Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sexy flower time

As I expected, it's not yet July, and I want to cry when I leave the house in the morning. My glasses fog the second I walk out of the house, like I just opened a steamy dishwasher (Related: there is nothing that makes me feel like a dorky-ass kid as much as fogged glasses. It makes me feel like Velma.) I also cannot walk into my yard without 45 mosquitoes jumping my shit, and my electric bill is half my paycheck.

I find myself wondering WHY THE SHIT PEOPLE LIVE HERE.

Then I see some pretty flowers, and I think, "maybe this is why?" But that seems stupid.

Nonetheless, I feel like I need to know the name of every gorgeous plant and flower I fall in love with. Lately it's been these intense, hot-pink flowers that have exploded all over the ornamental trees that grow at my work. They have this gorgeous, pantyhose-nude colored bark, and these orderly, symmetrical leaves.  They're like robot leaves. Part of why I'm fascinated by them is because they just look like they could never grow in the high desert. I'm no botanist, but these trees somehow look ... hot. Basically the opposite of the Central Oregon icon, the juniper. Exhibit A:

(image stolen from this weird site)

See that gnarled old beast? That's a juniper. They have a distinctive smell that makes me homesick, though some crazies say they smell like cat pee. Now look at the kinds of trees I'm looking at these days:

They're all exotic and shit.

I pointed the sexy pink trees out to Roomie to find out what they were called, and he gave me the wrong answer. (jerk). Nonetheless, I was somehow able to figure it out through a series of internet clicks--which really is a hard task when you don't know how to describe botany accurately. Sexy flowers? Pantyhose-colored bark? Weirdly robotic leaves? Yeah. Not great search terms.

But it turns out the trees are "Crape Myrtles." I have a hard time typing that, however, since I don't know the word "crape." I know the word crepe though. I've been informed that "crape" is simply the southern spelling of "crepe."

Right. Because they do that here. There's also a flower named "Confederate Jessamine." It's a type of jasmine, but southerners decided that pronouncing the word crazy wasn't good enough.

Anyway, in my sexy pink flower research, I discovered the best website ever.

Go, click.

Did you catch that?

Yes. It's sexy people posing in front of trees. Are they Russian? Or gay? I can't tell.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

What happens when you don't go to church

So I’m home alone on a Sunday, and I’m cleaning and cooking and working and cleaning dog beds. Typical Sunday. I take these two foam things we let the dogs sleep on out into the yard to hose them down because for some reason my three year old dog has started peeing the bed, and sometimes just peeing on the carpet, and a junker car drives by and honks. I look up, as though I know anyone out here, and then go back to my hosing.
But the car turns around, and then pulls into my yard - we don’t have a driveway, you actually have to drive through the yard to park on the landing in front of the barn-like garage and carport. He drives toward me, and I stand up, and it occurs to me what I look like: I’m wearing a tank dress (I’ve started to refer to them as housedresses) because it’s the only thing I can stand to wear in the heat and humidity. I’m squinting through my glasses, my frizzy hair is piled on top of my head, and I’m wearing no bra, though I do have an apron with a wild horses print on it tied around my waist – it was an ironic gift from my best friend, but I actually wear it because I cook and bake and wash dishes by hand. Also, as though I have new readers who need this info: I’m ultra white and have tattoos.
The fellow driving his beater car across my lawn is a black guy (p.s. more than once in the last few weeks, I’ve been in restaurants with people who have stage-whispered “black” when referring to perceived cultural differences. I’ve also gotten a stage-whispered “white” when someone was telling me which Taco Bell was preferred, because the employees were all, you guessed it, “white”) about my age, smoking a swisher sweet and wearing a white wife-beater tank top.
I say hello when he leans out his window. I’m thinking about where my dogs are. Inside the house.
He tells me he’s looking for “Heavah,” she lives somewhere around here and she looks just like me.
I tell him I don’t know anyone named Heather out here. Then he points out my tomato plants, and tells me that he grows tomatoes, too, and eggplants and okra and beans, and his watermelons are doing well, too.
When he describes the wall he built to keep his tomatoes off the ground, I say, “yeah, we should have done something like that, too. Anyway, good luck finding her.”
Then he drove away.
When I told Roomie about it (we tell each other any time anyone comes here, as it happens so rarely) suggested that the guy was “fishing.”
I’m trying to picture how that would have gone successfully for him.
“Oh, Heather? I don’t know her. Would you like to come inside for a lemonade? Or some homemade salsa?”
Am I being innocent?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Have I mentioned lately that I hate bugs?

The other night as I was going through my evening routine (I’m very good about taking my makeup off at night. I heard Stevie Nicks claimed on Oprah once that her “secret” [as though she looks great?] was that she always took her makeup off, and my podcast girlfriend Julie Klausner did a hilarious rant about it on her podcast. Something like “maybe I passed out face first in a pile of coke, but I removed my makeup first!”), I heard a sound in the shower. Skittery. Sketchy.
The dogs had been acting weird—standing in the yard staring off into the distance, rather than running in circles or dragging their asses across the driveway—and Roomie was passed out on the couch. For some reason I pictured a raccoon in the shower. Or a snake. Or an alligator. 
I live in the south now. I figure I should prepare for these things.
So I opened up the shower curtain and found a huge palmetto bug cockroach crawling up the wall. I squealed like a little girl, of course, and slammed the curtain shut so hard I whacked my thumbnail against the tile, splitting the nail down so far it bled. Of course. Because I just painted my nails two days earlier and that activity is basically an invitation for fingernail destruction.
Cockroach: 1
So I wrapped a band-aid around my thumb to keep the broken nail from snapping completely off in the night and went to bed. I resisted the urge to stuff a towel under the bathroom door to keep the bug from crawling out of the bathtub, scampering across the floor, shimmying under the door, crawling over to the bed, up the blankets and then, of course, crawling onto my face or into my ear. For good measure, I took a swig of vodka and put in earplugs.
The next morning, when I got up, I was so groggy, I’d totally forgotten about the bug until I whipped open the shower curtain and found the giant thing on its back, legs in the air. Dead. Apparent natural causes.
Serial: 1
I still count this as a win. You know, since the bug dead.
Though, instead of cleaning him up, I left the corpse for roomie and gave myself an Irish bath in the sink.
Come to think of it, maybe we all lost in this battle.