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


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


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?

Foods That Have Traumatized Me


This last few weeks was pretty stressful and full of sadness for me, after the passing of my grandfather and all the stuff that came after it. That meant for a lot of stomach upset, which culminated last night in horrible stomach traumas that I will just file under the category of: too much information to share.

It’s times like these that give me an opportunity to pause and reflect on all the foods that have traumatized me in years past. I think you will find that my list is about as bizarre as everything else in my life.

#1 Ice cream and yogurt, but not frozen yogurt or milk or cheese

You want to see me miserable, give me some ice cream or plain yogurt. For a while I thought I was lactose intolerant, but then I ate about a bucketful of mozzarella cheese and washed it down with half a gallon of milk, so I’m pretty sure it’s just the ice cream and yogurt.

But not frozen yogurt. Frozen yogurt I can eat until the cows come home (no pun intended … OK, pun may or may not have been planned, you decide).

#2 California Italian food

I’ve talked about this many, many times before, but something about the Italians out here in California makes their cooking taste like crap.

We went to a party before Christmas where a guy told me that Chicagoans “can’t cook Italian food worth shit.” Funny, in the family cooking contest we had both entered, he only garnered one vote (his) while I came in second place. Chicagoans can’t cook Italian food “worth shit,” huh? I’m about as Italian as that guidette Snookie is modest, too.

Every time I eat a California Italian’s cooking, though – every time without fail – I have a problem swallowing it, and spend 3/4 of the night sitting upright with acid reflux. Of course I put on my sweetest smile and gobble the stuff up, but it’s always like pasty mush mixed in a sea of something that resembles baby diapers.

#3 Coffee

Coffee for me is like a recipe for cardiac arrest. Don’t get me wrong, I love my caffeine; but anything beyond the amount found in a $1 Diet Coke from McDonald’s and I am a walking heart palpitation, just waiting to burst.

#4 Fish sticks

No, I’m not piggy-backing off any Southpark jokes, here – fish sticks have actually traumatized me, and therefore I will never (not ever) eat fish, of any kind.

When my parents first got divorced, I lived with my mom for one year (before she decided to leave me behind to move across the country and shack up with a dude that was still married). That year was a little weird for me, mostly because my mother was constantly trying to trick me to eat things she thought would be good for me.

Most of them had very little nutritional value at all.

The worst were the fish sticks. She promised me that they were chicken strips. She showed me a box that they had supposedly come out of. But then when I took a bite into those mercury-filled, fishy-flavored gems, I knew that she had lied to me. Not that I should have ever trusted her to begin with, but from that moment on I had a hard time believing anyone about what I was eating until I tasted it, for at least ten years.

#5 The fried cheese grilled cheese sandwich at Denny’s

Why does this exist? Calling them “grilled cheese” is usually inaccurate to begin with – those puppies are fried just like most every other sandwich on the Denny’s menu. But to then insert battered and fried sticks of mozzarella in the center of a grilled cheese sandwich; well, that just makes no sense to me.

People clearly order it too, because it’s been on the menu for quite a few years now. Fortunately we eat at Denny’s so infrequently that I don’t often see it; but on the rare occasion that we do, and I see it on the menu, my arteries quiver just a little when I see that gooey photo on the menu.

#6 Shellfish

So I’m allergic to everything it seems, and shellfish is included in the list. I’m also allergic to MSG and sodium nitrate, but it isn’t often that a restaurant slips that into your meal, like has happened to me with shellfish a number of times.

The most recent was last August. I had just returned from a few days in the faux-Danish town of Solvang and met my dad for happy hour and dinner at Macaroni Grill. I ordered angel hair pasta with asparagus and chicken, but when I bit into a piece of my chicken it tasted like shrimp. Within minutes my throat was starting to feel tight, so we left and I gave myself an Epipen.

Macaroni Grill sent me $20 for my troubles.

So, faithful blog followers, have you had food traumatize you? I don’t need to hear stories regaling for me the details of your bathroom experiences, or the consistency of your vomit or anything. Then again, maybe I’m the only one who lets her food mess with her head…

Screw You, Overachieving Self

Hey, self. How is your sexy ass doin’? Feelin’ good? Feelin’ great after you just had a bowl of marshmallows for breakfast, with two bites of a rotten banana, all swallowed down with a large Diet Coke? Feeling hot to trot in your yoga pants and White Sox t-shirt; the one with a hole in the arm pit? Hope no one sees you haven’t shaved those puppies in well over a month.

You busy? You busy getting ready for something? Maybe that party you decided to throw just for shits and giggles? The party you invited well over 70 people to, expecting none of them to come? The party that close to that number will be showing up for? Showing up for to fit into your tiny apartment? Yeah … that one? Gettin’ ready for that, hot stuff?

Well I have something to say to you, self. I have something to say to you, you marshmallow-and-rotten banana-stuffing, unshaven, overachieving self.

Screw you.

Seriously, go fuck yourself. Go fuck yourself sideways with rotten bananas and thorny pineapples.

Go fuck yourself with your complicated menu planning. Kiss my she-balls with your homemade invitations that just got returned because the post office is full of fucking morons. Screw you and your centerpieces, made by hand with little scarecrows inside of them. Take your place cards with the elaborate descriptions of each food item on them, and shove that shit up your crotch.

And while you’re at it, you can shove your justifications up there too. Like the one about making those place cards because you’re tired of having to always tell people what is being served. Like the one about how cheap it is do to things “DIY!!” Fuck you and your DIY bullshit. And how about the one about making five, different desserts so that you can try new recipes you’ve been wanting to try. Since when the fuck did you want to try recipes?

And let’s not talk about you saying you were throwing this party to avoid cooking on Thanksgiving. How’s that working out for you? I see you just bought a Thanksgiving turkey and ham to prepare on the actual T-day. Dillhole. Screw you.

Seriously, overachieving self. Screw you. Screw you and your kid’s platter. Screw you and making cake pops for the kids so they don’t bother the adults. Fuck that shit. What are you – a fucking babysitter?

Now just what the hell is this front door display all about? Since when the shit did you buy into fall offerings? Last year you made fun of people that put up corn stalks and little stuffed turkeys, now you’ve littered your patio with them. What the hell happened to you? You used to be laid back. You used to be cool. You served chips and dip, and said decorating was for schmucks. Now everything has this posh, yupster fall feel to it, and almost every item on your list of food has “with a hint of” as part of the description.

I don’t know if you faithful blog followers can tell, but I’m a little upset with my overachieving self. I decided to throw this party, then let it get out of hand; now it’s consuming every minute of each day. I always do this bullshit. Always. It isn’t really stressing me out, either – quite frankly, I don’t have much else to do most of the time. Really, what is so upsetting about it is that I hate what I’ve become: a posh, yupster. A posh yupster that has to have every detail accounted for. Every fucking detail to the point that I’m sitting here at 9 o’clock in the morning hot gluing feathers to a cornucopia. “Because what Thanksgiving party doesn’t have a cornucopia?!!”

Yeah, screw you, overachieving self. Screw you.

By the way … don’t be a turkey and BUY MY BOOK! And if you want it signed, just email me for details on how to get that done and shipped back to you for free! Click here, buy book, woohoo!

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.

STFU Fridays: Food Nazis

Do you have a Food Nazi in your life? You know those people. I have quite a few.

They have to qualify everything with “fat-free” “non-fat” “organic” “with a hint of” blah blah blah. Shut the fuck up. After a while you start qualifying your food like that too just from being around these arrogant and pompous assholes. The other day I made these miniature pumpkin pie things with my kick ass fat-free pumpkin pie recipe. I posted a photo to Instragram with a long description of all the healthful and unique qualities these stupid little fuckers had. Afterwards, I hated myself more than the morning after that one night in Cabo I just can’t – for the life of me – remember…

Some of them have the stupidest food beliefs, and they shove them down your throat every time they have an opportunity. You faithful blog followers that have been around a while remember that time Hello Kitty Toaster (my sister in law) got into an argument with me over her belief that vegetables are bad for you. It started because I “checked in” on Facebook at Subway and she replied “sandwiches = fat fat and more fat ass!” Really bitch?

Well it’s time for these people to get smacked in the face with Shut the Fuck Up Fridays. And my friend Shut the Fuck Up Burger came to help.

“I’m a …arian”

Vegetarians. Vegans. Pescatarians. Meat-lovers. Whenever people identify themselves as a particular “…arian” (in my experience) they are usually pretty arrogant in their attitude towards food. One of the biggest criticisms of vegetarians and vegans in particular is that they are constantly taking an air of superiority when in the presence of a certain meat they don’t eat.

I don’t mean you shouldn’t identify yourself. I just mean don’t be a dick about it. I don’t care what you are. Just don’t try and make me it.

But it goes beyond that – I’ve had so many experiences with these people trying to shove their food agenda down my throat. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to family parties and been forced to eat a side of peas only, simply because everything else contained red meat, and the family member made it a point of informing me that they had no respect for the fact that red meat makes me sick to my stomach. Once they told me I should just suffer through it. Another person in recent memory is one of my husband’s friends, who is basically one of those vegetarians that also doesn’t believe in wasting food. So he dumpster dives. If you want to pick food out of raw garbage and eat it, that’s your choice; but you go too far when you pull bread out of a trash can and try to bully me into eating it.

Shut the Fuck Up Burger wants to say something to you “I’m a …arian”s:

Food Conspiracists

These people really roast my ass. What got me started on this little Food Nazi bit this morning was an article I read about how unhealthy fat-free milk is. I drink about three glasses of fat-free milk a day, which is the recommended amount for prevention of osteoporosis (runs in my family), so I obviously clicked to read it when a friend posted it on Facebook. I was then confronted with a stream of bullshit, misinformation, and blatantly false claims. The author actually had the balls to suggest – in more than one place of the article – that saturated fats and cholesterol do not contribute to heart disease. Fucking absurd.

If you don’t want to eat genetically modified foods, fine. Don’t tell third-world children that they have to go without their genetically modified rice though, because if they do they will probably die of rickets. If you believe that all-fats are better than no fats, great. Don’t tell people that may have a different health situation that they’re going to perish prematurely, for reasons you cannot even justify with science. If you want to live a no-fats lifestyle, good for you! But shut your big fucking, whorish mouth when others choose to go with something that may turn into “fat, fat, and more fat ass.” If you want to go all-organic and local, cool. Don’t tell people that haven’t the money for healthier, local and organic options though that they’re wrong or going to die of some pesticide-related illness for just buying what they can to survive. Instead of forcing your uneducated beliefs on others, why not promote better education and independent research, since that is where the real problem lies?

For myself, I believe in eating a moderation of anything. I don’t believe in subscribing to sensationalized conspiracy theories that have absolutely no basis in science or fact. Sometimes I buy organic. Other times I buy processed (Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, duh!). I always buy organic meats. I will never stop buying (genetically modified) on the vine tomatoes, because they’re the fucking best.

Shut the Fuck Up Burger wants to join me in saying something to these cracked out, uneducated Food Conspiracists:

People That Get Sexual With Their Food

I love kale. That said, kale shakes taste like barf to me. Kale chips taste like I’m licking grass outside the innards of my husband’s rotting asshole. Same goes for a host of other things: brussel sprouts, wheat grass, onions, asiago cheese, etc.

Something that annoys me to no end is when people go on and on about how much they love [insert random food that tastes like puke on a platter to me]. If you really love it, fine. But stop spitting in the face of the rest of the universe that may think it tastes like a pile of puke. Everyone has different tastes; and what is with our obsession with talking about our food now, anyway? Is this what our lives really center around? The other day, one of my friends posted a Facebook status “if asiago cheese were a person, I’d marry it and have a bunch of cheese babies.” That’s funny, because the last time I tried asiago cheese I actually vomited from the taste, which your fucking Facebook status just reminded me of.

My favorite foods come in a variety. I love carrots, bananas, and dried peas. I eat edamame like a pig, licking the salt off my fingers and groaning and shit. I would die if I couldn’t eat asparagus at least twice a week. Ham sandwiches hit the spot, and (of course) my favorite dinner is either soba or a taco with rice and salsa (goddamn, do I love the salsa). I also like pretzels and string cheese, and have absolutely no self control when it comes to onion dip. But you don’t see me posting on Facebook and Twitter, or talking on the phone and shit, about how much I wish my food choices were a person so I could dry hump them to next Tuesday.

I get it. We have reached an age when we are having sensuous love affairs with our food. Tons of people get all horny over their food, and their appropriately seasoned dishes – I see it all the time.

To them: please stop. It makes me want to puke sometimes and never eat another thing again. Shut the Fuck Up Burger has just enough strength to muster up one more thing to say … and he wants to finish this edition of Shut the Fuck Up Fridays with something for you guys:

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.

How Pinterest and Instragram Ruined My Life

Yesterday I had a lot of cooking and cleaning to do. I was behind on my usual schedule of cleaning the apartment; and my in-laws are coming over for dinner tonight. This is sort of a big deal because we haven’t seen them since late last year – and Hello Kitty Toaster is included in the bunch. They hate me something good, faithful blog followers. I’m not sure why, really – except that I operate much differently than the way they run their family. I don’t gossip. I don’t break the sanctity of my marriage to allow other family into our personal business. I don’t tell stories about my bowel movements and my dog’s bloody heat at the dinner table.

Call me crazy, that’s just me.

Somewhere between inviting them over for dinner and preparing the actual meal, though, I let Pinterest and Instagram ruin my life. Although if I were really being honest, this happened a long time ago.

Now that we have Pinterest and Instagram – with people posting picture after stupid picture of recipes, crafts, food, inspiration, you name it – the bar of how things look in real life has been set much higher. It’s not just about preparation, it’s about presentation. It’s not just about enjoying the meal, it’s about taking photos of it at every angle and posting them on Instagram. Your meal is perfection if you can take a photo of it and it looks unbelievable uploaded without a filter. And look! It’s so easy to do all these cutesy little DIY additions to make things look even more perfect. We call it “personalized touch.”

Pinterest and Instagram are just about making things even more perfect than we’ve already tried to make them.

So I planned the meal for tonight according to my own tastes. I figured that if I’m going to be cooking a meal for people whose most recent contact with us included the words “we know Heather won’t let you come see us and Heather won’t let you call us and Heather seems to think you aren’t our son” (in response to my husband not communicating with them for a while, being upset of his own accord – Heather didn’t do anything); I’m cooking whatever the hell I want. I also wanted to spite Hello Kitty Toaster – I know how much she hates carbs and thinks that vegetables are fatty, so I wanted to plan the meal to be as carb- and veggie-filled as possible. And under no circumstance was I going to be making California-Italian. No sir – they feed themselves enough of that slop every other day of the year. And I hate it.

In the end, I decided on: stuffed mushrooms, BLT bites, and zucchini rollups for appetizers; buffalo-style chicken legs, fresh baguette, Chicago-style thin crust pizza, garlic-sauteed mixed green veggies, and a caesar salad for dinner; and a stained glass cake and lemon pie for dessert. It’s just enough for the eight people that are going to be here, and all relatively easy for me.

Do you see what I did there, though, faithful blog followers? I already started in with the Pinterest junk.

Ten years ago, I would have said “pizza.” Now it’s got to be qualified as Chicago-style thin crust pizza. Ten years ago, I would have said “some appetizers.” Now it’s stuffed mushrooms, BLT bites, and zucchini roll-ups. If I were really going to go all out with the Pinterest crap, I’d say bleu cheese and bacon stuffed mushrooms, BLT bites with a hint of garlic and onion, and zucchini roll-ups filled with ricotta and spinach. And not only did I feel I needed to qualify it all, but it has to look amazing when it’s presented as well.

So I spent about twenty minutes standing at the box window in my kitchen – where I keep all of the serving platters – deciding what platters would be best for presentation. Will the stuffed mushrooms, BLT bites, and zucchini roll-ups fit on here uniformly? Can I layer the chicken on this platter so as to display the bleu cheese crumbles? Will the presentation of my stained glass cake show the stained glass pieces on this dessert stand?

Oh for Christ’s sakes – shut the fuck up!

There was a day when dinner was just dinner. People came over and unless it was professionally catered (and even sometimes then), the meal was just a meal. No one cared about the presentation. Serving platters (versus the cookware the food was cooked in) were things for pretentious people, and pretentious people only. You never saw little place card signs stuck into various pieces of fruit listing the entire gamut of ingredients in the dish. Hardly ever did you see things like personalization of wine bottles, napkin rings, and elaborate centerpieces. No one ever stood around worrying whether or not their chicken could be stacked to properly display the bleu cheese crumbles sprinkled on it. People didn’t waste their time on bull shit like that! And most importantly – more than anything – you didn’t have a bunch of saps all standing around and marveling at the food; most certainly never taking photographs of it.

Pinterest and Instagram have ruined my life. Has it ruined yours?


Have you “liked” my blog on Facebook yet? No? Shame on you… Well, here’s something you can really do for me – click the link for Top Mommy Blogs dot com to register a vote for my site as one of the best. Thanks!!

Vacation Report 6: Chicago Food versus California Cuisine

So I’m pretty sure I have mentioned this before, but prior to our vacation to my sweet, home Chicago, I essentially starved myself for the months preceding so that I could eat whatever I wanted without worrying about returning to California in a hefty bag (for lack of any fitting clothing). While here, though, I realized that I actually eat better and weigh less when eating in the Midwest for a few reasons, though: (1) I don’t eat many sweets; and (2) I don’t indulge in emotional eating to make myself feel better about how unhappy I am in California.

While on this trip, I’ve made it a point to ask more about what makes food in the Midwest so much better. And unlike in California – where asking a question of your waiter or cook is a recipe for looks of annoyance and a pithy response like “it’s in the sauce,” many of the people I’ve asked have indulged me in my inquiry.

Chicago Food: Delis

In Chicagoland area, you have a lot more locally owned restaurants or local franchises that you won’t find in other areas. Sure, there are a lot of your run-of-the-mill Subways and Taco Bells, but right next door you almost always have a local and just-as-cheap alternative.

One thing that is amazing about the Chicagoland area is the deli meat. In California, I often notice that the deli meat is sliced thick and often “smothered” in something to make it a thick, meaty experience. In Chicago, though, it’s usually sliced very thin, which bodes for a lighter and more satisfying experience. Jason’s Deli is by far my favorite local spot for a sandwich or wrap.

Chicago Food: Flavorful

Another thing I have realized about Chicago food, is it is often about the flavor. I would argue that a lot of the food we eat in California is flavorful, but often the emphasis is not placed on the synthesis of flavors or enhancing the natural flavor of the food, itself. In particular, meat is not usually enhanced quite in the way that it is done in the Midwest, and I am sure this is in large part due to the fact that so much of the meat you eat in the Midwest is local.

The pizza is more flavorful as well, which is what makes it so popular. In California we use dry milk and bitter sauce. In the Midwest, though, emphasis is placed on the flavor of the crust and the sauce to eliminate those dry and bitter elements.

Now I rarely eat red meat, but when I am visiting home I do indulge in a little. Particularly noteworthy was the meatball sandwich I had a few days after arriving – it was (by far) one of the greatest sandwiches I have ever eaten.

Chicago Food: Fluffy

As I mentioned above about the deli meat, Chicago food is often sliced thin and fluffy-like. It goes beyond just the deli meat, though. The pizza almost never has gobs of cheese on it, which I find is a big problem with food in California – too much cheese. And while I would never recommend actually eating the food at White Castle, the shakes are another great example of the fluffiness of the cuisine in the Midwest. Whereas at In N’ Out on the west coast we have very thick, heavy shakes, the milkshakes at White Castle are so fluffy you can taste the bits of whipped air.

Chicago Food: More Interactive

Something else we don’t realize on the west coast is that our food is not terribly interactive. Oftentimes, you have little input in what goes in your food. You can request something to be “minus this” or “add that,” but then you get a lot of attitude and it is usually done wrong anyway.

In Chicago, though, your food is more interactive. You get to know who is cooking it – whether it be a restaurant owner, a waiter, or a friend or family member. You have more input and more options as well. Just the other day, we went to an Asian fusion place in the city and were able to head to their stir fry bar to select every piece of our meal. There are not many places in California that such an option exists, except (of course) your own home.

As a result of this, I have come to one conclusion – something I knew all along, but that was reiterated on this great trip home:

Chicago Food: Amazing

California Cuisine: Crap

Need I say more?