Saturday, June 27, 2009

When a Treat Is Not a Treat

Happy Saturday! In our household, that means treat day and a trip to the farmer's market. Today the Best Husband Ever and I headed downtown and snagged some tasties. He went for his old favorite, a caramel roll, while I tried something new from the Black Cat Bake Shop -- a huckleberry scone. Huckleberries are native to Montana, and start appearing by the bushel at the farmer's market later in the season, hand-picked by the locals. I was very excited about trying a nifty new baked good that is so definitely Montana-made.

While at Black Cat's stand, I snagged one of their bread samples that I have been waiting to reappear at the market for some time, a small piece of Vermont maple loaf. Sadly, this was the first Black Cat item that did not match up to their products' usual high quality. It was quite dry and unremarkable, and I could not detect any maple at all. Maybe that's what I get for eating a purported Vermont-y bread in the Pacific northwest.

However, my huckleberry scone could not share that excuse. While the texture of the top of the scone was enjoyable (although not at all almond streusel-ed, as advertised by the Black Cat bakers), the rest of it turned out to be a letdown. Just like the bread sample, the scone was very dry. I thought the confection would be moist and brimming with ripe berry flavor, but I was wrong, alas and alack.

So it turned out that today's treat was not a food treat at all. Instead, my time spent with the Best Husband Ever, puzzling over an extremely challenging Scrabble game together, wandering the markets, and perusing the library's fiction selection, was the real treat. I am so grateful that he is my husband! He's brilliant, handsome, makes me laugh, is good with a computer, a lover of God, and absolutely the best guy ever. Plus, he's got a great tush.

On the way back to the car after our morning adventures, I spied this poster:

I suppose that's one way to honor a life that's come to an end! However, it got me wondering -- what is up with all the celebrity deaths of late? First Ed McMahon (age 86), then Farrah Fawcett (age 62), and now Michael Jackson (age 50). And honestly, why do we care so much? Is it because Fawcett and Jackson were young and their deaths feel more unexpected or tragic? Or is it because folks think that celebrities are better than the rest of the population?

Perhaps I'm being overly sensitive, but I'm a little tired of Michael Jackson's death (under dubious circumstances, no less) receiving more press and more tears than Neda Soltani's murder by sniper in Iran last Monday, or the 24 people who lost their lives in the seven bombings that shook Baghdad over the past week. Yes, it is sad that Jackson died so young, but does the singer's passing really deserve so much media attention? What do you think about coverage of Hollywood's highs and lows? As for me, I'd like to see more news that is actually news hitting the presses instead of a front-page gossip column.

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"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King