Scourge and Transparency

The Rise and Fall of Advanced Social Journalism during the Early Twenty-First Century

Posts Tagged ‘food

Another Excursion

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Returning to Philly for New Year’s Eve seemed like a fun idea. I thought I’d get two birds stoned at once by dropping by NYC as well on my way back.  I kept pushing off my exact departure to the City of Brotherly Love as I engrossed myself in the bittersweet holiday spirit that accompanies visiting family in one’s hometown. It was one of those Christmases where one is able to surround one’s self for days on end in Yuletide cheer and then immediately be in loathsome moments of fierce family argument. No matter how hard you try to bite your tongue, pace your drinking and organize festivities who knows what’s going to come out of your mouth or into your body?

But enough about Jesus Christ let’s talk about the Devil’s birthday: New Years Eve. When I made it south of the border I was immediately disappointed that I would not be able to pick up any good cheap drugs. In spite of this upset I swallowed my pride and settled for some of those prescription anti-ADD uppers that seem to be so popular in the states. Every Canuck is overwhelmed by the many indulgences Uncle Sam has to offer. Not only are bars more abundant with better happy hour deals but there are also restaurants that often have cheaper and richer foods on every corner of the home of the brave. Thus, if I wasn’t go to get high I was certainly going to get fat.

Cheese-steak sandwiches tend to be more tourist attractions than an actually Philly delicacy, however I’ve had some of the best goddamn food of my life in that fair city. I checked out this deli I visited in the summer previous and shoved my face full of a concoction of hearty bread, salty cold cuts and bitter vegetables that almost gave me a boner. When I was leaving the establishment one of the patrons added the phrase “Be Safe” to his New Years’ greeting and this wasn’t the first time I’d heard those two words in Pennsylvania. I thought it odd that both the gangster Latino that sat next to me on the bus through New Jersey and the first person to sell me a six-pack of Pabst left me with the farewell “Happy New Year and Be Safe, yo!” As if they were trying to warn of some impending Philadelphia danger that I as a foreigner would naively walk into.  

My friends and I spent the count down to 2012 at a local bar and then made our way to a party. After drinking most of the day and helping myself to free liquor at the house party my awareness of what surrounded me was very much limited. The next thing I new I had my local friend’s house key in my pocket and was now only with people I had presumably met that very evening. At the same time I was hitting rails with a young lady on my lap and drinking champagne at a beautiful modern condo. I didn’t know how I got there but I was certainly enjoying myself. The girl on top of me asked if I wanted anything and I inquired if she knew how I could buy any of the stuff we were doing. She asked how much I wanted to spend – $40 seemed relatively not too high of an amount – and we followed some people up stairs. After a few lines for her and me in someone’s bedroom I went to make my way for the door yet was stopped and told to take the rest of “my shit” with me.  I had assumed my two twenties would have already been depleted but saw that I was still apparently and shockingly the father of a solid white ball the circumference of a quarter!

Needless to say one thing led to another and I awoke next to the lass I had met the night before. Her friends and me had a delicious gluttonous breakfast at a local establishment and drank our way to the Mummers Parade. I didn’t know what the fuck all those people were doing in those costumes and still have no idea what to make of everyone drunk out of their minds on the street. At one point I saw a guy driving a float take a swig out of 60oz bottle of liquor.  After 24 hours of heavy drinking, heaving eating and some fooling around I exchanged information with my femme fatale then met with my buddy on the other side of town before leaving for the Big Apple.

I only had about two days to kill in NYC and a lot of Charlie. I spent most of the time bumming around Greenwich Village and Soho always a little high as I went from bar to bar. I felt a lot like Lou Reed and was listening to The Velvet Underground in accordance.  In fact, as I was waiting to have dinner with someone I met in the East Village I noticed outside a used bookstore a beautiful coffee table book on the godfathers of protopunk themselves that I instinctively purchased. It would seem that events don’t always happen as one would expect but they can go be as exciting as they are regretful and there’s often a little irony thrown in.

In the end I probably cleaned off my credit cards only a few hours before crossing the border. I had met some beautiful random people, had some half-expected and very much yearned for experiences and got my fill of harmful vices – in other words: just another excursion. 

Written by shanedantimo

April 14, 2013 at 7:38 am

Dietary Boasting

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Are you ever about to put a piece of food in your mouth and some wise-ass next to you goes into a whole spiel about why that grub you are inevitably going to consume is unhealthy for you in some way? This happens frequently to me. I find myself eating a snack, or mentioning a food I like, and often someone will feel the need to list off nutritional facts about the item that neither I care about nor understand. I sometimes think that they are convinced that after hearing what’s in this product I will decide, instead, to skip that meal and just go on being hungry – I’m sure that’s healthy. Or maybe they are fearful that having my mouth open and a piece of food in my hand moving towards my mouth is actually a sign that I going to take that food shove it down into their big mouth and force-feed it to them. No, in fact, I intend to consume that food myself. In actuality it is save to assume that someone wants to brag.

It is obvious that there are certain eatables that may have potentially unhealthy ingredients in them.  However, while I may not have a vast array of knowledge in the area of nutrition I do know that I am poor and that I eat relatively healthy. At the grocery store I look at the product’s name, the price tag and either buy or don’t buy it. I rarely eat junk food and even more scarcely purchase fast food, chips, pop or any other obviously harmful edibles. I regularly eat vegetables (carrots, celery, cucumbers, potatoes), fruit (apples and oranges), brown bread and non-sugary cereals. I cannot afford to get any organic shit or ultra-healthy breakfast products and, yes, I eat a lot of grains because they are cheap. Mommy and Daddy don’t buy my groceries all the time. Mommy and Daddy don’t cook most of my meals. And Mommy and Daddy don’t wipe my ass – I wipe my own ass. I have to pay for my own shit so I have to buy what’s affordable and moderately healthy. I go for the low fat with most dairy products and what have you. I don’t know a lot about nutrition but I know enough to assume low fat is probably better. Why do I have to get a lecture about what’s in a cereal bar or why you shouldn’t eat so much pasta when I never asked to be informed?

The only thing worse than people who go on tirades about chemical byproducts in imported fruits regardless of the cost, are those that point out the most obvious food facts. Somebody could be eating McDonald’s and there’s always some douche that says “that is sooo bad for you.” Oh really?! We’ve got a fucking genius among us! Hey Einstein, you ever eat a Big Mac when you’re high on weed? Here’s a nutritional equation for you: it’s fucking fantastic! I think I may fight to see another day if I eat my third Quarter Pounder meal this year.

If the person eating the food didn’t ask you to attempt to stop them from consuming it the exact last moment before they swallow, don’t do it. Also don’t assume that everyone understands nutritional terms (What the fuck is “Malic Acid?”). So unless I am slitting my wrists in front of you, morbidly obese or about to eat something that will kill me at that exact moment let me worry about my own body. Keep your enlightened opinions of fast food and cryptic knowledge of No Name sliced bread to yourself.

Written by shanedantimo

July 26, 2010 at 12:47 am

Grocery Shopping

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Today we’re going to talk about going to the grocery store. That’s right, going to the grocery store.  When a person reaches a certain age he or she will need to go out into the world and walk into a designated shopping area that sells food along with other essential items and purchase such products. Even if you are lucky (or unlucky) enough to have your parents or guardians pay for or purchase food on your behalf you’re likely from time-to-time to enter a grocery store and go through the all too common situations that one will inevitably encounter at the local grocer.

If you need to shop for yourself there are many obvious points of interest you will encounter at the store. Firstly, every single person shopping is incredibly and indescribably miserable. It’s as if they are all on their way to attending a Bris/Funeral – there’s a look of complete discouragement on every face you see. People move slower than traffic coming back from cottage country on a long weekend when they have a buggy in front of them.

The buggy is always an awkward thing to push around. When you walk in and see the rows of surely at least partially broken bulky pieces of metal you always debate if it’s absolutely essential to your journey to be shoving it in and around the aisles. If you don’t get the buggy and instead decide to carry one of those plastic baskets you better hope your grocery list has less than a grand weight of 10 pounds. If not, I’ve got a bunch of news for ya: you’re not as strong as you think you are, grocery baskets aren’t that much less awkward than buggies, your bread is getting squished and you might pull your shoulder.

If you’re lucky enough to have your food and essentials provided for you regularly you still might have to go through the distress of having the responsibly to pick up a few items on occasion. You may find yourself on the way to a party and get a call from the host asking you to get buns and chips for the other guests. “No problem,” you say – you’re on your way with a friend and with both of you on the case you can find your shit and not miss 10 minutes of the festivities. Think again. 9 times out of 10 your buddy with you will forfeit any and all responsibilities that surround entering the store and will likely leave all logical intellect in the parking lot. As soon as you pass through the sliding automatic doors you’ll say to your supposed non-mentally handicapped adult friend, “I’m gonna grab the buns, you get a couple bags of chips for the party.” The next words out of your friend’s mouth spew of ignorance and irresponsibility – “Where are the chips?” he says.  You respond:  “Listen Indiana Jones you’re gonna go on a little adventure and slowly walk through the front of the store for 30 seconds until you find the junk food aisle, I didn’t design the fucking building, but I’m enough of a genius to notice a giant sign in a designated area that says ‘pop and fucking CHIPS, you dumb shit’!”

So you go and find the bakery, pick out two-dozen fresh sesame seed buns, bag them and get to where the chips are in less than 2 minutes. But what do you find there? Your partner in crime looking at the same mini size bag of 25 percent less salt, no-name, regular potato chips that you know he’s been stared at since he started his pilgrimage to get one of the most popular and ample items in the store. He inevitably looks up to you and says with the a hesitate drawl like he’s been up all night hitting the bong – “these are goood.” You immediately relinquish all hope in your friend’s capabilities as a responsible human being and contemplate beating him to death with the shitty bag of flavourless chips he’s holding in his hand.

Thankfully if your parents didn’t spoon feed you till you were 30 you have the crucial decision-making skills needed to grab some Doritos and Lays off the shelves and put them in your basket.  As you make your way to the checkout lanes you notice that the one designated for 1-8 items has about 16 people all with a minimum of 8 products in their buggies. People see the word “fast lane” above that checkout and can only assume that no matter how many people are lined up it’s faster than the lane directly adjacent that is one customer deep with only 9 items to ring up.

Now you’ve reached the cash register. You thought you saw misery in the faces of the other customers but nothing could prepare you for the bleak, melancholy, wretched, loss of all things holy in the eyes of the 18-year-old girl ringing up your groceries. She looks like she’s been standing at the same exact site collecting money and handing back receipts for about 48 hours straight. I’ve seen 60-year-old crackhead prostitutes from downtown Hamilton with more of a feather in their cap than these young ladies.

When you walk out of the grocery store it’s like being released from a kidnapping. It’s great to see people again that aren’t all on the brink of a complete mental and physical breakdown, however you have this huge burden to carry with you and feel as if you’ve forcibly been put in terribly uncomfortable positions for an undetermined and unnecessarily strenuous period of time. It’s great to be home with your family again, but when the fridge has finally been packed and you lastly get the chance to the look at the surprisingly costly bill it is at that moment you realize you forgot about 10 absolutely essential items that you went to the godforsaken grocery store to get in the first place.

Written by shanedantimo

July 13, 2010 at 1:57 am