Saturday, July 30, 2005

If Robert Atkins Were Alive, I'd Tell Him to Kiss My Bread Eatin' Ass.

Hmm. The image of my ass getting the best of a balogna sandwich aside...

Walked into McDonald's this a.m. to pick up an egg-and-cheese biscuit and some hash browns for my beloved. Only egg and cheese, as she is a practicing vegetarian, and has been for years. The reaction to this order, just like the reaction to her lunchtime order of a Cheeseburger Happy Meal sans meat : stunned silence, followed by a shaky request for managerial assistance. The first three dozen times this happened, I blew it off, pretty much. After all, as long as I get milady's food to her the way she asked for it, everybody's happy.

But the experience of this morning, after several similar experiences in this and other restaurants, fast-food or sit-down (like TGIF or Bennigans or O'Charley's) or otherwise, was just the last straw for me. I'm getting this off my chest and my digestive tract: Fuck you Atkins diet. Fuck you with a breadstick straight from the pasta drenched Olive Garden.

The dietary needs of vegetarians like my wife? Sheer lunacy, if the quizzical mugs on waitstaffs everywhere are to be believed. How dare someone walk into Mickey D's without giving proper respect to dead animals and their tasty flesh? I'd have probably gotten more respect if I'd asked if they were still selling the McAsbestos Quarter Pounder. God knows any cashier or waiter in any franchise restaurant could give you a running count of the carbohydrates in your order at any given time, but express your adherence to, not a fad diet, but an actual lifestyle choice that's been around for freaking centuries*, and you get blank stares and judgmental exasperation from the person taking your order.

To be fair, I should mention that I'm a meat-lover, and that I have no problem with the Atkins diet or anyone on it. I myself lost a ton of weight on it, and I know it works (though I do have reservations about the long-term healthiness of it, bolstered by some people I know who've lost part or all of their gall bladder in part because of it.) I understand that a lot of people are on it and are reaping great benefit. What I don't understand and don't like is the relative immediacy with which the food biz has bent over to accomodate and pitch their outlets as "Atkins friendly".

*Feel free to look this up and tell me vegetarianism has only been around since the roaring 20's. I really don't know.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Blog Meme: What Do I Miss From My Childhood?

You mean besides the tiny penis?

I kid.

I kid because I'm pretty sure it's still tiny. [Insert rimshot.][Insert crickets.]

Seriously, though, it is nice (and long overdue) to get back to contributing to my own goddamned blog. Too much idle fun (try new Yuengling Light—yummy!) and too much creativity-sapping Paying Job, not to mention the general malaise that comes with physically carrying around too much weight on my compact frame, have conspired to hold my genius in check.

So, getting tagged by T-Licious with this meme is as good a jump-start as anything else out there, and I’m taking advantage with both hands at the keyboard.

Here's how this process was explained to my neophyte-ness:

Remove the blog at #1 from the following list and bump every one up one place; add your blog’s name in the #5 spot; link to each of the other blogs for the desired cross-pollination effect.

1. Blerg
2. Secrets & Lies
3. Do or Do Not
4. Rintrah Roars
5. Hello Cleveland

Next: select new friends to add to the pollen count. (Obviously no one is obligated to participate).

Gawd. I'm not even sure I know too many others with blogs of their own. My lovely and talented wife just started one, at my urging. After all, why waste her venting on me and me alone? It's only fair that everyone can get a taste. So at least she's tagged.

Now add your memories:

5 Things I Miss About Childhood:
And for a bit of perspective, I’m 36…

1. Having More Money Than My Parents Could Imagine
Otherwise known as "Imagining We Had More Money Than We Actually Had". Aside from the occasional “no, you can’t have a $40 pair of tennis shoes, you’re eight”, cash flow never hopped on my train of thought, and never had to give up something I wanted for something I needed. Didn’t know what a budget was until I was in high school, didn’t actually write one until I was in my twenties, and really never tried to follow one until I was 30 (and buying my first home).

2. The general spoiling and attention from my folks.
I’m not an only child, but I was/still am the baby in the House Of Bishop. At the time, I never thought I milked it enough, but as I near the probable mid-point of my life (and think real hard on it, like for this little bit), I realize I milked more than a dairy. Even when the pampering, coddling, and general fretfulness was going on, I think I was pretty aware how much of my parents’ time was spent doting on me and making sure I was on the right path. While their affection for me hasn't diminished over time, I sometimes wish, selfishly, that they could soothe even my grown-up fears and discomforts with a trip to an out-of-the-way spot to buy me something nifty.

3. Bike rides around the neighborhood and beyond.
This particular nostalgia flares up every time I see a news story about a child getting kidnapped or otherwise harmed while in their own yard or house or some other spot in close proximity to their parent(s). My God, I think to myself. When I was that age or younger, I routinely spent after-school times riding my bike with my posse or by myself far beyond the watchful eye of Mom and Dad, often until it was near dark outside. Not only did nothing ever happen to me or anyone else I knew, this kind of thing was totally normal and acceptable in terms of parent/child rules and regulations. I don’t have kids myself, but I’ve spent enough outings with my nieces and nephews where I routinely freak-out a little if any of them get out of my sight for more than 2 seconds. So, I guess what I miss isn’t the bike rides themselves, but the environment that allowed me (and my friends and family) to survive them intact and happy.

4. Summer vacations, kinda.
Heh. This is nearly the exact opposite of my boy Allen’s entry. I loved the last few days of school every year, and how long three months seemed back then. And the first days of the next school year, where you got to find out how much you’ve changed since last school year, a discovery disguised as noticing how much your classmates changed over the summer. Girls didn’t suddenly get pretty over a summer (well, before high school anyway), I actually broadened my interests to include brown-eyed girls in addition to Micronauts, Star Wars, and Avengers comics.

5. Records and record players.
Something about the two-sided format (which I suppose extends to cassettes, too) stuck with me and still does, even in the CD age. Even now, when I listen to CD’s, I try and listen through it at least once in the order it’s presented, trying to imagine where the end of “side one” and the beginning of “side two” would be. In this iPodded age, where music is becoming increasingly single-serve and cut-n-paste, the sublime pleasure in hearing a well-sequenced collection of tunes is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

This was pretty fun. Thanks for the tag, Terry, and for making me feel Really Freaking Old.

Let's see what my younger bride has to say on the matter.