Thursday, June 07, 2012

Car Sick Blue: The Vacation Edition

There are approximately one million things I should be doing right now.  Laundry.  Packing. Calling people. Test taking. Other Important Stuff. 
None of these one million things are "blogging".





Guess what?

I'm going on vacation.

Because, you know, I need a break from my highly stressful lifestyle. I can't just garden, go out to dinner, and ponder the age old question of "blue" without surcease.  What the hell?  I'm exhausted.  Spent.  Withered. "Give out" as they say in the south.  My bones.  They ache (mostly due to the six miles I've logged on the treadmill this week with another 3 planned tomorrow...if only, IF ONLY...I would stop eating Pop Tarts).

Guess.  JUST GUESS where I'm going!

Well, first, let's review:

1.  I have no luck at all.

Pretty self explanatory.

2.  The weather is out to get me.

You may remember me from such films as, "A Tornado Chased Me on my Camping Trip" and "An Ice Storm Tried to Kill Me" and "Funnel Clouds Enjoy Hovering Over my House":

Who can forget? "Terror on the Beach":

(Say hello to my last beach vacation.)

3.  I am susceptible--very susceptible--to motion sickness.

 And let's just pause right there and fill in that "motion sickness" blank with the back story of: I cannot ride carnival rides that spin and this includes "the swings", or the tilt-a-whirl, or the spider.  The "Blair Witch Project" makes me queasy.  Air turbulence is something that often causes me to resort to Lamaze breathing techniques.  I cannot sit in the back seat of a car during long journeys on winding country roads without my stomach starting to lurch around like a blindfolded Charlie Sheen on a 3-day bender. 

I am still traumatized by my first encounter with motion sickness that happened in the floorboard of a (let's just say) "vintage" Ford (I'm certain) on a summer day many decades ago.  Back then, I had no idea why I suddenly felt "hot" and dizzy and sweaty and then...queasy...and then...



I don't remember any other specific details like what happened afterward or who else was there. What I DO remember, however, and very vividly, is what I was wearing. And that would be shorts with a seam up the middle, a striped sleeveless shirt and a pair of red ball jets (tennis shoes). Those shorts and that shirt were this color:


 A color that, for years afterward, I would associate in my mind with that hot, sick, close, dizzy, feeling that preceded the burning upchuck explosion that--horrible as it was to endure--didn't even lead to relief, but rather only to feeling a little more queasy and sicker and even more dizzy. A color that, just the mere sight of would cause my stomach to do a slow, sick roll.  A color that I would forever after think of and refer to as and dread as and randomly expect others to recognize as: 

car sick blue.

And so, friends, with all THAT said. 

Got any guesses as to my vacation destination?

What?  Did you say:


What, are you kidding?  


And, of course, that would be exactly where I'm going.

Never fear, I'm taking a HUGE amount of photo stick mega-byte memory along with every POSSIBLE motion sickness remedy known to mankind: ginger lozenges, ginger gum, limes, sea bands, Meclizine, and a huge amount of researched strategies (widen your stance for one--sounds crazy but is supposedly helpful). I've been taking ginger for months now to get it built up in my system.

Wish me luck.  

And if I don't make it back? 

You have my express permission to laugh because, God knows, I would.   

[But watch this space.  Something might post while I'm gone.  ooooo...Spooky!]      

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Your Moment of Georgia O'Keefe (And wordy asides.)

(Click for a larger version)
My orchid bloomed! My orchid bloomed!

Okay, so it's not that exciting.  Says YOU. 

But, still.


My clearance rack habit at Lowe's really paid off in this plant.  Bought last fall droopy and utterly without bloom prospects for $5 (they often try to sell the larger plants like this when in full regalia for $45), this phalaenopsis orchid cheerfully, if bloomlessly, inhabited my dining room window sill throughout the fall and winter.  I pruned off the withered twig that held the blossoms I never witnessed after watching a 10-minute YouTube video on the subject, and sealed the fresh cut with a paste of cinnamon and water as instructed. 

I'm telling you, we could probably perform a simple appendectomy after watching a 10-minute YouTube video on the subject, amIright?  Worked for Hemingway.


Anyway, as is usual, in my case, after said 10-minutes, I was a Phalaenopsis Expert. And an insufferable one at that.


Don't answer that.

Friends?! The phalaenopsis, despite its delicate appearance and exotic reputation, is quite a hardy plant. Found in nature often clinging precariously to moss in trees, the plant is surprisingly cold tolerant and requires very little fussing. Give it a good all over drenching only when the moss is fairly dry to the touch (root rot is a danger). I feed mine perhaps every fourth or fifth watering (and I'll step that up now that it's in full bloom) with an 11-35-15 mix of water soluble orchid food at 1 tablespoon: 1 gallon of water (and drench the leaves with it too). I submit that my Shasta daisies are FAR more finicky and way more whiny--God FORBID the Shastas go a day without a drink--they'll collapse weak as a post-partum Melanie Hamilton at the first hint of drought while the phalaenopsis, meanwhile, will be across the way on its perch, having not seen drop one of water for a week and yet looking hale and hardy as a greasy-chinned Kelly Clarkson on a Thanksgiving tryptophan high.     

The bloom you see here is as big as my hand (in other words ENORMOUS ask anybody) and has a twin on the other side of the vine directly opposite that is every bit as big and perfect as the one seen here.  And if that's not enough, you can see the next bud on the verge of blooming (there are at least six more?  Can you stand?).  I'm telling you, this plant is on the verge of slapping on a set of eye lashes and busting into a  chorus of, "Life is a cabaret ol' chum!  Come to the the cabareeeeeeet!"* Just don't, for God's SAKE, put an orchid in direct sunlight.  Indirect lighting only, please!  Much like Sally Bowles, it prefers the shady side of life. 

In conclusion I would only ask: What good is sitting alone in your room when you could be buying $5 Phalaenopsis?

Go hear the music play.

[As an aside, I stumbled upon a documentary called "Chris and Don" on Netflix recently and loved it.  It profiles the love story of Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy. The two met on a California beach in the early 1950's and their nontraditional relationship would last the next 35 years despite the 30-year gap in their ages (Isherwood is the older man).  Perhaps these two and the film should have been the subject of this post rather than a side note because they are even more interesting (if you can imagine) than my orchid. Unfortunately, the post is written and spellchecked meaning it's too late to rethink the situation at this point. Alas!  Unbeknownst to me, Isherwood wrote the book "Cabaret" based on his own experiences in 1920s Berlin AS WELL AS the novel from which the film "A Single Man" is drawn. I'm a little boggled to learn both stories sprang from the same  mind. Isherwood, it turns out, is a brilliant writer and I of all people should have learned this years ago. I will be diving into his works ASAP. As an aside to my aside: Interestingly, Isherwood thought Liza Minelli "too good" to portray Sally Bowles. We can blame that on the !Fosse!, I'm sure.]