Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fool me once, shame on . . . Wait, is that a cookie?

I paid $1.50 for a single cookie about an hour and a half ago. I'm not proud of it. I'm still in a bit of shock and it wasn't a good cookie. And as I was buying it I knew it wasn't a good cookie. Call me a sucker.

One of my other more recent kicks is studying in coffee shops. After 20 some months of gettin 'er done in the redsidence, I finally got stir crazy. The problem is that at home, I am not surrounded by a bounty of food, but at least some sort of sustenance, in the coffee shop I place myself in a sort of meal purgatory. That is, I always make sure I eat right before I leave and I always end up eating the second I get home, but coffee house time is sort of like a miniature fast for me.

But today, a chink in my armor was exposed as I reached the four hour mark in the artsy oasis. I'd like to consider my subconscious forcing me to pay for my rented study space for the day, but I sauntered up to the cashier, picked out an oatmeal cookie and plunked down four something for the combination of afforementioned treat and an iced tea. 

Now, it may not seem like a large amount of money, but it broke a historical precedent for me. Since I was in high school and realized I had just boughten and consumed (ravenously, I may add) a six dollar beverage at Starbucks, I had resolved not to support institutions that would fleece me. And yet, I did.

I think I learned another important lesson today. I'm not in undergrad anymore. At my undergraduate institution, if I found myself in a caloric vaccuum I merely sauntered over to the to-go food line and either (a) looked for a friend who would kindly donate a meal to a good cause or (b) ponied up anywhere between a quarter and four quarters (or a dollar as some like to call it) for anywhere between 1 and 4 delicious, sustaining, and cheap granola bars (which were really more like bars of vegetable oil with specs of cereal, so you can imagine their satiating power).

Alas, Mr. Bigby and your co-hourt Mr. Starbuck you have won this round. And for that, I say kudos (which, would not be a bad idea to stock in your storefronts, as long as they went from anywhere from the 24 to 26 cent per bar range).

Friday, May 29, 2009

Kicks (not the sneakers . . . or the delicious and alternately spelled breakfast cereal)

   I have a penchant for going on kicks where I do something consistently for a few days (see the last week of multiple postings). Lately, my latest streak is listening to Amy Winehouse. And, its not like I just discovered her music or something. I mean, I always knew she didn't want to go to rehab and a pair of special high heels or something, but now I can't get enough of any of her music. It's gotten to the point that after I run out of skips on other pandora stations, I make a new one up just so I can skip to her songs. This of course is after my other most recent music kicks of Bob Seger, Johnny Cash, and the fantastic nineties band Live (side note: I can't believe its getting to the point where I can actually classify a band as nineties and it doesn't seem like they are still in their prime).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dotting the "i"s with circles

In one of the many reply to all e-mail forums that I am lucky enough to take part in (school, friends, building I live in . . . etc) a few people periodically distinguish themselves from the rest. That is, they complete the e-mail equivalent of loopy handwriting, and dotting the letter "i" with a big rotund sphere which is another way of saying "you couldn't take me seriously if you tried." Admittedly, via e-mail, this impression is even tougher to exude. However, I have discovered that certain individuals with a heightened sense of self-awareness are able to meticulously chisel there public image through the use of normally sterile electronic lettering.
    Through some intense research and a few controlled studies I have discovered there secret: The use of multiple punction marks at inopportune times ?!. And the calculated missuse of the oft-neglected capital letter. These are e-mistakes that are completely acceptable in the context of a person to person e-mail, or in the language cess pool I like to call text messaging, however, when you are addressing a group of people via e-mail, more than twenty or so in number, and a majority of which really don't know you, the only impression we have is your e-mail.
and So !? Today, as I was reading one of these laboriously crafted e-mails, I stumbed upon the antecedent form of their work. That is, I got the same impression reading these e-mails as I did when I used to see the bubbly handwriting of a third grade girl (which I don't remember happening all that often, but lets be honest, pre-pubescent I was probably a stud). 

Monday, May 25, 2009

An Anology

I feel about the mute button what other people may feel about drugs: that is, while using it, things that seemed normal before now seem absolutely ridiculous.

Case in point: I would have never noticed that while muted, about 50% of the time, Wheel of Fortune is just people standing at a podium clapping awkwardly. And when I say 50%, I mean it seriously. Like the contestants clap at everything. They clap while the wheel spins, they clap when a letter is anounced, heck, I'm pretty sure they clap while they interview the other contestants.

I guess that's why I'll never be on wheel of fortune, I don't clap near consistently enough. It's something to work on (note: I am currently applauding while concluding this post).

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ode to PB

   I found myself at the grocers again last night and as usual I had my standard line-up of goods: a 5-lb jar of peanut butter, some tuna fish, a few gallons of milk and three loaves of bread. The woman behind me in line yelled out "is that peanut butter?" when I hulked the massive jar onto the conveyor belt. I smiled and nodded as I imagined a week or two of sustenance in paste form.
    I love peanut butter. And that's not to say that I enjoy a PB & J every now and again. In fact, I try and refrain from adding jelly to the mix. For that matter, its not to often that I combine bread with my mound of molten peanut nectar: I'm kind of a food purist, I don't like my carbs mixing with my protein/fat.
    And its not just that I eat a lot of peanut butter, or eat it frequently (both of which are undeniably true). The fact is that the jar of peanut butter in my closet says "Hey . . . look at me . . . you don't have to worry about running out of food, I can sustain you for days with my legume-delicious-nutritiousness.
    I learned part of my peanut butter affinity from my mother, who was a stickler about serving sizes, and used to scoop exactly one tablespoon of peanut butter into her mouth for a quick meal if we were heading out the door. I do the same thing. Except, well I don't let myself be limited by the social constraint system known as the "serving size" nor the "2,000 calorie diet" (seriously, have you ever tried to eat less than 2,000 calories in a day? I'm pretty sure there are days when I come close to passing that benchmark before the 9-5 workday starts. Oh, and the other reason I don't eat spoonfuls of peanut butter is because spoons are a relative scarcity in my household these days. I've found you can wrap up a delicious nesting of the salted goo by spinning a fork in the vat a few times.
    There are days (like today as a matter of fact) that I consume nearly nothing but peanut butter. Okay, well, lets make that essentially nothing relative to the amount of peanut butter I consumed (I admit, I did have a pork chop sandwich at some point during the day, but all that protein hardly sticks to me).
   The reason I find peanut butter so irresistible is the same reason I drink a lot of water: it's readily available (at least at my home), relatively cheap, requires zero preparation, and has an awesome caloric density for when I know I need something but can't decide what (obviously that last tenant applies only to the peanut butter).

Friday, May 8, 2009

Anything you can do . . .

One of the more annoying tendencies I've noticed in myself is the defensiveness whenever someone makes a disparaging comment towards me. For example, whenever someone asks me, when does your summer break start? I explain, that it starts in late May, but its not really a break because I have to study for a board exam in July the whole time. Inevitably, my response is ignored by the nostalgic mental break in my partner in dialogue. Followed by, "man, I wish I was in school." and the inevitable, "yeah, enjoy it while it lasts, because the real world doesn't give breaks."
Generally I am pretty good at ignoring the urge to backhand the other person, but I always embarrassingly try to one up them with something like "yeah, but I'm not going to miss seven hours of lecture a day," or "yeah, but you know I'm going to have to put in those crazy 100 hour resident shifts" or something otherwise ridiculous. Because honestly, I am in still a student, and all of my stress is pretty much self induced as of right now. And I have no idea whether or not my experiences are more difficult than anyone else's and the truth is that it is completely irrelevant (or should be).
And even if my experience in school is way harder or easier than someone else gives me credit for, trying to prove it during a five minute conversation simply won't work. And what would be so bad if either a) my life was easier than the other person's or b) that other person held a misconceived belief about my, as Darryl from the office put it to Michael, "Nerf" life. All I know is I'm not going to start throwing watermelon's onto trampolines about it.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Grilled Cheese

I don't think there is a better sandwhich than extra sharp cheddar on Aunt Millie's Hearth Crunchy Oat with Honey Wheat bread. And I finally fingured out how to make it without burning the bread (yeah, I've been doing this for years, and I'm finally able to do it without running around the apartment opening windows and turning on fans to avoid setting off teh smoke detectors).