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The Bachelor Goat Who Liked To Eat: A Cautionary Tale

(To be recited in an elegant English accent or Suessian manner near a big red barn, overlooking grazing goats, while standing on your head in the mud, until the farmer chases you off his property with a shotgun.) There once was a young goat named Gatsby the Bleater, who never stopped feeding, he was such a big eater. Read the rest of this entry »

Berry Smoothie and the Magic Blender

by Jonathan Berry Perry

Violet & the Oompa Loompas

A few weeks back the stars aligned.  First, mom gave me her old avocado-green blender, which is totally 1970s chic and probably older than I am, but it still works.  Then, I started on a berry kick.  Most notably a blueberry kick.  Berries, especially blueberries, are supposed to be good for the brain, are loaded with fiber, vitamins, and nutrients, and have a boatload of antioxidants which act as ninjas to fight free radicals which cause cancer and other junk.  Ninjas!

Good stuff.  So I started scarfing blueberries by the handful and sprinkling them in my cereal until there were more blueberries than Mini-Wheats (I’d been eating cereal for other, non-breakfast, meals, so I had berries coming out my ears.  Blue milk in your cereal is pretty wicked, too.  I have not turned blue yet like that wicked child in Willy Wonka‘s chocolate factory).  I like most berries, being multi-berry tolerant, so I gradually added other types of berries to my blueberried cereal:  blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries.  If the market carried more weirdly named berries like gooseberries, lingonberries or boysenberries, I’d try those in a second.  Are there goat berries?  There totally should be.  No Marionberries for me, though (There really is a Marionberry, but it‘s not named after the nose candy dude.  I‘d try it if I could find it.  Oh, and the Marionberry is a blackberry.).

This brings me to the crazy awesome berry smoothie.  I’ve been making loads of them lately.  I know I’m late to the smoothie game, I didn’t invent them, and everyone else probably already makes them like pros all the time in their sleep at work, but I’m still quite excited.  I also beat McDonald’s to the punch (so McD‘s can bite me.  Also, your jingle sucks.).  I’m not selling them like McD’s, though, so I guess, we’re not really rivals.  Anymore.

I’ve been using the smoothies as meals and desserts, increasing my fruit intake and decreasing my processed sugar and caloric intake (hopefully) while consuming hearty goodness.  They taste fantastic and they’re super easy to make (I mean, if you have a blender).  In fact, they’re even kind of fun to make because you can experiment with strange tastes and throw different fruits into your mix to create interesting combinations and you can really do no wrong, as long as you like the way it tastes and don‘t die from, like, adding a poison mushroom accidentally to the recipe (though if you‘re adding mushrooms to your fruit smoothies, God help you).

I mentioned my new found smoothie operation to some friends and one of the girls asked if I was using a Vita Mix, which is apparently a pretty awesome piece of blending equipment that specializes in zombie brain smoothies.  I admitted to having an Osterizer that’s perhaps 40 years old with dull blades that would do a poor job on the smooth muscles of a brain and anyway I‘m a vegetarian.  And not a zombie.  The ancient Osterizer sits on the kitchen counter next to my 40 year-old Kitchen Aid mixer in some sort of appliance convalescence.  Another girl, feeling sagey, said that when an appliance is older than you, it’s probably a good idea to upgrade.  Resisting the urge to pull her hair, I pointed out that so far I’m only squishing fruits and berries into a tasty drinkable food substance and would probably be ok for the time being or at least until I start a small kitchen fire.

However, newly intrigued by the possibility of acquiring a nifty magic piece of equipment to change food from solids to liquids, from chewable to drinkable, I decided to buy a new blending device.  The blades would be sharp , the container made of glass, the buttons awesome, and it would look pretty excellent in my bachelor kitchen.  First, I had to do a little research.

Right away I found that the Vita Mix blenders sell in the $400-500 range, so that was a no go, since I‘m saving up to one day buy the Golden Gate Bridge.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re considered to be the best and most powerful blenders on the market and maybe in another lifetime I’d spring for it, but not now.  No, I just want to destroy little berries and bananas and figured I could do it much more cheaply.

Instead, I went with an Oster, basically a great-great grandchild of the avocado-green one from mom.   Osters are among the best rated blenders not in the $500 range.  They’re usually under $100.  In this case there was a sale, plus I had a store discount, so I ended up getting the thing for under $40.  Score!

For most of the smoothies I make, there are basically 3 types of ingredients:  berries, bananas, and soy milk.  At the moment, I’m using low-fat vanilla-flavored almond milk which is good stuff.  I know there are people who aren’t into soy or almond or rice milk, and are thinking “Dude, give me the real stuff.“, and if that’s the case, cow’s milk works fine (though there‘s some cholesterol and you‘re totally going to die).

I blend the milk and banana together before I start throwing in the berries.  Next, I usually add any frozen berries or fruit.  These frozen berries are great because they help make your smoothie nice and cold from the outset, also the flash-frozen fruit is supposed to preserve the precious nutrients better than berries sitting on the produce shelf for weeks.  I probably use ½ cup of frozen blueberries and ½ cup of frozen strawberries, but I don‘t really measure cuz I‘m a rebel like that.  I could call this random lack of measurement a glob, like a pinch or smidgen, but much bigger.

After I’ve added the frozen stuff, I throw in rinsed non-funky berries (although funkyberries sound cool).  I’m not really sure how much goes in, but I kind of eyeball it and probably add another cup or more of all that.  You might even try adding yogurt.  There’s an abandoned raspberry gelato in my freezer that I don’t much care for, so I might chuck that in (These smoothies taste better than that raspberry gelato).  I usually reach 3 or 4 cups of smoothie, by this point, and since a serving of fruit is ½ cup,  allowing for the milk, this might come out to 5 to 7 servings of fruit.  I usually end up with 2 or 3 large glasses of smoothie.  I may or may not have added a 2nd banana just to be weird.

Ultimately, I want to branch out from the berries and try other fruit.  Experiment with pear.  Go crazy with coconuts.  Get goofy with guava.  I added a nectarine and a mango a few days ago and they were superb.  Last week I added some amino acid to the smoothie.  Why, you ask?  Because I’m off my rocker.  The amino acid is in the form of huge double-horse pills I bought a while back for weight lifting.  I’ll need to be sure to chop the pills up better next time because there were unpleasantly large chunks of amino acid pills in my smoothie.  Blech.  This was my least favorite batch of the junk.

Some people add bran (not brain), whey, and other random healthy stuff to their smoothies.  I’ll have to mess around with these and see if they‘re not completely loathsome.  I’ve had good results with wheat germ and flaxseed and spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.  Otherwise, the basic berry smoothie recipe is easy, very tasty, and quite good for you.  And I haven’t turned blue yet.

What smoothie combos do you like?

The secret made-up compound word is Funkyberries

Related Foodish Posts:

Easter Recipe:  Mom’s Creamed Eggs and Croutons

9 Foods I Might As Well Move To The Bomb Shelter

Secret Ingredients & Family Recipes

How Cooking Hijacked My Diet

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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State of the Bachelor Address: July

by Sir Jonathan Boniface Perry

My fellow blog readers, we do not harass Caesar with tickle fights to haze him, but to Epilady him because he’s Mediterranean and obviously pretty hairy (Mediterranean men recognize their condition and are not offended.  Especially Caesar.).  Yea, verily, here’s the state of the bachelor:  Hungry!  No, really, here it is:

1. Whenever the theme song for “The Office” plays, I make up another song on the spot and sing it over the top of the theme.  Sometimes there are lyrics which may or may not include “Shake your butt.  Shake your butt, baby.”  I’m working on that.  On a related note, I’m sad to hear that Steve Carell plans to leave the show at the end of next season.  Bummer.

2. Last week I was accidentally subscribed to Ladies Home Journal.  Also Parents Magazine and Family Circle.  Probably a sweepstakes entry gone bad, though I don’t rule out a clever prank.  My issue of Family Circle arrived in the mail today.  Really, I did cancel them.

3. Found a dead bird.  1st bird this year.  3 last year.  My yard might be cursed.  I also suspect vuvuzelas.  Or soccer in general.  I left the bird because it was on the edge of the yard and had already been sitting several days.  It smelled a bit & its little claws were sticking up all twig-like.  I mowed around it, so there’s a small square patch unmowed on the side of my front lawn being fertilized a special way.

4. Yes, I realize DB could also stand for Douche Bag.  Oy.

5. I traced several lines of ancestors back into Switzerland for a few hundred years to as early as the 1500s. Crazy awesome! That’s 500 years!  Didn’t know we had any Swiss.  I knew about a few of our German lines, as well as Chippewa, Cherokee, likely Welsh and Dutch, but not about the Swiss.  Still haven’t found how my dad might be related to Benjamin Franklin.  (More to come later on this genealogy business.  Probably.)

6. Average daily blog hits in June- over 100!

7. Found a great Belgian Chocolate Gelato sold by the pint at the supermarket.  Need to quit buying it so I can lose weight.

8. (Update on nicknaming post.) a)Darrin at work has started calling me Pretty Pretty Princess.  Retribution is required.  b)I’m trying out other nicknames for Paul J. who was non-plussed by the nickname Paulina.  Paolo was also apparently inadequate.  I’m thinking Polyglot or something else with Poly-.  Maybe Polymer (not Polyamorous).  c)Still need a good nickname for Randy besides Bookie and Wizzer (not a spelling error from me).  Randalina doesn’t quite do it.  Maybe the Great Randini. d) Nickname for Dave Micek, DJ Mice K, is still super awesome!

9.Today, the aforementioned Apollo Polyglot at work guessed I was only 27 years old (he’s 10 yrs off).   This, of course, rocks.  Not sure whether this guess was based on my maturity or if my vampire white skin is paying off.

10. Need to renew my passport for that cruise in Dec.  It needs to be valid for 6 months after the trip, but mine would only be good for 5 1/2 months after.  Oh, hey, I’m taking a cruise.  I’ll sunburn in style.

11. I now have over 13,000 songs on my iPod!  Sure, a few hundred tracks are chapters of audio books.  Sure, I had to finally upload a few of those Mozart CDs last night that had been sitting around unused for a few years.  Sure, 135 of those tracks are of my own poorly recorded music and of those maybe 30 are duplicates.  Do I have a 2-disc set of a Bulgarian women’s folk choir singing Bulgarian folk songs leftover from a world music binge in the ’90s?  Yes, I do.  But I’ve reached a special milestone.  If you figure that each album averages 10 tracks, this would mean I should have about 1,300 albums.   According to my iTunes it would take 35 days to listen to this 58GB of songs.  Will I listen to all of these songs straight through uninterrupted over those 35 days?  I will not in a boat with a goat.  But I can, if I wish to kill myself that way.  Also, there is chocolate gelato.

12. Thwarted a kitchen invasion by ants last week.  They were probably displaced by the recent heavy rains.  I gassed my house with poison that probably was the cause of my subsequent sickness.

13. Put down 120 lbs of topsoil near the foundation of the house to fill low spots that were pooling with water during those heavy rains.  Need more.  A little water was leaking into the basement.  On a positive note, I could set-up a Slip-and-Slide in the garage.

In conclusion, that is the recent state of the bachelor.  Will there be changes?  Probably.  Will they be snail-paced?  Most certainly.   Will you have a good Independence Day/July 4th Holiday?  I hope so.  May the force be with you.

The secret word is Polyphonic

A Similar List:

My 25 Humanoid Things

Related Links:

Nicknaming Your Friends For Fun (and Revenge)

Other Linky Links:

Will Your Siblings Use Up The Good Names?

A Photographic Memory

Children, Braid Your Nosehairs

Couples vs Singles: Socialization

Bachelors In History

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Hibernation Time: Breaking The 40 Pound Barrier

It's hibernation time

As you may or may not know, I’ve been shedding pounds like snake skin since last April.  It had a little to do with improving self-confidence, especially around quiet bookish girls, and I’ve kept at it.  I lost 25 pounds pretty quickly (in 12 weeks), and eked my way to 30 lbs by Labor Day, but it’s been slow going since.  I’ve even lost another 6-7-8 pounds, depending on the day.  That means as much as 38 lbs total since April (today is a fat day, so it might only be 36 lbs right now).  I’ve hit a wall, though.  I can’t quite break the 40 pound barrier.  Inspirations and motivations have waned steadily the last few months and that might have contributed to my stagnation.  Also, my front lawn has become tundra and I seem to have rediscovered sugar (mostly chocolate).

Being a few pounds shy of 40 pounds for 2-3 months is a bummer, but I did well not fattening up for the holidays.  In fact, when I was in CA visiting family for Christmas, I went on several walks in my grandparents’ neighborhood.  This, of course, was a necessary therapy that kept me from madness around certain relations, but it also kept me from becoming the Christmas goose.  In fact, I weighed in thinner than both my brothers for the first time in forever which is pretty awesome.  Now that my birthday is next week, Groundhog Day, even, I feel it’s my duty to force the issue and finally reach the mythical 40 pounds by my birthday, even if I have to starve myself that last 36 hrs.  I’m pretty sure I could do it.  It’s 3-4 pounds in about 7 days, so it’ll be close, but I’ve done it before. It would be a cool birthday present.

Hitting those round marks is great.  20 pounds.  25.  30.  35.  By April Fools I’d like to hit 50 pounds.  Heck, why not by St. Patrick’s Day?  Oh, the dream of thinness lives on.  Getting those good abs back by summer would be swell.  From there, who knows.  Maybe Gandhi-chic.

The secret word is bear.

Related Reading:

How Cooking Hijacked My Diet

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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Domesticated Bachelor RESOLUTIONS For 2010

Happy New Year and junk! 2008 and 2009 were great years for me.  I made swell strides in personal improvement:  bought a house, changed jobs for the first time in 9 years, lost almost 40 pounds, finished writing a book, started this blog, and dated a few good-looking and fascinating (if unhappy) women.  2010 is promising and I hope to take a hearty chunk out of its hopeful offerings.  Here’s my (public) list of resolutions for the new year (the private list may or may not include shameful notions like ‘Online Dating’,  ‘Invisalign’, and job advancement.  Yes, the public list is shameful, too.).

  1. Get below 200 pounds for the first time since just after college (Allow for muscle tone & abs.  If there’s good muscle tone and a nice 6 pack, then just over 200 pounds is fine and not bad for a 6 footer built like a linebacker.  Or me.).   I could totally do it by summer.  Maybe.
  2. Get more sleep.  Unless I’m hanging out with attractive women until the wee hours, there’s no reason I should exhaust myself and make my brain dull and eyes red (though bloodshot brings out the blue in my eyes).  This may mean more hopeful cocktails of Melatonin & Tylenol PM.  Of course insomnia is insomnia.
  3. Save more and invest more.  $$ x $$= $$$$$$
  4. Be more confident & fearless.  Don’t care what people think (like the unhappy, uber-critical, pretty good-looking girl-woman I was sorta kinda not dating for 6 months who teased me a few times for not being manly enough.  Man, I miss her.).  Also, don’t overshare feelings, especially with uber-critical women.
  5. Be more manly & rugged.  (ok, yeah.  So I’d like to be a bit more dude-ish, but not in an obvious, obnoxious, pandering to the critics sort of way).  I’ll still listen to the Pet Shop Boys.
  6. Do one major home project:  new siding, update a bathroom or the kitchen (by ‘do’, I mean pay someone skilled to ‘do’ this project).
  7. Do 2 minor home projects:  trim, doorway casing, paint stuff.
  8. Plant at least one new tree on my property.  Front yard 1st.  Maybe a Birch or Japanese Maple.  Maybe both.  Also an evergreen.  That sounds like 3.
  9. Do some landscaping.  Flagstone walkway.  Sunken garden in the low corner of the backyard.  Junk like that.
  10. Learn a manly skill or 2, like wiring a new light fixture or building a built-in bookcase.  Or join a fantasy football league.  It shouldn’t be as exhausting as the daily fantasy baseball league I was in for 2 years.
  11. Do more cool adventurous sorts of things:  whitewater rafting, backpacking, large hill climbing, long trail hiking.  Canoeing the boundary waters (if there are showers).
  12. Be more sociable & less reclusive.  More Jay Gatsby, less Ted Kaczynski.  Also, make friends.
  13. Date more frequently & less stressfully.  More irons in the fire reduce the chance that a single iron will burn you.  Or something dumb.
  14. Finish writing one of the books I’ve been puttering around in.  I’ve been chipping away at 3 or 4 books, but get distracted easily.  One project has 22 pages of notes, but only 7 pages of written product.  What’s up with that?
  15. Resume writing music.  Finish some songs.  Maybe learn to use the Pro Tools recording software I bought in ’08 right before I bought the house.  (If ever tempted to write a song for a girl again, sleep on it a few days first and be sure it’s finished and not incredibly dorky.  Or containing dark humor.  Dangit.)
  16. Waste less time.  This includes spending less pointless time online or wasting too much time on wishy-washy women, however much you dig them and can’t get over them.
  17. If all else fails, follow the 11 Steps To Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor.

(Again, I am not actually a Domesticated Bachelor.  I just play one in my mind.)

What resolutions do you goats have for 2010?

Related Reading:

11 Steps To Becoming A Domesticated Bachelor

Unrelated Awesome Reads:

Google-Stalking The Ex

Logan’s Run & Population Control

Valentine’s Day Shame

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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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 Bachelor Weight Loss Secrets:
Stickin’ It To The Terrorists

weights russian

by Jonathan Beanpole Perry

I’m pleased to say that over the last 12 weeks or so I’ve lost 25 pounds!  (I sort of had to starve myself the last few days to drop those last 2 pounds, despite a huge nacho craving, but I did it!)  Otherwise, no magic tricks.  No feathers (though I was inexplicably sick a few days).  This weight loss has been from a mix of diet and exercise.  I’ve had less sugar and fewer desserts (I’m a big chocolate ice cream freak), smaller meal portions, and replaced a few dinners a week with shredded wheat bran cereals, which I’ve suffered through stoically (I’m very brave.  And regular.).

I’ve been taking lots of walks around the neighborhood and am now on the neighborhood watch list.  I also walk to the park or lake, and do some cycling at home as well as a 10 minute weight-lifting regimen every other day.  In fact, I’ve gained muscle weight, so really I might have lost like, say, 28 pounds of fat and gained 3 pounds of muscle (might be some brain mass loss, too). It’s nifty to need smaller pants and a new belt.  I could wear the old pants and do that whole lowrider pants hanging above the butt thing, but would probably trip and die.

Not my Hobbit feet

Not my Hobbit feet

I haven’t been down to this weight level since 2001.  That year I went to Germany with my uncle and cousins for 3 weeks and lost a few pounds.  A few weeks later, the Twin Towers were destroyed.  I’d like to blame the terrorists for that ensuing weight gain (coincidence?  I think not.).  But I’ve lost all that weight again.  I’m still not at my college weight, which I may not reach, but losing another 25-35 pounds would be super.  That should put me near the upper range of normal for my height.  That’ll show the terrorists.

Every so often I’ll lose a few pounds, just to tease myself.  “Oh, look!  I’m losing weight!  Yay!”  (Muppet hands waving).  Then, dejectedly, “Oh, no.  Shamu.”  I seem to lose the most weight when I go on vacation or travel to a foreign country for a few weeks, especially if there’s hardcore tourism involved or very few places with veggie food (Britain had lots of veggie food, so the weight loss must have been from that crazy UK itinerary tracking down all those cathedrals and doing laps around them).  I’ve lost the most weight when I’ve been particularly motivated.  Feeling better, being healthier and better looking (for the womenz) are huge motivators.  I’d like to go swimming again without feeling self-conscious, though I’d still be super pale.  I’d also like to become that Domesticated Bachelor dude I keep hearing about on this awesome blog.

whale cakeOff and on for a few years I took that Hydroxycut weight-loss supplement at the suggestion of my youngest brother Chris who’d had success losing weight with it.  I had no perceptible weight change using Hydroxycut.  Fortunately, I was undisciplined enough to use less than two bottles over 5 years.  Little did I know he was secretly trying to kill me.  You’ll get your comeuppance, Chris!  After it had been removed from the market for causing liver damage and death (goody), I notified my brother, who, only fearing for his life a little, suggested I hold on to the bottle, in case any remuneration was offered (he didn’t actually use that word).  So, it’s still there, lingering in my medicine cabinet. Waiting.

Anyway, I lost weight without a miracle drug, so yay for me!  I hope to keep losing it for a while and one day be normal again (weight-wise).  For now, I think I’ll go celebrate and bake a cake.  Maybe make some nachos.

Further Reading:

11 Steps: #3- Shape Up, Fatty

11 Steps: #2- The Right Wardrobe

11 Steps: #4- Learn To Cook

11 Steps: #5- Travel The World

Holiday Chocolate

11 Steps: #s 8 & 9: Proper Socialization/Throw Parties

Oral History Fixation Cooking

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