Monday, September 20, 2010

My ASS of a day, made good by EPIC Wavesailing!

Boy, what a day. It started with mandatory HR training at the Northeastern University main campus in Boston, only 14 miles from my apartment in Lynn but almost an hour drive in morning traffic with $3.50 in tolls. Since the trip in is so long I tried to get a bunch of other bureaucratic stuff done on campus while I was there, like convincing the Information Services center to correct my last name from Douglas with one s to DouglASS with two ss, which I thought I had already done after two hours back and forth on the phone last week. They said it would still take them three days to fix it, so I had to get my Campus ID card made with the name still annoyingly misspelled. So much work for a stupidly simple little thing. Sigh.

But that's just chapter one. My plan for on-the-way-home was to stop at the Registry of Motor Vehicles in the sketchy town of Revere to get my license and registration for Massachusetts. (Revere makes Lynn look like Martha's Vineyard.) For that I needed to print out a special insurance form that I had to call and order emailed to me from Progressive, which took a long time because like all big evil money-sucking corporations they stick you in endless horrible multiple choice phone menus before letting you speak to anyone real. Anyway, I got that emailed, but the only computers with printers that I could access at the University were print stations in the library with 5 minute time limits. Since the computers were slow and stupid Microsoft Hotmail was crashing and giving me overloaded server messages I could never get the pdf loaded before the @#$% computer would automatically log me off. GRRR. I called Progressive again and had them email my stuff to my Northeastern address, which worked, so then I printed the crap and hit the road, after paying an outrageous $15.00 for just half a day of parking in the campus garage. Sheesh.

At the RMV (I don't know why Massachusetts can't just call it a DMV like every other state) I waited in the pre-line for 15 minutes to talk to a grouchy old man who almost sent me home to get my passport but then caved when he realized if I got my registration first I could use the registration as the third excessive form of identification needed to get my license. Anyway, the good hearted grouch gave me a number, A180, on a little tag that said "Estimated wait time, 42 minutes". 42 minutes isn't that long when you're doing something fun, but it seemed like forever on the uncomfortable bench at the DMV in a crowd of other antsy people. Finally A180 was called and got the deed done, although I was a bit disappointed that they don't actually give you a real laminated driver's license card at the RMV; just a lame paper temporary license and then they send you the card like a month later in the mail. Boo!

To access the shopping center in Revere that holds the RMV you have to pass through this intersection from HELL, which is a combination of a two-lane roundabout (they call them "rotaries" up here) with a two-lane intersection. WTF!? I can't imagine the fear that must go through the 16 year olds' hearts when they have to face that on their drivers' exams.

A minor highlight on my way in to work, finally, was stopping at the bank to deposit my old apartment security deposit from Florida and finding that I had lots of money in my account because my electronic paycheck from the University had come. Knowing I have money always reduces my stress level. :)

At work I wanted to do something sciencey and productive like what they pay me for, but I ended up in a long back-and-forth email / phone conversation with Information Services again trying to get administrator privileges for the computer in my office. Part of the mix-up there was that the Information Services guy emailed the administrator privileges application form to j.douglas instead of j.douglass ; my email is the only electronic record of myself at Northeastern where my full ASS is correcly included. That never got completely resolved because at 5pm I had had enough and busted loose to WINDSURF!!!!!!!!!!!

The wind was 10 - 20 knots NNW, which is side-offshore at the Nahant causeway, and beautiful big clean swells from Hurricane Igor were rolling in and breaking gradually over the long, smoothly sloping sandy bottom. I rigged a 6.8 Aerotech Phantom and rode my trusty 106 liter Exocet Cross with my new 32 cm MUFin no-spin fin. It was a great combo for blasting out over the lines of whitewater, getting some jumps on the steepening waves (which were very widely spaced so you could hit them full speed; I ended up doing one very high, unintentional partial-rotation back loop off a big one - ow), and carving some glorious front-side down-the-line turns on the way in. A fair number of surfers were out, so I definitely had to watch where I was going and sometimes veer wide or pass up a wave they were on. But there were a few waves that I had completely to myself and rode ecstatically all the way in to knee deep water. Woo hoo! It was definitely the longest I've ever been "front side" on a wave. There were some kiters out, but I don't know why there weren't any other windsurfers. If you live in the area, come on out to Nahant!


Johnny Douglass said...

Now son, just remember all I've modeled and taught you about patience in these bureaucratic transitions.
We had some fun in the hurricane surf too at Holden Beach. I did some boogie boarding in spite of warnings about rip currents. The only current we felt was a zooming side shore current on Sunday.

Frank said...

Man hope they pay good at this new gig. Driving to the university everyday would be expensive. Glad you had a great sail!! Cooled down to 90 degrees here in Texas and no wind but the northers should start soon.

Kiley said...

I'm really glad you can still windsurf up there. And I hope things get better with all the administrative BS. So I'm working at the Duke Wetland Center and today I was measuring the root lengths on some duckweed...really made me miss measuring those Halodule blades and talking to you in the lab. Hope you're doing well up there in New England!