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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

I’m way overdue for a brain dump.

Meat Halo left Austin for school in the Big Apple a couple of weeks ago.  I didn’t want to mess my big girl pants in the midst of our big league, Hollywood goodbye that morning, so I opted for an organic vanilla milk for my breakfast beverage instead of a coffee.  My dad and I share many traits, some of which I wish I could politely return like my penchant for the band,  Rush, laughing really hard at my own jokes, and stress related bowel issues.

There’s a laughable trend lately where my goodbyes take place at none other than the “TGI Fridays of Southern Italian Food”, Buca Di Beppo.  I had my leaving Charlotte dinner there, too.  It’s large party friendly is mainly why, but also because it’s the only Italian restaurant in town(s) where you can order an oversize mixing bowl full of tiramisu.

I sat next to Meat Halo’s mother at one end of the table, opposite of his siblings on the other, and scooped favorites onto my plate from what seemed like an endless parade of bowls.  That many bowls made me slightly tense.  Let the record show that I’m diagnosing myself right here and now with a mild case of Irritable Bowl Syndrome.

At some point I was awakened from my food coma by a heated argument regarding one of those pesky amendments.  Luckily, Meat Halo’s mom had a pocket constitution, SURPRISE, not in her pocket.  That’s not important, and neither are the amendments (in the context of this tale)!  As she slowly leaned to the side to retrieve said item from her bag we were not only met with evidence to support and possibly settle the argument, but also with a copy of the not so widely regarded… pocket constitootin’.

*insert “FWERP” followed by silence*

It was the kind of flatus that one of my favorite non-fiction works, Farts: A Spotter’s Guide, refers to as “The Long Goodbye”.  The button for this one in particular on the battery-powered fart machine attached to my copy is no longer operational because I’ve pushed it one too many times.  I mean because of the batteries blah and how they don’t blah blah hold a charge like they used to blah.

My Vulcan mind melding techniques must be super rusty lately because Meat Halo didn’t receive the one I sent him in which I compressed a very long explanation of why it would be less awkward to ignore the fart than it would be to address the fart and run away from it.  Before I knew it he’d grabbed the purse from the back of my chair, threw it over his own shoulder, and shot out his hand into mine.  It was just on the cusp of Terminator’s “Come with me if you want to live!”

Wait, what?!  Are we dining on a land mine?  Is this an authentic, Sicilian, flammable gingham tablecloth?

I’m pretty much the world’s worst actress, and my improvisational solo piece titled:  I Didn’t Hear a Goddamn Thing and All I Smell Is Penne Arrabbiata turned out to be a bona fide flop.

I followed him into the hallway where he continued to wear my purse and I muffled laughter and attempted to focus on the situation at hand instead of my fellow restaurant patrons just behind him gathered round a table where Pope Benedict XVI’s head spun around in the center of a lazy susan packed with spaghetti and meatballs.

We hugged it out, returned to the table quietly and calmly, never to speak of it again (until I asked permission to tell a small chunk of the internet).

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You should know that everything and nothing has happened since I spilled my jumping beans about retarded werewolves five months ago.

I fell in and out of like with a few people on my accidental quest for a new teammate in life.  The good news is that I’m pretty sure that only One Third of that bunch is still harboring adverse feelings toward me.  I regret leaving a grubby little snail trail of feelings behind me.  Don’t think I haven’t slid around on them myself.

You could trace them all the way back to Six Flags Over Texas circa 1995.  That was the time my internet boyfriend from AOL Teen Chat: The Half Pipe was going to meet me, Daisy1356, in the flesh for the first time.  I can’t believe there was actually a time in which we had to rely solely on strangers’ descriptions of themselves, and man were they idealistic.  I’m pretty sure mine was wholly inaccurate, too.  And by “pretty sure” I mean I was at least four years older with a tan just a smidge lighter than Idi Amin’s.  Anyway, Adrian was unsurprisingly nothing close to what he’d described.  Instead of respectfully explaining myself face to face, I tucked tail, ran the opposite direction toward all things Mommy and Daddy, and changed my screen name upon returning home.

That was a very long path to something I wanted to address:  the fact that explaining undesirable feelings in person doesn’t seem to have a more positive effect.  But I’m an adult and I can’t go on letting just everyone assume I’ve been disemboweled in a freakish amusement park accident (or can I) never to be seen or heard from again.

However painful and embarrassing, I want to remember the moment in which the aforementioned One Third said, “Normally I’d say that’s a beautiful sky, but right now it just looks like a shitty watercolor” while gazing upward. That was obviously immediately after I spewed some unpleasant feelings aloud.  There is no smooth way to tell someone that you’re not the right fit for them, but that was definitely the smoothest way anyone has ever called me an asshole.

A couple days later I met with the manager of a local Italian market where I was hoping to score some weekend catering work (this was all part of my grand scheme to gather extra funds for traveling and so far it’s granted me one ticket to Chicago come September where I’ll visit with an extraordinary friend and wangle my very first tattoo).

I was instantly distracted by a handsome vision behind the deli counter.  He was back lit bright, nestled between cheeses, and stood tall beneath a dangling halo of authentic Italian meats that swung slightly in the recycled air.

I was hired on the spot and it took a dreadfully (probably karmically deserved) long time for Meat Halo to even notice me, let alone ask me out.

After one of our first dates to a Thai restaurant he left his pineapple fried rice with extra cashews in my fridge.  Realizing this the following day, he sweetly offered the remnants to me.  I accepted the offer and sent them directly to what I’d originally thought to be a quaint home, the inside of my growling tummy.

Oops.

I hadn’t eaten a cashew in a couple decades.  In fact, the last time I’d eaten cashews was quite memorable for everyone involved.  My parents had taken me to some boring wedding where I’d taken the liberty of emptying an entire bowl of these complimentary, oily, tropical treats into my seven year old gob.  I brought that reception back to life by tossing them right back up on the pool deck about a half hour later.  At least I was able to shout, “I THINK I’M GONNA…” beforehand.

A similar feeling washed over me this time, Hulk-like in its particular shade of green coupled with abnormally high body temperatures.  Just imagine that instead of raging super human strength, Bruce produced raging super human puke and there you have me.  I snuggled my water conserving toilet all night long.  Go green!  Awesome, I did.

I visited a local allergist after this episode, apparently through a super secret worm hole to the year 1987.  Could it be that I’d died and gone to mauve heaven?  The examination table was newborn baby bulb syringe blue and while the nurse dutifully demonstrated how to use an epipen I noticed the top supply drawer had a label on it that read:  FACIAL TISSUE.  Frightening!  Phew.  The drama I’d longed for in her performance was found there instead.

On my way out, clutching epinephrine prescription and pamphlet advertising medic alert bracelets with MOOD CHANGING BEADS, I noticed a lunatic, framed photo above the hand washing station.  It captured a mystery person from the waist down, top portion of their body covered by the full branches of a tree they stood behind.  As I stepped closer to inspect what I’d originally thought to be a foggy spot on the glass caused by moisture damage, I realized that the tree in this photograph was on FIRE and the foggy spot was actually a cloud of smoke billowing forth.

At the time it didn’t make a lick of sense, but I realize that the joke was on me and this mystery man is what one might warmly refer to as a Tree Nut.

 

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Famileaving.

Life has been on a peculiar pause here in Dallas while I recover from a depleted savings account and in one week I’ll finally be in Austin.  I’ve spent all of my time with family who’ve helped ease that stubborn cork out of my fermenting bottle of emotions.  Whether they’re all aware of that, who knows, but there’s something about my mom and dad’s respective kitchens that impregnate me with a litter of tear babies.  I’ve (conveniently) lost count of exactly how many I’ve given birth to over the past few months.

One of those evenings we were all gathered around the island at my dad’s, elbows resting while discussing what we’d like to order from the take-out menu and apparently the “I’m going to die alone!?” I was craving wasn’t in season.

I forgot what it feels like to unleash that mammoth of sorrow in front of family members as opposed to strangers in public (because that’s where it inevitably seeps out).  They hug the absolute shit out of you and order you a hefty, soothing styrofoam box full of piping hot monosodium glutamate.  Not once has anyone here made me feel like a total dolt for letting it all hang out.

My dad placed a box of complimentary tissue in the middle of the living room the night we all watched My Sister’s Keeper because I may or may not have residual cancer scare whimpers buried way down deep behind my toenail beds.

My Mormon family didn’t even flinch the night I almost said “fuck” during a heated game of Catch Phrase.  I swiftly changed it to “fuh-art” , but I have a feeling they’d have let it slide because my grandpa (a Priesthood Holder) moments later said “damn” and we all laughed so hard we cried.

My little brother even gave me the permission to share a snippet of our conversation the other night in which he admitted to making love to his giant teddy bear when we were kids.

My older sister called me to apologize for always putting me in the middle of her ongoing battle with our biological mother.  I will call her later this week to atone for not fully appreciating the many nights she let me curl up on her bedroom floor after a nightmare where she and Joe Elliott would sing me back to slumber.

My ex-step mother welcomed me into her home and onto the unlimited family yoga account.  Her boob popped out the other day while she demonstrated a sun salutation and I’ve almost executed bakasana/crow pose properly because she makes me feel less afraid to land on my face.

My current step-mother truly completes my dad and has never once made me feel like an asshole for being a stereotypically terrible teenager.  We’re talking wasted high school football players smashing her sculptures after one too many glasses of Jim Beam and Kool-Aid terrible teenager.  Selling your Badmotorfinger c.d. for ecstasy terrible teenager.

In one week I’ll actually know what it feels like to be homesick because this time I’m not running away.  I’ve chosen to build a new life for myself a few hours away because honestly, any more than that and I’d be making Claire Danes Chin Crinkle Cry Face in every job interview.

Wish me luck, will ya?

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Snacklash.

I’m in a real pickle. 

I was invited to a friend’s going away celebration this weekend and the invite clearly specifies the theme as “BLT”.  You might be as disappointed as I was to learn that this acronym doesn’t actually stand for BACON, LETTUCE, AND TOMATO.

It stands for black tie, lingerie, or toga.  A toga?  What?  I don’t even own white sheets.  I do have brown sheets which just sounds downright offensive out loud. 

Ex: 

“Hey!  Have you seen my friend, April?

“Perhaps I have!  What is she wearing?” 

“She’s covered in brown sheets.”

“Ew!  Has she seen a doctor about that?”

I’m toying with the idea of showing up as a terribly confused sandwich.  If the others don’t see the humor in it I picture myself awkwardly double fisting too many appletinis in the corner and becoming every host’s least favorite guest, the dreaded belligerent sandwich.

By the end of the night I’ll have lost my crust to a skuzzy Roman with Heineken breath.  You’ll find me in the front lawn yowling at some jezebel decked out in a lacey, Fredericks of Hollywood teddy to hold my mayo.

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She’s lump.

I imagine that my brain got stuck inside of my body like a splinter 26 years ago and ever since the tissue and skin has been growing over it, trapping it, and now I’m making do.  

Today I thought we could delight in a nice annual physical together and take our pee in (or around and all over) the cup and place it in the teeny window and get on with our lives. 

There are many instructions and required reading involved when you’re going to pee in a cup.  And a pen dangling from a chain that you’re supposed to use to write your name on the cup and so on.  It’s a shame that they specify, “NO NICKNAMES” because I was going to write April “Showers” Swartz on my sample.  A sample!  A sample of what I have to offer you… in urine. 

I struggle with a bit of performance anxiety when I have to take a piss at a specific time in an appointed place.  They should have a 3-ring binder full of plastic sheet protected photos displaying dripping faucets, streams, and waterfalls next to the toilet.  Sort of like what they offer men for their spank banks. 

Could we not meet in the middle with some nudie mermaids?

Sometimes when I’m in there I think I’ll just never pee.  I’ll finally stumble out into the hallway at two in the morning dehydrated, lips cracked, throat closing, vision distorted, and knees creaking loudly like the Tin Man’s to find all the lights off.  Then I’ll collapse in the arms of a lonely night cleaner who gives me the disapproving mother face as I drift to sleep in his pine sol-y embrace while loosening my grip on one sad, empty cup.

Don’t worry, we eventually gave it up.   

Later on my doctor gave me a dummy boob to play with while he left the room.  I was instructed to “find the lumps”.  A game best played by one’s self, like Solitaire. 

Well, I cheated because there were 3 dirty and weathered spots on this hobo boob.  I mashed on them and felt snow caps

It felt pretty awesome to tell my doctor to “wash that boob” before I left the office.

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We meat again.

The most wonderful circle of friends a gal could ask for went behind my back to gather money for someone else to get behind my back and rub on it for a large sum of money. 

Some people call it a massage.  I call it admitting to the spa staff and you all that I’m really nothing more than a piece of food.  Albeit a very relaxed and mouthy morsel.

I waited for a few minutes at the end of a dark hallway watching people come in and out of doors.  Some like me were there to be marinated and tenderized while others were going to be plucked, sucked, waxed, and stoned. 

I didn’t take the seaweed wrap option because you really can’t be too sure they won’t feed you to a giant with a craving for human sushi afterward. 

Joe, my massage therapist, looked like an updated version of a He-Man action figure.  For the record, he blew my mind and melted my insides with the mystical power of Grayskull. 

I have to admit though, I spent the first few minutes wishing someone would slip me a downer.  They should really rethink the musical combination of waves crashing against the shore accompanied by a crying piano.  I couldn’t stop thinking about shipwrecked beauties like the RMS Titanic or the movie, The Piano.

My stars, all this time I had no idea what I was missing.  I felt downright sloppy drunk when he was through.  Thankfully I was all alone in that room when my oily, Gumby foot hit the stepping stool.  People falling is funny enough with clothes on, can you imagine? 

Don’t imagine.

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Hello, Nyquil.

Goodbye, sensibility.

Here is a pithy list of mistakes I’ve nearly made while under the influence of America’s favorite cold/flu multi-symptom relief syrup. 

I almost:

1.  Exchanged words with the human (or at least I think it was human) shrouded in one of the weakest chicken costumes I’ve seen to date.  I found it dancing on the street corner advertising a fast food joint specializing in chicken wings

Don’t get me wrong here, I love chicken wings, but take a hint from your Mormon cousin, Chic-fil-a, and hire renegade cattle with loose morals to do your bidding.  Because I’m not buying it. 

2.  Replied to this add on Craigslist.

“Was looking for 10 ladies to add to my staff for a self defense video. There is no nudity involved, looking for girl next door look. Basically you would be paid to smack a guy around (Male model), in some different techniques. Pay would start at $10 an hour, will keep 4 on a contract basis to do whenever new shoots are available.

Please reply with your name, age, picture and a brief description to why you are right for this position.”

To whom it may concern:

My name is April and I’m 26 years old.  I’d like to speak with you regarding a cost savings initiative for you, the budding entrepreneur reaping the benefits of the current self defense video boom.

Might I suggest a male model in a Wing Zone chicken costume?  I’ll even take $9/hr.  The catch is… instead of traditional hand to hand combat I’d like to defend myself with a super soaker full of honey mustard.  What do you think?

3.  Cried over a junk mail pamphlet advertising a local, residential maid service that read:  “LIFE’S TOO SHORT TO CLEAN YOUR OWN HOUSE!” 

Really!?!

Then why do I even bother wiping?

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