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Share A Diet Coke With A Polar Bear?

Yesterday, I went to my favorite Chinese restaurant. That’s not so unusual. I am, after all, my parents’ only Asian son. But it was an unusual restaurant visit in that I didn’t get to eat.

I got to the restaurant shortly after opening and was shown to a seat. The owner came by, took my order and left. A few minutes later, the waitress came to my table and told me they couldn’t make any food because their gas was turned off.

230px-ursus_maritimus_par_louis_agassis_fuertes

Is not looking for a soda. (image public domain)

So, yesterday, I went to my second favorite Chinese restaurant. This one is a carry-out joint with a few tables and a system for remembering to pay their gas bill. I got a Diet Coke with my lunch and grabbed a seat.

Coke has been doing a promotion where they suggest who I should share my beverage with. I’ve had suggestions to drink my Diet Coke with all sorts of people. This time, my bottle suggested that I share my drink with a Polar Bear.

Is that really a good idea? Read the rest of this entry »

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I Want To Be A Sushi Chef

I retired from my police career in the fall of 2013. Twenty-eight years had passed since I showed up for my first day at the police academy. Those years took their toll on me, physically and emotionally. I’m proud of my career, yet I’m relieved that it is over.

And so I’ve settled into a life I never envisioned. I live quietly; cooking, exercising and writing fill my days. In the evening, I share dinner and laughs with my wife. I’ve got it good.

So, why couldn’t I? (image by katorisi CCbySA3.0)

Now and again, someone will ask “if you could, would you go back to The Job?”. There are parts of my career that I miss, but the short answer is no.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have ambition.

I Dream Of Sushi

While I’ll never wear a police uniform again there is a job that I’d jump at – sushi chef.  Read the rest of this entry »


How I Mastered Chopsticks

I posed for this drawing. (image public domain)

I’ve told this you before – I don’t believe in bragging. That’s one of the cool things about me.

I passed this idea on to my son. Not the idea that I’m cool, but that bragging isn’t. He lives by a code that says that it is better to show people what he can do instead of telling them. He’s a wise man.

Unfortunately, there are some things that I do well that don’t lend themselves to showing you here. Because of that, I’ve had to tell you that I am the King Of Parallel Parking and that I am exceptionally good at peeling oranges. I’m going to have to go against my principles and brag to you about something else I’m good at.

I Can Feed Myself In Asian Rim Countries

Chopsticks. Not the piano tune called chopsticks; I’m talking about the eating utensils common to east Asian countries. I am really good at using chopsticks.

There was a time in my life that I couldn’t say that I was adept with chopsticks. If I wanted to finish eating dinner before breakfast, I had to have a fork. A fork or perhaps a knife to sharpen my chopsticks into tools that I understood how to use. My fingers just couldn’t make the sticks work. Read the rest of this entry »


A Discussion Of Chinese Breakfast Food

Yesterday morning, while I was in the refrigerator trying to spot what I was going to have for breakfast, my eyes fell upon some leftover Chinese food.

I’d guess that some of you don’t like the idea of eating Chinese food for breakfast. But I’d point out to you that pancake suppers are a common fundraiser and a fun change of pace for a lot of families. And who among us hasn’t had cold pizza to start their day?

Wonton soup. It’s what’s for breakfast. ( image by AlejandroLinaresGarcia CCbySA3.0)

So I enjoyed half of a large order of wonton soup and a few pan-fried dumplings for breakfast. They were absolutely delicious. If you haven’t had Chinese food in the morning, you are missing out on a treat. Read the rest of this entry »


My Ultimate “I Won’t Eat That” Menu

We’ve all been in situations where we’ve had to force down a food that we did not like because of where we were.

Well, let’s not be hasty, soldier. (public domain)

For example, when I was in high school, I had dinner at my girlfriend’s house. Her mom was a very nice lady who had no way of knowing that I’d never eaten asparagus before that night and that my first encounter wouldn’t be a good one. Employing the strategy of taking more of the foods that I liked and minimizing my serving of asparagus got me through the meal with minimal gagging.

But, I did force myself to eat the asparagus. That leads to an interesting question presented to me recently:

“Is there a meal that someone could serve you at their home that would make you say “I can’t eat anything you’ve cooked”?”

The meal would consist of five items – an appetizer, two vegetables, a main course, and a dessert.

All five dishes would have to be things that I could not force myself to take a taste of, as I did with Holly’s mother’s asparagus.

After some consideration, I’ve been able to design a menu that is perfectly suited to make me violate the societal norm of eating at least a bite of whatever my hosts prepared.

Appetizer – Escargot

There are few things on Earth more repulsive than snails. As a matter of fact, the only thing more repulsive than a snail is a slug. Slugs are just snails that don’t have the decency to cover up half of their disgusting selves with a shell. Slugs are so disgusting that even the French can’t eat them.

The idea of escargot is horrifying. I would be so disgusted by their presence that I would have to just pour myself a glass of wine and wait in another room until that course was over.

Vegetable 1 – Mushrooms

Mushrooms. Poison. (public domain)

Mushrooms are not edible. Is it that they’ve got the word mush in their name? I don’t know. Maybe it’s those kids stories where mushrooms are poison. Perhaps it is that some of them really are poison.

I don’t eat poison.

I don’t eat mushrooms.

Vegetable 2 – Lima Beans

Lima Beans. I would rather eat a bowl of pennies. (image by Sanjay Archaya)

Lima beans are big. Big food is good, if it is good food. Lima beans are bad food.

I suppose they are nutritious. What good is being nutritious if the nutrients can’t get into my body because they are not tasty?

I’ve tried them, it didn’t go well. Fool me once, shame on you lima beans. Fool me twice? Not happening, lima beans.

Main Course – Flounder

I don’t eat fish. No, not even mild fish. No, not shrimp. No fish, ever.

Flounder. Lazy, good for nothing freaks. (public domain)

Flounder is particularly disturbing to me. It has two eyes, which eventually move to one side of its head. Once a flounder’s eyes move this slacker of a fish lays around on the sea floor. Periodically it jumps up in to the path of smaller fish as they swim by. The small fish die from the horror of seeing this Elephant Man of a fish and the flounder eats them.

Survival of the fittest I get, but this is going too far. Even if I ate fish, I would not respect flounder enough to consume them.

Dessert – Flan

It’s  hard to choose a dessert that I’d turn my nose up at. Coconut cake almost made the list. Unfortunately, I’ve choked that down in the past and could do it again if I had to, so it doesn’t fit the terms of the question

In the end, I had to go with flan. I’ve never eaten flan. I like custard and I understand that flan is sort of like a custard. Even with that knowledge, flan makes my “I’m not eating that” menu. Why?

Flan. Snobby pudding. (image by Boku Alec CCbySA3.0)

Because flan is always that flan shape. You know what I’m talking about; it looks like the bottom third of a cone. Always, always shaped like flan. In the end, flan is pudding. The top two puddings in my world – chocolate and banana – are both shapeless but delicious blobs.

Flan is too snooty to be a tasty blob. I don’t eat snooty desserts. I won’t eat flan.

So my “I won’t eat that” menu opens with snails. The main course is flounder, with mushrooms and lima beans followed by that snooty flan shaped dessert, flan. If any of you are planning to invite me over for dinner and I’ve guessed what you were planning to serve, I’m sorry. I will still attend and be as charming and grateful a guest as possible.

I’ll bring the wine. Lots of it.

And probably a protein bar.

What’s Your “I Won’t Eat That” Menu?

 

 


If You Give A Muffin MRSA

A muffin, presumably without MRSA. (image public domain, wikimedia)

I respect people who work in restaurants and bars. Waiting tables, preparing meals and tending bar are physically demanding jobs that put the people who do them in touch with some unpleasant, ungrateful people.

That said, there are certain things that are uncool for them to do. Once, I walked past a guy smoking while he sat on a trash can in front of a sandwich shop. He came in to make my sandwich and didn’t bother washing his hands. I realized in that moment that I was mistaken about being hungry.

I’ve also started walking out of restaurants if I realize that someone involved in handling my food has those long fake fingernails. I’m not a germ freak, but those nails just seem like big ladles of e-coli.

Just The Other Day

I’m usually a light breakfast guy when I’m at home; sometimes I even skip it. But if I’m out, I have to stop and eat breakfast. And so it was that I found myself at Panera Bread. Read the rest of this entry »


In The Shadow Of Writer’s Block, Creativity Lives

If I were writing more often, I wouldn’t have to dust as much. (public domain image – wikimedia)

I’ve written this blog for almost five years. My ability to express myself has grown over those five years. My writing delivers my message more powerfully than it did at the beginning. I read my initial drafts and they make me smile. Being creative is cool.

Of course, my regular readers might have noticed that my creativity has not flowed in quite the same way recently. When I have an idea, the words to express it just don’t come. The ideas aren’t coming either. I suppose the nice thing about the lack of ideas is that I don’t have to struggle to express myself if I’ve no point to make.

I’ve had short periods of struggle before. Those periods make me certain that I’ll pull through this somewhat longer phase. My writing will flow again.

And yet, in the midst of this Sahara-like dry spell of mine, I run across occasional oases of creativity. Read the rest of this entry »