siiiiiick . . . as a dog

Ha! I have NOT abandoned my original blog theme in favor of song titles and references.  Really, I think the idea of “California Vernacular” has just grown and broadened a bit . . . with the realization that my adjustments here are not so literal and don’t always have a language connection.  At least that’s what I tell myself so that I can sleep at night.

I have been sick as a California dog these past few days.  I am not entirely sure what a California dog is, but I imagine it is sicker than, say, a non-California dog.  What started as a sneaky little, entry-level sore throat managed to work its way up the ladder, right through the glass ceiling (no man was going to hold this bitch back), and into a top executive head cold.  Nothing like a cold to remind one how important it is to be able to breathe.  There are a few things in life that make me really irrational (this is actually a very long list, but I will edit to 3 for space): people being mean to animals, people being stupid while driving, and not being able to breathe.  So, add to this respiratory irrationality a fever and what you have is a recipe for disaster . . . or, in my case, a recipe for punching myself in the face.  No, that is not a metaphor.  I genuinely, 100% punched myself in the face (the nose to be more precise).  Friday night found me in such dire straights on my quest for air that the only logical way was to fight my own nose.  I remember it like this:

* Heather suddenly awakens, gasping for air, unable to get any oxygen to her brain. *

Heather: Nose, I oughta kick your ass!

Nose: Don’t write a check your butt can’t cash.

Heather: Why don’t you say that to my face!?!

Nose: Pretty sure I just did.

* Heather, enraged and spewing obscenities in languages she doesn’t know, hauls off and teaches her nose a lesson or two. *

Let me tell you, my delirium did nothing to ease the pain . . . or stop the bruising.

In addition to schooling my nose, I used my sick time to compile a list of interesting things about my current Californian environment.  It seemed easier than coming up with an actual blog topic.

1. California dude fashion

I know I have previously mentioned man tanks, but I don’t think I did justice to how ubiquitous the man tank is out here.  The man tank is a universal fashion item.  It cuts across all racial, religious, and ideological boundaries.  It does not matter how old you are, what kind of music you like, if you are in good shape, or if you have a job.  If you’re a man, you rock a man tank.

Secondly, all the teens out here wear old man tube socks.  Nate has told me (via his swimmers) that the kids justify this by calling them “compression socks” and spouting science about how it helps their circulation.  Riiiiight, but worrying about your circulation at 13 is a pretty old man kind of concern, no?  Also, it’s 75 degrees out, but if you’re cold, how about you just put on some pants??  I’ll admit, I dissolved into a fit of laughter when the first kid skated by in his board shorts and Vans and old man tube socks.  It became less funny (and more disturbing) over time.

2. California supermarkets

Not only do the grocery baggers feel the need to make small talk while I am hawk-eyeing the register to make sure my coupons are ringing up properly, but they also ask if you “need help out.”  The first time I was asked, I did not understand the question at all . . . which must have read on my face . . . causing the woman to add, “out to the parking lot with your groceries.”  I was honestly caught so off-guard that I made a weird snort and laughed instead of politely declining.  I probably ruined that woman’s day, but really?  I had, maybe, 7 items.

3. California Mexican restaurants

Southern California has more Mexican restaurants than Mexico.  I have never been to Mexico, but I am convinced this is the truth.  Mexican restaurants are like Starbucks with beans and rice and delicious melty cheese.

4. California train tracks

California is the only place I have ever been where it is actually AWESOME to be from the other side of the tracks.  Southern California has a coastal train system which places the tracks in prime real estate.  Of course, this makes for a delightfully scenic train ride, but I can’t imagine spending my multi-millions on property with a view only to have it abut the train tracks.  It is not just these bajillionaires that have to put up with the trains and their associated noise.  Anyone living within a mile or so of the beach gets treated to train whistles, the clang of railroad crossings, and chugga chugga.  If one is lucky enough to actually live on the other side of those tracks??  Well, let’s just say these people are not your Dylan McKay bad boys, riding motorcycles, and visiting Dad in prison.  If the crash of the waves doesn’t drown out the train in the backyard, well then they can just shove money in their ears.

5. La Cucaracha

Someone in my neighborhood has a La Cucaracha car horn.  They use it liberally.  I can’t even get mad because it’s so amazing.

OK, and for those of you who feel there was too much text in this post and not enough pictures, I will leave you with a picture of my new favorite California bird: the Black Phoebe.  Ack!!! He is so cute!!!!!

Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)

Image via Wikipedia


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. alicia
    Sep 13, 2011 @ 13:48:38

    Love your blog, Heather. Hope you’re feeling better and can breathe again!.


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