Life Goals Achieved This Week

I actually don’t have that many life goals.

I used to, but I either 1) achieved them already, or 2) gave up on them.

The big one I gave up on was graduate school and becoming a college professor. At one time, it was my only goal; now it’s something I have absolutely zero interest in doing. Every once in a while my mother suggests I go back to school, or asks when I am going back to school. I always respond by blankly staring at her, because really how many times do I have to explain this?

Really I think my absence of life goals at this point in my life has to do with that fortune cookie I got years ago that read: those who expect nothing never find themselves disappointed.

As pathetic as that fortune cookie is, it’s so truthful it stings.

So I don’t have many goals anymore. More I have things I would like to do, because they’d be fun or whatever. But if I don’t end up doing them before my untimely demise (because whenever I kick it, it’ll surely be untimely) – oh well.

Life is too short, and I have too much to value in my life now, to be constantly chasing dreams.

(I realize that this philosophy spits in the face of every pithy inspirational quote you have ever seen.)

This week has been pretty strange, though. I’ve done a lot of things – verifiably dumb things – that were they listed among my life’s goals and dreams, I would have a considerable number of check marks added to that list.

I finally offended someone over the matter of pizza.

I say some really shitty things about pizza in California to people. I mean that I am pretty surprised that I haven’t offended anyone up to this point over the matter of pizza – really, I am surprised.

When my in-laws and I tried a new pizza place in town last year, I told them I would rather lick the inside of my husband’s ear than eat there again.

I have brought my own homemade pizzas to a pizza party where the pizza was already provided because local pizzerias make me queasy.

I’m a jerk, and over a really stupid issue. I know.

But really…is pizza a stupid issue? If you’re from Chicagoland area, like I am, no. No, pizza is not a stupid issue, and never a laughing matter.

So my mother came over for dinner the night before Mother’s Day, for an early celebration. She asked what our plans were the following day, and my kids told her that among our other things, we had special ordered some pizzas from Giordano’s – one of our favorite pizzerias in Chicago, that just happens to ship frozen pies around the country.

Then the kids told her how expensive they were and my mother’s response (and tone) showed how clearly offended she was over the matter:

“Oh, well …I had a slice of pizza the other day for $5 but I guess that isn’t good enough for people who have $60 to drop on frozen food.”

Life goal to offend someone over the matter of pizza? Achieved.

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My Boob Fell Out of My Tank Top At Staples

My body has been pretty weird lately. Awkward, maybe is the right way to put it.

And as a result of this awkwardness, I’ve been especially attached to my yoga pants, hoodies, and bra tank tops lately.

So there I was, picking up my copy and print order at my local Staples office supply store, and I dropped my keys on the floor. I bent down to pick them up and WHOOP – my boob plum fell out of my top.

The offending tank top was pretty small to begin with, and I honestly hadn’t been expecting to go anywhere that day. Fortunately, the guy ringing up my copy and print order didn’t notice as I quickly tucked myself back in while I stood back up.

Or at least he didn’t let on that he had seen anything.

Life goal to give up so much that body parts arbitrarily fall out of my slovenly clothing while out in public? Achieved.

I’ve Learned To Swallow Food Whole

I don’t know if I should be proud or horrified by this, but if I had a life goal to learn how to swallow my food whole – as in no chewing or silverware involved – well, then I have mastered this one. Oh, have I mastered it.

It started Monday night. My husband worked really late, and I was awake at about three o’clock in the morning after he texted me about how late he’d be getting home. Suddenly I realized that the reason I couldn’t get back to sleep was because I was starving – I mean I was so hungry I could have eaten anything… anything…

So I got up and grabbed a couple bananas, but was so tired I just wanted the eating process to be over with. Long story short, I unintentionally engaged in some pseudo-erotic, middle-of-the-night, whole banana consumption. My appetite was immediately satisfied and I was sawing logs within five minutes.

Then tonight it was time to make supper for myself and the kids, and we were all so hungry we could barely stand it. I went to make something quick (a box of some kind of quickie angel hair pasta dish), but it needed milk and we had run out earlier in the day. Feeling uninspired to cook anything but a throw-together box meal, we ended up desperately grabbing my purse and running out the door to go to In N Out.

By the time we got to In N Out, ordered our food, sat in the characteristically never-ending line, and got our food, my stomach was starting to feel queasy from having been so empty. So I took out my grilled cheese sandwich and scarfed it in about one, large bite.

Unlike the banana situation from Monday night, I was still hungry.

So the moral of the story is that were I to set life goals for myself at this particular stage, they would have to be pretty low brow. Don’t expect too much, or anything, because I clearly have little to give.

But it makes for a good story, right?

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My Neighbor and I Both Ate Our Emotions Today

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My neighbor and I both ate our emotions today. Though, while mine was not exactly healthy, it wasn’t quite as horrifying as hers either.

Before I get into that, I should first talk about the eating of emotions. We’ve all done it at one time or another. Some people do it often and don’t even realize it. Others drink they’re emotions, which is a whole other issue altogether. They’re sad and depressed, or stressed out. Suddenly they wake up one day and realize they’ve eaten a combination of Thin Mints and Oreos for every single meal, for weeks. It’s OK. Everyone (for the most part) has gone through this phase at one time or another, and once you realize it you get it in check.

Maybe.

I definitely wouldn’t condone eating away your feelings often. First and foremost, it isn’t like someone thinks to themselves “man, I’m having a really shitty day, I’m going to go home and eat kale until I fucking puke.” Actually, if you ate kale until you puked, you’d probably be actually eating kale until you shit your pants, making your shitty day literal. So it’s either that or because kale tastes like a filthy 1970s shag carpet. I don’t know, but I do know that people don’t usually run home and eat away their emotions with super healthy super foods.

That isn’t entirely true, though. I am “Facebook” friends with this girl I went to high school with who tells us all the time about how after a stressful day she goes home to eat a pile of apple slices, or a bucket of celery. It’s really obnoxious too because she always has to add in the precursor: rather than go home and pig out on pizza and cookies like fat people do after a hard day, I’m going to …

Shut the fuck up, bitch. No one wants to hear your fat shaming bullshit. PS we all know the reason you are like this now is because of how you looked back then…

But I digress.

So I wouldn’t condone eating away feelings often, or all the time. But I definitely believe that sometimes a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, or a nice bag of Twizzlers Nibs are just what the doctor ordered. Dare I suggest that many doctors I know do suggest that once in a while letting go and indulging after a hard time is … healthy?

It’s healthy because, simply put, repressing stress is probably the worst thing a person can do to their body. People have to let that energy out, or it keeps building. We’ve all heard the analogy of the bottled up feelings, being shaken and shaken until one day all those feelings come splurging out in an explosion of yuck. This is my entirely unscientific and non medical opinion, here, but I think it’s pretty right on. At least in my experience.

Plus there is a moderate way to destress with food. Don’t keep enough junk in the house to overdo it. Make sure to put what you want in a plate or a bowl so as to keep to your portion size. Find something low fat, or low carb, or low cal that still fulfills your urge to pork down all your rage and hurt feelings until you pass out. There are a lot of ways to get around the really and true badness of bad eating.

This isn’t rocket surgery or brain science here. It’s just fucking common sense.

Today, when I was super stressed out about all the things going on, and a shit ton of money I have to spend to take a vacation to Texas (of all places) that I REALLY don’t want to take, just so my daughter can see her Biological Bum (whom she adamantly does not want to see) and all the issues this is bringing up which is another blog post for another day …I just needed to do something to feel better fast. I needed it so badly, and fortunately there was little junk food in my house to indulge on.

Except the Salsa Con Queso.

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I have a weird relationship with Salsa Con Queso. I won’t eat it for a really long time and be totally tired of it. Then I’ll eat it with chips every day for lunch for like three days straight. The plus side of this is that it has a lot of tomatoes and onions and shit in it that is actually good for you. The other plus is that the calories and fat isn’t quite like a Snickers bar or a bucket of neopolitan ice cream might be.

I keep telling myself this. Rationalize, rationalize, rationalize. Regardless of your feelings about my rationalization of this, let’s just agree that there are a lot of things that I could be eating that are much much worse for me to pork away my emotions and frustrations on than this. Okay?

Glad we agree.

I encountered what one of those “much much worse” things was today, shortly after my uninhibited love affair with my Tostitoes and my Salsa Con Queso dip.

Sitting on the couch, working on editing my upcoming book, and yelling up the stairs various threats of punishment that will come if the homeschooling work was not finished “by the time I get up there…” I noticed my neighbor standing on her porch. We live in a townhome, so the proximity was fairly close. She was standing there looking longingly toward the parking lot. She appeared sad, but she sort of always does. Then, in a moment of sheer horror then amazement then fear then entertainment then genuine concern, I saw her pork down one Twinkie after another until she had eaten not one, not two, but TWELVE MOTHERFUCKING TWINKIES.

My neighbor and I both ate our emotions today. Tomorrow I will probably eat my Salsa Con Queso again, since there is still about 1/2 a jar left and watching the Twinkie hog down sort of stressed me out just witnessing it.

Two New Years Resolutions I Will Be Making This Year (Even Though I Don’t Believe In New Years Resolutions)

I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions. Never have.

The crux of my argument is simple: if I want to be a better person in X area, I should just do it.

The new year is no more a new start than the morning is. It’s just time and my philosophy degree tells me that time is nothing more than an illusion. That may be too philosophical and pithy for most of you, though; and the truth is that I just don’t give a fuck about resolutions. Either I accept who I am or make better things when I realize I want to – not have to have some special day or social convention to con me into doing it.

I find New Years Resolutions to be so vain and self-aggrandizing sometimes too. They’re always about looks (I resolve to lose weight, take better care of my skin, wear skirts more often…); or narcissistic goals. I don’t mean that all goals are narcissistic or bad, I just mean that so many people I hear making goals for New Years Resolutions seem so self-centered and exalted about it. I read one on Facebook the other day that was the absolute worst: I resolve to have the most gorgeous children on the planet. Really? Because you and your husband aren’t exactly lookers – if you know what I mean – so maybe you should tone it down and just resolve to be good people.

I don’t know. That’s just me.

Off my soap box, I’m making not only ONE but TWO New Years Resolutions this year. Because I like hypocrisy and sounding like an idiot when I just lectured for paragraphs about why I don’t make resolutions.

I promise none of these will make me a better person, though. Or hot and sexy. They also won’t make me the best at anything, except for possibly make me even more of a misanthropic asshole than I already am.

Okay, here goes:

Hang Out With Fewer Assholes

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I posted about this on my Facebook page the other day and I will be damned if I’m going to fail at this one.

I am just so sick and tired of hanging around assholes. Toxic waste of human beings that just drag me and my family down with drama and unpaid bills and bullshit absolutely no one on this planet has time for.

This resolution came about after my husband and I got stiffed for a whopping $200 at my kid’s birthday dinner with ice skating the week before her birthday. We made it very clear to everyone we invited: everyone pays their fair share of the bill, the tax, the tip. If you don’t want to do that, then you can come over to our house for a little BBQ on us on her actual birthday – the idea was to have a kid’s activity with pomp and circumstance with out having to shell out all the dough for the activities and the entertainment and the treat bags and such.

And yet somehow, we got stiffed by a few of the people that were there. Stiffed big – so big we had to cancel some of our out of town plans in January.

So after that, just one incident in a long line of incidences that we have absolutely had enough of, I am resolving to hang out with fewer assholes. Life is too short to spend it with a bag of dicks.

Eat More Cupcakes

I joke a lot about emotionally eating, but in reality I rarely eat anything. I pick all day and then only sometimes get enough calories to sustain the busy life of being a mom with a husband who works ALL. THE. TIME.

The problem is simple: I live in California and feel an enormous amount of guilt every time I put fork to mouth.

I hear people say something seemingly nice like “you look like you’ve lost weight!!” and hear “finally chucked some fat off that huge ass of yours, eh Heather?!”

I know what you are thinking: I’m clearly suffering from major body issues. Get over it, who isn’t?

I’m so tired of being hungry, though.

I’m even more tired of making food that I don’t eat. Constantly, I am cooking and baking for family parties or friend things; or just making food at home for my husband – who on some days consumes upwards of five, large meal servings. And I never eat the desserts I make. Ever. Like ever-ever.

Well that shit’s about to come to an end. Either I’m going to stop cooking for others, and since that won’t happen because I’m bored and also have a major guilt complex – I’ll be eating more.

Dressbarn, here I come. I’m eating more cupcakes.

Are you making New Years Resolutions this year? Like really bullshit and vague ones, like you do every year; or something really serious like “get a job and move out of my parents’ basement?” Chances are if you are, I think you’re a tool; but then you have permission to thing I’m a tool for making my two resolutions too.

lJOtm3antidepressants-2014-optimism-new-years-ecards-someecardsIn any event: Happy New Years Bitchees… after the clock strikes 12, I’ll have a really big surprise for you. I mean, not really 12… you know, I’ll probably be out by then, my New Years kiss will be my husband groping me in his sleep; I’ll roll out of bed like I usually do somewhere around 9 or 10. The surprise will be then. Can’t wait!

My Horrible Evening At Pukeplantation

Pukeplantation

Am I overwhelming you most faithful blog followers with too many posts? This is something like the fourth in two days, I’ve just really had a lot to say these past few days. I promise, I’ll slow down (maybe).

Went to dinner this evening. Just me and Pookies, which meant that it ended up being somewhere kid-friendly. I wasn’t in the mood for Denny’s or Panera Bread, though; and fast food was of course out of the question. So Souplantation it was.

Now I do typically enjoy Souplantation. Typically. We used to live in the heart of Los Angeles and had a really nice one. One that had everything, plus amazing customer service. Their space was bigger than any restaurant I had ever been to. And it was walking distance from our apartment – just awesome.

The Souplantation out here is a far cry from that; although it was still decent up until recently. In the last few months, though, it’s become a little ghetto. Or perhaps more accurately, it’s become proof that the town in which we live is going downhill. More white trash. A lot people running into each other and acting like total pigs. Basically the entire swath of the state of nature, all packed into one tiny restaurant with a 210 person capacity.

Sad to say, today was the last time we will ever go to that Souplantation. By the time you get through our experience, hopefully you will support my decision.

4:45 pm

We cruise into the Souplantation parking lot. It looks like the dinner rush is starting to get there a little early, but then again it shares the parking lot with Ross – dress for less – so maybe it’s just overflow from early high school prom shoppers.

4:50 pm

Finally inside, we are beginning to make our way through the line. A family of four has come in behind us. The husband is holding a baby that looks like it hasn’t been bathed. Ever. The husband begins sneezing. I start to push Pookies a little quicker down the salad bar. I notice the fourth in their group is a teenager. He has blue hair, in a flock of seagulls cut. He has handcuffs hanging from his belt buckle. Maybe he’s just broken out of jail. He starts sneezing too.

5:00 pm

I’ve paid and we’ve found a booth as far away from the rest of the people that are already seated. Kids are screaming and running around. The family of four sit near us shortly afterwards.

5:05 pm

I go to get drinks. The drink bar is in complete view of the table, so I go alone. The kid with the blue flock of seagulls hair cut walks past our table, and it looks like he has said something. I rush back to the table.

5:15 pm

Finishing up the salad and it’s starting to get packed. People are sneezing, coughing, belching, and ripping ass everywhere. The woman sitting at the table next to us actually lifted her ass to blow one – I kid you faithful blog followers not. You know I’m not a fan of ass jokes, this is really happening.

I decide we are not at Souplantation. We are at Pukeplantation. Time to get some Pukeplantation soup.

5:18 pm

I’m waiting at the soup bar to get the chicken and alphabet soup. There is a rather portly man in a hooded sweatshirt and khaki shorts filling four bowls. I assume he is getting them for multiple people. Or that he really likes the soup. In spite of all the belching and burping and blowing and puking and sneezing and snotting, I will admit – that soup is tasty. He is taking forever though, so people are getting in line behind me, and I inch a little closer. He turns around and rips a belch so loud, so ferocious, that I swear I see his lips quiver. Like Barney on The Simpsons. Or worse.

As I’m dishing up the soup, I realize he’s belched a piece of chewed food onto my sweater.

5:25 pm

I have had about enough of this place. Having totally lost my appetite wiping the stranger’s food off my sweater, I sit and wait quietly. The lady sitting next to us rips another one. Her husband tells stories about “Rod in seasonal” grabbing his ass. He’s wearing a Home Depot polo shirt. I assume he works at the Home Depot in the same shopping complex. I make a mental note never to go this Pukeplantation or that Rip Ass-Grab Butt Depot ever again. I consider running to my car and speeding home to drink heavily and forget about this place.

But the deal with Pukeplantation is that dessert is always a given. Fat free frozen yogurt is a healthy way to dessert anyway. I sprint to the yogurt machine so that we can leave soon.

5:32 pm

There are four exits from this particular Pukeplantation. The one closest to us is in the back of the building and we are parked in the front, but rather than wade our way through the belches and boogers of this rancid state of hillbilly nature, we walk out the back door and just traipse around the entire building to get to my car.

While walking I am informed of what transpired when the blue haired flock of seagulls, jail break walked past our booth while I was getting our drinks. As he walked by, with his handcuffs clanging against his leg, he leaned over and said “hey … your mom’s hot …”

From there we ran to my Jeep.

We will not be returning to that place. Ever. Again. Would you? It concerns me that so many of these experiences are cropping up more and more around my community. Is it just that I’m hanging out in the wrong places? Or is pigslob hillbilly becoming the status quo?

The Cost of Groceries, or My Weekly Bend-Over By a Random Guy Named Ralph

This morning I did what I always do. I woke up. I grabbed my computer. I scrolled through to see how people were disparaging me overnight on my blog. I’m not saying that people always do, just every once in a while someone disagrees with me and calls me something nasty. Anyway, so I checked my email and my blog, then my Twitter and Facebook … the usual.

As I scrolled through Facebook, I saw that Momspirational (another mom blogger) had posted a question for her fans: how much do you spend on groceries per week? Oh, you mean how much do I get bent over for every time I go to Ralph’s?

I should have just put in what we spend and been done with it.

I actually should have just kept scrolling and erased having seen the question from my memory.

I should not have clicked “see all comments” or whateverthefuck that stupid Facebook link says that opens to a long list of things other people said that you really do not want to know about. I should not have done this. But I did.

I immediately became nauseous. I very literally felt like I was going to puke.

People’s responses were pretty varied. Some paid about $500 a month. Others paid a little less. A few paid a little more. One woman said she pays $200 a week and doesn’t use shampoo but makes her own soap. That comes a little close to what we spend, but we don’t include toiletries in our grocery budget. (And I don’t make my own soap, either.)

Our food budget every month is close to $1300. This doesn’t include alcohol. It doesn’t include toiletries. It does not include house supplies. It does not include lunch every day for anyone but my husband (I know, seems a little unfair).

Puke.

There are a couple of things that go into this. Despite the fact that he’s going to get defensive and annoyed and come home acting pissed off because I was honest about it, I’ll just say it: my husband eats a lot. I mean a lot. As an example, last week we went out to eat with my dad for dinner and so I made my husband a chicken and vegetable stir fry that I planned on making for all of us. Since I planned on making it for all of us and it turned out being only my husband eating, I thought he would just eat about half of it and the rest would go to leftovers for lunches.

He ate the whole thing. Four diced chicken breasts and a large package of mixed, frozen vegetables. That was organic chicken, the package weighed 3.5 pounds. My husband’s meal that night cost $34.

He still ate dessert.

Had I not prepared that; had I halfed it and just put some in the refrigerator; had I made something lighter or had we eaten at home too; he would have grazed on top of eating dessert for the rest of the night. One night, after eating an entire meal he came into the living room an hour later with an entire peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Another night I had a writers group over and after it he gobbled up an entire brick of cheese that I had set out for the group. The whole, entire brick of cheese.

One time I made a 12 pound turkey and he ate 3/4 of it, along with all the sides. I had plans to make three other meals out of that turkey.

One time we went out for pizza and he ate almost the entire thing. You’d think that was enough; I mean I was still eating my first slice when he polished off the rest of it himself. I set down my slice for a second to take a sip of my Diet Coke, and he started to grab the pizza off my plate. Off my fucking plate, faithful blog followers. Off my fucking plate.

His lunches are worse. The stories go on forever.

So you get the point, my husband eats a lot. Rather than admit it, he generally gets defensive. He’ll come home tonight in a horrible mood and he’ll probably start blaming everyone else for all our problems to compensate for how the truth about this makes him feel. (Responsible. I know. How dare anyone take responsibility for their behavior?) And to be fair, I’m not really complaining. It is what it is. He has an appetite. If he eats less, he’ll get cranky. I’ve moved on, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to lie about it or hide the truth just to help him deny the realities he imposes on our daily lives.

Back to our grocery bill. So it’s about $1300 a month. We don’t eat fast food. I cook almost every meal at home. I have to use my share of the spending money to feed us lunch, because if I had that stuff around the house my husband would gobble it up too, and it just isn’t in the grocery budget anyway. Seems a little unfair, I know; but again, it is what it is. I’m choosing for us not to eat fast food. While I joke that we should just start eating at McDonalds like the rest of America, I never will.

There are other factors, though. We live in California where the cost of living is exponentially higher. When we were in Chicago earlier this year on vacation, my cousin’s wife went grocery shopping and bought more groceries than we have ever purchased in our house at one time, and she spent about 1/3rd of what we would have spent. I went to Whole Foods – the most expensive grocery store on the planet – while out there to get a cake to take to a party as well, and was just completely floored when the cake only cost me $8. Eight dollars?! Are you serious? The same cake at the Whole Foods out here costs $27.

So it’s about $1300 a month. When I see people talking about their grocery bills only costing $500 or $600, or even a cool grande with toiletries and house supplies included (we buy toiletries out of our personal spending and house supplies out of a separate, budgeted amount); when I see how much they spend and look at the last grocery receipt sitting in my wallet… Which was just bare essentials to get through the week. Bare essentials. Nothing extravagant. My husband’s lunches, breakfast food, and ingredients for dinner every night. When I see that and hear someone say that what I spent for one week is over half what they spend every month, I want to puke. I want to puke because while I always felt like I was getting bent over every time I go to Ralph’s, I didn’t realize it was really that bad.

9 Things I’d Rather Do Than Eat Something Made Out of Whole Wheat Flour

This morning I went to the kitchen to make breakfast. I haven’t been grocery shopping in quite a few days, though, so the options were sparse. There were no eggs left, after I baked a double batch of cupcakes for an old professor’s surprise party last night. There was no cereal left I took interest in either. So I opened the pantry to throw together some sort of biscuits, only to find I had used all the white flour the last time I made pizza.

I was left with no option other than to use the wheat flour in the back of the pantry:  the whole wheat flour that I haven’t touched since I humiliated myself by trying to make my homemade pizza dough with it for a few friends that were over for dinner a few months ago. I’m not sure what I was thinking when I even bought the stuff. I’ll eat wheat bread, but the grains in it gross me out. Whole wheat pizza dough is absolutely vile.

Now I’m not referring to partial wheat, where it isn’t as grainy although still better for you. I’m also not talking about honey wheat. I’m talking about that whole wheat crap that tastes something like eating a chunky piece of sandpaper.

The result of my whole wheat breakfast biscuit was quite obvious. It tasted like shit. Crunchy, grainy, chunky shit. I realized then that there are quite a few things I’d rather do than eat something made out of whole wheat flour again.

#1 Lick the moldy grout in my bathtub

I need to clean the bathtub, and I imagine that were I to lick the bits of grout that are beginning to show signs of a little shower mildew, I would enjoy it much more than eating something made out of whole wheat flour. The consistency (I can only assume) would be much more appealing than the grainy crunch of just about everything made out of whole wheat flour.

#2 Eat my tropical fish – Achilles and Menelaus –

straight out of the fish tank

I know that’s pretty messed up. They are a part of the household, and it almost would seem like I’m eating family. That said, I would much rather pull them out of the tank and eat them alive than eat something made out of whole wheat flour again.

The problem with whole wheat flour is that it always screws with the directions or baking time of whatever it’s being used for. I don’t know why. I don’t fucking care why. All I know is that everything I’ve ever made out of whole wheat flour has to either be adjusted considerably just because of the flour, or come out burned on the outside and gooey on the inside. If I ate my two tropical fish raw from the fish tank, they’d be more well-prepared than anything with whole wheat.

#3 Get a high colonic in a random van in Venice, CA

I imagine that my stomach would feel a lot better after an enema, administered to me by a hippy in a random van in Venice than it does after I eat something made out of whole wheat flour. It can’t be the fiber, because I eat a diet high in fibers – fruits, vegetables, and healthy grains. I also do not have celiac disease, so don’t stop there and tell me all about how it’s time for me to go gluten free. I imagine it has to do with the horrible timing and preparation of foods made out of whole wheat flour. Whatever the case may be, after a healthy does of the crunch grain crap, my stomach feels horrible.

#4 Cook and serve Thanksgiving dinner to my entire family

#5 Cook and serve Thanksgiving dinner to my entire family in nothing but a Wonderwoman mask and crotchless panties

#6 Cook and serve Thanksgiving dinner to my entire family in nothing but a Wonderwoman mask and crotchless panties, and do my rendition of “New York, New York” during dessert

#7 Cook and serve Thanksgiving dinner to my entire family in nothing but a Wonderwoman mask and crotchless panties, and do my rendition of “New York, New York” during dessert, and pay all the settlements for eye and ear damage that follow

#8 Go on Wife Swap

Have you ever watched that show? I think there is nothing more painful than being taken from your own perfectly crafted lifestyle and being forced to live by someone else’s rules. There are plenty of times I watch that show and think to myself that I would never make it. What if I got put on a farm? What if I had to live for two weeks doing extreme couponing? What if I got matched with a family of hillbillies?

The only thing more painful than Wife Swap to me would be eating something made out of whole wheat flour again. The taste of grain and pasty shit rubbing along the interior of my mouth. Choking to swallow the dried up crap as it slowly churns down to reek havoc on my stomach. The flavor of whatever was cooked with it completely devoured by the distinct taste of horse manure that seems to always waft from a container of whole wheat flour.

Yes. I’d rather go on Wife Swap.

#9 Make out with my husband

after he hasn’t brushed his teeth for six weeks

Don’t get me wrong, my husband never goes more than half a day without brushing his teeth. Every morning. Every evening.

But let’s say for a moment that he suddenly stopped brushing his teeth and went for as many as six weeks without brushing once. By then, his teeth would be brown. They would have grain all over them. They’d smell like rancid wheat. And they would be covered in paste.

I would rather make out with that than eat something made out of whole wheat again. At least I wouldn’t have to swallow any of it.

I’m real fucking happy for you if you think whole wheat flour is the greatest thing next to stick butter. I – on the other hand – just can’t stomach it.

In-N-Out versus In-N-Out

Anyone that has been to California knows that one of the “must-dos” of the state is a trip to In-N-Out. Even if you don’t eat fast food, or you don’t eat meat, you still do it. They actually are very good at catering to people’s health and otherwise needs: they have a huge “secret” menu, available to anyone. Grilled cheese, veggie sandwiches, fresh and unprocessed fries…

Of course I think that’s about the only good thing about In-N-Out. Personally, I think it’s a little overrated.

If I am in the mood for a burger joint kind of place, I do usually go there. I don’t eat red meat, so the grilled cheese is pretty decent. It’s close. And more than anything, it’s cheap – my favorite thing. It’s relatively infrequent that I go, though, so you can imagine how truly over it I am after going twice in the last week.

Early last week, I hit up In-N-Out near my apartment in Camarillo on the way out of town for my little solo jaunt to Solvang, CA. The one near our place is my preference – it’s clean, in a good area, and during the week is especially quiet. Camarillo is something like a retirement community. Most of the people that live here either are super old or super young; young families that work outside of the area coupled with the geezers playing shuffleboard. In fact, the In-N-Out is directly across the street from a 50-and-over neighborhood. My experience was pretty laid back: there weren’t too many people around, a man brought his wife that worked there flowers and a birthday balloon, it started to get a little busy right before I left. Nothing too big, though.

Then today, my husband wanted to go to the In-N-Out nearby where we were shopping in the southern part of Oxnard. Those of you that have never been to the Ventura County (nestled between LA and Santa Barbara on the coast of California), Oxnard (particularly the south part) is the more ghetto of the community. There is a lot of gang activity. There is a pretty fair amount of crime. Being from Chicago, it’s sort of child’s play to me, but I still don’t mess around when people start flashing gang signs and swearing in languages I cannot even decipher.

Needless to say, my experience was a little different today than early last week.

Ordering Our Food

We got there and I had to pee. I always have to pee – my guinea pig has a larger bladder than I do. And I drink a lot of Diet Coke. So my husband got in line while I ran in to quickly use the bathroom. As I came out, I eeked my way through the line, saying “excuse me, my husband is up front” and when I got to him, this crazy-looking lady with a tattoo across her forehead said “hey, step the fuck back to the end of the line where you belong.”

I smiled and just stepped to the side, Nick already knew what I wanted anyway.

Finding Our Table

We originally planned on eating there. Then it was going to be t0-go because there was nowhere to sit; and only a second before we got our food did we find a table open up. This place was like the state of nature for seating. Everyone was fighting. A woman in a wheelchair started screaming at people to get out of her way so she could snag a table. As we left, I could see people all hovering over the tables that looked as though they were about ready to finish. I overheard two guys in maintenance uniforms laughing about how badly people wanted their seats and how much they weren’t budging until their lunch break was completely over.

Getting Our Ketchup

So around the time I went to get our ketchup, napkins, and little packets of salt was when shit really started to go down. I was pumping the ketchup out of their old-style ketchup pump into these little, paper cups they provide when this woman shoved me to the side so she could have more room to slop ketchup directly onto her tray of animal-style fries. She pumped and pumped and pumped and it was slopped all over the tray. I kept thinking to myself ‘am I mad this woman shoved me or angry because of the mess she’s making for these poor employees to clean up?’

As I turned to walk away – having finished pumping my own meager supply of ketchup compared to hers – she turned and smacked me so hard in the boobs with her purse that I was pretty sure some after-jiggle occurred. Those of you that are women with big boobs know what I’m talking about – when you run without a bra, or laugh too hard in your pajamas … after-jiggle.

Eating Our Food

There is nothing about the food that is too spectacular to report. As I said, In-N-Out is a little overrated in my book. I had the grilled cheese again today, along with some fries and a Diet Coke (of course).

As I sat eating, though, I continued to peruse around the busy restaurant. People were lined out the door at that point. All registers were open and employees were screaming – literally screaming – at each other, it was just that loud in there. My husband and I don’t have shit to talk to each other about over meals anymore. Unless it’s about his day at work or some bullshit I want to complain about, usually he’s too busy hogging his food down like it’s feeding time at the barnyard to get in a word edgewise. So I continued to look around, only to find (to my dismay) that the guy sitting next to us was reading a book called “Dealing With Your Psychopathy.”

Real fucking nice.

Leaving The Shithole, Never To Return

As always happens, the real “event” of it all didn’t happen until the end, as we were about to leave. I know what you’re saying – some ugly ass bitch with a tattoo across her forehead telling you to “step the fuck back” wasn’t an event? Being shoved and smacked in the boobs for the sake of a tray full of ketchup was not an ordeal?

Not compared to Turd Girl.

Right before we left, a little girl and her mom sat down at the table next to us. The tables are in pretty close proximity to each other, so I could hear their every word. Her dad was waiting for a table near them to open up so that he too could sit down. They decided to just start porking down their food anyway.

Turd Girl couldn’t have been any older than five; six tops. Nonetheless, she was shoveling a double-double (a double cheeseburger) and animal-style fries (french fries covered in secret sauce, cheese, and grilled onions) down her itty-bitty gullet. And then she said the words that made her earn her title: “Huhuhuh … mom, my fries look like the turd I dropped this morning.”

Are you fucking kidding me?

I thought her mom was going to say something; oh, I don’t know, like that she should speak a little more lady-like in public. If it were me I would have smacked those animal-style fries right out of her hands. Turd Girl’s mom did nothing but laugh, though. Together, they laughed and laughed and laughed at just how much the french fries they continued to shove into their mouths looked like human feces.

So about that In-N-Out. It attracts a particular kind of crowd – at least the one in south Oxnard. The only other one I’ve been to has been in Hollywood with my friend Jeremy – quite a few years ago, while he was out on a visit. I remember we were sitting there eating when all of a sudden a bridal party came in to get In-N-Out after their wedding ceremony. The bride looked about 18; the groom was wearing a blinged-out baseball cap. This is why I don’t eat fast food.