Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Stop it with the plastic bags, already!!!!

I want to bust heads every time I see someone in my immediate neighborhood carrying around a thousand plastic bags. Even 1 plastic bag makes me want to assault someone. Seriously. This crap needs to stop immediately. I have a few, very few, areas in which I am superior to others and one of them undoubtedly is lack of plastic bag use. In your FACE! I am so good at it, that even when I forget to bring my Chico bag, tote bag, or giant purse with me, I will stuff my pockets full of produce and carry the rest of my items out the door in a wobbly, highly unstable stack. THAT'S how strongly I feel about NOT using plastic bags. They are bullshit and you all need to step it up and say "NO" to this stupid American culture and eventually less will be produced, hopefully even banned.

I am by no means someone who is 100% green, I am still working every day to lessen my carbon foot print, but EVERYONE can say no to plastic bags and this is one of those "no-brainers" that I cannot believe more people don't get on board with. It boils down to laziness and forgetfulness, that's it. These are traits which should be corrected regardless if you don't want to be a complete turd of a human anyhow, and start working on your flaws by making it a priority to either carry a tote bag, enviro-bag, chico bag, or back pack on you to store items you purchase. Those of you with cars----you have NO excuses. It takes no effort to haul that crap out to your car and just drive it home. Those of us city dwellers have to be a tad craftier, but, we also buy less at once because of storage problems and a general inclination to have someone else prepare meals for us.

Chicks. Yes, you ladies with huge purses that only have a wallet, lipstick, and bottle of Ephedra in it, you are some of the worst offenders carrying around a million plastic bags when in fact your "purse" could double as an orphanage. Put the fucking lotion in the basket, if you know what I mean! Seriously, if you are purchasing 2 toiletries, just put them in your tractor trailer purse! Stop, drop, and roll with it girl---- plastic bags are totes out, totes are totes in for the environment!

Dudes. I know many of you wander about "sans man bag". Okay, I get it, but the fact is, if you are a suburb dweller, you just need to keep one or two of those trendy cloth shopping bags in your car and use those for groceries/errands. If however you are a city boy, chances are that you have to carry some sort of day time bag with you whether it's a duffel, a messenger bag, or an attache. Simply put groceries or knick-knacks in them OR keep something folded up inside mentioned carry-all and voila, you've saved the earth. It's just the tiniest effort to get into a routine and the easiest way to avoid a withering look from me.

I for one live on a main drag in Brooklyn, New York. I literally live above a coffee shop, wine shop, and a stretch of grocery stores and bodegas. My head especially wants to burst into a million pieces when I see people who live on my block down in said businesses purchasing items which get placed in plastic bags and then transferred 10 feet into their apartment. WHAT THE FUCK. Just carry it! Seriously...say no thanks to the plastic bag once, and you will immediately climb onto the "i care about the earth more than you" superiority train, and though admittedly douchey, STILL SAVES THE EARTH.


It's the little things that really do make big differences in the long run. Tucking away 40 dollars into savings every week adds up to almost $2,000 every year! Doing 3 minutes worth of crunches whenever you think of it adds up to a stomach that looks better than a stomach without sporadic crunches! I know it's a long stretch to think people will all suddenly ditch driving and start showing up to carry-out joints with their own bio-degradable tupperware while simultaneously wearing a head to toe ensemble made out of corn, but, honestly, even that would not be that hard to do. I think walking to work in a fuel-depleted country under the punishing sunlight of a 145 degree day while garbage cyclones knock you down sounds a little bit tougher.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Binge Eating; Not Just For NYC Anymore

Inspired by Anthony Bourdain's Chicago episode of "No Reservations", I made a vow to eat some gourmet hot dogs at my old neighborhood joint Hot Doug's. I lived in Roscoe Village around the original incarnation of the encased meat eatery's location in 2003. My eyes popped out of my skull when I learned that on the weekends they actually fry their french fries in goose fat. Me and my live-in boyfriend at the time vowed to return with plump wallets and empty stomachs to properly ingest our weight in vein-clogging goodness.

And then, inexplicably, Hot Doug's had a fire in the kitchen ( which you can imagine smelled pretttttty delicious ) and they were forced to close down and move. Before they got back on their feet in the new location, I moved as well and started getting involved in things like marriage, divorce, temporary insanity, and an unannounced relocation to NYC, so I never did cash in on those hot dogs and fries.

Fast forward to July, 2009 after hearing about way too many people having the best hot dogs of their life at Hot Doug's, I had the opportunity to spend a week in Chicago performing at night and spending my days eating junk food. I didn't waste any time-- the moment I arrived I had a Vietnamese pork Bahn Mi for lunch and later that night me and the gang rolled into Mi Tierra on Belmont for nostalgia's sake as we sat by the man-made river, sucked down potent margaritas and each slammed a combo platter obscured by melted cheese. We ended the night drinking German Pilsners at Huttenbar before properly slipping into unresponsive states.

Well, good morning sunshine, we all rolled out of bed still stuffed from the day before and decided on having Hot Doug's as our first meal of the day. I wet myself from excitement I loved my specialty dog so much which was spicy pork sausage smothered in chipotle dijonnaise and pepper jack cheese. But I was left wondering what the big deal about Chicago style hot-dogs are and sullenly forced it down my gullet out of spite. We all got to the bottom of why Chicago dogs have a salad bar dumped on them:

I was able to walk around the city all day and convinced myself I "worked it all off". Uh, no. But not to be outdone I started drinking heavily during my show at Zanies and was properly loaded by the time I got to my spot at Chicago Underground. After an unsolicited shot of Jameson, I demanded my host for the week, Andrea, go get the car and immediately take me out for some El Quixote lest I fall down drunk in my "famished" state. El Quixote is my favorite 24-hour Mexican joint in Chicago. Hot Doug's had managed to sustain me from 11am Tuesday morning until about 1am early Wednesday morning, but barely. Without stopping to breathe I took down a basket or two of chips before the world's most perfect chorizo taco platter hit the table. I don't remember filming this:

The following days were a blur of more tacos, salty, fatty snacks from Zanies Comedy Club, lentil soup and falafel sandwiches from Taste of Lebanon, a grilled cheese with tomatoes and chili cheese fries at the Diner Grill (footage coming soon) and of course a sophisticated sit down meal at Erwin on my last night in town. We ate a lovely fried green tomato appetizer, beet salad with watercress, goat cheese-stuffed bacon-wrapped dates, and a delicious sauteed skate entree paired nicely with some white wine. I hit the wall that Saturday night/Sunday morning when I ate a frozen pizza for dinner and then after my 7am flight back to MI,ate a sausage Mcmuffin at the airport and then choked down offensive wedding reception fare later that afternoon. Not surprisingly, my colon stopped working for 2 days.

I'd like to think I've done some out of control eating in NYC--- not even with vacation as an excuse, but Chicago really came out on top this time in terms of purely indulgent behavior, so once again NYC---you lose! Or do I lose? Hmmmm. My jeans still fit for some reason or another, so yes, NYC--you lose!

It's not a wedding reception without Bachman Turner Overdrive

I have enjoyed some really great feedback from readers regarding my new column called "Am I the Worst Person Ever?" It's a great little article that tackles the topic of saying no to being in a wedding party. You can read it here.

But in the original version I supplied the most awesome link to Bachman Turner Overdrive's "Takin' Care of Business" which is a crowd pleaser at shitty wedding receptions and alas it did not make it into the post. I suggest watching the first 10 seconds of BTO's Randy Bachman awkward rock n roll baby-step stomp to the front of the stage as the song begins over and over again. Even better is the introduction by a plastered Keith Moon.

This will forever be my favorite wedding reception dance floor tune as someone convinced me to do "The Alligator" which, like The Hustle or Macarena, takes alot of intoxication to pull off with the proper amount of gusto. Luckily I had gotten shit-canned at my best friend's older sister's wedding when we were 16 years old the first time I gave it a go. We were rolling around in the middle of the floor trying to convince people to join our "dance". I wondered if maybe I had been conned into something but kept flopping anyways because I have always been an attention starved idiot when drunk.

It dawned on me to check and see if this is even a real thing and, well, god bless youtube here's a video from an Anytown, USA wedding reception complete with a douchey wedding DJ, smashed wedding goers,and BTO blasting in the background. Good to know my lower-middle class roots run deep and I didn't stop to question them.

I mentioned I'm from the Midwest, right?