Friday, October 25, 2013

The DeLorean vs the Faggot

Recently, I was waiting at one of those forever lights to make a left into the local grocery store plaza. You know the kind. The ones where there are somehow ninety different ways people can come and go? The ones where when you get there with the green arrow in your favor, you feel like you’ve won the lottery? Yea. One of those.

I got there just as my arrow turned red. But, it was okay. It was an absolutely beautiful day. Temperatures were in the mid 60s, skies were as blue as all get out, that fall smell was in the air, leaves on surrounding trees were vibrant in the warm palette. There was nothing remotely bad about the day.

So, I was just sitting there. Enjoying it all. When, in the opposite lane, I saw a glimpse of stainless steel. Could it be? Really? Stainless steel? Yep. There it was, driving past me. The confirming DMC on the front grill. I gasped or ooh-ed or something I’m sure of it. And I turned my head to follow it as far as I could swivel, trying to take it all in.

“Sweet,” definitely came from my lips.

It was a DeLorean. A DeLorean! You know, the car from the movie, Back To The Future? With Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly? Who goes back in a DeLorean time machine and has to get his parents to meet so he can be born? The DeLorean with the flux capacitor? And the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity needed to start it in 1955? The one with, “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads,” DeLorean? I happen to love DeLoreans. And, that movie.

I hope I never look that old when I get in and out of my DeLorean...

All that shiny, stainless steel. The clean lines of an Italian designed car. The gull-wing doors. It has gull-winged doors! Ooh, how I would love a car with those. You could squeeze into a parking spot with only a foot of clearance and get out with more room than you could with a “normal” door. And, I’d love to hear ‘psshhh’ every time I opened my door. Like I had been vacuum-sealed inside. Gosh, I hope that isn’t just a movie sound effect…

So, I’m still sitting at the forever light, windows half down, warm breeze blowing in, my mind buzzing about the DeLorean. Thinking back to how when I was a kid, the neighbor through the woods on the street way behind ours had one. Must have been brand new. It was the early 80s. The only time they were production made (totally brand new that is...they still make 'em!). I’d ride my bike over there often trying to catch glimpses of the car. I was mesmerized by it. Sure beat the giant “wood” paneled, gargantuan, behemoth of a station wagon we had in our driveway. Then, the movie came out in 1985…those were the days.

My dvd with sticker goop still on the cover. I'll have to scrape that off.

In my head I’m thinking how I can’t wait to tell Five Eleven about my spotting when I get home or even tweet about it. I’m honestly excited by it. Made my good day even better. But then, as I finally get the green arrow and the traffic beside me gets to go straight through, someone (in a non-descript, plain ol’ car) yells at me just as they are past me...


Really? Faggot? Directed at me? What? You wait until you are past me to call me that? Coward. Seriously still? Faggot? I’m blown away. Hurt actually. I guess coming out later in life and living in a progressive area, I was never exposed to such a derogatory remark. At least to my face (well, even this wasn’t that).

So, as I was waiting at the signal, thinking only good thoughts about one of my dream cars and playing movie quotes in my head, someone was behind me, focusing their energy on my rainbow peace sign, supportive gay marriage bumper sticker (which did pass and we do have legally in this state. Get over it), and thinking negative things. Really?

Obviously, they didn't read this one...

Were these what prompted the 'Faggot' slur?
Life is so short. And, as I know, your life and things you can do, can change in a moment. Why not focus on positives and world peace and treating all people nicely? You know, that fluffy bunny, happy rainbow stuff that I’m all about? Gosh, if only we could go back to the future and change things and perceptions. But, what would we use as a time machine?


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It’s All Fun & Games Until Someone Eats a Caterpillar

There is nothing quite like having your own garden. With only the initial cost of some seeds or a few 6-packs of plants and some TLC, you have an abundance of almost free food. Unfortunately, for our short growing season and really wet summer, it seems like everything ripened and was ready at once.

That’s not always a bad thing. Veggies are good for us after all. It just means having tomato sandwiches, Swiss chard patties, green smoothies and steamed veggies day after day. Meal after meal. I’m lucky that one of my favorites, steamed broccoli with cheese sauce on it was readily available.

How much more fresh of a meal can you get than throwing on a pot of salted water with a steamer basket in it, going outside your side door and cutting a few chunks of broccoli off a plant, rinsing it off, cooking it and plating it? Maybe ten minutes to Voila!

Seems like an ideal dinner or lunch, huh? Green. Healthy. Cancer-fighting properties in the cruciferous broccoli. I had this many, many times until I had gone back to the stove once for a second helping and noticed a special addition to the steamer basket. Let me present you with Exhibit A. Or, maybe I should call it Exhibit C for caterpillar.

Exhibit C for Caterpillar. Or, P for Extra protein.

Yea, that’s right. Ca-ter-pil-lar. I was just as ewwed out as you probably are right now thinking about it. But, I was there seeing it. Live. In the flesh. Well, it wasn’t live. It was steamed. But it was there. Plump as all get out. In front of me.

“Hmm…a steamed caterpillar? That’s gross,” I thought. And then, it hit me. How many caterpillars had stayed intertwined in the web of that dense greenery? And, if so, how many had I eaten?

These buggers ended up on my tomato plants when they ran out of broccoli and cauliflower to eat.

My stomach instantly flipped. Thank goodness I have no gag reflex, or there could have been a mess. I know that most of the world willingly eats insects and I know they are high in protein. They eat them on Survivor and provide sustenance in wilderness situations, as my guy, Bear Grylls does.

This one ended up in my veggie crisper drawer. Too many bugs in my kitchen for my taste.
This website offers all sorts of information on eating bugs if you want to try eating them.

Now, I’ll admit that I’ve often considered catching, roasting and then chocolate dipping June bugs but I just haven’t caught enough to bother. (They are supposed to be a delicacy and I haven’t had them once since living in New England). But, there is something different about a crunchy, toasted morsel vs a squishy ol’ worm sack to try to intentionally eat.

Okay, so I actually tried these. Pretty tasty if I do say so myself...It's that crispy vs squishy thing. Wanna try?

It mostly comes down to texture. And legs. All those little legs…so not appetizing in my book (I heard you pull off the June bug legs before chocolate dipping). Those legs are what I noticed one evening on Five Eleven’s plate. We had finished a candlelight dinner of grilled steak, seasoned French fries, fresh garden tomato slices and steamed broccoli, also directly out of the garden. Five Eleven had left several fries on her plate next to her bone and that’s when I saw it as I began clearing the table. I saw the legs. I nonchalantly reached down to grab that little critter off her place while she was still seated at the table.

“What was that?” she asked.

“Nothing,” I replied while holding the soft, little tube sack in my hand.

“Was that a bug?” She knew my steamer story.

“Gosh, no. I wouldn’t serve you those.”

And, yet, I did. It must have clung to the broccoli just until it got to her plate and fell off and camouflaged itself against the French fries. Thank goodness they were crinkle-cut fries or she may have spotted it sooner. And, instantly hurled. Seriously. She would have. And, that would have been a romantical evening killer. It’s all fun and games until somebody eats a caterpillar.