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A Pinkbottom by Any other Name

Thursday, November 15, 2007



Finding ourselves in Columbus in Easton Town Center, our favorite chi-chi shopping complex, which has a Smith and Hawken, an Origins, a brand new Coldwater Creek, and an Apple store, we strolled along with the kids in search of a good dinner. It’s so refreshing to live in Ohio, and still be able to go to a McCormick and Schmick’s and order dazzlingly fresh seafood, ooh ooh ooh. Every once in awhile country needs to go to city.

Poor BOTB had worked himself up into an absolute lather wanting a new i-Phone. I’ll give him loads of credit here: he waited until the battery died on his current phone, and even more cagily, he waited until Apple dropped the iPhone price something like $200 (enraging people who’d stood in line to get the full-priced version, and forcing the company to issue rebates, arf arf.) While he was at the Apple store, with the kids happily plugged in to the Internet on display computers, and finding out from a very apologetic salesperson that they had just that very day run out of i-Phones!, I slipped off to find a groovy outfit for my show opening at the end of the month. I walked into Coldwater Creek, and knew I’d leave with that outfit.

Poor Bill. He consoled himself with a flash drive and a laser remote for Keynote programs, and got directions to the Apple store in Albuquerque, which still had plenty of iPhones, and where we’d be the next day. We went into a Limited Too and pimped our daughter’s wardrobe. How cute does Phoebe look in a chocolate-brown faux-fur lined hoodie and pencil legged jeans? Very cute. This isn’t the exact hoodie, but you get the idea. Is it any wonder that I hate school pictures, when the stars occasionally align and I get pictures like these? Why should I pay $20 for multiple copies of a picture of my kid, smiling like someone’s poking her with a pencil against a mottled gray backdrop (or worse, posing against a fake tree), when I’ve got a computer full of these?

I finally staggered out of the Coldwater Creek, feeling lighter of wallet and relieved to have found my gala outfit, and we headed for dinner. We had to pass a Victoria’s Secret store on the way. I’m pretty sure that anyone who isn’t a leggy, busty, 6’ supermodel will understand when I say that those stores make me grit my teeth. First, shocking pink isn’t very restful to the eye. Second, who needs 15-foot tall models with about a foot of cleavage and bellies like boards leering down at them when they’re just trying to walk down a sidewalk?

“You’re a troll, and you were born a troll, and I am of a superior race, destined only to be desired,” they seem to say, from behind false eyelashes and lipstick-pasted mouths. Blaaaaa. I guess I’m just not woman enough to want to stuff my aging body into a twenty-pound rhinestone-studded underwire pushup bra and ouchy thong, because I know that the result would be simply laughable; a troll in fancy doo-dads. So I drop my head, growl audibly, and tromp past, while Liam and Phoebe’s little necks swivel in awe. I don’t want to know what Bill’s doing with his neck.
But one Victoria’s Secret promotion caught my eye, and made me laugh out loud at its cheekiness. See the lead photo in this post. Lacking a camera, I begged BOTB to photograph it with his cell phone. It spoke to the naturalist in me. I know about pink bottoms.
Pink bottoms are the wild mushroom that I will fall to my knees to harvest wherever I find them. In wet years, they come up in our lawn, often in a “fairy ring” of delight. I found my only batch this year in town though, coming up on a humble median strip behind a senior center parking lot. No matter. Pinkbottoms are heaven wherever they grow. Truth be told, they’re the same species as the little white buttons we buy in Styrofoam coffins in the grocery store—simply meadow mushrooms, Agaricus campestris. Being fresh and wild, though, they’re ever so much tastier. They get their name from their pink gills, which turn chocolate brown as the mushroom matures. I sautéed these up and added them to spaghetti sauce, spiked with my own fresh pesto, even though Chet told me he didn’t think they were good to eat. Now, that’s the kind of pink bottom I lust after.

Posting this from Socorro, New Mexico, where it's in the 60's and blindingly sunny, so warm that most of the sandhill cranes have neglected to push south to Bosque del Apache. But there are hawks and eagles, falcons and pipits, snow geese, roadrunners, lizards and coyotes, and we're leading field trips...today, I went from 4:30 AM until 1 PM without a break, got myself all dehydrated and am turning in early tonight. Kids are mostly angelic, hanging in there on the field trips, and I haven't seen much of Bill at all...it's festival mode. I'll try to get a Bosque post in on Monday, when we can finally slow down and take in the incredible, changeable beauty of New Mexico.

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