So the other day I was at my parents’ house for dinner, and while chatting with my mother during dinner preparations, I spied her treasure trove of gardening heaven spread out on a large tray on the kitchen counter. Needless to say, I pilfered her stash of tomatoey goodness and ate myself about sick — you can see a portion of my stolen goods below. I ate the entire pile and then some, with the exception of the green one which I snuck home for midnight frying.
All I can say is that homegrown tomatoes are to die for and if you’ve only had store-bought tomatoes, I feel sorry for you. Because compared to homegrown, store-bought tomatoes are seriously lacking flavor. It reminds me once again that I need to start my own garden if even just in a container. It’s worth making the time for no matter how busy one might be. You say tomato…I say yum!
I’ve recently come to the realization that network television will probably never make a reality show centered round me. Not because my life isn’t interesting enough and not because the people in my life aren’t colorful enough. No, no, there’s probably plenty of material for them to work with. The problem has to do with the simple, unavoidable fact that I have a bit of a potty mouth. Some of you may have noticed. I’ve known this about myself for some time, but my Lord, the things that I’ve been seeing in the news lately has had me making a run for the crown in The Most F Bombs per Minute contest (the title is currently held by Christian Bale in case you were wondering).
Can any of you relate? You turn on the news to see what’s going on in the world and are bombarded by so much horrible, detestable, gut-wrenching shit that your brain basically malfunctions. When my brain malfunctions, I am only really able to do one of two things:
- Become speechless OR
- Curse up a storm! This is where the producers of my reality show would decide to pull the plug. If one of my rants were ever broadcast on NBC, every other word would be a BEEP Now that might be okay in normal situations. But here lately, there’d be so many that you wouldn’t even know who I was mad at or why. I’d be speaking Morse Code rather than English.
I know you’re wondering about that first point I made. Me? Speechless? Well, you got me. I’m not really “speechless” in the technical sense. I just can’t get past the various forms of the word f**k (in all its glory) in order to make my point completely clearly here in print. My mother reads this blog after all. And if I were to censor myself, it’d be like reading one of those classified government documents with 90% of the text highlighted black.
Anyway. It’s gotten to the point where I’m avoiding the mainstream news like the plague, so I’ve only been subjected to what’s been showing up on my mobile alerts and newsfeed. Stupidly, I thought this would “help” my mood. Yeah, right. My mobile alerts and newsfeed are filled with animal advocacy issues. Not exactly a subject that helps rein in my tongue.
I swear (ha!), it’s a wonder I haven’t had a stroke yet over the stories I’ve come across. Throw in some personal issues that have had me seeing red lately and it’s been a downright free-for-all at my house. I won’t even bore you with the personal issues right now. Long story short, I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage “so and so rears its ugly head.” Yeah, well…them ugly heads, they’ve been a-rearing…’Nuff said.
So what gets me sounding like Joe Pesci in a Martin Scorsese movie? In a word – Bears.
Or rather, bears accidentally mixing with dumb, ignorant, attention-hungry humans. There was a story about some woman who ran into two young bears over the summer when she was on a walk in a State Park – where (gasp!) bears live, in case you didn’t know – and rather than back away like a normal person or follow any of the safety protocols that are posted in parks, she simply could not contain herself and just had to have her 15 minutes in the spotlight. So she whips out her cell phone and starts videotaping them. Well, lo and behold, just seeing the bears in nature wasn’t enough. She then apparently started trying to get them closer to the camera by beckoning to them in baby talk. When one of the bears opened its mouth in an obvious attempt to take in her scent (as we’ve all seen animals do, hell my cat even does it), she decided to claim that it “almost bit her.” Almost bit her. How does something almost bite you, I’d like to know! It’s not like she fought it off and kept it from biting her. In the video, this “almost bite” was the bear, smelling her leg with its mouth open. Do you see the beginnings of my frustration?
Rather than keep the information of this encounter to herself, she showed the video – no, not to park rangers, but rather, to the media (therein lies the 15 minutes of fame), with the story that she was “afraid” and was just glad she got out alive. There were several times that the bears took refuge near a tree or into the woods to avoid the woman because they were clearly nervous and uncertain…did she take the opportunity to leave the area or yell to scare them farther away (since she was sooo afraid)? No. She stuck around, even going so far as to put her water bottle down so she could videotape better.
What happens next? Two dead bears, that’s what. Because the park rangers, in their complete and utter brilliance, thought that was the right thing to do (despite a public outcry and petitions coming out the ears). It should be noted that just one of the bears even approached her and most likely wouldn’t have if the woman had just had some common sense. Did I mention they were very young animals? Just a year and a half old. Still babies really. Was the woman fined for interacting with or harassing wildlife (like you’re supposed to be) for acting as she did? No. Of course not.
Okay…hang on…Breathe, Wendy. Breathe. I usually cannot get through this story without cursing profusely and typing is no exception. I must say the poor bears were surrounded by idiots that day and they paid the a dear price for human stupidity.
Did the movie The Bucket List make “the bucket list” famous? I’m sure you all know what it is – a list of things you want to do before you die. So that you can “feel the fear and do it anyway.” What a dumb motto that is! At least to me. I have no desire to feel fear. In real life anyway. Horror movies don’t count.
Well, I came up with a reverse bucket list – things that I will never do before I die.
- Jump out of a plane
Somebody – I forget who – replied when asked if they’d like to try skydiving, “Are you nuts? Why would I jump out of a plane that is working perfectly?” That’s my feeling on the subject, too. Just why? I put this at the top of my reverse bucket list because if I were ever to do this, I’d be dead before I hit the ground, so…end of bucket list. Easy peasy.
- Go bungee jumping
Second only to my desire not to jump out of a plane is my desire not to go bungee jumping. I mean, really. You get yourself togged up in some harness – I think it ties to your feet or something? – and then you jump off a perfectly good bridge or tower and go plummeting earthward? Then wham, bam, thank you ma’am, your plummet stops and you are jerked back upward. In my mind’s eye I can see it…my nose two inches from the ground before I snap back upward. And with the way my brain works I’d be thinking the whole time about the guy up at the top of that bridge who is probably being paid minimum to make sure the bungee cords are set right, adequate length, perfect weight for the person, etc., and the whole way down, I’d be thinking…”Did he come in sober today?” Or worse yet, “Did he come in hung over today?” And considering I’m afraid of falling (not heights so much mind you, as falling) the ending to this little adventure would be much like the jumping of out of a plane fiasco – I’d be dead of a massive heart attack, or what they used to call just plain old “fright,” before I made it to the finale of this nonsensical free-fall.
So, nope – sorry. Not going to happen.
- Go on a crazy roller coaster
As has been made apparent from the first two things on my list…I’m not afraid of heights. I’m afraid of falling. Falling and being suspended in the air with seemingly nothing to hold me in would give me a panic attack or worse. On something like the Tatsu roller coaster at Six Flags where you’re not even buckled firmly into a normal cart but rather left hanging out in the air freestyle, strapped onto a flying booster seat kind of thing, I’d be dead before the roller coaster came back to earth. You know how people say “Such and such scared her to death?” Yeah, well, that would be me. Now you guys get why this is a reverse bucket list, right? And I don’t know what happens to the vomit one expels in the middle of an upside down whirl on a roller coaster, but I don’t want to find out and I’m sure the people within range of my vomit wouldn’t want to find out either. So, we’ll give this one a pass.
- Go on the Giant Canyon Swing at Glenwood Caverns
This little gem is in Colorado. Their promotional literature states: “Ready for a screaming thrill ride soaring above Glenwood Springs?” Why no, no I’m not. “Launch yourself out into Glenwood Canyon, 1,300 feet above the Colorado River, on the Giant Canyon Swing!” it says. Nope, nope, nope – not going to happen. “If you’re brave enough to open your eyes…” I think you mean, stupid “…your views of the Canyon and Glenwood Springs are breathtaking as you soar through the air at speeds up to 50 miles per hour.” Fifty miles an hour? If I’m going fifty miles in anything it will be in a car on a road! Or a train. Trains are good. And while I realize that we hear of more accidents happening on the roads than on these adventure rides, in my mind’s eye, I can still easily see this “swing” taking off from its girders and flying into the Canyon à la “Final Destination” with me in tow. And while that might be a hell of a ride with an excellent view for a few seconds, just nope.
- Go anywhere near the Kishtwar Kailash road to base camp:
The Kishtwar Kailash is a mountain in the Indian Himalayas…and people try to climb it… “because it’s there,” the fools! Apparently its west face was climbed for the first time in 2013. It’s all very cool when you think about it. But the “road to base camp” is carved out of the side of the mountain and there is no guard rail (obviously) preventing a bus or car from plummeting over the side of that mountain and going down, down, down and down about a few more hundred times. From a video I watched recently, at a couple of points the wheels of a bus traversing this path are only a couple of inches from the edge of the cliff side of the mountain. At one point, not being able to see the cliff’s edge from around a corner they had to navigate, the driver’s helper (or one of the passengers) got out and directed the driver around the curve. Now, that’s trust. This is what you go through just to get to the base camp before even beginning your attempt at climbing what is apparently an incredibly challenging and dangerous mountain.
No, thank you. Onto the reverse bucket list it goes.
- Eat an insect dipped in anything and fried
I don’t care if they are a delicacy in some countries or how much protein people claim they have, it’s a bug. And not only would I not eat an insect dipped in anything and fried, I wouldn’t even eat it if it just came au naturel. No. Just no. No a million times. Bugs need have no fear of being eaten by me. The plus to this is when aliens come to take over the Earth they will know that I was kind to their kinfolk and they won’t disintegrate me or try to eat me like they will everyone else. Oh, they might stick me in a cage in some kind of an interplanetary zoo. But at least they won’t be feeding me bugs.
- Attend anything that calls itself “fashion week”
Have you seen some of the fashions the designers come up with, seemingly to make women look as silly as possible? The clothes that are displayed in the fashion week specials they show on t.v. do not look like the outfits you’d see on “real women” out in the “real world.” Or at least not in the world I live in. But then I don’t have a kajillion dollars, so maybe that’s why. And no-one ever looks happy at these things. The models look petulant and ill-tempered, and the attendees all look as though they’d rather be anywhere else on Earth than at that particular event. I thought clothes and clothes shopping made people happy. But then again…I did mention what these outfits look like, right?
- Go swimming with sharks
I love sharks. I’ve even got an app called Shark Tracker that helps me keep track of my favorite ones. But going swimming with them? My tasty flesh in the same vicinity as all of those lovely sharks with great big teeth? No thanks. I will watch them safely from the comfort of my armchair, or maybe a big, powerful boat that has no chance of sinking. But in the water? No. Just no. Now that I think about it, maybe not even on a big, powerful boat…I’ve seen Jaws. I know how that played out. It wasn’t good. Not good at all. Not to mention the Titanic was a big, powerful boat that was unsinkable. And we all know how well that worked out. Armchair is good. Yeah, I like the armchair.
- Act in a play
Actors say that the adrenalin rush of being on stage – at the end of a play – and getting the applause makes it all worth while. But I’m sure no one would want to pay to see me standing stock still on stage, forgetting to move, forgetting to talk, having to be carried off with a dolly because I’m too scared to move. I will spare myself, and the audience, that, thank you very much.
- Go caving
Some people call it caving. Others call it spelunking. I call it plain silliness. Hey, I’ve seen the movies. I know what happens. Does “The Descent” ring a bell? Okay, how about “The Cave?” Crawling through utter darkness, pressed in by stone on every side, mourning the friends you’ve just lost…having to squeeze through tunnels barely big enough for you and what if you get stuck? Can’t move forward, can’t move backward, having to wait a week to lose enough weight until you can move? I don’t want to lose weight that badly…oh, and the mutated monsters that just ate your friends. Nobody mentions those in the tourist literature.
Saw these in the grocery store yesterday. Not sure how long they’ve been out, probably a while for all I know. Admittedly, I did not buy them nor will I try them. I just can’t imagine that they taste anything near edible. And certainly nowhere near anything like biscuits and gravy. Oh sure, the idea was a good one. Two great things combined into a third, fun, artery-clogging food item. But the end product is what I’m not so sure about. I mean, this is the same group that threw together Chicken and Waffles Chips and look what that got us. Yuck. That’s what it got us. A whole lotta yuck.