Monthly Archives: January 2008

On Dating…

So I mean, of course, online dating is as ubiquitous as flip-flops on hobbitish unattended male feet these days…….so if you’re single you HAVE to give it a shot.  I’m no stranger to it, but I’ve learned you have to put in that “somethin’ extra” when you fill out your profile.  Since I’m too lazy to come up with a food or weight loss related topic today, I’m just going to cut and paste the work of GENIUS that I posted in my dating blog……even THOSE websites have a special section for a blog…..fucking blogs and the fuckers who coined the term……

 I guess when you hit your late 30’s there is some sense of absurdity when it comes to dating. Not that the act of dating is absurd, you just finally give in to the algorithm of quirks and standards that allows you to comfortably and happily (ripping a line from Some Kind of Wonderful here) be alone for the right reasons instead of being with someone for the wrong ones. I have nothing at all against marriage, it doesn’t scare me, but at the same time I don’t feel that desperation to achieve it that is chronicled in so many romantic comedies. With that stated, does it mean I’m just a typical commitment-phobe? Am I so dysfunctional after so many relationships that I’m in denial? Just writing those questions brings me back to the topic of absurdity…when you hit your late 30’s you realize those queries don’t really matter anymore. I mean, if I wanted someone to “fix” me I would have used those irrational fears to goad me into at least one or two failed marriages…ten years ago.Dating is great. Relationships are great, they truly are. But after doing all of that for so long without experiencing a storybook scenario like the ones that fueled all of the existential angst of your early twenties, you figure…love is one random sonofabitch. So with that in mind I dream up these ridiculous scenarios that would qualify someone as “the one”. The chances of one of the scenarios coming to pass is pretty slim, but if it DID happen then there would be no question about the authenticity of the chemistry. Because chemistry, sweet chemistry, is really the only thing that matters…and in my tiny universe of movie quotes and storylines there is a specificity to that brand of alchemy that, by anyone’s standards, is absurd.

One shining example involves the daily routine of the corporate cubicle farm. In it, I am going through my usual inner-dialogue on topics such as “Holding the elevator door for an hour as someone meanders toward it really is the gold standard around here, huh?”, or “Why in THE HELL would I go to lunch with people I would NEVER spend time with outside of work? Yay! Applebees! Let’s all go have riblets and be bound by the exact same office politics that stifle ANY interesting conversations!”, and finally, “This cubicle wall is what? Four inches thick and five feet high? Don’t you think I learn WAY too much about your spouse’s thoughts on your last bout of toenail fungus when you are screaming into your phone so they can hear you over the Carrie Underwood you’ve got blasting in the background?”.

So it is against that backdrop that I’m wandering down the hallway to get a drink or go to a meeting. I stop briefly in front of one of the TV monitors by the elevators to see the latest news on CNN. I finally give up on telling people “no, seriously, you don’t have to hold the elevator door for me, I’m just watching the news, you can be on your way with my blessings and my thanks” and just let them stew in their anticipation as I zone out on today’s top headlines. As luck would have it, Britney and Paris apparently stayed at home that day, so there is no top story…just a panel of people debating the war in Iraq. Snoozefest! Just as I’m about to walk away and go catch up on some REAL news via, one of the old white guys on the panel makes the comment “freedom isn’t free”. Before I can roll my eyes or bang my head against the wall, I instinctively follow up his comment by singing softly “now there’s a hefty fuckin’ fee, and if you don’t throw in your buck o’ five who will?”. Thinking I am totally alone after the last elevator departed, I am shocked to hear a sweet voice from behind me, singing along in stereo as I pay my meager tribute to the film Team America. As I turn to see the other member of this impromptu duet, I am shocked by the boldness, the brashness and devil-may-care attitude of anyone who works in THIS environment but still, knowing I was standing right there, chose to join in on my melodic little media protest. My heart stops momentarily as my stare locks into the eyes of my equal, and I am calm in the knowledge that I am in love. From an astral stage five thousand feet above me I can see the entire span of my life with her, from her one-upsmanship on picking the wine on our first date to the last time I ever feel her breath on me when I am old and my days are at an end. So I turn around and I step forward just enough to feel the first breath I will ever feel in a lifetime of singularly perfect, wordless moments with her. My usual cynical bravado escapes me as I try to find the words that will begin this journey, and we just laugh. Before we even know the name of our soulmate, we just laugh. And we just pick up like we’ve known each other our whole lives. And of course, she’s pretty hot. I mean, that just goes without saying.


Filed under Bariatric Surgery, culture, dating, Food, General Thoughts, Health, Healthy Eating, Recovery, Weight Loss

Rock of Love and “Slider” Foods…

Okay, I’ll try not to make this any more painful than necessary…….I just scored a brand new 9 quart Le Creuset round “flame” oven for 150 bucks shipped.  I just had to at least say it, don’t want to rub it in or anything…… just needed to be said.

So the new season of the most entertaining show on television (relatively speaking, of course…. I mean, I just got around to watching the first 2 seasons of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’) has begun.  Of course, I’m referring to Bret Michaels Rock of Love.  What a show.  It.  Is.  Magical.  Using words like “whore” or “hussy” when I think of that parade of dyed, waxed and augmented meat is just too…..vanilla?  I don’t know what new terminology I’m searching for here….is “road hog” appropriate?  Or to borrow a term from one Mr. Nick Cave……”fornicatrix”?  I’m rarely at a loss for words, and for someone who is a regular viewer of HowardTV it makes my lack of an appropriate insult even more bizarre.  Basically, Rock of Love is the logical conclusion of what television was meant to be.  It is a hearty serving of joy, sadness, triumph, exploitation and multiple-partner spit-swapping that is simmering desperately in its own yeasty homeostasis.  Hepatitis confit, if you will. 

So when I started this blog I wanted it to be a reflection of my true, self-involved persona as it evolves over time.  I think I have achieved that.  What I DIDN’T want it to become is just another weight loss testimonial site that I can share with everyone I meet…..I love rambling on and on, dominating the conversation, but I hate telling the same story to different people every time they notice I’ve lost weight.  This blog is mainly for anyone besides me who can find humor in telling inquisitive souls…….”No, I didn’t have surgery or go on a diet……my AIDS is actin’ up!”.  Actually, it’s for people who can find humor in that OR get truly pissed off by it…….I love chiding pop-culture fundamentalists of any stripe, whether they worship at the church of Rush Limbaugh or Michael Moore.  Wait, I have to include the humorless Aberzombies who say “I don’t like Rush Limbaugh OR Michael Moore, and I STILL think you’re an asshole”.  You’re right.  I AM an asshole……….an asshole who has stolen precious moments of your life by making you think about how damn UNIQUE you aren’t. 

With all of that said, there IS an inherent “the hills are alive with the sound of music” joy involved with losing a lot of weight and having your focus shift to something besides where the next “fix” is coming from that will be shoveled into your gaping maw.  I don’t think I’ll ever totally lose my cynical center and become one of those “the hills are alive” folks, but THOSE people do serve a purpose.  There are very weird and very private things associated with the post-surgery life, and it is genuinely good to find some of those things put into words.  A few weeks ago I thought that a “fine dining” cookbook for post-surgery folks would be a great project, but before I put too much thought into that I researched to see if it had already been done.  It had.  Not very well, but the precedent was already set.  During this search I stumbled upon this site:  From the look of it, they fall into the “hills are alive” category, and they do a great job of providing information for those of us from the other side of the tracks.  There is a good compilation of recipes, but more importantly it made me realize how many other people out there speak the “language”.  For example, per the title of this post….”slider foods”.  Over the holidays I found myself going, “holy shit, I sure can eat a lot of mashed potatoes….I hope I didn’t mess up my new little stomach”.  Slider foods are a testament to the fact that gastric bypass is only a tool…..yes, you can hork down as many white carbs as you want, for the most part, and by doing so you can stall your progress.  They “slide” right through your pouch and bypass any feeling of satiety you would get from proteins.  As far as damaging the new stomach, they provide a link to the “Five Day Pouch Test” for people with the EXACT same questions I had.  Admittedly, I am no rocket scientist….I do know that there is a plethora of information out there on the web, and I’ve got my support groups I can attend twice a month.  It’s just NICE to stumble upon a resource like this one and find out that enough people have been down the same path that they’ve created a whole language centered around your nagging worries.  I really mean that, they provide a great service.  AND they make it that much easier for me to do what I do…………selfishly rant and fuck around, doling out pearls of what I consider wisdom on my terms.

Anyway, I have to run now.  My AIDS is actin’ up….


Filed under Bariatric Surgery, culture, Food, General Thoughts, Health, Healthy Eating, Recovery, Weight Loss

A New Year And My “Old” Butcher…

First off, after totally blowing off the meat department at my local Price Chopper for the past couple of years I managed to find a couple of allies today.  In the past I found it totally impossible to get anything from them that wasn’t already cut and wrapped in the meat case….just really indifferent customer service.  When I was up there this afternoon I spied veal t-bones in the case.  That is something I haven’t seen readily available at any of the meat counters in town, and for $12.99/lb it looked like a great deal.  Also, they are just about the PERFECT size for one meal….just a tad too large at around 4oz each.  As they were wrapping up a couple for me I commented that it was great to see a cut like that at my local megamart, and they said they had them “all the time”.  With that I inquired about offal…. sweetbreads, kidney, etc.  They told me they’d be happy to order in anything I needed….jokingly saying “we can get elephant in here if you give us a little lead time”.  So it was nice to make a little breakthrough with my local butcher….although I won’t be neglecting my friends at Paradise Meats up in Trimble anytime soon.  They are just so customer service oriented and their selection is excellent.  I like the new attitude right up the street from my house, but when you find a good local butcher I think it is your personal responsibility to support them.

Anyway, it’s a new year and that is the main reason for my post.  As I stated earlier, it was nice to go through the first holiday season of my life without freaking out about how much weight I was going to gain.  Granted, between the wine and a few different comfort “slider” foods like potatoes and various white starches, my weight loss did slow down some.  But as of today I have passed the 90lb mark, and with the holidays behind me and what I hope turns out to be a lengthy stay for this warm weather I’m on track and feeling good.

I found out last Sunday that some of my friends were going to take me up on my offer of hosting this year’s New Year’s Eve gathering.  It felt good to go into food preparation overdrive for the first time in a long time.  I researched and debated for a little while and then decided to do something I can do really well for a small crowd…….BBQ.  By a small crowd I’m talking about twelve people total…..and of course I made way, way too much food like I’ve always done in the past.  Two pork butts, two briskets, 3lbs of smoked sausage rolls, 30 abt’s, a few quarts of homemade baked beans, assorted chips, dip, nachos, the works.  I purposely made a lot so that I could give my parents and their friends a bunch of it, but even then it was an insane amount of food.  In the past I wouldn’t worry about it too much because I’d end up eating the leftovers without too much of a problem.  However, even after giving away a TON of food for my guests to take with them, I had more meat, beans, bread and abt’s than I could work my way through without damaging my health.  I froze some of it, ate a little, dried out the bread for breadcrumbs, but I’m going to admit something here that gave me a lot of stress……I threw some away.  Totally unheard of for me.  Mostly that was just the potato chips, dip, nachos and some of the beans, but still, even though it was a waste of food I’m calling it progress.  Normally I’d go into OCD mode to eat it all, but since that would be physically impossible now I just said the hell with it and threw it all away.  I think I’ve already come a long way in modifying my behavior and my thoughts surrounding food, but sometimes the old demons pop back up and have to be dealt with.  I love to cook, that’s just who I am, but having all of this “garbage” food around post-surgery was completely new to me and I dealt with it in what I thought was the healthiest way possible. 

Overall Iwould have to say that it was a joyful occasion to have that many people over to my house for the first time since my breakup and surgery.  Being around quality people is therapy.  Now that I don’t cook from a place of sheer obsessive hunger like I have in the past, it’s a BLAST to cook for people and play host.  The food was well received, and from the responses I think I’ve taken my burnt ends to that next ethereal level.  I broke into one of my “good” bottles of wine to enjoy throughout the evening; a 2002 Pinot from The Magnificent Wine Company.  By “good” I mean it was better than my usual $8-$10 fare.  What a difference in flavor when you’re used to Torres “Sangre de Toro” and House Wine. 

As life continues to even out a bit I plan to entertain more often.  Since I just got my new Kitchenaid mixer, I’ll do some kind of homemade pasta dinner in the next month or so, then something for graduation in May, possibly Halloween just so that I have an excuse to dress up like Dean Stockwell as “Ben” in Blue Velvet…….not sure, but I do like having quality friends over to the house.  Part of that is my desire to please others and make sure I’m still “cool”, but as I lose more weight and my confidence grows I’m getting much more comfortable with my personality.  Of course your friends are always going to boost your ego and compliment you in ways that you need and appreciate, but even beyond that I’m beginning to notice how much of my general insecurity is subsiding as I lose weight, and my interactions with people are becoming way more confident and charismatic.  I’ve always been pretty open about who I am and what I’m into, and coupled with being the funny fat man it has generally worked for me.  I’m a charismatic guy who attracts people and I know how to work them if need be, but at the same time I only spend my free time with people I genuinely enjoy.  I like that combination a lot, and as I let my charisma and personality “off-leash” more and more I want to be sure and temper that with compassion for others that I normally DON’T have and focus on more permanent elements like family (via my renewed therapy visits).  Right now I’m going to let myself enjoy my progress, and as long as I’m not one of those cheesy comb-over guys hitting on their waitress or someone who cluelessly goes shirtless when they have no business doing it, then fuck it……I have a certifiable streak of “that guy could start a cult” in me and I want to have fun with it.  For example, I’m not going to be that interested in dating for a little while, but when I do it would be nice be able to go out with someone way too hot and way too young for me without actually doing it.  I don’t really have any interest in someone that far removed from what I call good conversation, so just knowing I COULD would be more than enough.  So Happy New Year to ME.  I rule.  And to be honest, the only people who don’t understand that are usually pretty uninteresting and their kung-fu is typically weak.  🙂

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Filed under Bariatric Surgery, Food, General Thoughts, Health, Healthy Eating, Recovery, Weight Loss