June 19th, 2006

Pictures of 45 Breezy Lake Drive...

After uploading my pictures of the weekend to date, I thought I'd post a few here.

I love my aunt's and uncle's place for a couple of reasons. Number one, it's where my family (my mom, brother, sister, and I) lived during the year of 1969, while my dad was serving a year in Vietnam.

We actually lived next door to this house, as it was just being built, in a two-story house -- our family upstairs, with Uncle Frank and Aunt Annette in the basement, which had been converted into a self-sufficient apartment.

"Breezy Lake," in our back yard, provided year-round fun -- water activities in the summer, and ice-skating in the winter.

And number two, next door, my Uncle was building -- by hand every day -- the house you see in the pictures below. He chipped and laid every stone you see in this house with a chisel, so that they fit together like puzzle pieces. He didn't fill the place between the stones with mortar to connect the stones, he cut them so that there were only lines between the stones, like the grout between floor tiles.

This is the back of the house, which faces "Breezy Lake," seen later in the sequence of pictures.

You can appreciate it more in the detail of this fountain, which is the highlight of the back yard.

Here is the view I had out of my bedroom window in the morning. The fountain in the previous picture would be off to the left of where this picture ends. That's Breezy Lake in the background.

I stepped outside to capture this serene Breezy Lake on Father's Day morning. This is their back yard.

This duck, Brownie, is between 25 and 30 years old, and has been on the property since its birth.

Here's me with Aunt Annette.

And with Uncle Frank.

Here's a picture of Uncle Frank with his son Frank (the one with the gay son), and Aunt Annette.

My uncle is a genius with stone. Here are some interior shots, of the downstairs. He cut, and laid, all of the stone you see in these pictures. Here's the bar. There's an opening, in the very center of the picture, you can only really see half of it, because it starts below the bar -- it leads to the underground wine cellar.

And into the wine cellar a bit.

This is the game room, which consists of a card table and a billiards table.

The stone around this hallway entrance is green-veined marble. Aunt Annette wanted it, and when Uncle Frank went to buy it, The Rockefellers (yeah, those ones in New York) had bought up all of the local supply, and he was unable to buy any.

Coincidentally, a relative of his was doing a fireplace in that stone, and had already bought a supply of it. He volunteered to stone the fireplace for her if she'd give him the left over marble. That's what's bordering this hallway entrance. The bedroom in the background is the guest room, where I slept. Off the right side of the hallway is the downstairs guest bathroom detailed in the final picture.

And, finally, here is a picture of the downstairs guest bathroom. We always called this room "the confessional."

Day Two in P-Town...

Though my alarm clock was set for 9:00, I woke up at 7:00, and finally got up at 8:45, turning off the alarm before it had an opportunity to intrude into my day.

I had the complimentary breakfast out on the deck, where I met Alan and RJ from Connecticut.

They'd recently gotten married, in Massachusetts I presume, and told me they had just hired a lawyer to deal with the fact that their local paper, the Waterbury Republican-American, wouldn't publish a paid wedding announcement and picture of them, which by the way, they said, "'came with' the $8000 photo package we purchased."

"Have you read the name of our paper?" the condescending newspaper representative they were dealing with asked. "It has the word republican in it."

"Yes, we have."

"Then read it again," he said.

I said, "You should have said, do you see our money? It says America on it."

Or, perhaps, they should have responded, "Yeah, I see that, but it also has the word American in it." Fuckers.

Over a bagel, a hard-boiled egg, some cranberry juice, and coffee, and after talking a bit about IBM, I asked them what they did for a living.

RJ responded, "Alan is an emergency medical doctor." He had on a red t-shirt with big block letters on it that said, "Self-Taught Doctor."

"And you?" I asked when he didn't go on.

"I do the First Lady's hair."

"The First Lady?" I asked.

"Yes, Laura Bush."

I couldn't just let that go, of course, so followed up with more questions, such as "And how did that come about?"

He said, "Well, I was working for [insert here the name of some stylist that he said as if everyone in the world knows him] at the time, and one morning he said to me, 'RJ, do you want to go do the First Lady's hair with me?' Well, I didn't even know what 'The First Lady' was, as we were taught never to talk about politics in our house growing up." I had to bite my tongue from saying, "And in school, in civics class? Any mention of our U.S. government there at all?"

He went on with his story. "'What's a First Lady?' I asked him, and he grabbed my hand and said, 'RJ, you're going. Let's go.'" And the rest, as they say, is his story.

He said he drives down from Connecticut to the White House about every two weeks to do her hair. He's been doing it about a year now, and has yet to run into W.

I wrote out a postcard for Aunt Annette and Uncle Frank, one just letting them know I had a traffic-free ride up the Cape, made it safely, and thanking them again for a wonderful weekend.

The postcard has a mother and daughter on it. The mother is in the background, and the daughter is walking away from her. The mother says, "But, honey, everyone keeps asking me why you're not married."

The daughter, rushing away, winks as she responds, "Just tell them I forgot."

I was going to drop it in a mailbox down the street, but just as I left the guesthouse, I passed a mailwoman on her route, and she took it for me.

I checked out a bike, and road through the trails of dunes, salt marshes, forest bogs, and beaches that comprise The Province Lands.

You may remember hearing about the torrential rains Massachusetts had last week. I missed them on this trip, but today, on the bike trail, ran into remnants of them.

There were about 6 areas where flooding occurred across the bike path, and I drove very slowly through them so as not to kick water and mud up onto me.

All but one of them had fairly shallow water. The one, however, was deep enough that when my pedals turned to the lowest part, my feet (with sneakers and socks on) went under the water. That sucked just a little bit, or should I say, it soaked just a little bit. Ba-dump, bump. I'm here for three days only, folks.

I followed the Herring Cove trail, a 5-mile trail from town out to the beach, which is called Herring Cove.

The Nude Beach at Herring Cove

Coming back, I drove on the roads to avoid the standing water on the trails.

When I got back into town, on the main street, Commercial Street (webcam), I drove by two women in those traditional, white, painting outfits. I'm talking about professional house painters.

They were loading up their truck at the end of the day. Lesbians, of course. I thought of the bumper stickers and t-shirts: Provincetown, where the men are pretty, and the women are strong.

I stopped by the Provincetown Post Office, because I can't find the stamps I brought with me. I bought one $.39 stamp, and 20 postcard stamps.

I stopped in Adams Pharmacy, and bought 21 postcards.

I stopped in George's Pizza & Grinders, and got me a sub for lunch. I ate half of it out on their deck facing the bay. I had the other half wrapped, and managed it, along with my stamps and postcard bag, on my bicycle ride back home. I actually stuck the grinder bag in the water bottle holder on the bike, where it fit nicely, and actually stayed put.

At about 6:00, I walked down to the Wired Puppy, an Internet cafe, on Commercial Street, where I had a cup of coffee, and devised yesterday's blog entry.

I would have noticed, and been annoyed that, there was no seating in this place. They have a standalone counter, with two laptops bolted to it, for free use by the public, and you can use your own laptop if you have it with you, which I did, of course.

The reason I wasn't annoyed was that Steve, at the guesthouse, when he recommended the place warned me that I'd have to stand, because they don't have a permit to seat. A permit for seating? Who knew?

From there, I walked to sit in the square in front of Town Hall, surprised to find the seats along there empty. That area is usually teeming with folks, often including a variety of street performers.

There was a killer breeze coming through, but even with that, as soon as I sat down it became obvious why no one was there. Mosquitoes.

There's definitely a mosquito problem here right now. I don't know if it's normal for this time of year, or if it's from the recent rains. I don't remember any mosquito problems over all of the years I've come to P-Town. It sucks. Or, I should say, they suck. Ba-dump bump. Limited engagement, as you already know, folks.

Walking back to my place, I stopped in a Cumberland Farms convenience store to see if they had any potato salad, and I was going to pick up a liter bottle of soda. They didn't have any potato salad, so I passed on the soda, too, thinking I'd stop at another family-owned convenience store up the road just a few more feet.

That place didn't have any potato salad either; I started to get the soda, and then remembered, "I have a car." I am so used to being in P-Town without a car, that I'd forgotten all about it.

I finished my short walk back to Aerie House, and I drove to the grocery store, and got some potato salad, Havarti cheese, and a liter of A&W Diet Root Beer.

Back home, I had the two remaining marinated chicken sandwiches that Uncle Frank and Aunt Annette sent up with me yesterday. They'd put nothing on them, so I got a little bit of mayonnaise from the guesthouse kitchen, and added a few slices of my newly bought Havarti cheese to them. Yum!

I uploaded pictures from the camera, devised today's blog entry, and wrote out 20 postcards.

I passed on the bars tonight, and actually turned on the TV in the room when I was reminded of the Stanley Cup finals, with the score being flashed on wral.com.

I watched the big win. Yay!