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Archive for August 2009

How Cooking Hijacked My Diet

Swedish Chef.  Bork

Swedish Chef. Bork

by Jonathan Bork Bork Perry

So, I’ve put a moratorium on the baking and cooking.  I was pleased with myself to finally be making non-sandwich food.  I’d done it before, just not so compulsively and not in a long while.  But here’s the conundrum:  Extra cooking means more eating and less weight loss.  My remedial chef skills are coming around (sort of) and it’s great to eat tasty junk you’ve made yourself.  However, this generally means fixing a dish or pan or something that might serve a hockey team, but I live alone, so I end up eating brownies for several days.  Or cake.  Or peach cobbler a la mode (All from boxes.  Don’t get too excited, mom.).

Now, I really have been trying to lose weight.  Between April and June, I lost 20 pounds.

Berry Cobbler-July 12

Berry Cobbler-July 12

So far, I’ve lost 30 pounds, as of today, actually, but based on my earlier trajectory I should have lost 50 pounds by now (I know it slows down as you get closer, but whatever). I started this whole kitchen self-improvement/domestication thing with the aforementioned baked goods as well as cooking falafel, pasta, and eggs, but it’s totally messed up my well-designed weight-loss plan.  Certainly I could freeze things or refrigerate them, but eh.  The stuff’s there calling my name.  I must answer, if only for research.

Cake-June 14. Went bad b4 I could eat it all

Cake-June 14. Went bad b4 I could eat it all

For years, I’ve eaten microwaveable meals from the likes of Weight Watchers or Lean Cuisine, even though I haven’t been in those diet programs (grocery stores carry the dinners). I still eat them regularly for maybe 25% of my meals. These portions are well-sized and usually fairly healthy. I generally eat well, with the huge exception of  desserts, especially chocolate.  I scarf that stuff down like a drowning person coming back up for air.  Still, I’ve even learned to control myself with the sugar stuff.

Falafel (not actually the batch I made)

Falafel (not actually the batch I made)

So, what have I learned from all this?  I’ve learned to pace myself with the cooking and baking, to try cooking some more healthy foods (possibly inedible sounding stuff), to not be afraid to freeze things (I wasted a third of a cake because I didn’t freeze it), and that I should work on my self-control, especially when it comes to baked goods still warm and gooey from the oven.  Mmmm.  Oh, and maybe I could take some excess food to work and pawn it off on the coworkers, or something.  Doing these things should help me strike a balance between eating healthy and being the Swedish Chef.

non-magical brownies-June 27

non-magical brownies-June 27

Related Reading:

Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor: Step #4. Learn To Cook

My Bachelor Weight Loss Secrets: Sticking It To The Terrorists

Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor: Steps 8 & 9. Proper Socialization/Throw Parties

Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor: Step #3. Shape Up, Fatty

Stuffed French Toast By Sam The Cooking Guy

Oral History Fixation Cooking

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My Brother Is NOT My Dad, But Thanks!

by Jonathan Biped Perry

Last summer. Jay's not that much taller. Maybe an inch or 2. He's wearing thicker shoes & perhaps standing on his toes.

Last summer. Jay's not that much taller. Maybe an inch or 2. He's wearing thicker shoes & perhaps standing on his toes.

I’m two years older than my brother Jay, but for the last several years people have assumed that he is the older brother.  At least since college.  It may be because he has a professional job where he has to wear a suit, however much he may try not to (when I wear suits to work people ask if I have a job interview and look at me suspiciously).  Jay may seem older because he’s more of an Alpha.  It may also be that he has a wife and a son, whereas I have cupboards full of chocolate and still talk about getting a rock band together.  But it is possible that people think he’s older because he looks older.  His hairline has receded more than mine (though he still has a fine head of hair) and I’m not sure that he’s discovered the magic (or vanity) of facial exfoliation and moisturizer (I only use a little.  I’m not too weird.).

Last Christmas Jay and his family and I vacationed together in CA to see our living ancestors and random members of the family tree.  After a Christmas church service, a man I was talking to made a reference to my father visiting with me.  He was actually talking about my younger brother Jay standing right behind me!  I couldn’t believe it.  How excellent is this?  I suspect that the old chap had poor vision or there were strange shadows across Jay’s face that aged him 30 years, or maybe he just misspoke, but it was still wild to hear!  At least for me.  Jay wasn’t so keen.  This will certainly be one of those annoying things I’ll bring up for decades to come.  “Jay, remember that Christmas when the guy thought you were my dad?  That was awesome!”

For years when we were growing up people often thought Jay and I were twins, though it may have been mostly because they were only seeing us from a distance and maybe the twin talk was more in a fraternal twin sort of way.  I could see that.  We do look a lot alike.  But having my younger brother mistaken for my father is killer and I don’t suppose I’ll ever let Jay live that one down.  Now, if I can only get people to think my youngest brother Chris is my mom, that would be swell.

Have you had weird experiences like this?

Related Reading:

Ignoring Adult Responsibilities

Being An Uncle

Dating Advice From The Family

Family Advice: A Reversal (Sort Of)

Will Your Siblings Use Up The Good Names?

Men Without Cats

Couples vs Singles: Socialization

Changing Your Relationship Status On A Social-Networking Site

Esperanto Rhymes With Tonto

Bachelors in History

Valentine’s Day Shame

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Google-Stalking Before A First Date

My favorite video blogger and girl next door, Brigitte Dale, ponders ‘e-stalking‘ (aka Google-Stalking) as a way to find the goods on your upcoming date.  As a paranoid person, she supports e-stalking, while the last issue of Wired magazine is against it.  This is similar to my article, Google-Stalking The Ex, except she’s talking about the first date and not the ex.  See her video below, then read my article like 5 times, if only to inflate the number of hits to my site.  Thanks.  (I’m kidding.  You’d have to actually reload the page 5 times for there to be 5 hits, so you might as well read 5 different articles.  Or just click through all 77 posts.)

Related Reading:

Google-Stalking the Ex

Celebrity Crushes: The Girl Next Door

Celebrity Crushes: Is Elegance Elitist?

Bachelor Secrets 1- Why Are They Single?

Bachelor Secrets 2-Dating Habits

Online Dating:  Should You Try It?

World Of Warcraft…Dating?

Brigitte Dale And Nice Guys

Dating Advice From The Family

Family Advice: A Reversal (Sort Of)

Dating Satisfaction Survey

Changing Your Relationship Status On A Social-Networking Site

Which is Your Type? A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz

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Depeche Mode And High School Girls

by Jonathan Belarus Perry

depechemode violator enjoy the silenceWhen I was in high school in the late 80s & early 90s, I was introduced to Depeche Mode by 3 girls:  Julie, Kristi, and Sonya.  For my last 3 years of high school, I attended a private boarding academy in Texas where, instead of proms and dances, we had banquets.  Instead of a Prom Queen & a Prom King, we had a Courtesy Queen & a Courtesy King (The school was so small that I was Courtesy King 2 years and my dates those years were the Courtesy Queens.  I’m really writing this post so you’ll know that.  So shameless.).  The poor kids who lived in the dorms were forbidden to have recorded music of any kind, including radios.  Fortunately for me, my folks taught at the school, so my brother and I lived with them for two years and could have music at home and run around at will.  My last year at the school, my parents moved away for other work and my brother Jay and I stayed and lived in the dorm.  Of course, we snuck in our music.  Jay cleverly disemboweled an old chemistry book, cutting out the center of the pages, concealing inside a thin radio.  That was pretty awesome.

Now, this being Texas, one might expect country music to be more popular with the kids, and I suppose there was some of that, but amongst most of my friends, there was a preference for Hair Metal and New Wave.  I liked the New Wave.  My first introduction to Depeche Mode came from Julie, a dorm student, who was a year ahead of me in school.  We hung around some, went to a banquet together, and once when we were walking out at the football field, she played music for me on her contraband Walkman (For the super young, a Walkman is a small portable device that plays cassette tapes.  If you don’t know about cassette tapes, Google it.).  The tape she played was “Music For The Masses” by Depeche Mode.  It had only been out a year or so.  I don’t recall which songs she played, but I knew right away I liked it.  I thought the music was well written, largely in minor keys, and had a great synthesized symphonic sound with strong counterpoint and lyrics of longing and darkness.  Or something.  Kind of gothy.  Sweet tunes, anyway.  It was fantastic and I needed a copy.  Being young, not driving yet, and living in the boonies made it difficult for me to acquire the album in store, so it was suggested that one of the other ‘village’ kids could copy it for me.  Kristi lived in town, had the album, and hooked me up.  She used purple ink and had really nice handwriting.  I still have that tape somewhere in a shoebox.  (I should add, for legal purposes, that I’ve purchased a few copies of the album since, so I should be ok, right?)  “Music For the Masses” became one of my favorite albums.

The next year, when I was junior, I started hanging out with Sonya, who was a senior.  Sonya was beautiful and sweet and graceful and had her own convertible and sometimes we’d drive around the lake and talk.  I had a big crush on her and think she kind of liked me, but I was pretty shy, inexperienced, and a little daunted by her, so even if something might have happened between us, it didn’t.  On those drives around the lake she’d play music, introducing me to all kinds of good stuff, including older Def Leppard.  She also played me “Catching Up With Depeche Mode“.  This album was essentially the band’s early greatest hits record, collecting the best tracks off their first few albums.  There were silly poppy songs, some normal, followed by weird sexual songs, then sweet love tunes, and a dark one called “Blasphemous Rumours“.  Some of the music on the album made me feel a little dirty, like I’d eaten from the bad tree in the garden, but it was just music, right?  Sonya would talk about each song and what it meant to her.  That was the best.  She even made a copy of the album for me.  (Honestly, I actually do own copies of CDs, Cassettes, DVDs, and VHS tapes from the band now.  The free stuff was like a gateway drug.)

Later that year I got a girlfriend, not Sonya, and Sonya and I didn’t hang out as much.  Then Sonya and my girlfriend graduated.  Somewhere in the middle of all this, Depeche Mode came out with the album “Violator” and the excellent single “Enjoy The Silence“, which I could sing just like Dave Gahan.  This was it.  I’d been primed and matched up with the music I liked in real time.  At the earliest opportunity, I got my parents to take me to a mall in a town 40 minutes away where I bought my own copy of “Violator“.

I suppose that even if the girls hadn’t introduced me to the band, I still would have found Depeche Mode on my own and become a big fan.  I’m not sure what is was with the Texas high school girls and Depeche Mode, but I feel pretty lucky to have been at the right place at the right time.  The band is still together after 30some years (with a few lineup changes), sometimes even putting out a decent album, and though it’s been a long time, whenever I hear the song “Somebody”, I think fondly of Sonya sitting behind the wheel of her car, the fading sun on her face, as she sings “I want somebody who cares for me passionately, with every thought and with every breath”…

Tenuously Related Reading:

Valentine’s Day Shame

Google-Stalking The Ex

Logan’s Run & Population Control

World Of Warcraft…Dating?

Bachelors In History

Sound Of Music Death Match!!! Liesl v Maria

Kitten Of Evil

Celebrity Crushes: The Girl Next Door

Which Is Your Type? A Pseudo-Cosmo Quiz

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