Of Ocotillos and Exfoliation

Sandy table on our balcony that faces away from the prevailing winds.

Any woman who has had a facial or encountered a salesperson pushing skin products knows the word exfoliation.  Men, on the other hand, probably think of agent orange when the word exfoliation is mentioned.  My usage of the word applies to the ladies version of the word in this tome.

But I digress.

We are here in the desert of southern California affectionately known as Palm Desert.  It has a few palms and a little desert converted by water many years ago to a green, verdant land of golf courses, country clubs behind gates with associated homes together referred to as gated communities (to keep the riffraff out, I presume), strip malls galore, and miles and miles of roadways with lots and lots of stop lights used to stop traffic so all the old people don’t plow into each other.  Personally, this would be a great place for round-a-bouts.  Less idling BMWs, Audis, Mercs (Mercedes) and more moving BMWs, Audis, Mercs.  The roads are long and straight and would easily accommodate the usage of round-a-bouts but that is a story of missed opportunity at this point.  Guessing that Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage et al is filled to the gills with Republicans (remember, this is the home to Mary Bono, Sonny’s widow who served the district well for many years until she married Connie Mack and then somehow both of them lost the last election), I can only assume, a great hew and a cry would fill the desert with a collective NO if the subject was ever brought up for discussion.  Really, people, you have to admit that the Republicans have morphed into the party of NO.

But I digress.

When the weather isn’t busy being fabulous here, it can get downright disagreeable and so it did the past 48 hours or so.  Furious winds battered this part of CA and we were here to bare witness.  Lucky us.  You know the wind has blown when you receive a “guest message” on your phone announcing that the pool will be closed due to the pile of sand at it’s bottom.  That, folks, is some wind mixed with sand.  And that is also how I got exfoliated.  Playing golf, walking, being outdoors in any capacity was like an exfoliation.  My skin feels so smooth like I just spent an hour and a half getting a facial.  And our car.  I’m surprised there is any paint left on it.  What is on it is a thick layer of dust.  You know the kind where you can write “Wash Me”  on it so everyone can see the near depravity of the owner that refused to take water and soap to the machine.  And it was with this in mind that after golf yesterday, the Rayman and I set out to find a car wash.  With the aid of our iPhones, we googled ‘car wash’ and chose one near by.  Near by is really an oxymoron.  Many miles must be traversed to get any where.  This is not a land of walkers unless they do all their walking inside their gated communities.  Everyone is car-bound.  Including us as we zoom toward that carwash.  Of course, we get confused, make a wrong turn.  Snarling takes place.  Recriminations can be heard until I tell the Rayman he can read the damn phone and I’ll drive.  Silence ensues.  Perhaps a garruff is uttered.  We then arrive at the closed carwash.  Yes, the carwash was closed.  How can a carwash go out of business in the land of the sand?  Well, this would not stand.  Another wash is googled and off we traipse going farther south.  We arrive.  This carwash is closed.  WHAT?

The casual reader at this time may be wondering why we were so desperate to wash the car as wind was predicted again.  That’s because the night before, a back window of the car was left open a crack and the inside of the car was covered with the offending sand.  It felt gritty and needed attention.  Who knew that much sand could get inside with the window opened just a crack?  The law of physics have been debunked, it seems.  So, we returned to the resort and the Rayman took a cloth down and hand-wiped the car’s insides.   But really, people, what is it with the car washes in this town?

All this was a cause to drink.  We met our long suffering friends, Tom and Ruth, at the bar of the Nick Faldo restaurant, on campus, as it were to drink and eat.  In that order.  They beat us to the bar and when we arrives, Tom was mentioning, just mentioning that “this is the worst martini I have ever had.  This bartender is a joke.”  So, the Rayman ordered a martini, expecting perhaps a different experience?  He ordered call liquor and a twist with his drink and he seems satisfied.  I ordered a glass of red wine.  Meridian was the house wine.  Forget that.  I ordered an Australian wine so that I could drink to that darling Adam Scott, victorious at last at the Masters on Sunday.  He is so good looking and did you see his double victory celebration?  It was enough to make one blush with all that thrusting about.

But I digress.

Well, the bartender, Denny, could not find the Windmount Shiraz (perfect name for the moment, though I maybe really forgot the name of the winery but this is a close guess as is the bartender’s name) so off he went to the bowels of the building only to return empty handed.  No Windmount Shiraz in the back.  So I settled for a Greg Norman Shiraz which he had only a 1/4 glassful left in the opened bottle.  This necessitated a wine bottle opener.  Yes, that’s right.  You guessed it.  He could not find the bottle opener.  No I am not making this up, people.  So off he went looking for a bottle opener.  Apparently, this bar/restaurant only has one opener and the waiter had it.  Who knew?  The thing Denny did right was he threw the old wine away and gave me a glass of the newly opened Shiraz.  Tom was not so lucky.  His martini that he hated was ordered as a martini on the rocks with two olives.  He was delivered a martini on the rocks with a twist of lime.  After the bottle opening escapade, I can understand Tom’s harsh assessment.  But it was a hoot.

Really, the only other thing that happened is when I intimated killing the Rayman with a fork at the table over dinner.  He was in a “mood” today and murder by fork, while not seriously contemplated, indicated that some sort of retribution might have been nice.  Twit.  Grouch.  These are terms that come to mind.  Of perhaps the old tried and true, ‘got up on the wrong side of the bed’ could be referenced here.  He was just out of sorts and we all noticed.  But rather than spend any more space on his mental condition, may I say that it lead to a conversation over dinner about some crazy woman stabbing her husband/boyfriend (I forget) 27 times and slitting his throat.  Apparently a trial is on-going on this grizzly event and apparently the prosecutor asked her if she remembered stabbing him once.  No she didn’t.  Did she remember stabbing him twice.  No, she didn’t remember.  And this line of questioning continued for all 27 stabs.  Quite a ploy if you ask me.  No, she did not remember any of the stabs.  Tom would remember this because he is a retired LAPD officer and, well, he finds trials funny.  Like when Mark Furhmann swore under other at the O.J. trial that he had never used the ‘N’ word.  Tom said every guy in the station said, “What the f..k?  Did he really just say that…under oath.”  Yes, Tom is quite enamored with trials in a very funny way.  He can really tell a funny story based on facts.  We all howled.

Then we braved the wind the returned to our respective rooms, taking shelter from the wind and the sand, because, quite frankly, I don’t need to be exfoliated any more today.

And where does the ocotillo come in?  The ocotillos are in the bloom right now and they have lost a great many of their orange/red flowers to the sand.  Plus, I feel like an ocotillo as I expressed in my Facebook page a few days removed.  Prickly and spindly or something like that.  But things are looking up.  Less wind is forecasted and I’m hoping for a hole in one.  Missed one by 6 inches yesterday!!  Perhaps my only good shot, but oh, what a shot!!






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