Sunday Signage: Inside Voice

Sorry I’ve been so MIA lately! Work is keeping me plenty busy, but I’m hoping to get a chance to resurface in the blog world soon. xo!


Sometimes, putting residential units atop retail establishments just doesn’t work, especially when the shop in question is a popular pizza place that stays open until the wee hours of each morning. Residents of the condos on Wharf Street apparently complained about the noise levels at night, prompting this sign to be erected outside the pizza place:

Ha! Cheekiness at its finest. 🙂

The Delicate Art of Naming Your Yacht

Congratulations– you bought a yacht! Welcome to the How The Heck Can I Spend My Millions of Dollars? club!

As the proud owner of a new yacht, you’re probably making some tough decisions, such as:

  • Where will I moor this gorgeous babe?
  • What prestigious races will I compete in?
  • Should I learn how to sail or just hire a reputable yacht crew to handle all of the pesky sea-faring details?
  • Will I wear pink polo shirts and white tennis shorts on deck, or will I go for the gold suit and ultramarine dress shirt combo as a tribute to the fabulous Simon LeBon?

Hold on there, fella!

Before anything else can happen, you’ve got to name your yacht. Yes! She needs a name! You’ve got to register her! Sure, it was easy to spend the $750K+ to get your yacht in the first place, but that doesn’t mean it will be “smooth sailing” choosing a name. (Get it- sailing? Yacht? Little bit of filthy rich humor for you there.) Anyway. To guide you down the path of choosing the perfect name for your perfect, perfectly expensive yacht, the club has compiled a list of existing yacht names and grouped them into several categories on your behalf. Remember, all of the names listed below have already been registered* to other yacht owners, so if there’s one that really jumps out at you, try adding a “II” to the end and go from there…

Yacht-Naming Tactic #1: Go for something pretty!

Everyone loves a boat with an ethereal or nature-y sounding name. Naming your boat after a river or a woodland creature lets people know that you’re more than just a sack of dusty money– you care about the environment, too!

Some examples:

  • Prairie Dancer
  • Dragonfly
  • Cheetah
  • WindChild
  • Fragile Habitat

Yacht-Naming Tactic #2: Name it after your mother, girlfriend, or wife

What woman wouldn’t be flattered to have an expensive, sleek, and sophisticated yacht bear her name? (NB- People who marry just for love: you only wish a yacht could be named after you.)

Some examples:

  • Marjorie
  • Red Sheilla
  • Annie

Yacht-Naming Tactic #3: Sound tough!

You’re not just a pretty boy with perfect teeth and pleated pants, are you? No– you’re strong! You’re manly! Well… even if you’re whisper thin and cry during so-called ‘chick flicks’, you can still create a facade of masculinity by naming your yacht something bold.

Some examples:

  • Warrior
  • Icon
  • Braveheart
  • Freedom X
  • Bulletproof

Yacht-Naming Tactic #4: Play on words!

People will love you for your intelligence, wit, and clever use of the English language. Naming your yacht something snappy proves that you’re more than just an 8- or 9-figure Swiss bank account… you’re a Harvard educated 8- or 9-figure Swiss bank account. 🙂

Some examples:

  • ReignMaker
  • Airloom
  • SeaDuced

Yacht-Naming Tactic #5: Be honest

OK, so maybe forking over 2 million dollars for your 50′ yacht wasn’t exactly easy. Let people know this by forever naming your boat after your money woes!

Some examples:

  • X-S
  • Overdraft

Yacht-Naming Tactic #6: Leave some breathing room

Some names have double meanings or leave room for interpretation. Think of what would happen if you named your yacht after your girlfriend and later broke up with her. Awkward! To avoid potentially uncomfortable situations like this, it’s wise to name your yacht something more, um, open-ended.

Some examples:

  • Family Affair (could mean that you sail with your sons… or that you’re leaving the door open to cheat on your wife)
  • New Beginnings I (it’s easy to tack on extra “I”s in the event that your relationship(s) don’t work out)

Yacht-Naming Tactic #7: Confuse people!

Who says that filthy rich yacht owners don’t know how to have fun? Why not christen your boat with a name that will have everyone scratching their heads and thinking WTF??

Some examples:

  • Free Bowl of Soup
  • Muffin
  • Baaad Kitty!
  • Penetration

Yacht-Naming Tactic #8: Add some sass to your class

If all else fails, why not name your yacht something sassy? If you like cats, too, why not display your affection for them by including a feline reference in your yacht’s name as well?

Some examples:

  • Cat Sass     (Note: can also fall under the Play on Words and WTF?? categories, especially if your yacht happens to be a catamaran.)

Hopefully this handy reference guide has helped you think of potential names for your new yacht. Remember, all of these yacht names are already taken, but there’s nothing stopping you from registering Doe-Sea-Doe or Stinky Cat Sass. Good luck!


*Yacht names compiled from the actual 2012 Swiftsure International Yacht Race list of registrants. (The Swiftsure Race takes place in Victoria every US Memorial Day weekend.) Disclaimers: No offense intended. Stereotypes of yacht owners were unfairly exaggerated for the purpose of this post. Don’t worry, Swiftsure racers– we know you’re not all preppy pretty boys with rich daddies and a penchant for Dockers. Besides, you know I’m just jealous. 🙂

If you want to read more tongue-in-cheek mini-essays about yachts, why not re-visit last year’s Swiftsure post, where I chronicled Marty’s re-enactment of the classic Duran Duran Rio music video? Do eet!

PS: All of the photos in this post (with the exception of Mr. LeBon aboard the amazing Rio) were taken by Marty during last year’s Swiftsure International Yacht Race. Please don’t use them without permission and/or proper credit!


Sunday Signage: The Suspense Is Killing Me

I see this sign every day in the public restrooms at the Harbour:

Come on, people– are those ellipses really necessary? (Especially so many of them?)

The suspense is killing me!

Where can I possibly find some feminine hygiene products?


That was a bit anti-climactic, no?

PS: Do you know how difficult it is to take a half-decent photo inside a public restroom without looking like a total creep? Believe me. It’s not easy.

Become the Best Worst Friend You Can Be

Classic Wooden Boat Festival– one of the many events that takes place right on our doorstep every summer.

Over the past three Harbour seasons, I have learned a lot about friendship– namely, how difficult it is to maintain even cursory relationships when you’re otherwise occupied drowning in the chaos you call your job. Don’t get me wrong: I value my friendships and wish that I could be a much more stellar and reliable amiga. However, for my own sanity and cognitive well-being, I’ve got to start accepting the fact that– for the most part– I am a flaky, preoccupied, over-stimulated, sleep-deprived, sad and sorry excuse for a compadre.

Let’s not mince our words here, shall we?

Sometimes I err on the side of optimism and believe that I’ll have time to “catch up” with my friends during the off-season. During the summer months, I keep guilty tabs on everyone who will need phoning and make lists of all the neglectful wounds that will need patching up come October, but suddenly it’s April again and I’m still as terrible a friend as I’ve been for the past three years. What gives? In the past month alone, I have unintentionally committed three grievous Friendship Code Violations– I didn’t call my best friend on her birthday, I didn’t RSVP to the same friend’s wedding invitation by the specified deadline (even though I had months to ponder my reply), and I didn’t even phone my youngest sister on her birthday last week. Yep. Optimism be damned: I am a rotten, stinking, no-good friend. 😦

Hey! Wipe that smile off your face, you! What did we just say about being a horrible friend?

Here’s the good news, though:

Rather than beat myself up over my lack of social reciprocity or my severe deficits in normal engagement levels, I’ve decided to use my weaknesses to my advantage and become a Horrible Friend Coach. Yes! I’ve got all the experience and tools you’ll need to have yourself deleted from every former friend’s day timer, address book, birthday calendar, or newfangled iPhone. I’ve even distilled my vast knowledge and years of expertise down into three simple, easy-to-follow steps! If you try my program and don’t experience 100% friend loss, I’ll even refund your money– no questions asked!

Wow! Be a GREAT Bad Friend!

Step 1: Get a job at the Inner Harbour!

Make sure you give yourself super long hours and stupid amounts of work to do. Don’t take any days off unless it is raining goats outside, and even then, use the precious hours away from work to run all the errands you don’t have time to do otherwise (groceries, laundry, banking, cooking, cleaning, sleeping?, etc.). Forget about weekends. Forget about “hanging out”. Forget about attending birthdays, weddings, funerals, baby showers, stag/ettes, or doing anything remotely resembling “fun”. In fact, forget you even know what “fun” is. (That last part will come naturally, don’t worry.)

We were even at work when the sky looked like this, to give you an idea of the Harbour schedule you should keep.

Step 2: Make well-intentioned (but empty) promises and set unrealistic expectations of yourself!

Definitely tell everyone you know that you will call them in November (or get together for tea, or go out for dinner with them– whatever. The details don’t really matter here– the point is to make “plans” with people and to create a false sense of hope.) We’re not just playing with other people’s hearts here, though– no. In order for this program to work effectively, you have to set your standards bar unbelievably high, too. Believe that you will, indeed, follow up with all of these people and attend all of these future engagements. Fill your heart (and theirs) with optimism! You’re a good friend! People like you!

Let’s go see a Super Pod of whales after Harbour season, okay? It’ll be fun!

… Then wait until November. By then, your nerves will be frayed and your eardrums will be begging for silence. You’ll have experienced months of noise– people, buskers, boat engines, float planes, festivals, children, seagulls, and cell phones– so the last thing you will want to do is call anyone, let alone meet anybody in person somewhere public, aka noisy. At this point, you can take your bar of standards down from its lofty perch, clothesline your friends with it, and then take a stab (ha) at impaling yourself with it. The disappointment of letting other people down will be painful, but then again, so was listening to various buskers sing ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ 8 million times during the summer. It’s all relative.

Disclaimer: If any of your friends will happily attend a silent retreat with you come winter, The Best Worst Friend program is considered null and void.

Step 3: Move!

Maybe you’ve done a half-decent job of keeping in contact with your friends over the winter months, and maybe you’ve even made good on some of your phone call/tea/dinner promises. If you’re serious about burning bridges and losing friendships, though, the best thing to do is pack up all of your belongings and completely uproot yourself! So what if you just moved in December? It’s April now– move again!

Most of your friends probably have birthdays and wedding anniversaries in April, anyway, so it will be perfect timing for you not to have any phone or internet access. Keep ’em guessing! Did she really not have internet/phone access, or was she just being her regular Bad Friend self by not phoning on my birthday? Who’s to say?

Take it from me: you’ll be so busy packing, unpacking, cleaning, and oh yes, working at the Harbour!– you won’t have much time for frivolous things like “friendships”. A big part of you will feel sad and like you’re missing out on the most important aspect of life, but don’t let it get to you. We’re all good at something in this lifetime, and maybe you’re just an All-Star Horrible Friend. Own it!


Pitiful ed. note: I have been wracked with guilt about my non-availability and my non-awesome friendship skills lately. To my friends in real life: thank you for your understanding and for your continued ability to take my super crazy schedule in stride. To my online friends: thank you for being my friend! (And consider yourselves lucky that you only have to deal with Flaky Online Me, and not Flaky In-Person Me, too. Heh.)