Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I Lived In Nature; Did Not Die.

So I am not, historically, the camping sort.
I am someone who shrieks hysterically when bugs fly near her face. I get itchy just thinking about mosquitos. I have very poor eyesight and a supernatural ability to manage to walk through spiders' newly constructed webs. I have developed a "special" walk to help me combat the into-web-walking. It looks like a child doing the elementary school favorite "crazy walk", but the child is drunk and has vertigo. Because I love you, I made a horrible-quality animated gif of my spiderwalk. Photobucket It ain't pretty.

So, we were unsure exactly how successful our first family camping expedition would be. Why did we DECIDE to camp, you might ask? Well, we had DECIDED to go on a road trip to Chicago, but then we found an amazing couch for $150, and though, oh, well, we don't have any other big expenses coming up... Ha. Ha-ha. That's the sound of our air conditioner breaking, and Brian needing a root canal. Ha. Ha-ha. So we opted for a $26-a-night campsite, and told ourselves that Chicago was lame, anyway.BUT, camping is not cheap! Or, it isn't if you've never done it and don't have all the STUFF. We were betting on the fact that we could become "camping people", and bought a GIANT tent (on sale!) and all the other junk that must accompany one in the wilderness, if one is a city-fied sissy. T'was risky, friends, I will not lie. Behold our giant tent, which is larger than our car. It took an hour or more to put up, and I had never sweat so much as I did while helping Brian assembling the thing. Afterward, I busied myself organizing our new tent-home, enjoying the breeze that came through the open tent doors. OPEN TENT DOORS. This lasted about 15 minutes, and then I noticed I had invited EVERY GIANT DUMB BUG IN THE FORST INTO MY TENT. It was a turning point in my life. It was the moment when I turned into a cold-blooded insect killer, and also someone who will CUT YOU if you do not zip up the tent door as QUICKLY AS IS HUMANLY POSSIBLE, thank you. I did what everyone in my position would do: I put a ziploc bag on my hand and started grabbing insects and smooshing them into bug-paste. I got really good. Every time I got one, I would call out to Brian, "That's SIX! I got SIX!" though he didn't seem terribly impressed. I should mention that the bigs were really dumb and slow. If I had to guess, I would say they were the unlit inbred cousins of lightening bugs, but I am no entomologist.Other things happened while we camped. We swam! We cooked! We hiked! All at 95+ degrees, because we went camping in a heat wave! Like geniuses! But what I will remember the most about our first camping trip was how many bugs I killed. The first day was only the beginning, folks, because despite my best efforts, the ants had moved into the tent by the second night. I was ruthless. I am sorry, ants, but you wanted the wrong person's graham crackers.
What would I say are the most essential camping supplies? Bug spray and ziploc bags, my friends. The former I applied about every 90 minutes when awake, and the latter I used CONSTANTLY.

Have you opened a food product? MUST GO IN ZIPLOC.
Are you putting something into the cooler? MUST GO IN ZIPLOC. (Beverages excluded.)
Do you need to marinate your kabobs? MUST GO IN ZIPLOC.
Are you about to form turkey-burger patties? ZIPLOC IS GLOVE.
Do you need to smash approximately 4,000 ants with your hand? ZIPLOC IS GLOVE.
My camping habits... might not be ecologically sound.

We survived, though, and we plan to camp again in the fall, when it will not be as heat-wave-y, and we will not have to seek refuge in the nearby WalMart/McDonalds/public library. It will be glorious, and I will know that if you run away from hornets, they follow you. Life lessons, people.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Very Good Things, Mildly Bad Things.

Oh, blog. I have neglected you. You have been INTIMIDATING me, because I know I have so much to TELL you. I am sorry, blog. Sometimes, just for a little bit, I imagine that I could be fancy. By "fancy", I mean "wearing clean clothes" and "having remembered to put on makeup" and "blogging on a weekly basis" and also "not the kind of person who leaves cherry pits on her nightstand for days and eventually finds herself making fruit-fly-traps at 2:00 am". That's all I mean by fancy. And, blog? I am not fancy. I will try to be okay with it, and not avoid you when I get overwhelmed by my unfancyness, and the fruit flies.

BUT. Moving on, to more important and (hopefully) interesting things: I am frequently amazed by how awesome people can be. People can be really, really awesome. It's super easy to forget.

(I think this is mostly because highways exist, and for the most part, driving on highways does NOTHING to convince me that humans have even the POTENTIAL for good. I am a hateful, vindictive person when I am driving on the highway, because I have been WRONGED and why won't this guy SPEED UP and HOW ARE YOU ONLY GOING 55??? I am roadrageous. But I digress.)

So, a MILLION YEARS AGO, I complained that I had lost my scissors. I am a champion complainer, usually to no effect. But then, lo and behold:

Yeah. So this delightful individual, whom I shall refer to as "K", because she is so awesome she only needs one letter, SENT ME SCISSORS.
They are HUGE and FABULOUS, scissors the likes of which I have never seen before! They are "Tailor's Shears" instead of Dressmakers, and they cut like BUTTAH. Seriously, these are the best things in the world for making tote bags, and cutting through multiple layers of upholstery, something I happen to do all the time. And K just SENT them to me. Because she is a scissor philanthropist! (Note: Use of the word "philanthropy" is in jest. I assure you I am not a worthy cause.) Check K out at her blog, Totes McGoats, because she is awesome, and also the phrase "Totes McGoats" is awesome and she OWNS THE DOMAIN NAME.

(True uninteresting story: for a while I kept saying "totes mcgoats" in place of the word "totally", and I had NO IDEA why. I asked several friends if it was a thing they had said to me, and all of them denied it. So when I saw K's blog name, I laughed a lot, because, what? HA! T'was MEANT to BE!) THANK YOU, K! You are the Totesiest of McGoats.

So, that was Very Good Thing. Mildly Bad Thing? This:
Long story short: I was going into a store to buy pie. (Reason for pie is a MUCH longer story than one post can handle. Maybe later.) My hand was sweaty, I dropped the phone on the sidewalk, hard. BROKEN! Made sad face. Went in to buy pie. Pie store not open. NO PIE! Sad face revisited. WORST EXPERIENCE INVOLVING PIE EVER! (For me.)

I was sad about this for about 15 minutes, at which point I realized that it was incredible that it hadn't happened sooner. I am a thing-dropper, and I have dropped this phone a LOT, but never on its face on the sidewalk. Lesson learned: If you lose the bottom part of your phone cover thing? Get a new one. Don't use half a case for over a year, because at some point, you will realize why it is necessary for the case to go ALL the way 'round. It's been about a month now, and I'm not planning on getting it replaced, because it still works fine. So.

I did went camping, and I did not die, and I enjoyed it. Except for when we thought we might have gotten salmonella poisoning. Photos of ludicrously large tent in the future.