Category Archives: Evangelical Christianity

There IS Hope For The Unsaved!!!



Hi there!  My name is Annie and I’m a six-year old wiggle-butt!  I’m the most special kind of doggie because MY person loved me enough to adopt me from a shelter instead of going to one of those people who raise puppies for money!   I love my person VERY MUCH, and I love all of you too!  As a matter of fact, I wish all of you could be as happy as me, and that is pretty happy!  I think most people have big hearts and they want to do what’s right, even though life isn’t always easy.  Now, things aren’t always as complicated as you might think, and I don’t want you to think it’s too weird to hear about the gospel from a wiggle-butt!  I’m here to tell you that NOBODY needs to be unsaved, especially not when Jesus is there to take care of everything and make YOU as happy as ME!  You know what?  I’m just going to tell you this right now…even if you don’t know anything about him, the lord has a plan for you and if you can be patient enough to listen to a sweet little doggie I’m going to tell you all about some things that will help you out.  

First of all, I know some of you good Christian people wonder what the best way is to talk to your unsaved loved ones.  That is no joke, and even though I’m a dog I sure do know it!  When my person isn’t around, I go onto his website and I look at AAAALLLLLLL of the different things you saved people type into Google about your unsaved loved ones that directs you to his website. This website makes it SOOOO easy to find out how people get in here, even for a little wiggle-butt like me!  I know my person doesn’t care about all of you like I do, so I’m going to help you out!  He’s not a bad person, he just doesn’t understand things like we do.  I get on this computer machine to see what all of you are wanting to know when my person drinks too much of that funny smelling water and falls asleep in his chair.  He gets mad when I pee-pee on the carpet, and I wish he’d remember how many times I’ve seen HIM pee-pee all over himself when he has too much of that funny smelling water….oh, it’s very scary when he gets like that.  I pray for him, and I hope YOU pray for him!   

Boy I sure do hate my person’s font, so I’m going to use my own!  And like I told you, there are so many things you all come in here wondering about, and I’m going to help you RIGHT NOW! I know I’m just a doggie, and I don’t have an eternal soul like all of you people who are reading this. But I STILL think it’s very important for me to explain things to you!  First of all, it hurts to talk about how happy my person’s home used to be when I had a mommy AND a daddy.  When I came here to live I had a doggie brother and two parents.  Then one day my mommy and daddy started yelling at each other so much that finally my mommy and my brother were GONE!  You know what I think the problem was?  My mommy and daddy weren’t ever MARRIED!  Sure, I’m just a doggie but even I know that the lord doesn’t approve of two people living in SIN!  I think if they got married I wouldn’t be missing my mommy and my brother like I do now, because the lord would have taken care of everything if they chose to honor him first. That’s what made me realize I need to get on here and help you figure out how to talk to YOUR unsaved loved ones, just like I wish someone had talked to both of my parents. 

I’ll probably do this every once in a while until my person figures out what I’m up to on this here computer, but basically I’m just going to list aaallllll of the questions you type into Google and tell you what to do.  A lot of them sound alike, so I’ll group them together when I can.  I’m so happy to have you here!  I really do want you to be happy!  And you know what will make you happy?  Some old-time gospel truth! 

 annie8.jpg “Should I hang around unsaved friends” 

Hey, if you aren’t around to share the gospel with them, who will be?  If they can’t understand that the BIBLE is the rule book, then it is YOUR job to make it happen!  Faith without works is DEAD, so get to WORK!  If they try telling you all that gibberish about how they don’t even believe in God, or they are of some other pagan religion like a Buddhist or a Jew, don’t be afraid to turn up the VOLUME!  Get into the Book of Revelation because NOTHING motivates the unsaved like a healthy fear of HELL!  I can’t remember where exactly Jesus said it, but I know somewhere he must have said something like “love me or I will scare you into loving me”.  How else would there be so many Pentecostals if he didn’t say that?  It works!  

 annie2.jpg “How to minister to our unsaved loved one” 

Boy, I sure can relate to this and I sure do feel for you.  My doggie heart is broken every day watching MY unsaved loved one walk around oblivious.  But fortunately for you, the solution is very similar to the one for unsaved friends.  At some point you just have to give up on your friends when they won’t listen to you, but if you have a close family member who won’t listen then you have to go the extra mile.  I only weigh eighteen pounds and don’t have opposable thumbs, or I’d do this myself….have you ever heard of the drug-assisted aversion therapy known as the “Ludovico Technique”.  If not, read up on it. I think you will like it because it is 100% effective with minimal lifelong trauma.                                                     

 annie10.jpg “Death of an unsaved loved one”, and “Unsaved relative just died”   

Um, yeah.  I don’t know what it says in YOUR Bible, but in my Bible this situation never ends up too good.  Oh well, if nothing else use the story as a cautionary tale to scare people with.  

 annie7.jpg “Salvation tract for my unsaved family” and“Scripture for unsaved loved ones”

Oh boy, I think this is my favorite thing to talk about!  Long story short, when someone refuses to get saved, just KEEP QUOTING SCRIPTURE!  Not just one, ALL OF THEM!  And when you get tired of talking, or you just have NO personality at all and lack the social skills to live by example, then be SURE to visit  They have got what you NEED!  These tracts are the best because they condense the whoooole gospel down into a tiny little comic book that you can hand to people.  And the best thing is, almost ALL of them talk about hell!  And even the ones that aren’t about hell are good, because they tell good stories about bad people turning their lives around and getting saved.  I think the one called “Lisa” is my favorite.  It’s about a little girl whose father molests her until he finally gets saved……and he got saved so good that child services didn’t even have to get involved!  They just lived happily ever after!  “Lisa” is good, but the ones about the Catholics are pretty good too.  Did you know that The Pope is the antichrist, and there are mass graves of dead babies that are the bastard offspring of priests and nuns buried right under the Vatican?  It’s true!  I don’t even think Catholics can GET saved, so don’t even waste your time! 

 annie4.jpg “Why are the unsaved so hostile” 

You got me.  They are even hostile to me and I’m a precious doggie!  Deep down, the unsaved know they are lost, and it makes them angry way down in their belly.  Don’t let them scare you though, what’s the worst that will happen? They’ll go to Hell #2?  Stay on top of them and don’t let up because sometimes you have to be very rude, thoughtless and mean in order to show someone how much FUN it is to be SAVED!  Oh boy, talking like this sure does make me wish I had a soul, because I want to go to heaven one day and talk to all of you about how much I’ve helped you. 

 annie3.jpg “Simple question to ask your unsaved mother” 

This is a sensitive subject, because it is VERY important to honor your parents.  At the same time, who would you want to get saved more than your Mommy?  The bottom line is, you can’t be shy about it. The next time she’s in the kitchen, sneak up behind her and hold her hand down on the stove.  Then start yelling, “Remember how bad it hurt when I came out of your tummy?  Well that’s NOTHING compared to HELL!  You wanna feel this burning all over you FOREVER?  LISTEN TO ME WOMAN!  NO MOMMIES IN HELL! NO MOMMIES IN HELL!!!!”  Trust me, she’ll come around.

 annie9.jpg “Dating unsaved” and “My girlfriend is unsaved” 

Well, I’m assuming that you got saved after the two of you started dating, because no real Christian in their right mind would unequally yoke themselves with a nonbeliever.  You are headed for a nightmare, my friend. Stay away from all of that.  And if you are banging away already, then YOU need to get saved!  Take my unsaved person for example, for some reason he has stopped eating all of the food I used to steal off of his plate and he’s shrinking more and more every day.  Now he is acting like a ladies man with new clothes and he is in mortal danger of finding me a new unsaved mommy, and I just can’t deal with it.  And I feel sorry for any good Christian girl who would get stuck with him, because they have NO IDEA what he is like.  Sometimes I wish I had a voice instead of a cute doggie bark, because I’d yell, “Hey! Fat Boy!  Just because YOU don’t eat yummy food anymore it doesn’t mean you can’t give it to ME! And those naughty girls you like to watch on your picture-box aren’t what you should be after!  Go to church!”.  And I don’t know what a “safety word” is, but he sure does insist all his filthy harlots choose one as soon as they come over here to MY house!  Anyway, you Christian people should stick with other Christians. That is just the bottom line. 

 annie6.jpg “Explaining the Old Testament to the unsaved” 

Shalom Aleichem!  You’re Jewish, right?  I mean, I can’t get my doggie brain around how many saved people use the Torah when they don’t even understand the NEW Testament well enough to be effective!  If you become a Jew for Jesus then I’ll let you come over here and teach me some good material from the Old Testament.  Even though there is no logical reason for saved folks to use the Old Testament because they are under grace now (and the Old Testament is a book of laws), there are a LOT of us who like to live by the law so that we can judge OTHERS by the law!  Especially dirty homosexuals! YUCK!  I eat my own poop and even I think that is just the most disgusting of all sins!  And there is some good spooky stuff in the Old Testament to use against the unsaved!  Come explain it to me so that I can come back here one day and explain it to all of my person’s readers!     

annie5.jpg “How many unsaved people die per day” 

Well, as much as I love to preach the gospel in the tough-love manner that is required for all true believers, this question bothers me for a couple of reasons.  First of all, it’s just creepy. And secondly, if you’ve got time to Google something like THAT then you’ve got too much time on your hands that you should be using to witness to people.  Maybe then more SAVED people would die every day!  You ever think of THAT?  You better start sending that timber up to heaven if you want a mansion, fella!  

Well it sure has been a lot of fun coming on here and talking with you good people!  I sure hope you like me, and not just because I’m cute but because I have such a command of the gospel truth!  My person is stirring around in the other room…….I think he has slept off his last blackout, and I sure do hope he doesn’t find out what I’ve been up to because he gets MEAN!  Then again, what is he going to do about it?  Beat and starve me even more?  You know what you get when you accidentally spill paint in the garage in THIS house?  A cigar burn!  Ouch!  And he just spent money for people to put me in a CAGE!  For DAYS!  He’s a tough case alright, but it’s not to late for HIM or any of YOUR unsaved loved ones to wise up and turn things around! 

D-O-G backwards is G-O-D!  Faithful and Loyal to YOU and to ME ! 




Filed under Bariatric Surgery, Blogroll, Christianity, culture, dating, Evangelical Christianity, Food, General Thoughts, Health, Healthy Eating, Recovery, religion, Tent Revival, Weight Loss

Live! From Gaithersburg, Maryland…

 Okay, just for the sake of sanity and dealing with boredom, I’m going to kick it old school and do the type of blog entry that I generally hate.  I’ll keep it all to one post, and if it sucks too badly I’ll just delete it later.  The type of blog that I hate is one where you spend your time reading pointless updates about random shit…….which, now that I think about it means I hate my own blog because I thrive on the random AND the pointless.  I’m currently on a business trip out east, and I’m staying at a hotel right next to a strip mall that could literally be in any metropolitan area in the country…….I can look out the window of the Hilton and see a Chipotle, Boston Market, Borders, Bed Bath and Beyond, Quizno’s, Sam’s Club and McDonald’s.  There is absolutely nothing that sets this place apart from Omaha, Des Moines or Tulsa.  So as I sit this close to the nation’s capitol and still manage to be bored, I’ll give you updates between now and Thursday with a handy little timestamp…

 March 10th, 2008- 11:25PM EST:

Two things…..First, I HATE to fly, and I have to say a lot of the pressure is lifted when you are finally at a “normal” enough weight to fit into a cramped airline seat without completely alienating the person  next to you.  Hooray for that.  I know how mundane that must sound to most of you, but for me it was a real breakthrough.  Secondly, I have zero embarassment about the fact that I can only eat or drink a small amount before I am full… it’s fun to eat four “happy hour freebie” mozzarella sticks at the Hilton lounge in front of your co-workers and say, “damn, I’m full”. 

The best thing about the trip so far is this African guy downstairs named Lawrence…he’s kind of a bellboy/concierge/go-to guy that I liked immediately due to his eagerness to engage us in conversation about the whole New York Governor scandal, why it was okay for us to snatch Noriega and bring him to the U.S., etc.  I’m going to tip this guy every time I get a chance, because that sonofabitch earns it.  They have a shuttle here to run you around where you need to go within a five mile radius, and earlier tonight when we were sick of paying hotel prices for drinks he commandeered the shuttle and ran us over to a liquor store.  When you go above and beyond to take me to a liquor store so that I can numb myself to the fact that I’ve got several days of corporate hell in front of me, you are my friend.  I’ll get a picture with this guy tomorrow and post it on here, because he just fucking rules.  So far he is the greatest thing about Gaithersburg; the strip mall capitol of the east coast……

 March 11th, 2008- 11:58PM EST:

Do you all remember that scene towards the end of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest where Nurse Ratched calls out young Billy, who just got laid and lost his stutter?  Well, my first day of training was a lot like that.  Nurse Ratched goes “Aren’t you ashamed?”, Billy says “No, I’m not” (no stutter!), then she says “You know Billy, what really worries me is how your mother is going to take this”.  Then the meltdown begins……”Um, um, well, y-y-y-you d-d-d-don’t have to t-t-t-tell her, Miss Ratched.”  To which she replies, “I don’t have to tell her? Your mother and I are old friends. You know that.”

Flash forward to ME at 8am EST this morning when I go down to the lobby to meet the group of people with whom I will spend the rest of the week…….and suddenly I morph into Billy….”P-p-p-please d-d-d-don’t m-m-m-make me do this…….n-n-n-no…NO!…n-n-no….p-please, NO!  N-n-n-NOT gonna d-d-do it!”…..first I slapped myself across the face, crying uncontrollably, and finally grabbed someone’s Snapple bottle, broke it and started carving gouges down my cheeks. 

It didn’t do any good, I was totally fucked at that point.  Apparently they get this reaction all the time.  The rest of the day is not worth mentioning, SO…….flash forward to 7:30PM EST this evening and I’m standing in front of the White House taking pictures.   You don’t have to be clairvoyant to know that I’m not the biggest fan of the current administration, so NORMALLY I’d be getting pictures of me grabbing my crotch, giving the finger or simulating autoerotic asphyxiation with my belt, right in front of the rose garden.  But….there is something about the vibe down there that just…..scares you.  It’s either the centuries of history, or the spooky amount of security and surveillance that you DON’T see that makes it too formidable to properly fuck around.  In fact, I was downright polite to people…, OLD SCHOOL polite.  I didn’t start saying “my liege” and shit like that, but when I went to ask one of the White House cops the quickest way to the National Archive area, it blew my mind because it came out like, “Excuse me kind sir, would you do me the honor of illuminating the path by which I may best traverse this fair city and find the archival landmark that will surely put me closest to that jolly tavern known as Cafe Atlantico?”.  I guess they get this all the time, because he goes…”Certainly, you just go straight down this street, which will turn into Pennsylvania Avenue on the next block, follow that till you get to 9th street and turn left”. 

Really, DC is one polite fucking city, at least up in the serious tourist corridor.  It’s too polite and people are way too helpful when it comes to teaching you how to use the metro or give extremely useful directions.  It bothered me.  Fuck that town, man.

So dinner at Cafe Atlantico was fantastic, and I’ll write about that on another site for the food nerds who won’t roll their eyes when I wax poetic about how the combination of eel, jellied pineapple and toasted quinoa is a miracle that will eventually bridge the gap between the tastebuds of the elitist gastronomist and the lowly midwestern housewife.

As I rode back on the train from Metro Central to Shady Grove, I went to an emotional place that  I have not experienced since I was eighteen years old and I was riding the train between New Haven Connecticut and New York City.  The diversity of the travelers prompted me to pull out my food-nerd journal and take notes, as I connected with them in my own personal way…’s not often that I look at random people as actual human beings and make broad, emotional assumptions about them.  There is a weird nobility to the stereotypes I place on strangers as I completely understand them after nothing more than a few seconds of observation.  I became this portly Hugh Grant character who takes his patented self-deprecating method acting to a level where literally shitting your pants makes you the most smoothly murderous player in all of whoredom.  So I look down the length of the train and see the gaunt, bookish girl with the ponytail, who is just TOO immersed in her book, zoning out in a way that makes a total scene….in order to ignore everyone around her, and I realize that she is secretly into the most exquisite styles of heavy BDSM.  And there is the well-manicured business boy who takes such joy in brandishing his iPod that he loses control and begins to quietly dry-hump it and weep into a kerchief.  The aggressively happy and loud Spanish girl in front of me is so animated and intense about making her points to her shy friend that when she gets off at the next stop and leaves the other girl behind, the entire train car feels bad for the lonely refugee because she has nothing left with which to entertain us when she is sitting alone.  The obviously wealthy deaf man down the aisle is so flamboyant when he is signing to his friends he can’t know how loudly he is smacking his lips as he mimes along.  The fuming, angry African immigrant next to the door is grinding his teeth so hard that he is drooling.  There is a construction worker talking to his friend, and he has taken this train ride so many times that he doesn’t even know where he is…it’s simply a reflex action when he gets off at his stop.  My favorite character of all is the tortured old man in his North Face jacket who buries his face in his paper to ignore his smiling, yammering wife.  I miss those people now. All of them.  I miss them like I’m missing my crazy dog who is sitting back home at a kennel thinking I’ve abandoned her. 

Did it take surgery to calm me down enough to jot random observations onto a notepad like I did when I was eighteen and on the train to New York….and not only that, feel comfortable enough with myself to publish such pointlessly sophomoric imagery based on total strangers?  I couldn’t figure out what brought such high-minded bullshit into my head, and I still can’t figure it out. In order to break out of it, I stole a big fire hydrant from underneath one of the seats and carted it through the Shady Grove station.  And the only reason I did it was to see if my cab driver would give me a strange look when I heaved it into the backseat.  I wonder what he is going to do with it.  There was no way it was going with me onto the plane on Thursday.

 March 13th, 2008- 12:58AM EST:

 Unfortunately, I was unable to complete a blog entry this evening, but it was due to events out of my control.  Jimmy the Cross-Eyed Cripple, Spastic Petey, Incontinent Gary, Louise the Hemophiliac Stutterer…..I apologize for not being able to fulfill my “Make A Wish” obligation to you and write a story where you all had parents who actually cared enough about you to not live a life of sin and curse you with such hideous afflictions.  When you grow up you will have to learn the hard way that there are people in this world who think it is “all about them”.  I was dealing with one of those people for the past hour or so…they were all like “hey, I’ve got cool things to say that you can’t help but respond to”…it cost me my integrity and it cost you a momentary, yet sweet respite from the fact that you are……fucked.  Hopefully I’ll catch you on the flip side…….or not.  I’m traveling tomorrow and by the time I get home I’m probably not going to be in the mood to crank out anything for you.  The only reason you were getting it tonight was because I was bored and didn’t have any drinking money left.  When you are saying your prayers before you go to sleep (or Petey, whatever it is you do in an iron lung at night), I want you to remember……it’s your fault your parents drink.  Hey, you were going to hear it from someone, so it may as well have been me.  Just keep counting your blessings…if you were my kids I probably would have drowned you or sold you off for parts by now.

 Your Friend,


 March 14th, 2008- 12:09PM CST:

Got home last night, and more than anything I’m wanting to catch up on all of the HowardTV episodes I’ve had to miss all week.  You have no idea how serious I am about that.  Guess I also need to catch one of the million reruns of the season premiere of Top Chef as well…….I wish they would rerun No Reservations from Monday night.  I hear it was the first not-shitty episode in a long time, so of course I was out of town and stuck with hotel cable programming.  Yes, I DO know about the invention called a DVR…..but all of that money goes to my HowardTV subscription.

Anyway, I was going to put a picture up here the other night but forgot to take my USB adapter to upload pics onto my laptop.  I’m not sure about the picture quality because my desktop monitor is about to die.  But this is my Kenyan brother from another mother.  Other than my meal on Tuesday night, he was the high point of the trip.  He’s the kind of guy I would be more than happy to go out and get alcohol-poisoned with, because he’s a smooth talker and great storyteller….even better than ME, and definitely cooler than all of my damn friends combined (Yes, ALL of you! Bow to the master!).

Me and Lawrence

Then of course I guess I’m obligated to throw in the gratuitous shot of dumbass’s house….

White House

 So that’s it, a run of the mill update type of blog entry with pictures.  I hope to not have to rely on that type of thing very much, but travel stifles my creativity.

Oh yeah, I’ve been noticing something weird lately…I’ve lived alone since I got home from surgery in August, and I live in a nice, quiet crime-free zone where I don’t really have to lock my doors (but I still do).  Nothing is ever missing, unless it’s something that my crazy dog thinks is food, but sometimes I’ll notice that my computer and mouse are all askew and the resolution on my monitor will be reset to something huge.  If it’s a poltergeist, it really needs to work on its methods.  Anyway, final boring observation of the day.  I’m picky about my keyboard and mouse placement.


Filed under Bariatric Surgery, Blogroll, Christianity, culture, dating, Evangelical Christianity, Food, General Thoughts, Health, Healthy Eating, Recovery, religion, Tent Revival, Weight Loss, weight loss surgery

How The Damn Gays Are Ruining America…

Oh man!  I know it!  The craziest concept I could have EVER come up with……..yet here it is. 

This was an especially shocking revelation for me.  Not just because I’m about as far left as it gets when it comes to things like gay marriage and public vivisections for anyone who thinks the Patriot Act was a good idea, but also because I live in this weird alternative universe of my mind that is always more interesting than reality.   One of the most interesting facets of that universe, which also happens to be the most gay, has to do with my  roommates.  Basically, I live with Tim Gunn and George Tekai; men who inspire me with their quick wit, charm and seemingly endless supply of wisdom and kindness.  Life isn’t always easy for me despite the tough facade that I use to keep people at a distance, so their constant input helps to temper my outlook and my mood.  I don’t feel as if I expect them to micro-manage me, because I pick up on resentment pretty quickly, and that is not a predominant vibe in our house.  It is all about give and take, and we all bring our unique sense of humor and style to the party.  And honestly, with all of the changes that come with bariatric surgery, people like Tim and George are EXACTLY the type of people you can depend upon to voice realistic concerns as well as their heart-felt support. 

I won’t go into too many details about our daily routines, or how tough it is to coordinate schedules when you have three busy men in the house.  Suffice it to say, we do make the most out of our quality time together when we are in town at the same time.  We have a traditional high tea (which we all make fun of) any day we’re together…..whether the event has to happen in the morning, afternoon or evening….schedules dictate that.  I can’t really say that we watch much TV or anything, we generally serve as each other’s entertainment and sounding boards.  We’re just a fun group, and I have to say that it feels GREAT to play the “attention whore” role with these guys.  How I write is exactly how I talk…anyone who speaks to me regularly can tell you that.  And I have no problem knocking these two over with a feather when I start in with one of my tales or theories.  George’s signature “oh MY!” never gets old, and you can work Tim into a tizzy without even trying….”JERRY!  You have got to get it together!  That girl is what?  Twenty three?  What do you two even have to talk about? But even worse, my GOD, those BANGS!  Her GRANDMOTHER may have been Bettie Page, but that look was dead before she was even BORN! Just awful!”

So I know what you’re thinking, these are the only two guys who make me feel butch and I’m using them for that.  Now I can’t prove a negative, but I will say that you are totally wrong.  We have a mutually respectful and supportive relationship that works equally for all of us.  Each of us brings a unique sense of style, humor and support to the relationship, and there’s just no way to qualify that for those of you who view the scenario with some weird preconceived notion.  There is a level of bonding that goes beyond explanation or rational thought…and I think that is the exact type of inexplicable dynamic that is the cornerstone of our friendship.  Obviously, I can only theorize about THEIR bond with each other.  From what I witness, it is honest and fun , and there is no evidence that would make me believe otherwise.  As far as what “I get” out of all of this, and I guess you can call it feeling “butch” if you want to, are those quiet and private moments where (and maybe this is all in my head) I feel like I can act as some sort of sentry or protector for these two gifted men.  I want to protect the world in which they live…and there are times at night when the conversations are winding down, before we all retire to our rooms, and I make some final and ridiculous act of showmanship.  I’ll make some insane point about wine or women that has absolutely no possibility of resolution, then suddenly leave the room in a flourish and hear their laughter as I shut my door and head to bed.  Once I’m ready to go to sleep and I can hear that they have retired as well, and the house is silent and dark, I will simply stand in my doorway for several minutes appreciating who they are and wishing for the best of all possible things for them….silently channeling Atticus Finch in my own protective and fatherly way.  It isn’t much, but when I do it I mean it…and you can either understand that or you can’t. 

So… are great guys like THEM ruining America?  First of all, I’m no social theorist or city planner, but I’ll start this off by telling you to think of the “cool” parts of your town.  More likely than not, they are what Paul Fussell would refer to as the “Bohemian Enclaves”.  In Kansas City, the 39th St. corridor is a good example of the exact phenomenon I’m talking about.  It is the part of town where you’ll find a high concentration of galleries, high-end and ethnic eateries, weird little boutiques…..basically wherever your gratuitous and ubiquitous “FIRST FRIDAY” ground-zero happens to be.  You like those places?  Well so do I.  You know who you have to thank for them?  Gay people (and artists).  You know who is responsible for their imminent destruction?  Gay people (and artists).

It sounds insane, but follow along with me here…… the majority of the “cool” parts of town spring up where there was once urban blight.  This is not always the case, but it happens enough to map a trend.   Space is cheap so artists will set up studios.  Once they have established the territory and there is enough of an infrastructure to support life, the trendier urban gays (and developers too…I know that) come in and begin to rehabilitate houses and turn industrial space into nice lofts.  I’m not breaking it down like this to sound flippant or demeaning, I dearly love all that hipster shit….lofts, markets, studios, ethnic grocers and eateries….those things are all right in my comfort zone.  And let’s face it, I’m white, you’re white, we’re ALL white….so we make it easy for ourselves to overlook the fact that we’re capitalizing on blighted areas that were abandoned by the urban poor….it’s all in the name of progress, right?  Right.  God bless the bountiful bowls of pho, overpriced art glass and the homemade candles the hippies are so fond of creating…….and God bless the gay (and artist) pioneers for creating these sanctuaries…..

But this is as far as it goes before it is ruined.  If you know of an area like this that is currently thriving with all of the locally owned and independent businesses, take one last look before it is gone.  In “Fear and Loathing…”, Hunter S. Thompson notes a similar phenomenon when he says “So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark….that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back”. 

The wave in your Bohemian Enclave has already crested, and it has begun to roll back.  It is a victim of its own progress and white-ness…..because things are about to get a little TOO white…..

How, you ask?  No punches pulled here, this is how the damn gays (and artists) are ruining America…..

It’s a typical Thursday evening at some kind of themed bar or restaurant in a stripmall, and Todd and Tina Exurb are chatting with their boring friends about whatever boring shit people yack about out there in their pre-fab tombs.  Then suddenly you hear “OH!  I read in the local alternative paper about this restaurant that opened up in a part of the ghetto where they don’t automatically kill white people anymore!  Oh, they said it was GOOD!  They use SAUCES!  We need to all get in our gigantic Humvee’s and get down there!  Sometimes I feel like the waiters out here don’t respect all of the money we spend, so this is new territory for us to monopolize waitstaff and leave SHITTY TIPS!!  WHEEEEEEE!!!!”.

And so it begins.  The gayness and artistry have drawn in the very worst of humankind….yuppies who like all of the trappings of that environment but think it’s still too “icky” for them to actually live there.  With the suburban buzz created by Todd and Tina Exurb, comes the totally familiar and totally corporate…..they want the same five dollar Starbucks drink that they can get out at the cookie-cutter stripmall….the independent coffee shops just don’t do it right, they never make it sweet enough and the staff isn’t hip to the fine art of kissing yuppie ass.  So just like the 39th St. corridor in Kansas City, Starbucks comes in, followed quickly by Chipotle.  Soon the “icky” factor subsides enough for Todd and Tina to realize….”oh look at all of these quaint houses and lofts…they’re so much cheaper here than they are out in our paradise of suburban sprawl….and those roving gangs of black teenagers our friends warned us about haven’t done a home invasion and massacred an entire white family in AGES!  I want to LIVE HERE!”.   Then because you obviously need one on every block, Walgreen’s comes in and takes up space, and before long the corporate dollars have driven overhead so high that the independent shops and restaurants can no longer afford to exist in the area that they made successful.  So the damn gays (and artists) flee the scene to create and ruin the next Bohemian Enclave.  One minute you and I are blissfully strolling the avenues of our hipster nirvana, and the next minute we’re getting cut off by gigantic SUV’s driven by total fuckers who think they may have seen an empty parking space right in front of whatever familiar retail chain they cannot live without…..

And yeah, as soon as more people in the West Bottoms of KC can afford to put air conditioning in their lofts and shops, it will all happen there too.  Todd and Tina can’t ruin it for everyone until they can do so in a climate controlled environment. 

Whether it’s corridors like 39th St. or Westport, or it’s the gigantic and hideous pre-fab ready-made communities like Zona Rosa or The Power and Light District, one thing is certain….people with absolutely no taste are running the show.  Now I can’t blame the gays (and artists) for the prefab communities, but just knowing there are cooler parts of town to spend your weekends makes the development of those monstrosities even more torturous.  You can’t even have a decent dinner in them without being inundated by the rudeness of the overgrown fratboys who don’t see a problem with wearing their favorite team’s ballcap at the dinner table, or their tanorexic skanks who literally have their cell phones surgically attached to their ears……so thanks gays, artists and gay artists….THOSE are the people you are drawing to our happy little biospheres!  As soon as they pick up a copy of the local alternative rag at Applebee’s and read about the good work you’re doing…….the ruination cometh!

Now, I don’t want to sound like even more of an elitist dick than I already do, so I will say this….I understand that big box stores and corporate chains have their place in this world.  I do realize that unless you just have a ton of money, you can’t venture down to the hipster brasserie every time you don’t feel like cooking and want to feed your family.  I know that it would be insanely cumbersome to visit ten independent stores every time you go shopping when Target has everything you need in one spot.  What pisses me off is the fact that the need for comfortable, familiar, brand-recognition generally wins out over its locally owned and operated counterpart.  Taking advantage of the kid’s menu at Chili’s is one thing…..fucking over a local business just so you can save ten cents on a cup of coffee is another issue entirely.  The suburbs are already there, and they have everything you need….feel free to visit the Bohemian Enclaves but don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.  We have enough McDonald’s, Ted’s Montana Grills, Hooters, brewpubs, sports bars, GAP’s, Old Navy’s, and all of the other shit that is apparently like crack to Todd and Tina Exurb.  Always having one of those places two minutes from wherever you happen to be isn’t the “new manifest destiny”…’s time for you to fuck off now.  Seriously.  You people who view the corporatization of every square inch of ground as progress, just because it’s familiar to you and easy, embody everything that is ugly about The Ugly American. 

My GOD I just get so worked up because of those GODDAMN QUEERS (AND ARTISTS) coming in and doing something cool and then leaving us with all of the corporate chain bullshit! 

Obviously, the real point of this post other than to vent my frustration at corporate sprawl, is to give my readers a tool with which they can blow people’s minds.  Everyone who stops by here and takes the time to read my rambling is obviously very intelligent, attractive and cutting edge… I don’t have to spell it out for you but I will anyway.  We ALL know at least five or six Huckabee-lovin’ dumbasses, and I’m sure you all love to jack with their feeble worldviews as much as I do.  Now, you can either approach the topic from a standard Socratic methodology or go with the whole “your enemy of your enemy is your friend” angle, but the point is to get people to equate homosexuals (something they hate) with stuff like Wal-Mart (something they love).  Be sure to leave enough holes in your argument like I have, so that they don’t just blow you off.  If you make too airtight of a case they’ll just ignore you instead of engaging you with their banter (as evidenced by my “Why I Hate Guys Like Huckabee” post….it just made TOO much sense).

So there you go, have fun with it.  And speaking of corporate hell, I’ll be in DC for the next several days for the type of training that could be accomplished in a few hours, BUT being corporate America they take way more time than necessary to insure that everyone is tortured as they teach to the dumbest person in the room…..

I’m sure I’ll be checking in here at some point, I just wanted to get this extra-lengthy ramble recreated so you’d have some entertainment……..I hope you all have a great week, even you damn gays (and artists)! 


Filed under Bariatric Surgery, Blogroll, Christianity, culture, dating, Evangelical Christianity, Food, General Thoughts, Health, Healthy Eating, Recovery, religion, Tent Revival, Weight Loss, weight loss surgery


 I’m in the middle of reconstructing a truly inspired post after a heartbreaking computer/site crash yesterday, but in the meantime I want to communicate something that is truly significant….

I am officially adding a new person to my current lineup of “Ultimate Dream Women on Earth”.  Of course, some of them are way too young, and all of them are insanely out of reach…..however, they do represent a very specific type of woman that has a combination of looks, body of work, sex appeal, looks, eccentricity, and a certain “I don’t know what”. 

 Until now the list has included Kate Winslet (edited to add: not the skinny Winslet…I’m talking about the Quills/Holy Smoke version) , Zooey Deschanel, Thora Birch (the Ghost World version) and Rachael Leigh Cook (edited to add: Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill).  Again, go to hell if you’re simply going to call me out on the age difference thing, this is my world.

So the newest addition to this illustrious group is:  Amanda Palmer from The Dresden Dolls.  I am assuming no explanation is needed.

 Obviously, Kim Shattuck from the band The Muffs trumps all of the aforementioned ladies, but that just goes without saying.

 That is all.


Filed under Bariatric Surgery, Christianity, culture, dating, Evangelical Christianity, Food, General Thoughts, Health, Healthy Eating, Recovery, religion, Tent Revival, Weight Loss, weight loss surgery

The Six Month Checkup

 Be warned, this post is one of those boring surgery-related updates, I’ll be back to my usual bullshit later this weekend when I share about the lord telling me exactly how the damn gays are ruining America…….I know, I was pretty shocked to hear it too.  And I’ve never heard the lord say “damn” before, so my guess is he was totally serious.

I just got back home from my six month checkup at the surgeon’s office.  In short, my blood work looks fantastic and I am down a total of 110 pounds.  He told me this is above average, and I was glad to hear it because I have no concept of what “normal” weight loss is anymore.  I was worried that the few times my weight loss has slowed down as I worked through the “things that stall progress” portions of the learning curve may have put me behind.  But, with the holidays jammed in there along with my laziness due to the weather when it comes to physical activity…..I’ll gladly take the 110.  I know many people will react to my attitude like I’m crazy or ungrateful because losing that amount of weight in six months is phenomenal, but to them I say… has still been a hell of a lot of work to get here, the surgery is just one tool in the constantly evolving arsenal. 

I guess everyone who has gastric bypass is paranoid about their vitamin intake, with all of the stories about people ending up in wheelchairs due to B12 deficiency.  With that in mind I grilled my surgeon pretty good to make sure all of my levels were okay.  All of the biggies were well within “normal” range, and even though I’m very conscious of getting them all in every day it was good to hear.  I had some worries about the efficacy of the sublingual B12, but that looked just fine.  Protein levels are great, and my blood pressure has been steady lately around 127 over 74.  My Vitamin D levels were a little low, which was kind of a suprise because I take an extra supplement every day for that.  The doctor wasn’t too worried about it and told me “as soon as you stop being such a gothic queer and get out in the sunshine when the weather improves that will change”.  He kept poking me in the chest as he told me that.  As I rained blows down upon him I thought to myself….”you know, I really do move around much easier now!”. 

Before I shit-hammered my doctor, we did have a good discussion about animal vs. vegetable proteins, satiety and worries about pouch-stretching.  I also told him that about once a week or so, for whatever reason, something just won’t begin digesting quickly enough and the pressure will build until I go to the bathroom and hack it up….then everything is fine.  He chalked it up to the learning curve, and I can’t say that I disagree because it is happening less and less frequently.  Sometimes my stomach is more sensitive than others I guess, and sometimes when I let myself get too hungry I either eat too fast or don’t chew enough.  Using vomiting as a release valve is just a disturbing thing to have to do….and I wouldn’t even call it vomiting, it’s more like deep coughing now.  As far as proteins go, one thing that is becoming extremely obvious is that when I eat animal proteins like eggs, beef, etc., I feel full quicker and I stay full longer.  Then when I eat a vegetarian meal (which I’ve been doing a LOT more lately) like that chickpea mixture or this 13 bean chili that I really like, I notice I can eat quite a bit more of it without getting full.  My concern was that I may be taking in too many calories, and of course the paranoia about stretching the pouch with too much volume was the biggest worry.  He assured me that vegetable proteins are going to digest a little quicker, meaning you can eat more without getting full as quickly, and that if the weight keeps going down then you’re not stretching the pouch.  I’ll monitor how much of the various vegetarian/bean dishes I consume, with his comment in mind that “if you’re eating too much at once you’ll know it”.  I DEFINITELY know what it feels like to eat too much now, this is all just such a big learning curve that I didn’t know if there were any big drawbacks to a more vegetarian lifestyle after surgery.  When I did my last stint with the KU weight loss research project, the protocol we followed was to eat 3 HMR meals per day along with all of the fruits and vegetables (minus potatoes and corn of course) we wanted to eat.  I did lose some weight doing that, even eating HUGE volumes of fruits and vegetables (8-16 servings), so it only stands to reason that using beans as a major protein source won’t hurt me.  Also, the concept of “a lot of” anything is so different now…..when I eat 3/4 of a bowl of vegetarian chili I think of that as “a lot”.   Speaking of that, I get a lot of my stuff from Whole Foods now that I can afford it due to the quantity I need, but most stores do carry “Bob’s Red Mill” items.  Their 13 bean soup mix is excellent, and I don’t have a label here in front of me but I believe it’s very high in protein….something like 12 or 14 grams per serving.  That stuff, plus the greatest product ever invented…New Whey liquid protein, guarantees that a veggie diet can include enough protein to keep you healthy.  Maybe I really am a gothic queer like the doctor said, because beans, tofu and seitan are my favorite things to eat now along with bloody cuts of beef and various entrails (my iron levels are a tiny bit low, so now I can really come out of the offal closet without shame).  No in between there…..I do love seafood a lot, but the hell with poultry….I’m all about vegetarian dishes (I have dreams about the Korean dish Soon Tofu, and the Indian chickpea miracle called Chana Masala) but I’m just as happy to eat straight-up gore foods like liver, tongue and sweetbreads.  Maybe it’s just a subconscious thing that won’t allow me to become too much like hippie scum and go vegan…..all I know is that pieces of animals that processed some type of fluid are magically delicious. 

I guess that’s about it for today.  In all, a great day.  The weather is decent, I’m making good progress with my health, and I don’t have a ton of crap to do for work before this weekend.  I am behind the eightball when it comes to homework, but when am I NOT?  And joy of joys, the “Bodies Revealed” exhibit opens at Union Station this weekend so I’ll be seeing that very soon without having to travel to a different city like I thought I would.  I wonder if the same religious protesters who used to picket in front of my store when I managed a Priscilla’s will be there to greet me…….it will be like old home week! 


Filed under Bariatric Surgery, Blogroll, Christianity, culture, dating, Evangelical Christianity, Food, General Thoughts, Health, Healthy Eating, Recovery, religion, Tent Revival, Weight Loss, weight loss surgery

Why I Hate Guys Like Huckabee….

 First of all, other than the fact that I’m much more clear-headed and have more time on my hands since I’m not shoveling in five or eight thousand calories a day……this post has nothing to do with weight loss.  It’s all about religion, and not only THAT but I am using my usual manner of witty genius to get my point across……so if that sort of thing bugs you, THEN READ ON!  Seriously, I’m not going to go through my whole life story, but I will say that the following is based on a lifetime in the midst of evangelical culture.  So I’m not speaking as some random guy with an axe to grind, I’m a guy from the inside with an axe to grind.  This is like that scene in the Godfather where Michael is about to clip McClusky and Sollozzo, and Sollozzo says he’s “going to speak to Michael in Italian”……well, to my heathen friends I’m telling you I’m about to speak to my people in their own language.  I know you don’t hear me use this lingo very often, but you can’t be too shocked to realize that you can take the boy out of the church but that doesn’t mean he totally dismisses his worldview.  I’m going back to the days when I was writing The Yeti and The Intelligentsia at North Central Bible College, and it feels good… your favorite pair of worn out shoes that you can’t bring yourself to throw away…. 

First, I want to say that the unsaved aren’t the pharisees……the politically motivated Christians are.  People who keep their twisted brand of Christianity and their politics in lockstep are the ones who would put him right back up on the cross if he were walking around today preaching the same message that he did 2000 years ago.  The world is doing what the world is supposed to do… aren’t.  Please hear me when I say, this isn’t an indictment against Christianity, it’s simply my thoughts on a very specific breed of poser who is more worried about image than the message.  It’s about people who take advantage of the political system by pretending that a high-ranking politician can serve both the machine and God.  The biggest problem with a religious candidate is that they serve as the “savior” for a dying belief system, and then when he loses he becomes the “martyr” that everyone rallies around and in some perverted way they actually believe that it’s all a sign of the end times.  They project that martyrdom onto themselves, and bitch and moan for the next four years about that evil, liberal media and its father Satan.  When I use the word “dying” in reference to that belief system I am referring to the specific part of evangelical culture that exists to serve itself and protect its growth rather than fulfill the great commission and allow people to come to it as they are.  This culture, for the most part, is closed off to outsiders. Unless you already “get it”, you’re not going to get in.  This culture uses a certain type of jargon that is based on poorly translated scripture, and after a generation or two of people grow up in that type of environment, then the jargon and the catchphrases actually become the scriptural basis by which they live.  THAT is when the sacred is no longer any different than the secular……and the image that the church portrays isn’t anything more than another section of popular culture.  The uniqueness is gone, the spirit (so to speak) is gone, and there are no more revelations to be had because the language and direction of the church can only thrive within the confines of the groupthink.  It can’t break out.  It can’t touch the world.  It’s just another tv show or weekly magazine marketed to those who are already a part of it… is sound bite theology where people pick and choose the parts of the book they think are applicable and ignore concepts like context and the cultural traditions of the time.  The shallow understanding and the misuse of scripture squash any hope of that church providing a viable alternative for people…..people who aren’t stupid and see it all for what it is, no matter how much you want to believe what they are saying to you is just the misguided rambling of the unsaved.  Soon you aren’t selling salvation, you’re just selling a friendly, safe building where likeminded people can get together and view the shadow of what the New Testament was supposed to provide for you.  Miracles don’t happen in these places, you just hear urban folktales about miracles that happened to someone else at another church at one point in time. You never actually meet the recipients of the miracles, but a friend of a friend did.  And you use the energy created from overselling those myths to build up your numbers……and as we all know “numbers are important, God wrote a whole book about them!”.  It’s THAT culture that props up a politician who they think can get into the White House, but what they don’t realize is faith has nothing to do with it.  A guy like that is proof of the death of faith.  I say that because if you truly based your belief on a personal revelation, you would realize how sad and how limited it is to view getting your guy into office as progress for Christians.  It isn’t progress, you’ve just sold your dream and you are begging for scraps….and you are doing it on the secular world’s terms.  So don’t be proud of that.  You’re like an animal that has grown up in captivity and has no knowledge of what life could be like beyond that cage…..but you have a higher consciousness than an animal, so you worship the cage. 

So what PRACTICAL application could I apply to this diatribe?  Because as you armchair theologians/dittoheads have probably already spiritually discerned by NOW……..that whole first paragraph is nothing but a reprobate mind tellin’ you to VOTE CLOBAMA ’08!  But seriously, if I could wave my magic wand and have the following points be the sermon you hear next Sunday morning, I’d do it.  Not because I hate you, I really don’t.  As crazy as I am, I can never escape the fact that I have a Christian worldview, and until someone can convince me that there is a better belief for which there is no logical explanation or proof, I’ll stick with it.  And if I believe that a homosexual can be a Christian, then I most certainly believe you are covered as well.  Doesn’t it make you feel good and warm all over to know that?  I should probably qualify all of this a little better…if you’re one of those people who really believes the earth is only 6,000 years old, well then I guess I do hate YOU.  You’re just some random idiot who has gone WAY too far in order go get prayer back into schools, and we don’t have any connection whatsoever.  In fact, you can just stop reading now and go do whatever the hell it is you do during the other 23 hours of the day.  For THE REST OF YOU, I have the following bullet points that will insure you are on the right track to breaking out of that bizarre and hypocritical cage….

And these are in no particular order…..

#1- All forms of Christian entertainment pale in comparison to the secular counterparts that they ripped off, and really serve as nothing more than entertainment for Christians….not tools for ministry.  So stop using them to try and get your point across…..nobody outside of the insulated, closed culture of evangelical America thinks any of that stuff is cool, so you end up spending more time looking stupid than you do promoting any real message.  I know it makes you FEEL like you’re doing something, and all of that shit is totally safe for your kids, but you’re just spinning your wheels there.  It all sucks.  Seriously, all of it.  What God do you serve?  The creator of the universe, or one big celestial brand of “Always Save” knockoffs?  If you were REALLY in touch with your savior, you could come up with much better stuff.   You’re here to reach the lost, remember?  Not just to make sure your homeschooled rugrats have Jesus-themed coffeehouses where the kids don’t have tattoos and smoke cigarettes.  When they finally leave the nest and have to go out and LIVE in that evil world, you are really going to wish you had equipped them a little better. Trust me on that, I went to Bible College with those kids and I’m telling you….it’s like a Girls Gone Wild video once they taste a little freedom. 

#2- The incessant fascination with homosexuals and abortion.  Using the same scriptures you do to justify your stance, all of the fat Christians who have died of heart attacks or strokes and are tearfully lauded at their funerals by the remaining faithful are burning in the same hell that you believe is reserved for the queers and the babykillers.  You always preach that a sin is a sin, and they died in their sin, whether it was a totally avoidable death from a life of gluttony or a life of promiscuous sex.  You don’t admit things like that to your congregations because it would be bad for business……you may not have any “out” homosexuals in your church (but you HAVE homos, trust me. And just as many of your kids are bangin’ away as the unsaved kids…you’re not talking to an outsider here, I’ve run those youth groups), but you definitely have a plethora of the overweight, gossipers, backbiters, those who have looked at someone with lust in their hearts, liars, masturbators, the envious, covetous, etc.  How about focusing some of your politics on THEM for a change…..I know, you can’t, because you actually know those people and think of them as human beings.  Plus, you’re more about numbers than ministry, and you may lose them to the church down the road if you piss them off too badly.  The phrase “love the sinner but hate the sin” is the most ignorant cop out of all time….you just use it as an excuse to hate the sinner and feel okay about it.  You KNOW I’M RIGHT, you just surround yourself with people who think like you do in order to shield yourself from the truth….it’s just like when you get a bunch of white people together and they feel each other out to know who they can use the “N” word around….it’s an ugly secret and I’m letting it out. 

#3- An addendum to #2… aren’t Jewish, so stop using the Torah as ammunition to back up whatever cause you happen to be championing at the time….whether it’s Levitical fertility laws or Sodom and Gomorrah you are rambling about, you’re still a gentile.  We’re under grace now, that was kind of the whole point of the New Testament.  I’m not saying ANYTHING GOES, like I’m some libertine, so don’t shit yourself, just think about how similar you are to the people you cast stones at rather than how different or superior you might be.  Believe me, I’ve been where you’re at, and once you let it go it takes so much of the pressure off of you to be self-righteous…then you can actually start having a DIALOGUE with people. 

#4- The “unsaved” are not enemies to be avoided, why don’t you really think about W.W.J.D. the next time you put on some stupid piece of jewelry or a bumper sticker that has absolutely no internalized meaning for you.  And when you are talking to them, stop quoting scripture…..that is not common ground that you share with them, so focus on the things you DO have in common.  Being an effective witness goes beyond the “wham-bam” tracts and catchphrases that don’t really do anything besides come off as smug.  Just be YOU…..and if you’re really living the life that you should be, then the discrete charms of the gospel will just naturally begin to rub off on them.  People who AREN’T walking the walk….THEY are the ones who have to bang on people with scripture.

#5- Prosperity doctrine….there really isn’t a better example of the incestuous relationship between politics and religion than this garbage.  Who does this really work for?  Do you really think that if you took a cross-section of unsaved people and compared it to a similar cross-section of this doctrine’s devotees, that the median income of the believers would be ANY higher than that of the unsaved?  Again, I go back to the “Always Save” version of God….if this doctrine were true, wouldn’t there be a LOT more people who benefitted from it?  If God were REALLY behind this thing, wouldn’t he be raining down the blessings to the point where the legitimacy could not be denied?  Oh, I know, it’s probably happening all over but the LIBERAL MEDIA is keeping it under wraps.  Give me a break.  The only people benefitting from this “Jesus Was A Republican” phenomenon are the ones selling it to you.  Believe that.  I guess penniless Christians just don’t have enough faith, or God just wants THEM to suffer…….at least that’s how you come across…like assholes. 

I’m sure I’ll think of things to add to this later, I just happened to get on a roll and I’d like to have a weekend where I didn’t obsess over what to put in my blog.  To the saved and unsaved alike, I hope you’ve gotten a little something from today’s sermon.  I’m not telling you that you HAVE to cough up a love offering, but I’ll trust you to do as the spirit leads.  Spirit, please lead them to feel guilty enough to send me their money so that I can reinvest it in fancy cookware and credit card debt. 

And now back to your completely unfounded pre-tribulation rapture belief systems…….this is your Unsaved Loved One signing off until next time.  Shik-a-moe-shy, and pass the apple pie! 


Filed under Bariatric Surgery, Blogroll, Christianity, culture, dating, Evangelical Christianity, Food, General Thoughts, Health, Healthy Eating, howard stern, Recovery, religion, Tent Revival, Weight Loss, weight loss surgery

Recipe Time!

 Okay, I’m going to cheese-out and be lazy with this post…I’m working on a very relevant piece on that sonofaBITCH Huckabee, who represents so much of what is wrong with America, and I don’t know how much angst and energy it’s going to take out of me.  So this is a nice little interim thought while I trudge through the quagmire that is lazy, evangelical pop culture, which is of course the absolute antithesis of anything suggested in that lovin’ tome we call the New Testament….

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve gotten much more serious about my cooking since surgery.  Part of this stems from the fact that the food-crazed energy has to go SOMEWHERE, as well as the fact that I’m “safe” when I cook now because I can’t (and don’t really have a desire to) over-indulge.  So I’ve been reading cookbooks like yo’ mama reads all of that Harlequin romance shite.  Obviously, there is the Sopranos cookbook that I used as an inspiration for my dinner party.  That’s a pretty light, fun, easy read with recipes that aren’t complicated.  Slightly more involved, but still not overly complicated, is the literary miracle known as The Babbo Cookbook from Mario Batali (from which I will share my favorite easy recipe here shortly).  Reading that thing is like smelling a woman’s hair and saying….”where in the hell have you been all of my life?”.  It is a great read, and what makes it so fantastic is that other than a few obscure ingredients here and there, the recipes are totally approachable for anyone with “fair to middlin” cooking skills.  My meal at Babbo was definitely in the top five favorite meals of my life, so to see some of these amazing dishes broken down for me was truly inspiring.  Now, I’m not a cookbook NERD, so all of you uber-foodies who like to wax poetic about the shortcomings of such inauthentic Italian recipes can email or call me, and I’ll be more than happy to send you a list of all of the creative ways in which you can service me….this book and me, we’re very close.  So there you have it, buy the damn thing.

 So TODAY I was blessed with a delivery from… was none other than Fergus Henderson’s “The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating” (I also got Marvin Weisbord’s “Future Search” for school, but I will spare you).  If you’ve watched Tony Bourdain’s shows, you’ve undoubtedly seen Henderson’s St. John restaurant featured in all of its glory.  I haven’t had the opportunity to travel abroad and dine there, but if you know anything about me you know I’m a big fan of offal.  Sweetbreads are like popcorn to me.  Seriously, other than foie gras they represent the very top of my foodie pyramid.  I’m not a huge fan of kidneys, but when it comes to tongue, tripe, brains, bone marrow, liver, tail, stomach, cheeks, head……I’m sure there are some preparations I wouldn’t be too crazy about, but in general it’s all good eating if done well.  I don’t try convincing people that my way of thinking is cool or superior, because honestly, I don’t want the yuppies latching onto anything else like they did oxtails and shanks and drive the prices right through the roof.  Yeah, in fact, all of the stuff I just mentioned is really shitty, so steer clear of it. 

 So Henderson’s book is one fun read.  I can’t wait until I can find enough non-squeamish members of The Mutual Admiration Society and host “Blood Feast” in the fall so that I can use some of these recipes.  Yeah, I know Michael Alig used that title back in the club kid days, but it was a Herschell Gordon Lewis movie way before that, so I’m going with it. It just sounds cool.  Who wouldn’t want to come over for the Blood Feast right before Halloween?  Anyway, The Whole Beast is not only a joy to read because of recipes like “Pea and Pig’s Ear Soup” and “Tongue and Beets”, but also VERY imaginative and inviting with the use of language.  Whimsical imagery such as “Now add the stock, enough so that you end up with an Arctic Sea of soup with icebergs of pumpkin bobbing about in your broth”  is found throughout, and I for one truly appreciate it.  When I get a good book like this I tend to sit down and read it from cover to cover, just like yo’ mama does with the latest issue of Cosmo once the Harlequin well runs dry.  Mmmmm good…now to go and get even friendlier with some local butchers so that they’ll provide me with the porcine and bovine sustenance that I require. 

Okay, I promised a RECIPE, so that I can be one of those bariatric patients who throws some actual RELEVANT information out there for others to use…….don’t get used to it.  I’m only doing this because I love this simple dish.  It’s tasty, easy to digest, healthy, and has a decent dose of plant based protein.  Yeah, I’d eat Bambi’s mother right in front of her children without thinking twice, but I have come to appreciate good vegetarian fare.  In fact, I’d say that at this point I get more excited about the prospect of vegetarian dishes when I dine out than anything else….unless it’s that tongue, oxtail and Humboldt Fog pseudo-French onion soup at Bluestem, because I’d tie off and put that shit straight into my mainline if I could find a way to cook it down enough.  Yes, it is tasty enough to deserve its own illicit drug use imagery. 

So this recipe is what went on top of my “Ceci Bruschetta” dish that I made for the Sopranos party.  The secret is to use good olive oil and fresh basil…..if you don’t do that then don’t make it.  Trust me, I tried dried basil when the store was out of fresh, and it was not a good thing.  I’ve got some sitting in my fridge that is about to get tossed, it makes THAT much of a difference.

I’m not going to format this all “FAINCY” for you, it’s too simple of a recipe to worry about all of that.  It’s totally scaleable, I usually make a double batch, but here is the one-batch version……take one cup of drained chickpeas, 4 tablespoons of GOOD olive oil, 2 tablespoons of olive paste (or just chopped/minced black olives….I use kalamata), 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (you can go cheap with this, Colavita is fine), 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary (I actually use dried since it’s winter), 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped basil leaves (once again, I stress FRESH), 1 thinly sliced garlic clove (you can bump this up some, but do not use one of those garlic presses or you’ll kill the dish), kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.   You just MIX ALL OF THAT in a bowl…..and I find that if you leave it overnight it’s a lot better, kind of like potato salad.   If you want, cut back on the oil (I usually do, especially if you use a good, flavorful and fruity variety), use more of one thing and less of another, it’s all to taste.  But I seriously love having this onhand for a quick lunch, or for the rare moments when I have some crazy craving at night…..I know we’re not supposed to snack, but I’m a realist.  Remember the days when a “snack” was an entire St. Louis style pizza?  Well I do.  So this I can live with. 

Really, give it a shot.  I love this stuff.  No quippy little closing statement, just eat your veggies. 

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Don’t Tell ME I Don’t Know What Vietnam Was Like…

 So this is the point in the life of a blog, and I’m just assuming here because this is my first one, where you start getting traffic beyond just your friends that stop by and the few blogs that link to yours.  For whatever reason, my “On Dating” post has gotten exponentially more traffic than anything else, and from looking at the data dashboard the majority of daily hits isn’t traceable to another blog, website or some poor soul who Googles “nick manning droppin’ loads” and ends up here.  So maybe I’m getting repeat customers, and if that is the case I thank you for making it a point to stop by.  If you happen to be Zooey Deschanel, Gabby Glaser from Luscious Jackson  (and you like guys now), or Kate Winslet (the “Quills”/”Holy Smoke” Winslet, not the really skinny one), then by all means be sure to say hello.  I’ve got a million different things I could write about, and for a brief moment I actually thought about trying to appeal to more people for the sake of traffic.  But fuck all that, I’ve always preferred dogs over people, so I’m sticking with what I’m feeling at any given time.  And what I’m feeling usually revolves around women, food, the dismal failure known as evangelical American culture, and whatever quirky and sometimes offensive concepts that happen to be rolling around in my bean.  Now, if I ever get the kind of traffic that could somehow make me some money, I’m not above going buns-up to corporate wastemongers.

So the thing that has been on my mind all week long is something, other than drinking, that came up at my therapy appointment this week.  I was doing my best to communicate a thought that dawned on me whenever I was writing about online dating.  It was something along the lines of…”After I lose as much weight as I can, I would like to get turned down by the same types of women who turned me down when I was at my heaviest, because then I will truly know my limitations”.  That is not it exactly, but you get the general meaning.  My therapist looked at me a little quizzically and asked, “Would you rather be judged by your weight than your character”?  I immediately looked back at HER quizzically and said, “Are you joking?  Of course. There is no question.  I’ve never liked my weight, but I’ve always LOVED my character”.  All of the self-image insecurities aside, I really do like the person that I am.  Now the ironic thing is, those same insecurities have helped sharpen all of the strongest elements of my personality….the extreme sense of humor, cynicism, outgoing nature, devil’s advocate, etc.  I think of it in terms of the old cliche about how a blind person’s other senses become much stronger to make up for the lack of sight.  My habit of over-compensating for what I’ve always thought of as a debilitating handicap has helped to create the “character” that I feel I shouldn’t have to defend or explain…..pigeon-hole me as “the fat guy” and the biggest reaction you’ll get out of me is mock horror, but if you constantly make me explain when I’m joking or you never catch on to my deadpan sarcasm, I really start to doubt myself.  Eventually I’ll convince myself that the problem is with YOU and be on my way, but not before going through a mental inventory to fix the issue.  I’ve never been into sports, or been very competitive at all for that matter, so fortunately (or sadly) I’ve found other avenues through which I can channel all of that primal “dude” energy and become an extremely charismatic person who holds court.  That’s what I do.  I hold court.  That is MY Superbowl.  Granted, I only hold court with people I really care about, so they’re probably just being nice…”he’s kind of cute in that retarded Corky from Life Goes On kind of way, just let him do his thing, he’ll wear himself out eventually”…but it is COURT nonetheless, goddammit. 

So in all seriousness, there is obviously some kind of irrational fear involved with no longer having the weight to fall back on when women go “what an asshole”.  I’ve still got a ways to go before I cross THAT bridge, but I’m always eager to make my therapist earn her money.  And now that alcohol (thankfully) has become “boring” to me like cheese did when I’d already stockpiled a ton of it, I have to keep her on her toes.  Now I know there are a LOT of people who espouse the theory that “looks don’t matter, it’s what is in your heart that counts”.  To those people I say…whatever works for you, but I live in this place we call “the real world”.  I can’t tell you how mind-numbingly surreal it is when some famous model-type chick is doing a TV interview and they say, “really, I’m just looking for a nice guy who can make me laugh, looks aren’t that important to me”.  But do any of them pair off with the Danny DeVito’s of the world?  Christ no.  And don’t go throwing that Julia Roberts/Lyle Lovett anomaly at me.  I know I’m a cynical prick, but people generally breed with their own kind….they don’t usually go outside of their class (yes, we have a very strict class system in America) and they don’t venture too far outside the family’s DNA structure.  That is the way it is and the way it always shall be.  Even if I’m wrong, those are the pieces of our sociological puzzle that keep me sharp, so I’m sticking with my story. 

So how much do looks really matter?  As much as I hammer on the dreamers, I do appreciate the counterpoint they bring to the argument.  I truly do.  It’s like people who have always had money and say it isn’t that important….they don’t have to worry about it because they’ve always had it.  Someone with a dreamer worldview who has made it work for them is truly fortunate.  I don’t say that as if I think they are ignorant of anything, everyone has their own pain and their own issues, I’m sure I’ve “always had” some kind of emotional capital that many of THEM can point back at me and tell me that ignorance is bliss.  That aside, if I’m one shallow motherfucker for my belief in how much looks really do count and I’ve just never found “the right person” to make me quit believing that, then this is one old dog who can exist without the new tricks.  I’m also a guy who is more than happy to give up all of the secrets about how (most) guys think.  Looks matter to us.  A lot.  And oh yeah, no matter how much we may tell you we don’t care about porn, we’re only saying that to shut you up or make you feel better.  We like porn.  All of those times when you are suspicious about whether we’re looking at porn or not……..we’re looking at porn.  We just don’t like to be called on it, so when we lie about it, it’s not so much the porn as it is getting called out.  And when YOU like porn, on some level that scares the shit out of us because we lose some aspect of our control.  Also, when you make us do things like go shopping or hold your purse while you try on clothes…..whether we realize it consciously or not, it is the reason for the next several days of passive aggressive hell we put you through.  There are, of course, some exceptions to all of these things….plenty of couples like porn, and some guys love to clothes shop with their significant others.  Either that, or these guys have evolved into a new breed of beautiful liar that I can only aspire to become.  Well played gentlemen.  Well played.

So back to the looks thing…..fortunately, not all guys like the same kind of woman (or women, men), so to some degree the whole discussion really is relative.  For example, during those rare moments when I’m actually having lunch with co-workers and they are checking out women they find attractive, I often wonder to myself “so judging by her…is he really saying he likes ten year old boys?”.  I’ve just never liked the classical blonde beauty that is the cornerstone of media-driven female insecurity in America; there’s  nothing unique about them.  Even as a teenager, when the SI Swimsuit issue came out I never really “got it”.  But in my own way I’ve always been a slave to the looks/character conundrum that inspired this post.  By society’s standards I’ve been the guy who always tried dating out of his class, so to speak, and in my twenties I would heap endless attention upon a specific breed of polyamorous, polytheistic little bundle of extreme  contradictions…..and it would all end in tears (or worse….”friendship”).  Then up until now in my late thirties I went too far the OTHER direction and went with what Bukowski referred to as the “quiet clean girls in gingham dresses”, supressing my core sense of humor and love for all things bizarre and politically incorrect in order to make them happy by being someone that I wasn’t……and it would all end in tears. 

In my last relationship I was shocked and saddened to look in the mirror one morning and realize I had become the most heinous and unoriginal male stereotype…….the guy who “just doesn’t listen to her” and “never wants to talk about her day” or “never just hugs her for for no reason at all”.  I wasn’t there for her unconditionally, and even though I knew this there was nothing I could do to make myself care enough to fix it.  So when I think of all of those stereotypes that have made so many people rich with books about Mars and Venus and witty little catchphrases like “he’s just not that into you”, I believe the whole thing is much simpler than we give it credit for.  Human beings like to make things more complicated in order to give simple events more significance….yet at the same time they want catchy, simple answers to life’s biggest questions.  With the divorce rate in America being at least 50%, I think the following theory is at least worth considering……..all of the male and female stereotypes are bullshit.  When you find yourself constantly speaking to the back of your husband’s head because he doesn’t want to talk to you, or you wonder when your wife will EVER stop beating you over the head with crap you did ten years ago…..maybe the simple answer is you never belonged together, and taking the easy route in order to be with someone has finally reached its logical conclusion.  Sure, you should try and work to make things better because you’ve built a life around one another with the kids, the house, etc., but at its core the relationship just wasn’t a good match.  So instead of beating your head against the wall by trying to “fix” them or yourself with the plethora of self-help marketing that is only meant to sell more books based on stereotypes, why not just see the situation as it really is, and try to accept them for who they are.  And if you want to make things work go and find a professional that didn’t go to the school of Dr. Phil, so that you can start making sense of where you are at and work towards some level of happiness and equality.  If that’s not a reasonable option, then either try to learn how to live in your misery or cowboy-up and go live a life that is not dependent on the acceptance of someone else.  See what I mean?  And THAT didn’t cost you one penny. 

I guess I’ve stuck to KIND OF a theme with all of this.  Or at least the looks/character topic was the springboard for all of it.  I’ve never gotten very good at closing something out with one of those quippy little “….and so the moral of the story is” phrases that reuses a line from the first paragraph in a slightly different way for effect…..oh man I hate those, and if you are a writer who does that I hate YOU.  Yes, I’m talking to YOU Charles Ferruzza from Pitch magazine.  I’m not saying I have all of this self-image and relationship stuff figured out, I’m just a mildly literate rambler.  And while I’m in love with my cynicism I do keep a few embers burning for a reality that may or may not exist, where I channel Bukowski in his final happily married years.

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The Mutual Admiration Society: Sopranos Style

Before I review the minutes of the very first meeting of “The Mutual Admiration Society”, I’ll do my best to make it relevant to my situation.  Many people would ask “Why in THE HELL would someone who can’t eat 90% of the food at their own dinner party take all of the time to plan and execute such an enviable event?”.  Well, the answers are pretty simple actually… #1- Pure ego and the need to impress others, and #2- To feed the monster.  The monster…that compulsion over food that drives someone like me to the point where the only way they’ll make it past 40 or 45 is to have someone reconfigure their insides.  Yes, after surgery you do find other things to spend your time on…school, singing, exercise, blogging, etc.  However, there is still a connection to food that is rooted so deeply that it has to come out in some way.  The study of technique, seasonality, experimentation, playing host….just because you can’t eat all of the stuff anymore doesn’t mean that shit just disappears.  So I spent the past several weeks dreaming up the menu, sourcing ingredients, practicing on pastas, homemade sausage, etc.  I wouldn’t do it if it caused me angst, I really wouldn’t.  I can honestly say that the entire time I was doing all of this it just felt so fun.  For the first time in my life I was able to put a laser-focus onto my cooking without the compulsion to hurry up and get it done so that I could gorge on it (or spend so much money on my daily intake that I could never afford to throw a dinner party).  I can’t really describe that paradigm shift effectively enough, and if at some point it all backfires on me I’ll cross that bridge then.  For right now though, the fascination with cooking is coupled with what seems like endless patience in regard to the execution, because the creativity and preparation are both feeding the monster.  In all seriousness, last night I had one bite of a rice ball, about three bites of lasagne, one bite of dessert and one big glass of wine.  Leftovers either went out the door with my guests or will soon be at a family member’s house.  Not because I’m afraid of the food (like I would be if I were on a diet), but because I’m more connected to making it now than I am with eating it……if that can even possibly make any sense to anyone but me.  If I keep the food, it’s going to get thrown away because I just won’t eat it.  I get bored so easily with any food that my attention span will make it totally uninteresting, or I know that starches and sugars aren’t worth the possible uncomfortable side effects.   I am experiencing a freedom that I guess most “normal” people take for granted, and for the sake of the newly founded Mutual Admiration Society, I hope it lasts.

Anyway, enough of the existential mumbo jumbo……on to the food.  In order to get some practice when it comes to feeding more than two people at a time, I picked some great friends and what sounded like a fun dinner party theme…… with (almost) all recipes coming straight from The Sopranos Cookbook.  The thought was that I’d cut my teeth on this party, and then take it to seasonal or thematic extremes like an all-offal dinner later on.  When the farmer’s markets start rolling, I will see my enemies driven before me and hear the lamentation of their women…I will conquer.

I went super-homemade with everything….from the pesto to the pasta, the ground beef to the sausage, and I trekked about town to get exactly the right and the BEST ingredients (for example, Carollo’s for the San Marzano tomatoes and prosciutto).  In keeping with the spirit of the food of the Sopranos, I thought this was the only way to go.  Do it right and do it big. 

Caprese Amuse

 Caprese Amuse

I just came up with this little bite of food so that I had an excuse to say “amuse bouche”…it’s just a grape tomato, cube of fresh mozzarella, slice of fresh basil and good prosciutto, finished with a couple of drops of quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Unfortunately, we’re as far away from tomato season as we can get and I had to actually BUY the damn basil, but it was a nice start to the meal. 

 Mushroom Soup with Ceci Bruschetta

Mushroom SoupCeci Bruschetta

This course had absolutely NOTHING to do with the Sopranos cookbook…I just felt like adding it into the lineup.  The soup is a recipe from Top Chef Season 2, and it is one of the easiest and greatest things I like to make.  You basically simmer a pound of mushrooms in a cream/broth mixture, strain out the mushrooms and then add freshly sauteed mushrooms before serving.  It is a winner of a dish, and got the first “oh wow’s” of the evening.  The Ceci Bruschetta is from the Babbo Cookbook.  The chickpea/olive paste/olive oil/basil/red pepper flake/garlic mixture is something I’ll keep onhand just to have as a handy little protein source when I’m not in the mood for meat.



Second round of “oh wow’s” went to these little fried rice balls….and I’m glad because they were a pain in the ass to make.  Something needs to be adjusted in the recipe in order for the arborio rice mixture to be thick enough to shape around the filling.  It’s basically just a simple risotto….cooked arborio rice finished with butter, pecorino and parmesan cheeses, then filled with a mixture of chuck steak that I ground fresh, chopped tomatoes, garlic and peas.  Once you manage to successfully form a ball, it’s dredged in flour, egg white, bread crumbs, and deep fried.  To provide a nice counterpoint to the richness I put them on  a bed of mixed greens dressed with simple Italian dressing and red onion, then finished it all with freshly grated Parmesano Reggiano.  This dish was a huge hit. Even I had to take a bite of one, and I will tell you they were not the worst thing I’ve ever tasted.  How can you go wrong with stuffed and deep fried risotto? 

Fettucine Aglio e Olio “Deconstructed Pesto”


I thought this simple dish would be a relatively “light” pasta course to include between two heavy hitters.  Plus, it would highlight my ability (or inability) to successfully make homemade pasta.  I started with the basic preparation…olive oil, garlic and fettucine, but then added my own “deconstructed pesto” addition by throwing in toasted pine nuts, chopped basil and a ton of Parmesano Reggiano.   The Sopranos cookbook is great and everything, but I’m big on artistic license.  Everyone dug it, I think it provided the intended intermezzo moment between two killer courses. 

Lasagne made with “Sunday Gravy”


I can’t really say this got the third rousing round of “oh wow’s”…..the reaction was much more primordial than that.  It was more like a “silently chewing with head back and eyes closed, tapping both feet on the floor and one fist on the table” phenomenon.  I ate about 1/4 of a piece myself, and I will say….son-of-a-BITCH this was some good lasagne.  The ONLY issue was the structural integrity…once the first piece came out of the pot, many of the surrounding pieces deflated and pooled.  But this isn’t something you want to let cool long enough to come out in a solid square…it’s all about the ooozy goodness.  I will say the preparation, if you do it like I did, is not something to go into lightly.  With the exception of canned tomatoes (good, imported San Marzanos), this was as homemade as it gets….freshly made pasta, a pound and a half of meatballs made with fresh ground beef, a pound of homemade Italian sausage, a pound and a half of whole milk ricotta, tons of freshly grated pecorino and parmesano.  And of course, the “Sunday Gravy” which served as the base was made prior to that…slow cooked with pork neckbones and the sausage for a few hours.  I played with the recipe a bit, boosting up the amount of ingredients, so I guess it’s my own fault that it was still too big to fit ALL of the layers the recipe called for into my extra-deep cast iron Mario Batali pan (the whole thing weighed 23 pounds total).  I filled that thing to the top and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight to get everything melded together.  THIS DISH was absolutely stellar….with doggie bags and dreams both sufficiently filled.  I put some in the freezer to take over to my family later, even though I was rarely tempted while cooking and serving, this stuff has “danger” written all over it. It’s TOO good.

Carmela’s Ricotta Pie

Carmela’s Ricotta Pie

I was going to make my famous signature dessert, “Satan’s Glorious Victory” (several rings of flourless chocolate torte and Nutella HELL), but opted for something “light”…relatively speaking of course.  This is an easy dessert to make, even easier than the soup, but one adjustment to the recipe was a longer cooking time to get it to really set up.  It reminds me of a good version of one of those frozen Sara Lee desserts.  I think everyone took a good 45 minute break after the behemoth lasagne, but they all came back to the table and wolfed it down.  Happy eating by one and all.

Biscotti Regina and Sumatra Lintong

Biscotti Regina

In order to REALLY go above and beyond, I baked up the Biscotti Regina recipe…a tender, almost cake-y biscotti rolled in unhulled sesame seeds.  Then I home roasted some good Sumatra Lintong beans.  I made a nice little to-go gift bag (a la Gary Danko) for everyone to take with them and have for breakfast the next morning.  It’s those little touches that make me “the coolest”.  At least that’s what I hear.

My Cool Friends and a Tired Chef (and yeah, I hate the stemless wine glasses too)

The GangYours Truly

 So in the end…….bada-BING that fuckin’ Soprano’s Dinner was a bigger and better hit than when Pussy took all of that lead to the chest in the “Funhouse” season two ending (“do I get to keep my eyes Tony, can you give me that?”).  Seriously, this was one hell of a good time, especially for me.  I got to feel like a chef…timing the courses, cooking on all burners, and happily listening to the oohs and aaahs from my spot in the kitchen.  The company was 100% pure A-List, and from the reactions the food was top shelf.  With the evening’s soundtrack including the band X, Las Vegas Grind and Gnarls Barkley, it was a full sensory experience.  There were a few smoke breaks, time to stretch the legs, but everyone made it through like a trooper.  I must say that the Mutual Admiration Society is off to a rollicking start. 

As I close out this epic tribute to “some friends of ours” from The Boot, I should of course throw in a gratuitous sex reference.  Not really THAT gratuitous, I’m no Paulie Walnuts, it just dawned on me the other night as I was contemplating the emotional connection to food.  When you manage to illicit an “oh my GOD” response, whether it is during sex or during a meal, it is impossible to keep from smiling.  At some point you have crossed over into some beautiful chemical and neural mystery.  In regard to food, I realize I have very rarely, if ever, been able to truly experience an “oh my GOD” moment for myself…because up until now everything has been about consumption and thinking about the NEXT meal even during an event like a magical 24 course tasting menu at Manresa.   Connecting with the pure enjoyment has escaped me for the most part.  Most people can’t understand that disconnect.  So I guess I’m just happy now to be a cook who can get that response from people at my dinner table, and I’m even happier to be able to SLOW DOWN enough to focus on the execution and then go back to my meager daily intake without the anxiety.  Unfortunately, some of us have to take extreme measures to reign in the monster.  But once he’s got a leash on him, then the orchestration and the appreciation can begin. 


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On Drinking…

 I love wine.  I really, really love it.  I love it like I love a beautiful, dark haired woman from one of the many Russ Meyer classics….the way it overloads the senses, the pursuit of that “perfect” combination of dusky sarcasm and biting, tannic wit.  I guess it’s the same way that I always felt about bourbon, but as I’ve matured I find bourbon to be more of an unforgiving mistress.  I still love her, but it’s more of a casual fling enjoyed best in moderation and among friends.  My addled mind and heart just don’t heal as quickly after a night on the town with her.  You really need to practice safe sex when it comes to THAT tawdry little hooker. 

As many bariatric surgery patients have probably experienced, alcohol consumption was a topic (along with chocolate/dessert….but they’ve never been my thing anyway) presented with a “skull and crossbones” warning when I went to my pre-surgery nutritional education meetings.  Drinking was to be “for special occasions only”, and even then just one drink.  I totally respect that and I COMPLETELY understand how alcohol consumption can slow down weight loss…not just because of the calories but because of the “munchie” factor after a couple of drinks.  However, if you are anything like me, Friday night is a pretty special occasion and it’s great to kick back with friends and a couple of glasses of affordable wine……House Wine from The Magnificent Wine Company, Goats Do Roam In Villages, Melville Pinot Noir, Sokol Blosser’s Meditrina, Qupe Syrah, Torres “Sangre de Toro”, even all that Yellowtail/Little Penguin/Alice White grocery store fodder……the list of good, casual grape is endless.  But it can also, like food, be an obsession for anyone with an addictive personality and a need to “collect stuff”.  One good and bad thing worth mentioning as well is that I’m one CHEAP date now….two hefty glasses and I’m done for the evening.  I’m too embarassed to even say how much of it I could burn through in an evening six months ago….

Anyway, I don’t have the time, money or stamina to let it become an “issue” for me, but recently I started hearing all of these scary statistics about weight loss surgery patients becoming alcoholics.  First, my ex mentioned it to me a couple of months ago, but I thought she was just trying to rile me.  THEN one night I was watching a really good John Popper interview on HowardTV….he has had great success with his surgery and they were discussing it at length.  John mentioned at one point how much he is drinking and smoking now that he can’t eat hardly anything, and that it probably was becoming an issue (his guitarist heartily agreed with him).  Then he went on to say how alchoholism was a common problem among WLS folks.  So that got my attention….a freaky musician type guy who I can relate to giving me this information via an unimpeachable forum like the Howard Stern show.  But it gets even better…..I was heading out for dinner the other evening with a couple of friends (who are a lot of fun to drink with) and mentioned the Popper interview and how I really need to be aware of this issue.  My friend in the back seat goes “yeah, that’s true, I saw a whole thing about that on Oprah”.  Weelllll shit my pants and call me Mayella……..if it’s on fucking OPRAH then who can question it?  I mean OPRAH….she’s no Howard Stern, but apparently she has some pull in this little place we call “the earth”.  Unlike Dr. Phil, who anyone with even a passing familiarity with the psychological profession would like to see DIE a painful, screaming death, I really do think that Oprah is going to pass along some relevant information.  I’m pretty sure I’d rather have a kidney stone than watch her show, but you get my point……Bariatric Surgery + Booze = WATCH IT!

Short of intravenous drug use, I’m not someone who ever says “oh I’d NEVER [fill in the blank]”.  So I’m not having a Saul on the road to Damascus paradigm shift here…I never say never, but I really do feel at this point that the responsible thing to do is keep an eye on it, because a couple of drinks after a long week is something that is SO easy to rationalize.  I’ve never been an AA candidate (unless of course I’m in that famous state of denial they use to sell you on the program), but if you are reading this and you have partied with me “back in the day”, you have at least one story from my well stocked resume of “antics” that you still tell.  With that in mind, combined with the limited capacity for food, the elation over feeling and looking better, the prospect of nice clothes and even nicer women…..I’d be a complete FOOL if I didn’t admit that it is, at the very least, something to monitor closely and always make it a point to bring it up during my therapy visits.  Enough said.  Now let’s go buy one of those Jaeger machines and get shitfaced!!!

Speaking of festivities, I recently had the sincere honor of being asked to officiate a very, very good friend’s wedding in May (the same day I graduate from grad school as a matter of fact).  If you know me, you know my history and that in my late teens through my early twenties I was a licensed minister with the Assemblies of God (the inspiration for my “Unsaved Loved Ones” domain name).  What happened between then and now you ask?  The answer is…..quite a bit, actually.  Anyway, I’m obviously no longer affiliated with the AG, so I’ll probably just get one of those fake licenses online before the wedding, but this event is a huge deal for me (and oh yeah, the bride and groom) and I’m excited that I’ll get to go and buy a new suit in a couple of months that will actually look good.  And this is going to be a wedding that I really WANT to attend…not just because one of my oldest friends is getting married, but because it’s going to kick ass in general, with everyone who is anyone in the Kansas City rockabilly/goth/tattoo/general misanthrope scene in attendance. 

Just like anytime I’ve lost a significant amount of weight in the past, good things start to happen.  I look better, I feel better, I get around more, I can fit into an airline seat, and in general the glass is always half full.  So now that I think about it, THOSE are the things to fill the focus that food (and wine) have taken up in my life to this point. 


Filed under Bariatric Surgery, Blogroll, culture, Evangelical Christianity, Food, General Thoughts, Health, Healthy Eating, Recovery, Tent Revival, Weight Loss, weight loss surgery