Sunday, February 28, 2010

Go fork yourself

One day last summer, I joined some coworkers to have lunch outdoors in a lovely park with a duck pond. As we settled into our table and took out our lunches, I realized that I didn't bring a fork with me. I excused myself and went in search of a fork. It probably took me 8 minutes to return to that duck pond park, but it felt like an eternity. First I went to the hot dog cart. I waited a few seconds for the few tourists in line to decide what they wanted to order, and I asked the proprietor if he had a fork. He said no. I suspect he may have been lying, because I was not a paying customer (I didn't have a wallet on me, either). I ran to a nearby food court, sure that I could find forks lying around next to the condiment stations, but I needed a friggin' i.d. to get into the food court building because it's a federal building!! grrrr. (no wallet). So I ran in the opposite direction to find a restaurant that would have forks lying around. I found a cafe 2 blocks away. It's a chain where you get soup and sandwich combos. I ran to the condiment/drink station. They only had silverware! No plastic forks! I took a quick look around a grabbed a real fork. I clutched it tightly in my hand, and I got out of that place, feeling extremely guilty. I told myself and my coworkers that I'd "give the fork back someday." Last week I visited the restaurant for the first time since. I didn't bring the fork with me. I use the fork all the time for eating my lunch at work. Maybe one day when I switch jobs, or move, I'll return to the restaurant and bring back the fork. Maybe. Or maybe they can just fork themselves. I got really annoyed and hungry that hot, humid summer day, during my lunch hour, in hot pursuit of a fork. Things like that shouldn't be so difficult! Or maybe they shouldn't put me out so much. Once I finally got to eat, though, with the aid of my stolen fork, and my blood sugar had been restored to normal, I felt pretty ok.

Soy cobarde

I ate meat last weekend. I had to. I'm too polite. If someone wants to share their food with me, I won't refuse them. Unless the food would kill me. I did avoid the bacon when we had pancakes, though. And I cooked a lot of chicken this week for my husband because he needed bland food for his tummy - some kind of stomach bug or something.

So far, feeling good! Actually, this past week I was feeling so happy I surprised myself.

Friday, February 19, 2010

From whence it came

I went for the extremely tangy probiotic yogurt with W. Va. honey and granola.

Last month when I was visiting my mom I thought she had gone slightly off the deep end for giving up sweets along with her church. In my case I don't have a pastor telling me to do it, it's the strange feeling I had kind of on my own. But maybe this was in response to a group of memories/thoughts/ideas/environmental cues my subconscious has been collecting for who knows how long:
  • My mom having gone off deep end
  • Knowing Lent was around the corner
  • Watching Food, Inc., King of Corn, This American Life episode on pig farms
  • Reading Michael Pollan
  • Looking for something to blog about
Anyways, I shouldn't look askance at my mom, but I can tell you that she did not stick to it! She munched sugary sweets throughout my visit. It's ok, it's because I'm a special occasion.

Tomorrow: breaking bread with relatives. Will I, for the first time ever, inconvenience them based on my food choices?! My secret will probably have to get out, depending on what they serve for dinner, and I don't want the deluge of questions - why? but you're not Catholic? huh?

I just know they're going to have chicken or sausage or something.

Today is the greatest

Peanut butter and raspberry jam english muffins for breakfast, along with multivitamin and some weird probiotic drink. Stir-fry leftovers for lunch (this is a recurring theme with me, today's lunch is yesterday's dinner), some green grapes, a few chips. Sushi dinner with husband and friend. Best edamame ever. I was full 2 hours ago, now I'm hungry again. We'll see if I go for the ice cream or the loads of chocolate kisses.

In other words, not eating chicken/beef/pork/etc. = hungry every 2 hours. We'll see if that changes with a little time.

I just remembered, I already had dessert at the sushi restaurant. tapioca and ice cream. Hrmm.

I'm actually kind of craving a banana right now. And I don't even like bananas.

February 17 and 18

After grocery store trip made lovely Connecticut-sourced scallops (only traveled 142 miles from ocean to my plate) with asparagus, arugula, olive oil, parmesan pasta. Next day, I would occasionally conjure up the sweet taste and sigh with nostalgia. I had the leftover pasta, sans scallops, for lunch and was ravenous 2 hours later. I munched on a chocolate brownie Luna Bar and made it home without gnawing the leather straps of my bag. I made two dinners - french fry omelette (leftover from the Peruvian place) and seitan brocolli carrot stir fry with brown rice. Once satisfied, I told my husband that he had survived a day without meat (I had also packed the veggie pasta for his lunch - he ended up eating half an expired snickers bar, one year past its expiration he noticed after consuming half of it and detecting something was amiss). He is still in denial about it. Every day that goes by without him having meat, a little piece of his soul dies, so he claims. I've probably claimed 4 little pieces in the 9 1/2 years we've been a couple. Let's see how many more I can collect.

I was "hungry" a few hours later and had Ben & Jerry's ice cream - some Chunky Monkey and some Phish Food. Animal-themed ice cream.

The Fat Tuesday

Celebrated the final day of excess by coming home from work/school, ravenous, at 10pm, munching on chicken that my husband so thoughtfully brought home for me. Chicken was from our fave cheap take-out place, offering Peruvian style chicken roasting on spits. The idea of becoming a Lenten ouvo-lacto-pescatarian had been percolating in my head, and I secretly plotted a grocery store trip to stock my pantry with some meatless edibles.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lenten Vegetarian

My husband isn't going to be too happy when he finds out about this, but I've decided that for Lent this year I'm going to be a vegetarian. Make that an ouvo-lacto-pescatarian. I'm not Catholic, I'm just looking for something to do and trying to show solidarity with my Catholic brethren and sisteren. I like to call my husband a "Catholic of convenience" because he's agnostic 99.9% of the time but when someone talks about Catholicism in terms of Pope John Paul II or religion as national identity he likes to point out that he's from a "Catholic country" and knows what the religion's about because he has been to mass a few times. I have also been to mass a few times, once in Spanish and once in English, and I had no idea what was going on but I liked it.

My Catholic friends are at their most Catholic during Lent, because they like to talk about what they've given up. Yesterday, they would have walked around with ash on their foreheads, like Mr. Toothy Grin, aka our current Vice President.

But yesterday I read about this calendar and was inspired to fast/pray/give in my own way. And blog about it. We'll see how it goes, but as of today I have been staying strong and avoiding meat. Although tonight, on the way home from sushi dinner with husband and friend I smelled hamburger grilling and I knew right away that I wanted one. This is going to be an interesting 40-some-odd days.

Update: I just saw some articles about a British broadcaster that wondered aloud, on air, whether Biden had bruised his forehead on the ice while attending the Winter Olympics. That's embarrassing. And she's Catholic.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Mr. Reubens

I love Pee-wee Herman so much. I’m sure there are still tons of other fans out there. (I found out that he’s still performing live, so yeah, the fans are out there). I remember I used to like him as a child, but even today when I watch him he makes me smile immediately. He is so funny and goofy. I need to look up more stuff about him. I’m watching Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, which was directed by Tim Burton. I really enjoy his work. Recently, while visiting my niece, I discovered that she’s also a fan of all movies Tim Burton. She has fantastic taste and she’s only turning seven next week. I’m such a proud auntie. I think I’ll have to buy her a Tim Burton collection as a gift. It’s worth looking into, especially since her birthday’s coming up. My favorite movie last year was Fantastic Mr. Fox, which is by another one of my favorite directors, Wes Anderson. But it's too soon for it to be out on DVD.

Update on Pee-wee: He’s enjoyed a resurgence since his unfortunate arrest in 1991. Hopefully I can see him in his live show one day, but he might be coming out with a movie soon. Meanwhile, I can still try to hunt down reruns of his old show on TV.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Whenever I want you all I have to do

My husband and I had the same dream at the same time. Well, the subject and some of the characters were the same. He dreamt that we were in the airport about to check into a flight to Japan when I magically gave birth to a baby girl. So his concern is that we don't have documentation to prove that we are in fact the parents and they might call the authorities to take her away and we would get in big trouble for trying to bring a baby to another country (like those missionaries with the Haitian children). Happily, though, it seems obvious to all involved that we fit the bill of a nice family, we are not questioned, and our travel plans proceed without a hitch.

Meanwhile, I was busy dreaming that I had checked into a huge mansion-like hospital full of antique furniture, persian carpets, and plain clothes nurses and doctors because I had what appeared (and felt) to be a bit of a swollen and stretched belly that seemed to be more a result of a large meal rather than a full term pregnancy. Anyway, supposedly I was in labor and they had me relax in one of their well-appointed hospital rooms. After lounging comfortably there for a while it was deemed that I was no longer in labor and they released me. To do what, I do not know.

In the middle of the night, after waking from my dream, I woke up my husband and told him that I had dreamt I was pregnant. And imagine my surprise when he told me that in his dream we had a baby girl. Strange. This hasn't been my first pregnant dream, but the timing for this one was more than a little eerie.