August 20th, 2008


Writer's Block: Remembering Summer

Care to reminisce about some favorite (or not so favorite) summer memories?

Sure! I'll go for option 2, the unpleasant -- but with a happy ending

Starting as a one-year-old, every summer I went wilderness canoe camping with my family, or as my siblings grew up, just my parents. This is not the unpleasant part, because I LOVED these trips, love camping, love canoeing, fishing, wild animals, even portaging. No, the unpleasant bit was this one incident in which I got attacked by a whole goddamn hive of yellowjackets.

I was the day before my birthday, when I was probably turning 16, and we had paddled across some lack to go hike and see a stand of virgin forest. (This was in Ontario, which has plenty of trees at present but more plenty of logging in the past.) It was August so you'd think it'd be great but no, it was drizzly and crappy out. We wore ponchos as we got out of the canoes and began to trek. We had to climb hills and ford a stream and go up trail swarming with bugs, but that was OK. And the trees were pretty huge.

But on the way back, as I merrily hiked way ahead of my family and up behind a group with a Scottie or some sort of terrier. That dog must've gotten to digging because when I came by shortly afterward, there was a hole in the trail where a yellowjacket nest had been... disturbed. And the yellowjackets were NOT happy. They swarmed me and before I knew it I had (so I counted later) something like 75 stings, all on my legs. So I start screaming and running around. My sister Nancy was behind me with her young son and I was telling her to circled around me in the brush and to avoid the trail. So she did and eventually I got away from the damn things.

Now the nice ending to this? First, I didn't go into anaphylactic shock or anything, although I was plenty shaky and swollen and sort and upset. Second, Mom somehow knew that throwing cold mud on my legs would help. We didn't have any medicine with us, so that's what we did. It did make it feel better. Third, as we were paddling back to our campsite, another canoe pulled up and gave me some aspirin. And last, my sister Nancy decided that I could have my birthday cake -- a honey cake, a la Winnie the Pooh! -- a day early. She had baked it and brought it with her in a Tupperwear container. That was a good cake. In a couple of days I was all better.

Inspired by tonight's Project Runway...

I think I know what I could actually TRY to dress up as for Dragon*Con -- a drag queen. I do it without meaning to all the time. Hmmm. Must look around and see what I have that is even wilder than the usual. Tights and the purple vinyl go go boots will be involved... the blond wig, souped up somehow... the MAC silver face paint... Yeah, I think I can manage something that's like Slutty Carmen Miranda at the Day-Glo Disco Glam Show.

EDIT: Oh, and here's a pic of a couple of years ago when I was in fact trying to look like a drag queen. It came out well! But too low key -- must go way further! (Also: Don't leave those boobs hanging. What was going on that day?! They look like they'd migrated to a different zip code.)