Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Side Effects of Gastric Bypass Surgery that They Don't Really Talk About

This past weekend's visit with my mother for the first time since she had gastric bypass surgery in April revealed a lot of seldom-talked-about side effects of the surgery.

1. Excessive preachiness. All of a sudden, the ability and/or the desire to eat more than 1/2 cup of food indicates the start of a gluttonous downward spiral into obesity.

Witty comeback I couldn't say because my birthday is coming up You know who else has to have their food intake regulated so they don't potentially eat so much their stomach explodes? Dogs. Also, goldfish, but that doesn't make as sharp a point.

2. Rebuking others' any and all attempts to defend their weight with the phrase "That's how it started for me, too". Including the seemingly impenetrable "I'm thin, I don't overeat, and I watch my weight."

Witty comeback I couldn't say because my birthday is coming up I imagine every story that ends with getting fat starts with the putting of food into one's mouth. I think the important part here is not to gloss over the middle decades, which involve getting pregnant at a young age and then consuming multiple bags of black-market-Cheetos knockoffs "Jax".

3. Forsaking of the AMA approved Body Mass Index. The very same BMI that told the insurance company that they should pay for your snazzy new surgery is apparently completely wrong when it says that someone else is of below average weight.

Witty comeback I couldn't say because my birthday is coming up Any other scientifically proven formulas you want to dismiss because they don't make you right? Gravity? The heliocentric system? Simple addition?

Unsurprisingly, "Sated Sated Hippos" did well in the West African market.

4. Inability to shop like a normal person. Apparently it's much more difficult to buy clothing once you leave the safe confines of Shapeless Frocks and Scrubs-R- Us.

Witty comeback I couldn't say because my birthday is coming up I understand you've always wanted to say you're petite. But when you wear a size XL in petite, it's kind of redundant. Also, you're not allowed to wear men's clothes and shoes anymore, because I already have a father.

5. Automatic assumption that you were some sort of cautionary tale that makes others want to eat less. All gastric bypass recipients should be paired up for the ordering of meals and takeout. Just because you "can't eat a whole order" doesn't mean that any of the rest of us want to split.

Witty comeback I couldn't say because my birthday is coming up If you're not willing to eat the leftovers tomorrow, you better learn to live off condiments and oyster crackers.

6. Constant keeping of a haughty, running tally of weight lost. Wait, so you're rubbing it in that someone had to essentially remove part of your stomach? Is this what it takes to get bragging rights nowadays?

Witty comeback I couldn't say because my birthday is coming up I could lose 20 pounds a month, too, if only they could get rid of these pesky arms.

To be honest, I'm just greatful this didn't go the way of the gall bladder removal she had when I was twelve, in which I went to her hospital room to find her proudly displaying her stones. I half expected to show up and have her excitedly shove part of her large intestine in my face, screaming "Lookie! Lookie! Lookie!"

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Animal husbandry. Delicious.

Awhile back, when conversing with a vegetarian friend-well, not actually vegetarian, because they eat fish, and not actually a friend, because I'd never be friends with a vegetarian- anyway, I was shooting the shit with someone, and I asked him why he'd become a vegetarian. Having once spent a year as a vegetarian, for no reason other than boredom and inability to cook meat safely, I'm curious as to why people would choose not to partake of the most majestic creatures that God put on earth (for us to kill). Sometimes I'll get some spiel about not liking the taste (bullshit), I have one friend who's worried about contracting Mad Cow seven years from now (bullshit as well, nevertheless, she'll be eaten first in the event of an Andean plane crash), but most of all, people tell me that they don't want to harm animals, or more succintly-and-self-righteously put, "I won't eat anything with a face". Nice gesture, but this reverence really only pays off if God turns out to be either a Veggie Tale or a member of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

No one's explained the concept of V-8 to them yet.

Despite their smug respect for all living things, when I ask most of these Face Vegetarians if they miss any particular meat product, they immediately start salivating and going on about burgers and steaks with the sort of crazed zest that makes you retract your extremities. So I was thinking, suppose someone were to open up a restaurant that only served animals that had died of natural causes*? Just keep a big range out back, with cows and chickens and whatever heavenly creature bacon comes from, let'em graze, and then when they croak (peacefully, in their sleep, surrounded by their family), hack them up into choice cuts and charge a ridiculous price. It's the perfect conscience loophole for protein-starved veggies, and anyone who's ever been to a Whole Foods knows that these people will shell out for just about anything that claims to be healthy and organic. ("I'm organic," I always say. "Completely carbon-based. Eat me?").

The Chinese takeout version of my restaurant.

It'll probably only work in the more touchy-feely markets like Vermont and Northern California, but I figure I can get a mail-order side business going as well**. If the publicity brings more customers than I have barnyard animals, there might have to be a well-timed outbreak of Old Age, but I figure after the first couple of years, I'll probably get the numbers down. See? Everyone wins.

Vegans, though, they can go fuck themselves.

*Natural causes includes cancer and Alzheimer's and whatnot. This IS a business, people.

**I also have an idea for a Stoner Snack Shack, in which I just lay out bulk tubs tubs of ice cream and raw doughs on the floor, toss on a Phish song (one is long enough), and charge each person $10 for a spoon. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't even need to wash the spoons.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The sterling glint of the seasoning packet

Sitting at my desk all day, waiting for Celebrity Death Beeper to send me word of the latest in, well, dead celebrities, I've become accustomed to the day-to-day deterioration of my spirit, but today, the flesh is suffering as well. Thanks to a rope-a-dope of credit card debt, student loans, and the general assfuckery that is my rent, my meager income is spread pretty thin, not so much like spreading butter over too much bread, but more like spreading butter over ...I don't know, a continent. Fuck similes, I'm always broke.

Aaaaanyways, to make up for money hemorrhaged on a daily basis, I'm pretty good at reining in my food costs to a bare minimum, whether it be by taking advantage of Omaha Steaks' delicious discount barnyard animals, or by my daily lunch routine, which involves adding hot water to ramen bought in bulk. At 99 cents for six packages, there is no better deal in this world. If you had told six year-old Rubber that one day the tooth she was putting under her pillow would feed her for a week...well, Reaganomics being what they were, that wasn't such a hot deal in 1985, nor did the specifics of a market economy really bowl me over back then. But nowadays, it just tickles me pink.

When science allows for a menage a trois with Kraft Mac & Cheese, I will make you a very happy prepackaged dehydrated noodle.

The aforementioned spirit-deterioration pretty much ensures that lunch is taken at the same time every day, a predetermined time that divides the day into chunks designed to minimize the damage done to my soul, so I've become a bit of a fixture in the kitchen; I'd like to think the site of me hydrating my noodles is comforting to others, like the rising of the sun. Recently, a new man joined my workspace (around the same time that Hated New Guy departed for sunnier, and more importantly, other, shores), a middle-aged bald Asian man with a precarous grasp on the language, and a habit of being polite that makes even the least cynical of New Yorkers wary. After a month of ramen making and kitchen encounter, this exchange took place:

Bald Asian Man: You make noodles every day.
RB: Yep. They're good. And cheap.
BAM: They are bad for you.
RB: Probably. But they are cheap. And good.
BAM: I used to make in college all the time.
RB: Me too. They were so good. And cheap.

I'm not against a little stranger-on-stranger conversation, and I'd like to think that I got my point across to even the ESLest of people; money is indeed an object, and mostly, I just really like the taste of ramen. Every day, I look forward to eating them, and in my 20 years of eating them (the Mother's not exactly an epicurean), I have never grown tired of them. I'm like a goldfish, albeit one that meets 400% of its daily recommended sodium allowance.

8 g of Trinitrotoluene? I don't want to be a prude or anything...

Today, as I sat at my desk, mourning Red Buttons, BAM approached and offered me a small package of beef ramen, the hardcore Chinese kind that wouldn't be caught dead in packaging with a cartoon of Fu Manchu on it. He said that "it taste better" and I should try it. I thanked him profusely, not having been bought a meal in longer than I care to remember (at least not of the solid variety) and said I would try it.

As lunch hour approached, I took a look at the nutritional information, something I don't often do. 490 calories, 20 g of fat? I'm not a calorie counter by any means (side note- try the deep fried Cadbury Cream Egg, it's a little battered ball of heaven) , but that is some serious, serious shit there. This is three times the levels of my normal ramen. This is Big Mac level calories (side note- try the deep fried Big Mac, re: heaven). This is the kind of stuff that they give to West African children to put weight on their bones. This is so not getting eaten.

I don't want to hurt his feelings, so I can't eat my regular noodles today, but I am sure as hell not putting That Ramen in my body, not unless I can help myself to a steaming bowl of anti-That Ramen afterwards to cancel out the aftereffects. BAM doesn't appear to be leaving his desk anytime soon, and now that I know what fuels him, I don't want to get on his bad side. At this point, it's probably easiest for me to just sit here, waiting for his heart to give out. And so I will, starving, weakening, dying in body and soul until they release me on the Wendy's of the world.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Under the Boardwalk

Visiting my grandparents this past weekend, I played more games of Monopoly than recommended for someone still granted the use of their legs, and was given a glimpse of the naive optimism that a young Rubber posessed when playing the game at the age of 11, before the weight of the world killed her spirit. While I'm grateful for the sense of voracious capitalism instilled in me at a young age (I have distinct memories of my 11 year-old self purchasing my broke opponents' actual game tokens from them and forcing them to play with scraps of paper found on the floor, purely for sport), I'm worried that it might have built up my expectations; namely, that I would one day ever own property, win a beauty contest, or find free parking (not to mention the less-frequent-than-I-was-led-to-believe encounters with Scottie dogs and top hats).

Oh, just visiting an angry monkey with thumbs in prison. Ho hum.

Encountering the game again in the twilight of my midtwenties, I found myself even more money hungry than fifteen years ago, especially when playing against my crunchy Vermont cousin, who, God bless her stoned little heart, actually WANTED to be Banker (it was a bear market, and I didn't have the heart to tell her that the current fiscal climate and low interest rates were NOT going to make it a lucrative position, as it would harsh her mellow).

That seems kind of counterintuitive.

After we'd quickly cleared the board of anything and everything that could be purchased, rents were due, and I was struck by how little money is actually involved in the game. It's the same amount as it was back then, but having lived in Manhattan for three years, the idea of paying $18 for one night's worth of rent made me almost giddy with savings; I decided to purchase Mediterranean Avenue and not do a goddamn thing with it just for the God complex (I should mention that I'd found an old bottle Kahlua under the counter at this point). And $200 of salary, for 10 minutes of work? Tax free? Clearly I'd never appreciated the generous tax breaks that Milton Bradley had passed along.

It's not even worth going to the reading for a hundred bucks.

Sailing around the board, managing my properties, crushing my poor cousin, who had not realized that blood does not, in fact, run thicker than imaginary pastel currency. I was heady with power, enjoying the life of luxury (taxed at only 10%!), until I looked down and realized that in a world where an entire avenue can be purchased for $120, a world created during the fucking Depression, I had more money in the pile in front of me than I did in my actual real-life bank account. Whatever nanothread of childlike innocence I had left in me died at that moment.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Ten Foods I Would Stuff Into My Mouth By the Handful if Society Did Not Dictate Otherwise

1. Peanut Butter
2. Oysters
3. Lucky Charms Marshmallows (excluding purple hearts)
4. Lobster Bisque
5. Movie theatre nacho cheese/Hollandaise sauce(tie)
6. Melted butter
7. New James Bond actor Daniel Craig
8. Bologna
9. Steak tartare (not a particular favorite, have just always wanted to eat it with my hands)
10. Country Crock Sides - Mashed Potatoes

DQ: My friend Jocelyn's wedding cake (no longer hypothetical. Sorry, Joc)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

La parapluie

Why would someone make an umbrella smaller than the width of the human body? Why? Sure, it fits in my purse, but in doing so, it becomes completely nonfunctional. There are certain inventions that serve very distinct purposes and cannot be improved upon, and should not be- toilet paper, flyswatters, umbrellas. It is comforting to think that primitive people wiped their asses and swatted flies in much the same way that we do now; it means that these are good and true inventions, necessary to our survival. But when someone (I'm looking at you, Totes) goes and fucks with the basics....it makes me very angry, that's all. Angry and wet. If I were the Hulk or a Gremlin, someone would be paying hell for this.