Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Tragic Tale of Ol' 'Black Thumb' Cummings

I've never been especially talented at keeping things alive.  Actually, that's being nice.  The reality is that  I've killed every single creature of god that has ever been in my care.*  Chia herb gardens, hermit crabs, house plants, all of 'em, dead.   The only tree I've had any luck in keeping around is a fiber optic Christmas tree.  It's that serious.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Well, That's Awfully Specific

Here's a little bit of bus graffiti I spotted this morning...

Monday, March 8, 2010

(Mori)Bus Philosophorum: The Difference in the Stops

Who knew one block could change everything? (<-- that line should be read in a Don LaFontaine voice.)

For the past three and a half years I've been catching the bus from the Armory at Lark and Washington.  It's quite the little slice of life, let me tell you.  Actually, I probably don't have to tell you; you probably already know that the swarming crowd can range from student to indigent to criminal and worse (like girls who wear high heels with sweatpants.  Terrifying.)   During peak hours the best you can hope for is to claim one square of sidewalk and avoid eye contact until your bus trundles up.  Unless of course you feel like doling out a bunch of cigarettes; in that case, by all means, go ahead and make friends.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Eating Off the Grid*

It was so much fun to write about local eggs that I'm going to start a regular (I hope) series of posts about my efforts to divorce myself as much as possible from factory foods.  One of my resolutions this year was to, "get back on track," but that really translates to, "get off the grid."  First, some self-indulgent background:

Morning Becomes Eggcellent

This is a little off-topic for me but I had to share about eggs.  Diana, a colleague of mine, raises ducks and chickens and sells $3.00 dozens to folks in our office.  Seeing the carton labeled, "Leigh," in the break room refrigerator is pretty much the highlight of my week and I always pop it open to admire the rows of colorful, mismatched pearls.  You never know what you're going to get, and, as you can see in the picture, it's usually a mixed bag.  The chickens lay brown, green and white eggs and the ducks are responsible for those giant guys on the right, which are excellent for breakfast or baking.  The yolks are larger and richer and the flavor is just out of this world.  People have a tendency to flinch at the thought of anything other than a traditional chicken's egg but that really shouldn't be the case.

While on a baking jag a few weeks ago, I ran out of Diana's eggs and had to buy a dozen from the supermarket for everyday use.  It had been a chunk of time since I'd tasted a corporate egg and was absolutely astounded by how flavorless they were.  I made myself a fried egg sandwich, bit into it, and tasted no egg at all.  The texture was tough and foreign and the yolk that ran out was a pale, pathetic yellow (not the robust orange to which I'd grown accustomed.)  It was disappointing, but not at all surprising.  We've been force-fed a factory product for so long that we, as a culture, don't even know what eggs are supposed to taste like.  That's tragic, and I won't stand for it.  So even if you aren't lucky enough to work with a free-range farmer, make it a point to go to Honest Weight, or a farmer's market, and try a local egg.  You're gonna die, I promise, and you, like me, will never want to go back.

P.S.  Diana also tells me all sorts of cute stories about the birds, my favorite being how they are free to fly out of their enclosure at any time, which they do.  They haven't yet wrapped their minds around flying back in, though, and always queue up in an orderly fashion at the gate, waiting to be let in.  They could easily escape, but choose to head home.  I love that.  Happy chickens equal yummy eggs.