"so i think i will go to the beach today," julie wrote over our ichat.
"are you inviting me?" i asked.
and with that julie and i decided to go to crane beach around noontime on this perfect beach day, blue sky and hot as hell. i brought with me my small cooler filled with four bottles of water, a bag of grapes, and ice that i smashed up with a meat tenderizer mallet. we laughed all the way to ipswich, realizing how much of the working work, those 9-5er's, would envy what we were doing, with our adjustable freelancing work-from-home schedules. julie at one point delivered a one woman rant about how she hated those trucks with the "support our troops" and "god bless america" bumper stickers, raising two fists defiantly as we careened 65+ mph up the highway.
admission to crane beach is $15/car on weekdays, julie and i split the cost. it was crowded, easily 200 cars in the makeshift grass/gravel parking lot, but julie told me this was actually a light crowd compared to the explosion of beachgoers on summer weekends. the first and only time i've been to crane beach was when i took an environmental studies class at tufts, there was a class field trip, it was off-season (fall? spring?), the beach was literally deserted. each carrying armloads of beach stuff, we walked in the sand, walking farther and farther out away from the mass of people, until we came to a relatively quiet and secluded spot, with just a handful of people far away from us at a tolerable distance.
just as soon as we set down our stuff and laid out our towels, before we could even put on sunblock, julie wanted to go into the water. the atlantic ocean was cold, but once you get in and move around, it was absolutely refreshing, especially on such a hot day. there was a strong current going north parallel to the beach, if we didn't move against the current, it'd carry us all the way up the beach. the salt water actually tastes pretty good, i gargled with it a few times. i also noticed i was definitely more bouyant in this salt water versus the fresh water of a place like walden pond.
we went back to the sand, where only now we put on our sunblock. i had none of my own so i had to share julie's spf 45, dismayed that the rating was too high for me to get any sort of tan action. while we were gone, seagulls had ransacked our supply of snacks and opened up a bag of potato chips. we lounged around, julie reading my latest issue of psychology today, a perfect magazine for the beach, full of short little articles with the latest tidbits of psychology info, like young adults living at home and how it affects their parents, why our tastes in food changes, and why do attractive people seem familiar. i spent the time taking candids of scantily clad beachgoers (surprise surprise). occasionally we'd lie down and look up into the blue sky, large green dragonflies hovering overhead, occasionally a shorebird would make a quick flyby.
we decided to go back into the water a second time, i wearing my flippers now, so i could pseudo swim. the current was even stronger by now (we noticed not too many kids in the water, parents obviously realizing the danger, or perhaps they were afraid of the cold water), and besides moving us up the beach, the current was also pulling out towards the ocean. once we realized this fact, we quickly paddled back to shore, not willing to be dragged out to sea in a riptide.
we sat on the beach and waited to dry off, which wasn't very long with this summer heat. julie was busy feeding a favorite seagull with grapes and potato chips. the salt water must've some therapeutic effects because my neck and back, which were still hurting this morning, seemed to have magically healed, although they were still a little bit stiff. we gathered up our stuff at 4pm and left. i walked barefoot in the hot sand, better traction, but then barefoot over the rock-lined parking lot, which might've gave me a blister or two on my big toes.
we got stuck in some rush hour traffic but eventually made it back to davis square, where i was helping julie and her new roommate rahda set up a wireless router at their place. in the car, we briefly listened to julie's ipod, definitely not enough disco or 80's music in her mp3 collection.
the router her new roommate got was the same one i have at my place, an smc barricade g wireless, so i figured it'd be effortless. when it didn't work, we checked the pdf manual, turning off devices on and off, restarting machines. finally, after some fiddling around with the admin tool, it started working. if you asked me what i did, i couldn't tell you since i really have no idea, but everybody was happy, and i got undeserved credit.
julie and i next went to the new p.j. licks ice cream franchise in the heart of davis square. i got a small maple walnut on a cone, but neglected to use the special $2 coupon julie brought with her. we ate outside, my ice cream melting all over my hand in this heat. julie recommended that i lick around the ice cream to keep it from melting, but unfortunately i'm a biter and the thought of licking ice cream is foreign to me.
julie dropped me off back in cambridge. mandy was nowhere to be found, she'd called me twice during the day, both times i wasn't able to take her call. i tried calling her but her phone was at home (ringing in the bedroom), so i figured she probably went to her yoga class. mandy didn't come back until close to 9pm (carrying her rolled up yoga mat), i had already heated up some chicken wings for an appetizer, having not eaten the whole day. we went next to door to get some ingredients and then came back, mandy making a wine flavored chicken with cherry tomatoes, garlic, onion, and black olives served with some pesto pasta and homemade garlic bread. we ate in the living room, and watched television until after midnight, where mandy went to bed, not sure if she has to wake up early tomorrow morning to go to work.
the caterpillar eats about two leaves a day! it crawled up to the top of the jar, i think it's about to form a chrysalis, i'll find out tomorrow morning.