Thursday, May 19, 2011

Why Farmer's Markets Are Just Wrong

I made it clear I would be covering this topic after I got done explaining Lutheranism to everyone. Technically, not everyone (and everyone, you know who you are) has read that post yet but I don’t have all day and a half to wait for everyone and their dog to find my dusty little URL so, in direct response to the repeated requests for me to provide some evidence on why Farmer’s Markets are so freaking lame, I’ll walk you through it ONCE. But then I’m done. I'm not brave enough to debate the Organic Veggie Lady any more than I have time to debate the Cat Lady about why I refuse to bring Philly into the vet yet again to have his balding fur issues treated.

Let's rip this off like a band-aid:

1) Nothing you can buy there tastes good.

2) Everything.

3) The stands are usually directly on top of parking spaces. That's really not helping anyone.

4) Safeway already sells produce.

5) The vendors will sometimes smile at you through their eyes and speak in a low gentle voice that renders one involuntarily calm and in need of a long hug.

6) They won't do the friendly-soothing-eye-staring-head-nodding thing if your child is eating a food item that is dripping in high fructose corn syrup (if it wasn't for toddlers, why does is say so on the package? Last time I checked, Target doesn't lie about their merchandise).

7) Someone forgot to put their dog on a leash. On purpose. Oh my God.

8) If your kid is in a stroller and someone else's kid is in a sling then you lose and they win. If I had known there was a handbook that explained all of this I would have read it, but it turns out a new Go Green(!) policy that was implemented last spring required all copies be turned into decorative wrapping paper for the welcome party they threw for the IFC Portlandia Crew when the seventh episode was filmed at the local parking lot farmer's market.

9) One time, I overheard the guy at the Huckleberry Roots Farm Booth declare you can tell a healthy eggplant if it appears to be 'sweating'. No one was in direct proximity when he bestowed this wisdom.

10) Farmer's Markets are usually outside.

The Usual Disclaimers:

I'm from Eugene, Oregon so I am WITHIN THE CIRCLE. My authenticity cannot be challenged. Rebellion is only natural.

This post is mild compared to next week's critique on natural childbirth.

It's not like I took on the new trend of having organic, locally grown vegetables delivered right to your front door. Because I could. I have A LOT of material.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Real Housewives - Part 2

If you have not read Part 1 that's okay. It didn't make a lot of sense and neither will Part 2. That's what they have in common! But if you are dying of curiosity, amnesia, or apathy I will remind you that I was pretending to be a housewife and the apathetic among you were pretending to care. The main thing that makes no sense, and I'll say it right upfront (if you consider Part 2 to be upfront) is that these posts don't read like a reality TV show. I'm not writing sentences like "...and then the camera did a close up to my face while playing this song as it should in all Teen Mom episodes especially when Jenelle is fighting with her Mom and then I squinted my eyes just so as I examined the expiration date on my Nutella jar....".  But.  And however. Due to my extreme loyalty to reality television AND Clackamas County AND my seven readers, I feel the need to combine these concepts and throw something together here. And even though the titles of these posts are lying (blame it on the al-al-alchohol*) about me being a housewife; I'm really not worried about any sanctions or penalties if I'm discovered by the Internet's Truth Police, mainly because they don't exist but also because of the grand liberties these shows take with the definition of a traditional housewife.  Half of the women work (IE: design clothes and/or jewelry via approval of finished products) and the other half are divorced or are engaged/pre-divorced.  So technically, being married and staying at home are not hard and fast requirements.

Excellent. Back to the plot line. We're headed to downtown Oregon City for a few errands. This is an important late afternoon Saturday ritual as it buys a good 2-3 hours before starting the weekend chores.  The goal (if you time it right) is to arrive back at the house around 6pm. Because, gosh, that's dinner time. And honestly, I'm not going to NOT  FEED MY CHILD just because some laundry needs to get done and the floors have 3 day old mac n cheese taking up residence in multiple rooms.  Again, timing is everything.  Bath follows dinner, then required simultaneous web surfing / tv watching follows bath and before we know it Sunday has arrived with no housework accomplished but the good news is we're having eggs for breakfast so the mac n cheese will have some company. Solutions are everywhere if you're willing to be an overachiever like me.

FYI -- I'm writing this post while watching 'Mob Wives', a brand new VH1 reality television show. Riveted would be an understatement.

How do we keep getting off the subject? It's unlike me to get side tracked.  Right, we were headed to downtown Oregon City, home of the almost-Portlanders.

There is a lot to accomplish -- we need to get the car cleaned, window shop for area rugs at Bi-Mart, buy more forks at Goodwill (don't ask), and pick up kitty litter.  If you're looking for a commercial break, just kick back and enjoy some pink wine, housewife style. because this ride is not over yet.
We pull into a sad car wash, the kind that sits on the edge of a strip mall and always looks closed even when its open. American Flag murals decorate the grey cement walls that separate the vacuum stations as if to pat you on the back and say "Good job for driving a car --- that's very American of you." I know a mural can't really talk, but that's what I feel like its saying. I think I would get extra points if I was driving a truck or an SUV but I'm not sure how it works. The only reason I'm cleaning my car in the first place is because, much like people who once broke their arm and now their elbow twinges when it's going to rain, so goes it for me but in my situation it's more like I hear a low buzzing and my eye starts twitching a few days before my car is about to break down. Hence, in case you are not following, the need to get my car cleaned out before a little trip to the mechanic.

I have a lot going on in my life so I can do without the added anxiety of envisioning the good ol' boys in the shop mocking my collection of 'Us Weekly' magazines shoved underneath the driver's seat (that I never read while driving, obviously). Nothing says "Bill me for an extra falangy* while fixing the whatever whatever cooling hose" like a bunch of guilty pleasure chic mags. My husband likes to tell me "Bekah, everything has it's place. So if you always put something back in its place, nothing will ever get messy." Let's have a moment of silence for that statement. Cause I murdered it. Correction: He liked to tell me this before he gave up on 'helping' me become a more organized person. I think he officially gave up about 6 years ago after he accidentally viewed a particularly frightening junk-drawer in my dresser while putting away laundry. No one else stores forks, forgotten Target receipts, and old hair in one place? It's called multi-tasking. Sorry I'm good at stuff, world. It's like he forgot that part of our first date when I carefully explained I'm the PRESIDENT of the "Association of the Self Righteously Disorganized Day Dreamer's Club". It's not easy to get all those lazy procrastinators to vote on election day. Hello!!??

And, I am a firm believer in things having their 'place'. It so happens that the floor of my car is home to a lot of useful things that would otherwise be transient and/or in the bottom of a garbage can. Call me an environmentalist but I'm just not that quick to throw away. For example, on any given day of the week you might peer inside the window of my 2005 Pontiac G6 and wave hello to a few dozen diet-pepsi bottles, un-touched gym clothes, several car chargers (a lot of phones have been lost in this battle, but I like to keep the chargers around in case any of them show up -- one cell hid under the windbreaker attachment thing-y on top of my car for several months and it ended up working fine), old muffins & gold fish crackers (Jackson is a young member of the ASRDDDC), 7,834 extra changes of toddler clothes, lipstick, and a stack of Union literature & authorization cards (it's important to be prepared, because it's always a good day to join the Union).

Nonetheless, today all of these items will either be thrown out, boxed up, or hidden in the glove compartment/trunk/under floor mats. I can be quite the compulsive cleaner when properly motivated. I do not, however, like the quiet observations of fellow Oregon City car-owning residents as they watch me from behind neighboring American Flag murals while I implement my unique tidying methods. These are probably 'regulars' who tediously sanitize their SUVS on Saturday afternoons. I am impressed by the intense lady to my left who whisks out her floor mats and shakes them vigorously in a rapid motion that I can only describe as memorized. Talk about premeditated cleaning. She's probably the President of the County's OCD committee. If I ever get my show, casting her would make for some good TV, as conflict is encouraged and yields higher ratings.

I could probably keep going, as there are about 452 painstaking minutes left to this particular event-filled day. But, as any die-hard fan of Reality TV knows: months are condensed into days and hours into minutes. And most importantly, at the end of an episode, you wonder why you gave up the last half hour of your life for such inconsequential dribble only to find yourself drawn back in the next Tuesday, at the same time, for just a little bit more.

Due to my ongoing duties as President of the aforementioned association, I may not have time to post again by the time next Tuesday rolls around. But if you stay tuned, I'll probably be back with some more dribble dribble later this month. You're welcome, you hopeless addicts.

*that was a rap song, in case, like, you didn't follow my reference.

*final episode of FRIENDS, Phoebe referred to a fictional airplane part,"the falangy" in an attempt to get Rachel off the plan so she could reunite with Ross. That's right.

The Real Housewives of Clackamas County

Exits 6 through 14 off the 205, just a wee shy south of Portland, live some of the most fascinating, non-televised real housewives in the tri-county area....

Where I live, Multnomah County gets all the love. Of course, when I say 'Multnomah County' I mean the blocks that fall within 4 very specific square miles of progressive self love. But I'm not about to start uploading shiny pics of pink wine just to get sidetracked by a little chip on my shoulder called 'Hawthorne Street Insecurity'. No. We're here to talk about reality TV. So, let's get down to it.

Reality TV and I are besties. Reality TV and I have no boundaries. We have no secrets from one another. We're like this:

pastel colors and magic sparkles included

Let me make it crystal clear how serious I am. I have watched every episode of every season of every show listed below.*

Real World

Jersey Shore

Tori and Dean

Jon and Kate + Eight

Kate + Eight

17, 18, and 19 Kids and Counting

Sister Wives

The Bachelor (Brad Womack is such a jerk face)

Baby Story

Teen Mom

The Hills

Laguna Beach


Girls Next Door

Holly's World

The Kardashians

Real Housewives of Orange County, Beverly Hills, New York, New Jersey, Miami, you name it...

I'm going to stop there before someone calls DHS on me. (It's called naptime, people). And on a personal note to one of my sisters -- watching TOP CHEF does not count as Reality TV. So, if you want to join the club you'll have to lower that brow and get down in the gutter with the rest of us.

Given my incredible dedication, I find it a bit surprising to wake up everyday and find no cameras in my house. What's up with that? I was out to pizza the other day with my family, cozied up next to a table of Seventh Day Adventists, watching my 2 year old son play a race-car video game-preview with no quarters in the slot and, as I was sprinkling parmesan cheese on the 'Local Canadian Bacon Delight' I thought to myself, "Somewhere out there in a parallel universe I am doing this exact same thing but....(wait for it)....ON TELEVISION! Broadcast on Oxygen, preferably. (Second choice: TLC, obviously).

Because the local networks and cable mega giants are not currently returning my calls (bad manners = bad karma = sucks for you when I become super duper famous as soon as Oprah's new OWN channel discovers me in Clackamas County -- please see above map for directions, Oprah) and because I'm nice and because I feel sorry for everyone who wishes they could watch me avoid housework and exercise from the comfort of their living rooms every night I WILL GRANT THE UNIVERSE A FAVOR and describe what a typical episode might look like if 'The Man' ever comes to his senses and sends a camera crew over here (please see above map for directions, Crew).

The following non-televised reality television show is titled "The Real Housewives of Clackamas County"

Starring: myself and.....remaining talent TBD.

Scene One: Early dawn morning, Saturday, approximately 10 am, I awake to the sound of procrastination and fear. Relief settles in as I realize my rise-at-5:00-am-ex-Marine husband has gotten our son out of bed and fed him. (See? Still no need to call DHS.) I climb out of bed and create a mental check list of 'to-dos' as I look around the room and notice seven immediate tasks. I'll get right on those after a bowl of cereal.

Scene Two: Jack and I proceed to engage in a little game called 'Opposite Cleaning' for a few hours, which consists of pretty much what that sounds like.

Scene Three: Now that it's nearing 4pm, I'm really starting to feel motivated to start some chores. Right after a quick trip to the store to get some things we need before we begin. Really need some window cleaner before I can dig in. We hop in the car and head to downtown Oregon City.

Like all good be wine and all.

*not intended to be a factual statement