You know what’s weird? I can wash silverware in my dishwasher at home just fine, but 15 minutes down the road, my pro kitchen dishwasher makes silverware all rainbowy like this. I had the water tested at a fancy lab and everything and it’s just fine, but it is strange. And strangely beautiful, don’t you think?
[Warning: this post is completely useless. It includes some rambling about good vanilla beans, otherwise it’s just the kind of bloggy nothingness that kept me from starting a blog for several years. But I sometimes feel the need to prove to the Internet that I’m not all vinegar and snark and despair, so happy-day posts like this seem needed for balance once in a while.]
Ah, the power of a day off – off from work, off from the intimidating To Do list. I have lots to do, but it’s a sunny early fall Tuesday, and I decided to spend a whole passel of hours just chasing the sun. While waiting to find out if Congress will sell our futures to Wall Street, it seemed prudent to enjoy the dregs of the world left to us working class heroes.
First I rode my bike into town. My old school 1960s blue Schwinn, not the fast 1990s Schwinn that, admittedly, makes the 10-minute ride a dream. I can’t resist Blue Schwinny because of her amazing cuteness, but the truth is that foot brakes, no gears, and her zaftig frame makes the ride somewhat less zippy than a bike ride should properly be. But I was wearing a cute homemade shift dress, my hair had a freshly washed sparkle, and I had recently found an old pair of sunglasses that looked to me exactly like the pair Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (I opened a drawer labeled “art supplies” and found six pairs of vintage sunglasses I’ve collected over the years–ah, the pleasures of being a hoarder). Schwinny (and perhaps a chic handkerchief over my hair, but I can never rock that look quite right) seemed the only option.
I went to town to be interviewed by a SUNY student for a term paper on local activist and community-groups for her class on social movements. She had chosen to focus on the Green Party, and as the figurehead (in name only – it’s really more of a collective) of the group she wanted to interview me. Her class sounded fascinating, and it reminded me that having a solidly activist college one mile from my house is a resource I should tap into more often. Her professor is active in the Stop Crossroads group, and I briefly thought about auditing the class next semester. The interview was fun – it’s always interesting to step out of day-to-day activist work and think about a bigger picture. The student was smart too, and seemed to be leaning toward changing her registration to the Greens. Success!
Baking soda and vinegar – best silverware polish ever, totally. I’ve tried everything, and keep going back to the classic bs +v. Can’t beat it.
After the interview I followed the sun onto Main Street with a plan to urge stores to sell Stop Crossroads bumper stickers and to drop off brochures for my own biz at the health food store, library, etc. (This scary economy is motivating me to become a bit more of a real business owner, sigh. Usually I am far too preoccupied with fomenting/fermenting revolution to focus on bizlady things like promotion.)
At my friendly local record store, my pal Rick said he would sell a bunch, and offered me a prime spot for my brochures right next to his cash register. He also asked if I happened to have any lunch on me, and while queries like this usually annoy me (with some exceptions – dinner parties, my too-skinny sweetheart – I lack that mothery gene that delights in feeding people), the truth is that I do have a bunch of leftovers this week and said I’d bring him some snacks tomorrow. He said my sunglasses looked nothing like Audrey’s, but that I myself look a bit like Ol’ Hep, and I have to admit that pleased even my cold radical feminist bones. (But Rick, they really are almost the same sunglasses – Wayfarers – except that hers were tortoiseshells and mine are black. Mine are authentically vintage, too, don’t I get some points for that?).
Then I popped into the health food store and talked to an acquaintance* of mine – everyone in small towns has friends like these, I suppose: I’ve chatted with her at parties, and while we’re probably not going to become BFFs or anything, I deeply like seeing her around. She’s got a certain artistic sadness about her I like. Not a gothy gloom, not a faux-artiste striped-legwarmers-in-August-because-I’m-quirky! kind of a thing, but big all-seeing eyes and an old soul way of being. We chatted, and though I couldn’t put out bumper stickers because the owner had to approve them, I did leave some of my own brochures, with some parting anxiety.
My brochures are so incredibly expensive, printed all fancily on thick 100% p.c. recycled paper with a little flax blended in, that leaving them places (which is why they exist, after all) is always slightly painful. A part of me wants to stand next to them and tell people to take one “only if you will really read it, please!”
My friend Than will not eat with real silver. Having inherited a lot of it and bought a lot more super cheap at thrift stores, I never use anything else, and am glad it doesn’t freak me out like it does him. Eating with silver brings such pleasure to a meal…even if I do have to hand wash everything.
Next I stopped in the library, and as I was dropping off yet more brochures in the entrance way, a friendly and not-too-crazy-seeming woman (it pays to be cautious – New Paltz is full of friendly crazies) started randomly talking to me about movies that the library shows for free, and had I seen 9/11 Mysteries recently at Water Street Market? I think she started talking to me because of the Stop Crossroads bumper stickers in my hands, so maybe she felt I should also know about 9/11 conspiracy theories.
When I told her that I hadn’t gone to the screening but was part of the group that put it on (the Green Party), she pulled out a copied DVD of it, saying I really should watch it. Then she gave me a card with her phone number on it and a list of other local events, two of which the GP was also co-sponsoring, and I gave her my (business) card and she bought a SC bumper sticker, and the whole thing was weirdly nice. She’s probably one of the many NP crazies, but it was sunny out and she bought a sticker and seemed to have a good heart.
I won’t watch 9/11 Mysteries though. My research into the topic does point to some small and perhaps some very large inaccuracies in the official 9/11 story, but I’ve decided that it’s just not an issue I can take on right now. You know.
Continuing on, I saw a friend and fellow business owner back at the café. We talked optimistically about how this weird and wretched economic stuff wasn’t going to affect our businesses because it was really only affecting giant corporations (secretly, I think Regan was half right–trickle-down economics works only in reverse–and I fear I am already feeling its effects, but maybe it’s just a coincidence). Then I mentioned wanting to buy some of her lovely orange aprons to match my lovely orange and yellow kitchen, and she said to come by anytime and she’d give me a good deal on them. “I’d be proud to have you wear my aprons!” were her exact words, actually. Nice.
I pedaled home and opened the mail: a birthday party invite, and–be still my heart–a packet of fifty vanilla beans from my vanilla bean guy on Maui. My vanilla bean dude has a teeny tiny vanilla operation that is beyond-organic–he hand-pollinates each vanilla orchid and each pod takes about a year to become a ripe vanilla bean. He also happens to sell his vanilla at such obscenely cheap prices that I literally blush when I send him the check (he mails you the beans then you send him a check, I am not making this up!) I talk about him here and give his phone number – if you order beans from him be sure to mention me! His beans are so cheap and awesome that I’ve stopped buying commercial vanilla extract and now make my own from ground up vanilla beans and good vodka.
With vanilla fumes swirling around the pink room, I ate summer rolls with peanut sauce, lounged around in the sun spots, and read no less than three magazines. On Tuesdays my cats are always grumpy after my compressed work week where I’m home only to sleep and brush teeth, so I try to make Tuesday Pet Day around here. Noodle sat right on Sarah Silverman on the cover of Bust and wouldn’t leave until she got good ear scratchies, Sula paced back and forth happily while I was leafing through Gourmet, and now Cleo is sitting on my lap as I savor the informative breakfast issue of the ever-fascinating Saveur.
Speaking of Bust – since I got some smack about it out of my system, I’ve been enjoying it a bit more (I also think subsequent issues haven’t been as irritating as that one). They are trying, those Busties. They are caught up in the capitalist system with its attendant celebrities and trinkets, and to a certain extent the business of revolution has been replaced by the business of lightly feminist cuteness, but no magazine can be all things to all feminists, you know? The rhymes drive me absolutely batshit crazy, but mostly it’s a little cupcake of a magazine, and everyone likes and needs a cupcake now and then. (I won’t extend the metaphor and tie it to a labored analysis of the vegan movement right now, but I could. Just know that.) It’s funny to me that the letters section is usually devoted to baby feminists gushing over how great Bust is compared with a standard women’s magazine. Bust is my guilty pleasure, and wondering what is in mainstream ladymags that makes Bust seem so revolutionary gives me absolute icy cold chills. Yikes.
In the spirit of sticking to the lazy day off theme, I am off to take a bath!
*WOW. The WordPress spellchecker is so bad that I usually Google words I think I’m misspelling, and while Googling “acquaitenance” (I know when I’m misspelling, I just don’t always know how to fix it, isn’t it weird how that happens?) my own blog post came up first. Is that just because Google knew I am me? Please Google “acquaitenance” and let me know what happens! Actually, now that I look at it, that is probably such a horrible misspelling that I’m one of only a handful of people who consistently do it – how could I think it was spelled that way? Yet more shamefully, I have a minor in French! Mon dieu!