My friend and erstwhile colleague at the Source Weekly, Aaron Switzer, told me about a new (well, fairly new) and very entertaining blog called "Bound for Bend," described as "the true story of one east coast couple who rode off into the sunset, hoping for a better life in Central Oregon."
Shelby Little, the young woman who writes the blog, apparently comes from the South and is finding some aspects of life here a little hard to adapt to. In her most recent post, she writes about arriving in Redmond and discovering that the place smells like a giant litter box:
"We couldn’t figure out if the neighborhood had a stray cat problem or if they were breeding cougars in the open field behind our house. It was a thick, glandular smell, and I struggled to identify where it was coming from. Could I hose down the front yard and get rid of it? Did we run over something between here and Boise? Oh my god, my life can’t smell like this."
The locals eventually inform Shelby that what she's smelling is the scent of juniper, a hideous, scraggly tree that blankets the Central Oregon landscape: "Those incursive evergreens are everywhere; centuries old with their twisted trucks and scabby branches. They look as awful as they smell, and according to the Oregon Department of Forestry, they are reproducing like rabbits."
Even more fun, I think, is her take on how Central Oregonians dress -- or, more accurately, don't dress:
"Forget the advice my southern college education gave me on dressing up for job interviews, 'Always wear a suit. Always dress better than you have to.' When I plan an outfit for an interview in Central Oregon, I start with my most professional look, tone it down three notches, add something that clashes and remove all accessories except my wedding ring."
The dress code for Central Oregon males is even simpler: Wear jeans and a T-shirt. In winter, throw a hoodie on over the T-shirt.
The typical Central Oregon male only wears a coat and tie on two occasions in his life. One is his funeral, and I forget what the other one is.