Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Food Geek

Food Geeks, or Foodies, is a subject close to my stomach. I once heard the saying, “Never trust a bald barber. They will have no respect for your hair.” I feel the same way about chefs and food lovers. A good chef is someone who is going to have at least a little girth around the waist, because they love the taste of food and they are always trying new dishes. Same with a Foodie, how can a person love to taste and eat food, but look like a stick? A true Foodie and a good chef are going to have some roundness to them.

I believe Jimmy Kimmel is a Food Geek. Long before he had his own late night show, he co-hosted a show on Comedy Central called “The Man Show.” He did this piece on how to attack a buffet. His first rule was you never go near the salad. The salad is the cheapest thing on the buffet and you are wasting precious tummy space that could be used on steak and shrimp. Vegetables are alright, so long as they have been breaded and deep fried. Speaking of bread, rolls are only to be used to soak up a tasty steak juice. Finally, desserts are for when you are full and you just want to push yourself into that painful territory of stuffed. I think the thing to take away from Kimmel’s lesson on eating at a buffet was how to give yourself a heart attack.
I am not really a Foodie. I do not write restaurant reviews. I just can’t bring myself to be critical of someone’s hard work like that. I am also not a chef. I used to cook, but then I met my wife. I would cook for her. On later dates she would cook the same dishes I made and they would be a hundred times better. I decided there was no more reason for me to cook.

My tastes are typical male tastes. My favorite foods are pizza, Cheeseburgers, sandwiches, and steak. There are specific ways I like to have each of these foods. I’ll eat any pizza as long as there are no anchovies and no pineapple, but my favorite pizza is mushroom, olive, sausage, and bacon. There is a local place here that has an amazing beer batter pizza dough.
Again I love cheeseburgers in many different forms. My favorite cheeseburger has tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon, and swiss or provolone cheese. I actually forego condiments on my favorite burger. Yes, of course there has to be fries.
I’m not too particular about my cut of steak, but I do prefer it to be cooked medium to medium well. I like just a little pink. Most people think the steak is tough if it’s cooked that long. If done right, it is still really tender. I think Texas Roadhouse cooks the best steaks. I really do not care for sides with my steak. I just assume only have the steak, however I love my steak smothered in sautéed mushrooms.

Finally there are sandwiches. I think it is an amazing concept to take just about any ingredients you want and shove them between two slices of bread. It is so easy and fast. When I’m serious about my sandwiches it has to be a deli sub. I prefer wheat bread. My favorite is chicken and bacon with melted provolone cheese. I like some veggies on my sandwich such as sprouts, mushrooms, olives, avocado, and tomatoes. I usually just go with mayonnaise and oregano. The thing I cannot understand is the obsession with lettuce. Sandwich makers dump so much lettuce on you cannot find the sandwich. It’s like the maker gets a bonus if they get rid of a pound of lettuce for each sandwich sold. I can’t stand it.
I guess you would call my favorite foods “comfort foods,” but if you are going to eat food, don’t you want to be comforted. I get the idea you need to eat healthy items, but when it doesn’t taste good or it stares back at you then the food is not comforting. It’s actually kind of scary. The other thing about comfort food is it has to be that go to dish that you know you will like and at the end you will be happy. At our favorite restaurant my wife always orders the same chicken salad with blue cheese crumbles. I either order my favorite cheeseburger with bacon and mushrooms or I get chicken quesadilla. We both always look through the menu and we see meals that look really tasty, but then when the waitress shows up we always go for our comfort food.

I know we need to exercise and eat right. It is something that I will work on one of these days. My thing is I am trying to eat right, but I am trying to meld healthy eating with good tasting foods that I like. I am truly waiting for the Star Trek food processor that creates food out of thin air. The futuristic food processors make whatever food you want, but it is made from the nutrients your body needs. You hear me scientists! I’m looking at you! Get on that food processor. 

Thanks To:
      Japan is Eating by Skytabula @ deviantart.com
      Pizza Eating Kitty by Tracerhank @ deviantart.com
      Sandwich San by CaramelCat123 @ deviantart.com
      Love is Eating by Hjstory @ deviantart.com
      Exercise Devotional by TheMacronian @ deviantart.com   

Friday, March 15, 2013

Not a Geek for Summer

I foresee 6 months of grumpiness in my future. The weather is turning warm. The spring flowers are blooming. People are taking fun vacations. Children are playing outside. And, I hate it all. That’s right I said it. I am a winter person. Give me the snow and cold temperatures. Give me the holidays. Winter is a time I can bundle up without being accused of laziness. I am a fluffy individual therefore I am better built for winter. In the winter I can easily regulate the temperature to be warm. In the summer no matter what I try to do, I am hot.

So, until the weather cools back I am going to try to hibernate and avoid all the summer activities. When my wife is not looking, I’m going to crank up the air conditioner, bundle up and take a nap. I’ll dream of overcast skies and snowstorms.

Here now is a list of reasons why I hate summer. Maybe you will be able to sympathize.

1. The car in front of me is blowing cigarette smoke into my 
    car and in my face.

2. “Daddy, it's not bedtime. The sun is still up.”

3. Daisy Dukes and tank tops are a privilege, not a right!

4. $#%$&^$*%()*#^#% mosquitoes

5. Mowing, weeding, planting, pruning, fertilizing, watering, 

6. 20 motorcycles causing an earthquake as they go past  
    my house

7. Uncaged children

8. I'm sweating like a raped ape and my deodorant gave out 
    3 hours ago

9. Your deodorant gave out 3 hours ago

10. Cars racing up the street

11. Gas prices are higher

12. Everyone is freaking out how global warming is worse 
      this season. Global warming happens year round!

13. My neighbor shooting off illegal fireworks

14. My teen: “Ha ha you have to go to work. I get to play 
      video games all day”

15. I miss my hoodie

16. I'm sticking to chairs

17. The sun is up two hours before I have to get up

18. Children matinees

19. I've sniffed more pollen than a cocaine addict on a binge

20. Family Reunions

21. Droughts

22. Road Construction

23. Massive motor homes that can’t do the speed limit and 
      can’t drive a straight line.

24. Warm Soda. It makes hydrating really crappy.

25. No matter how far I strip down, I’ll never cool off.

26. No one wants to see me strip down.

 Thanks To:
       Grumpy by Amelia-Ami-Chan @ Deviantart.com 
       A Warm Bed by Faustsketcher @ Deviantart.com
       Winter Smile by Pluvias @ Deviantart.com  

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Music Geek

Let me be honest up front, I am being very pretentious even thinking about writing a blog post about Music Geekery. I am not a Music Geek. There are so many people in this world that far outstrip me when it comes to knowing lyrics, titles, or even band members. I do not even play a musical instrument. However, I do have one thing in common with all other Music Geeks and people in general; I love music. 

Music has always been present in my life. When I was little I remember my parents playing mostly folk rock and what is now known as classic rock. I also spent a lot of time with my grandparents. Through them I grew an appreciation of classical music. But back then it was all just background noise.

When I was twelve I met my stepbrothers and they introduced me to country. Don’t judge me, I was young and impressionable. I did save myself and found my way into Top 40 and Rock. There was even a time I flirted with 50’s and 60’s rock. There was something pure about the music of those decades. 

When I really got into music my first cassette tape I bought was Rick Springfield, “Living in Oz.” My next tape was “Beverly Hills Cop” soundtrack. This was also a time when the Walkman became hugely popular. In case any of you are wondering, the Walkman is the granddaddy to today’s mp3 players. Having a Walkman on really was like having a soundtrack for your life. 

Yes, I did listen to a lot of what was popular, but what was really important to me was finding music that made me move. I listened to Pink Floyd when I was in a funk. Oingo Boingo, Pointer Sisters, and M.A.R.S. were great for dancing. Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Dead or Alive were also great for dancing and when I felt freaky. Then there was Bon Jovi, Slaughter, and Poison when I wanted to move fast and work hard. I became a junkie about finding music that moved me, got the adrenaline pumping, and made me excited. 

I still have my old cassette tapes and listen to a few of them once in a while in my truck. My six year old son tends to play DJ and choose what tape we listen to. I have hundreds of CDs and I have made dozens of mix tapes and mix CDs all in the pursuit of finding that perfect personal soundtrack to my life. The thing I found is life keeps changing, so my personal soundtrack had to keep changing and therefore the perfect mix was as elusive as a unicorn.

I don’t know who created the mp3 playlist, but that was a person who was a mix tape junkie, always looking to create the perfect list. It is so easy now to swap out songs and tweak your soundtrack. I have a few different playlists. I have a playlist for my wife and each of my sons. They are songs that remind me of them. I then have a playlist for when I want to be mellow. The playlist I listen to most often is titled “Inspiration.” This is full of songs that motivate me. I’m a guy that deals with confidence and motivation issues. These songs help me to overcome bad days and to keep moving.

Let me leave you with a list of songs from my Inspiration Playlist

Hall of Fame – The Script / Will.i.am

Some Nights – Fun.

Rise Today – Alter Bridge

Strip Me – Natasha Bedingfield

I Stand Alone – Godsmack

Uprising – Muse

Sing – My Chemical Romance 

Powerless – Nelly Furtado

I Don’t Wanna Stop – Ozzy Osbourne

Princes of the Universe – Queen

F**kin’ Perfect – Pink

Dare – Stan Bush 

I Dare You to Move – Switchfoot

Anthem for the Underdog – 12 Stones 

The Champion in Me – Three Doors Down 

It’s Not My Time – Three Doors Down

Vindicated – Dashboard Confession

Closer to Free – BoDeans

Because We Can – Bon Jovi

Thanks To:
      Music of Sunrise by Karinu Chan @ deviantart.com   
      Mix Tape Affect by Crayon Chewer @ deviantart.com   
      Thank You for the Music by Anachusunamon @ deviantart.com