meanwhile, in the opposite of portland...


Speaking of Portland... I think the city is so interesting to me because it's the polar opposite of where I live. Take grocery shopping. First of all, Portland has a curiously high concentration of vegetarians and vegans. And in Portland, as you can see in the clip below, not bringing a reusable shopping bag is practically punishable by death. (And my sister assures me this is fairly accurate.)



Like I said, things are a little different here in Louisiana:

Usually when I bring a reusable bag to the grocery store, the cashier picks it up and promptly forgets about it, bagging my items in a plastic bag instead-- and odds are, they're using the "one item per bag" method. 
...

On more than one occasion, a cashier has said something like, "I remember you! You're the one with the bags!"

...

And one time after I placed my bag on the conveyor belt, the cashier tried to ring it up. I didn't notice until she had tried to scan it three times, and look at me, frustrated. "Do you remember how much this costs?"

...

Recently I was leaving the produce section, the top of my cart (where you would put a baby) filled with fruits and vegetables for the week. "Excuse me," another customer asked from behind me, "Are you a vegan?"
"No?" I answered in my usual we don't know each other so why are you talking to me tone.

"Oh. Well you have lots of vegetables in your cart, so I was just curious. I'm thinking about going vegan."

Has it come to the point, I thought to myself, that just because a person happens to have some produce in his/her cart, he/she is on extreme diet restrictions? Can't a family just like fruits and vegetables?

 ...

I have had to tell a cashier what a kiwi was so they could enter the correct code. 

...


Where are you guys on the Louisiana to Portland spectrum? Hopefully somewhere in the middle... because either end of the extreme could get annoying really fast. Believe me, I'm tired of being the Bag Lady of my local grocery store. 

tales from a small town





{Featuring semi-unrelated pictures from our fair city}

I could make my point by telling you a story about how my professor's daughter moved in next door. And how she found the house because she also happens to be great friends with my landlord.

{this was our previous next door neighbor's vehicle of choice, so let's just say we were happy to get a new neighbor}

Or I could tell you that the reason I know she is friends with our landlord is because I ran into our landlord at the grocery store and he told me.




We could discuss the fact that my favorite pasttime, yelling at annoying drivers, is dangerous when there's an 80% chance said annoying driver is a respected elder in your synagogue (trust me -- it's happened to Y).



I could tell you how I ran into my mother in law at Starbucks, have seen my father in law's car on multiple occasions, or watched another one of my professors be incredibly creepy at a bar.




But today's tale from a small town involves Craigslist, where Y decided to sell his bike. He communicated anonymously with the first prospective buyer for a day or so until he realized he knew the guy. Not just kind of knew him... the guy is in Y's class. And in this class of 120, they don't just kind of know each other... they're in the same social circle. As in, prospective buyer won our Snuggie in the Christmas white elephant party. Bet that doesn't happen on San Francisco's Craigslist.



As I began writing this post, I realized that I had written a pretty similar one almost exactly a year ago. I guess every year I get the April Small Town Blues (it's in the DSMIV. Look it up.)


Just Dandi: Part 2

My dad -- like all dads-- has a special talent for embarrassing me. And it doesn't stop at his tendency to wear t-shirts with my face on them.


He has a mental bank of one-liners, automatic responses he spits out when people say certain things to him. "So, Henry, what's your job, what do do you do for work?" someone might ask him.

"As little as possible," he will always reply. To this day, I don't have the slightest clue what my dad did at work all those years.


"Be right back, I have to go to the bathroom," someone will tell him.

"Mention my name, you'll get a good seat!" he responds without even thinking.

People laugh, but having heard these little jokes my entire life, I usually give them a good old fashioned angsty teenaged eye roll.


It was yesterday, Saturday, that I realized I have become my father.

While Y was on call and Dandy once again became Dandi, I took Ike to a cute little jazz festival at a park near our house.

While fun and cute, this little festival was not without its local idiosyncracies...


As expected, Ike was a hit (people cannot get enough of this dog, it's bizarre). Person after person complimented him, and I was never sure what to say. Thank you? It's not like I created him.

...like a beignet/prayer request booth with a side of Bibles for sale...


So I went with a joke from the mental bad joke bank.

...or a group of elementary aged cheerleaders cheering "Come and get (clap, clap) yo turkey leg! (clap clap)"

"What a beautiful dog," a passerby would say. "He prefers handsome," I would reply with an exaggerated wink.

My audience laughed. My hypothetical future teenage daughter rolled her eyes.

After five or so times I added a telling nudge. After 10 times I added an apologetic pat on Ike's head. I was on a roll. I started to understand why my dad keeps his arsenal of jokes. The only problem is once you've been reciting them for 30 or so years, you lose track of who's heard them.


The second act of my comedy routine in the park came anytime Ike walked reasonably close to a little boy. "Ike!" I would scold dramatically, sometimes adding a light smack for dramatic effect, "You had child for lunch yesterday!"

(Or pork banh mi. Same difference.)

Okay, maybe I just got the courage to say the child thing in my head. It was a good one, though, don't you think?



Day 16: Something quirky about me


I'm kind of in shock that whoever started this 30 day blog challenge apparently only had one quirky thing about them, hence the topic "something quirky about me". I don't understand what that's like. A few friends told me this recently, and at first it kind of hurt my feelings but I guess I just have to embrace it: I am and always will be quirky.

I mean, the mere fact that I spend some of my free time writing in a blog rather than watching reality TV like everyone else I know is quirky in and of itself.


So instead of listing all the quirky things about myself (unless you really want to hear about my irrational fear of balloons), I'll show you some pictures from our quirky Saturday morning spent at a craft fair and taking Ike for a walk [through our incredibly under-appreciated] downtown. I purchased a mustache on a stick. A quirky time was had by all.















@geauxsicles



I can't believe I forgot to tell you guys this. The other day I was just hanging out on the curb, eating a popsicle, minding my own business, when someone recognized Y and me as those people with the white dog who wears glasses on a blog.



By my calculations, the odds of that happening are slim to none.


Okay, fine, that may not be exactly how it happened. I may have driven by the gourmet popsicle store a month before it opened, noticed its unique idea and cool font, and gotten excited. Blame it on my advertising background, but I get excited when businesses put effort into their identity. Especially in this city, where you are likely to see a tattoo parlor with a comic sans logo.


Anyway, I
may have googled the gourmet popsicle place, Geauxsicles, as soon as I got home. And I may have added them on both facebook and twitter. And then I may have tweeted about them several times. And they may have tweeted me back. We basically knew each other.

So when I went in for my first taste of gourmet popsicle goodness, I probably should not have been shocked when the guy behind the counter (Hi Walter!) asked if Y and I had a white dog and assumed the alias Just Dandy. But I was shocked. I probably looked at the Geauxsicles staff as if they had just [insert the creepiest thing involving popsicles you can think of here]. Add that to the list of awkward moments I'll never get back.

But you know what? I got a popsicle out of it. And not only was it delicious, but someone put effort into every little thing that goes in to making a popsicle and selling it. And I don't know about everyone else, but I appreciate that.


{photo from the geauxsicles facebook page}


My first pop:
And next time I'll be trying...




city mouse


Have I ever mentioned that I live in Smalltown, USA?

Yesterday we were playing tennis, and as per usual Yoni hit the ball over the fence (we're really, really good). Luckily, at that exact moment, in an occurrence that I've come to realize is NOT all that odd, Yoni's high school gym teacher happened to be taking a walk along the street that runs behind the tennis court. "Hey coach!" Yoni yelled, as if this happens all the time (IT DOES), "You mind throwing me that ball?"

Yoni might be used to this, but I. can't. handle. it. I want my privacy back! I don't need Yoni's high school gym teacher (or his genetics professor, or one of his classmates, who we also happened to see at the tennis court) to know my every move. I also would like to go to Target in my pajamas every once in awhile, without fear of running into the dean of students of the med school. Oh, and I'd like to enjoy brunch at my friend's house without looking out the window and seeing my boss pass by on her morning walk.

While sometimes it's good to go where everybody knows your name and your tennis score and what you're eating for brunch and all that jazz, I think it's time for an escape.

I don't know any of those people! So refreshing!


We're going to New York and DC this summer and while you'd think it would be a chance to remain completely anonymous, last time we visited New York we parked at a New Jersey train station and struck up a conversation with the couple parked next to us... who had dinner with Yoni's little brother's fencing coach a few weeks earlier. WILL IT EVER END?!