May 2005

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Today is a lay-day. The troops are largely at home, on the mend, nursing hangovers, and sleeping away the day. Last night was a good one.
Beat by heat and humidity, we retired to the J.R. for a few by 4:00. Much of the West End Mob was there; the WEYC committee was meeting in preparation for the upcoming Foxy’s Wooden Boat Regatta, and a few other folks had popped out of the background. Val, with hugs, warm smiles, and tall tales, was back in from delivery, looking for crew for the next one. The infamous Carter (who i’d often heard of, but never met) had recently flown in.
Spirits were generally high. The bar was flowing well. Ah, how wonderful is it when we three VI Shipwrights show up, and without word, our three regular drinks appear before us? That’s service! Matt from Smugglers (an infrequent visitor to the JR) showed up, with ideas for a floating bar in West End. James began spinning tales of late-night floating parties from “back in the day”; rafts of lifejackets and coolers, floating docks, decrepit hulks. Soon enough, the idea was formed that we should go sailing.
Feeling that two boats are better than one, i called up Spence and Stacey on La Buscadora. Spence’s Sonar had stayed tied up in the harbour since February 13, and he really needed a fire under his ass to get out sailing it. Still, resistance was great on the phone; something about work in the morning, needing his sleep, etc.
At about 10:00, James and Scott blazed off towards the boatyard to fetch our playboat, an Impulse 21 called “Canuckleheads”. Meanwhile, back at the bar, i endevoured to hold down the fort. Some while later, i see a sail approaching the JR’s dock, and it doesn’t look like the Impulse. It’s Spencer! Hooray! Scott motored out to La Buscadora and somehow woke up their sailing urges.
James appeared soon after, and there we had the makings of a fine evening. i popped back upstairs and drained the frozen marguerita machine into a gallon jug, grabbed a few cups, and rejoined the fray. Stacey had stocked the Sonar’s cooler, so both boats were now well-founded craft indeed! James, Scott, Roughy (the dog) and myself crewed the Impulse. On the Sonar, it was Spence, Matt, Scot, and Stace.
The wind was light, but building as we ghosted out of the harbour into the Channel. The moon just past full. The water flat and barely rippled. For two or three hours we two crews ducked and dodged, tacked and gybed, beating east, reaching over to the St. John shore, cutting wakes, sending laughter across the moonlit waters. Crews passed drinks from boat to boat. James and i, both too quick to sunburn by day, revelled in shirtless sailing. A moonburn! A moonburn!
Staggering on the foredeck, settting the spinnaker for the downchannel run home. Circling back to meet the Sonar. The last cap to the evening; a frolick aboard La Buscadora, leaping from the upper deck into the warm sea. One last setting of sail, to take us back to the dock. And homeward homeward at 3:00…


Bought a new belt this morning. Pretty weird stuff for me… My old belt has seen me through thick and thin, and gathered a few stories along the way. So, this is the ode to The Old Belt, i suppose.
The Old Belt came into my life about 11 years ago. Krista found it in a thrift shop somewhere, probably the good ol’ Sally Ann in W.L. i started wearing it more than she, and gradually took over sole ownership. Looking back, it’s strange to think that she ended up with the art, the appliances, the furniture, etc., while all i made off with was her heart and this Old Belt.
The Belt was always what i called a “Cop Belt”, the sort you see supporting all the paraphernalia at an officer’s waist; thick black leather embossed with that peculiar basket-weave pattern and sporting a plain, heavy steel buckle. Even before Krista got it, the belt had that great curve at the back, the kind that only heavy leather can develop after years of use.
The Belt was always frightfully long. The tongue had been punched out to accomodate much smaller waists than Krista’s or mine, yet was simultaneously so much longer than either of us would use. When i wore the belt, i doubled the long tongue back through the belt loops, and over time, it developed a permanent crease at the fold. It became part of my dressing ritual; thread the belt, buckle it, thread the long tongue through the loops past the buckle, fold at the crease, and thread back. Three layers of thick leather over my left hip.
The first summer after Krista and i parted, i had been crashing up at Serious’s place on Schmidt. Between a few breakups and a newly renewed fitness urge, i’d been losing some weight, and the length of the belt was getting awkward. One afternoon, Serious and i were on a bit of a cleaning rampage (Serious has usually maintained that if you need more than a couple bags and a foamie, you own too much crap), and our attention turned to the Belt. Really, it was comically long…
Part of me wanted to cut it, but then there was that part that needed to keep that length, “just in case”. Serious goaded me into it, and i cut the belt, short of the crease. The ridiculous part was when i reached to save that piece of cut-off leather. There was something about it that compelled me to save it. Serious scoffed, took it from my grasp, and tossed it in the garbage, not unfeelingly (he’s a sensitive guy himself), but as much to save me from myself.
A couple days ago, the belt finally gave way. The attachment at the buckle end mostly parted, leaving the buckle tenuously connected, and fairly askew. For one chuckling moment, i though that i could have re-cut the belt and renewed the attachment point… if only the darned thing was longer! Even now (with new belt around my waist, the least-loathsome plain black unit i could find), i’m looking at The Old Belt, coiled beside the computer, wondering what to do with it. Serious isn’t here to help me toss it…
Perhaps, i will re-cut and repair it, leaving it too short for my own use; there’s still much life and spirit left in that leather, for someone (a little smaller at the waist) to enjoy.

Today’s cool hook-up is the International Lomographic Society. i’m pretty sure this’ll appeal to all my snapshooting friends. The “10 Golden Rules” are about the best photographic guidlines ever thought up. Certianly makes me want to get a new new camera!


i missed a certain friend for the first time ever today. for about thirty seconds, i think. i walked off the feeling before it got to me. i mean, i’ve missed her before, but it’s always been the lover, the promise, the future, the affection, etc., that i’ve felt missing. Never the friend.
The curiosity of that feeling has struck me more than the feeling itself. i mean, why does it seem so unusual to miss a friend?

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