Monday, December 31, 2007

Part III ~ Palace Hotel Grand Finale!

(Dear Readers, again, note that this is the final chapter in a series of three. Please see the two entries below this for parts I & II)

5:23 a.m. PP awoke with a raging headache. Where was she? Wasn’t she at the Blue Palace swimming with Daryl Hannah? Yes, and Daryl had invited her over for a cocktail and when PP got out of the water, Daryl giggled, turned around and then dove into the bright blue sea. Vanished. Like a flying mermaid. Hey wasn’t she a mermaid in another one of her movies? That Daryl. She’s definitely part of PP’s swimming faith.

The headache pounded in her ears. Temples. Back of the head. Neck even. Where the hell was the Advil? Glancing around, PP remembered where she was. Not at the Blue Palace but at the Real Palace. With a nasty sickness. And no swimming!

Tottering into the bathroom, she retrieved the Advil and gulped two down. Then glanced over at the curtain drawn across the window in the dark stillness.

The pool opens at 5 a.m. Wonder if anyone’s swimming? Peeking through the curtain, PP spied a steady back and forth splash. Yup. Some insane swimmer was up doing laps at 5 in the morning.

Crazy. Yet, PP did admire such obsession around the pool. Another member of her swimming faith.

PP closed the drapes as the headache returned. What was she gonna do? Here she was, the day after Christmas now upon her, and she still had this stupid headache. She had had HAD to swim today before they checked out. She was no way not going to. Maybe if she went back to bed she’d feel better in a few hours. If only Daryl would come and whisk her away to her blue mermaid sea…..lying back down, sinking into the luxurious big pillows, PP smiled sleepily as the vision of a beautiful blonde flying mermaid carried her away.

“Here’s your coffee,” DHBF had run down to Starbucks instead of the crazy room service coffee extravagance. Since it was the day after Christmas they were open and pouring. Thanking him, PP took a sip of the strong brew as another shooting pain came upon her. Damn! Her headache just would not go away. The Advil from 5:23 had done little to dull the pain. What was she gonna do? She must swim before the noon checkout time, especially since she’d missed yesterday’s swim.

Glancing at the clock, PP noted that it was already 9:30 as another shooting pain took hold of her. Shit.

DHBF gave her the worried look. “You’re not any better today, are you?”
PP tried to keep back the tears as she shook her head no. “What am I gonna do? I have to swim before we leave.”
”We’ll come back again some day…” he assured her, though PP was unconvinced. When the hell would she ever have this opportunity again? It wasn’t like she was really part of the SF Aristocracy. She’d just been pretending for a couple of days so she could swim in the precious little pool. And now this damn headache!

“Can you hand me my backpack, Honey?” she waved her hand vaguely in the direction of one of the gaudy Louis the 14th style chairs. Raising an eyebrow, DHBF rose to retrieve it for her. Handing her the pack, PP rummaged around till she found the bottle of pills.
“What are you gonna do?” he asked, just a little anxious.
“I’m gonna take a Darvocet. And then I’m gonna go swimming!” she announced, stubbornness taking over common sense.
“Are you sure that’s a good idea?”
“Why not? If I’m allergic to it, a rash is better than this headache. And if I can get rid of the headache then I can go swimming.”
”Makes sense.”
Though even if he’d told her she was crazy, no way was PP gonna be talked out of the idea. Downing the pill, she lay back on the puffy pillow and took another sip of coffee. Yes. It was the only recourse. A Darvocet Swim is the answer!

30 minutes later, the pain began to subside and PP slowly rose and started to get ready for the pool.
“Is the headache gone?” DHBF asked, worry still lacing his tone.
“Yup!” PP felt a little dreamy as she put on her suit and looked around for the white terry cloth robe. “You coming?” she asked him.
Grinning, he grabbed his swim trunks and threw on his white robe. “Oh, yeah! I’m so glad your headache went away!”
“Me too. Now I can do what I came here for. The pool!”

Floating down the long hallway toward the pool, PP touched her head tenderly. She could still feel that the headache was there, but the drug really did a fabulous job of masking it! Why hadn’t she thought of this last night? If she’d taken a Darvocet then, she wouldn’t have wasted her Christmas writhing in pain.

On the other hand, she never would have discovered the Blue Palace on Crete with the 109 pools!

Signing in at the pool’s front desk, PP chitchatted with the bored pool girl about the insanity of all the new skyscrapers taking away the light and the view. Guess they’d given the Filipino Woman the day off; she certainly deserved it.

As they meandered out onto the deck, past the rosy candles and smell of coffee, PP smiled to herself about the little civilized touches of the Palace Pool. Of course they’d have coffee at the pool in the morning! Every swimmer needs to fuel up before taking the plunge. Then PP heard the sound of screeching children as they opened the door onto the deck. Damn. Children. How many? It sounded like a zillion!

But really it was only a few. 2 in the pool, shrieking in delight while throwing the kickboards across the little lanes. Another 4 in the hot tub. Wait a minute, kids in the hot tub? What’s up with that? Guess the Palace was more permissive than Mills College. But now PP didn’t care. She was deep into in a floaty Darvocet cloud and nothing was gonna phase her as she climbed into the hot tub and starting chatting with two blond brothers, ages 8 and 10 about the new Chipmunks Movie. Fortunately, a buff blonde dad came to retrieve them. It was nearly 10:30 a.m. now, and PP was hankering for that final floaty swim.

And dreamy and floaty it was. The Darvocet made swimming so easy! Why she didn’t even have to pull at the water. She just floated up and down the lane, the bright blue sky and the little lion heads on the curly cues of the building across from the pool glimmering in the morning light.

Who knew that Darvocet could make swimming so dreamy? Hell, she was gonna take a darvocet before every swim from now on. Giggling to herself as she turned at the wall, PP grinned over at DHBF as he did his slow easy breaststroke. Had he taken a Darvocet too, she wondered. No, not that she could recall. But right now it was impossible to recall anything. She was just swimming in the Moment.

Deepak Chopra would be so impressed. Though he probably wouldn’t have approved of the drug aspect of her mindfulness.

PP turned onto her back and kicked languidly on her back, watching the puffy clouds float through the blue blue sky between the surrounding skyscrapers. Laughing at the little lions on the building directly across from the pool each time she turned at the wall. Later when she pointed them out to DHBF, he shook his head, “I don’t think they’re really lions, Honey. They’re just curly cues.”
“But they look like LIONS!” PP insisted. And they did. At least in her present dreamy state.

Finishing up her laps, PP hopped into the hot tub, sinking down into its warm bubbles as she continued to watch the enchanting sky through the Palace Pool’s glass domed roof. The kids had all left. It was just her, DHBF and one lone swimmer, lounging on the chair opposite her, his body lean and long. His sideburns lean and long. What’s up with that? He looked like he could be on Masterpiece Theater in a Jane Austen production with those sideburns. Or maybe he was just from France.

It was so peaceful. So quiet. So like a dream. Why PP wouldn’t be surprised if Daryl Hannah were to appear in her gold bikini with a tray of mimosas for them.

“Did you have a nice swim?” DHBF asked as he climbed into the tub with her.
“Oh, yeah,” she murmured. “It was so dreamy.”
”Musta been the Darvocet,” he grinned.
PP smiled. “No, I don’t think it was just the Darvocet.”
He nodded, understanding her completely, as he nudged closer to her, slinging his arm round her shoulders to bend down for a final dreamy Palace Pool kiss.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Part II ~ Palace Blue

(Dear Readers, please see entry below for Part I—PP is still not quite sure how to handle the organization of chaptered entries since the blog automatically places the most recent entry first. However, she’s certain that you, Dear Readers, will figure it out, yes?)

O Glorious Christmas morn at the Palace Hotel. Room service (Hey, it’s Christmas and everything’s closed. Perfect excuse to spring for the $25 coffee and puny pastry basket. But the little individual jams are cute—blackberry and orange marmalade!) A bit of frisky play on the King-size bed, then PP runs to check out the pool! Yes! Their room has a view of the pool’s domed top and if you look closely, you can see if anyone is swimming! Can you believe that? Only a swimming kitty would get a room with the check-out if it’s crowded in the pool vista!

But this Christmas day, it’s so lovely. The San Francisco Skyscraper sky is a bright vivid blue. The air in sunshiny crisp. And yes, there are some splashers in the pool, so why not a walk first and then the pool?

At the time, PP felt a twinge of misgiving. She really just wanted to spend the entire day at the pool, but on the other hand, how often do you get a perfect walking day in San Francisco in December? Rare rare rare is this. Plus, she figured she could swim after the walk, right?

And the walk was divine. Down Mission street to the Embarcadero. A new building on the grassy knoll next the giant tacky bow and arrow sculpture. PP is convinced that there’s a pool in this new building, peering through the chain link fence, trying to decipher what its interior holds.

“The sign says here that it’s gonna be A Bar and Grill Smokehouse,” DHBF announces.
“Are you sure?” PP continues to peer through the fence. “It really looks like there’s a pool in there! Wouldn’t this be the perfect place for a pool, overlooking the bay with a view of Treasure Island and the Bridge?”
DHBF chuckles. Not everything is a pool he reminds her.

PP is hard pressed to believe this, but decides against arguing the point on this glorious day. After all, it is Christmas. The time of spiritual giving and such shit.

Personally, PP’s religion is the pool. But unfortunately she’s had little time to organize a special holiday for her faith.

Yet there is a hint of her Faith on this walk. At Aquatic Park the insane Polar Bear swimmers are out in the frigid bay. Hell, they don’t even wear wet suits! PP admires their dedication and does understand it on a watery level, but hell, you’d never get her in that 54 degree water! Then picnicking at Washington Square Park, she spies another member of her church. A gimping geezer in flip-flops and wet suit (Yes, he was limping round the park in his full wet suit!) hollering at the top of his lungs. “I’m looking for someone to go swimming with me! Hey! Will you go swimming with me?” he hails a passing Chinese woman laden with pink plastic bags. She gives him a look of crazed bewilderment as she scurries by. She’s NOT a member of His Church! But he does find someone. With the next holler a sprightly elderly North Beach Poet type slings her arm round his wet suited waist. “Sure I’ll go for a swim!”
“Hot Dog!” he cries, as he drapes his arm over her shoulders and guides her back through the park to the sea.

After lunch, walking briskly down Montgomery Street back to the Palace and the Pool, PP is stricken with the goddamn shooting pain headaches again. DAMN!!!! Wretched Wind! Maybe if she can just get to the Palace and lie down and take some Advil she’ll be ok to swim in an hour or so.

It was not to be. PP lay in the lovely King size bed writhing and whining in earache agony. How could this happen? She’d come all the way to the Palace Hotel to swim at the little pool and now this?

DHBF looked after her in his warm caring worried way. Getting her water and cookies. Telling her how the pool still looked really crowded. PP wasn’t buying it, but was too sick to even stand up and look at the pool from their window. Damn. Damn. Damn! What was she gonna do?

Nothing for now. She drifted off in a headachy doze for a few hours while DHBF went down to the festive lobby to gawk and make phone calls. PP was near tears, but didn’t have the energy to cry. Besides, if she did cry, it would only make the headache worse!

Later that evening, the headache had somewhat abated, but not enough to even contemplate for a moment a swim. DHBF sat by the bed, sifting through the room service menu and various pamphlets. “Hey, look at this. Here’s a guide to all of the Palaces in Europe. I bet you could take a Palace Pool tour.”
PP sniffled.
“Here, let’s see where you could go. Vienna…. Oslo. Frankfurt….Venice. Florence. Stockholm…. London…..wait, no London’s Palace doesn’t’ have a pool…..”
”Stupid London,” PP snorts. “Of course they wouldn’t have a pool there!”
DHBF shakes his head. “I don’t know why you hate London so much. You must have had a really bad experience there.”
”Yeah, all it did was rain and there’s no pool at their palace!”
“Hey, listen to this one,” he pauses as a slow grin comes across his handsome visage. “The Blue Palace Resort and Spa on the island of Crete.”
PP smiles to herself. Of course Crete is gonna have a great Pool Palace. It’s such an enchanted place. Plus isn’t that the island where Daryl Hannah had the three way with the Archeologist and the Doctor in ‘Summer Lovers’?

DHBF read on, excited by his find of the Blue Palace. “Experience a resort of exceptional quality. The Blue Palace is the perfect destination with its combination of natural beauty, deluxe accommodations, terracotta colors, and endless blue from the 106 private pools and the serene waters of the Cretan Pelagos Sea….”
“106 POOLS!!!!????” PP sat up in bed. “Did you say 106 pools?”
“Yup! Listen to this; all 79 bungalows and the 3 private villas each have their own private pool. The pools are seawater, but can be changed to freshwater upon request!”
“Are you kidding me?”
“Yes, hello, Michos, can you please change the seawater in my private pool to freshwater. I’ve had too much seawater for one day swimming in the Pelagos Sea ….” DHBF chuckles at the imaginary request.

PP shakes her head. There’s a place on this earth with 106 pools?
“Also there are two outdoor pools and one indoor heated pool,” he continues to read.
“Plus the 106 private pools?”
“That makes for a total of 109 pools! I have to go there!” PP’s mind reels. She must go to this Blue Palace. There was no question in her medicated congested mind. 109 pools? All in one place? She could bring all of her friends. JL and the Lovely I and Ms W and of course, DHBF! Why this would be the perfect place to establish her Church of the Pool too! But how was she ever going to make it to Crete? Here she was at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, and she couldn't even make it down the hall to the enchanting pool here!

Later that night, PP drifted off into an uneasy sickly sleep, but her dreams were filled with blue pools nestled on palm treed hillsides overlooking a turquoisy sea with Daryl Hannah in a gold bikini sipping fruity cocktails as she lounged by the side of one of the Blue Palace’s 109 blue blue pools, one lanky leg dangling in the water as she watched with lazy dreamy eyes, PP swimming back and forth and back and forth in her own private Blue Palace Pool!

~to be continued~

Friday, December 28, 2007

Part I ~ Full Disclosure

Finally! PP is well enough (though admittedly still not quite back to 100%) to write about the ‘Undisclosed Location’ for Christmas. Did anyone guess? I bet some of you did!

Well. Here you go: The undisclosed location was The Palace Hotel! (Dashingly Handsome Boyfriend’s Genius Idea for their Christmas getaway)

Was it everything she’d fantasized about?

Oh, yes and more! Of course she expected it to be exquisitely enchanting. But little did she know how much.

Donning the requisite white hotel robe and rushing down the royally carpeted hallways in bare feet and swim garb, PP was bursting with excitement. Here she was at last! The Palace Hotel Pool, lying hidden on the 4th floor, overlooking New Montgomery and Market, glowed turquoise in the late afternoon light. Stupidly, PP had forgotten to eat anything before boarding BART, so when they arrived, she was too hungry to swim. It being Christmas Eve and all, everything was closed. The little pizza place across the street. The Boulangerie Sourdough spot. Even the Quinnzoe’s Subs—which normally she would have shunned, but damn, she was hungry and she needed to eat before swimming. Otherwise, fainting would ensue. And she sure as hell didn’t need to faint at the Palace Hotel on Christmas Eve!

So 7-Eleven was gonna hafta do. Can you believe it? PP ate a 7/11 turkey and one piece of lettuce sandwich in order to swim!

But it did the trick. The major hunger pangs were quashed, and off to the pool they headed.

Yes, the same Filipino Woman was there, folding towels and laughing at PP’s need to eat. (PP had gone to the pool the very moment they checked in. Yet the hunger issue delayed her first dive. FW had cheered her on: “You need FUEL to swim!”)

So, when they finally arrived in their white terry cloth robes and the pool was hosting a couple of screaming children, PP was undaunted. Here she was, finally, at the Palace Hotel Pool! What matter a couple screaming brats! She hadn’t had to seduce some smarmy businessman at the bar (a strategy to get into the Pool that she’d written about a few months back), but was here completely legit! The white robe proved it. (Later, PP mused about how, yes, they had to sign their names in on a clipboard that the FW guarded, but there was no room number needed or any other proof that they were guests at the Palace. If somehow, she could score one of these white terry cloth robes, she could surely sneak in unsuspected.)

But that’s another blog.

This day, Christmas Eve, she was here in all her Guest Glory, ready to dive on into the perfect little pool.

First the hot tub. It was December after all and PP was still recovering from her odious sinus infection.

Climbing into the little tub, PP sank down into its delicious warm bubbles and beamed over at the pool. The kids were getting out, and so was a beautiful bikini girl. Dark, slender, lithe. Her long pony tail wet from the water, she climbed thankfully into the hot tub, “Brrrrrr….” she grinned over at PP above her chattering teeth, the skimpy bikini leaving little to the imagination.

“Is it cold?” PP had asked, only a little worried. She’d felt the water earlier. It was at least 81 or 82.
“Oh, yes, but I could not swim much. I am a very bad swimmer.” She gave PP a wide sexy grin. Her accent giving that added cosmopolitan flare to her sexy persona. PP was naturally delighted to chat with her. The Palace Hotel Pool was not only cute, but it attracted sexy bikini girls from faraway lands!

Can the Fantasy get any better?

Ah, but this was Reality! Yet, PP could hardly believe it was happening. For so long now she’d wanted to swim in this pool and now, on Christmas Eve, it was really happening. With Sexy Israeli Woman to boot! PP wondered what she did in L.A., but was too overcome with excitement to really partake of her usually probing story dredging. Maybe she was an actress or a model? She certainly looked like one. And isn’t that why good looking people flock to L.A. from Israel? To be in the movies?

Who knows? She was probably just a software engineer, whatever the hell that is, but it sounds good!

“I’m warm enough now, PP nodded to DHBF who was also unabashedly charmed by SIW. “So, I’m gonna swim now. Hope I don’t get too cold.”
SIW shook her head, smiled in a gorgeous movie star way, “Oh, I am sure you’ll be fine!”

And PP was. The Palace Hotel Pool was lit as the sky darkened, and PP found herself looking out the windowed sheltered dome at the 4th story of the office buildings surrounding the pool. It was just too cool. To be swimming up here amongst the skyscrapers in downtown SF at the Magical Palace Hotel Pool! PP turned onto her back after warming up, gazing up at the moon shinning through the glassed domed ceiling. She was in Heaven and it was Christmas Eve!

Who needs Santa?

Back and forth, PP kicked, and then swam. The pool now empty except for herself and DHBF. It seemed so effortless, this swim in the Palace Pool. She hardly felt like she was working out at all. And it was NOT cold. 82 degrees is what had been advertised, and PP guessed that this was exactly right. (Thank goodness they hadn’t gone to Asilomar with the Lovely I and her GF where the pool was only 75! At least this was the info that the Lovely I had gotten that PP had heard third hand from JL. Hopefully, this wasn’t really the case for the Lovely I. Though PP thought that they could just heat up the pool for her. After all, she was the Lovely I and she had deigned to grace their pool!)

45 minutes later, PP was warming down, eyeing DHBF already back in the hot tub chatting up SIW. Duh! Bet he was having a very merry Christmas! Seeing a trio of rounded swimmers shed their white robes and climb gingerly down the ladder into the pool, beginning the inevitable out of the water breast stroke right toward her, PP decided it was time to get back into the hot tub. To avoid a collision. But also to check up on DHBF and SIW. They needed her to really have fun!

“You are such a good swimmer,” SIW gushed shyly.
“Oh, thanks,” PP grinned, sinking into the tub.
“I must learn how to swim better! I need to practice more!”
“That’s all it takes. Practice and a pool!” PP encouraged as she slid over next to DHBF.
“She’s a runner,” he nodded toward SIW.
“Wow! That’s wonderful,” PP admired. Runners were so out of her imagination. How anyone can run without barfing was a mystery to her.
“Yes. I used to run marathons. But that was many years ago. Now I cannot. My back, it is bad. Sciatic nerve.”
PP nodded sympathetically, remembering OH’s back problems around this nerve. His pain and surgery. Hopefully, SIW wouldn’t have to have surgery. PP thought this, but didn’t mention it to her.
“She also has ear problems.” DHBF certainly had obtained a lot of information while PP was swimming laps.
“Oh, yes, I have a tiny hole in my eardrum. I can not even stand to get one drop of water in my ear.”
”Oh, that’s too bad,” PP sympathized, her own ears being such a problem lately what with the tenacious sinus infection from Hell.
“But I have these ear plugs! Have you seen them? They come from Israel. They are wrapped in cotton.”
PP shook her head. She didn’t know about the Israeli Cotton earplugs.
“I have so many. Let me get you some!” SIW beamed brightly as she hopped out of the tub, her long legs dashing across the deck to the little group of handsome dark men in the corner, waiting for her, bored and sullen.
“Here, you can have these,” she returned, handing PP several of the little plugs.
“You seen them before?” she asked as she held the black and gold tin in front of PP for inspection.
“Wow, thanks,” PP took the gift, as she glanced at the tin. It just looked like one of those Altoid tins but was filled with earplugs instead of mints. Embarrassed a little, PP took the plugs, “You sure you can spare these?”
SIW pooh-poohed! “Oh! I have lots. Please you take them. You are a real swimmer. They are the best ear plugs.”
PP thanked her again, and then carefully popped the plugs into her cap, dubious of their real effectiveness in the water. They looked more like plugs for blocking out sound rather than water, but hey, maybe the Israelis know how to make cotton earplugs for the pool? Hell, it didn’t matter. She’d gotten her first Christmas present of the season and how enchanting that it was from a Sexy Israeli Beauty at the Palace Hotel!

~To be continued~

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas and Pools

As many of you may already know, PP is heading off for an 'undisclosed location' for the Christmas holiday. Of course, any destination she chooses will have a pool.

Do you think the pool will have a floating Christmas tree, too?
PP can only hope so!

Stories to come after Christmas!

Till then, swim swim swim!!!


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Everybody Got a Blow Job

So much was happening at the pool today. The last day at Mills before the long winter break, that PP can’t write it all down what with JL, and the Lovely I and DHBF not to mention many Random Swimmer’s Commentaries and Asides. So, she’s gonna try something a little different and try to write her blog ala Frank O’Hara’s ‘Do this Do That’ style…..

Of course, she’s no Frank O’Hara.

But he’s dead, so he’ll never know that his name is going underwater.

For you Frank:

You’re not gonna like the water today. It’s really COLD!
I was in the Hot Tub the other day and these Sport Jocks were complaining about the Cold Water and then I got in and it wasn’t so bad.
There were tons of empty lanes but she had to choose mine!
Lane Stalker.
I like the Middle of a Relationship. Not the Beginning. Not the ending. That’s why I’m still single. How do you get to the middle without a Beginning?
Not me! I love the Beginning. The Chase! I miss That!
And then it turned out that this woman who insisted on getting in my lane was the same Woman who crashed into my car in the Whole Foods Parking Lot eons ago.
How do you get to Lions Pool? I can give really good directions to the wrong places, but only bad directions to the good places.
Why is this a bad kickboard?
You guys do know that you only have 15 minutes left to swim before the pool closes?
We’ve been friends for over 8 years and now we’re dating.
They never like to take the covers off but I wave my cane around and that gets ‘em moving.
Will you save me if I start getting Hypothermia?
I did all this research on pools in Dallas and this one 50 meter one looked good online but when I got there the deck was all slimy and the bulkhead was in the wrong place.
Did you hear how Pool C’s kitty got attacked by Coyotes?
Is everyone blaming you for the pool fee increase?
She reminds me of a whippet. She looks so sad.
A little bit of well-deserved sarcasm can go a long way to making you feel better.
I went to San Francisco and thought how everyone is Sooo Nice. Then I went to New York, and I thought, wow, everyone is sooo NICE and then I went to Paris and I thought, Wow, everyone is SOOO Nice. Then I had to think that maybe it was where I was coming from and NOT the place I was going to at all!
Did you like the Hello Kitty Hair Dryer?
Everyone tried it. JL. The Lovely I. PP.
Great! So then everyone got a Blow Job.

Frank O’Hara would like that last line, so PP’s gonna leave it at that.

Many thanks to the Lovely I, JL, DHBF and Random Swimmers.

Happy Winter Break and may you all find pools to sustain you while Club Mills is closed.

And PoetOwen's Nod to Frank! (and PP, too, of course!)

it is 1:18 in Berkeley
and I
am wondering if pool
puss has a new entry
but I'm distracted by
HD who comes in carrying
a piece of carrot
I say hey that's no
cat toy but then I
do read the entry
and it's funny as
all get-out

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Have a Happy Hello Kitty Hair Day!

"We got you a little something. It's NOT a Christmas present! We don't DO Christmas! D found it cheap at Target. Of course, it is swimming related. But I hope you don't already have one!"

The Lovely I retrieved a paper bag from her stash of swim stuff. PP loves it that the Lovely I and her GF don't do Christmas and has decided to embrace this doctrine herself this year. Why? Is it just PP's naturally Grinch-like personality? Perhaps. Or is it her perpetually Cheapskate inclination? Could be. Or is it simply that she'd rather spend the dough on a Pool Trip than participate in the always fake feeling 'Spirit of Giving' that is the season? Yeah, that's it. PP is just so selfish! All she really wants to do is swim and write and swim some more. Forget shopping. PP LOATHES shopping! And while it does feel a little strange to not be heading to Moe's to pick out books for her friends and family, a bigger part of her is relieved that a trip to Somewhere Instead is where her hard earned dollars are going. And hey! Then she'll still be participating in keeping that good ol' American Economy going by spending on hotels, rental cars, and of course, pools at faraway and warmer destinations.

So, when The Lovely I retrieved a paper bag from her stash of swim stuff, PP was utterly delighted and pleased that she would be the recipient of a NON-Christmas gift from these two.

And when she opened it up , what did she behold?


How supurr cool is that? PP can't believe that she didn't already have one, but she didn't. And so, after the blissful, post sick swim in the bright tuquoisey afternoon, PP stood with Tall J Artist in the Mills College bathroom, drying her hair.

"It's so damn cold. You gotta dry your hair!" TJA laughed as she flung a bundle of wet hair round her neck, aiming the hair dryer forcefully at the tangle of chlorinated bleachness.
"Look at my Hello Kitty Dryer!" PP boasted, floating the pink handle round the bathroom sink.
"Ohhh! I'm jealous!" TJA gushed as she leaned over to check it out. "Wow! It's so cute!"
"Yeah, and look what it says here on the side, "Have a Happy Hair Day!"
"Well, you're certainly gonna!" TJA pronounced as the Lovely I sauntered in to survey the hair drying progress.
"Does it work?" she asked, a little worried.
"Oh yeah! It works fabulously!" PP danced around in a little circle, squirting some hot hair on the Lovely I's dark, wet bun on the back of her neck. Like it was gonna make a difference!
But for PP's golden, wispy locks, the Hello Kitty Hairdryer was just the ticket! With a soft setting and a strong setting and a warm and a cool. Why it was so pink!

Leave it to The Kitty to get the Hair Dryer right!

And with a final happy Blow Blow, PP finished up her Do and wrapped the Miss Kitty's Happy Hair Dryer cord back round her pink handle and popped her back into the swim bag.

Now,thanks to the Lovely I and her shopping GF, PP has the supurr deluxe, Hello Kitty Hair Dryer to help out with the wet tresses in the post swim winterland!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

in lieu of swimming

Since PP has been odiously under the weather and therefore, unable to swim, she’s had to find other activities that don’t demand too much brainpower since her brain is mucus land.


So what has she been doing in lieu of swimming?

Watching lots and lots of daytime TV, what else? Any oh, my! What a lot she has learned!

Tyra taught her ‘How to recognize a fake!’ Now PP can tell the difference between fake hair extensions and human ones (The human ones BOUNCE!) between a REAL Gucci Bag and a Knockoff (the real one has soft leather lining that feels like “Charmin”--Oh that Tyra, she has a way with simile) and between the Real Tyra and the Fake One. (The Real one is Taller, Fatter, and Stupider!)

What else has PP learned from daytime TV? On Oprah she learned all about Elizabeth Gilbert’s Charmed Literary life and how she’s become a literary rock star cuz of her new book ‘bout her spiritual journey from the bathroom floor to Italy to India to New Jersey. She calls her book, “Eat, Pray, Love.”

Hell, PP could write her own spiritual journey but doubts that she’d get on Oprah since she’d call hers, “Drink, Swim, Fuck.”

Oh, and don’t forget Judge Judy! My oh my don’t mess with her! If you are the sorry sap who borrowed your neighbor’s vacuum to mop up your apartment that was ‘egged’ (Who the hell gets ‘egged’ anymore?), then break said vacuum, then refuse to pay for a new one from the pert blonde neighbor you borrowed it from, watch out cuz Blondie’s gonna sue you on Judge Judy and Judge Judy is gonna make you pay. And ‘ummm’ is not an answer! So answer ‘Yes, M’am, or No, M’am,’ unless you want to do hard time in Judy’s Court.

Soap operas? Aren’t these the staple of daytime? All My Clich├ęs is especially educational this week. PP learned that you should never store alcohol in your fake breast implants to try to get a no good rich guy outta the slammer by tempting him to drink again so he can remember that he did not run over the town big wig. This is a violation of Civil Code 128887. Eva’s gonna pay for her mistake by some jail time of her own. PP also learned that family is everything. And heck you gotta protect what’s yours, but not at the expense of their independence and the stroking of your own goddamn mighty ego. Thanks Crystal. But most of all she learned that you always have to listen to your dreams. If your husband is missing and your ex best friend on the lam psychopath is believed to be with him and you dream that your husband shoots this ex best friend, well, you gotta listen to that dream and run out into the woods in the middle of the night in your high heels and mink coat to go search for them. Many thanks, Kendall!

So, while this isn’t exactly a swimming story, per se, it is an instead of swimming blog about the joys of being too sick to do anything but watch daytime TV.

And as Meredith says, “Who wants to be a Millionaire?”

Hell, we all do!

And as PP always says, “Who wants to go for a swim?”

She does!

So, please, everyone out there, Drink, Swim and Fuck for PP till she gets her fins back on and dives back into that beautiful, liquidy home away from home, The Pool!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Oh! Those Devious Professional Swimmers!

Finally! Capt. G was coming to the Y as PP’s guest for a much needed indoor swim—what with the cold windy grayness of December, an indoor swim seemed purrfect.

Oh dear. PP is just too wretchedly sick to write this story. Damn! And it’s so funny! Maybe she can write it in summary form? Or a delirious fevered rendition might just work for the story to unfold in all it’s devious glory? Yes; this will work. Or if not, who cares? Not PP, whose fever-induced boredom has made her turn to the only other passion she has when she can't swim: Writing!

Waiting for Capt. G to arrive, PP had picked up a copy of Rita Mae Brown’s Sneaky Pie series. Again, since she’s so sick today, can’t remember the title, but yet, she’s always loved the idea of the cat and corgi detective helpers. Plus, she’s been intrigued by the YMCA’s book shelf here in the lobby for months, but has never had the time to peruse its contents. Mostly the usual suspects. Mysteries. Romances. A couple New-agey titles about finding your inner guru shit.

Opening the Rita Mae Brown one, PP starts in on the first page, but the cat and corgi don’t even make an appearance before Capt G rushes in for the appointed meeting time, 4 pm, after droppin off her teenage daughter and friends for some youth code conduct meeting……those youth. PP thinks no meeting is gonna code them into good conduct and that’s exactly what? Well, obviously, PP knows nothing about any Code of Conduct as the following narrative will illustrate!

“Sorry I’m late,” Capt. G gushes, brushing a stray blonde strand out of her eyes.
“No, you’re fine. It’s only 5 after 4. You just need to sign in at that notebook (PP points to a binder lying open on the front counter) and give him a picture ID, right?” PP grins at the bored, but friendly young man behind the counter.
“That’s right,” he agrees as he gets back to the phone or the computer or folding towels or some such task, not really paying attention to them.

Capt. G’s eyes widen in surprise and shock as she mouths silently across the counter at PP, “I DON'T.....HAVE...A...a Picture ID!!!!”
Damn! PP’s been trying to get Capt G to the Y for almost a year and now the lack of picture ID is gonna stop them?

NO way! Luckily, PP watches plenty of soap operas so deviousness has become second nature to her. Pulling out her own wallet, she grabs her FFU picture ID and slips it sneakily over to Capt. G. Rita Mae Brown woulda been proud! “Here….he’ll never know the difference,” she whispers. And really Capt. G and PP do look similar. Both blonde, blue eyed, fair skinned. The eth-mix youth won’t know the difference. Or so PP hopes. Not missing a beat, Capt G takes the ID and hands it sweetly over to him, who true to PP’s suspicion, doesn’t even glance at it.

Whew! They’re in, as they both grab towels and run giggling down the stairs. It was like they were in 7th grade and getting away with smoking in the bathroom. Not that PP ever smoked in bathrooms; honest, she didn’t. Had never developed a taste for that particular vice, but she was pretty sure Capt G had. Well, maybe not, but CG sure went along with the passed off ID scam.

Delighted, they catch their breaths, and then eyeing each other across the lockers, bust up laughing.
“I can’t believe I did that!” PP exclaims, proud of her devious ingenuity.
“Me neither,” CG agrees.
“We’re not embracing those YMCA values of Honesty and Responsibility are we?”
”Hell, I do stuff like that all the time and then my kids look at me like, “MOM? What the Hell….and I just tell ‘em to shut up and I’ll explain later.”
Cracking up again, they head out to the pool. “Hurry, before he sends someone after us,” PP jokes as they grab the towels and head out to the deck, two blondes on the lam. Anything for a swim!

In the pool, they split a lane initially, PP pleasantly surprised that this is possible on a Sunday afternoon. But their idyllic rhythm is short lived as swimmers pile in, eager to get in a workout before closing time at 6. Capt G is a pro at not making eye contact with the prospective lane sharers, and hence circle swim hell. PP is amazed that they get in a half an hour before a sweet, unassuming Asian guy gets in with his Hawaii print navy trunks and begins his out of the water breast stroke right in front of Capt. G.

Not a swimmer.

After only half a lap, Capt G inadvertently mows him over with her backstroke on the way back down the lane. PP notes that they both stop, exchange a laugh and then Capt. G continues on her way.

Asian Non Swimmer climbs out of the pool after only 2 laps. “Did we scare you away?” PP jokes, resting at the wall.
He shakes his head, pleasant, smiles big. “No no, it’s ok. You are Professional Swimmers!”

Cracking up PP wants to say, no, we’re not Professional Swimmers, we're just lying devious bitches who break into the YMCA without the proper authority and then take over the lane, completely breaking the YMCA’s contract of sharing, responsibility, caring and honesty. Hey, but, they painted over those values at the pool. Maybe they don’t apply anymore?

PP grins as ANS climbs into the lane next to hers, joining 4 Asian guys who don’t swim. Perfect, now they can have their own non-swimming lane without interfering with the Professional Swimmers! PP watches as they giggle and bob about. One demonstrating a spastic free-style out of the water as the rest nod and flounder, tyring to mimic his serious stroke.

After their swim, Capt G sighs happily, exclaiming once again how great swimming makes her feel. PP has to agree, of course, but this day there was the added excitement of breaking the rules. Swimming on the lam. Every swimmer should try it. Whether it’s breaking into the Y with a fake ID, or climbing the fence at midnight at the local high school, or skinny dipping in your parents’ suburban kidney shaped pool. Forbidden Swimming. Who ever knew?

It makes the watery experience so much more exhilarating!

Unless, of course, you’re the poor Asian Guy who mistakenly believes that the Lying Bitches are Professional Swimmers!

But no way in Hell was PP gonna tell him or the tired YMCA attendant otherwise as she gets Capt. G to pick up ‘her’ ID as they wait in the lobby for the teenage girls to appear.

Wonder what they'd say if they knew about their mother's duplicitous tactics to gain a swim?

Who knows?

PP certainly wasn't gonna ask as she follows Capt. G's group of teenagers out the front door and back into the cold dark reality of Blondes not on the lam!

Mad as Hell!

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!” Remember that line? Remember that movie? Network , right? What was everyone so ma...