Monday, September 21, 2009

Mondays, Markets and Hideous Curtains...

Today is a gloomy Monday morning. It's overcast and the skies are heavy with rain with only a light drizzle currently falling. It's going to pour later. I'm glad about that. Yesterday, we had a rainy Sunday. It didn't start raining heavily until the evening but there's just something luxurious about being inside on a rainy evening without having any place to go.

It was a nice end to a busy weekend. Saturday, as I mentioned, was Yard Sale day in my neighbourhood. While it wasn't as much without my sister who is my Yard Sale expert, it was still a good chance to score some deals. I managed to get quite a lot of deals such as a fold out TV table for $1, a Rachel Ray cookbook for $2, some collectible Harry Potter figurines still in the boxes for $1 and a cornucopia of other goodies.

I didn't have quite the stamina for them as I usually do so about midday, I decided to try something new. I headed down to Findlay Market in downtown Cincinnati.

Findlay Market is one of those treasures that most cities have: A farmer's market and a Foodie heaven, all in one. There is both an outdoor produce area and an inside area that stocks every type of meat you can imagine, cheeses and all sorts of gourmet goodies. I really just wanted to browse to see if it was worth future soujourns.

All I can say is that the market itself...was awesome. It was just the parking and the neighbourhood that was a nightmare.

When I got down to the market, I followed the signs for "parking" only to circle the car park for about 15 minutes. This was not me driving around freely for 15 minutes, this was me being stuck behind a parade of cars all searching for the elusive spot. Naturally the 'pack' was headed by someone who decided to just sit still in hopes that he'd catch someone leaving. He didn't seem concerned that there were literally nine cars behind him.

Once I'd made a lap, I had to exit since there was no way to reenter without circling the block. There was supposed to be additional parking a block over. So I went there. So did the other nine cars. I think one of them may have found a spot. In the meantime, I thought I'd find street parking.

Unfortunately, a quick tour of the radius of the market quickly deterred that idea. Findlay Market is not in a good neighbourhood. It was decrepit and run down and there were people just standing on the street corners, watching. Sometimes there's an instinct that kicks in and you just know that it's not a good idea to be a single woman walking alone. It's not a racist comment, it's not a judgement. It's just the way things are.

So, I drove back to the parking lot. Same thing except this time it was only a ten minute lap. I went around the block again, furious now. I understand that they're busy but one of the easiest ways to make me irate is to make it hard for me to park. I admit, I don't have road rage but I do have parking lot rage. I get really angry if I can't find a parking spot in a reasonable amount of time. You want to see Captain Monkeypants fume? Just take away all of the spots in a car park.

The 'overflow' parking lot was...overflowing. Frustrated beyond belief, I got BACK to the main parking lot. This time, there's an orange-shirted parking attendant there. He sees me and waves me towards a spot that was off the beaten track. The only problem is that he's directing me to go the wrong way down a one way aisle. I wasn't sure about this but he enthusiastically waves me forward so I take the plunge and squeeze down the aisle only to's a handicapped spot and, last time I checked, I did not have a handicapped sticker. He apologizes and promises to help me out. So, I do as he says and follow him. Once again, he sees a 'hidden' spot. I follow him. I realize that, once again, I am going the wrong way down a one way aisle. It turns out that not only am I at the wrong angle to take the spot but some poor sod has been waiting for it, indicator flashing and everything. I have to give the spot up.

Orange-shirt PROMISES me I'll find another spot. I follow him. No parking space. I see one open up and he eagerly waves me forward only to realize that the car wasn't leaving, it was just straightening up. He shrugs at me, admits defeat and walks off.

You probably wonder at this point why I don't leave. Well, the thing is, I drove for 30 minutes to get there. Not only would I have wasted the gas but also the time. I wasn't giving up yet, even if I was fuming.

This time, as I pull out, I manage to pull a legal u-turn out of the lot because I see a spot on the street right by the market. Turns out it's a loading zone. I have to go around the block. Again. This time, however, it's a different block and while it's a wee bit abandoned, it's not quite as dilapidated as the other blocks. At the end of it, literally diagonally across from the market, I find a plethora of open spaces with parking meters. Here there are no people sitting around on stoops, standing on corners, yelling 'Nice car' at me as I pass. It's quiet and it feels safer. I finally find the closest spot to the market and park. Immediately, my anger fades.

After hiding all my gadgets including Satan The GPS Unit and my iPod dock, I feel satisfied and put a quarter in the parking meter. Unfortunately, my quarter did nothing as the meter was dead. Still, at least I tried. Feeling a little apprehensive, I headed to the market.

I'm glad I did. As is the case with most farmer's markets, the produce was cheaper than in the supermarkets and much fresher. Findlay Market itself was a treat. I got to finally see quails eggs for sale although I didn't purchase any this trip. I did buy some fancy sausages including some Swedish Potato and English Bangers with Sage. I also bought a South German Frank that ended up tasting just as I expected and took me back in my memories to teatime with my German granddad and the sausages he likes to eat. Not that I ate it at the market. I had it last night. At home. Even given my slight tendency towards eccentricity, I think it might have been weird to walk around eating an uncooked sausage without a bun.

After the nightmare of the parking, it was nice to relax by looking at food. While the market itself isn't as big as other city markets I've been to and it doesn't have quite as many food stands to purchase lunch, it's definitely a good place to go as a Foodie and a market lover.

By the time I left, my parking rage had been vanquished. It's a good thing too; my trip home took twice as long as my trip there due to construction on the interstate. Fortunately, I had an audiobook to keep me company so I didn't mind. Besides, it wasn't like I was looking for a parking space; my rage is usually limited to that and being stuck in traffic when I'm already running late for something.

After that, the rest of my weekend passed quickly. Yesterday I finally got around to clearing up my spare room and removing the Most Hideous Curtains In the World. I still have them if you wish to see them but they are thick, dark and covered with a print of globes and books. They may sound attractive but, let me tell you, they are not. They were homemade by the lady from whom I bought my house. I felt a bit bad at taking them down because they were really well-made. However, they were also hideous. I now only have one more room with hideous curtains to remove. I replaced them with some happy orange ones that are sheer and bright. They're a bit too bright but it makes the room look cheerful, unlike the Most Hideous Curtains in the World.

So, that was my weekend for the most part. Now I'm back at work on a dark Monday morning. Everyone seems to be a little grumpy. This might be because we were scolded for not working hard by our personnel person on Friday even though she has absolutely no idea what any of us really do for a living. This is a sad fact but also a true one. She knows our job titles but ask what we actually do and she'll back away, a wary look in her eyes and not answer the question.

She also told us we need to not talk so much. This is an admirable idea except that, unfortunately, in order to do our jobs well, sometimes we have to, you know, talk. In our case, we don't have an office as she does in which we can close the door to talk. We have cubicles and nowhere to go to confer. So we do it at our desks.

Then again, she is the person who insists on using the men's bathroom and doesn't understand why they don't use her Warm Vanilla Sugar room spray. She also complains that it's 'gross in there' yet she makes no effort to go to the women's bathroom instead. Ah well, it's the personalities that make work interesting....right?

Happy Monday.


Ladyaero said...

If you want to take the edge off of your orange curtains (you mentioned you thought they were a tad too bright), you might try tea dying them...if you don't steep it too long, you should just add a hint of tan to the orange color, mellowing it out a bit (check your material type against recommendations, though...)

Captain Monkeypants said...

Thanks, Ladyareo. That's a great tip. I have a feeling my fabric will be fine if I stain it with tea. It's just a little too bright at the moment!