Friday, June 19, 2009

Fairs, Food and Fun

We're having a wonderful time in the family just now.  My father and step-mother are in town, visiting for a few days.  It's always so nice to reconnect with them, and spend time together.  Today, I took a day off from work, and the whole family went to the local County Fair.

For the children, the Fair is about rides.  Rides and ice cream.  Rides and ice cream, and cotton candy.  Rides, ice cream, cotton candy and carnival games.  Silly?  Not at all.  That's what the Fair meant to me when I was a child too.  And just LOOK at their faces.  They're living the moment, and loving every second of it.

Of course, I'm not too grown up to enjoy the rides a bit myself.  Here's most of us (that's me, in the goofy hat), enjoying a relatively slow cruise around in circles.  Our son is in my lap, and the girls are on the horses behind us.

The girls entered the daily art contest, and took home blue ribbons.  Those blue ribbons mean so much to them.  I still remember the blue ribbon I won in a school science fair in first grade.  I'm pretty sure the girls will never forget these ribbons either.

After the rides, the family walked the large animal barns, admiring the cows, sheep, pigs and other beasties.  We were nearly done when we discovered that our new kittens had a pair of...uhm...cousins?  Thor and Loki.  What?  Someone else thought to use these names for their pets?  We're not original?  Shocking.  These two are cute, but I don't think I'd want to try to pick one up and pet it.

The Fair also taught me a little bit about subjective beauty today, too.  There was a contest underway.  One of many at the Fair of course.  This one was an opportunity for young birdsmen (and birdwomen) to show off their prize roosters.  The air was filled with crowing.  Enough to convince me that, despite what I was seeing, and despite my rather ignorant and simplistic notions of farm life, these were, in fact, roosters.  That's what the signs said, anyway.

But I ask you.  Is THIS a rooster?

Or this?

Or this scraggly "bird"?

"No," I say.  Birds, yes.  But more like show poodles than proper working dogs.  Er, birds.

Then we rounded the end of the pens and there, right at the end of the next row, was a ROOSTER.

THAT's what I'm talking about.

Now for the irony.  And the part where I admit that my notions of proper rooster-farianism are only that...mine.  On this proud papa poultry's cage was a small tag, identifying the impressive bird.  Along with the bird's name and that of it's owner, was a description of its breed.  "Not a standard breed."  Sigh.

So when you think of your local Fair, what do you think of?  Animals, sure.  Contests for biggest pumpkin and least proper rooster, sure.  But, admit it.  The true Fair icon is Fair Food.

A good friend of mine recently described it this way: "The foods of the gods...diabetic, morbidly obese, toothless gods...but nonetheless gods."  Here's one of my favorite examples.  Favorite, as in, makes my teeth itch when I think about it.

But, there's a new iconic food in town this year.  Here it is.  The King crispy creation.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

From the point of view of my health, today was about what I didn't eat.  I didn't eat anything deep fried.  I didn't eat anything dipped in chocolate.  I didn't eat anything deep fried, and THEN dipped in chocolate.

This morning my father and I went for a long, fast walk.  Today we walked a LONG way, back and forth across the fairgrounds.  This morning I hit a new low at my weekly weigh-in.

It was a good day.

Food log:

Breakfast: oatmeal, with dried cranberries, assorted stone fruits, chopped cashews and a little brown sugar.

Lunch: the insides of the a Rubio's HealthMex burrito, and a diet coke

Snacks: a little of my son's chocolate ice cream cone (the nearest I came to Fair Food).

Dinner: a sandwich made from leftover salmon, a little mayo and sour cream to hold it together, lettuce and mustard on whole grain bread.  Two apples.  Another diet soda.  OK, not such a good day for my caffeine intake, but MAN was I tired by dinner time.


  1. I am so glad the mini heart attack was resolved quickly. That could have been awful.

    The last rooster picture is what ours is SUPPOSED to look like, thus my frustration with our birds.

    Congrats on your weigh in. You must be estatic!!

    Hope your visit with Bill and Karen is great. We had a lovely visit on Monday.

  2. Hi Julia,

    We are, indeed, having a very nice visit. Today we recovered from the fair, napping, hanging out, chatting, playing Bananagrams. Tomorrow is another big one, though, so the rest will set us up nicely.

    I didn't see a competition class for "bare butt roosters," but there was probably a band of that name performing yesterday. :-)

    The weigh-in was a great moment for me. I'm SO close to breaking through below 220lbs. Can't wait to see those smaller digits on the scale.

    And thanks for the thoughts on our "missing child" moment. We're almost done hugging him tight whenever we see him around the house. I learned today that, when my wife and step-mother finally found him, he was walking with a purpose, back toward us, with a very focused look on his face. A little man on a mission. He didn't start crying until he was in Mom's arms, and then it was mostly relief. He told me today that he tried to tell someone he was lost, but they just kept walking (probably didn't hear his little voice). I'm very proud of him, but would much rather have never had the occasion for him to show us how strong he is.


  3. You? Not original, with Loki and Thor? It is always such a surprise when we find out that "GMTA" (Great Minds Think Alike.) Take "Fair Food" for example... we thought that our recent sheep-shearing banter was totally original, and that the son of the sheep-farm owners we visited (who did most of the talking in this video) had invented something horribly new and original for the Del Mar Fair... but I've been told after making this video:

    that this idea has been around before. Oh well, your cookie-chicken sandwich sounds just as horrifying. But that's what we go to the fair for anyway :-)

    And a jubilant huzzah to your girls for getting blue ribbons on their bird drawings, both very nice by the way! I'm sure they'll remember the ribbons, and the day coupled with it, forever... good job dad! And happy belated Father's day!


  4. You know...I had a nightmare last night. And tonight, I'll be having another one. Coco-Bacon. The mind reels. The stomach turns.

    Thanks, Drakonis. No, really. Thanks. :-)