Monthly Archives: December 2007

Deals of the Century!

Okay, this short entry has absolutely no purpose other than expressing my joy about a couple of insane deals this week…..

First of all, I scored a 7.25 quart round Le Creuset French oven for a mere $133.00 shipped, AND an Artisan series Kitchenaid mixer for…………wait for it………….. $79.00 shipped (the pro series is almost too tall for my low kitchen cabinets, so I opted for this rare deal).  Now that I think about it, I don’t think I mentioned the 20 quart All Clad stainless stockpot I got for $33 a couple of weeks ago.  All of these deals were found at my secret online open-box merchandise seller………I don’t think you could get prices like these from a crackhead on eBay.  If you’re a friend of mine that knows about my secret online retailer, just remember that if you mention it to anyone I will seriously fuck you up.  You will get the full chipotle battery acid absinthe drip treatment, so help me god.  This is about my gloating and holding it over your head, not about you using the knowledge to gloat or hold it over anyone else’s head.  Just to note…on the photo below, all four French ovens and the mixer ended up costing me a total of around $375 shipped.  Take THAT suckas! 

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 Anyway, pretty uneventful here in the snowed-in confines of my beautiful Platte County resort.  Met up with friends at the Velvet Dog last night, and we ended up getting kicked out because of the most anti-climactic reason you can imagine…….someone in our group accidentally (not really) used the ladies room.  In a ghost town of a bar that doesn’t sound like it should be a hanging offense, but this weasel of a doorman who could have passed for a Mario Cantone action figure with a nifty little headset gave us the heave-ho.  Totally unreal.  I’m sure our waitress bitch-slapped the doorman after she realized she just lost a group of ten that had settled in for the evening.  Seriously, ten years ago when I was doing a LOT of damage to the local bar scene you had to at least throw blows to get tossed…..and even then they just kicked out the person who started it.  And the doormen were usually guys who could get away with braining you with a mag-lite, and you knew they’d do it……not one of these little metrosexual pilates toned mirror boys.  What the fuck?  The demise of the club scene has to go back to all of these pointless smoking bans….the last frontier for people who can’t live without minding other people’s business (under the total bullshit guise of it being “for the health of the employees”).  Seriously, if you’re a smoking ban proponent, go fuck yourself.  I can obviously be more eloquent than that when the mood strikes, but for now you can go and try to stick your head even farther up Rob “It’s for the CHILDREN” Reiner’s ass.  If you don’t want your clothes to smell like smoke, stay the hell out of KCMO bars and enjoy horking down a heapin’ platter of a Chili’s awesome blossom with the rest of your pathetic soccer mom cronies out in the stripmall wasteland known as Johnson County.  You don’t care about public health, that’s just the excuse you use to make your pet peeve into a law.  I know I sound harsh and have gotten WAY off the subject here, but I want you know, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart…….from one non-smoker to another……..go and find a cause that actually makes a difference for someone besides yourself.   And if you start bringing up your gramma or someone close to you who died from years of smoking, then you’re about two steps away from being one of those freaks who holds up the dead baby pictures at abortion protests. 

Anyway, no idea how I got so bipolar……joyful one minute and angst-filled the next.  It feels good though, the heart wants what it wants.  Overall it has been a good week.  I’m hoping it thaws enough to take the dog down to the river a couple of times over the weekend.  It’s nice to make it through the first holiday season of my life with no weight gain, therefore no heart-wrenching New Year’s resolution that happens year after year after year.  Right now it’s all about finishing school, staying gainfully employed in the middle of a corporate tug-of-war, and managing to somehow become happy enough with myself to finally focus on the wellbeing of others.   Unless they are one of those IDIOTS who whine about smoking bans and foie gras…… although maybe if we give the baby its bottle it will delay the logical conclusion of that fundamentalist mindset…….of course I’m referring to the passing of legislation that will require people to lose weight to save everyone money on health insurance.  Mark my words, it will happen.  In a land where our mantra seems to be “freedom as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else”, there is no shortage of people who spend their days figuring out ways that your personal choices are hurting everyone else.

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Moratorium On Purchasing Clothes…

First of all….Merry Fucking Christmas…..if you still have any holiday cheer left after dealing with the crowds and traffic since the holiday season started (I believe it officially kicked off the day after Labor Day this year), then you deserve some time to unwind and forget about all of the mouth-breathing mall dwellers…..   I personally didn’t have to suffer too much, since I chose practical and pain-free gift shopping this year…booze, gift cards, super premium beef, homemade stock/demi-glace and home roasted coffee. 

I think I’ll make it through the whole season this year without racking up more than a couple hundred bucks in debt.  I owe most of that feat to surgery; no extravagant dinners (Bluestem Happy Hour is king), no excessive drinking (we did get pretty hammered last Friday night, but that was it),  and no “the hell with it, it’s the holidays” eating binges (my one vice in this cold weather has been homemade Plaza III steak soup).  Being single again has also helped to reign in the credit cards.

 HOWEVER, I have gotten sucked into too many sales at Casual Male Big and Tall.  They send out all kinds of coupons, rewards, etc., to get you to come in and shop.  So of course since I’ve lost so much weight so quickly I’ve needed clothes.  Some of my purchases have just been for fun…novelty boxers with Scarface or pints of Guinness on them are just too ridiculous to pass up.  But most of my shopping has been to supplement the clothing I can still wear; new pants, shirts, etc.  I haven’t bought that much, just enough to have a couple of pairs of decent pants for work, and shirts or sweaters that aren’t one of my gratuitous lazy-guido fleeces. 

As of TODAY, even the peripheral clothes shopping has been halted until further notice.  I had some downtime this afternoon and went through some storage containers full of old clothes, and managed to find about seven brand new pairs of pants that I’ve never worn.  There were a LOT more than that stored away that were way too big, these are just the ones I could fit into.  If you’re a big guy, you know how it goes….you hate shopping and trying on clothes, so at different points in time you’ve taken clothes home that are too small and you’re too lazy to take them and trade them in, you keep gaining weight…..so after about ten or fifteen years you have a ton of new clothes that you have forgotten about.  None of the clothes I’ve found so far are fantastic, but they are definitely decent enough to keep me from buying any more new stuff until they are all too big for me.  As I stockpile clothes that are too big for me, I’ll keep an outfit or two so I can do one of those “before” photos in giant pants, but other than that they are all in great enough shape to donate. 

The weight loss is still happening even though I’ve been too lazy to go out walking in this cold weather, but it has slowed down a bit.  I’m right at 85 or 86 pounds lost so far, which is significant in 4 months, but I think as I stick with whole proteins vs. soups or stews I can really kick it in the ass so it comes off a little faster.  Also, I’m finding that my New Whey protein supplements (best creation EVER…..42 grams of protein packed into a 3 ounce test tube) really offsets my hunger for a few hours.  Before I start drinking 2 of these a day so that I can use one as a breakfast replacement I’ll definitely talk to my doctor, but if I do that I know I’ll never skip breakfast (which is a problem for me, especially on the weekends) and I’ll stay full for the rest of the morning. 

One more huge container of clothes to go through before I sit on my butt and finish my “Arrested Development” marathon………

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So this guy is buying a case of Silver Oak…

And he was doing it right in front of me at Red-X this morning.  All I could think about was…if I had the money to drop on a case of WAY over-hyped cabernet, I wouldn’t even know where to start.  There’s so much good wine out there for a lot less money, but I guess if you’re giving gifts to your other rich friends who don’t know much about wine there is always that big “SILVER OAK” brand name recognition to fall back on.  If you are reading this and are planning to purchase a case of Silver Oak, let me know and for the rock-bottom price of one bottle per case I’ll point you toward purchases that don’t represent a one dimensional “Celine Dion” of wines.  Who really knows what people with money are thinking?  I guess it’s like buying a Rolex or an Escalade……just because you have money doesn’t mean you have taste.  Like Steve Martin in The Jerk…..”go back there and get us some FRESH wine!”. 

 So anyway, my meager purchases included a whopping PINT of Bushmill’s that I’ll have a few sips of tomorrow night.  My capstone project is turned in, my last class for the semester is tonight, and I’m on vacation from tomorrow until the day after Christmas.  I figure I can really kick back and have a couple of drinks without screwing myself up too badly.  I met up with some friends last night down at the Power Plant Brewery and learned a couple of valuable lessons.  First of all, there probably won’t be any beer in my future.  I could barely finish a little over a pint in over an hour, so with all of the calories it’s just not worth drinking.  Second, pub food is, for the most part, swill to me now.  I ate about four bites of a chicken pot pie, and that was just to dig what little protein I could out of the thing.  Normally I would have wolfed it down with glee, but so much has changed in the months since surgery that I have to continue to re-evaluate which foods are worth my time when I’m not eating at home.  None of the food that the other guys got looked good to me either.  Honestly, I don’t really feel sad about it or left out, it actually takes some pressure off of me now that I have set parameters and don’t have to worry so much about what restaurant dishes will be big enough to fill me up.  I’ll still go out to eat with family and friends, but when I’M the one choosing a meal I’ll stick with quality.  The last time I lost a significant amount of weight I was all about “paying twice as much money for half as much food”, and now I can really live that mantra without dealing with the constant hunger.  Plus, when was the last time I bought a single pint of ANYTHING without the intent of downing it in a couple of slugs as a mere alcoholic aperitif?  It’s definitely a weird transition for me, but I passed the 80 pound mark this week so no complaints here. 

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WWNMD (What Would Nick Manning Do?)

Maybe now that I’ve gotten past a major milestone in grad school I’ll start blogging more……or maybe I’ll just watch more movies and buy a Playstation 3.  This has been a pretty good week, but also very, very weird.  I completed and turned in my mega-paper for my capstone research work, which has taken a load off of my mind that you can’t even imagine.  Now I just have a four page paper to complete for the last class of this semester, and I’m off to easy street…….three more classes and I graduate.  If my paper passes muster I’ll be on track to graduate with a 4.0 GPA, which should help me when I completely lose my mind and get into a Org Psych Phd program.  Things are great on the school front and the weight loss has hit a new milestone.  What milestone, you ask?  Other GUYS are starting to mention my weight loss.  You know when other guys say something it’s got to be really noticeable.  I was in the office a lot last week and had several co-workers come up and comment, not to mention all of the sweet eye-rape vibes coming off of the she-geeks in my department.  Perhaps some day my weight loss will create a happy medium between my arrogant belief that I should always date women who are way out of my league, and actually getting more women who really are out of my league.  We’ll see how that goes….

Now to the crappy, weird and surreal part of the week……  I won’t go into too much detail because I really want to try and stay on the high road, but I got a late-night from my ex on Friday and she started the conversation with talk of getting back together.  I was coming down off of a serious HIGH (from turning in my paper a few hours earlier) when she called and I was taken completely off-guard.  Long story short, she took my hesitation as total rejection and the  conversation took a very familiar turn…… every stupid thing I ever did in our relationship was discussed ad nauseum, and any time I tried to interject any logic or reason it was met with “it’s too late now, I should have NEVER called you”.  I did not live up to the Ross and Rachel picture in her mind that prompted the phone call. I guess I was supposed to go “YEAH!  Let’s forget all of the hell we put each other through and jump right back in!”.  So that dragged on for a little while and went nowhere.  THEN I start getting calls at 7:30am today (a Sunday) asking for a ride to work because she couldn’t find her keys.  I didn’t have my ringer on so that I could sleep late, so I didn’t know she called until around noon……and by that time I had about six increasingly hostile messages accusing me of ignoring her, that she would never make the mistake of asking to get back together again, etc.  So there you have it.  Not sure what to make of all of that because I definitely spend a lot of time thinking about whether or not we’d at least get to a point where we can be friendly to each other and not have it be weird when we’re in the same room.  We broke up early last summer and she was finally able to move out in late August (the weekend before I had surgery), so between the breakup and passing of our would-be wedding day, my surgery, the recovery and readjustment to life AFTER surgery, a job contracting for one of the most layoff-prone companies in the industry, and trying to complete a very intense semester of grad school…….I guess I didn’t react quickly enough to a 12:30am query about trying to work things out between us.  In the middle of explaining where I was at mentally and emotionally right now, the dredging up of things long dead began……”why is it that last year when I was having a hard time I was supposed to cowboy-up, but now that you’re having hard time you expect all the leeway in the world to figure things out?”.  Gee, I dont’ know……maybe because WE BROKE UP AND YOU MOVED OUT, AND ANY COMMUNICATION BETWEEN US SINCE THEN HAS BEEN FORCED AND UNCOMFORTABLE?  Anyway, sorry for the rambling, I said I wanted to take the high road and I think I was only half successful.  It was just a weird mix of shit this weekend…celebratory cheer shaken (not stirred) together with the kind of maddening and illogical guilt trip that I thought I wouldn’t have to deal with again.  I have no idea what in the hell I want right now as far as a relationship, or when I’ll ever be ready to jump back on that crazy train.  I can’t even muster enough interest to yammer back and forth with the OKCupid girls.  To be completely honest, my biggest thought these days in regards to relationships is……when it comes to choosing a date, how young is too young before it just looks weird and we have nothing in common to talk about?  I’m not out to rob the cradle or live out some jailbait fantasy, I just want to cast a wider net when I’m finally ready to get back into that world.  I want to have fun and spend time with someone who doesn’t constantly remind me that I’m in my late thirties, as a way to convince me that it’s not “normal” to be unmarried with no kids.  Having a good job, a good education, a nice house and little doggie is probably about as grown up as I’m going to be for a long time.  Beyond that, I’m not going to punish myself with the soccer mom mentality because it’s not who I am. 

 Anyway, so what WOULD Nick Manning do?  That’s right, he’d be DROPPIN’ LOADS!  God I love HowardTV.  Have I even mentioned that in my blog yet?  Probably not, but it’s totally true.  Oh I know, he doesn’t have all of the panache, sophistication and topical wit of cutting edge icons like Bill Maher, Bill O’Reilly, Michael Moore, Rush Limbaugh, or any  of the other identical clones who make really stupid people feel like they are using their brains more than the folks who watch MTV’s The Real World………..but he makes me laugh. 

Next time…………how pissed I was today at the theatre when the pre-show advertisement loop played a music video by Three Doors Down that was actually an advertisement for the National Guard.  Sorry if I’m the last one to hear about this pathetic piece of propaganda to get even more high school kids to die in Iraq, apparently I’ve been too busy hamming-off to HowardTV and denying my obligation to hurry up and procreate before I’m too old. 

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