Holy Bejeebus have I was remiss in my blogging. Is it because I've done NOTHING interesting since the middle of February? No. I have been wasting alot of valuable blog time working on several new projects at work and keeping myself updated on my new favorite time-suck: Facebook. I have to see what my Friends are up to on a quarter-hourly basis, comment on statuses, and play Lexulous and Word Twist until I finally beat Evan and Claire. In addition to Facebook, I was in Rancho Mirage, CA for a conference for 4 days which also threw me off my blogging. I didn't bring my laptop to Cali because I knew I wouldn't blog from there because I'd be too busy enjoying myself in the warm warm weathah....
....or would I?
In retrospect, having the computer would have been great. The weather was pretty awesome half the time, kinda chilly for the light clothes I'd brought the other half (Note: I'm on a quest for The Perfect Black Cardigan. I have a green one, but it doesn't match everything. Let me know if you find it!), but Rancho Mirage is NOT my cuppa. It's beautiful, but after two or three days I'm DONE. DONE with Rancho Mirage and its green green golf courses in the middle of the desert that are "watered five times a day ("more often in the summer!" Brilliant!) and it's lack of sidewalks and its sucky locals who live on bile and silicone and who surround Rancho Mirage in their gated and walled communities* (that keep....well, who out, exactly?), and their UTTER FREAKING RUDENESS TO EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE, including their own kids. I don't know, maybe they're irritated at their kids because those ungrateful twerps don't recognize them because of all the work they have done on, what appears to be from an outsider's perspective, a weekly basis. So they have to keep reintroducing themselves to their own children which makes them cranky.
Honestly, I saw a total of 5 locals outside (Oh yes. You can spot them.), and 2 of them had some serious and obvious work done. The first had her face pulled back so tightly you could bounce a quarter off her cheek, and, after the attitude she gave me and the poor cashier at Walgreens for not getting out of her way quickly enough, I was sore tempted to do so. (I was in the process of taking my bag from the cashier - my transaction was over - when this bitch charged over and IMMEDIATELY started tapping her credit card on the counter for ATTENTION!!!! THERE WAS NOBODY ELSE IN THE STORE. She was, essentially, THE ONLY CUSTOMER. "I'm EXHAUSTED! I've had an EXHAUSTING day! I just want to GET OUT OF HERE! I've been at the gym for AN HOUR AND A HALF!").
I think a lot of the locals take the latter part of their town's name, "Mirage," too much to heart. From far away it looks beautiful.....
And then you meet the people.
There are dozens of plastic surgeons who populate the strip malls of Rancho Mirage the way Thai restaurants do in Chicago. And it looks like the people who live there stop in regularly for a quick "fix" at these places the way normal folk stop in for a cuppa at Starbucks. And by "fix," I mean "really expensive and painful way to make you look like a really mean plasticshiny alien that's doing a horrible job of passing for a human. Or maybe an exotic cat." They haven't "fixed" anything that I can tell. Maybe they shouldn't be frequenting doctors who have storefronts sanwiched between Payless Shoes and a dry cleaners.
As for the other woman I saw, well, let's just say I'm pretty sure I know now where Darren Lynn Bousman came up with his ideas for Amber Sweet (Paris Hilton), the surgery-addicted daughter of the owner of GeneCo in Repo! The Genetic Opera:
The chick I saw may have been (unnaturally) blond and not dark-haired like Amber, but she certainly looked as though she was totally high on Zydrate at 10 in the morning, and she may have had had as many boob jobs (she was a size 0-2 with a double D chest) as Amber'd had face jobs.
Some of which had gone awry for Amber, for example, the time her face kinda started to peel off during her big debut.
And then there's Amber's brother, Parvi! Take note people!! This is where a few of you are headed:
In retrospect, I think the gated communities may be meant to keep THEM IN, AWAY from normal folk! Their bilious clouds of attitude made me long for Chicago, which will always be a far warmer place despite it's thick'n'cloudy cloudcover and (then) 7 degree temps!
So, yeah. If you have to go to Rancho Mirage,
1) Keep going. Pass up Rancho Mirage altogether and stay in Palm Springs actual. It's a further drive, but it's more beautiful, less phony, and the people, though some of them have more money than God, are really great.
If this is not an option,
2) RENT A CAR. There's tons to do several miles away, but NOTHING in Rancho Mirage, unless you've travelled all that way to check out the new Walgreens, which is the very cleanest, brightest, EMPTIEST Walgreens I've ever seen. Just make sure that plastic-faced bitch-woman isn't lurking in the card aisle waiting, just WAITING to spring to the counter at JUST the moment when you're finishing your transaction. She'll ruin your day.
3) Make it a short trip. 3-4 days max. It is BORING - especially after you've seen the new Walgreens. And it's stupidly expensive, because there's nothing else around. Oh, sure, the plastic surgeons's rates may be competitive..... Even if you golf (courses ran about $125/person, and we were there during the off-season!) 4 days is enough. That's enough time for a pedi and a vitamin D infusion and a relax. Again, it's ridiculously expensive - a 15 minute cab ride to Palm Desert - the nearest community (of sorts. Mainly it's an upscale mall. Makes Oak Brook look like Golf Mill. Yeep.) - cost us $35 each way.
4) Stay at the Rancho Mirage Westin and don't leave the gates. Unless you're in a car headed for Palm Springs or Palm Desert.
Maybe I'm just bitter because I only escaped the resort twice - once to go to Palm Desert for what really was a fantastic meal at a Pacifica, and once to walk to the Walgreens for a Pepsi that would've cost me $5 in the resort. The concierge almost had a heart attack when I told him I was going to LEAVE THE RESORT to walk A HALF MILE. He offered to have a resort driver take me. On my return, a golf cart was waiting for me at the entrance to take me back to my room.
Are you KIDDING??!???
Actually, in light of my new theory that those walled communities are there to keep the SilicaBeasties from destroying the glowy happiness of us Midwestern rube travellers who'd escaped from terrible weather for a few days of sunshine, maybe he was just trying to protect me.
You know what really kills me? The desert is BEAUTIFUL. Have you ever been to the Sonoma Desert Museum in Tucson? Go. It is AMAZING. My point is: the desert should NOT look like THIS:
Seriously, you can see miles of green from the plane. I know I have irrational (or are they...?) fears about the obscene waste of water in communities like this one and Las Vegas, but this is ridiculous. I had to fight down a panic attack in the taxi on the way to the airport when we passed a massive water park.
But I digress.
Anyway, the testing conference was pretty good!
Oh! And my computer would have been handy to have as I had hours here and there between meetings and vendor-sponsered events where I could have sat at the table on my little porch at the resort blogging, and I wouldn't have fallen so far behind (what do you mean, "Behind what? JoDrivel?" You know you find me fascinating!) There's only so much being driven around the resort in a golf cart a girl can do, and I'd already had my toes done at the spa within hours of my arrival.
*(JoSideRant regarding these gated communities: You can't walk through these communities unless you live there or are "announced" as a guest of a resident - a fact Shannon and I learned when we tried to walk around the resort two years ago when what we thought would be a half hour "jaunt" turned into a 4 hour nightmare where I thought one of us was going to die of thirst and the other would be forced to drink the fallen one's blood for the water content to survive - meanwhile we're surrounded by million dollar homes fronted by lush green lawns.)