Hi Everyone : ) Thanks for all your sweet posts. I haven't had a chance to get back to all of you because we went away for a couple of days to stay at our favorite hotel by the beach in Oxnard/Ventura. We'll be leaving again in about an hour to go to our vacation house with Mom in Palm Springs. Normally I don't go away this much but it was a lucky week I guess. Although I miss my sweet playmate and partner Scott an awful lot.
I just popped in for a second here because I wanted to tell you my crazy crab story. It's kind of a typical wacqui thing so I thought you might get a laugh out of it. The hotel where we were staying is a kind of out of the way beach resort sort of place, it isn't elegant or anything, it's an Embassy Suites so it's pretty standard, but what's amazing about it is that it's right on the beach, so you can walk right out of your room and be on the sand, and of course there's the incredible view of the ocean, and the sound of the waves to lull you to sleep each night. Soooo nice.
This is the same hotel where we saw Drew Barrymore and Tom Green, about two months before anyone knew they were together. I told my LJ friends about it at the time but they seemed like such an odd couple that no one believed me. This time there was a crew shooting an expensive pilot for the fall season, about a Swedish couple and their seven kids who run a beach hotel. They were all over the place, in the lobby, in the hotel rooms, at the pool and on the beach. Wednesday night they were shooting until two in the morning on the beach right in front of our room. They set up a kind of nighttime beach party shot, with paper lanterns, a big bonfire, tons of extras and music. It was fun for Beau.
Thursday, yesterday, we went to the Fisherman's Wharf at the marina where all of the boats go to and from the Channel Islands. There are some really sweet houses that have their own docks and boats, and then some really gorgeous beach houses along the nearby strand of beach. They have incredible views, and they all cost about a quarter of what they would cost in LA/Malibu, which is why the local sunburned roughneck drunk population is kind of moving out, and the gentrified yupsters and moving in. There are also a lot of retired folks and then there's the nearby Marine/Navy base. It makes for an interesting mix of people and it seems like a nice place to live.
We were having Pizza at some piratey named pizza place on the wharf when I noticed the restaurant next door was really just a big fish market. There was a huge sign that said, Live Crab, Pick Yer Crab and Cook It. Well, you can just imagine what that did for me. The next thing I knew I was standing over the crab tanks and wondering which one's I should try to save. I picked three little red crabs, mainly because two of them looked desperate to get out, and one of them was looking straight at me with his little crabby eyes, and one huge crab, who must have been the size of a soccer ball. Really, he was enormous with big spidery legs and scary pinchy claws.
Everyone got a good yuck out of the crazy lady who was buying crabs to set them free. Lots of jokes in Spanish about following me and fishing them back up again for a good free crab dinner. The owner of the whole operation, a kindly, Asian, man was surprisingly very kind and helpful. He said that I could release them anywhere in the water and that they would be able to swim and crawl along the bottom until they found a good rocky spot to hide in. He told me that there was a law against fishing inside of fifty miles, does that sound right?
Anyway we reserved our crabs and went to finish our pizza, and when we came back they were boxing them up for us. They put the little normal sized crabs in the bottom of the box and then flipped the giant crab upside down. I felt so sorry for it, it was so big and it was waving it's legs and claws all over the place. It looked so helpless. Then they put it in the box like that, upside down, bastards.
We picked up our box, which was way too heavy for me to carry, but I didn't have much choice, because Beau was terrified of this huge spidery crab thing, with the big clicking claws, and wouldn't even consider helping me carry it. So I lugged this heavy crab filled box, stopping every five feet or so to set it down and rest, with the big guy tapping his little claws along the inside of the lid. I was committed.
Deluded into thinking that someone might actually care, or be hungry enough, to follow me from the crab killing shack, I took a circuitous route to the end of this long stretch of houses where I planned to release my new friends. An area that I thought was sufficiently rocky for the crabs, and deserted enough so that no one would witness my little crab liberating scheme. There was a small parking area where we parked, and a couple of super beachy run down kind of businesses, another Pirate Something or Other hot dog stand, and some local artist's beach glass, and assorted crazy thing's, studio.
I thought that if I walked far out enough along this long sandy finger of beach, we would be able to find somewhere easy enough to get to, where we could release our crabs. By now the crabs were so tired and freaked out from everything they'd been through that even the big guy had stopped his tap tap tapping on the box top. There were big piles of rocks to our left that led down to the channel and stretch of sand to our right that although narrow, would have been too far for me to walk hauling my crab friends. Beau and I thought that if we just kept going we would somehow find a way to get the crabs to the water. We were wrong.
At first, and remembering how crabs scramble around rocks, I thought if I could just get them to some that were near enough to the water, and then just upended the box, that they would figure out how to scamper away to the sea. I walked up on to the rocks and found a spot that looked like there were enough crevices and places where these guys could climb their way down. Beau stood several feet, that's how frightened he was of these crabs, while I gingerly opened the cardboard lid and tipped the crabs upside down. Go crabby's, be free, go, go. They just stood there, dazed and blinking. These guys weren't going to be scampering anywhere.
The big guy kind of lifted one of his huge deep sea claws and then gave up, and one of the little red guys fell, to what I pray wasn't his death, with a sickening crunch. I screamed and then Beau started crying. This was turning out to be a huge disaster. I could see I was going to have to get them in the water, but the wind was whipping up and the sand was stinging our eyes and making it harder to see, and what was worse, I fell backwards off this little rock hill and rolled and tumbled backwards to the sand. I picked up the two remaining red crabbys, put them back in the box, and then tackled the big guy problem. There he was just sitting in the sand looking at me, desperately needing salt water and with the sand stinging his eyes. How was I going to get this big guy back in the box? I couldn't put him through another upside down journey, so I sucked up my courage, grabbed him around the middle and picked him up and kind of hunched my way along this strip of sand looking for a better place. Beau finally helped by carrying the box, and then came the dogs.
Two medium sized akita's, one black and one blonde came running up to us, barking and curious, probably hoping to steal and eat our crabs. This was getting ridiculous. We had walked so far from the car and the rocks weren't getting any less steep, and our crabs looked like they were dying. I shooed the dogs away and told Beau that we were going to have to make our way back to the car and find another place to release them. He was upset and worried so I told him that everything would be okay, that we were doing a good deed, and that good deed's aren't meant to be easy. I managed to put big crab on top of the two small crabs with one of his very tired and hardly dangerous claws kind of hanging out of the top of the box. I felt so sorry for them, I can't tell you how sorry. And then I tumbled down some more rocks again. Finally, with bleeding knees and tired muscles, we limped back towards our car.
When we finally got near the row of houses, a man came around the corner and approached us.
"Would you like to sell me your crab?"
"No, I want to rescue them, I'm trying to get them back to the water!"
"You sure you don't want to sell it to me?"
"No, get out of here!" and then I started to cry.
I guess he took pity on us because he offered to carry the crab down to the sea, and he called me sweetie, but after everything we'd been through I had a hard time trusting him. A woman appeared out of nowhere, introduced herself, and warned the man not to twist his ankle trying to climb down the rocks. Just before he released them he lifted the big guy up so she could see him. "Wow, that really is a big one!"
Afterwards the man said, "Listen we have a few friends who'd like to meet you. We're over in this bar here, and we've all been watching you the whole time." Mortified, because this meant a bunch of people had seen me fall twice and stumble along carrying this big crab and his friends, we followed along behind him to this divey beach bar, Pirate Pete's Cove, or something like that. I'd missed it when we pulled up because it had this little entrance from the side. There was a walk down a long dark corridor, that suddenly opened up on to this wide bar, with big tinted glass windows all along the front, where about twenty-five fairly drunk sunburned people had had a perfect TV view of our crabby struggles, and of course everyone clapped when we walked in. Oh My God! I wanted to fall through the floor.
They gave Beau a coke and me a beer, even though I don't drink, but I'm not gonna tell these guys that, they were being kind and friendly, which looked like it might not be an easy thing for this rough grizzly sea faring group. You know basically the kind of people you might find in a run down salty sea dog of a bar at three in the afternoon on a weekday. One guy was fighting with the bar tender, and there was a gal with a big black shiner, and the rest of the gang looked pretty raggedy as well. Nice and raggedy. I got introduced to all of the crab and lobster fisherman, which was a hoot and a half, let me tell you, and then Beau and I had to go out to the patio (because he's underage), where we met our friend's Blackie and Blondie, the dogs who had been barking at us on the beach.
I hope the crabs survived. I hope they're recovering and digging for clams along the salty sea bottom somewhere. I guess if I were a crab, I'd rather take my chances with someone like me, than die a certain death in a pot of boiling water. At least we tried. All in all another typical adventure for an animal loving gal like me.