October 14th, 2009

I Am The Eggman

I’ve been doing a lot of changing in the last few months. I’ve always been one for self-critiquing, but I haven’t always been one for doing anything about the findings. A combination of events (my birthday being one of them) was the push I needed to help me move past myself, however little the steps might be.

Most of my adjustments have been in my thinking – how I approach relationships, how I handle conflicts, how willing I am to take on new responsibilities, that kind of thing. I haven’t turned into SuperMup or anything, but the changes have been good for me. I think the best way to describe it is that I’ve become less adamant. Not about important things, of course, but about things that I’ve learned aren’t as important as I thought.
Anyone who has known me for any length of time whatsoever knows that I am not a “vegetable guy.” I am a “meat and potatoes guy,” through and through. Also, “dessert guy.” I couldn’t see the point in eating stuff I don’t like the taste of.
Along comes this mindset change, and with it this thought: “I should try lettuce again.” Now, please understand that this thought is as foreign to me as Clark Kent is to Planet Earth. I had tried lettuce on many occasions dating back many years. A long time ago it made me gag. More recently I found that I no longer gagged, but I still didn’t like it any. Turning 37 was apparently my rocket to Earth, and Texas Roadhouse ended up being my Ma & Pa Kent.
I tried some salad. If I remember correctly, I tried someone else’s salad. And… it was okay. It wasn’t awesome, but I could eat it. That was the first step on a slippery slope. The next time I went, I actually ordered a salad for myself. Then I ordered salads at other places. Now ordering salads is a standard part of my restaurant experience. And something weird happened along the way: I actually starting liking salad, even looking forward to the next one and even more strangely, occasionally getting a hankering for salad. I have apparently been replaced by a pod person (but not a pea pod person, as I still can’t stand peas).
A couple of things about my learning to eat salads:
  • I am still on the hunt for the exact right salad dressing. The Caesar at Texas Roadhouse is the current favorite, but I feel like there is something I’m yet missing.
  • The House salad (minus tomatoes!) at Texas Roadhouse is my absolute favorite salad, and it’s all because of the hard-boiled egg on it. Just writing about it is making me want one. If they were open for lunch I’d go tomorrow.
  • I can eat tomatoes on salad, but I don’t like to.
  • Eating salads hasn’t changed some other eating habits. For instance, even though I can now eat lettuce, I still don’t order it on things I liked before liking lettuce. I won’t get lettuce on Taco Bell soft tacos or on Culver’s butterburgers, for example.
I’ve discovered that my mantra has become “I can eat that.” As in, “That may not be my favorite thing to eat, but… I can eat it.” I can’t adequately explain to you how much of a change in thinking about food that is for me, nor can I find the words to describe how that is indicative of a sea change in my thinking as a whole.
I’m not sure where this change in thinking will take me, but I will say that so far it’s been a good thing.
September 21st, 2009

She Just Smiled

Last weekend I had some people at my house for what we termed “International Beatles Rock Band Day.” As is easily surmised by the title, the day was all about playing Beatles Rock Band. The tricky part is that “International.” What made it international? I will tell you: having someone from another country/continent is what makes it international.

Brian, Angela & Josh (married!), Matt, and Carolyn were the out-of-town attendees, representing (in order) Albuquerque, NM; Jacksonville, FL; Chicago, IL; and Hurstbridge, VIC, Australia. So, Carolyn’s presence is what made it “International.”
We’ve all known each other for 4-5 years online, and I’ve met a couple of them before, but if you had told all of us 4 years ago that we’d ever get to meet Carolyn, we most likely wouldn’t have believed you. So when we found out she was coming to visit, we all freaked out and got really excited.
Until she mentioned the vegemite. As in, “When I come to the States, I am bringing vegemite and you are all going to try it.” We got a little nervous, but we were pretty sure that she’d never be able to get that stuff past Customs, so we felt safe.
When she arrived in-country a week before IBRBD, she announced that she had no problem getting it in the country and that we should all resign ourselves to our fate.
Sure enough, when everyone got here and were preparing for the start of IBRBD, she toasted up some bread and slapped some vegemite on it.
Now, I feel I must at this point say that I don’t mind the smell of skunk. I wouldn’t want it on me, but if I’m passing through a cloud of skunk smell as I’m driving somewhere, it does not horrify me. But you should know, dear reader, that the smell of vegemite horrified me. It was like the smell of stale bread, only with a lurking vengeance buried beneath the surface, waiting to strike, maim, and consume anyone who got within tentacle’s reach of it.
But I had promised I would try some, so I gamely accepted my corner of vegemite-infested toast and ate it. I could write you a thousand words as to my reaction, or I could just save you a lot of reading and show you:

It may be difficult to discern from the picture, but my twisted visage should somewhat convey a similar sentiment to Colonel Walter E. Kurtz‘s last words:

The horror… the horror.

November 7th, 2008

That’s The Way

Several months ago I found a cookie I really, really liked. I bought a bag of them on a whim and ended up buying a couple more bags a week later to take to a party (and was glad I had some left to take home afterwards). They were Iced Molasses cookies, made by Archway, and I’d found a new Thing I Love.

I went looking for them at the same store a few weeks later. The spot on the shelf was empty. Hmph. I looked at other stores. Nobody had them. I even checked in Wisconsin while I was there – no luck. I figured maybe they were just sold out at the first store and they’d get restocked eventually. I kept checking the original store. They kept not being there.

Then, one day, not too long ago, their spot was gone from the shelf. Some inferior cookie was in their place, and I knew they weren’t coming back.

Sometimes things just happen and you never know why. We never hear about why we lost power for three hours or why that particular road was closed that particular day and there isn’t anything we can do about it. This didn’t end up being one of those times. Sadly, what I found out didn’t help anything.

Archway is going out of business! They declared bankruptcy, and I’ll never get those Iced Molasses cookies again.

And, lest you think, “Oh, I never had those, so this doesn’t affect me,” I think there’s something you should know: they also made those Frosted Circus Animals cookies.

Feel free to weep with me.