Hello from Wyoming!; Or, We Fucking Like Ike

Hi! How are you? Now it says on my chart that my skin is dry, I talk too fast for the locs, and my boogers are all hard. Sorry, I am having an Idiocracy moment lately.

I got this little couple at a flea market since my dachshund salt and pepper shakers are wearing out. Not even painted straight! D’AWWWWW.

My route was like Washington>Idaho>Montana>Wyoming via Yellowstone and Jackson Hole. It sounds beyond ridiculous but I always forget how fricking big the Mountain West is until I am floating through it. To be fair, my friend Halo drove. It is our ten year friendiversary this September. I will have to tell you the story of how Halo and I met soon. I offered but I was happy to be a passenger and pay for some gas and meals. I made a Flickr set if you’re so inclined, and will keep adding to it.

On the first night we stayed in Missoula, which was pretty uneventful, other than getting upgraded to a Jacuzzi room for free because of a booking issue. The second night, however. We drove through Yellowstone and stopped at places here and there, and by the time we were getting through the Tetons and whatnot it was very dark. I am kind of excited to say I have driven through Yellowstone in the pitch black, wow. It’s really something. There’s fires everywhere out here now so no stars even, but gorgeous red sunsets.

By the time we got to Jackson Hole, our destination for that night, it was 11:30. Every hotel was either booked solid (most of them) or they were $400/night, which, I just couldn’t book a place that was $400 a night, barely see it, and not get like, handjobs from angels or something as a bonus. Using my terrible phone maps we drove all over Jackson, praying for a sign that said yes. After about a half hour, we pulled over to the side of the road, and sat, dazed. Jackson Hole had morphed to Jackson Butthole, because I am 12.

“Hmm,” I said. “What do you think about continuing to drive?” Our destination was about 8 hours away at this point, and there was just not much around. I’m used to being able to throw one of my enemies’ skulls and hit a hotel back home. A lot of the “towns” we drove through were mostly cows or horses.

“Okay, and we can stop at a rest area when we are too tired,” Halo agreed.

We were driving out of town…the freeway was in sight…and BANG, there was the Virginia Lodge with a sign reading “vacancy.” Even from the dark road I could tell it wasn’t the plushest place, which maybe meant it would be more affordable. I rolled into the lobby and greeted the clerk with a cheery “GOOD MORNING.” There was taxidermy everywhere and he had the dirtiest fingernails I had ever seen on a hospitality employee, but this was going to work. It had to. He handed me actual keys, which was novel. The room boasted wood paneling and a single fishing poster. The parking lot was a mix of trailers, Harleys, and cars. Halo was curious about the ratings of the place and took a peep around once we were in our jammies and trying to wind down in our beds. Some people loved the price for value; one person complained that their feet got filthy from the carpet, which I thought was funny until my soles turned black from walking the distance between the shower and my bed.

The next morning was the real treat–I regret not getting there early enough (okay, being too old and tired after two days on the road) to venture over to the saloon for a drink.

The butting rams were something special. You may be shocked to learn I have bought no taxidermy and no velvets. I have not seen any velvets, and the taxidermy has looked ugly to me. I am surprised to discover that I have opinions about antelope appearances and that some are pretty and some have faces for antelope radio. Of course, I would not buy a SECOND antelope (though Halo is urging me to buy a Barry Mantelope to keep Jennifer Antelope company), but I have not seen other animals I want either. YET.

I popped into the liquor store after the saloon for purposes of general anthropology and was astounded to see this!

A Crown Royal quilt! Being raffled!!

“This is beautiful,” I said to the clerk, who beamed. “Is this from the company, or…?”

“Oh no,” he said. “My mother-in-law made it. We go through hundreds of these bags a week at the bar!” He flipped the quilt over and had me admire and feel the glorious soft gold fur she had backed it with. What a treat it would be to curl up on the couch and read under a motherfucking Crown Royal quilt. Boy am I glad I went in. I was sadder to see the souvenir hoodles were $60. OUCH.

The next day, after arriving in Laramie, Halo decided to take me to one of her favorite cafes, the Prairie Rose.

It was slammed. The regular waitress was like a well-oiled machine, cranking around the counter and tables, taking orders, slinging food, cashiering, and, unfortunately for her, being in charge of what was immediately revealed to be a new girl. She was tall and tan and blonde and was wearing those fancy jeans that look like Liberace spooged all over the pockets too tightly so it made a little brown muffin top that poofed out of the gap between her shirt and pants. Halo and I watched the new girl ooze around behind the counter, every motion inefficient and including several unneeded movements. We watched her forget things and greet customers out of order, and let food stack up on the service window. We both cringed because we have been the zippy fast counter girl in the past and we felt the pain of the old hand who was albatrossed with this new lemon.

The old pro was doing that training-in-motion thing where you nudge the noob into doing things correctly until their training wheels come off. “They want four waters, four coffees,” she said to the new girl, who did not appear to even hear the order. “Bring them menus!” Trudge, trudge, ooze.

“Where is she?” said the cook, shuffling the backed up plates in his window.

“I don’t KNOW,” sighed the pro, grabbing what looked like about twelve plates at once.

The new girl drifted out of the backroom. “Do we have…chocolate chips?” she asked the cook through the window.

“NO.” he said.

The old pro stopped in front of us briefly and we could hear her taking a deep, deliberate breath. “I don’t know why it’s so busy at 11 on a Tuesdsay morning,” she muttered, mostly to herself but partly to us in the way you do when you work close to the people you are serving. Someone may just hear you and respond.

“Count to ten!” I said, not glibly.

“It won’t help.” she replied. A few minutes later the pro asked the new girl to get our orders out of the window and bring them to us. We were all of 6 feet from the window and practically could have reached them ourselves.

New girl brought two menus and waved them at us weakly. “Do you need…?”

“Our food is in the window,” I said, pointing.

“Oh.” she put the menus down and walked off to do something else entirely.

There were no refills on coffee, but the breakfast burritos were delicious. It is my fondest wish that the new girl gets fired and finds a more suitable line of work, perhaps as a snail or as that goop you put in your bike tires.

À Part Ça

Here’s some news for your face: I bought a house. Of course it’s been in progress for a couple of months with the looking and the bidding and the inspecting and the oy with the poodles already, but I didn’t want to jinx it by talking about it. I wish I could tell you how many things in my life have fallen through unnoted because I didn’t want to tell you and jinx it preemptively and feel all sad in my blogpants and well, fuck, things fall through anyway, so what do jinxes have to do with it, anyhow? I don’t want to dwell on that stuff. Everyone is coming along–I think there will be no more household divisions unless something goes really sideways again. The house is from the amazing year 1954 and has been barely altered. In fact, other than the necessary updates, like plumbing, electrical, roof, etc, it’s pretty much a time capsule.

One of my very favorite things about it is that of all previous owners, of which I don’t believe there’s been too many, none have destroyed the pink tiled guest bathroom in it. I have pink tiled bathroom nostalgia, because my darling college rambler in Phoenix had a pink and black tiled en suite bathroom off the master bedroom. What else can you do but run with it? Of course I had a flamingo shower curtain. Sometimes things that happen to you at that impressionable age change your DNA a little.

Did you know there is a thing with pink bathrooms? Mamie Eisenhower loved pink so much that her shade was dubbed First Lady Pink. I have often assumed that Mamie was a nickname in her case–but no, it was her actual name. “Mamie” cracked the top 1000 baby names in 1960, no doubt inspired by her. When I think of the 1950s in the U.S., I certainly think of that shade. I almost jizzed in my pants when I walked into this bathroom in an antique shop in Deer Trail, Montana where I bought too many brooches and a fake fur coat with fake leather chevrons patterned into it. In addition to a Cinderella tub, the bathroom also had a Dixie cup holder that was identical in shade and style to the one in my new house.

Anyway, I am thinking of how to decorate it, and how to paint to complement the pink. I’ve got some unboring ideas. While I was at Bart’s Flea Market here in Laramie, I noticed there was a ton of twentieth-century presidential memorabilia, and I am a sucker for midcentury American political history and have been since I was 18 really. I could not take all the Kennedy banks and Lincoln bookends home, but I did decide to snap up this gem:

I had to take a close up picture of President Eisenhower and his delightful lip color. Of course this is going up in the bathroom in honor of Mamie.

So closing is August 28th. If you think all this court stuff is boring, just wait until you see this turn into I, Interior Designhole. Pictures forthcoming! ZZZZZZ, sorry. Either you are landed gentry and have many opinions and advices for me, or you are unlanded and don’t care. Boy howdy will you miss Legal Beat volumes 1-9000 then. Click to unfollow! Etc.

Asshole girl

22 thoughts on “Hello from Wyoming!; Or, We Fucking Like Ike

  1. Love, love. BTW, you are all jealous that I got to road trip with our glamourous hostess and that she is now telecommuting from my office suite. Or if not, you should be.

  2. Yes, I am jealous. Who is this Halo, anyway?! >:(
    In other blog reader news, I am impressed with fantabulous Crown Royal quilt – I have many fine childhood memories of keeping the empty bag (so soft) to carry my wallet and MLPonies in. Can’t wait to see the new digs. House hunting is one of my favorite things, and my big house-related goal in life is to own a bidet. Preferably a shiny gold one.

  3. Congratulations on your house! Pink bathrooms are personally meh for me, but I have and extreme nostalgic love of square, low-set gold velvet couches. Used to have one my ownself, back in the day. Also, 70’s brown slummy apartment carpet! Sigh.

  4. A. Congrats on the house! How fun, I think house hunting is much more fun if you can explore through the time capsule kind of houses.

    B. LOVE LOVE LOVE that quilt…if I drank Crown Royal I would totally make one myself…I wonder if I could cajole everyone I work with into buying a bottle so that I can have the bags?

  5. We closed on a house this spring. Remember to take deep breaths throughout the closing process & remember that the current owners wanna sell it at least as much as you want to buy it. Best of luck & hope the move goes speedily!

  6. Hey team, thanks for the well-wishes and congrats. Pics forthcoming, then. I think more on the flickr side than on here, though, because these posts sprawl enough as it is.

    Shells: I am thinking of just shrinking myself really tiny and using one as a sleeping bag.

  7. I, too, just bought a house, and oy with the poodles describes many parts of that process. But walking into that house with my own key? FYCL. Congrats and I can’t wait to read Adventures in Decorating, or WABI SABI MY FACE OFF, YO.

  8. The Miss Thang Eisenhower plate brings a tear to my eye. I cannot wait to see it in the fireman pole red flesh!

  9. Delurking to say that I make ceramics, most of them from vintage 1950s and 1960s molds from when my grandmother had a home studio Back in the Day. If you are in need of a frightful pink ashtray that can double as a soap dish, that can maybe sit on the back of the toilet and scare small children, then there just might be a housewarming gift in your future. Call me, maybe!

  10. Oh please do me to death with the decorating. I lurve that sort of thing. I had a pink and black bathroom in my first house. When I went to sell it, the marketer said my decor was DATED. Hmph.

  11. This is like the overload post by you!. :) Very read-able, thank you SJ.

    Very glad for you buddy, that you have a house, and it went without jinx. This must be such a buzz for all of you, and now all the fitting out, such fun.

    A Real US Bar with Bighorn Rams!. Too good.

    Wow, the President is friendly! Scary, but in a friendly way.
    “Let me hold your hand, do you admire my meat-cleaver?”.


  12. I think I am going to have to acquire some of those bags and stitch them into a sleeping bag now…

  13. Congrats on buying a house! Working w/ foreclosures, I see my fair share of original bathrooms. We had one awhile back that was from the early 60’s that had an original scale built into the wall. It only went up to 180lbs. I laughed.

  14. Dude. I read this post yesterday and last night your new salt/pepper shakers featured in one of my dreams. Kickass!

    I also want to say that if your bathroom has tiles with light colored grout, Bar Keepers Friend is amazingly awesome at cleaning said grout. My kitchen counters have blindingly white grout now. FUCK YEAH.

    I can’t wait to see the pictures of the new place and hear about your design adventures. I live vicariously through my friends. :)

  15. I second jessllas enthusiasm for updates.

    Things like her cunning advice for the grout could well be forthcoming, sort of crowd-sourced from your friends.

    Lots of times there are special ways and techniques for little issues, when renovating, unusual things that maybe don’t make it into all the DYI books. I have been told lots of them over the years, and would be happy to pay the tricks forward.

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