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2006-06-14 - 3:57 p.m.

Consider it an early mid-life crisis, or possibly my fear of a midlife crisis, or a post-modern response to the quarter-life crisis, or a odd subconscious reaction to Infinite Crisis. (Put another strip of tape around the bridge of your glasses if you got that reference.) Whatever the definition, as really, the label doesn’t matter so much as the contents of the bottle, (No matter what Heineken says.) I guess I’m attempting a little me rehab…without the shakes or therapists, or embarrassing hospital wear. I mean, I’ve got no fashion sense, but, unless Prince is involved, having your ass hanging out of your pants generally isn’t considered runway-worthy.

In fact, if you were wondering, Prince has enough back-up stores of cool that if he attended a black-tie dinner wearing nothing but a banana hammock, (How am I the last to know what that term means?) Anne Coulter would be the first to buy him a drink. The only other person on the planet with that kind of cache is Bowie. Come to think of it, if David Bowie went to the same party dressed similarly, I feel confident Anne Coulter would probably don a cheerleading uniform and pump the pom-pom’s excitedly while those two humped each other’s legs with looks of utter boredom on their faces. I’ll leave a moment for the ladies to process that image.

You back?

Fantastic. On we roll.

So here’s my big me-hab plans: First of all, I’m cooking. Yes, that’s right, I’m, for the most part, schakinning the mac and cheese in a box. I’m making it myself. Out of a can.

Shut up, that’s progress. Trust me.

In my short stint in Dublin, I noticed that my comfort food, crisp pasta and snappy cheddar, had been replaced by our dubious friends across the pond with the excreatable beans on toast. I know, the Irish will point the finger to Britannia the Bold and blame them for the horror of the legume sandwich, but gents, you’re still eating it.

Without easy access to Velveeta, I made the move to try and cook Mac and Cheese from scratch. My first three attempts could have insulated the Space Shuttle, but by my forth I honestly believed I was on to something. With flower and cheese gratings flying, I remembered a midnight cooking show I watched as I tootled off to sleep, and a large man with an uncomfortable looking mustache saying that beer made a good base to work melted cheese. In went the Guinness.

Now the resultant thick paste could never be folded over macaroni, at least not without the help of magic pasta elves, however, thanks to a moment of genius on the part of my roommate, we dined that evening on the best tortilla dip ever seen on this planet. Guinness is the closest man will come to ambrosia. To hell with the nay-sayers.

This week, with the help of Cooking for Dummies, (I shit thee not.) I’ve actually managed to chop onions, celery, garlic, and carrots, fry them up without causing my apartment to burn down, and sauté a few chicken breasts in wine without some Frankenstein like incident occurring, bringing the chicken back to life against its will, and thereby creating a zombie chicken monster set on the evisceration of myself and all those not actively supporting Free Range.

Wait, that sounds like it’d be a great Troma film.

(Goes to check their website.)


Anyway, it went pretty damn well. Given, the sauce I made and stored in the fridge grew overnight into something that could be used as a prop in the above film, but since I haven’t had to beg forgiveness at the altar of the Porcelain Goddess, I’m counting it as a win.

Big Saturday Brunchy plans: Pancakes with fresh blueberry syrup. Mmm…mmm…tasty impending culinary travesty. (Like Waterloo with fruit.)

But wait there’s more. I know, I know, the actual cooking seems to stun most who know me. To the point that quite a few have demanded that I provide photographic evidence to support my claim of mincing. But I claim, with fervent confidence, that I have, in fact, minced. Minced with relish. Minced with joy…actually it was kind of a bitch, but I have minced, damnit. Minced with the passion of thirty mincetastic mincers. (New fun word to say…or type…or…Well it sounded good in my head.)

Part two of me-hab actually includes me doing laundry in a timely manner, and actually doing it myself, thereby leaving behind the wonder and promised land of fluff and fold. Drop off service is lovely, but as a friend put it, “Dude, some weird old lady is handling your under-thingies!” (‘Under-thingies’ in context.) Plus the wait to drop off, tends to make me, well…wait. I probably shouldn’t be doing the sock sniff test at age twenty six. Really, there are more empty Febreeze cans in my apartment than there are beer cans, and something about that seems not quite right.

Number three: A gym. Now, this is a struggle. I’m so fervently against gym culture that it borders on a political belief with me. Preening is, to me, the most despicable practice that can be engaged in by a human being, and anyone that invites you to the “Gun Show” needs to be peppered by actual attendees of an actual Gun Show. Plus, the idea of paying hundreds of dollars a month to gain access to a machine that mimics riding a bicycle, or worse, walking, raises goose-bumps o’ rage on my back.

I have only one real recourse to satiate my quibbles with this action. The Y in Brooklyn. Equinox it’s certainly not, but at least, it has something resembling street cred. It’s down and dirty, and it probably smells, and I can at least deal with that. Rumors persist that certain gyms around Manhattan have special Platinum Member rooms that can only be accessed via retinal scan. For Christ’s Sake, it’s a place to go get tired, not the fricking NSA. (Then again, we’re all in there.) In any case, my monetary sitch has kept my membership at bay, so I’m yet to even walk in there, but, if they have just one rowing machine, I’m off to the races.

It’s not that I’m overly concerned with my visage. I don’t really expect to ever be able to do my laundry on my stomach, but I know what I’m creeping up on. See, my father and I have the same metabolism; one that runs at the pace of a hummingbird on the standard day’s allotment of cocaine for a day-trader on Wall Street. At least, I still do. You see the pictures of my Dad when he was my age, and we both have the same twigish frame, but age does what age does, and the thinning power of my youthy body is about to loose hold. Father dearest, was able to keep himself in sorts, and for a man of his years is doing pretty damn well, and I’ve got to jump on the bandwagon, lest I grow a coaster on my belly.

Since it is days from Fathers Day, and my dad does read this blog on occasion, allow me to answer the questions he’ll be asking me this Friday in advance: Yes, I’m coming in. No, I don’t know when. Yes, I’ll give you a call. No, I’ll call. Yes. From the train. Yes. No. No. No, I have no idea what a Do-Do Glumpky is. Okay…Yeah…Yeah…Yeah…Yeah…Yeah…Yeah…Right. Bye…Yeah…Bye.

This brings me to the next addition to my great and powerful master-plan. See, while the cooking of my own food with save on take-out, and the doing of my own laundry will save on the Drop-Off, there are still dues at whichever gymnastic warehouse I subscribe to. So where does the cash come from?

Well, all I can think of is dropping the damn smoking. While it pains me to be in line with my mother in any train of thought, dropping seven bucks a day on foul smelling lung darts does, in the macro view, seem pretty stupid. (Yes, seven bucks. New York City taxes are awesome.) Now, the question is, where do I get the straps to tie myself up with to keep me from my friend the cancer stick. Patch be damned, I’m gonna need restraints!

Throw on a nice dash of reading more, (The park is nice, and there’s this thing called sun there that I’ve been told is nice.) and, yes, a pinch of writing more, and you’ve got the summation of my blueprints for happier John-Boy.

So, a few months from now, we’ll see if any of this has stuck, or if it will all have gone the way of so many New Year’s Resolutions: Broken, lost, and puked in the toilet a few hours after midnight. With any luck, though, I may end up at the end of this summer better fed, better smelling, better funded, and possibly with the kind of confidence that would make Anne Coulter don a cheerleading outfit.

It’d just be funny, is all.

Update: Well, I attempted a sauted chicken with onions, celery, carrots, and garlic with a sauce from Chicken Broth. Went okay, except, umm...couldn't find chicken stock. Used Gravy. The chopping of the vegtables proved a useless endevor. Not too surprisingly, gravy kicked the shit out of the taste of everything else. But, then again, no throwing up. Calling it a draw.

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