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Observations

Just a couple of observations from all my travels of late and life in general:

1) Anything that has ever taken place in the US is still going on somewhere in the US. Both good and bad. Everything you always assumed was gone and you don't have to deal with it still goes on in some little backwoods enclave and every good and nostalgic thing you wish would come back is still going on as well. This is why I have a hard time laughing at Napoleon Dynamite. Because as backwards as that life seems, it is going on, right now somewhere with very real people. I've been there and lived it.

2) Food just seems lighter and cleaner on the coasts. Maybe it's more seafood. Maybe it's a warmer climate, I don't know. More attention is payed to presentation of the food. My friend Pollen said she'd never had a bad meal in San Francisco, even in the dives. And I find that to be true. Perhaps it was the change of venue or just availability of fresher ingredients but the food seems to have more flavor. Do you folks on the coasts realize that we in the central part of the country spend the winter eating tomatoes that taste like cardboard? Please send us fresh veggies. Whenever I go to the coast, I really just want to get out and eat because I know that from November to April the food will taste heavy and bland. Plus the midwest seems to concentrate on comfort food more than healthy food. Yes there are the exceptions in the big cities that can afford to fly in fresher produce but by and large our food in winter is bland. No wonder we get so unhappy in the winter.

3) I'm all for going green but soap with a hole in it is stupid. So yeah, the middle part gets left behind on a normal bar of soap. So now instead of having and oval of leftover soap, we'll have just the rind. Tell me again how this is more environmentally friendly? I actually saw a bar of this in my hotel in San Francisco last week.

Wander

Comments

( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
piscesdreams
Feb. 17th, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reminding me about the advantages of living in a port city!
wander
Feb. 17th, 2009 08:20 pm (UTC)
Heheh. I do have to grudgingly admit that cities do have some advantages at times. I really love open air markets in port cities. We have them but only in the warmer months and usually just for fresh veggies. Not fish and such.

W
nayrene
Feb. 17th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
Hey, we get the bad veggies on the coast too - takes longer to truck everything out - but maybe there are more co-ops per capita or something. Our farmers market's about to start up and I can't wait. I always feel like I would almost get more out of PRESSING vegetables onto various parts of my body than eating them in the winter...
wander
Feb. 17th, 2009 08:58 pm (UTC)
I just don't order salads in restaurants from November to April. It's just not worth it.

W
nayrene
Feb. 17th, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC)
That is one thing we DO get a lot of because of the temperate climate - thank god! I NEED salad sometimes... and crave fresh spinach. And butter lettuce. And Caesar salad. It must be lunchtime!
wander
Feb. 17th, 2009 09:34 pm (UTC)
First thing I ordered in both Manhattan and SF were salads.

W
ryl
Feb. 17th, 2009 11:50 pm (UTC)
1. That's why I can't watch Gummo without at least a fifth of liquor in me. That's the worst of my hometown right there. Even the cat-killing bits.

2. I can grow tomatoes down here until November. Back west they last until late September. Growing season starts in a couple of weeks. Envy me. And come eat my damn tomatoes because I won't.

3. That's not green, that's a way to make you buy more soap. There's an entire bar missing!
wander
Feb. 17th, 2009 11:58 pm (UTC)
OK, I'll gladly come eat your maters and we can go over to Duplin, and have enough wine to watch movies like Gummo and Napoleon.

W
ryl
Feb. 18th, 2009 01:16 pm (UTC)
Wine's not strong enough for Gummo. That movie requires good ol' mountain moonshine. Duplin wine is good for tolerating Sideways though.

Edited at 2009-02-18 01:17 pm (UTC)
wander
Feb. 18th, 2009 05:40 pm (UTC)
I have no idea how Sideways ever got nominated for an Oscar.

W
ryl
Feb. 18th, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
Somebody on the Oscar committee probably owned a winery.
virga_flame
Feb. 18th, 2009 04:21 am (UTC)
Food on the coasts is fussy, impractical, and stupid. In Missouri, on the other hand, food was locally grown or raised; and it was simple, elegant, and nutritious.
wander
Feb. 18th, 2009 04:33 am (UTC)
Don't know, I'd kill for a fresh salad about now and short of a Chicago restaurant or spending an awful lot at Whole Foods, I'm probably not going to get it. I did however admire the fresh veggies at the farmer's market in San Fran last week.

W
virga_flame
Feb. 18th, 2009 05:16 am (UTC)
I'm still getting fresh salad greens and tomatoes at the local Santa Fe farmers' market. Costs me a bit more than shit imported from Mexico and Argentina, but it's better quality. And I'm giving the money to people I know in person. People I like.
wander
Feb. 18th, 2009 05:31 am (UTC)
It would be nice if we could still grow locally in the winter. I guess we could with a greenhouse. I just live off my canned stuff for awhile. But by the time I can grow tomatoes, I'm ready for them.

W
virga_flame
Feb. 18th, 2009 05:48 am (UTC)

Tomatoes here at this time are entirely hothouse. Salad greens may or may not be; So long as they're covered at night and on the coldest days, they'll do okay.

In Missouri, things were even more seasonal. But I learned to live with it, in order to buy and live locally. Sure, I supplemented sometimes with foreign foods, but I ate local fresh foods, and learned to preserve those fresh tastes for the colder months. Winter or harvest, they were always good, clean, fresh flavors. That's what the local and seasonal agricultural cycles are all about.

wander
Feb. 18th, 2009 05:54 am (UTC)
I'll admit there is nothing like the taste of good canned peaches in the middle of winter.

W
virga_flame
Feb. 18th, 2009 05:51 am (UTC)
Incidentally, does the name Rod Taylor (from Philmont) mean anything to you? He's playing here in Santa Fe soon with his current band, called The Rifters. They're rather good.
wander
Feb. 18th, 2009 05:55 am (UTC)
Rod is awesome. It's always a treat to see him and I've been privileged to be present for some intimate little jam sessions he's played. I've seen him play with Michael Martin Murphy too. He's a working cowboy when he's not playing.

W
virga_flame
Feb. 18th, 2009 05:58 am (UTC)
He'd have to be a working cowboy, given his position at Philmont. Does this mean I can expect you here in Fanta Se land on the 22nd of February? ;)
wander
Feb. 18th, 2009 06:02 am (UTC)
Doubt it. My feet need to stay planted in Illinois for a little bit. But I'll be out in July or so. By the way, Rod's rendition of New Mexico Rain is not to be missed. I'm envious.

W
virga_flame
Feb. 18th, 2009 06:16 am (UTC)

I'm not familiar with Rod Taylor's version, but I've heard both the writer (Bill Hearne) and his nephew(?) (Michael Hearne) perform it. It's a favorite tune of mine. It's really the northern New Mexican song.

Maybe this time we'll be able to meet? I broke up with the Philmont horsewoman rather a while ago, but we're still good friends and if you're interested I'll let her know when you'll be around, too.

wander
Feb. 18th, 2009 06:23 am (UTC)
That would be great and yeah, I'd like to finally get to meet and hang out a bit and always good to meet Philmont people.

W
virga_flame
Feb. 18th, 2009 06:51 am (UTC)
She's a little more reluctant than most to meet new people, but when it comes time I'll let her know and see what she has to say.
wander
Feb. 18th, 2009 07:01 am (UTC)
I know a few like that as well and it's OK if she doesn't want to as well. I respect people's privacy.

W
virga_flame
Feb. 18th, 2009 07:14 am (UTC)
Thank you. That probably means even more to me than it does to her.
wander
Feb. 18th, 2009 07:24 am (UTC)
I have to escape to my farm to get any. I know how valuable solitude can be.

W
ex_juan_gan
Mar. 2nd, 2009 09:05 pm (UTC)
We, representatives of the Coastal People, think that a better food is to be found somewhere in the midlands. Here all you can get is an environmental pile of green fodder covered with several strips of chicken and a choice of 1000 island or ranch. And the tomatoes in winter are as cardboard as everywhere.

But we did travel a lot; and probably the best Mexican food we find was in Las Cruces, and in a small dinar near Rio Grande. Mexican food in California is probably just a fake for the gringos.

The best food that we encountered in this country was in a local restaurant in Window Rock, AZ, the lamb stew reminding me what my mother would make.

On the other hand, there are coastal areas with good food. If you drive to Alaska, you can enjoy buffalo steaks. If you drive to Oregon, oh, the oysters, the crabs! If you drive to Florida Keys, seafood there is incomparable! Just not California.

wander
Mar. 2nd, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
I'd have to agree on the Mexican Food. Whenever I go to NM, I only eat Mexican food. Or Native food if I'm near a reservation. Sometimes I'll even eat the same thing restaurant to restaurant to see who has the best. The best seafood I've ever eaten comes from NC of course each of the coastal areas has their specialties. I'll be in Oregon in 2 weeks and I'm looking forward to the new surprises there.

Wander
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )