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Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Stats That Shape a Weekend (Beach Edition!)
Number of Shrimp Eaten in One 24-Hour Period (Friday Evening through Saturday Evening): a Christ-load . . . at least more than you ate
Volleyball Games Played / Won: two / none
Number of Hours Spent Watching Three-Hour Survivor Finale (Despite Having Seen None of This Season): about 2.5

Ah, another trip to the beach. That annual co-worker enhanced / polluted weekend of fun ‘n sun. With the in-laws. Rather than the tried and untrue, blow-by-blow detailing of the weekend activities, I’ll go with the highlights:

-- We made it to Sandestin just in time for check-in. And because it was me handling that responsibility, we ended up on the second floor . . . with no view and a balcony that was merely a few feet from the wooden “public-access” walkway to the beach. My aversion to confrontation and tendency toward the path of least resistance crumbled under Michelle’s mounting dissatisfaction and steely, angry glares. After a drive back to the registration desk, we secured a seventh-floor room with a spectacular view . . . and a door to the master bathroom.

-- The weekend was something of a shrimp-o-thon. At Friday night’s Crab House dinner, Michelle and I split a shrimp appetizer, some crab dip, and a seafood platter . . . of which, I ate most of the shrimp. Saturday evening was the work-group dinner, for which the company provided shrimp boiled in spices and served cocktail-style. I ate a good many of these. I won’t even say “too many,” although such a thing is theoretically possible.

-- Sharing a two-bedroom condo with the in-laws was pretty okay. I like to think of my relationship with them as a series of trade-offs. This weekend, we had the benefit of live-in babysitters, but the price was having the living room television tuned to Fox News quite a bit. Still, it’s fun to take playful (yet passive-aggressive) jabs at my father-in-law and, at the same time, appear charming to my mother-in-law. It’s a tricky game that I’m playing . . . and usually I’m the only winner.

-- We took turns standing with Mia on the edge of the surf as the picturesque (yet smallish) waves crashed and broke over our feet. Sometimes, she would shriek with joy, while others, she would dissolve into half-panicked sobs. But she loved playing in (read: flinging) the sand.

-- As beautiful as the Gulf waters were, the surf was still relatively chilly . . . and too calm for body-surfing (so why bother?). We swam in the pool instead. Yeah, not very “beachy” of us.

-- Every year, there’s a big company volleyball to-do. For one reason or another, I’d missed out on the previous two years’ games. This year, I managed to time it perfectly so I wouldn’t be left out. While my showing wasn’t quite as not-unimpressive as three years earlier, I held my own, although my teams lost both times (15 to 11 and 15 to 13, I think).

-- It’s also become a tradition to have nightly jam sessions while at the beach. I usually only attend the second night and, for the past two years, I’ve been the designated bass player. I fumbled my way through numerous covers and originals (of a participating singer/songwriter) until things started to fall apart. Around the point we arrived at “Who’s Gonna Save Your Soul?” Yeah, the Jewel song.

-- We did take several pictures. Not sure how the Lomo shots are going to turn out, because it doesn’t sound like the shutter is working properly. And those won’t be developed for a little while anyway. If I can find a suitable picture of me playing bass, perhaps I’ll post it.*

* I couldn't. Someone at work took some during the jam. I had my hair pulled back in a ponytail. I look like a puffier and gayer (and drunker) version of myself. And I'm not comfortable putting that out there just now.