Alive, Smelly, and Decidedly Overbooked
In backwards order. First, am I ever over-booked (har har har). Every few months, I find myself with towering stacks of library books to read and no time for them. Here's what I've got checked out right now:
>>Maybe Baby: 28 writers tell the truth about skepticism, infertility, baby lust, childlessness, ambivalence, and how they made the biggest decisions of their lives (it was on the new book shelf next to Mommy Wars, so I grabbed it on a whim, even though MB and I are definitely in the Babies Someday camp.
>>All the Clean Ones Are Married: and other everyday calamities in Moscow, sent to me by one of my favorite bibliophiles (P.S. Happy Birthday!).
>>In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner
>>Getting stoned with savages: a trip through the Islands of Fiji and Vanuatu, which I picked up because the title caught my eye.
>>Apprentice to the Flower Poet Z: a novel. Apparently I'm all about books with subtitles right now.
>>The Devil Wears Prada
On top of this, I've got a stack of used books I've purchased (but not yet read) over the last few months, plus a half-dozen borrowed books, and I just signed up for the online Barnes & Noble discussion group for The Lovely Bones. Oh, AND I'm three book reviews behind on my summer / fall / possibly-into-winter reading project. Oogh. Must try to catch up soon.
Heat Wave + Personal Hygiene = Not the Best Bedfellows
Recipe for sexy deliciousness:
1. Put on flip-flops at beginning of 8-hour workday, to avoid irritating obnoxious mosquito bite-horsefly bite extravaganza (more on that later) with the indignity of a sock.
2. Take flip-flop-y feet to second job at 5:30 PM. Slather bug bites with ammonia-based itch eraser to compound the fragrant-ness that already exists. Swaddle feet in socks and hot shoes. Remain on feet for next 4 1/2 hours.
3. Dress in black pants and non-breathing polo shirt.
4. Stand in direct sunlight filtered through westward-exposed floor-to-ceiling plate glass windows while the sun blazes in from arrival until about 7:30 PM. Sweat profusely.
5. Marinate until 10 PM.
Aaaah...scrumptious. I hope no one stood close enough to me to notice. I swear, I just took a shower last night!
MB and I survived our camping trip, despite the weather's best attempts to the contrary. BoMB (Brother of MB) didn't get to go with us, but we had a good time in spite of it. The first evening was downright pleasant. It was a bit drizzly when we got there, but the rain stopped before we'd even set up the tents. I got a really fantastic campfire going with just one match (okay, okay...so I used one of those firestarter bricks. You would, too, in 85% humidity), and the guys cooked chicken breasts and some fantastic steaks. Even I liked the bite I tried, and I'm not much for big slabs of beef. Both MB and his friend agreed the steaks were better than the ones they usually get at restaurants. The chicken was delicious, the sweet corn was highly decent, and we were too full to care that the potatoes refused to cook.
It rained that night, but our new tent held up beautifully, and it was actually very relaxing. It was still gray and a little bit cool in the morning as we got ready for our scheduled 12 mile hike, but it got hot fast. And humid. Oh dear Lord, the humidity. About 2 miles in, MB's friend decided that we shouldn't really go 12 miles. Obviously no one argued. The first half of the hike wasn't awful. It was beastly hot, but we had plenty of water and the terrain wasn't too rugged. Just before the halfway point, we ran into some guys who'd spent the previous night catching bats in mist nets and putting radio transmitters on a few endangered ones they'd caught. Pretty cool.
As we reached the part of the trail that was going to cut our 12 mile loop down to a 6 mile loop, we moved out of the forest and onto a gravel road with very little shade. If I'd known that the rest of the hike was going to be like that, I'd have suggested that we turn around. Unfortunately, I had no clue, so we slogged along miserably for three miles in the horribly hot sun. Poor MB was wilting, since (unlike me) he lacks the capacity to produce gallons of sweat and because he was carrying something like four full Nalgene bottles in his pack AND wearing jeans. We all made it back to camp, miserably hot and tired, and sat around for about half an hour before we could muster the energy to take cool showers and change clothes.
The fire didn't light so well that night, but it went well enough. MB's friend made the BEST DAMN BURGERS EVER by slathering them with barbecue sauce halfway through the grilling process. The few other campers at the campground seemed to be in high spirits despite the heat. An RV down the road on one side blared a rock radio station for a few hours, while a guy down the other way broke out his electric guitar. Seriously, though...who brings an electric guitar camping? Acoustic, sure..."Kumbaya" and Joni Mitchell and all that. But "Smoke on the Water" and "Stairway to Heaven" with an AMP? He was pretty damn good. I still regret not having the balls to yell "FREE BIRD!!"
That night, there was a bat program down at the little tiny open-air amphitheatre, so we all went. It was so much fun to be with three other people in their mid-twenties, and to have all of them glad to go to a bat program with me. I actually learned lots of cool things about bats. For instance, bats are the only flying mammal. (Flying squirrels don't count, due to the fact that they actually glide, as I hazarded during the True or False portion of the program.) Bats also can live to be 30 and only have about one baby each year.
I think MB and I went to bed around 10 PM. Our friends had to leave at 6 the next morning, but we didn't wake up until 10:30, when it was already miserably humid. We were in foul moods and pretty much bitched and moaned through the entire duration of camp-breaking. Thank goodness no one else was there to hear us. At least I hope no one was around, especially while I, always ladylike, cussed out the horsefly that kept biting me on the legs. (Motherfucker. Bit me on top of a mosquito bite, too.) Then we got into the car, turned the AC on full blast, and felt pretty sheepish about our behavior. Apologies all around, except to the damn horsefly. He can burn in hell for all I care.
Reading: Mommy Wars (Nearly a month after starting it. Go on and mock me if you must. I deserve it.), Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett
Playing: Stabbing Westward (warning: there is sound), Modest Mouse (more sound), and my latest damn earworm