Cafe Hitch-hike


Where food tastes good

I still haven't been to my hometown since Thanksgiving. I was thinking about my nieces & nephews... They are still in grades K-4 and they do special things at the end of the day of V-Day like a party and pass out cards, and eat cupcakes. Valentine's Day really seems to be for kids and I guess it would've been nice to spend a little time with those little weasels.

The hometown. I miss it, vaguely. A funny thing I noticed is that the food tastes different in the Detroit area than what it does over there. The ice cream and baked goods are so much more flavorful. I figured it out. We always took trips to farms as kids... That side of the state has all the food production going on. The Dutchie's stores on that side of the state carry Arnie's Bakery products... My god, my mind goes in a scramble thinking about their Scandanavian tortes... black forest tortes... It is like the heroin of sugar... Ah... blissful drops of sugar on my tongue... Talk about a prosaic buzz from the gods of confectionary. (Eyes roll back... lay back in a daze with a smile).

I had a short-lived job at Arnie's Bakery working with a bunch of old but nice ladies. One day one of the cake decorators "accidentally" messed up the words on a Black Forest torte and another just so happened to brew up some gourmet coffee. It happened the day the supervisor was out. We were a giddy bunch that day!

The ice cream is so tasty and creamy over there, too. This store-bought shit from Kroger's and Farmer Jack's just isn't the same. I've been sticking to Hagen-Daze which is ok, but I miss just being able to randomly pull a box of ice cream out of the store freezer and be assured it will be good.

So, if there is any reason for me to go back to that side of the state any time soon, it's to eat the food.


Our guv'na Granholm wants to build what she coins "cool cities" in this state 'cause all of the young blood is leaving in droves. When I think about it, most of my friends from my Rust Belt State have left. Hell, I really-really-really-really-really wanted to leave Michigan, too, but time won't let me. Fate hasn't allowed it.

I was reading that my hometown is an up & coming cool city and I nearly choked. You mean that prejudiced, Bible-thumping place? You mean that place that believes God only lets a chosen few into heaven? That place that thinks brown hair is a sign of racial impurity?

Treebuilt accepted a job not at the same college where I interviewed, but in the same city. When I interviewed, the dean of the college told me, "so you're from that area of the state? Oh, my, it's up and coming with so much life. This place has had the same population growth at 0% for the past 25 years." In other words, I must be smoking crack if I chose that place over my hometown.

I still can't get over how much bitterness and pain I feel when I think about the hometown. Life had gotten so much better after I left, tenfold. Other people talk about that hometown like it's just so cool. Maybe it's just the new generation of the local conglomerate spewing out that PR (as the first generation got old, retired, and allowed their kids to take over). However, I had such a different experience of it... it just boggles me.

Well, it occured to me last year that I found the things I loved in that very same place that I hate. As I've heard, without a wrong, there is not a right, without a good, there is no bad. That segregrated, isolationist town just so happened to spawn little (tallish) ol' (youngish) weird (yes) me, who just so happens to love a variety of things.

I say I hate it because that was where so many fucked-up things that happened there, but so many things that I think are beautiful like the forests, lakes, farms, and antique houses... It's still so strange for me to grasp.


On a less serious note (I guess), here is a Friday Five:

1. Are you superstitious? I'd say mildly... I really pay attention to overall patterns of events and things going on in my life. I suppose that's not superstition but paying attention.

2. What extremes have you heard of someone going to in the name of superstition? My friend's mother spotted some broken eggs on their front porch, and she freaked out and wouldn't let anyone leave the house for the whole day. On the flip side, a Black woman I knew was having trouble with a co-worker who was constantly taking her things and the boss just told her to "handle it". One night, the woman cleaned the bone of a chicken leg, tied it on a string, and put it by her stuff. Her stuff never was taken without her permission again.

3. Believer or not, what's your favorite superstition? I'd say the Lunar Cycle and that people act crazy when the moon is full.

4. Do you believe in luck? If yes, do you have a lucky number/article of clothing/ritual? Luck? I avoid walking under ladders whenever I can. My old Jewish roommate also warned me to never leave a hat on the bed.

5. Do you believe in astrology? Why or why not? Yes, I do believe in astrology. If the gravitational pull of the moon can affect the waves of the ocean, then maybe the movement of planets can affect the energy within and around people.(Sound effect: Twilight Zone)

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