted with the overwhelming smell of fresh paint, she thought, well, guess at least the walls are whiter.

So what?

Getting into the pool, she noticed right away that the water was freezing. What’s up with that one lately? Is it just her pool karma that every pool, whether it’s the normally warm Y or the unknown Heather Farms, is out to envelop her with goosebumple chills?

PP hates hates hates being cold!

But as she jumped into the icy Y this afternoon, sharing the lane with a lounging on the side French accented guy, she thought at least I’m at the Pool! This is really what matters, right?

Yet her shoulder and neck began to ache in earnest as she pressed on in the chilly water, glancing over at the poor pretty Asian lifeguard shivering in the lane next to her teaching teeth chattering little fish. Damn! She must really be cold just standing there!


“Did you have a nice swim?” PP asks her Lane Mate, now across from her in the shower.
“Oh, yeah….I needed it.”
Laughing, PP nods. Knows what she means. When you need a swim, you really need a swim.
“Yeah, I didn’t know what time the pool closed today,” LM continues, stripping off her bikini bottoms. PP tries not to stare. Even after all these years of swimming and communal showers, she still works hard at the Nonchalant Shower Etiquette. But LM is sexy in that swimmer works out way. Lean and muscular, with barely an ass but the flat tummy and wait, she hasn’t seen her breasts yet…..
“….so, when I got here, I thought the pool closed at 4:45 (it was round 4:20 when they’d gotten in the lane together), “cuz last year they did.”
“So you were pleasantly surprised?” PP finishes for her.
“Yeah. I had Negative Expectations.”

PP nods as she tries not to watch her take off the bikini top. But she does anyway, just a little out of the corner of her soapy eye—her breasts were surprisingly large with t…

Satan or Savior

Ok, can PP just state for the record that Yahoo Maps is the Devil Incarnate? (And who exactly is Yahoo Maps? Too bad PP can’t find out, cuz she’d go and bomb their corporate offices, but how the hell do you bomb any entity in Cyberspace? )

Satan is the mastermind behind Yahoo Maps; she’s sure of this. All she wanted to do was find the beauteous Heather Farms Pool in Walnut Creek that she’d heard such rave reviews about so she could swim this week while the Oakland Y was closed. She looked this pool up on line. 20 Lap lanes! 50-meter pool. And the enticing picture of the Butterfly Guy (see insert in previous blog). Well, needless to say, PP was very excited and full of Pool Anticipation after her long day at WWU.

So, she’d gone to Yahoo Maps and gotten the ‘directions’. 11 minutes from WWU—perfect.

45 minutes later, on the insane Ygnacio Valley Road that had turned mysteriously into a goddamn freeway, PP was near tears and cursing Yahoo Maps.

45 minutes = 11 Minutes?

Not in her book!





Technically, this isn’t a pool story per se, but it’s a coming home from the pool story, so it counts. At least as far as PP is concerned and frankly that’s all that matters.

After an especially relaxing swim at the Oakland Y –own lane for a 1000 yards or so-- a definite rarity-- and then splitting the lane with the Beautiful Smiling T—more on her in another blog---PP hops, no actually she just sorta languidly slides into the overly warm Geo to make her way back up Broadway. She always pauses at the stop sign at Webster and 24th. Should she turn here and then make the turn on Broadway without the aid of the cute right hand turn arrow, or should she just mosey on up to the turn arrow and wait so she doesn’t have to think?

Today, she opts for not thinking.
Little did she know.

There they were. A Lovely Anxious Helping Woman holding her silver dashboard shield (later PP marvels at her ingenuity—what a wonderful idea to come up with in the middle of a crises—PP could never think so creativel…