Well, Maybe Not THAT Much Heat…

So. My hair is now blue.

Emboldened by the fact that I was not sent home from Sliver Central for not acting my age some weeks ago, I have replaced the (now more lilac) purple with the sort of blue you only see in those household duster thingies one uses to sweep cobwebs from ceiling corners. It’s cool and spiky. It’s also turning the backs of my ears blue, something about which I am not thrilled. I also had to sleep with a towel across my pillow last night. My hairstylist assured me that the intensity, and the propensity of the dye to tint everything and everyone with whom I come in contact, will fade quickly and thus render it more manageable and less strident. She also said that my first shower will look like a scene from CSI: Smurf Town.

Why do I do this sort of thing? Because middle-aged men in my tax bracket can’t purchase Ferraris, and secret affairs with strippers don’t usually come with EZ payment plans. Not that I would do those things anyway, but I mean to say that these options are closed to guys like me unless I learn to cook meth or knock over banks. So. Blue hair. I like the look, but probably won’t keep it for more than a couple months. At the end of June we’re visiting Dallas (Texas), and in the Original Red State it’s best to adopt protective coloration.

Yeah, we’re going to Dallas June 29th. The absurdity of dying my hair an unnatural hue pales in comparison to the blatant insanity of venturing to Dallas Texas in the summer months. The humidity! Last time I visited, the temperature only rose to 85 or so and it was still like wading hairline-deep in broth. Then I would step inside and be instantly frozen in place by the arctic caresses of the air-conditioning. I’ve gotten used to the inside temperature being fairly close to the outdoor temperature (the Northwest doesn’t overdo the AC), but in Dallas the difference is, like, fifty freakin’ degrees. Walking out of any public building is like strolling into a furnace from an igloo. The doors of malls and grocery stores vibrate with the stresses of internal vs. external atmospheric pressure, I kid you not.

This trip we’ll be accompanied by Isabella and her mum, Lisa. Isabella is all agog over the water parks. I loath water parks. I’m not a water person anyway. I don’t really swim (I can thrash my way across the width of a pool if you have half an hour to watch), and I had rather a terrible experience in the surf at a beach on Puerto Rico when I was eight years old*, so water is nice to look at from a safe distance but not something I necessarily want ON me unless bathing is an imperative. So the ladies may go enjoy their natatorial pleasures. Brother Bill and I will content ourselves with other forms of liquid in front of his television watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVDs, or perhaps trying to whack each other at Call of Duty.

Or we’ll drink and Bill will grill various animal parts. Bill has a grill the size of our car. I missed the grilling gene, but Bill’s all over that stuff. He watches Alton Brown and those guys on the Food Network, he buys fancy cutlery and crockery, he loves to try new recipes. Me, I eat. That’s my contribution. He grills, I eat it. YOU grill, I’ll eat YOUR stuff. I’m happy to help. Ask me to actually cook anything and you just don’t realize what you’re asking for. I suck at cooking. I just don’t have the patience, so I’ll either hover over it and fuss and flop the stuff around in the pan and get bored, or I’ll get distracted and light myself on fire or slice an artery. If you’re standing too close It’s possible I’ll find a way to maim you too. Ask my wife. Best leave that sort of thing to the enthusiasts.

The tough part of the trip is the air travel. I don’t mind flying per se (well, once we get up to cruising altitude anyway, where the distance to the ground becomes abstracted; not so fond of seeing stuff race by at 500 mph from only fifty feet off the tarmac, to be honest), but the queueing up and the luggage handling and the dispensation of all my personal weaponry is tedious. (Here’s a tip: put all of your metal bits and valuables in a ziplock bag so you don’t have to waste time fishing junk out of your pockets. Works a treat.) I learned one thing from my last trip: never again will I carry on luggage. Last time I could only stow my bag a full third of the cabin away from my seat, and when the plane landed I had to practically crowd surf to retrieve the damned thing. Actually, I should have done that. Crowd surfed. That’ll teach ’em. Anyway, this time the only item coming with me on the plane is a book. Okay, maybe two. Non-stop flights both ways, so fortunately only a bit under four hours each way. Our son’s significant other has offered the use of his vehicle for the week so that we may travel where and when we like, which is just terribly cool of him.

The missus and I will each take a camera on the trip, so upon return I hope to have photos of Big D to post. Christ, I wish we could just go NOW, but that would defeat the secondary purpose of the trip: reminding the missus of one of the reasons we moved up here by subjecting her to the heat of a Dallas summer.

It was her idea.

* I was knocked down by a wave and thought I was drowning. The lifeguard ignored my choked pleas for help, the bastard.


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