18 June 2012

Pudding for Breakfast: A cautionary choose your own adventure novella

My alarm was set for 6:30 today because I had too much to do in the morning. I had:
  1. A friend's dog to walk.
  2. A session with a personal trainer.
This two items more than usual.

So of course, with my alarm set for 6:30, I got out of bed around 7:50. Amazing morning. I almost got out of bed right at 6:30, but thought, fuck I deserve a little extra rest. I was then treated to the most amazing half-awake listen of The Weather by Built to Spill and dreamed about the poor trials of fictional German baseball writer and erstwhile prestigious university student and his sad exclusion from the department of mathematics at the hands of an uncaring dean. Plus his name was said to have translated to "honest Englishman".

So in my groggy haze I realized I had a grand total of 10 minutes more than usual to accomplish an infinite precent increase in my usual morning routine.

This meant breakfast as we knew it was straight out. On my workout days I'll typically eat oatmeal and an egg. This is a nutritious breakfast that prepares the body well for an intense workout. This morning I knew things had to be different.

So I ate lemon pudding.

This was no ordinary lemon pudding. But lemon pudding I made last night, from scratch, spontaneously. Do you know how easy it is to make pudding from scratch? It's easy. You probably have all the ingredients, except maybe corn starch, but you probably do have it.

Seriously how does pudding mix sell?*

So after eating my pudding, I walked the dog, even finding an amazing parking spot easily. (Sometimes I'm lucky). Mentally, I tried to prepare myself for what I'd say if my trainer asked me what I ate for breakfast. Could I really say lemon pudding? I mean I could say eggs and milk, because, well, those were ingredients. But also so was more-refined-sugar-by-unit-volume-than-lemon-juice. And that's bad for you, says health. As Soco was once described to me by a man with a doctorate, "It will rot you gut." This was rot your gut stuff. Oatmeal will not rot your gut.

So I went to the gym, visions of puking up lemon pudding dancing through my head (these workouts are intense, ok!?). Rowing machines, squats, hill runs. These are the things I didn't ralph during.

But on the whiteboard normally reserved for uplifting motivational things: "You can't exersize your way out of a bad diet!"

Well fuck me!

*Pudding mix sells because it's remarkably uniform. As much as I love my pudding I could see being offput by an egg tendril or some burned clump of milk, sugar, and corn starch.

17 June 2012

Baseball update: Featuring the Juvenile Bears of Chicago

  1. Baseballer Reed Johnson spat, as baseballers are wont to do. However, he spat in his soul-patch-that-becomes-a-vertical-beard-strip.
  2. Player of first base Bryan LaHair has a very short buzzcut.

07 June 2012

Best Bathrooms: 2012 Award Ceremony Post

5. Laadla, Seattle
Some know Laadla as the bar-in-the-back-of-an-Indian restaurant that I have described in absolute glowing terms, only to have described back to me, using mostly the same words, in absolutely non-glowing terms. The scholars can debate whether the record collection of one of the bartenders offsets the casual smoke breaks taken by another one of the bartenders. What's not up for debate is the bathroom, which has a urinal covered with the grossest, something-spattered plastic seem by mankind and a machine that uses mechanical energy to vend 50-cent condoms. Best part: this bathroom is not exclusive to the bar, but shared with the restaurant, which advertises candlelight dining. Sure.

4. Agricultural Engineering North, UMass Amherst
In this dilapidated old building, built in 1918, there are legit floor-to-ceiling urinals. These beasts are in pristine condition. I feel like I'm peeing on art and the floor at the same time. Lovely.

3. The Eastlake Zoo, Seattle
Two words: trough urinal. I'm a fan of these wonderful devices, which could also double as a way to provide water to horses. But not at the same time as normal use.

I like this one because there's a chalkboard mounted above it, which fulfills everyone's graffiti instinct without the mess. Yet there's no chalk.

Amidst all this trough-urination and legitimized vandalism: hands-free paper towel dispensers! Score one for health.

2. 4th Floor Chadbourne Hall, UMass
As an esteemed and highly educated professional in the environmental engineering field (who might be my father) noted, "You could drop a shit in those urinals".

The toilet stall closest to the window provides a nice view while you poo. (Also occasional debate about the baby boomers' contributions to music).

1. Victory Lounge, Seattle
An incredibly easy choice for first prize. As you walk into this restroom you realize you have two choices. One of them is a bed of icecubes separated by a low wall. This is the trough urinal taken to its logical end. Yeah this is where you're supposed to relieve your bladder. On some random ice on the floor. Is there a drain down there? I sure hope so. For extra points try to melt an entire cube.

What if you have other objectives? Very barely separated from this space is the most cramped toilet stall you'll ever find. Want to lock the door? Tough shit, but that will hardly be necessary as 1) Your head will be sticking out, observing those icing their piss 2) You'll be holding it closed with your horribly compressed knees.

Is it any wonder that these magnificent commodes are split between dive bars and a major four-year research university? If I were UMass facilities, my heart would glow with pride to know I stacked up against some of Seattle's most classy drinking establishments.

Note that these establishments are all located in the United States. Not discussed here are pop-a-squat toilets, which I was able to avoid during a increasingly less recent trip to the People's Republic of China. Any dining establishment that integrates these into its restroom experience could easy find themselves shooting up the way to to number one in this list.

Congrats to all our contestants!