27 April 2010


I was just having a nice bowl of oatmeal and reading my emails, when all of the sudden Clumso-Carina took over - I reached for the bowl, perched precariously atop a book with a pen inside of it, and basically just shoved the bowl right off. Inside of the one second it took for the bowl to fall off the ottoman and onto the floor, I made a sad attempt to grab at it, sad because my neck is sore so when I made the lightning fast gesture to save the bowl, I just hurt myself more. In the end, the bowl landed right side up on the floor, half filled with oatmeal. The other half of the oatmeal had spilled neatly onto a napkin directly next to the bowl. The spoon landed on the book, with no oatmeal spillage onto said book. So I picked up the bowl and finished eating my oatmeal.

The lesson I am taking is this: when watching a catastrophe unfold, do not interfere, because it will probably turn out just fine, and you will get your oatmeal, and if you do try to interfere you will probably just pull a muscle.

18 April 2010

If I'm Going To Continue to Consume Garbage, I Should Probably Stop Reading the Ingredients

If you know me, you know my love for the finer things: Olive Garden, Little Debbies, Mister Softee (with orange magic shell). This love, surely, was cultivated by my mother, father, and grandmother since, I'd wager, my birth (more likely starting while in utero). Included in my grandma-packed lunch every day in grade school was a Little Debbie snack - most often the Swiss Cake Roll, but also of course Zebra Cakes and the standard chocolate and vanilla cakes; occasionally the Oatmeal Creme Pie and that rare treat, the Strawberry Shortcake roll. Mr. B's was a soft-serve joint a few blocks from my childhood home where we would frequently go with my father on "dad visit" days. I'd always get the BLT, and of course vanilla soft serve with rainbow sprinkles for dessert. Olive Garden was where we'd go for post-Church dinner when I was a bit older - middle and high school. Some great reward for sitting through Church, maybe a bribe, I don't know, but I do know it was and is so-delicious.

I have somehow become, against all odds, something of a healthy-eater kind of person. Whole grains, raw or barely steamed veggies, organic tofu, beans and rice. My favorite snack is hummus and pita. Gone are the days of fake meat products for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Gone are the days of Banana Nut Crunch or Quaker Oats oatmeal squares (packed full of vitamins and protein, but also packed full of sugar and corn starch - you could lay bricks with that stuff) for breakfast (or, let's face it, and lunch and dinner). Gone are the days of V8 Splash - a delicious and sugary vehicle for "vitamins." BUT, I still engage in trashy foodery. I know they are disgusting, literally one step above garbage, occasionally tantamount to flavored plastic food items, but I allow myself these guilty pleasures on not entirely rare occasions.

I always loved those individual serving Hostess pies; not in the shape of a little pie, but like a Hot Pocket, but not hot. They had various fruit fillings, but also chocolate pudding. Mmmmm that was my favorite. Whenever I see these pocket pies, I look for chocolate pudding; alas they are never found. I recently re-ignited my love affair with pocket pies, by way of Entenmann's lemon pie. There's a 24-hour bodega a block away from my apartment, with a very limited selection of snacks, this being one of them. So I picked one up last night, needing a pick-me-up whilst working on this seemingly never-ending paper. It's so delicious on the way into my belly, but I always detect a strange aftertaste that I can't put my finger on. After a chips/lard fiasco a few weeks ago (I would tell you about it but the thought makes me wretch), I decided to check the lemon pie ingredients, certain I would not find any animal by-products therein. And indeed, no (obvious) animal by-products jumped off the loooong ingredients list into my eyeballs, but here's what did : PARABENS. Inside of food! This is the stuff that I refuse to even let touch my skin, scouring skin-care product ingredients lists to make sure they are not included, and here it is GOING INSIDE OF MY BODY. Parabens which, among other ghastly things, in their estrogen-mimicking has been linked to BREAST CANCER. Thanks, Entenmann's!

13 April 2010

Bear Market

I may know nothing, and I mean nothing, about how the economy "works" (or rather, doesn't - zing!), but it seems to me like Beanie Babies are a good example of the artificiality of the market. Like, cheaply constructed by baby hands in China, tiny stuffed animals functioning as some kind of high-value commodity? Wha?

I know this is like, ten years after the fact, but I was just thinking about how the local ice cream shop that I worked at in high school was sold by the Beanie-obsessed owner about a year after I left, because the business was foundering. This was an ice cream shop STEPS from a heavily trafficked beach, with no nearby ice cream shops with which to compete. In other words, that business shoulda pretty much run itself. But George and his Beanie Babies, meeting in the shop with his Beanie friends, paying top dollar for the prized and rare (scarcity of commodity!) Libearty, always on the lookout for that unique Beanie that, perhaps, one of the sweatshop children had sewn inside out, or with an extra nipple on its forehead, George ran that self-running business into the ground.

12 April 2010

What Will Be, Will Be

When I'm working under a deadline to get a paper in, I tend to regress to something like my early college days - but in what feels like a more controlled manner. I was famous for all nighters back then, drinking coffee into the wee hours, taking an hour nap around 4 or 5 am, which always lasted longer than an hour and then I really had to scramble to finish whatever paper or lab assignment in the morning before class. I was fueled not just by caffeine, but by the most repulsive junk food - what I consider now to be guilty pleasures, not oft indulged in. Maybe not infrequently indulged in either, but not as oft as the good ol' school days. Hostess cupcakes, donuts, Soft Batch cookies, sour cream n' onion chips, bottled, sugary iced tea. It's all here, right in front of me. The thing is, now I do it on purpose. I have found the intense sugar high to be inspirational - it doesn't just keep me awake, it SPEAKS through my FINGERS. Pre-cupcake/chips/iced tea cocktail, I had nothin'. And now voila! Pure philosophy GOLD.

04 April 2010

Conversations Kill

Do you ever get the feeling that things are like, choreographed? Like, you walk down into the subway at 2 am, and right away this guy starts playing the ukelele and whistling “Dream a Little Dream” and then he finishes and the train pulls in and these two men usher/drag in a third, very drunk man, is it their friend or just some guy that passed out in the station that they’re helping out because the train only comes once a millennium at that hour?, and this guy and girl sit across from you and the girl, with this pretty smile and a long stemmed electric orange sunflower in her hand just lifts her feet on up and sets them on top of the front wheel of the boy’s bike and then the girl sitting directly across from you sneezes and then it breaks.

03 April 2010

Grossery Store

Oh thank heaven! A 7-Eleven recently opened on 14th Street west of 6th Ave (too new even for google maps, it seems), and boy do they have a wretched selection of food-products - and by wretched I mean, inducing of wretching. I went in the other day, in need of some doritos, and took in the prepared foods cases on my way to the pre-packaged gut bomb section. Two slices of (slightly warmed over, gelatinously cheesy) pizza for $3.33! Two heart-stopping breakfast taquitos for $2! Nachos, with free chili and cheese (From a machine! That was broken! Even though they just opened?). They even do a waffle sandwich, a la the back-by-popular-demand-for-a-limited-time-only Dunkin D Waffle Breakfast Sandwich. If you know me at all, you know I'm a girl who likes gross things. But wow 7-Eleven. Wow. You have been the cause of a feeling of repulsion arising in me. Thank you for making me feel alive.