Thursday, February 23, 2006

The desert and dessert

I just got back from a mini-holiday to Palm Springs / Joshua Tree and I know how to vacation like I know organic chemistry. Which is to say, I don't. Mistake number one: I brought my Blackberry. And used it. A lot. Doh. Mistake number two: I booked my return flight so early that I had to get up at four a.m. to catch it. Needless to say I didn't. Upside is that missing my flight allowed me to go to Whole Foods for some Kombucha and also to Zen Zoo for some Rooster tea - both of which delight me greatly.
I love the desert! I can't believe I'm saying that b/c for a really long time anything that didn't look like a bunch of Evergreens between glacier peaks was unimpressive. Even my first few trips to Big Bend were fun, but paled to the Northwest. I've been to Joshua Tree before, yet this time I discovered what millions already know -- that the desert is not only its own standard of beauty, but it's peaceful and healing.
Renee came w/ me for part of my trip. I pretty much lied to her to get her to hike w/ me. (Renee: "It says here this hike is 'moderately-strenuous'. What does that mean?" Me: "Don't worry, Nay, they rate those for the lowest common denominator. Basically it's considered strenuous to like my 80-yr-old grandma who can't move w/out her walker." Renee: "Are you sure?" Me: "Yeah of course. Dude I totally know these things yo.") Famous last words. Who knew that the people who rate the hikes at Joshua Tree are pretty spot on? After the hike I salvaged what was left of our friendship by lulling her into the hot springs. The soothing waters washed away the residual muscle pain and, fortunately, any bitterness Renee held towards me for draggin' her up the mountain.
Oh and during my three day westward journey the company for whom I work merged w/ our competitor. I don't know exactly how it will affect me, but significant change is imminent. I could spend time worrying about it, but really I don't want to. It's too much effort and I'm still trying to recover from going on vacation. Plus if anything I've learned that resistance to change is futile so there's nothing gained in being negative.
SXSW is around the corner! Thank you D for getting my $130 wristband. You can't buy these things on the Internet, and several THOUSAND people (Durham and Alo among them) waited in line at Waterloo today for the precious jewelry. One-hundred-and-thirty bucks? What the... ??? Sadly, the fact that they're limiting the number of bands they sell to 4000 till the opening day when they'll re-assess means that they've likely oversold badges. In the sxsw hierarchy, badges always trump wristbands, (just like queens always trump pawns unless of course your pawn becomes a queen but really I have no business mixing metaphors), which means that another year will likely go by in which I begrudge the Badgies, publicly snubbing their snobbiness while secretly coveting their shiny laminated necklaces.
A friend of mine, Colin Borchert, had a poem published in this month's Adbusters. I would tell you what page it's on but since Adbusters doesn't number their pages and I can't be bothered to count 'em, I won't be telling you what page it's on after all. But check it anyway. It's lovely and very clever.
In the desert I felt inspired to really simplify my home. To that end, tonight I bought an apple corer. I eat a lot of apples. I love them -- especially Braeburn. Fujis are good too but Braeburns are just a little more tart and usually firmer. I wasn't even hungry but I just had to core an apple using my new device. Also, now that I have a ride I can easily go to the Whole Foods on the other side of town which carries fresh Honey Peanut Butter! Will power is the only thing stopping me from eating apples and HPB (which incidentally is also an acronym for one of my customers at work) all day long. But back to simplifying. Apple corers seem like slippery slope devices -- the kind of instruments that lead to egg-separators, then to olive pitters, and eventually I'm buying walnut crackers and lemon zesters. Bad news.

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