So yeah Mom, I only shower Monday and Thursdays now, but it rained pretty hard on Wednesday and walking home from work I got soaked...I mean down to my underwear drenched so I'm thinking it counts, does my boyfriend think it counts? I don't know he's out of town.
But back to walking home, so I was on the phone with my roommate (while staying alert and aware of my surroundings and no of course it wasn't past midnight) and I passed by this large lump of a man who I had to pause and check out to make sure he was breathing. I wasn't sure if he was dead and it was one of those moments where you get to feel absolutely awful about yourself. I mean do I linger? Do I nudge him? Although very buff from my farm experience I still don't think the general public would think I could beat them up, so if this man was scary or aggressive I would be attacked and this post would be called something like "Don't wake a homeless man after midnight". I wanted to leave him the watermelon I had taken from the store (because we throw it out at the end of the night...because apparently it doesn't last in the fridge or some shit) but I didn't...It was like that Louie C.K. stand up, he talks about feeling good about himself for THINKING about giving up his first class seat to a uniformed officer whenever he flies but he never actually offers his seat. For the past few weeks I have come across situations where I could have done nice, helpful, good Samaritan things and haven't because it is inconvenient. And plagued with guilt I type this post. I mean honestly it is as simple as helping an old man walk down the stairs of the El; I think people are afraid of people I know I am, even just of smiling at someone. I mean COME ON, it is pretty decent to get smiled at, you never get shot in the face for smiling at strangers when you make awkward eye contact, and if you do well then at least the last thing on your face is a smile. But for real, it feels a lot better to get smiled at when I walk to work downtown, there is always a slew of people and getting scowled at is just unpleasant.
I used to be one of those people too, I mean ask anyone I have a turned down mouth so if I am not smiling or actively engaging my face I look pissed off, or sad. Also I never smiled at people, because oh my gosh what if they thought I was weird, or what if they said hello... disastrous!
So moral of the story, probably don't wake up a homeless man. It would also have been strange to leave him a baggie of cut watermelon, although relatively harmless so that goes in the maybe column. BUT definitely smile because if nothing else you will brighten your own day.
Oh yeah and in regards to the title of this post, I'm showering today I promise, and possibly doing laundry; but in general I do shower less I also workout less so that's a trade off. Also I don't reuse underwear but all other things can totally be used like 3 times at least, although I wouldn't recommend smelling my socks. Conserve water, and smile.
Until we meet again,
-Honey roasted tofu and swiss
Most 21 year olds would find themselves stumbling around in the dark at 4am in a drunken stupor, coming home to go to bed, this past June I found myself stumbling around trying to feed a goat...Now there is no goat. No more bitch slappin beetles, no more leggy friends in the shower, no more sweating out my eyeballs. I mean am I expected to shower now? Brush my hair? PUT ON MAKEUP? Can I not eat 500000 calories because I no longer workout for 11hrs a day? Why is there not kale growing on my porch in Rogers Park? Since when is getting off of work early getting off after 6.5 hours?
I have to starting lifting shit so I can sustain my big farm muscles, maybe I'll pick some fights on the Redline (don't worry mom I won't, I wouldn't want any thugs to lose their street cred getting beat up by a "little" blonde girl.) This morning I slept until 10am, I gotta get my life together man- laying around until 10am!?! Now it is almost 1pm and the most physical thing I have done is chew.
Returning to work at Pinkberry was weird, I now appreciate the wonderful organic fruit I picked for endless hours, and the sprayed pile of crap we serve on our yogurt is no comparison to the big juicy blueberries I got to savor out in the field. I want to throw something at the customers who complain about the pineapple being mealy WE ARE FLYING THEM FROM TIMBUKTOO SO YOU CAN TOP YOUR STUPID FAT FREE CUP OF SUGAR...I don't think that my manager would appreciate that though. Although yesterday I did have a customer come in and get a cone, and she noticed her stamp card was almost full, which means she can get a free small with toppings. She inquired if she could get a cone vs a cup, I said no because the whole free small thing causes a great deal of controversy and there are NO SUBSTITUTIONS, even though a cone is actually cheaper than a small. I said we had a waffle cookie she could put in it for the coney aspect; she nicely commented that it wasn't about the toppings it was saving the cup for you know the planet's sake. I immediately fell in love. Also I said that if she got me as a server I would make an exception, because honestly the amount of waste we produce there hurts my soul so rock on cone woman. Rock. On.
Alright, well I think I will keep my eyes and ears open for any volunteer opportunities around the city, because I think I might be into this whole environmental movement? Also coincidentally I think I can get away with not showering or putting on makeup because I'm saving water, and the environmental...that totally works, right?
Until we meet again,
- Roasted Squash and Bleu Cheese on Croissant
So spiders in my shower, bed, floor, food...yes food, I can deal with...giant centipedes crawling up my bathroom wall, and hanging out in my sink, no big deal. BUT a beetle chillin in my pants, correction: wriggling around in my UNDERWEAR, well folks that is where I draw the line. THERE IS A LINE, you cross it you die, a good rule for life too ladies.
So, the scene is bright, HOT, I mean sweltering: my eyes are swimming in a waterfall of sweat cascading from my lashes, and we are picking berries. We started our day at 5am, which means I started my day at 4am because of animal chores. Why 5? To beat the heat, and beetles who tend to be more active and ass holey when the sun comes out. We pick blueberries for about 3 hours, and move onto raspberries and as we are picking I reach out and get one that has been infested with ants, these angry ants upset that I disturbed their home take up residence on me. Great, I shake them off no problem and continue on with the picking. And then I feel a strange kind of something moving in my pants...in my underwear which honestly, to be frank when it is a billion degrees outside every inch of you is soaked in sweat so I thought maybe the sweaty underwear was just rubbing weird with the sweaty pants, also I didn't want to ahem, be indecent.
A few minutes pass and the feeling does not.
Ok, well I have already been pretty un lady like out here in the field so fuck it, I discretly pull aside the waste band of my pants and don't see anything...then I check the band of my underwear and there he is, the little devil struggling in the string of my underwear. You bastard. Didn't even take me out on a proper date, not even an offer of dinner. WHO DO THESE BEETLES THINK THEY ARE?!? What is this country coming to? Obama.
So I killed him, and as his body squished between my fingers I thanked God that this was my last day here on the farm. 9 hrs of straight picking, sweating, and beetle swearing, coupled with two hours of picking leaves off of basil and I was ready to leave...I did enjoy my time there. Really and truly, and I am sincerly grateful for the opprotunity and the woman who ran the farm, I mean she could have been an insane organic nudist farming woman, or worse a SUPER christian... but, she wasn't. Everyone was incredible, and lovely...except for those fuckin beetles, even the spiders had the decency to be in plain sight, an not try any funny buisness when I went after them with a shoe.
Well, I'll post a little reflective sandwich later, after the anger of the beetle incident has passed but until then...
-Spinach and Cheddar on Sesame
Today was the second day of 5am weeding with knives in the Aronia feild...my room mate asked me around 9am this morning if I felt alright because I looked "tired" code for you look like a sloppy piece of composted animal waste. I responded with a polite thank you, I am tired and in an attempt to conserve energy I will not be smiling for the rest of the morning...people seemed to think that was a joke. I never joke while weeding with knives.
Why weed with a knife you might ask? Because the ground is hard, clay-ey, and very VERY dry, this makes for an excellent workout if your goal is scary Madonna arms...my goal is not scary Madonna arms, but I don't think my boss would have taken that as a valid excuse to sit back and relax in the 102 degree heat.
Sarcasm aside, it wasn't all that bad; we took breaks every hour to down some water and during a stroke of genius and heat I thought of what my step dad told me to do: put a wet cloth underneath my hat to keep me cool. Now, I didn't have a cloth but I do have some absorbent hair, so I poured a good amount of water over my head and plopped back on my hat. No one else followed my lead of drench yourself with water, and I'm sure no one else felt as awesome as I did either so Na Na Na boo boo.
Today we weeded with two ladies who volunteered to help out just because they rock. And I mean like for real these women were great, they were both over 50, one was from Poland, and the other one was like a character on a sitcom that you LOVE. The second woman, Mary was really inspiring, she used to be a computer programmer and is going back to school in the Fall for public health. We were talking about why she was pursuing another degree/field/how long it would take to complete her program and she delved into why she chose to change her career and explore new opportunities. She had been getting more and more involved in the organic movement and reading up on chemical farming, and the current climate crises we have gotten ourselves into, and she said she just got to a point where she couldn't stay stagnant. She wanted to apply herself, and she was interested in public health, and food education, so why not? She said she probably won't be completely done with school until she is about 64, and then she followed that up with, "I think after that I have about 10 good years of work left." And just looking at her, and her determination I felt like she probably had 20 good work years left! Meeting someone like that is really powerful, because here I am having breakdowns about not knowing what path to pursue, or where I want to "end up" but why do I have to "end up" anywhere? I don't think I need a concrete plan or an answer to "where do you see yourself in 10 years?"
In 10 years we might not have access to clean water, how bout we focus on that since I'm 100% sure that access to clean water will be part of my 10 year plan, and it should be part of yours as well!
Maybe I won't save the world, or be a famous actress, or writer, but it is comforting to know that no matter what I choose I can choose again, and again and for the first time I kind of like that I have so many interests, it isn't overwhelming, its endless possibility.
Just an update since I think I may have been a tad cranky in the last post. It is not all bad, although beetle patrol was a little trying tonight, we do get some perks being on the farm such as: fresh eggs, fresh veggies, a nice hand tan, some great tea, an overwhelming sense of superiority over all others...to name a few.
But back to beetles....note to self- wear a hat next time even if it is not sunny out the beetles will fly into your hair, get caught, and leave you with a feeling you will never be clean again.
On a brighter note, I felt like such a beetle bad ass I got in from doing animal chores, had to shower the sense of bugs crawling on me off and encountered two giant spiders that I promptly stepped on without any funny business of screaming, squealing, or squirming.
Also my boss just brought down pesto she made from the basil we picked today...I might not forever be a farm girl, but I value my time here, and always enjoy free food!
- A happier potato wrap
It is my last week here, phew. Almost survived.
Perhaps I am not in the greatest of moods to be blogging, although I mean lets face it- using "blog" as a verb just makes me sad in general. It makes me picture a rich girl with too many shoes traveling Paris who feels like every thought she has is GOLD, or a fat hairy man in his mom's basement drinking orange pop and eating 5 day old pizza who needs to blog to maintain a connection to the outside world...I am neither of these people. I am a sweaty girl, who ate too much popcorn on a farm in Eureka, IL where the holes don't lead to Wonderland but instead lead to bruises.
Farm work is hard. I bet you are thinking to yourself, "Um DUH, are you just figuring this out you silly little 21 yr old you" but yes everyday I discover new intricacies that affirm my belief I will not be an organic farmer, and also strengthen my respect for those that do farm.
SO the other day when it was 10 gillion degrees outside and I had sweat through every fiber of clothes all the way down to my bra straps, we were going to go water the orchard. Although the farm is small, the orchard is in the back and the hose doesn't stretch, so instead we fill up a truck load of buckets and water each tree by hand. Easy enough. I grab the first bucket of water off the truck and use all of my muscles to carry said bucket of what feels like liquid bricks to a very thirsty baby plum tree. After about 2 buckets I am tired, and now my eyelids are dripping with sweat. I grab the third bucket and have to hug it because there is no handle, I waddle quickly over to the tree and as I am hurrying I don't see one of the many holes the dogs have dug and my foot falls in and CRASH, BAM, BOOM, WHOOSH goes the water and kersplat goes my face. Instead of watering the tree I have successfully watered myself, which actually took care of all the sweat and since I merely battered up my leg and didn't break my ankle I am going to call this one a win win. Later looking up at a tree while doing beetle patrol a Japanese devil got to second with me, I'm going to call that one a win lose...
Besides some insect advances, and water mishaps, oh and driving to Evanston Farmer's market at 2am when all the hooligans are driving back from the bars it has been pretty standard here in Ronald Reagan land. Tomorrow we are starting work at 5am to weed in the Aronia field with knives...yeah, before sunrise+lack of sleep+not enough coffee in the world+knife... perhaps I'll be more interesting after tomorrow, hopefully not!