Friday, May 11, 2012


I've been toying with the idea of doing a juice fast ever since we had a temp in the office a year and a half ago who did one that involved a foul smelling liquid ingested three times a day over 9 days. With that kind of endorsement, I don't know why more people aren't transforming this trend currently practiced by select crazy hippies/conspiracy theorists into a full blown fad endorsed by overly fake-tanned blondes and reality show celebrities everywhere.

For me, ideas like this fall into two categories: Category A = things I think about doing and then do, and Category B = things I think about doing and then talk a lot about doing and then never do. This had all the earmarks of a Category B idea and so I continued thinking about it and never doing it, pleased in my positive healthy thinking.

Then Jerry told me he'd been doing something like this for a while and it was making him feel energized and healthy and that he was also seeing significant weight loss. The competitive spirit in me kicked in, and I thought "well if HE can do it, then I sure as shit should be able to!" I went to Costco and discovered that they sell Odwalla Superfood by the two-pack for a measly five bucks, and if one serving is 8 ounces, then that's 8 meals for 63 cents each! My God, the savings!! I quickly made my purchase and let my mind roam free over the transformation I was about to experience. Nevermind the fact that I didn't even know if I'd like Superfood and also kind of have always been afraid of it (green liquid should never be consumed, that's just a fact) - I was going to replace my meals with juice, starting now.

I got home after work and put my "extremely perishable" juice into the fridge. I waited till the last possible moment to drink it, since I knew it wasn't going to fill me up and I didn't want to have hours and hours of being starving before bed. I sipped it and found it palatable, which was a pleasant surprise. I drank 8 oz over the next 30 minutes to try to draw out my meal, and preoccupied my brain with recorded episodes of Justified.

I was hungry 30 minutes later.

I immediately made the decision that I should probably ease into my fast. No need to replace every meal with juice; maybe just one or two to start with. Okay, two. That's doable. I vowed to have both lunch and dinner the next day of Superfood. When breakfast rolled along, I ate yogurt and granola per usual and waited for my disappointing lunchtime to roll around.

But...but there were COOKIES at lunch! I'm not made of stone. I ate the shit out of a cookie.

Aaaaaaannnnd thus ended my juice fast. It was fun while it lasted.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

things that make the baby jesus cry

when I accidentally eat a piece of shrimp I've been saving on my plate for the end of the meal

baby on board stickers

men who wear white flip flops or white sunglasses or any necklace to speak of

cuts that make my skin all flappy and stingy

fat people in skinny jeans

Yorkies with clothes on. No it's not cute.

when I run over a dead squirrel in my car


midnight showings of the movie adaptation of that new young adult novel

iPhones and the Apple regime

finding a hair on your person that definitely isn't yours

powdered sugar

pulling your headphones out of the gym bag only to find they've woven themselves into an impenetrable cord ball

daddy long legs

realizing your taco was indeed too hot to eat

names like Chase and Kayla and Jaxson

the phrase "it is what it is"

when you're sitting in a quiet room filled with people and your stomach decides to make that weird farting noise

men who drive Mustangs

people who sing karaoke like they're auditioning for American Idol

American Idol

the red shirt hidden in your load of white laundry

asking for no cilantro and then receiving a bowl full of rice noodles with cilantro interwoven between every strand

the high pitched incessant wail of a baby interrupting your fancy dinner at Chez TJ

Prius drivers

Friday, January 28, 2011

one woman ad for prohibition

My flirtation with alcohol has followed a fairly hilly yet predictable path over the years -- from taking my first sip of beer at age six to getting drunk alone at home this Wednesday. I'm proud to say I was on the wagon for ten whole years after that first disgusting sip of Coors my dad let me have, after much persistent begging on my end (how was I to know it didn't taste like Tab?) In high school, my mom decided it would be a good idea for me to have my first full blown drunken experience at home. I had a whole glass of Bailey's (on the rocks, of course) and proclaimed it was better than cough syrup. Surprisingly, I didn't drink in high school and it was another two years before I reluctantly tried beer again. The pressures of college life and the desire to fit in overrode my total body revulsion from my first can of Natural Light and I managed to build up a tolerance for beer flavored water. I didn't drink all that much throughout my four years at school though, and when we celebrated our freedom from college life by drinking mimosas and spraying champagne all over each other before swimming across the disgusting pond on campus, that was pretty much as sloppy as it got.

Because I was in a committed relationship throughout college and for the year after, I didn't really go out and party like I should have. This meant that when I inevitably broke up with my boyfriend who lived 3,000 miles away, I was faced with the not-entirely-disappointing realization that I was finally able to do whatever I wanted with my life, which included drinking to excess and making horrible decisions, which I did, with relish. For the next ten years.

Cut to 2011 and things aren't a whole lot different. I don't go out as often as I used to, but I'm freshly single again so I imagine that's going to change soon. The only thing now is that when I drink to excess on a Wednesday evening, getting up at 6:30AM to be an adult isn't as easy as it used to be. I try to make grand proclamations such as "I'm not drinking for a month" but those never stick because being the only sober one in the group is no fun, and let's face it, I'm funnier after four vodka sprites. Once it hits your lips...

I don't know where I was going with this. Reading it over, I can't tell if I originally intended this post to serve as a denunciation of drinking, or an endorsement. It's actually only served to make me thirsty. Who wants a drink?

Friday, September 24, 2010

bakers dozen

If, three months ago, you had asked me if I had any interest in training for and running a half marathon through the streets of downtown San Jose come October, I would have looked at you, called you a fucking moron, and resumed eating my potato crisps.

However, here we are, one week shy of October, and I have not only surpassed my previous lifetime achievement of longest distance covered on foot above a brisk walk (though barely) of 4 miles, but I have run without stopping 12 whole miles using my own two feet! Humans shouldn't have to cover distances that far without wheels in this day and age!

Aside from the moderate complaints of slight hip and lower back pain, and a possible stress fracture in my right foot (merely a flesh wound) my body is holding up surprisingly well during these runs. I've overcome the mental hurdle of running this distance by tricking my body into thinking that if it just goes one more mile then I will let it stop and give it ice cream. Just one more...then one more...then one more...now ice cream? Right after this next mile... And then my body totally forgets about the ice cream when it registers that using this tactic it has successfully covered ten miles and burned 1,000 calories and who needs ice cream when it's 9:30AM and you've already accomplished so much??

Another big benefit of running this much is the superiority you have over pretty much everyone else you'll come across the rest of your weekend and how you get to lord your achievements over them mercilessly. For instance, if they tell you how they finally got around to staining that cabinet that they got from Goodwill last month, you can say "hey that's great, but you know what's even greater? Running 12 miles at 7:45 in the goddamn morning, that's what."

And then they win because you've showed them the joys of comparatives, and you win because you're obviously a more disciplined and higher functioning person.

It is also a real pleasure to walk into a sporting goods store or footwear establishment and when the salesperson walks up to you as you're admiring a nice pair of Saucony's, you drop a careless "yeah I just wonder how these will support my ankles during mile nine..." then pause for effect "...cause ya know, I'm a runner. I run."

Nevermind that I nearly faint if I push it over a 10 minute mile pace, or that sometimes each step sends a stab of pain up my right ankle and into my calf. Or that if I run with my sister's dog, at any given moment I can look down and he will be WALKING and looking up at me as if to say "is this all you've got?"

Because I am a runner. I run.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

fall chicken

So last night as I was getting ready for bed, delicately putting my pajamas on so as not to jostle the insanely huge dinner in my stomach for fear I would explode, I realized with horror that something was "not right" in my joints.

Not the kind of "not right" that is laughing at midgets. Not the kind of "not right" that is Katy Perry's career. No, this was the kind of "not right" that involved attempting to contort myself in a variety of yoga and yoga-esque positions in a vain attempt to release the air pocket that was lodged somewhere between my stomach and my kneecaps.

I never used to have these problems. I was the indignant one when a friend or associate of mine would shove their hands under their necks and crank sideways in order to release a volley of snaps and crunches that I was sure would end in their death before my very eyes. People who cracked their knuckles were worse than parents who kiss their babies' heads.

But, after starting to work out pretty regularly about three years ago, I realized that strain on the body results in odd puffs of air being trapped inside you where you least expect them. Then, when you turn to the side to catch a glimpse of a fat squirrel running across the street and your back snaps unexpectedly, releasing you from a tension you didn't know you had, it's on. You spend the rest of your days trying to recreate that sensation, like a drug addict chasing his first high.

If you have never known the frustration of needing to "crack" a body part, then let me break it down for you. It starts as a little seed of an idea: "You know what would feel good right now? A tiny little pop. Just a small one. Loosen those joints up."

It quickly progresses to: "Yeah remember when I said it would be nice to release some of this built up air in between your bones? I meant that if you don't do it soon, this shit is gonna get real."

Then escalates to: "You fucked with the wrong air pocket this time. You think you were uncomfortable before? You can twist your spine off now for all I care. This shit's gonna stay unpopped till the break of dawn."

I twisted and flopped and stretched and pulled for hours, trying to get comfortable. Never in my life had I experienced air so stubborn, or so painful. I never did get it, and I spent the entire night in uncomfortable positions, unable to get a solid hour of sleep in.

This brings me to my next point: I am getting old.

I don't know how this happened, but although I am currently in the best physical shape of my life (I'm not one of those people who are proud to be in "high school shape" again...I'll admit it, I was a fatass in high school) and yet I am plagued by aches and pains that I thought I didn't have to expect until I was 55 at the very least. What the hell, body? Do I have to break your spirit so you let me sleep at night without complaining about a sore ankle or a tender muscle?

I have four weeks left until I'm scheduled to run a half marathon, but at this rate I"m wondering if all of my parts will be in working order on game day. Best case scenario is I'm the one snapping and cracking down the street in my race bib, trying to convince my body that age is just a number...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

and then I ate a whole pork loin

Last week I took out a frozen Hormel pork loin that Hector had bought a while ago, in anticipation of him coming home and me cooking a feast to celebrate his joyous return. Fires broke out and he had to go out of county, so I had a defrosted pork loin on my hands that I didn't really want to eat in the first place and REALLY didn't want to eat all on my own.

I put off cooking that nasty pork loin for as long as possible. I reasoned that it was, after all, vacuum sealed and so it would last longer than a pork loin fresh from the butcher. And since it was from Hormel, I couldn't even be sure that it was technically pork in the first place, rather than "pork composite".

I attempted to recruit others to share in my bountiful loin, acting reluctant to split up the gifts that had been bestowed upon me by the pork gods. When there were no takers, I resorted to pleading and bribery. As in, "if you come over, I'll make sure you are fully supplied with libations" and "are you sure? There's gonna be cookies!"

However, when all was said and done, I had a vacuum sealed pork composite loin to eat all to myself and had no idea how to cook it. The last time I ate one of these (because Hector so thoughtfully purchased two), it was barbecued and not very tasty. It had a weird texture that no meat should have and was surrounded by a "lean" layer of fat that I am now fairly certain was created to add to the illusion that what you're eating is actually from an animal.

The first night, I ate the loin as nature intended, unadorned with a side of broccoli and cauliflower. The second night, I had to spruce it up and used it as a topping on my homemade pizza. The third night, again I just shoveled the sliced loin into my mouth without accoutrement because I had no time to prepare a fancy meal for one. And now, at lunch, I just successfully polished off the last of my pork loin masked in chicken fried rice. It took all week, but I did it America! Now if only I would use my powers for good instead of evil.

Monday, August 30, 2010

a 90 minute wait does not a good crawdad make

Brian's birthday was last week, and he decided to celebrate by organizing a meal at the Boiling Crab in San Jose. My old vet was next door, so I had driven by the front several times but wrote it off as just another seedy Chinese restaurant in the strip mall my vet is located in. When he said he wanted to go, I looked it up on Yelp and found out that a) it is NOT a Chinese restaurant and b) its popularity borders on cult status among the Asians in the area.

After reading that the restaurant routinely has an hour-plus wait time, we decided to try to beat the rush by going at 2:30 on Sunday and patted ourselves on the back for our cleverness. We were rewarded by a swift kick in the face of reality when, upon arrival, there were buttloads of other clever people who had gotten there before us and now the wait was an hour and a half. An hour and a half to go sit in a restaurant the size of my living room and pay $9 a pound to shuck crawdads for as long as we could stand it.

The Boiling Crab sets new visitors up for disappointment. If you wait an hour and a half for something - ANYTHING - you expect that when you get it, it is going to be pretty damn exciting. Perhaps even the best thing you've ever seen/eaten/done/ridden. How in God's name can a plastic bag of boiled relatives of the cockroach stand a chance? Granted, they are covered in a sauce that Yelp reviewers claim is akin to crack in its addictive qualities. But still, they aren't going to crack themselves open so you can get at the tender meats inside, and therein lies the root of the problem.

I don't mind getting messy in the name of shoveling delicious epicurean treats in my belly. However. These crawdaddies came swimming in a sea of chili seasoned garlic butter, and they weren't too keen on coming out of their shells without a fight. Plus, I had no experience in dealing with getting into a crawdad. So it took a few trials and errors to get a rhythm going that would minimize the crawdad juices sprayed on me and my companions. Add to that, those babies were spicy, so after ten minutes in, I was covered in sauce, crawdad guts, and snots and still wasn't getting any closer to fullness because the meat was the size of a peanut once you finally pulled it out.

In retrospect, I should not have ordered the two pound bag of crawdads. I know many of my decisions are faulty at best and made like this one. I wasn't sure I liked crawdads and had never in my life encountered a whole one before, but I knew that two pounds was more than one and therefore that's what I wanted. I think at some point, my battle with the crawdads became more of a test of will rather than a real desire to eat any more crawdads. My fingers were shaking and my face was spattered, but dammit, I was going to finish what I started.

I began foregoing the claws entirely and focusing just on the little curled up tail. If you've ever had to remove the meat from a lobster tail then you can understand what pulling apart a crawdad is like, only performed on a 1/20 scale. If the meat from a lobster tail pairs nicely with a grilled steak, then the meat from a single crawdad pairs equally well with a bacon bit. I began to hoard my tail meat in the hopes of having one last satisfying portion at the end of my endeavors. After shucking perhaps 10 crawdads, I had two tablespoons of meat. I don't care how awesome the sauce is, I didn't pay $18 to go home and have to eat a hamburger because my 1/4 cup of crawdad came with 1.9 lbs of shells.

In closing, unless you have more coordination that I have (probable) and more finesse in excavating the meat from crustaceans (certain), I would not recommend the Boiling Crab. Not only will your clothes get stained and your face get soiled, but you will likely have to stop on your way home to get some "real" food (pupusas).