Posts Tagged ‘bermuda travel’

The Usual Suspects

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

As I believe you are already aware, I am in charge of three hairy creatures right now, and I am doing a spectacular job. Granted, they can’t speak English or use a keyboard, but I’m pretty sure if they could, they would tell you that I’m basically the Mary Poppins of cat sitting: practically perfect in every way.

Long-hair British Blue

Blueberry. Admittedly, one shouldn't pick favorites when nannying, but there. I said it.

Speaking of Mary Poppins, what the hell is up with that Nanny McPhee business? Admittedly, I know nothing about it/her minus what I saw on a 60-second ad spot for (what is apparently) the second movie, but does she look like a Mary Poppins’ wretched half-sister – the one who was raised in a dank, dark basement with a chain around her neck – or is that me? Yikes. So much for “You must be kind, you must be witty; very sweet and fairly pretty.” Today’s children are getting seriously ripped off.

Back to my own cat nannying, I’m a little slow at dishing out the stinky slop they call breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I keep squirting the one with water to force him out from under the bed and ram pills down his little pink throat, but hey, I’m just doing my job. At any rate, seeing as this is my life for another week, let me introduce you to the crew.

White Persian cat

Charlotte. The oldest and mostly sweet, but if you touch her back she hisses at you. Weird.

Although the smallest, Charlotte is the senior cat of the bunch. You may recall her in a Poodle Cut last time (shaved body, big head, and moon boots), but things have grown back nicely.

Jack hates me. I have to give him pills twice a day, and he’s more or less decided I’m Satan. Jack is the youngest and apparently likes men. I don’t know about that, but – as previously mentioned – he freaking hates me.

Blueberry, “The Bad One” is my favorite. He is a bad seed, but he cracks me up. He was rescued and has some screwed up teeth, but I think it gives him a snarly “You talkin’ to me?” look that suits him just fine.

Otherwise, minus shedding EVERYWHERE and some inappropriate crapping (Not cool, Blueberry. Not cool.) things have been mellow. And mellow is good, although a little bit boring. I’ll see if I can’t conjure up some  interesting content for you in the next few days, but don’t hold your breath. At the same time, if you play your cards right, I can all but guarantee some more XXX beach porn in your future. Get the aloe ready…

Seal point Himalayan

Jack Frost. As you can see in his glare, he pretty much hates me.

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And thus ends an unfathomable holiday

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

So it’s been some kind of incomprehensible, overly long holiday here in Bermuda. Something call Matchcup or Cupmatch or Cupcake or Dontplaywithmatches. I don’t know. It has to do with cricket, I think. The sport, not the insect.

From what I can piece together, it’s a two-day holiday (four-day weekend) celebrating the ability to camp wherever the hell you want, public drunkenness, and – not to be redundant, but – cricket. Most businesses were closed, the grocery store was open very limited hours, and there are tents pitched EVERYWHERE. Still.

Tents on the beach? Check.

Tents on the shoulder of the road? Check.

Tents on the airport runway? Probably.

And these people aren’t just camping. They’ve basically moved. They’ve got grills and generators and clothes lines and transistor radios and living room furniture. They bring their own blow-up fun houses and kiddie swimming pools, and I could be wrong, but I think I saw a BowFlex. Total Clampett chaos.

Moreover, I went to the beach Thursday, and it was packed – like Jersey Shore packed. Wall-to-wall people drinking booze out of those long bong-like cups they have in Vegas and generally reinforcing my ‘all alone in paradise and a little bit lonely about it, but still not lonely enough to want to befriend any of these drunk jerks’ mindset. It’s a complicated mindset, but all too real.

I will mention that – to my amusement – it rained cats and dogs and horses and ponies the first two nights of matchup/cupmatch, and it wasn’t completely dry last night, either. Now if there’s one thing that doesn’t go with camping, it’s torrential rain. Did I ever tell you about the time I camped out in New Orleans (bad part of town. Trailer park lawn. Mardi Gras. Don’t ask.) and woke up with my sleeping mat floating on about eight inches of water inside my tent? That was one of my top five most seriously screwed up mornings, which – considering the trouble I regularly get myself into – is saying something. I could live to be 150, and I will never forget that trip.

I suspect neither will the Matchcup/Cupmatch/Cupcake Rain Rave 2010 attendees, who no doubt had an opportunity to check out the waterproofing on their tents and test their odds of being struck by lightning. There have probably been drier (and more enjoyable) years, but at least it’s almost over.

Onward and upward…

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Cat on a Hot White Roof

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

So today my role as Bermudian Cat Sitter begins in earnest. My friend is off to Florida, and it’s all on me. I’ve been giving the one cat, Jack Frost, his pills in a trial fashion (and he now hates me and clawed me good last night), and been warned that the other male, Blueberry, will do everything in his power to escape, get on the roof, and go down the chimney (which would be convenient if he survived it, as the chimney empties out into the upstairs bedroom, but I imagine I’m oversimplifying things as my friend looked at me horrified when I suggested as much.)

Kitty on a Dirty Limestone Roof.

At any rate, in preparation, I went out the bathroom window last night and staked out the roof.

I’m truly in no mood to be cat wrangling from 20 feet in the air, but I guess I’ll do what I have to do in the performance of my duty. That or I’ll try to lure him down the chimney with some Fancy Feast. It probably depends on my mood…

Speaking of my mood, I am a bit out of it and slightly traumatized. I got up this morning at 5:30am (having gone to sleep at 1:30am. Ouch.), rode to the airport with my friend, and then drove her car back to her house. In Bermuda, driving without a Bermudian license is not only frowned upon, it is wildly illegal and punishable with a huge fine. I’ve been given no less than three lectures on a) the import of not getting caught and b) what, exactly, to say if I’m caught. In other words, she put the scare on me.

And it worked.

That’s probably why – when I realized I’d screwed up and driven into the city of Hamilton instead of around it, and the gas gauge was on E, and I was probably f*cked – that my heart ripped out of my chest, catapulted itself out my throat, and took off in the general direction of the giant cruise ships. Worse, I almost immediately recognized the all-too-familiar-and-wildly-terrifying sound of police sirens. That was roughly the same moment I realized all the mirrors were adjusted wrong because she’s quite a bit shorter than me, and I had no idea where the sirens were coming from. And then the hallucinations and tremors set in.

In the end, it turns out the sirens had nothing to do with me.

Self-photo during my beach-to-beach hike yesterday. There are nine beaches - each one most breathtaking and postcard-ish and empty than the last - connected by trails just a few minutes' walk from the house. Amazing!

And, as I’d watched my friend get lost dozens of times in the exact same manner when I was here last November , I remembered how to get out of town post-haste. Once out of Hamilton, but still nearly out of gas, I tapped into my Spidey sense and almost immediately and semi-miraculously got myself onto the correct road – and all while driving on the left! (Diminish the accomplishment if you must, but it’s s extra-challenging while panicking.) Soon, I was recognizing things and reasonably certain that I was headed back to Southhampton and even did a big grocery store run before the ordeal was over. I didn’t fill the gas tank. I figured I’d save that harrowing adventure for another day – a little something to look forward to.

Lastly, in the interest of your edification and education, let’s talk about the white roof.  This won’t change your life, but it is mildly interesting: as it so happens, Bermuda does not have a single source of fresh water. It’s all rain, baby.

And the limestone roof is how they collect it. By law, every home must collect 80 percent of the water that falls on its roof and store it in a cistern beneath the house. And supposedly “there’s no acid rain here” and it’s good, clean, water and they drink it as it falls from the sky and despite the fact that the roof looked a little dirty to me.

However, at the moment – despite a wet and brutal winter – the cistern at my friend’s place has run dry and we’re using an insipid, chlorinated substitute that’s been delivered, and which I can only assume has been collected at some huge facility owned by an enterprising individual who had the good sense to stock up during a wetter time, which – thankfully for my trip – now is not. And despite the fact that every day Weather.com reports ‘scattered t-showers,’ I have only heard a little bit of rain a few nights ago…which is fine by me.  I don’t like rain on my paradisiacal beaches, and I can take some chlorine in my water. I used to be a lifeguard. I’ve ingested worse.

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Photo Safari!

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

I know he’s a wife-beater and that ain’t cool, but I just can’t get enough of Chris Brown’s song, Forever. I don’t know why. It’s something about the cheezeball lyrics and old school keyboard and happy “Woman, I love you, and I can’t wait to come home and batter your sweet ass until you look like bruised fruit” melody that really gets me going on a long run. When I hear the opening notes and that “1, 2, 3, 4!” I often throw my hands in the air and double my pace. “It’s like I waited my whole life, for this one night…” – it’s crack for my quads. What can I say? Forever is my Chariots of Fire.

Bermuda morning glory

Glorious Morning Glories!

Why am I talking about this? Well, because today I went for an extremely hot, ridiculously thirsty, and absurdly wet run. It was one of those runs where you can actually wring out your shirt with your own sweat. I know. Stop. Ixnay on the details. You can’t take anymore, because it’s just too sexy.

Bermudian house.

For reasons I cannot explain, it almost instantly occurred to me that I could climb over the hill, jump onto their roof, and go in through one of those windows. I have no further comment on my apparent latent cat burglar tendencies.

Anyway, my point here was not about the copious sweat or Chris Brown’s infectious poppy nonsense so much as the fact that it was a rather long (seven miles? eight? It took an hour and a half, so I hope I at least went that far) run and I nearly died of dehydration but I remembered to bring my camera. (!) That single gesture instantly elevated the hour and a half adventure from semi-grueling exercise to fantabulous photo safari!

Chenille plant, aka Acalypha hispida

Cool, furry, fuzzy caterpillar-ish plant thing! (a.k.a. Chenille plant; a.k.a. Acalypha hispida)

Moreover, I figure you’re still coming down from the contact high with the shameless excess of the pornographic beach scenes the other day, so I’ll give you a break and show you the softer, come-hither side of Bermuda. You can thank me by buying me a beer already, moochers. Oh, and beer at the grocery store is like $2.50 a pop here, so don’t be stingy!!!

Bermuda run

Me on my running safari, looking thirsty for beer, but less horrible than you'd think (or less so than I expected, anyway.)

Bermuda Railway Trail

There is a tunnel on my run, and it defies what I thought was a given for all tunnels: it does NOT reek of human urine!!! Color me impressed.

Yellow and White Plumeria

Damn, I'm good. This picture makes me happy. :)

Discarded beer bottles

Party time.

Red flowers

Unrelated to this photo, my ass is starting to ache. Oh, and did you read that thing about the guy who bought (what turned out to be) Ansel Adams negatives for $40 at a garage sale and they're worth $200,000,000!?!? I hate garage sales, but maybe I need to rethink that position?

Bermuda lighthouse view

A little blue water just to prove it's still Bermuda.

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Welcome to the Jungle

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Oh my god.

My hair has gone bat shit Shirley Temple crazy.

See????

See???? (And not a shoulder in sight!)

I don’t think I’ve seen it this way since high school.

Remember when spiral perms were cool? Too bad that’s over, because that’s my natural hairdo (at least in this rainy ass weather. Some kind of storm system came and parked over Bermuda Tuesday and is here until the weekend. My hair, in kind, has declared anarchy.)

So what I was saying is that it’s too bad the spiral perm has fallen from grace because I’m rocking it any time the humidity crawls above 70%. It’s very Dee Snyder of Twisted Sister. Or – having just seen it – any member of Anvil. More on Anvil (what a goddamned tragedy they are) tomorrow…

Meanwhile, just to be clear, the title of this blog post is in reference to my hair rather than any actual jungle. Contrary to popular belief (including my own when my friend was relocated from Grand Cayman to Bermuda about six weeks ago, and thus the destination to which I was moving her cat changed), Bermuda is not in the Caribbean. Not even close. Basically, if you have a sea-worthy boat, head to Savannah, Georgia and sail due east. Avoid the hurricanes, when possible.

Me in some 'stocks' in St. George. If I had Photoshop, I would've de-greasified my face. I have no idea why I'm always so shiny.

Me in some 'stocks' in St. George. If I had Photoshop, I would've de-greasified my forehead. I have no idea why I'm always so shiny. It's an issue.

It was first settled when a ship bound for the Jamestown settlement in the ‘new world’ crashed in Bermuda in 1609.

***Full disclosure***

This segue originally made sense because at first I confused Jamestown (current-day Williamsburg, Virginia) with Roanoke, and thought those guys were lucky for the crash, but thankfully I Googled it, because 1. You guys are smart. and 2. I was mistaken. Thus, 3. One of you smart asses would have pointed out that I was mistaken.

But since I brought it up, Roanoke, as you also may or may not know, is simultaneously referred to as the Lost Colony of Roanoke because the settlers disappeared off the face of the earth and no one knows why (minus the little anecdote that the citizens were waiting – in vain – for THREE YEARS for supplies sent from England. Supplies that never arrived. Thanks, England.)  Anyway, in addition to not knowing why those guys went AWOL, I also don’t know why my brain has chosen to remember the time my eigth-grade U.S. History teacher, Miss Van Antwerp, declared that when she died, the one question she had for God was, “What happened to the Roanoke settlers?” Miss V was really into U.S. History. Over the years I’ve thought about things I’d ask God when I die, and Roanoke has yet to make the list.

Some of those white Bermudian roofs. Mmmmm....  Rain water....

Some of those white Bermudian roofs. Mmmmm.... Rain water....

I actually remember a lot about that lady, but I won’t bore you with it here.

I learned that little fact about the settlement of Bermuda via Jamestown (confused with Roanoke) while reading the “Bermuda Visitor” booklet during a particularly boring wait for the wifi router to be upgraded to the Bermuda internet service provider specs (which didn’t work, but is another story not blog-worthy. It’s like being sponge-worthy, but because the blog lives on in cyber space, whereas sponge-related activities do not, it’s even more critical. To further clarify: the latter doesn’t live in cyber-space unless you stupidly videotape them. But I digress…)

Another thing you may not know about Bermuda is that they have no source of fresh water. Not a single river, stream, or creek to be had. The only source of water is rain (which according the booklet they refer to by the not-terribly-original nickname ‘liquid gold’). So anyway, the rain is collected on roofs painted with limestone and catchments (or drawn from underground lenses) and stored in tanks. Supposedly the limestone wash is what purifies that water before it drips into said tank. I studied the limestone roof to distraction, but it really didn’t look very clean to me. And then there’s the whole bird poop issue. And don’t even get me started on acid rain.

Me on my bed/couch/island with my giant Sideshow Bob/Medusa hair.

Same place, different time. Rocking my giant Sideshow Bob/Medusa hair.

Nonetheless, I have consumed multiple glasses of the stuff, and they all tasted fine. I even left one out overnight on the coffee table next to my sofa bed and had some the next morning – the gold standard taste test for tap water – and it was good. Or as good as water can be, which is to say devoid of flavor. And no flavor is good. In terms of water.

So there you have it.

I’ve run out of things to say.

All these curls are pulling on my head and making it hurt.

So goodnight…and Happy Friday the 13th! (My lucky day, having been born on one.)

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