On Thursday, I made my initial foray to the beach. As in Gunnison Beach at Sandy Hook, recently featured in the New York Times. On that fabled highway, I-78, I noticed something peculiar. The speed limit on that road is sixty-five miles per hour, and most of the drivers were going sixty-five miles per hour!!!
I know, right?
Gas at $4.00 a gallon sure seems to be having an impact. I wonder if in years to come we'll all be telling young'ns, "Sheeeyit. Why I 'member back when if the speed limit was sixty-five, that meant you could go seventy-five and not worry about cops stopping you. You might not know this but if you go over the speed limit, the cops will stop you. Just like now if you go too slow, back then they'd stop you from going too fast. And what's more, when you would be driving along at seventy-five, there'd be cars passing you going eighty-five or better! It's the truth! Cross muh heart! Well you just go on and don't believe me. Damn kids."
I only got lost once, missing Exit 117 off the Parkway, but I got off at Long Branch and made my way north back up 35, and after passing through the town of Sea Brite (a bunch of us went there on a road trip when I was in college and re-named the place "Star Burst City"), I crossed the bridge and entered the Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook.
It was a perfect beach day--hazy, hot, and humid--and since it's only July, the water was still nice and cool and felt bracing when you were first going in. And since it wasn't warm enough for jellyfish, I paddled around in the surf to my hearts content.
Sunbathing, unfortunately, was another story. The black flies were out. O the look of horror on my face when I looked down and saw a black fly prepared to do his worst right on the head of my dick. So I would stay out of the water for as long as I could take the black fly bites, then head down into the ocean. As a result, I'm still well behind in my Tanning Objectives, despite baking in the desert sun only a few weeks ago.
And that, of course, got me to thinking. When I move to California, what will I do for trips to the beach? Don't let them lie to you: the Pacific is too cold to swim. Maybe that changes somewhere down in Mexico, but neoprene was developed so people in California could stay in the water for more than a minute. We easterners are spoiled by the warm tides of the Atlantic that caress our shores. Perhaps this will entail an annual sojourn to Fort Lauderdale or Fire Island. But gosh, what will it be like not being able to jump in the car, drive an hour or two, and go to the beach when the weather is right?
My one criticism of Sandy Hook are there are no mom-and-pop seafood places that I've been able to spot. I have yet to find a good post-beach place to eat. On a beach trip last summer with UnFortunate, it took us about three hours of driving around to find some fudge, and we ended up going to a mall for that.
But still and all, it was a good day at the beach.
Yesterday, July 4th, was a work day for me. And I was crabby all day. Driving in, I posed to myself the rhetorical question, "Who the hell spends the 4th of July shopping for toilets and towel bars and such at Ho(t)me(n) Depot. To my horror, I realized, only the most miserable and unsociable among us, whom no one has deemed worthy of an invitation to their barbecue.
And I was spot-on with that assumption.
The crowd was surly.
"You mean I have to wait here until your done with those customers before you'll read the labels on those water filters for me? Well I think I'll just go somewhere else then."
Oh boo hoo. My heart is broken. My thoughts turn to self-slaughter.
It was like that all day long.
And hardly any DILFs to make the day interesting.
With One Notable Exception. This guy who bore a striking resemblance to Mr. Clean was shopping in the moulding aisle wearing vintage green nylon gym shorts, the really short kind where the hem falls just below your ass cheeks and if you don't watch it your balls will fall out. And he was wearing white athletic socks with thick green and yellow stripes at the calves. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, get a hold of some gay porn from 1977.
Was he cryogenically frozen after being abducted from a roller disco?
I was sure he must be a homo, and must be Really Working It, until he brought his crown moulding selections over to his wife for a greenlight.
The ways of heterosexuals in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania are strange to me.
Now today is the annual July barbecue and dungeon party hosted by the excellent JPZapper and DogTopper. And I'm going. And I'm making a dessert.
What is it this year?
Well, I was toying with the idea of choux pastry filled with crème fraîche and topped with strawberries. But somewhere in the back of my head, I remember something about puff pastry only really working on winter afternoons when the sun is shining. And this would so not be one of those. So what I ended up with are mini ricotta cheese cheesecakes topped with strawberries. And I used lemon juice and lemon zest in the cheesecakes. They're sitting in the fridge cooling now, or I'd be on my way over already.
So looking forward to it.
And now, it's time to take a shower, put on somethin' special, pack up my gear bag, and head to Pottstown.
Those details that I'm able to divulge you can look forward to reading about here.