Puking in the panhandle: norovirus fun

I don’t often get to take vacations these days. I left on Friday for a quick four-day trip to the panhandle of Florida to do some paddling I have long wanted to do. By Friday night on arrival, I was ready to vomit. I thought it was exhaustion coupled with the idea I might have to go to breakfast in the morning but, as it turned out, no, I really wanted to vomit. Troy did not take my threat seriously. I collapsed at 1 a.m.

At 8 a.m., Troy was insisting that I get up to go eat breakfast with his Mom before she left to go home. It seemed rude not to go considering she owns the beach house where we were staying, but she offered up a place to eat known as the “Donut Hole” and I wanted to vomit. I got in the car because civility trumps common sense and reason. Within ten minutes of arrival, I excused myself to head to the bathroom. There are very few things that will make me lay down on the nice cool tile floor of a public bathroom. One of those things apparently is the well-placed fear that I will spew in public in a packed restaurant on a Saturday morning. I must say that the Donut Hole on Highway 98 has one very clean bathroom. As soon as I realized I was about to pass out on the tile floor of a public restroom, I pulled myself up and staggered back to the table. Troy’s Mom took one look at me and we went out the door to go home. I think she stills harbors hopes that Troy and I will spawn and that was morning sickness, but at my age, I think she should have been thinking less about pregnancy and more about contagious issues. Troy and his Mom left me to sleep which I did until around early afternoon.

This was a trip in which we were supposed to paddle both Ecofina Creek and the Wakulla River. I was very determined to do this. So I got up and convinced Troy I was OK because I am a moron. We drove to Econfina Creek and thank God the livery service that picks you up to return you to your car refused to take us since it was after one. We returned home. And that’s when the fun started. I will confess to you that at my age, the thought that I might puke on myself without being able to dash to the bathroom never occurred to me. Nonetheless, over the course of the next 18 hours, I think I threw up on myself no less than three times. I can now say without question that if I ever get too ill and will require someone’s round the clock care, I will simply swallow enough pills to make my sleep permanent. There is no reason to live if you are pretty sure you want to die, but can’t guarantee you will.

Because I am incredibly stubborn and stupid, I went paddling the next day and managed with the aid of medicine in combination with severe dehydration to paddle 7 miles of Ecofina Creek. Here is Emerald Spring in all it’s loveliness:

emerald springs

I will talk in detail about this run later for those paddlers that care, but I can tell you that I did not puke once in the two hours it took to paddle this run. I saved that fun for later. Never one to let a virus completely kill off my plans, I went ahead and toured the Gulf Shores National Seashore while Troy shot inspirational and beautiful shots of dunes and oat grass with crystal clear waters and spectacular sunsets. While he took awesome photographs, I puked in the sand. And thus ended the last night of the vacation, with me on my knees, on a deserted beach with my husband, while I puked. As an fyi, there is zero romance to anything with sand for those who expect some romance. Sand sticks to everything. Find a nice sand-free spot for romance. Also puking. You’re welcome.

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I have now toured every bathroom from Perdido Key to Rosemary Beach along Highway 98 and am contemplating posting a field guide to bathrooms to puke in or developing an app. Troy does not think this will be a big seller, but I beg to differ. This was crucial knowledge I would have paid to have had.

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Attention Wolf People: We get it, so simmer down

Well, it’s April Fools Day, which is the one day of the year where I reaffirm just how incredibly gullible and, occasionally, stupid people can be. As some of you know, every year I post a wolf for adoption on our page. This year was no exception. People lost their ever-loving minds and many took us to task for either removing a wolf from the wild or, alternately, for having a wolf and not placing it with wolf people. Seriously. They did. Just check the 500+ comments on the thread at the link above. This begs the question who the fuck seriously thinks a dog rescue has a dog for adoption that hates animals, eats small woodland creatures, wants to eat your granddaughter and took off three fingers of a trainer trying to teach it to not be food aggressive? The reply email on the post is “itsawolfpeople@gmail.com” (which by the way is not a real address) and should have clued people in to the fact it’s a freaking joke. People: it’s not real so get a grip. Not everything you read on the internets is true.

This is an actual wolf Troy photographed. It does not need rescue.

This is an actual wolf Troy photographed. It does not need rescue.

I would like to take this opportunity to pass along a message to our passionate friends in wolf advocacy. Simmer the fuck down. We aren’t advocating that anyone adopt/capture/trap wolves and putting up a fake post about a wolf is in no way harming wolves. You know who is harming wolves? The dicks running the states of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho who think it’s OK to slaughter them so elk hunters don’t have competition. I suggest that you all dedicate yourselves to the admirable and Herculean task of saving wolves and back off a friendly rescue who supports your cause.

Let me offer you some friendly advice. I have some experience with dealing with morons who indiscriminately kill animals. Try dog rescue for a week in the South if you want to be truly depressed/need experience with mass slaughter. However, even with that depressing fact underscoring every single thing we do, we’ve managed to build a pretty big fan base and we save a lot of dogs because we get how to do it. There is a right way and a wrong way to advocate for an animal. You don’t get that big of fan base if you alienate them with spite or if you drown them in gloom and doom. There is a way to advocate for wolves without looking like a prig or a self-righteous jackass, even in the midst of the horror and carnage. Trust me. I do it everyday.

So wolf people, I’m here if you want some advice on marketing these animals to the public to give them a voice and I will offer my services to you to help out the wolves. I love wolves and I want them to have a place, too. They have every right. Just stop taking the bait when I post about magical direwolves on our Facebook page. You look stupid when you do.

Tennessee postpones rising again

Our legislature here in the fair state of Tennessee in its infinite wisdom has decided that the proposed bill (House Bill 2120) which would make attending a dog fight a felony offense needs to be sent back to the lovely folks on the Agriculture committee. Where they know it will die. One can only speculate that legislators in Tennessee are afraid this may affect their friends and family.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the geniuses who continue to insist that Islam is not a religion are now trying to ensure that there will be no Muslim cemetery in Murfreesboro. Watch these loons flip out on a reporter. I am especially fond of the old man who can’t manage verb-noun agreement with this gem of a sentence: “You’re the ones that’s lying”. Folks I think we need to worry less about where Muslims want to bury their dead and more about where we can find ten educated people. I fear we might not be able to scrape that many together in some parts of our state.

Meanwhile, the good people of the State of Maine managed to convict someone and send them to prison for eight months for shooting a dog with a BB gun. Seriously, prison. Here, the legislature would probably send them a medal. Now all I need to complete the perfection is some redneck to tell me I need to quit bagging on the South because it’s gonna rise again and they don’t need uppity women telling them what to do. So even though I am a Southerner, I must wave Dixie and pretend this state is not run by backwoods, uneducated idiots. Suck it. Feel free to let me know when you want to schedule our public debate. I’m totally happy to do that to give you a chance to make your point, but my money’s on me in that battle.

Fall leaf report 2012: crack smoking in Great Smoky Mountain National Park

I finally decided to take two days and head to the mountains to view the fantastic fall colors and do some hiking with Troy. The news reports gave glowing reviews of radiant leaf colors not seen for a decade. Reports of outstanding fall foliage were greatly overstated and may be the result of either hopeful merchants or crack-smoking leaf hunters.

Let’s review what good fall leaf color looks like.

Roaring Fork in a good fall color year (photo credit to Troy, not me)

Now, let’s see what exists there this year:

OK, but I will not be composing poetry rhapsodizing over the verdant fall colors.

For those of you who want to know, there is good color in a 1-mile stretch heading to Cades Cove (roughly 5 miles in) and there is some decent color in Greenbrier and around Chimney Tops. However, the crowds are unrelenting, the traffic is horrendous, and there is of course the horror known as Gatlinburg to contend with. I’d pass on this year. Unless you enjoy endless streams of Mississippians in Cadillacs cruising at 2 mph in Cades Cove slamming on their brakes every time they see a deer.

An oasis in a sea of fudge shops, Dukes of Hazard memorabilia and Ripley’s Believe it or Not.

Wikipedia needs better sources

Apparently, Wikipedia is looking to expand their sources on blowjob gestures.

Some things just really speak for themselves.[/caption]

Has anyone seen our weather?

Dear Death Valley,

It appears you left your park unlocked and allowed your weather to escape to Tennessee. I’m sure it’s just an oversight that you haven’t come to collect it yet. However, I am sweating in ways that I cannot describe. It’s the kind of hot where you drive down the street wearing a muumuu draped over the steering wheel so you can get cold refreshing air from the AC on your lady parts because your ass melted into the seat on contact. It also appears y’all stole our weather. We would like you to return it. Death Valley is sitting at a lovely 99 today, which is hot, but livable in Tennessee at this time of year.

A balmy 99 in the desert

By contrast, at 3:30 today, this is what the temperature is here in Nashville:

wtf?

Come get your weather, assholes. I am not amused. Thanks.

Science Geek alert – aurora borealis

I have always wanted to see the aurora borealis. There are two main flaws with this plan. One, I live in the South, where auroral displays are pretty damned rare and two, it’s hard to plan your schedule around coronal mass ejections* to make plane reservations to get there in time to see them.  Of course, getting to see these displays generally requires winter time (darkness is essential) and northern latitudes. Winter + northern latitude = really fucking cold which everyone knows I am morally opposed to. Also, polar bears.  Since this winter has been freakishly warm and today we are expecting mass destruction in the form of tornadoes here in the Nashville area, I present this video of aurora borealis from space because this appears to be as close as I am going to get to either outer space or the northern lights. If Troy really loved me, he’d book me on the space shuttle so I could see the famed northern lights from the relatively warm comforts of the shuttle, with the bonus of zero gravity (things have got to be perkier in outer space).

*that sounds really dirty