Friday, August 22, 2008

No Bed of Roses

I have been meaning to write about the charms of living in an idyllic rural setting that I've been discovering recently. One of the things I've enjoyed most is becoming a bit of a locavore.

I buy potatoes at a local flea market and stop for corn at farms along the way home. My lovely neighbours are constantly bringing me locally grown produce to try. Hardly a day goes by that I step out the door without finding a sun-warmed peach, or fresh tomato or cucumber waiting for me on the hood of my car. It's like being visited by the food fairies. And all of it tastes much better than what I find at the grocery store.

But lately something has happened that made me never want to eat anything within a 100 km radius -or any radius really- ever again.

You know that smell you frantically roll your windows up against when you're driving through the country? That pungent aroma of manure and some kind of nostril poisoning chemicals combined that comes wafting across the fields while you crank the air conditioning and try to forget you ever smelled it? Well, for the past week or so, I have been trapped inside that smell. And I do not have air conditioning.

Anyway, besides giving me a constant headache and making me faintly nauseous 24/7, this stench monster has thrown a bit of a wrench in my whole gung-ho attitude about eating locally to benefit the environment etc.

If, as I suspect, local farmers are spreading more than manure, or even if it is just manure, how environmentally friendly is that really? I find it kind of disturbing that our food is grown out of something that smells like toxic waste.

This might be worth looking into.

Also worth looking into; breathing through my mouth.

Friday, August 8, 2008

What's the big secret?

The other night as my downstairs neighbours plied me with food, as is thier very kind habit, I mentioned that I had dropped off my boyfriend at the train that morning. They asked about where he lives and when I told them, he lives about 6 hours from here they wanted to know how we met.

I explained that the first time I noticed him was at a theatre opening where I told my friends, "I want that guy to come over here and talk to me." He didn't. However, the next day when I was out for a walk, I kept thinking about bumping into him. Sure enough, he came rollerblading towards me and I flashed him a big grin as he went by.
He doesn't remember this or seeing me at the first party but the NEXT night we were introduced through mutual aquaintences at another party.

I somehow managed to make a good impression on him despite being disproportionately tipsy after about half a drink due to it being my first after about five months on blood thinners. Fortunately I didn't do anything too embarrassing besides giggling hard enough to fall out of my seat and finishing another guy's sentence "Hey, why don't we all go back to my place and play some...." by yelling "VIDEOGAMES????!!!" a tad too excitedly. Turns out he was going to say music. Whatever, he seemed like that kind of nerdster. Not my fault. Plus I NEVER get to play videogames.


After I explained that "No, no really, I'm FiNE. It's just the drugs." and then explained that by drugs I meant blood thinners and THEN assured my future boyfriend that he had not, in fact, killed me by giving me a drink, we got along famously. And once he was convinced that I really wasn't a 15 year old who made up some elaborate story to cover up the fact that I'd actually never had a drink in my life, we started dating.

What impressed my neighbour about our meeting was the number of times I would visualize running into him and then it would happen, and the fact that it was like I simply made up my mind that we would date, and then it happened.
I've told my boyfriend about this since, and he's convinced that I'm a witch, which is why he now refuses to play Yahtzee with me. Apparently "games of chance are no fun when you're playing against a witch." What a baby.

My neighbour found this all really interesting and told me I should watch a video her friend had loaned her. I had to bite my tongue when I saw what it was. "The Secret." Seriously? But I figured I should try to be open-minded. Besides, I don't have cable and know every word of every DVD I own by heart.

I finally got around to watching it this afternoon. It was pretty lame for the most part. Lots of horrific re-enactments and people who seemed slightly too smug, crazy or irritating to be credible. There was also a big focus on becoming wealthy or obtaining your dreams (I.e. a bike, necklace, mansion or sportscar), which made me feel a little ill. Also, a weird, hypnotic voice encouraging viewers to relax because "It's not your job to change the world." Which I disagree with, like, a LOT.

So overall it was about as lame as I expected, but I did like some of the suggestions. I don't think it can hurt anyone to take a minute every day to think about and write down what you're grateful for, and I have no doubt that positive visualization can go a long way towards helping achieve your goals. Although clearly it's not always that simple. According to the theory of the secret, as I understand it, starving children simply don't WANT food enough. Um, no.

So maybe I will just stick with my original plan and find myself a wish-granting, sand fairy.

You can all come over when I receive my sportscar and mansion...where I will play VIDEOGAMES!!!!