Friday, August 8, 2008

More things I'm getting used to.

We're heading camping this weekend up in the mountains near Stanley, ID. Charlie's parents are in town, and we've planned this with some of their family friends for several months now. Yet, there are certain perils that I'm coming to terms with as far as things like camping in Idaho are concerned. Example: thunderstorms and flash floods! Of course it's just a warning, but some thunderstorms are predicted to move through the area this evening, and there are flash flood watch warnings for the area to which we're headed this evening. Holy moley!

Also new: living in a place where brush fires and forest fires can happen almost within city limits. Yesterday, some oily rags on a guy's back porch spontaneously combusted (!!!!) and set the foothills just outside of town on fire. It ballooned into a 30-acre wildfire before the BLM and the fire department got it under control. No houses were compromised, but it came very close. Maybe I was just fortunate, but I can't really recall that ever happening near Seattle or Portland. You were lucky if you could get your firewood to cure enough over the summer so that it would light come fall--forget "spontaneous combustion."

Finally, spiiiiiiders. I like to think I'm a pretty tough nut. I get dirty, I hang out in the woods, and I can deal with stinky things, gross things, and dead things. I was the "Brunhilda" of a house of post-college roomates because I was the only one not too completely grossed-out to clean the dead mice out of the mousetraps. Come to think of it, I've cleaned up a lot of dead things that the people around me were too afraid to get near.* But I don't like spiders. I heard recently somewhere (from some news source) that phobias can be hereditary. If that's the case, that I know precisely where mine came from. My mom and I have identical reactions to a spider on the wall (KILL KILL KILL), or on our clothes/body ("Huuuuruahaaddhdahsjshjdkahdlkajsdhak!!!!"). Anyhow, I've discovered that in Idaho (and in my HOUSE) there are such nasty things as HOBO SPIDERS. I've disposed of two of them already. One, normal spider-size, the other GIANT LIKE THE TOP OF A POP CAN. Guuuuuuhhhhhhhhh.... I did a little spider research on-line, and came across this GEM of a quote telling you how horrid these spiders are: "A male Hobo Spider is identified by it's genitalia, which look like boxing gloves and are often confused as fangs." That's right. Boxing glove FANG balls. The big one I squished definitely had these. Their bites also cause to flesh to turn black, necrotic and DIE. So charming.

UPDATE: All it took was the phrase "And then your flesh turns black and DIES" to convince Charlie to abandon his Siddhartha-like ways as far as Hobo spiders are concerned and join me in Arachni-cide.

Guess what Idaho ALSO has: Black Widow spiders and Rattlesnakes. GREAT. Haven't seen those yet. Don't want to.

In good news, one little culture shock thing keeps amazing me in a GOOD way: I can wash clothes, hang them on a hanger, and three hours later they're completely dry. UNBELIEVABLE. I can't quite get over it.

(*working at a strip-mall retail shoe store job while in college my co-worker found a dead sparrow outside and, with West Nile in the news, panicked and thought we should call animal control. She was sure that the customers would freak out, and that it would all spiral downhill from there. I told her not to worry, grabbed a tissue, picked up the poor little bird (it had obviously hit the big windows and died) and took it around back for an ignoble burial in the dumpster.)

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