Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Case of the Hungry Hot Tub Lid

Good evening, gentle readers. Won't you join me in a glass of wine? You've likely had a tough week, which will soon be over, and I must say--if anyone deserves to kick back with a glass of wine, it is you.

My one evening of rest and relaxation this week is soon coming to an end. Monday night was consumed by the first math test of the quarter, which could have gone better. Tuesday night began nicely, until I remembered my math assignment due the next night--which sucked the hours of the night away. Wednesday night was more math class, leaving me with a lengthy one hour to cool down before bed. I've been looking forward to tonight since Monday.

The night started off well, with a friendly "meow!" of welcome home from Ichi, and a tripping attempt by Watson. It wasn't dinnertime just yet though, and I did recall seeing some sun outside, so I hopped on my neglected girlfriend and gave her a ride to Trader Joe's. I picked up four cans of chicken noodle soup, a few cans of clam chowder and two packets of Indian to nip this cold in the bud, then hopped back on my bike. Being able to park anywhere with the motorcycle is a big plus I didn't get to experience in Tahoe much. If I had stopped on the way home from work, I would have either had to pay for parking, or get lucky and find a spot in Joe's very compact parking lot.

Back home, with the house warming, cats eating, and chicken noodle soup cooling, I flipped on the television and found a close Indiana vs. Illinois basketball game going on. I was also reading a new edition of National Geographic, when I remembered about the new season of Survivor starting up one of these weeks. After a quick check at, I discovered the new season started in approximately two minutes. Unexpected surprises, however small, put me in the best mood.

I flipped back and forth between the new Survivor season and the basketball game, which went to not one, but two overtimes. I think Indiana ended up pulling off the victory, in a game where both teams had multiple opportunities to clinch. I'm talking missed free-throws, stupid fouls, even a 10-second violation with less than a minute to play in overtime! I can honestly say, I've never seen that before--with no back-court press, mind you.

Thanks to the lackluster basketball play (although still a tight game, which always ups the entertainment value), I spent most of my time watching the first episode of the new Survivor season. The folks at Survivor have done "All-Star" survivor seasons before, but never quite like this. The two tribes are split up into one tribe consisting of all-stars, players who have played the game before and have been quite popular, and another tribe of Survivor fans--people who have watched the show and think they have what it takes to tough it out for 39 days.

I think the premise is a wonderful way to keep Survivor fresh. Admittedly, I only watched the final few episodes of the first Survivor (8 years ago?), and didn't watch any seasons of Survivor until last winter down in Nevada City. But I have definitely caught the bug, like many of you with "Lost" or "The Sopranos."

Initially, I thought the all-stars would have a huge advantage, and they did when it came to setting up camp right away and understanding what had to be done in order to live out there on their own. The contrast between the all-star camp and the fan camp was like night and day, although compared to other survivor first tribes, the fans did a very good job.

Most of the all-stars began creating alliances right out of the gate, and knew they were safe for at least the first tribal council. I think this may have led to some complacency on their part. Going up against a pack of hungry fans in the first immunity challenge, the all-stars got whooped, and unfortunately had to send a very interesting character home. One I would have liked to see stick around a little longer.

So up until this point in the night, my evening was going very nicely. A little motorcycle ride, some basketball on TV, chicken noodle soup, and an unexpected surprise of Survivor. I gave Angela a call, along with Renee and Tyler to set up our plans for Friday evening, then decided what would be better than a late-night hot tub in the storm?

In Seattle, we've got quite the wind storm tonight, and I'm having a hard time deciding whether hot tubbing in a storm or hot tubbing in the snow is my favorite. Hot tubbing in the snow is magical, but hot tubbing in a really nasty storm is unbelievable--you're entire body is encased in a 100+ degree protective water barrier, but you see the trees swaying from side to side, you can hear garbage cans tumbling down the street, and every so often you see something go flying by. Leaves, a piece of paper, farm animals--it all depends on the severity of the storm, and where the hot tub is located.

One time in Hawaii, I was hunkered down in a hot tub with a couple other kids I had just met (we were all around 14 yrs old). A storm was blowing lounge chairs all around the pool area, and when one eventually made its way into the hot tub, the guy's sister decided it was time to head out. Him and I waited out the storm, and when it passed, we got up out of the hot tub and all of the lounge chairs were heaped in a chaotic mess along the far side of the pool area, and our towels were nowhere to be found.

Back in Seattle, I decided that hot tubbing in the storm would be a fitting end to a relaxing evening, and also decided that it was dark, stormy, and private enough that skinny dipping wasn't out of the question. I turned off the lights in the kitchen, and quietly snuck outside. Interestingly enough, the storm had shook the hot tub lid off kilter a bit. I tried to unlatch one buckle from its slot, but it wasn't budging. Me and my naked behind were trying desperately to unlatch the hot tub lid, while both of us were getting colder and more aware of our surroundings.


What was that?!

Oh, just the garbage can falling over. OK, garbage cans do that--we're cool, we're cool.

*snap* and the hot tub lid finally comes unhinged, praise be to Jeebus! I flip half of the lid over onto the other half, like I've been doing the last few hot tubs. Mostly to save energy--not having to haul the entire lid on and off, which makes sense when it is just me in the hot tub. I quickly hopped in, expecting to be scorched, but my face drooped when I found the hot tub to only be lukewarm. I'm trying to think of an analogy to explain the way my heart sunk when the lukewarm water hit my skin, but words do not do the feeling justice, however powerful words may be!

OK, OK, I might be over-exaggerating a bit. Let's see if I can put the feeling of an unexpected lukewarm hot tub into words. It was like finding out that your wife has been cheating on you with your best friend... who's dog you were dog-sitting... who just pooped in your work shoes. There we go.

Maybe it was the lid getting knocked off its place a bit, or maybe it was the fact that half of the water had been splashed out of the hot tub by last weekend's charades. The hot tub can fit two comfortably, three with a little effort, and four with a "getting to know you better" feel. We had five in it last weekend, and the skinny-dippers out-numbered the clothed (and I was clothed!). I didn't notice it until now, but the water level was a good eight inches lower than usual. I really wish Marc would go on a diet.

I realize the hot tub stay would be a short, so I flip on the jets for a quick back massage before calling it a night. Luckily, the water level was still above the jets, or else I might have broken my favorite household appliance (do hot tubs fall into this category?). The jets work their magic on my aching back, and I'm contemplating a retreat back inside, when a gust of wind comes up and nearly flips the hot tub lid down onto me.

Hah! I say to myself. That could have been bad! What a fool I would look like to be walloped in the head by my beloved hot tub lid. I slide down a bit, to where my head is the only thing above the waterline. If I had been sitting up like before, I'd have a shorter neck right now! With my head down here though, if a gust of wind comes up and knocks over the lid, I wouldn't even be touched. All that would happen is...




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