Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Not So Green

Two Saturdays ago, Danielle and I decided to go to the Food & Entertainment festival down at the Convention Center. It was advertised to have plenty of food samples and presentations by Giada, Bobby Flay, and Paula Dean. I love food, so this seemed like a no-brainer. And what also worked out nicely was the fact that Danielle was actually going to be working at the Green Festival at the exact same time, in the exact same building. Small world. However, this would also mean that I would have to go to the Green Festival.

Yes, I went to the Green Festival.

When it comes to being green, I would have to say I'm pretty much a faded shade of red (color wheel humor...gotta love it). I rarely recycle; I leave lights and my computer on often; I eat anything, regardless of how it was killed, harvested or prepared; and I send out 5 Ford vans and a diesel truck to pollute our air each and every day. But since I'm at the festival, why not check it out?

So, on Saturday afternoon, I made my way down to the Convention Center. I checked in as a guest of Danielle's company and walked into the giant hall on my way to find her. What I found was a different world. It's funny how the majority of people from different professions and backgrounds tend to look more or less the same. I go to the Pool & Spa Show every year and there's just this "look" that the majority of pool guys tend to have. If you went to Atlantic City during this time, you could definitely pick out a large portion of the attendees. Well, it seems people in the "Green" professions are in the same boat.

You've got your fair share of people with dread locks here and a spattering of wool caps with the extended part that comes over their ears and has string at the end (you know what I'm talking about). And then, don't ask me why, but I have never seen more people with long, curly, somewhat unmaintained hair, and scarves before in my life. If you care about the Earth, are you required to wear a scarf? It wasn't even all that cold on Saturday. But I digress.

After passing the Kashi stand, and the T-shirt vendor with the George Bush shirt with the words "International Terrorist" underneath his picture, I finally located Danielle and her co-workers at their booth. After a few quick words, we took off for the Food & Entertainment festival, as we figured we'd backtrack to the Green Festival since she needed to help clean up.

We get to the Food Festival, walk around trying all different dipping oils and creamy dips, cookies, chocolates, smoothies, and cheeses. And then I see it. The closed off area in the center. Yes, there is a beer, wine, and liquor portion to this festival. Why did I not figure this ahead of time?!! Almost an hour was wasted tasting all these dips, with no signs of a drink...and here it was. It was like an oasis in the middle of the Sahara (congrats to my buddy Rick, BTW, who just completed a super-race through the Sahara).

So, of course, we paid the extra money to get inside. And of course, I pretty much tried every beer, I did try every liquor, and I sampled some of the white wines. In no time, I'm sporting a solid buzz and Danielle still needs to get back to work.

We make a quick stop to play with some fake snow. Seriously, I don't know what this stuff was, but with just a little water, a white powder turned into legitimate, cold snow flakes...that wouldn't melt. You'd squeeze the crap out of the snow and it would just squirt through your fingers. Crazy stuff. I didn't buy any, but I was tempted. I was also tempted to buy dips and dipping oil...and I caved.

Now back to the Green Festival. And I've got a nice buzz working. So, after dropping Danielle back off at her kiosk, I took a tour of the whole festival. And what should I happen upon in a matter of minutes...vegan ice cream.

Now, it sounds like a bad idea from the get go, but I've had a few drinks, how bad can it be. And they have Kool-Aid flavor. I'll take one...$3.

How bad can it be?? I'll tell you. This stuff tasted like if it were possible to leave ice cream out on your counter for a week, not have it melt, but just get stale and hard, like a loaf of bread. Add to that an almost grainy texture and an aftertaste that had me contemplating eating the organic dog food samples that I got for Chloe, just to get rid of the taste. It would be like insisting someone fart in your car after someone else took their shoes off, just to counteract the smell. Or drinking urine after ordering a brownie and being given a turd instead. The color my face likely turned was the closest to green that I was planning to be on this particular day.

So I gave it to Danielle's vegan co-worker.

She loved it.

Guess I'm not quite cut out to being green, though I actually recycled for the first time in like two years last Friday. And with this cold weather coming in, maybe it's time I started wearing a scarf?? Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

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