Monday, September 28, 2009

things I know at age 43

* Ducks' motors are their feet. Their webbed feet. I am fairly sure I thought that there was some additional method of locomotion involved (where or what, I don't know), but a good six months of duck-watching has driven this fact home: it's the feet that move them in the water. Why did I think they had something else down there? Or nothing? I think it's because ducks are so top-heavy, so extremely over-balanced, like a huge mound of whipped cream on these little stilty bits. Didn't really seem possible that just feet were taking care of this, when it takes pretty big wings to make them fly. These funny-looking things dangling below the main duck fuselage. Feet. Birds swim with their feet.

* Arkansas is never where I feel it should be on the US map. Same with Wyoming (sometimes). And that whole east coast circle, where states are gathered into a tight knot on the coast (NJNYPAMDRI, etc.) is still very confusing to me and often seems wrong. There are magic places where I feel some states should be, which usually has to do with ranking them with other states, but that place never really exists. Geography is getting both more liquid and more firm as I age.

* The entire 1992 SWV album It's About Time (minus slow jams) is good, and not only that (who knew) actually had Pharrell and the Neptunes involved in production, which means they must have been in middle school at the time or something.

* Produce perfectionism serves no one, gets you nowhere. Let it go. As a lifelong quirky vegetable appreciator (picky eater...weirdo...whatever) I have traditionally been loathe, still--STILL--LOATHE--to go after fruits and veg the way I really want to. It's ridiculous. I would buy a pint of strawberries and the need to hull them perfectly, and in perfect time, meant that in the end I'd just pitch them cause I couldn't get it done. Forget produce perfectionism. If you don't save all your onion skins for stock--it's okay. If you can't compost (yet), because you live in a big urban box--it's okay. If you only like the tender inside stalks of celery--pitch the rest. It's fine. If you don't save your fennel fronds to chop as garni--it's okay. I am not sure where the foodie perfectionistic fervor with which I approached fruit and veg came from, but somewhere in the last year or so I realized it was nothing but trouble. Someday I will buy a rabbit and he can eat all my mistakes and wastefulness.

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