Sunday, August 03, 2008

A Day at the Pool.

My birthday celebration was a long one, but I managed to get through the whole day without flagging. I set a very deliberate pace, and was able to remain lucid and conversational. Before we went down to the Pub, we stopped off for a couple of bottled frappuccinos which provided the needed boost to keep us moving. The show could have been better attended, but I felt I did my part by bringing 17 people who would not have likely been there without my invitation. Anyway, we had plenty of room on the dance floor, and we used it. At some point it just didn't matter if we looked like fools, flailing about to another Slim jam. To this day there aren't many among the initiated that would dispute the assertion that Cessna is an unparalleled performer.

This morning I was surprisingly sprightly as I sprung out of bed and went out for breakfast. My energy flagged just a bit around noon, but I managed to stay out-and-about with the assistance of four shots of espresso. What's the best way to enjoy a hot afternoon after a full day of revelry? Well, it should be obvious... go to the pool. Admittedly I'm not much for lounging about poolside. I just don't have a whole lot of patience to be still unless I'm reading or watching a movie. And I like to read in silence, so it's inevitable that I'm going to get wet if I'm at the pool. I also get protective about my space, and don't like to be around strangers in my trunks- but that didn't stop me today.

In fact it was a bit uncharacteristic for me to be where I was. A nearby borough has a Yacht Club that allows folks to buy season memberships. You don't need to own a boat to gain entrance. M.'s family turned her on to the place last summer, and they signed up for a group plan. Although the area it's located in is quite swanky, this Yacht Club is not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Initially I refused outright to go to any such thing. I figured it would be a lot of stuffy, pasty, rich white folks, sipping Chardonnay and looking down their noses. I certainly don't know anyone that owns a yacht. But I was told time and time again that it wasn't what I thought it was. One after another of my friends infiltrated the Club.

Finally I broke down and agreed to go on a day that some of the husbands I liked were going. Right away my assumptions proved incorrect. First of all, they allow smoking anywhere (except, presumably, the pool itself). There is a rec center with videogames and bubble hockey, alongside a snack bar that serves appropriately unwholesome foods. There is a bar that serves up alcohol at relatively affordable prices. And there are actually NASCAR posters on the walls. Right there that's a tip-off that the management is decidedly against pretension. It's not that I support the sport or anything, but I'm reasonably sure that its followers are not going to think that they are better than me because of the way I dress.

In fact there is a palpable lack of sophistication. There's a pavilion down along the waterfront with a long bar running down its middle. At one end there is a stage, where bands play poseur blues and reggae tunes. It's like being at Sandcastle Waterpark without the ridiculous lines and $30 admission fee. Guest admissions are $5 for the day. It's clean and fairly relaxing, with a mix of little kids and full blown adults. There aren't a whole lot of people between the ages of 12 and 30 there. The portion of the clientele that does own water-craft seems to consist of hard-working middle and upper middle class lovers of the outdoors, who scrape up the scratch to live out their retirement dreams on the river. Pittsburgh never ceases to surprise.

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