Friday, January 29, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"I had too much to eat as a child" is a first world problem if ever I've heard of one.

I've started reading a blog owned by an anonymous school teacher who has made it her mission to eat and document school lunch for an entire school year. I didn't eat school lunches on a very regular basis, but I do remember getting the menu every month and on the days when they were serving something I liked, my mom would give me $1.50 or whatever it was to buy lunch. My mom was not known for her creativity when it came to school lunches so the opportunity to eat something other than a jam and butter sandwich, a granola bar and a Capri Sun was welcome.

(Mom, I'm sure you'd argue that packing three lunches every day was expensive and a pain in the ass, but that's what you get for having Andrew instead of just leaving well enough alone.)

I don't remember which menus were the crowd pleasers -- maybe bean burritos (possibly because that meant my friend Bree, a vegetarian, would also be buying school lunch that day?), spaghetti (which had a distinct flavor I can remember to this day) and hamburgers (which were of a quality I'd probably never eat as an adult)? I DEFINITELY remember that my brothers and I loved pronto puff day though.

The pronto puff was kinda like a bagel dog, but the bread was less dense and bagely and it seemed to have mustard mixed into the dough. I remember it being difficult to swallow and that it would sit like a rock in my stomach for the rest of the day, but boy howdy, it was a favorite.

That blog got me to thinking that I'd love to try a pronto puff as an adult just to see if the magic was still there so I got to Googling and OH MY!



Were we falsely remembering the pronto PUFF?

Whew, no. Wikipedia tells me that a pronto PUP was very corndoggy, except with a flour crust instead of flour.

I am 99% sure pronto PUFFS did not have a stick, but if I'm wrong, I'm sure my brother or another SJUSD student from the early 80's will correct me.

I'm sad to say though that pronto puffs are missing from the www.


In other Elizabeth-Remembers-School-Lunches news:

1. People think I'm insane because I love green bell pepper dipped in peanut butter, but more days than not we'd get little white paper cups filled with grainy peanut butter with a carrot stick, celery stick and bell pepper stick stuck in there. It's DELICIOUS you guys, I swear!

2. I had this grand fantasy of getting to junior high and going through a line and having a cafeteria lady slop the meal-of-the-day on my plate, putting it on my tray and moving down the line, paying the cashier and then sitting at a table with my friends.

You know, the way it works in movies.

Except I don't think it worked like that in real life. We had a cafeteria but ANYONE who was ANYONE brought their lunches or bought stuff from the snack bar (nachos, It's-Its and Mr Pibb, HOLLA!) and then we sat on the ground outside to eat. I was too afraid to investigate the cafeteria situation was petrified of not knowing how the system worked and ending up looking stupid.


6th grade insecurities kept me from fulfilling a dream.

Except that, as it turns out, that's kinda how corporate cafeterias work, so I was able to experience the magic...just 20 years later. For the record, it's not all it's cracked up to be.

[Sidebar: The only times I ever went in the cafeteria in junior high were for assemblies or dances and I have NO IDEA WHY, but I SWEAR TO YOU, Carrot Top came to my school and did his schtick.

For 11-13 year olds.

He was BIG TIME.]

3. My mom stepped up the lunch supplies around that time so I'd frequently have a bottle of water, a turkey sandwich on a croissant and some macaroni salad from the local market. I'd say "It's really no wonder why I was so fat...a croissant every day???" except when I look back at pictures from that era, I wasn't really THAT fat...just chubby and insecure (though there were kids who called me fat, for sure), so I wonder what it would have been like if I *hadn't* followed that croissant sandwich up with an Its-It from the snack bar on a regular basis?

3a. Speaking of It's-Its, I feel bad for you non-Californians who don't know the magic.

4. I don't remember much about high school lunches, but I do remember that I'd sometimes get a take out lunch from the snack bar and then eat it on the lawn with my friends. Not the SENIOR lawn or surrounding areas where the cool kids sat, but the front lawn, which was an entirely different social scene.

I remember those lunches having A LOT of food for $1.50. Mostly I was interested in the tater tots, the cookie and the chocolate milk and sometimes I'd eat the cheeseburger, but NEVER the apple.

I think about the calorie count for all the food in that little brown box and I CAN NOT BELIEVE I ate that with any regularity, but that school lunch blogger pointed out that ONE of the TWO peanut butter "sandwich" things had over 300 calories, so I guess times haven't really changed all that much.

In Conclusion

I'm not all up in arms about what the crap quality school lunches are doing to kids, but I guess I really should be. Poor families RELY on them to feed their children, they're teaching really bad eating habits (processed foods, YAY!), contributing to the obesity epidemic, etc.

I'm not fat because of what my parents fed me. I'm fat because of the money in my pocket and the reality that it went almost entirely to snacks with a Madonna CD thrown in every now and then.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I need to focus on not making that face in EVERY FREAKING PICTURE!

Oh my. I just uploaded all the pictures I wanted to use to make my EH GOES TO TX WOO HOO post and there are so many that I would like to make an official prediction that I will be TIRED OF IT ALL after like ten pictures and the rest of the commentary will be limited.

But hey! While I'm feeling type'y, I'll tell you that I went to Texas to visit a posse of my homies. They all came out to see me in San Francisco a couple of years ago and then last year we (most of us, anyway) went to the Inauguration and stayed with our Maryland contingent and this year it was supposed to be Maryland and California visiting our two Texan posse members.

UNFORTUNATELY, Maryland has an actual grown up job and this trip came around just a week or so before her work world was due to explode and her punk ass boss decided that she needed to focus on that and wouldn't give her the time off. SO WHATEVER, VICTIMS OF ASBESTOS! WAY TO RAIN ON MY PARADE BY HAVING YOUR COURT CASE INTERFERE WITH MY PLANS!

I mean, REALLY.

But I went anyway because you know, I had very important business in Texas.

Like sliders and white Russian milkshakes:

And FYI, it's a slider place that, for whatever random reason, also sells wine by the when you finish your shaketail (milkshake + cocktail...seemed better than milkcock) and it's pouring with rain and you're waiting for your third member to get off work and join you, you order a bottle of wine!

And then you go to the Menil Collection because it's on the list of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.

The building was beautiful and some of the art was cool, but they had a whole exhibit of flat out weirrrrd stuff (as in, necklaces made of dead bird bodies, a 300 year old gimp suit covered in wooden spikes, an ALLEGED unicorn horn, a giant something-or-other seed that was noteworthy because it was supposed to look like a vagina, a wedge of beeswax cheese with a human hair mullet, etc.) and some "really? this is art?" stuff like a pile of newspapers bundled with string and just kinda sitting there but with a sign indicating that it was, in fact, art.

But okay, fine, I can now say I've seen it.


Let's blow this popsicle stand and go have margarita races!


Now let's go bar hopping around Houston in the POURING DOWN RAIN!


But then ohhhhhh craaaaaaaap...let's get up early the next day after just a few hours of sleep, most of which were spent fighting off the advances of a tiny, humping dog, find out that 33% of your posse has his period and won't be joining you and then drive from Houston to San Antonio before trying to perikly pose in front of the Alamo?


After the Alamo, which would have been more impressive if A) I was from Texas or B) there were fewer people ignoring the "Ssshhh! The Alamo is a shrine. Please SHUT THE HELL UP" sign, we walked across the street to the San Antonio River Walk, pausing only to pose for a photo with a local:

The River Walk, which is ALSO on the list of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, didn't seem all that impressive. It was cool and all but REALLY? Was it SO AWESOME that it deserved to be one of 1,000 things in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD that people needed to see??? Jordan said that really, it was much cooler at night with all the lights and all the ambiance so instead of pushing on to Austin right then and there, we went on the river boat tour and then found ourselves a nice riverside spot to eat some appetizers, have an adult beverage, and watch the world go by while we waited for night to fall.

Sidebar: My brothers and I all think "San Antonio River Walk" and IMMEDIATELY think "OMG CLOAK AND DAGGER!!!!" so when we went on the boat tour and the guide asked the group what movie had been filmed on that bridge over there, my hand shot up and I shouted "OMG CLOAK AND DAGGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (it was an involuntary reaction) The guide kinda snickered and said that in alllllll of the tours he's done and alllllllll the times he has asked that question, I was one of three people who came up with that answer. He was surprisingly knowledgeable about C&D, but as it turns out, I WAS WRONG. It was Selena.

Whooptie do. Who needs Jennifer Lopez when you have HENRY THOMAS AND DABNEY COLEMAN!?!?

Whatever, San Antonio. But hey, the Alamo is very pretty and peaceful at night:

Okay so then after all that business we drove another hour or so to our pit stop for the evening - the lovely town of Austin, Texas. We were tuckered out but we were in Austin! We couldn't just GO TO BED, so we rallied and Yelped ourselves up a bar and headed out:

We did our part to appreciate Austin's cocktail values but decided to visit the kebab truck outside before heading back to our tastefully UT Austin-themed hotel room:


But OH MY GOSH I slept like a BABY! A baby without a tiny, humping dog! A baby who even had the energy to go for a run around the UT campus the next morning!

And viola, I felt like myself again!

Hey, hows about we counteract that invigorating, healthy run with a DEEP FRIED AVOCADO TACO with a side of CHICKEN FRIED STEAK TACO?


And then some deep fried COOKIE DOUGH for dessert?

Sure! Why not?

OMG you guys, I can't even tell you how kick ass that was. I've had some fried foods in my day but the fried cookie dough was THE BEST FRIED FOOD EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. It's a good thing my deep fryer is in storage because otherwise I'd be fighting a daily battle not to deep fry the heck out of some cookie dough.

We worked off the cookie dough with some very strenuous posing with the Largest Longhorn Statue in the WORLD (as per the new Roadside America app I bought for my phone):

We had GRAND plans to stop in Snook, Texas on the way back to Houston so we could try the ORIGINAL deep fried BACON but we spent too much time dilly-dallying around Austin and places close EARLY on Sundays in Texas (I mean seriously, why bother closing at 4PM? Why not after lunch if you're not going to be open for dinner? I DON'T UNDERSTAND YOU, TEXAS!) so we missed out on that. In retrospect, it's really important that Maryland join us for the chicken fried bacon so we decided that we'd just have to re-do Texas when she becomes available and we'll chicken fried bacon our little hearts out then instead.

So since the chicken fried bacon was a flop, we used the Roadside America app to find a couple other exciting roadside attractions not far off our path.

The World's Smallest Catholic Church, for example:

And I'm not even kidding, this was the holy water:

It's not next to the silicone lubricant at the St. Martin's in San Jose, but whatever. Even God needs things lubricated with silicone, I guess.

The St. Martin's in San Jose doesn't have cows either:

I think they were judging me for not having been to confession in, like, 20 years.

Rural Texas sure is pretty though:

From there, we moved on and WHADDAYA KNOW? We found ANOTHER exciting roadside attraction just 15 or so minutes up the road!

What the heck is that, you ask?

It's an "errant piece of granite" that has since has become a monument to itself.

Whatever, Texas. You're strange, but you're quaint:

And your sunsets are spectacular:

We eventually made it back to Casa de Jordan and were greeted enthusiastically:

This is Nuni:

This is Brinks (the tiny humper):

This is Hummer (who should be judged on his charming personality and not his looks):

The next morning, after a pleasant night of sleep without Brinks, I got up and ran around Jordan's neighborhood:

That was important to note because I still had two food-related things on my Texas agenda and after the chicken fried bacon debacle, I was NOT ABOUT to miss them.


Cupcakes (not actually on my agenda, but delicious nonetheless):

And BBQ:

I like getting up close and personal with what I'm about to eat:

Somewhere in there between cupcakes and BBQ we had a bit of a gas problem but HANDY FOR US, Dionne was coming to meet us for BBQ and was much handier with the twisting action required to work the nozzle (*ahem*) than Jordan and I were:

Dionne saves the day!

We sat around talking until it was time to head to the airport, but not before checking the Roadside America app one last time and realized that OH MY! THERE'S A GIANT, BLINGIN' ARMADILLO RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET!!!

(UGH, my camera sucks.)

Take Two:

And then a self portrait to wrap it alllllllll up:

I had a great time in Texas and I'm actually kinda glad Maryland missed it because it's totally worth a return trip and now we have an awesome excuse to do Texas v2! And maybe next time my dad's truck won't break down on the way to the airport and I won't have to push it across the gas station parking lot, Biggest Loser style.

(Sorry Dad, I couldn't help myself.)

My hair looks like crap in most of the wedding pictures and I'm so annoyed about that I can't even tell you!

I'm going to Vancouver on Friday and before I go I need to tell you all about my trip to Texas a couple of weekends ago and I know I've been a bad blogger but OMG before I do all that I have to (probably illegally) (copyright? what?) show you the funniest pictures from my brother's official wedding photos (even though they're not pretty).

Here I am being very passive during the bouquet toss:

And I SWEAR TO YOU, alls I did was reach up and it landed in my hand, but BOY HOWDY, I sure did look excited about it:

Someone remind me to please never look excited about anything ever again because it just IS NOT pretty.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

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