Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Under Construction

Since PP's home and office have been subject to much odious and heinous Demolition (the back decks behind her bedroom/office are the subject of this 'project'), she's been unable to write or think for the last week.

Of course, the only recourse she's had is to escape to the pool, so there will be many pool stories, but for now, she's just gonna tease you with the titles:

The Lovely I Rescues a Lovely Ladybug
What!? No Babies?
Where's the Turtle?
All you have to do is Focus
How do you make it look so easy?

and many more....

^**^ ~stay tuned~ ^**^

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pink Shark Lady

“I got to chat with Pink Shark Lady again,” DL grins shyly as PP sinks into the welcoming warmth of the hot tub. Nodding, she eyes DL.
“She is such a Sweet Heart,” DL continues, beaming. “And I discovered something about her….”
Giggling, PP grins, “What?”
“She’s a triathlete!”

“Really? Wow….”
“Yeah, so no wonder she has Those Legs,” DL would blush if she weren’t Italian.
“That explains it,” PP agrees.

They’d met Pink Shark Lady a couple of weeks ago while trying to get outta the Y before beautiful Tibetan Woman gave them the Evil Eye. “You Ladies almost Finished?”
PSL was wrapping up her situation, throwing in her wet suit, goggles, and other paraphernalia into her bag. PP didn’t notice at first, but DL did. “OHMYGOD! PP! Look at her gym bag! It’s a Pink Shark!”
PSL beamed proudly, “Yup.”
“Cool!” PP exclaimed, coveting the pink shark like nobody’s business. “Where did you get it?”
”Oh, I got it in Miami. Had it for years now. She’s my trusty companion.”
They all giggled, delighted.
Miami must be such a place, PP thought. She’s always wanted to visit. Bets that there’s lots of excellent pools and beach swimming there.
Though watch out for the sharks!

Tonight, though, in the Hot Tub, DL is thrilled to learn that PSL’s lanky strong form results from her Triathlete Practice. “And she was telling me how she didn’t get up this morning at her usual 5 a.m. 5 a.m! Can you even imagine?”

PP shook her head. No she couldn’t and she didn’t want to.

“So she was telling me how she had to cut her workout down to 5 100’s on the 1….” DL stops, shakes her head. “I had no idea what she was talking about. Do you know?”
“Yeah,” PP sighed. Gone were her days of swimming sets on the 1 minute, but hell, she did have a vague recollection of these kinds of workouts that she explained to DL.
“Oh. Well, anyway, I just had to shake my head and explain how I’m not really a swimmer. I guess she thought I was since I’m always here with you….”
“Maybe Pink Shark Lady will inspire you?” PP teased.

Again, blushing if it were possible, DL smiled shyly. “Yeah, maybe….”

But PP knew that DL wasn’t gonna jump in the pool anytime soon, even though PSL was a ‘Sweet Heart’ “She would’ve talked to me all night if we’d had time….”
“I bet!”
Grinning, PP climbed out of the Hot Tub and headed for Utopia, DL following in a spacey PSL daze.

Italian Women, you gotta love ‘em, especially if there’s a Pink Shark Lady round to get them all Hot and Bothered.

And so, Pink Shark Lady did inspire DL here, Poet Extraordinaire that she is:

Fast tough swimmer, a lady
arms in lithe movement through pool
Olympian legs in locker room
safe voice sudden tickle
we exclaim:
pink shark, a lady!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

More Hawaii Pics

What's DHBF doing? Taking any and all ideas.

Of course, we all know what PP is doing--posing beach beauty that she is!

If only PP could stay under this palm tree, gazing out at Waikiki, forever and ever and ever....

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Doris Day at the Pool

“Que Sera, Sera…
Whatever will be, will be…
The future’s not ours to see
Que Sera, sera…
What will be, will be….”

Doris Day’s voice echoed heartily through the pool auditorium. Imagine PP’s delight upon entering!

Spying the water workout ladies bouncing in their shower caps, their leader energetically waving her hands to Doris’ song, blue bandanna covering her hair, wired rimmed glasses perched on her nose, her followers grinning blissfully to the beat of the music, PP watches in awed amazement. As she sits on the edge of the deck, beaming to herself, she thinks of how the Oakland Y is just the most surprising place on earth.

Doris Day at the Pool? How cool is that?

Doris doesn’t seem to mind not being in control, so why sweat it? Though frankly, PP doesn’t think Doris is as Zen as all that. In all her movies, she’s always meddling and fussing and causing a ruckus with Tony Randall or Rock Hudson or whatever Male Hunk she’s paired with. Doris doesn’t really embrace the idea of “ What will be, will be” in her movies. She’s all about Control and Power and Trouble.

PP has always liked this about her movies. (And yes, granted, they are movies, and Doris is playing a ‘character,’ but hell, doesn’t she always play her own sassy self all the time? That blonde ditzyness is all a ruse. PP gets that!)

But why not embrace Doris’ pretend philosophy? At least for an hour. And damn the ‘Will I be pretty? Will I be rich part?’—Doris’ mom was right. The future is not ours to see no matter how much we want to. “What will be, will be…..” seems apt for the pool.

This is fine with PP, especially when she’s in the pool. It’s all about the present.

Oh, and keeping time to Doris as she glides along the water, “Que Sera, Sera….
What will be, will be…..”

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What would Dante have done? (Part II) Dear Readers, please read the previous blog first--Dante in Paradise--4 14 08--for optimum sequential enjoyment

“Have you seen the Pool Key?” PP shrieked, gritting her teeth as she rifled through Cindy’s various containers full of stuff. Coffee cans full of receipts, Cosco cards, pencils, Hello Kitty note pads.

Alas, no Pool Key. Damn!

“You can’t find the key?” Dashingly Handsome BF scratched his head in bemused jet lag wonder.
“No. I can’t find the key. And I need to go to the pool!”

PP turned upside down the flat basket on the kitchen counter. Tossed aside all the stuff that was not a pool key. “Where the hell is it?” she demanded. “I can’t believe it’s not here! Cindy knows how important it is. It’s not like her to not leave it. Usually it’s right here….and….” PP started to run out of complaining steam, the jet lag, lack of coffee and Pool Access Frustration taking their toll.

“Are you sure that it’s not here?”
“YES! I’m sure it’s not here. And I need to…..”
“I know I know. You need to go to the pool. Well, you may just have to go later and….”

“Calm down…”
PP glared at him.
“OK, don’t calm down. Let me help you…..”
“Can you just call Cindy and find out where she put it?”
”Sure, sure, I can do that. Maybe I should make some coffee first. We didn’t get much sleep last night….”
PP glared at him again.
“Okay okay, I’ll call her.”

PP nodded before heading back out the door and making her way back to the pool. Why she didn’t really know. It wasn’t like she had the key now and could get in. And it wasn’t like Gramps was gonna let her in. Though maybe he would?

Sighing, she ignored the coo coos of the sweet doves and the fragrant trade winds blowing in the palm fronds.
Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit.
How the hell could this be happening?
Yes PP knows she’s repeating herself. But. One must understand the depth of her frustration.

Or must one?

Suffice it to say that she found herself, once again, on the wrong side of the pool fence staring mournfully as Gramps and Jr. toweled off in jolly post pool good humor, completely ignoring her, before heading out of the pool compound through the gate opposite her.

Shit. She couldn’t even try a smile sneak-in since they’d gone out the opposite way. Though she doubted it would have worked.

The pool taunted her, glistening in a perfect golden turquoise tease.

Sighing, PP turned and made her way back down the hill. Of course, it did occur to her that she could try climbing the fence, but now it was after 10 am and the sun factor was in full play. No swimming between 10 a.m. and 4 pm—doctor’s orders.

But she was in Hawaii! Couldn’t she take a vacation from the doc’s orders for just one week?

PP wishes she could, but the fear of more melanoma, though probably mostly unfounded, still permeated her being. She could not ignore the fact that she was very near the equator in a blazing sun filled tropic. Her powers of Denial were just not that strong.


Sighing deeply, she trudged back down the stairs to the condo, the sweet doves mocking her. “Where you going? Where you going? Where you going?”
Stupid birds. They had it easy. They could just fly over the fence and go for a swim. A lack of key would be no obstacle for a dove, would it?

“I talked to Cindy,” DHBF was at the sink, making coffee.
“She said that her friend Julianna (PP is NOT gonna change her name—you’ll see why! Julianna deserves to be outed!) probably has the key since she’s been here before us feeding the cat and going to the pool. Cindy said that she’s kinda flaky….”
“KINDA FLAKY!!!! That STUPID BITCH! I cannot believe that she didn’t leave the key for us!”
“I’m sure it was just an honest mistake….” DHBF was often infuriatingly right.
“I don’t care! I HATE HER! Did you call her?”
He shook his head. “No, Cindy said she’d call and work it out with her. Here. Have some coffee.”
Shaking her head in disbelief, PP plopped down at the table and stared at the steaming brew. How the hell could someone borrow the pool key and then not leave it for the next person? What kind of IDIOT did such a thing?

Obviously someone who was not a Pool Fanatic!

Or, someone that deserved to burn for eternity in Dante’s Hell!

Of course, PP did calm down. Eventually. DHBF took her to her favorite Kailua Beach where she had a most delicious ocean swim in the bluey warmth of Hawaii’s sea. DHBF even said that she was swimming over a turtle. That he saw its shadow.

This lie made PP feel a little better, esp. when later that evening, after FLAKY Julianna the Key Keeping Bitch returned the pool key and PP was able to go for swim in the dusky balmy twilight.

Fortunately for Julianna, PP never saw her.

Otherwise, who knows what would have happened.

Dante’s hell would pale in comparison to what PP might have done had Julianna had the misfortune of meeting her ire!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dante’s Hell in Paradise

Slumping her head against the warm metal bars, PP tried to keep back the tears of frustrated disbelief. How the hell could this be happening? Here she was. Her first day in Paradise. Jet lagged and in need of caffeine sustenance, but never mind. She was gonna wake up early, before the 10 a.m. sun curfew, and go for a swim in Cindy’s Perfect Paradise Pool.

She’d scouted the kitchen counter for the weird pool key, which looked like a credit card, but was only good for the pool. She knew what it looked like, but couldn’t locate it. Yet the paradise pool was calling her on this first morning in Hawaii and damn it, she was gonna climb the fence for a swim if need be.

If only she’d known!

Grabbing another card, that was the same shape, and a similar blue color, PP knew it probably wasn’t right, but she headed out the condo door into the balmy fragrance of Oahu anyway. Coo cooo’s of the morning doves greeted her (Where’s the Poool?….Where’s the Pooool? Where’s the Pooool?) as the gentle breeze soothed her aching head. (PP is majorly addicted to her morning coffee. But this morning, what with the time change and all, she knew there was no time before her swim for the morning fix, so she headed up the stairs in a foggy caffeine deprived haze.)

This woulda been ok. For after all, here she was, her first day in Hawaii, her favorite place on Earth. Who cares if you’re awake or not? All she needed was a swim!

Rounding the bend at the top of the stairs, PP spied the lovely little pool glistening in the bright blue air under the white puffy clouds, the giant brilliant mustard colored flower trees waving an aloha morning greeting to her.

The pool the pool the pool! She’d been waiting for this moment since she’d been here last year.

And now. Here she was! Back in paradise at last!

Little did she know that she was about to enter Dante’s Hell.

You all know his version, right? (PP knows that she has a well-read, literary following, but just to review at least in a PP superficial way since she really didn’t get through the Inferno, but hell, she got the gist of it.) In Dante’s Inferno, you have to live out your eternity doing the thing you hate the most. Like Dante has the story of the two lovers who are somehow attached back to back to each other so they can't see their beloved and are doomed to be connected but not really. Or in modern times, if you really hate driving, you have to commute on the wretched 880 interstate dodging big rigs and speeding SUV’s till the end of time. Or if you love to eat chocolate, you have to sit under a giant chocolate tree and stare at the chocolate leaves that dangle over your head just out of reach for eternity.

Or if you can’t live without swimming?

You have to stand on the other side of the fence, watching a Stupid Grandfather give his squealing in delight grand kid swim lessons without any possibility of being able to enter the pool because the goddamn key doesn’t work!


The first time PP swiped the card on the pool magic gate opener, and the little green light didn’t appear signaling that she could push open the gate, she thought, ‘Ok, well, maybe I didn’t do it exactly right. After all I haven’t had any coffee yet, and in Oakland time it is 6 am.’ So she tried it again.

No green light.

Goddammit! PP gazed through the bars at the ongoing swim lesson, the grandpa with his gold chains and U.S Military visor, the kid screeching in inane swim lesson frenzy.

They completely ignored her. How could this be? Wasn’t her frustrated anguish being communicated across the chlorinated expanse between them?

For a moment, PP thought of hollering at them. “Hey, can you please let me in? I’m staying with a friend and can’t get the key to work and….”

But she opted not to do this.

Later she wondered why. Hell, Gramps probably woulda let her in. Or not. PP had some idea, in her jet lagged uncaffeined brain, that being an old military guy, he’d be less likely to help her. You know, like suspicious of her. “Whatdya mean your key doesn’t work? How do I know you’re not making up a line here? I never seen you before, Missy. Why should I let ya in?” while the sniveling grand kid shivered in the morning pool crispness. “Grandpaaaa! Can you show me againnnnnn!!!” he’d whine, tugging at Gramp’s wet suited sleeve, leaving PP in humiliating Can’t-get-into-the-pool- with-that- sorry- lie- young-lady-embarrassment.

What could she do?

She did consider just jumping over the fence. It wasn’t very high. And if Military Gramps hadn’t been there, she would have.

The pool beckoned to her in all its tropical glory.

Goddammit! This could not be happening!

Standing at the fence, her nose pressed through the bars, PP stared at the two in the pool, willing them to at least acknowledge her existence. Hell, if Gramps saw her in her Pitiful Pool Lockout State, wouldn’t he take pity and get out of the pool and let her in?

“Why lookee here, lil lady. What’s the problem? You got the wrong key? Hell, don’t worry your pretty lil head bout it, come on in, the water’s fine.” And he’d retrieve his key and gallantly swipe it on the magic metal thingee, the gate would pop open, she’d smile graciously and thank him, then don her wetsuit and dive into the welcoming embrace of Cindy’s Paradise Pool.

PP continued to stare at him. Look over here, dammit! She thought, willing him to do her bidding.

Alas, her powers of telepathic persuasion were woefully absent. The two continued to joyfully partake of the paradise pool’s magical aura. Completely oblivious to her Anguished Stare Down.


What’s a PP to do?

~Stay tuned~

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Wild Waikiki--Part II

Dear Readers,

This is the second part of yesterday's blog, so if you haven't read Part I, it's best (for the narrative flow and suspense!) to begin with the April 7th Entry first. Then pretend like you've been waiting with baited breath for the last 24 hours to find out what the BIG mystery is all about, okay?

She basked on the hot sandy beach in splendid voluptuous glory.

Of course, PP didn’t realize this when she first saw her, lying behind the yellow crime tape roping off her section of the beach. DHBF had halted, pointing, “Did you see her from your swim?”
PP shook her head, her immediate thought being that the enormous sandy brown shape was a dead seal. She was so motionless. Catching her breath, PP turned toward DHBF, “Is it alive?”
“Oh, yeah. She’s definitely alive. Have you ever seen a Monk Seal before?”
”No, can’t say I have. But she’s so still….” PP’s voice trailed off, still worried about the large beast. Hell, she’d heard of heavy sleepers, but this Monk Seal beat all!

“I’ve been visiting here with one of the Monk Seal Volunteers who’s been telling me all about her. It seems that the seals decide to come up on the beach for a nap, and then they have to be cordoned off like this so that all the crazy picture taking tourists on Waikiki don’t bug her. Oh, and she can be ferocious too.”

“Really?” PP continued to stare at the enormous mass of brown sandy blubber lounging in the hot noonday sun. Hard to imagine her even moving, let alone harming anyone!
“Here, follow me,” DHBF led PP over toward a visored middle-aged woman sporting a ‘Monk Seal Rescue Volunteer’ T-shirt. “Hiya,” he hailed her. “How’s she doing?”
“Oh, she’s just fine. Takin a little snooze despite all the hoopla,” Monk Seal Volunteer Woman nodded a professional knowing grin at the two of them.
“Is she alive?” PP asked, still unbelieving. She hadn’t seen the Monk Seal move at all.

“Oh, yeah, she’s alive all right. That’s why we have to keep her roped off like this. Monk Seals can attack at a moment’s notice before anyone knows it. Why one time, they called me to come down here cause a seal had gotten up to the sidewalk there and I had to get me a ten foot pole to prod him back down to the sand and he was snapping the hell outta that pole let me tell you. But I finally was able to get him back down to the sand, and some other volunteers were able to keep the tourists away and rope off a section of the beach to protect both the seal and them!” MSVW wiped her brow in the noontime sun, grinning widely at the adventurous memory of it all.

PP nodded. Damn. She had no idea that such a vocation was in existence. A Monk Seal Rescue Volunteer? Why, she was as fanatical as the crazy cat rescue women she’d met at the SPCA! What was it about single women and rescuing animals? Not that this woman was single, but PP was willing to bet she was. The rescue aspect must be part of that Fabled Maternal Instinct that PP had zero clue about!

“Wow! That sounds like quite a story!” DHBF exclaimed, smiling down at PP who continued to watch the Monk Seal in her languorous slumber. Suddenly the seal heaved a mighty sigh, and turned her massive body over in the sand, an active flipper giving an unconscious wack to some pesky fly.
“What’s her name?” PP asked, knowing she had one.
Pleased, MSVW nodded, “Well, we call her Irma, but she’s officially got a number that she’s tagged with, A1030.”
“Irma’s much nicer,” PP concluded.
“Oh, yeah,” MSVW agreed.
“She’s awfully quiet,” PP continued, thinking how earlier when she’d been swimming she’d heard what she thought was a seal barking, but had dismissed it as surfer yelps. Maybe the Monk Seal was part of a herd and her family was out swimming in the warm Waikiki Sea? “Does she have a family out swimming out in the ocean?” PP asked. “I thought maybe I had heard a seal bark when I was out swimming just now. Maybe it was her friends?”
MSVW shook her head. “I sincerely doubt it. They really are solitary creatures. Though for awhile there was a male round these parts too.”
PP nodded, romanticizing the Pair of Monk Seals, playfully frolicking in the warm turquoisy sea amongst the Aaaaaaiiiippppoooeeee Fish.

Irma gave another enormous sigh, her rounded side heaving lazily in the sun. “How much does she weigh?” PP asked. Hell, since she had a Monk Seal Rescue Expert here, why not pick her brain?
“Oh, she can weigh upwards of 400-600 lbs.”
“Wow! You’re kidding!”
“Nope, she’s a healthy girl.”
”And what about the males? Do they weigh even more?”
”Actually, not, the females are the bigger ones,” MSVW laughed heartily.
“Ain’t that always the way of it!” a Sunburned Buxom Blonde tourist called out, joining the conversation.
“Ain’t it just!” MSVW agreed.
PP giggled, thinking of all the buxom women she knew. Hell, curves were where it’s at. Even in the Monk Seal World!

Curves or not, PP felt suddenly nervous about standing out in the midday sun, and tugged at DHBF’s elbow, signaling the let’s get going directive. Nodding, he smiled over at MSVW, “Well, thanks a lot for all the info and great stories!”
“No problem,” she nodded, back to business as a Japanese couple inched close to the crime tape barricade, cameras snapping. “Be careful,” she called out, “she’s sleeping.”

The Japanese couple took a step back, abashed and apologetic. “So sorry,”

Opening one brown eye, Irma stared at them, then glanced out toward the sea. Was she going to make her move? Escape back to the lovely warmth of Waikiki’s Embrace?

Grunting, Irma closed her eye. Rolled over onto her other side. Heaved another mighty sigh.

Nah, give it some time.
She still needed to work on her tan.
Monk Seal Waikiki Style that is.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Waikiki Welcome

With the first stroke into the welcoming blue sea of Waikiki, PP knows she’s in paradise. What is it about the ocean in Hawaii? Of course, there’s the perfect 82 or so degree temp, then there’s the amazing crystal clarity of the water, but it’s more than this.

She floats along so easily in Waikiki. It’s like the water gently ushers her through its welcoming embrace.

Hell, that sounds like a lover, doesn’t it?

Well, for PP, the waters of Waikiki are so sexy. If she could, she’d never leave their warm caresses.

Okay, enough mushiness. You get the idea—Waikiki is PP’s swimming Paradise. And on this day, swimming out beyond the gently breaking waves to glide over the coral fisheries, PP grins as she reaches out to almost touch a crowded school of adorable yellow and black striped zebra angelfish. This is surely their official name. Or maybe not. In Hawaiian, they’re most probably called aaaaalooouuulllaaapppaaaoooiiieeeee fish….

What is it with the Hawaiian language? So many vowels, so few consonants.
That must be it.

But hell, the fishes don’t care as PP glides over them, this dense bunch scurrying underneath her only inches away. Part of PP gets a little nervous with all the fish. Like she’s going to touch one and what? It’s gonna bite her? Do aaaaalooouuulllapppppoooieee fish bite? She doubts this, but still. There’s a lingering ‘icky’ feeling too in addition to the stronger feeling of wonder and delight whenever she’s in the midst of these wild swimming creatures.

Maybe because of all this emotion and excitement, PP tires after swimming too long parallel to the shore. From their spot down the beach to the beach in front of the Royal Hawaiian, PP figures is probably a good half a mile maybe more and even in the calm of Waikiki, she decides maybe she’ll get out and walk back up the beach.

She so rarely does this. Is always such a stubborn swimmer. If I swam out here, I’m gonna swim back. No matter what.

But today, she changes her mind, and emerging from the turquoisey waters in front of the Royal Hawaiian she hears Dashingly Handsome BF call out to her.
”Hey Cutie!”
Giggling, she takes off her cap, shakes her wet locks out, unplugs her ears and grins over at him. “What’re you doing up here?”
He waves a pair of goggles at her. “Lookit here!”
”Yeah. Cool, eh? From the ABC store, for only $6.95”
“Gotta love that ABC store!” PP laughs as she slings her wet arm through his dry one and lets him lead her back up the beach.

Five minutes later, she doesn’t see anything except the bright yellow Crime Scene tape roping off a section of the beach. What’s going on? she wonders. Murder on Waikiki? Too bad Owen Hill isn’t here to get the scoop for his next thriller.

As she shades her eyes with one of her big fins, (the sun is too bright, she’s super scared of getting sun burned. The melanoma trauma is too close to the surface in Hawaii, but the swimming is always worth the risk) PP squints to see what’s on the beach…..

What is it?
Lying there in the sand?
It’s not human….
It’s not a fish….
It’s not a dog or a cat (thank goodness)

What could it be with a crowd of people gathered round, cameras flashing, fingers pointing?

Can you guess?

More tomorrow…..

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Wild in Waikiki!

How much fun does PP have in Waikiki?

You can imagine!

Stories soon!

Till then, enjoy her flexibility fins!

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...