Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Blah-Blah-Blahg: Food For Nought

Across The U.S. In 5 Days
Day 1: 3 Hours of Sleep With a Will To Drive
man-made wire palms just north of Las Vegas

Utah is gorgeous - the Mormons are onto something here. One minute it was 90 degrees and in 5 more, the temperature dropped 25 degrees and my MINI was being pelted with heavenly rain as I lead-footed my way through an ethereal combo of lonely Joshua Trees, red mountains, and wooded hills.

Lightbulb: Your glove compartment may very well double as a cooler when the A.C. is on - try it

BTW: My suspicions are confirmed - Las Vegas is a portrait of modern decay. Sin City suppposedly exemplifies the ethos of the 21st century, whereas New York City was it's 20th century analog (at least that's what my friend, and map maven, Madeline reads and says).

Day 2: "Ladies Day"
This is the sharp drill bit that got lodged in my tire and gave me a flat (right after we passed through 200 miles of no-service nothingness - first piece of luck)
This is the cheapest Kombucha I've ever purchased at the health food store serendipitously located across from the tire place where burly men fixed my flat (second piece of good luck - not the burlies but the beverage)
This is the glee I felt when I asked what the damage for the tire was and the burly man smiled and said "It's ladies day!" (third piece of luck)
BTW: Coloradoans (is that what we call them?) are the worst tailgaters on Earth or at least in the western half of the U.S. Also, I missed the 5.4 earthquake back at home in L.A.

Day 3: A Visit To Newton, Iowa - my friend's mom's hometown and prior home of Maytag Factories

Where we lunched and what we ate - a favorite old-timey place of my friend Madeline's family

To ensure indigestion, we visited City Hall and witnessed vehement citizens lamenting the loss of healthcare benefits after their jobs were outsourced

I saw some biggies today: enormous, reeking pigs on the side of the road that sort of looked like black seals on their sides, wind turbine blades on a big rig, the largest wheels I've ever seen - also on a big rig

Plus, I got my first bug bite today - yes, I am in the midwest

BTW: There are insane numbers of semis on I-80 through Nebraska and Iowa. One may try to run you into the median if the driver is on pills, fatigued, not at all aware of his blind spot, and/or if he sees you in my MINI Cooper - good times.

Day 4: My Extreme Distaste For Buffalo or Why I am Grateful For Manifest Destiny

This morning, some hardcore bikers called my car a roller skate in the most endearing way possible. Men in bandanas are cool.

At a supermarket in South Bend, Indiana a very proud employee explained to me his exotic understanding of Kombucha yeast. He was so very proud of himself and his eager-to-please rolly-pollyness and midwest chattiness made me deliriously happy.

Had a beautful picnic lunch today - Lake Eerie gave us breeze and Ohio cumulus clouds provided the entertainment.

I-90 in Pennsylvania runs parallel to part of the route for the Underground Railroad. I got shivers thinking about all the travelers who have passed through these parts before me.

We've whizzed through 13 states! After interacting with some extremely rude New Yorkers and jonesin' to turn right at a red light, I have decided that Buffalo, New York is the ring of repugnance. In upstate New York, I had the displeasure of speaking with and being gawked at by more hicks than I ever saw in the midwest or even in the south on previous trips. Plus, it took us an hour and seven tries to find a decent place to sleep.

Toll roads are weird, but the sweet medicinal smell of an east coast evening has greatly decreased the post-turnpike tightness in my neck and shoulders (so has watching So You Think You Can Dance in the motel room).

BTW: Instead of just listening to our plethora of CD mixes and local NPR stations, we mixed it up by listening to part of an 8-CD audio book called You The Owners Manual. Awesome!!! I learned that poop floats when you've eaten too much fat - turns out fat is rather buoyant.

Day 5: Beantown
Charlotte and Hobbes are my new roommates. We are three very lucky residents of Beaver Pond - actually outside Boston proper.

I discovered a deer tick stubbornly embedded in the flesh above my knee. 5 minutes later I noticed a rash or welt (let's call it a relt) in a neighboring area. I hope I don't have poison oak or poison ivy. Long walks to farms and historic estates are lovely, but living in the country is going to give me a MASS-ive heart attack (get it, MASS - achusetts?). I think I'm just being a hypochondriac. Next Christmas, I'm going to purchase my own personal bubble - just in case.

You can't quite see the pond I live on, but check out the prayer flags.This is what I wake up to every morning.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Poetry For The American Road Tripper

even the darkness
cannot eat away the light
of a tiny match

by Vivian Shibata

*this haiku was on the label of a great bottled tea. Whole Foods had a sale ...and I get inspired while drinking and driving in Utah.
Fortune cookies have got to step up their game

Living in America

'Living in America,'
the intelligent people at Harvard say,
'is the price you pay for living in New England.'

Californians think
living in America is a reward
for managing not to live anywhere else.

The rest of the country?
Could it be sagging between two poles,
tastelessly decorated, dangerously overweight?

No. Look closely.
Under cover of light and noise
both shores are hurrying towards each other.

San Francisco
is already half way to Omaha.
Boston is nervously losing its way in Detroit.

Desperately the inhabitants
hope to be saved in the middle.
Pray to the mountains and deserts to keep them apart.

by Anne Stevenson from Anne Stevenson: Selected Poems

*eerily apt in light of my trip across the country and move to Boston

Road Trip 'Rito's

Serves one on the run

INGREDIENTS (to make your road trip or picnic easy, all ingredients except the romesco sauce are packaged and available at your local Trader Joe's):
1 Ezekial sprouted grain tortilla
1/2 of a chopped Italian Tofurkey link
a smattering of organic hummus
a sprinkle of steamed black lentils (found in the refrigerated section)
a dollop of romesco sauce (see recipe from the week of 6/01-6/08 on Everyone)
a handful of organic spinach

Place all ingredients in the Ezekial tortilla and roll it up.

*Avocados would also be a nice addition.

*Amounts aren't exact because most people don't carry measuring instruments while road trippin' - feel free to play with the ingredients. I ate these while on tour with my dance troupe and while on the way to Boston - so satisfying and easy! Often it's very difficult to get your greens and your protein while traveling - problem solved! Taste - check, nutrition - check, simplicity - double check.

assembled by Cristina Paul