Browsing Archives for August 2008

Okay, okay, okay I guess fuzzy pictures are not going to be enough.

To find “our nudist” we drove to a town south of San Francisco called Rockaway Beach where we received instructions from the visitor’s center that if we were willing to drive just six more miles further south we would encounter a very nice strip of white sand and a quiet beach.   I do not remember the name of the beach, but I do remember that you park in a lot on the east side of busy highway 101 and then you have to cross to the west side of highway 101 which is harrowing and scary and I was sure we were going to die.
But we did not die.  We made it to the other side only to discover the jagged edge of a perilous cliff which beckoned to my four sons like a candy machine with it’s glass busted out.  They immediately ran to the edge of the cliff and this caused their father – THEIR FATHER – who has never been known to have a visible reaction to anything in his life – to yell at them to get away from the edge of the cliff!
It is clear to me now that I should have taken this rare emotional response from my husband as a sign of stranger things to come.
We eventually found a hidden set of steep stairs that meandered down to the beach.  Funny – it was almost like someone was trying to keep this beach from being discovered.   
When we got to the bottom of the stairs there were several people sprinkled around the beach They all appeared to have clothing on, but I couldn’t help but notice two largish tanned men off in the distance in what appeared to be very scanty beach wear… scanty and strange swimwear. From a distance it looked like their suits were just kind of “muted” and “natural” and “grey” and “fuzzy” but yes it appeared to be swimwear.
One of the largish tanned men in scanty swimwear walked our way and as he moved towards us I kept trying to figure out his swim suit which appeared to be a speedo as it was centered entirely on the tiny area surrounding his… well… his…. his…. apparatus.
But then I noticed that the speedo seemed to have moving parts… jiggling things… and a strange thingy in the center that was… 
That Was…
The country doctor and I rapidly moved our boys to the water and they dove in.  I spread our stuff out on the sand in an area that eventually proved to be WAAAAAAAY to close to the nudist.   As we settled in, I took in the lay of the land and it appeared that there were several nudists tucked around the bend in a cove that was partially shielded by boulders.  One largish tannish nudist was laying just on the other side (our side) of the boulders with his largish tannish backside pointed our direction, but he was quite a ways a way and not interested in having a conversation with us.
But his buddy “our nudist” was not content to lie in the sand displaying his largish tannish backside.  He felt it his duty to traipse all over the beach talking to all the sunbathers.  His primary subject was the tides.  I know this because I listened to him talk to the young couple next to us.  They were very polite to him and conversed with him and for about ten minutes they talked tides with him.  
Then he wandered over to us.  The boys were playing in the surf, but the CD and I were sitting on the sand watching our kids.
We heard him approach us and come to a stop behind us and then he started filling us in on the dangerous tides in the area. 
I can’t really explain it to you and maybe it was the wrong response, but neither one of us was really in the mood for a conversation with a nudist that day.  
So we just IGNORED HIM.
But he was not to be IGNORED and continued with his informational lecture on the tides.
We continued with our IGNORING OF HIM.
Finally he asked us if we spoke English.
The Country Doctor said no.
And the aggressively friendly nudist said “alright” in a very grouchy voice.
I am not a psychlogist or a PHD in human behavior but I am pretty sure than “our nudist” felt extremely limited by putting on his display for the other nudists.  It was simply not enough.  It did not satisfy.  He felt incomplete.  For really, what is the point of being a nudist if you are not constantly shocking someone.  
So he had moved his act over to the non-nudists and there he happily flaunted his brown body parts, talking tides to strangers, glorying in the discomfort he created, basking in the warm rays of shock, sunshine and disdain.  
Since the Country Doctor and I were not willing to participate in his little show by keeping our backs firmly to him while he tried to talk to us,  he finally moved along.  
And then when he was a long ways away…
I took his picture.
And I am pretty sure that the aggressively friendly nudist would have been thrilled by that.
Thus ends the aggressively friendly nude… I MEAN NUDIST chronicles on this here blog.

You pack your bags and drive to the airport…

You fly halfway across the country…

You hike all over one of the great cities on the planet…

You marvel at the architecture…

The beauty of the old buildings…

Your jaw drops to the the ground at the grandeur of the redwood forests…

You partake of the cities bounty from Dim Sum in Chinatown to spaghetti in North Beach to a hearty breakfast at Home Plate in the Marina  District….

But all people really want to hear about….

Everywhere I go… 
Everyone I talk to….
They just want to know if I got a picture of the aggressively friendly nudist…
Are you kidding me?!?
What’s the point of having a blog if you don’t get a picture of the aggressively friendly nudist?!?

Our nudist is the one in the foreground.  
I have no idea if the nudist in the background was aggressive or friendly or not…
But secretly…
I like to think that San Francisco gave my family the most friendly and most aggressive nudist that they had.  
But maybe that is just me thinking a little more highly of myself than I ought.

Homeless on our Honeymoon…

August 6th, 2008

It was a dark and stormy night…

No no that’s not right…

It was the best of times it was the worst of times…

No no no no not right!



The golden orb hung listlessly in the air and it… it… it…


Okay Okay

Once upon a time…


What I am trying to say is that the Country Doctor and I were not always the Country Doctor and I.

Many, many, many, many, many moons ago we were The Country Medical Student and I.

And we were very poor…

And full of babies…

This is a story about our humble beginnings.

When we lived hand to mouth, making babies faster than you could say fallopian tubes and rubbing our last two nickles together at the end of every month for warmth.

We were homeless on our honeymoon. Every day of our seven day trip through the Bad Lands and the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore and Yellow Stone and The Grand Tetons, we would place a call back to Kansas City to find out if our landlord was going to rent us one of the two houses we had looked at before we got married. Both of our leases were expired. I guess we knew we could stay with April and Clay, but neither one of us was too excited about that. April is very bossy and she makes a lot of rules up right off the top of her head… as you are walking by… when you are sitting down… and every time you open the fridge and well… I am not much a rule person.

We did have a freshly purchased tent and lots of camping supplies and we had been putting them to use on our honeymoon as we were camping all over North Dakota and Wyoming. So I guess the tent was our fall back plan. However, on the last day of our trip we finally reached the land lord and he gave us permission to move into a tiny bungalow in a sweet neighborhood two blocks from KU Med. It was a perfect first home and we were both very excited.

When we got back to Kansas, we rented a U-Haul truck and packed up our belongings. The Country Medical Student had just resigned as a Physics and Chemistry Teacher at Atchison High in Atchison Kansas where he was renting a studio apartment. I had been sharing a house with one of the the Country Doctor’s sisters… where most of my stuff had been stored in the basement… which had flooded… and destroyed pretty much all of my belongings, so neither of us had much stuff and we easily fit all of our crap into one truck.

We drove to Kansas City and moved into our new home.

I still love that first little house. It had a screen porch that ran the full length of the front of the house. It had two tiny bedrooms and one tiny bathroom. It had industrial gray carpet in every room except the kitchen and the bathroom. There was a small deck and a cozy back yard and a detached garage. It had a full unfinished basement and it cost us $575.00 a month to rent.

The Country Medical Student had a scholarship that covered his books, tuition and gave us a living stipend of $1,500 a month. I had a job at just over minimum wage as an administrative assistant at the Lawrence Arts Center and was bringing home $1,000 a month. Combining our earnings made me feel positively rich! We celebrated and got a little giddy and went out and bought a futon for future guests to sleep on.

This brought our furniture collection up to one hideous sofa and matching chair in gold and brown autumnal floral velour owned by the Country Medical Student. One table and two chairs owned by me. A desk, a bed, two dressers, a varied and interesting collection of plastic bins and storage tubs, and one fabulous lamp bought by the Country Medical Student at a garage sale. We still have the fabulous lamp.

My job at the Lawrence Arts Center was scheduled to end soon and I was desperately seeking a job in Kansas City. I had a past in health food cooperatives so when my job at the Arts Center came to an end, I took a job at Wild Oats on 43rd and Main K.C.M.O as a check out girl.

Then I started checking people out.

Looking over their bean paste and their pasta salads and their quivering hunks of tofu and I suddenly felt kind of sick.

Oh and the smells!

The vitamin smells and the bitter herb smells and the cheesey smells and the organic meat smells.

It made me even sicker.

What was wrong with me?

I like food!

I like smells!

Was I just stressed out from a new job???

The job was kind of weird. I was used to art center weirdness and I was used to the weirdness of my former health food store job, but this new store lacked the sense of humor and the lightness of heart. It lacked a certain skip in the step and a bit of mirth to accompany the all important agenda of being an artist or a health food nut. No one ever laughed at Wild Oats. They were dark and shrouded and everyone seemed to have a deep inner seething point to make. They chose to make these points by dressing in scary costumes that made all the babies that entered the store cry in fear. They dyed their hair black and painted their fingernails black and wore scary t-shirts with knives and blood and broken body parts scattered all over them. They had multiple face piercings and sinister tatoos and a general dismal leer that matched their outfits perfectly.

As a way to keep customers from being too scared of the employees, that particular Wild Oats store implemented a policy that stated that employees could not wear sleeveless shirts to work. This kept the wild and unruly underarm hair from busting out all over as well as covering up a lot of angry tattoos. It did nothing to cover up the facial piercings or the general bitterness all those people seemed to have.

Enter me.

No tatoos, no facial piercings, regular old hair colored hair, I shaved my legs and my underarms, I had all my teeth, I did not suspend bathing in a political quest to free the world from tyranny, I smiled, I had freckles, I was stupidly in freshly married bliss, I was not angry and bitter or full of smoky hate. I was friendly and I liked to help customers. And yes, their curdled goats milk granola was making me queasy, but other than that, I was the only person in the entire store that was not frightening to small children and elderly ladies and every other sort of “standard customer” that came through the doors.

And I got into trouble for violating the dress code.




One day I wore a denim shirt that had some embroidered flowers on it and I had my hair neatly pulled back and a pair of cute khaki pants on. I wore makeup and perky little shoes and my favorite dangly fish earrings that I stole from April. I looked perfectly nice




I was unaware of the sleeveless shirt policy. The denim shirt had no sleeves. Soon after I arrived to work, I was marched down to the manager’s office and told to choose a better shirt next time and to pay more attention to the guildelines set out in the employee manual. The manager seemed to take a great amount of satisfact

ion in haranguing the “standard looking ” employee when her sales floor was full of creatures from the black lagoon. Every word she spoke to me was full of wrenching irony as if she knew exactly how bizarre it was to call me in for my appearance when the rest of her staff were zombies with enough metal in their faces to cast a full sized steel statue of Satan himself.

I slogged back up the stairs bewildered and downcast. I took up my place at the cash register again and started checking out wiggly tofu again and felt immediately nauseous again and then I had this weird idea…

This strange thought…

This bizarre, crazy, completely NUTS inkling…

Am I Pregnant???



And I was.

We had not even been married a month and I was pregnant.

The first year of our marriage we had almost every major life stress one can experience. We got married, we moved, we got new jobs, the Country Medical Student started medical school, we were pregnant and we eventually had a baby.

After I took the test to confirm my suspicions, I had this conversation with my brand new husband.

ME – If you could choose at what age you were going to start a family what age would you pick?

HIM – I don’t know… I guess right about now…

ME – NOW???

HIM – Yeah…

ME – Why Now?

HIM – Because I am twenty seven and when the kid is eighteen I will forty five which seems like a good age to be when your kid is eighteen.

ME – So it is all about math then?

HIM – Yes.

ME – I am terrible at math.

HIM – Yes…

ME – What if our baby is terrible at math?

HIM – That won’t happen.

ME -What if it does?

HIM – It won’t.

ME – How do you know?

HIM – I just know.

ME – Well guess what!

HIM – What?

ME – I’m pregnant.

HIM – You are?

ME – Yes.

HIM – Are you sure?

ME – Yes.

HIM – How do you know?

ME – I just know!

But the Country Medical Student didn’t really believe me.

He didn’t really believe me until the new born babe was placed in his hands.

Just a few short months later…