I spent my weekend (the last weekend during which I could allow myself to even approach entertaining the dream of a wisp of a thought of a few moments of freedom this semester) at my friend's grandma's cabin an hour or two away from Yellowstone in the tiny town of Swan Valley, Idaho (I saw no swans, and I was in the middle of a forest on top of a mountain...go figure). The area is absolutely beeeeeautiful, and being there was very relaxing. I loved it. The cabin was built in the 70s, and though I took my camera, I did not take the time to actually use said camera. This fact is very unfortunate, as the aforementioned cabin decor didn't just stop at the wood paneling and brown/green/orange color scheme for carpet and furniture. No, there were even BEADS hanging in the kitchen window. Dude. It was groooovy. Seriously. Awesome.
In a nutshell, I was afforded several interesting experiences this weekend. Here are a few things I learned, organized by category:
--They tell dirty jokes.
--They go to China a lot.
My friend's grandma and step-grandpa came to stay while we were there. I was warned beforehand that her step-grandpa (Keith) was "interesting" and "unusual." It turns out he is a rich 75-year-old retired brine fisherman who basically has no inhibitions whatsoever. I'll let your imagination fill in the rest.
--I passionately despise (i.e. find extremely disgusting) being licked profusely--or even a little bit--by large dogs.
--I will never let a dog live in my house. Dogs are hair-shedding fiends, and they smell. The dogs that do not fall into this category (i.e. the diamond-collar wearing type) are much too spoiled and expensive for my taste.
--Never again will a dog have the opportunity to urinate on my foot. Now I have to throw away a pair of my dear flip-flops. No amount of sterilization will take away my heebie-jeebies.
--I know panting is just one of a dog's necessary bodily functions, but I do not like it all the same.
--I do not enjoy riding for five hours while sharing the back seat of a Honda Civic with a hyperactive sheepdog. (Though in all fairness, he was on pretty good behavior most of the time, especially considering being cooped up for so long.)
Both my friend and her grandma have sheepdogs. Both dogs were allowed to run loose throughout the cabin during our entire stay. Though everyone else at the cabin viewed them as "cute, cuddly, fun-loving protectors," I saw right through that furry facade. In fact, I have it on good authority that one of them was planning to eat me. I was laying in the dark one night around 2:00am when I began to hear strange sounds very, very, very near my bed. It was really dark, (and I'm blind anyway), so I couldn't see what it was, and I couldn't quite tell whether the sound was actually coming from inside my room, from the attic (about two feet above me, due to the sloped ceiling), the wall (behind me), or outside through the open window. Possible danger on all sides. Finally, I couldn't take the agony of suspense any longer and reached over and plugged in the lamp. As soon as light flooded the room, my stalker was revealed to be none other than one of the ginormous sheepdogs (okay maybe 'ginormous' is an exaggeration...but he definitely isn't small, either). He had been standing about a foot away from my face, staring at me with all the creepiness he could muster. But you'll be proud to know, I didn't scream. No, I didn't even tremble. I just stared him down until he turned around and left my room and headed straight down the stairs. That's right. I showed him who is really the alpha dog.
As for the other dog, we came to find out that he is a spoiled indoor pet through and through. He would probably faint if he actually saw a sheep. Keith and my friend's husband took him with them in the truck when they went to gather some driftwood. On the way back, Keith let the dog run along beside the truck. However, since the dog had basically never run farther in his entire life than the distance from his food dish to the back door, he soon was having much trouble. After a couple of minutes, they actually had to stop, get out of the truck, and pick him up. And when they got back to the cabin, the poor, exhausted dog couldn't even climb out of the truck by himself. I know it's evil of me to say so, but I really, really wanted to laugh.
SQUARE ICE-CREAM (which we bought at a small gas station on our way home--supposedly world-famous)
...unfortunately looks much better than it tastes.
...ought to be served in square cones.
PINOCHLE (pronounced pea-knuckle)
...is an incredibly complicated card game, the rules of which may (and almost certainly will, inevitably) cause extreme dissension. I wouldn't doubt that this game could have caused an ancient civilization to go extinct. Maybe that's what Shiz and Coriantumr were fighting about...
There was a reservoir and a dam near where our cabin was. As you can see, the locals have eagerly taken advantage of the available pun. This particular store's slogan: "When you cuss, think of us."
*Yes, I realize I am making generalizations based on a few specific experiences. Too bad, so sad.