Category: culture

Eating in America Sucks #1

Reason number 1: Grocery Shopping.

I am well versed in the art, efficiency, #foodlife, #cheflife, convenience of grocery shopping.  I am basically an all around bad-ass when it comes to grocery shopping, saving money, feeding everyone, being amazing in my personal eating life.  Extracurricular duties consist of bagging and personal transport of product to the house, non-conditional of stairs involved or personal weight limit. I am fortunate to live in a neighborhood where I have an extensive access to ethic and individually owned stores.  But, alas, jewel exists and you do frequent it.  And when you do, you remember…

Food here sucks.  This is one of my many installments “Eating in America Sucks.”

Today’s lesson: Potato, The Lost Staple

Seriously the only options for starchy veg at the Jewel-Osco is the potato.  This classification is further limited to seriously 4 varieties under the exquisite umbrella of potato.  Idaho, Grade B Red, Sweet Potato, Mixed Medley Of Very Small Potato Resembling Thing.

That classic baking potato, the Idaho.  The quintessential Midwestern mashed, the Irish Racism Potato, Idaho no You Da Hoe.  But like honestly, it is the most boring kind of potato ever.  Do no get me wrong, I love, love this potato, but this is number one boring.  More bland than a potato.  Get it?

Moving on to grade B potato.  This is like that golf ball sized red potato, that small red apple resembling thing,  that tastes subtly sweet with a delicately creamy texture.  The grade B red potato is like that, but a step down.  It is larger and it’s silky taste has been genetically modified into the semblance of the hoe from Idaho.

Sweet potato is great but that is the old stand by.  I had sweet potato yesterday.  I came to the store hungry and wanting something slightly different that the same thing I eat everyday.  Been there, done that sweet thing.

Alright are you bored yet? Drink some coffee because this dissertation on the cooking grade potato found at the chain, corporate grocery store in not yet over. Rounding up our potato misadventure is that small, almost rotten bag of medley potatoes that are you last choice, your life saver, the possible one!  First of all, the potatoes are so small that there is no way the potato had time to develop any flavor.  It looks like it would taste like a green strawberry.  Secondly, this potato is too tiny to have any flesh beneath the circumference of the skin’s orbit.  The skin makes up the just about the entirety of the miniature potato.  I am not entirely certain, but I do not think that the peel is commonly preferred as the favorite part of the potato.  In fact, I think that it is common practice in the USA to peel the potato and throw the outermost layer away.  Garbage.  Since most potatoes are peeled, and most peels are garbage, the fate of our skin potato is, how shall we say? Compromised? Delicate? Uncertain? Not me of course, I like the skin, but I still do not want a potato consisting mostly of skin.

Yeah that’s it.  Those are the only potatoes offered, sorry for the lack luster list.  Out of the 5,oo0 cultivated variety of potatoes agriculturally grown, our most influential food retailer offers up a humbling 4. (Seriously 5,000, ask Wikipedia). OMG boring.  But really more than uninspiring it is insulting.  Dear lord I am not paying $3 a pound for a shitty baking potato.  The Tiny Skin Potato Medley of Sorrows is a dismaying $4 a bag.  Are you out of your mind??

Anyway, no other options for a starch element to add tonight’s dinner.  There were no parsnips, turnips, plantains, god forbid a celery root, or rutabaga.  What the hell do you do with that?   I dunno, ask the damn Oracle and use it in place of the uniformly bland white guy.

I must imagine how foreigners and visitors and immigrants and travelers must feel.  Do they feel bad for us?  I mean if they do I understand.  I am an American and have lived exclusively in the Midwest and I still feel like I am missing out.  Missing out on variety. Missing out on freshness.  Missing out on spontaneity.

Advertisements

Diamond Eyes and the Expressive Hands

They say that the eyes are the window to the soul.  A diamond lens, eyes are each beautiful, mysterious, captivating, and lustrous. The world around is perceived and filtered through this kaleidoscope pattern, giving each person a unique point of view, interpretation of the situation, a foundation on which to form theories.

I, however, leave the sentimentality of the ascetic of the eye at a gesture.  The lens of the eye acts as a concept, it filters the world, it’s a perception.  It’s a very romantic implication, a poetic deduction of the individuality and beauty of that aperture to one’s mind.  The beauty of the eye is too abstract to be the window to the soul.  Soul is found in physical expression and how we impact our surrounding reality.  Its more tangible then that special sparkle in one’s eye.

I think that the hands are the window to the soul.  Everything that I think, all my ideas, intentions, inspirations, and influences are expressed through my hands.  The eyes can only look.  They are merely a lens.  Hands, however, turn the abstract into the physical, they turn thoughts into creations, they turn ideas into a usable product.  My hand create food, my hands create writing, my hands create art, my hands create love.

Your hands can change the world, and your diamond eyes can inspire it.

The Importance of Names

It took me a long time to decide what to rename my bike.  I finally got my dream bike, so it was a lot of pressure to find a name that I like and that is appropriate to the spirit of the bike.  I tend to keep things for a long time, so I know that this name will stay with me for years to come.  Not only is this the bike that I have always wanted and desired to be mine, I dreamt about the bike moments before it came into my life.  I dreamt that I found the bike in a thrift store for $35 dollars, and upon awakening I was very sad when I realized that the fortunate bike was just a mental muse. Not that I expected to get my dream machine for a price that was super fortunate, it was, after all, a dream.

The very next day, my coworker informs me that he has a bike, a split frame mixte Peugeot (no big deal, just the most coveted old school bike style in all of Chicagoaland), that he does not want (too small for him) and that I can have for my very own!  Imagine my excitement.  My dream came true, exactly true, beautifully true.  My dream bike is finally mine to have and to ride and to possess for decades to come.  A new and best companion to share my road time adventures, to be the reason for my trips, to fulfill the need of transportation and exercise.

The bike came with the name Reptar, which is a mighty fine name, but it is not the name that I would choose for my fabulous contraption of a bike.  I spend a lot of time on my bike, so the machine needs a name that embodies the spirit and energy we create together.  I spent a long time thinking about names.  Fillip, Sebastian, Cruella, Pierre, Cosmos, Galactica, Constellation, Alfredo (after my dad), Moonlight, Jupiter, Jack (after my grandpa), Parsnip, Fernet… the list was long.

I finally decided on a name the same day I decided that I was going to pursue a new career opportunity.  After having landed on a name for the bike, I felt confident that I could make a descision about my future.  I needed some sense of permanence, a constant theme, to help me commit to a new environment. I needed to feel secure in a choice, albeit not as important as a job, to feel a personal sense of security.  I felt more clear in the brain.  It gave me a sense of peace, closure, and serenity.

Turnip.  That’s the name.  Turnip Greenz.  The bike is old and the paint job does not have the clean sharp white that it must have worn 45 years ago when it was created.  It has a black seat post, black handle bar post, and black tape wrapped around the handle bars.  Together, this reminds me of a turnip pulled fresh from the ground, covered in thick, life giving dirt.

Turnip is also named after the constant companion in Howl’s Moving Castle.  Turnip is a scarecrow that skips on a stick, following the protagonist around, providing help, company, and joy.  Turnip does not speak, can only bounce to get around, but is my favorite character in the story.  He follows the character around wherever she may go, without asking, without hesitation or invitation, but is the hero of the story.  Turnip Greenz is my jolly, my bouncing and energetic companion, my constant for adventure, who does not speak but provides an irreplaceable role.  Turnip is the unspoken hero to the story. Turnip is the unspoken means to my end.

Behind in the times

I am consistently and always at least a decade behind the trend of the week/ constantly catching up with the quick technological changes of the world.  Often I feel like I am constantly playing catch up with society, finally understanding what people are talking about like 12 years later. What is so great about my hesitancy to keep up with what the kids are doing, that sometimes I win the lottery.  I completely miss a trend, therefore not having to invest the time, energy, cool crystal, or deal with the physical matter of said trend.  Case in point: DVDS!!  I have successfully gone through life owning only 5 dvd movies.  I regret nothing about this lack of enthusiasm over a hobby/entertainment/creative outlet.  I am cleaning the studio, and I discovered my pitiful selection of dvds and this makes me so happy.  I wasted zero time, money, cool energy, diminished my plastic footprint in the garbage cans, and saved shelf space on the bookcase by not stacking this library and that is a life win.  Who cares about dvds? NOBODY.  And nobody ever will again.  Until the internet runs dry, perhaps, but my new sexy computer doesn’t even have a disk drive.  Cya cool rainbow reflective disc, never again.  Very sure that I can’t even give away my entire 5 disc dvd collection at the garage sale.

Alone in the middle of the city

IMG_9880

I love to be alone.  Not always, not everyday, but sometimes I want to be utterly alone.  I don’t want to talk to anyone, I don’t want to see anybody. I want to feel separated from humanity, to be included in nothing except my own thoughts, feelings, impressions, and inspirations.  It has nothing to do with depression, anger, or disappointment.  Its not about love lost, betrayal, or bitterness.  It is that I simply like to be with only myself.

IMG_9888

Its hard to be alone, to find solitude and peace in the active city.  More so with roommates whom are often home because you live in a cold, expensive city.  Fortunately for my lonely tastes, my backyard dead ends directly with the graveyard.  There is a tall concrete wall separating the world of the living with the damnation of the deceased.  Walk around the block, and on the other side is an entrance into a silent, distant world.  A life that is not visited by many living souls, a quite village, a silent dance party.  I can stroll a brief 10 minutes around the block and enter a world where I can find complete solitude in the middle of an early almost- warm spring day.  Trapped within the tall and cool concrete walls, even the sounds of the passing cars and stopping busses are muted.  So quickly and easily the city life is reduced to simply myself.  Within these silent walls I walk through all that remains of so many lives, the repayments of a history of people are boiled down to two dates, a slab of marble, and if you are lucky a short quote or if you are really lucky a giant, out dated statue.

IMG_9868

IMG_9918IMG_9917

IMG_9896IMG_9884

The cemetery during the day does not provoke feeling of creepiness, danger, or uncertainty.  Exposed under watchful glare of father sun, the cemetery inspires serenity, introspection, and reflection.  The weight of the stones change the magnitude of oneself, challenges your notion of your place on history’s timeline.  Its impossible not to see your existence as just a snapshot in time.

IMG_9892IMG_9893

IMG_9919IMG_9926

Wandering alone, slightly cold, with my scarf wrapped all the way down my wrists, curling around my red fingers, I seek out the patches of sunshine, avoid the patches of shadow created by the old tall trees and the cold tall marble statues.  I find a small flowering tree.  Its branches reach down toward the ground and are speckled with tiny white flowers.  The tree is peaceful, serene, perfect in the graveyard.  So still and so beautiful.  Instantly, I want this to be a place for a ceremony of marriage.  I know that sounds creepy, but I just explained how its so perfect.  IMG_9902IMG_9908IMG_9914

School Teacher Jazz

I dressed like a school teacher today. Long, flowing dress, loss fitting with a nice retro sweater on top.  It felt right, good.  Not sexy or male inviting, but good. Nice. Warming.

I have been feeling a little more than bad lately due to many reasons: bad diet, too much drunkenness, sheer hormones, inconsiderate roommate, too much sugar, not enough love.

I had a great dance tonight and that’s where it ended.  A great dance. The best dance. The best dance ever. So in synced, so right, so tribal, so it. So the best.  My friends were so impressed, so jealous, so suggested..the secret?  I am sure that the man was gay.  That’s why it was so easy, so natural, so unpressured, so simple.  What does this say about me and my sexuality? Why do I pair so well with my gay men? It was marvelous, that dance. No talking, no walls, just that fucking awesome band blaring out the feeling.  12 member band on a Wednesday night making me feel great. So great.