Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Cars, Cheese, and Jelly

This post was inspired by the creative Inexplicable Device, who asked:

✧ How long have you had your current car, or other mode of transportation?

I have had my silver Honda CR-V for 14 years, too! I fell in love with this car the first time I saw it. It was the first new car I bought for myself, after my second car was damaged in a flood. And I drove two and half hours to the big city to save 7 thousand dollars and get $400 dollars more for my old car I was trading in.

The car was a gift to myself, too, for all my hard work to reach a better place--financially, mentally, physically, socially, and personally. I had exceeded my goals. I still love my car.

✧ How often do you wash it? And do you wash it yourself, or get those insouciant young Bulgarian youths down at the local car wash to do it?

Because of the damned birds, I wash my car at least once to twice a week. I park under a tree. Plus side: Nice shade from the hot, hellish sun. Minus side: Birds seek shade, too, in the tree, and they poop down on my car! So, I break out the bucket and sponge to clean up the mess. And I'm actively feeding stray cats, so they will hang around my porch and scare off or eat those filthy birds!

If I'm coming back from the beach, I stop at a self service carwash and hose the car down and vacuum up all the sand...so much sand!

✧ Does your car (or whatever) have any little peculiarities or foibles that you love or loathe? If so, what?

My car comes with a foldup table that covers the trunk space floor. Under the floor is a space that doubles as storage or a cooler, great for filling with ice packs and drinks (including alcoholic ones!). That table is a fantastic card or game table, or a small table for dining/snack use. The table is surprisingly popular, especially at cookouts, bonfires, and picnics. My friends often beg me to bring my car for beach BBQs and cookouts because of the neat, useful table and extra space to store cool drinks in my trunk floor!

✧ If money (and taste) was no object, what car etc. would you buy?

I'm practical. It'll be a Subaru Forester, also silver. It's the closest modern auto similar to my car, size wise and build. Also, they're great for outdoor adventures.

Fantasy wise: I'd love any of the cool, spy gadget cars from the 007 James Bond movies. Some days, I fantasize about blasting idiots who cut me off without using a turn signal or make an illegal turn in front of me unexpectedly and stupidly, nearly crashing into me.

✧ What's your favourite sing-a-long song/s while driving?

Mostly dance/pop/hip hop music, top 40 hits, songs that make me want to dance or pump me up. Lately, I've been listening to a retro radio station that plays a lot of 90s and classic pop/dance/rock/hip hop songs. And I am shocked that the music I enjoy is now considered "Retro"!

✧ Have you been excited to discover that your car (same make & model) has featured in a film or TV show? If so, which one/s?

Not my car. But I do remember smiling when I saw an old VW van in a Woodstock film. My uncle had one, and it was the van that took us on fun beach trips when we were kids. And we always stopped for ice cream on the way back.

I'd love to get my hands on one of those classic WV vans. They exude beach/surf vibes to me. I love the cool colors and fantastic, stylish body. They radiate fun and charm! And they still make me smile and feel happy.

✧ What's the weirdest thing you've done with/in your car?

Made chili cheese dogs for dinner, fresh from the packages and cans. Hot dog buns, hot dogs, chili from a tin, and scrumptious processed cheese from a spray can. Some people may frown at the spray can cheese, but I think it's a genius and delicious invention!

It was raining, so no camp fire, and I didn't feel like starting a fire in the car. I was hungry, not stupid. So cold but delicious chili cheese dogs it was for dinner in a lovely, marvelous natural park. I had majestic mountains and magnificent river views, even in the early evening rain.

I pigged out and ate 8 chili cheese dogs. I earned it! I had just hiked 9 hours up and down a steep mountain range! Made it back just as the rain started in the early, darkening evening.

I listened to the portable emergency radio as I ate. I found a fantastic pop/rock/hip hop/dance top 40 station. The party songs made me want to get up and dance. After I ate, I washed the plate and disposed of the trash.

I came back to the car and found more great songs playing on the radio. I locked the car and got into my tent. I was feeling dirty from the day's activities, so I took off my socks and boots, put on my slippers, and cranked up the radio volume so I could hear the music as I danced in the rain.

I was in the remote section of the campground, five big empty lots, usually reserved for large RVs. But I chose it because of the views, the large trees providing shade, and the tall bushes providing screen cover, and the distance from the bigger sites afforded more privacy. I was the only one there. Had been solo for three days, so it was like I was in the frontier wilderness all by myself. Only tame deer, bunnies, foxes, small birds, and overly friendly/curious squirrels and chipmunks visited me daily. It was awesome!

Plus, there was this marvelous slab of rock, about a foot high, 6 feet wide by 8 feet long, bigger than a queen size mattress, that was worn smooth by weather and time, right by my tent. I originally planned on setting up my tent on that rock. But that rock was exposed to the sun, and so it got really hot in the day and retained that heat. It was too hot in the summer to set the tent on.

But that rock did make a nice warm lounge in the cool evening though. I liked sitting and eating dinner on that rock more than the picnic table. As a bonus, it was the perfect spot to spread a blanket on and watch the innumerable, sparkling stars and glowing heavenly bodies, glittering and shimmering like diamonds and sapphires on a black velvet sky, with a radiant pearl moon adding mystery and beauty to make for enchanting, gorgeous nights.

But there were no stars out tonight. Only heavy gray clouds spilling down cool rain that felt refreshing and invigorating on my body. I slipped off my slippers and hopped on that rock. It had enough grip that I wasn't going to slip and fall. I raised my face and hands in supplication and gratitude to the heavens. Then as the music blasted from my tent, I embraced the pouring rain and danced.

A favorite dance song was playing on the radio. I felt free and the song was energizing and exhilarating. I just had to dance and jump and spin on that rock. And when my long sleeved shirt was thoroughly soaked and heavy, I took it off and threw it on the picnic table. And when my T shirt got wet and heavy, I took that off, too, and tossed it on the table. After a few minutes, my drenched khakis became too heavy to gyrate in, so I shimmed them off and threw them on the table.

Now I had stripped down to my black boxer briefs, and let the cool waters wash off the sweat and grime from my body. I raised my hands in the air and spun and swayed and let loose on that rock. I danced like I was Marine Jahan, Jennifer Beals' dance double in Flashdance (1983), and the rain was just a big bucket of water the heavens were pouring down on me.

I had a blast shaking and rolling and grooving to the song. I was feeling ecstatic as I gyrated and swayed on that rock as the song reached its climax. It was a liberating and thrilling experience. Just as I was about to take off my wet underpants, lightning flashed overhead, seconds later, thunder boomed and roared down the mountains. That was my cue to hop off the rock and head into the tent. I changed into dry shorts and slept well that night, even with the thunder and lightning occasionally blasting in the dark. The sound of the steady rain lulled me to sleep.

When I woke up the next morning, I straightened out my wet clothes on the picnic table, then weighed them down with heavy stones, so the wind wouldn't blow them away as they dried under the sun.

The rains would've created new waterfalls in the canyons, and I wanted to see them and any new bursts of desert flowers that bloom vibrant colors after the rains. And it would be so much better than I had hoped, much more incredible and resplendent than I had imagined.

But before I started to pack for the canyon hike, I took some time to admire the view from my camp site. In clean, dry blue shorts, I stood on the rock and soaked in the morning light. The skies were clear enough to see the beautiful sun rising over the far hills across the valley. It was a breathtaking sight. The singing birds and visiting deer made my morning feel divine. And a cool morning breeze carried the sweet scent of flowers and pines. It was a magical, serene experience as I stood on that rock and marveled at the natural wonders.

But the spell was broken when I heard a voice call out, "Good morning, neighbor!"

I turned on the rock to the sound of the voice, and I was surprised to see four women standing behind the bushes in the next lot over. I suddenly noticed a large dark RV behind them, camouflaged and hidden in the shadows of the large trees.

I returned the greeting, "Good morning. It's a lovely view isn't it?"

"It sure is," one of them drawled.

Then I noticed they were eyeing me up and down. I must've looked out of place in shorts, standing on a rock in the middle of a valley forest instead of a sandy beach. I chuckled as I could only imagine their reaction had they seen me the night before. I assumed they had arrived late last night, sometime during the storm.

I politely said, "That was quite a storm last night. What a spectacular show."

One of them smiled and replied, "It sure was a spectacular show. Too bad the lightning ended the show just before we got to see the best part."

They sighed and giggled. And a horrible realization dawned on me.

Oh.My.Gawd. These women didn't arrive during the storm. They were here when the rain started! I just didn't notice their RV hidden under the darkness when I got back to camp. That meant they saw me dancing the night before!

I stayed cool, nodded politely at the women, hopped off the rock, and returned to my tent for the rest of my clothes. Inside the tent, I was mortified to realize that I had witnesses to my performance on the rock during the rain.

Oh, the horror! The embarrassment! The shame! To think that I've been caught out in public...dancing to Bootylicious by Destiny's Child!

Destiny's Child: Bootylicious

I blame the scrumptious processed cheese from a spray can.