Saturday, July 9, 2011

To Rhody with Chad Vader (aka Aaron), Al Gore and the Three Wolf Night

After an intense few days of beach-going, high-powered meetings and parties about comedy (serious business, comedy, but Aaron has a dream) 

and tramping around NYC lugging laptops and sundry stuff, Aaron and I leave this:
(view from the F train at Smith/9th)

for this:
(view from the Amtrak train past New Haven)

Before we leave, we get a "meal" at the Chick-Pea ("Always baked!  Never fried!") franchise in the fabulously awful Penn Station (of which I have spoken earlier).  
Oh, boy.  I ask for the lentil soup ON THEIR DAILY MENU whereupon the young woman ambles over to the soups, lifts all four lids, peers in, sniffs, looks up, looks down, jiggles the soup ladles, confers with several people, then comes back with the news that they don't have lentil, in spite of it being 
I say fine, I'll have the three bean, which is ever so s-l-o-w-l-y poured in a container for me.  
Aaron, watching our luggage, wants the curly fries noted 
but instead of making that simple request of our hard-working server, what do I do?  
I  waggle my antennae and invite her to do the Martian Hop!  What else?  
Finally, after shaking her head a few times to turn me back into a human, she says, 
you mean BAKED fries?
I said, yes, of course baked.  
Everything in the place is, remember?  "Always BAKED! Never FRIED!"  That's the beauty of it!  After conferring with several people, planting, watering, harvesting, digging, cutting then 
baking the potatoes, these are the "curly" fries she comes up with:

I do magically conjure up a travel-Scrabble game, 
plucking it out of the cart before it's even shelved at Hudson News!  
A spendy $40 purchase, but by the end of the vacation, it's down to about $5 per game.  
(Aaron wins this one by five sad little points.)
I also pick up a ROLLING STONE magazine which has an article by Al Gore 
(Al, we hardly knew ye!) comparing the current state of reporting on global climate change to a wrestling match where the referee (the press) somehow manages to look away every time the bad guy bashes the good guy with a metal chair.  Here's a map of the earth in 80 or so years where the red/orange signifies areas of drought.
But hey, why worry about the ruination of civilization and countless ecosystems 
when you can watch wrestling on Fox?

After getting to Providence, we drive by a strange sight - a vintage pink Caddy, that is,
the rear end of a vintage pink Caddy, ie. the spacious back seat, 
parked mysteriously beside someone's driveway.
This pic is posted on the fabulous Gail Worley blog at

Finally we reach the lake in Rhode Island, Frank's ancestral summer home.
Aaron finally can relax.  Which he does in various forms.

 In the meantime, Frank makes dinner for us and two guests.  These are Cobb Towers which we first saw in a restaurant in Montauk, ordered by my sister Sherry.  Frank was so impressed he took on building the great Cobb Towers of Power as a continuing project.  (One fell.)

While the sun sets over the lake, the table shapes up.

Sadly, our guests don't come!  There was an email snafu!  
OH NOOOO!!!  We do have a visitor, however, a local dog, probably drawn by Frank's irresistible "Three-Wolf-Moon" t-shirt that was so troublesome in Europe.  The dog seems to understand that the coming night will be a three-wolf, three-candle night, not to be missed.

The next day, our guests come over for fabulous hors d'oeuvres and drinks on the beach.  
Carol Murphy, on the left, is the head of the Wakefield Pond Association,

which was formed to tackle the huge problem of invasive weeds that were literally taking over the lake a few years ago - massive mats of weeds that made swimming if not impossible, at least very unpleasant, and were smothering all the lake flora and fauna.

The lake in 2006.

This is "swollen bladderwort" - just one of the nasty invasive species.  They are brought in by wildlife, but probably the main way they get into the lake is from boats coming in at the public landing.

The lake today is remarkably clear, but it's a constant battle needing oversight and treatments, which do not come cheap.  Virtually every lake in this country has problems with invasives, 
both plants and animals.

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