Since I don't have many blogging buddies yet, I figured that I'd send myself one of those annoying memes you can't help but read and then afterwards calculate roughly how much time you wasted that could have been used toward doing something productive, like saving the world. Since you aren't likely going to save the world in five minutes or less, you may as well read the damn meme. So sit back, relax, stop taking yourself so seriously, and enjoy my self-composed, not to mention utterly self-centered, meme. (As if blogging weren't the height of narcissism, I have to take it that one step farther.)
Introducing my Summertime Meme.
Favorite cold drink: That would have to be the perfect iced tea, which would have lots of ice, a lemon wedge, and must not be too bitter. As bourgeois as this sounds, there's not a lot than annoys me more than ordering iced tea at a restaurant and getting lukewarm, Lipton-y swill with a half a wussy 'cube floating in it. Pah. Mop water.
Favorite (locally grown) summer fruit: Tied between watermelon and blackberries. Has anyone tried the Michigan pawpaw? They're apparently a rare delicacy, but they taste like a cross between mango and banana custard. Or am I confusing this with the durian, another near-mythic fruit? In any case, pawpaws - how can you not love that name? - are supposed to be dee-lish but I haven't tried one yet. Imagine, a tropical-esque fruit from around these parts.
Favorite summer vegetable: Again a tie, this time between broccoli and eggplant. If there's something vegan with eggplant on the menu at a restaurant, even if the rest of it sounds like caca, I have to have it. That's how much I love eggplant.
Least favorite (locally grown) summer fruit: I'm so wishy-washy with these ties, I know, but this time I'm at least spicing it up as a three way (every frat boy reading this, yes, all four million, just got a mini-hard on with the word three way) tie: the Evil Melon Duo, cantaloupe and honeydew, which, really, I am lucky that I'm not dry heaving as I write their loathsome names. It's sad because they're cute names wasted on Melons of Nastiness. (Speaking of, guess who got a, like, fifty-pound cantaloupe in her CSA box this week? I'd just as soon eat a jackalope. John and my son better just make short work of it; I don't want that thing for days on end making my fridge all cantaloupe-y with it's stink-lines emanating.) The third would be the strawberry, sour and sandy to me, but really not worthy of sharing space with The Melons because at least it's tolerable as jam. I am still giving the strawberry the sideways glance, though.
Least favorite summer vegetable: That would have to stand alone: the watery, bland, disturbingly stringy when ill-cooked (and it nearly always is) bottom-feeder known as the summer squash, also known as yellow squash. I think that the flavor - or lack thereof - gets to me, but what really irks me is that you know when you have to go out to dinner once a year with all those family members who get on your nerves for someone's birthday or some such and you're just eye-balling your nearest clock whenever possible (that is, when you're not rolling your eyes at something stupid someone said) and there's no way in hell that these people you're dining with would ever be cool enough to pick a restaurant that had a semi-decent selection for a vegan family so you have to make do with whatever you can cobble together on the menu because you're already known as the Family Troublemaker and you don't want to make veganism look that challenging? Of course you know what I'm talking about. Anyway, these restaurants will always make some pasta with marinara and a side of limp-ass, boiled-to-death vegetables. And when they do, I guarantee it, summer squash will be the sickly star of the show. You'll shovel it in anyway just to not have to converse with these people. So summer squash is perhaps unfairly tied in with family issues, but, still, it's ick.
Favorite summer in memory: Probably that summer I met John, 1993. He was in between careers and freshly divorced and we just had so much fun. The most fun? Seeing the deliciously disgusting Vaginal Cream (Creme?) Davis at the Czar Bar on Division. A bacchanalian good time had by all! I also had a blast the first summer I drove off with this male librarian who wore skirts named Owl to the Rainbow Gathering. I was nineteen and amoral, which I found to be a fruitful combination.
Favorite childhood summer tradition: chasing fireflies every night with my neighborhood peeps. Summer was spent outdoors playing nonstop with occasional meal breaks. I wonder what sort of memories of summer our over-scheduled children will have.
Favorite contemporary summer tradition: chasing fireflies every night with my son.
Song that most reminds you of summer: There are two that really mean summer to me: Saturday In The Park by Chicago (I can't help it, that was popular when I was a kid) and anything from Bob Marley's oeuvre, except Redemption Song, which is certainly a late autumn song. (Also, that Turkey in the Straw song that plays on all the local ice cream trucks, all warped and lovely.) [John and I have a tradition each spring of remarking on the first ice cream truck sighting of the season. Also, the spookiest of the season, like when the hand-painted. dented-to-hell indies - cool kids to the Good Humor goody-two-shoes trucks - can be seen driving very slowly, or very, very quickly, down a side street in the middle of the night, the tinny recording playing all innocent-like.]
Favorite "thing" about summer: the feeling of freedom; being able to ride my bike all the time; not having to run from place to place to avoid freezing my buns off; no more layers; the sound of crickets and, yes, even locusts; the return of my garden; all that great, in season produce; seeing my son bike and splash and gallop about outdoors.
Least favorite "thing" about summer: mosquitoes and excessive heat. I'm a goth girl at heart and I have to protect my ghostly pallor.
And that's it!