Some for better not forever

TW and I are on vacation right now. We bandied about a wide range of locations, from Oregon to England, but finally settled on Boston. This will be our first real vacation, not associated with major family holidays, weddings, or other people. We’ve only done one day but the joy of leaving our lives on hold for a little while and just being together is fantastic.
The choice of Boston brings a hidden peril. I have family outside the city and have spent many summers there. We decided to spend a couple days on the Cape and then a couple in town. In both cases, she is adamant on one rule: we are not recreating my childhood. This is a problem. I had a wonderful time here. From the ages of 9-13, I spent my time here eating ice cream, playing in the ocean, shooting water rockets (they work best with club soda), and enjoying life. That was a new and powerful feeling that it took me a long time to learn how to capture. Looking back on that time, it is first moments I can remember feeling truly happy.

But that was almost 20 years ago. The town has changed. I’ve changed. But what I want more than anything is to capture that feeling with TW. I want her to feel the same happiness this places holds for me. But I don’t know how to do it without recreating my childhood. That’s not fair to her or anyone else. I can’t force my memories and my experiences on someone else and assume the same results. Instead, I have to make new ones. That alone is a scary idea. What if they’re not as good
When we return to the places that hold meaningful memories, what do we do? When we make new memories, how do we keep the old from bleeding onto the new? Do we acknowledge the ghost hiding around the corners? Do we welcome them along with us on new adventures? Or do we smile and pass them by, foolishly hoping that they will always be here waiting for us to return?

Calm before the storm

I’m writing this while my dog wanders around the dog park. He weather is too nice to be indoors hunched over my computer.
It’s been a while (2 weeks, .13 dog years, 50 internet years) since I’ve posted anything. I haven’t forgotten. It really has been because I haven’t done much. I’ve played some Mass Effect. Went fishing and got freaked out by a redneck deer hunter. That actually might have made a good post and I’ll probably write it up once the memory has become suitably epic. I flaked out on a baseball game cause of the weather (shame on me I know). I sat on my porch and petted my dog.
Normally, I’d feel guilty about this. Between now and July 10th I’m going to be at home exactly 2 weekends. That’s a lot of travel, a lot of things to write about, lots of pictures to take (CURSE YOU NIKON!!!!). I’m excited for most of the things, scared about a couple, and ambivalent about others.
In the lead up to an epic month or so, I really haven’t got the gumption to get out of the house and do much. I want to relax a bit before my vacation, races, weddings, and more races. That sounds silly but it’s honestly true. Vacations take a lot out of me. The constant t movement. Going from point A to B to C and back to A is a great way to feel stressed out when you’re trying to relax. I want to stay someplace until I get bored and the move on.
The weather here in DC has been stunningly nice for late May. More than anything, I want to sit in a back yard, on a hammock, read a book, drink some beer, and probably take a nap. Maybe I can convince Hank Scorpio to get me a hammock.

The dog appears to be grazing now. I think that’s my cue to head on in.

Stupidest Fish on Earth

This is an addendum to my previous post about fly fishing in NC. I’d thought about incorporating it into that post but time got away from me.

Trout are funny creatures.  They’re fairly smart. They wait for food to wash downstream rather than swim around and work for it. The more wily among them will actually knock flies into the river before attempting to eat them.   They’re easily spooked by shadows and noises in the water.  Once spooked, they won’t come out and feed for a good while.    They’ll congregate near easy food sources, like outtake drains from fish hatcheries (I’m looking at you Humble Hole).  They can tell the difference between a piece of fluff a couple of centimeters across and a bug the same color, size, and shape. There really is a lot to be impressed with.

The trout in Elk Creek are none of the above.  The state now stocks Elk Creek and it must have a screening program to select only the dumbest and smallest fish available.  As I was fishing there recently, I waded across the stream to try and fish a small hole.  I changed my fly, put some floatant on, and dropped it into the creek as I readied to cast. Not once, but twice, a small (~4 in.) trout tried to eat the fly.  He succeeded on the second try. I’m standing almost on top of him. Talking, making noise, having just walked 12 feet across the stream in front of him. He still decided that this was in fact a delicious cadis fly and not something with a hook attached to it that the human right in front him was going to use to inflict pain upon his ichthian brothers. I barely had time to grab the leader and pull him in.  I don’t know if I want to count that one or not.  Hopefully when I return to Elk creek, the trout will have wised up enough to let me cast before trying to eat my lure. But not too much.

May Nationals Predictions pt.2

I’m working with the First Ladies of Baseball to predict how the Nationals will do during May. Since today is the First of May, when you’re not engaged in other……activities(link NSFW), pop over to their site and read part one (pictures). Then come back and read part 2.

San Diego Padres – 5/14-15

Maggie:
This may be the series where the Padres fans get to see their team playing against Stephen Strasburg – too bad they won’t get to see it in Petco Park!  They’ve had a terrible start to their season, and based on the fact that DC has dominated them so far, I’m comfortable predicting a sweep.  Maggie says: 2-0.

Drew:
I’m really more interested in the fish tacos that are supposed to be coming to Nationals Stadium than I am in the Padres. The Padres look like the Pirates so far; pretty meh pitching and terrible hitting.  The Nats just took 2 of 3 from the Pads and didn’t need to rely on late inning theatrics to do so.  A sweep is totally reasonable and I’m calling for it.

Baltimore Orioles – 5/18-20Maggie:
This is one of the teams I’m fearing.  The O’s have been rebuilding the same way the Nats have, and that means they’re the same kind of threat to our team as we are to others.  I’ll be a little pessimistic here because I fear we’ll revert to losing, despite having this series at home.  Maggie predicts: 1-2.Drew:

I trust the Os less than I trust Congress to pass a budget on time.  Their off season moves didn’t weren’t huge and I honestly don’t think they added enough pieces to sustain their momentum long term. They’re playing pretty close to .500 ball with a Pythagorean winning record of 12-10 instead of  14-8. To me, they look like a lucky version of the Philthies.  That being said, much like the Philthies, they bring out the best in each other. I’m going to call for 2-1 series in the Nats favor.

Atlanta Braves – 5/25-27Maggie:
This is another team I fear, and perhaps more rightly.  This game will be IN Atlanta, against a team that has been quite strong in the NL East for a few years.  And they are the only NL East team that really chased the Nats in April.  But I like the starters that we’ll likely be putting up against them, so Maggie predicts: 2-1 (but very close).Drew:

Considering this series will likely have an impact on the playoffs, I’m excited to finally see the Bravos square off with the Nats.  The Braves have been playing well are tied with the Nats.  If the Philthies don’t make a serious charge midsummer, the Nats and Braves could be duking it out for a playoff berth.  This series is a coin flip for me.  I could see a sweep  for either team, but judging by the last season record  of 9-9 (with late season dominance) and the Nats’ improved pitching,  I’ll go with Maggie and say the Nats got 2-1.
Miami Marlins – 5/28-30

Maggie:
This is definitely my gut talking, but despite all their offseason changes, I can’t get behind the new-look Marlins.  They seem to me to be a team that was built desperately out of excellent spare parts that perhaps don’t all fit quite right together.  Despite playing in the new Miami stadium, Maggie says: 2-1.Drew:

Maggie hit the nail on the head.  The Marlins remind me of the 2011-2012 Philadelphia Eagles. The parts look good on paper but getting them to mesh on the field is a different story.  I see it happening sometime during this season, but not quite yet.  That being said, if the Nats can muster some offense (team BA of .226 vs the Marlins’ .225) I don’t see them having any problems with them sweeping the Marlins and heading into June on a high note.

Final Winning Prediction for May:
Maggie:    16-12

Drew:       16-12

Both: 30-20 through the season to that point.