Fat Kid Suit


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stick a label on me, spread the bull-shit thick, manipulate everyone around you

I’m sick. Physically, mentally, and socially.

Fizz:ical (PX)

Tuberculin Zone Ahead

 

Seems I picked up some kind of lung thing in Mexico.  Despite heavy doses of miracle powders ranging from deep forest mushrooms to marine algae–I still look and feel horror show.  The other physical malefactor being stress from work issues I don’t want to elaborate on, and my own piteous incapacity to handle life…

 

gone Mental ( -MH )

Children who don’t sleep at night are creepy birds.  I was one of those wide-eyes, and it wasn’t/isn’t a hoot.

FML

So much seems to be about sync, records just don’t play right if spun even a little too slow or fast.  My reset button was intense exercise, which is unfortunate, due to pernicious injury I spend a lot of time sidelined.  If I wasn’t eating as healthfully as I am now and drinking as little–I’d be sunk at the bottom of the deep end of the depression pool.

Social defunct (S&M)

Being immune-compromised, exhausted, and synapse taxed makes it toilsome to be around others.  If you have ever worked in “the service industry” you know how unserviceable many of the bloated, baffled, boring, and banal who stumble through are.

Lately I've been lacking in flair.

Here in Palm Springs California, most of the tourist look as if just seconds before someone smashed them in the face with a baseball bat.  Stunned and confused they want me to make them a drink identical to the swill they drink back home at their neighborhood Applebee’s or Tweedledicks.

It’s painful even pretending to be interested as they tell their grating stories or stammer about how they don’t really mind homos as long as they don’t make a show of it or act, you know, too gay.  And then I’m supposed be funny,  endearing even, while I cater to their every piggish whim running back and forth for diet coke refills and extra ranch dressing.

Looking for a bridge to live under

Beyond the food service thing, I am fighting to find a way to communicate with people that doesn’t feel like it is sucking the life out of me.

TOTALLY legit


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Why I Don’t Want To Dig Ditches Anymore

I live very simply.  I have no debt and my expenses are minimal.  It’s pretty much rent, my iphone, food and fun.  I know a lot of people aren’t in that position and have kids, mortgages, car payments, hospital bills, college loans, and credit card debt.  I feel for you if that is your situation.  I’ve been there, minus the kids.

Bike NOT For Sale

Now, while I don’t have debt and a lot of bills, it’s worth noting I also have zero savings or investments of any kind.  I always have some cash in a drawer or shoe, and that’s it.  My 1987 BMW has over 250,000 miles. Someone might give me a thousand bucks for it.  But it gets me around, and I only have to keep minimal liability insurance which costs me just a few hundred a year.  I have a cool fixed gear bike that I might get $500 for if I needed to part with it.  And that is IT!

And finally, I should note that I do not have health insurance, or life insurance, or anything resembling it.

A lot of people would be extremely uncomfortable with this scenario.  I guess there are many ways of looking at it.  I am not in this situation because I am extra thrifty, or because I never had credit.  I am in this situation because I had all that, and now it’s gone.  Like a lot of people, I’ve lost money, and stuff , and credit the past three or four years.  I gotta say, it feels great.  I feel like instead of losing anything I’ve gained a feeling of freedom and increased mobility.

That said, I am ready to figure out how to really use my situation to my advantage and free myself from working at a job in order to pay my most basic sustenance level expenses.

There are things about my job (tending bar in a little Italian restaurant) that I enjoy.  On a busy night there is a rush involved in handling an overcapacity bar and restaurant. I enjoy a degree of interaction with the public, although spending five nights a week catering to people’s needs is too much.  But whether you make drinks, wait tables, mow lawns, or sit behind a desk that belongs to someone else–this kind of work is all ultimately the same.  I call it digging ditches.  Someone needs a ditch dug.  They pay you to dig it.  And every day, no matter how many ditches you’ve dug before, you dig another.

We are all digging…

 

There is nothing wrong with digging ditches.  I want to go out for a nice meal occasionally.  For that to happen there need to be competent people in the kitchen and taking my order.  But I am not funding school, buying a Camaro, or feeding children.  I feel like in my case, I should be able to find a way, or a combination of things, that I can do to pay such basic expenses and free myself to spend more time writing, traveling, or whatever else I’m into. Without digging ditches, or mixing drinks.

I’m not sure how to do this.  I know people buy and sell stuff on eBay and craigslist.  I make a little money doing freelance editing for a financial writer.  I could do more of that type of thing.  But that is really just more ditch-digging.  My brain is searching for totally new ways to look at this, it is 2011 and it seems like all the technology around us can be harnessed in ways maybe we don’t even realize yet.  I will keep you all posted.


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90 day natural fitness challenge: DAY ONE! Hiking hungover…

“Ringing” in the New Year by drinking, is at best strange, and at worst just stupid.

I was the guy dispensing the booze all last night, so I didn’t actually start drinking until after the party goers left the bar.  And when I say “left” I mean grownups crying, cussing, and falling down on the way back to their cars or cabs…

Some highlights of my New Years Eve:

  • A retarded crackhead couple (I’m not being funny–I’m serious) who snuck into the party just a few minutes before the ball dropped.  Just in time for free bubbly and to have me take their photo with the woman’s camera phone–A picture I would kill to have!
  • There was also a couple who reminded me of Sigfried & Roy–except they were straight.  Picture a trailer park version of Fabio making out with a female version of Fabio who has enormous breasts.  Which Fabio kinda has anyways…

  • A woman in her seventies kept beckoning me over with her finger (not bending me over…beckoning…) and she would say things to me like, “You have the most beautiful eyes, can I stick a star on your face?”  Wasn’t long before I had two or three big silver plastic stars stuck on my forehead and cheeks.  There is probably some old guy writing a blog right now about how there was an idiot bartender at his New Year’s party that was trying to look like Paul Stanley from KISS.

  • The piano player got so drunk from steady bourbon shots that at one point he just started screaming into the microphone “SUCK! SUCK! SUCK!…SLUTS! SLUTS! SLUTS!”
  • One of the guys who played a bartender on “The Love Boat” was at my bar!  Not Isaac, the white one.  He ended up becoming an actual bartender.  How weird is that…kinda like the “I play a Doctor on TV” thing.

So after all that, I had a couple shots of tequila myself, and they knocked me on my ASS!  Damn my tolerance has lowered dramatically since I stopped being a drunk.

——————————————————————————————————————————

Today is day one of my 90 day natural fitness challenge!

Despite being slightly hungover, I accomplished my daily goal of doing some kind of intense exercise each & every day.  Now I only have 89 days left to go!

So I will be doing at least a brief post every day where I will share what I ate, and what kind of intense exercise I did that day.

Once a month I’ll post pics, my weight, some measurements and other stats.  The core of my regimen is going to be Bikram yoga and a diet high in raw foods (I’m shooting for somewhere around 2/3 of my diet being raw).

If you are curious, you can read more about the challenge here.

I am hoping this spreads and that many of you will want to join me.  There aren’t a lot of rules, and it’s  OK that you didn’t start right on January 1st.   It’s meant to be personal, and customized to help each of us accomplish whatever we feel we need to.

For me, it’s getting ACTIVE as a person and rebuilding my body, which has become a shipwreck from years of not using it and even worse abusing it.

So far there are four of us who have started as of today:

  1. Me.
  2. My brother Mike.
  3. My Aunt Carrie.
  4. And Annie!

In the next few days I will begin writing about each of them and what their goals are and what approach they are taking to get there.  Each of them have also agreed to let me post their “before & after” pics as well as interesting stats at the 30, 60, and 90 day markers!

If this seems like it might be the right time for you to join in, please check out this page which has links for you to get in touch with me!!!

DAY ONE

I wanted to start the year strong by spending the day outside and hiking through some breathtaking desert-scape!  Annie and I spent three hours hiking in the famous Indian Canyons.

The first 90 minutes we pushed really hard (we were nearly trail running much of the way), and it was mostly up.  My heart was tearing through my chest and my ass & thighs were really working it.  Great hard core sweaty workout.  Annie started overheating and taking her clothes off…

Then she passed out in a dry riverbed despite my warning her of the very real dangers of flash floods!

I let her sleep for about 15 minutes (she was up early this morning and already had done a 90 min Bikram yoga class!) and we slowed it down on the way back down so we could enjoy the views…

Today:

  1. Quart of water
  2. 2/3 of a pineapple & a banana
  3. Rigorous hike
  4. Ate 2 LARA bars while hiking and drank another quart of water.
  5. Fabulous Dinner at ACE hotel:  Spicy re-fried beans, Cojita cream corn salad, Chilaquiles (they have the best I have EVER had), plenty of hot sauce & a cold Negro Modelo!
  6. My fave raw dessert, Earth Cafe’s cherry cheesecake, which I buy by the slice at the health food store and keep in my fridge for nights like this!
  7. Goal is to finish off a third quart of water before I go to sleep later…

Tomorrow is yoga at Bikram Yoga Palm Desert & a trip to the farmers market!!!


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Santa’s either on raw foods or crack…

Sorry to break with tradition kids, but Santa comes earlier and earlier every year (that’s what happens when you get old), and I opened my presents already!

Here’s what she got me. Oh yeah, I forgot, Santa’s a she:

Black & Decker Power Pro Wide Mouth Food Processor

This thing is the bomb.

I did creamy pesto (combined my raw mayo which is cashews and olive oil and lemon and vinegar with loads of fresh basil, some rawmesan, and more oil) in it last night already.

You’ve probably heard me bitch about how hard raw food prep is with only a blender.  Blenders ARE NOT food processors.  The way all your stuff keeps getting stuck in the bottom…maddening.

This babies not only got a wide mouth–she’s also got a big ol bottom.  And it has other cool attachments like graters and flour mixers and all that.  Plus because it’s a Black & Decker I feel like a real man when I use it.

I AM STOKED!

Spatula Spoon Things

A 3 pack of really cool spatulas that are each shaped differently and that also act as squeegees for scraping all that good pesto outta the food processor.

These things are brilliant!

It feels super crummy to waste food stuck on the side of a blender…get these!

More Counter Space

We have no damn counter space!  I love to cook (or for the past few months “prep”) food and it is so frustrating to never have space to work.  So Santa, or Annie, let’s just call her Sannie; remembered the trick we did in our minuscule NYC apartments and got me a honking huge cutting board that fits perfectly over half the stove top.

Instant counter top extension.  Now I can stack supplies there and cut and prep next to it on one of my smaller cutting boards!

Shooting Ear Muffs

With a name like Putin, you wear them however you like. Hear he makes a mean smoothie too.

You don’t actually shoot ear muffs, you wear them.  And even though we don’t own a gun, we do look like FBI agents now whenever we blend.  The ones I got for Christmas are genuine “Winchester” ear muffs.

Don’t laugh.  Our blender is LOUD LOUD.  And it’s going all the time.

I get home from the bar and I’m making smoothies sometimes at 2AM.

Then when I’m trying to sleep at 6AM it sounds like SAW IV when Sannie’s in the kitchen making her huge green cacoa concoction before yoga. I finally get up around noon I’m back at the blender making my “I Am What I Am” drink.

So we now wear gun protection when we blend.  And my ears are thanking me already.  Plus it’s fun to put them on and talk.  You can’t really hear yourself.

Off to the SF Bay area soon for a chilly Christmas week.  Can’t wait to hit up Cafe Gratitude for some raw gourmet…

The Inside of the Berkeley Cafe Grat Location

And my eight weeks of being 100% raw will be over…so I’m also looking forward to eating at our favorite family owned Mexican restaurant in Concord–Las Montanas!

Bring on the beans n rice, handmade corn tortillas, grilled onions n peppers, and salsa roja!

What will I being eating after my 60 days raw challenge is over?

I have some cool ideas about that and will share them shortly!


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60 day raw food log: day 28 If raw food is so great, why do I feel bad?

It’s Sunday in Palm Springs, 75 degrees out, beautiful mountain backdrop, happy friendly people and their pets are out enjoying the life…

And I feel like shit.

Why?

My first week eating only raw food was rough.  Imagine cutting yourself off cold-turkey from drinking over 100 adult beverages per week, abstaining from your morning cup of crack with the pretty mermaid on it, and suddenly refusing your body any access to pizzas and Mexican food…NOT a fun transition.

If you’ve seen New Moon, and watched Kristen Stewart’s “Bella” writhe and scream in her sleep over her lost Edward (who I still maintain looks an awful lot like Bert from Sesame Street), you have an inkling of what my first week raw felt like!

Weeks two and three were a different movie…I felt euphoric and “high” and ate up all the positive comments I was getting from friends and strangers.  EVERY SINGLE DAY I saw a thinner, sexier, happier, healthier, more in-tune version of me in the full-length mirror.

Having a cute young raw foods chef at a Santa Monica cafe ask me if I was “raw” the second I walked in the door surprised me.  When I answered yes, and she told me she “thought so, because my eyes were so clear and I really had a case of the glow” I was beyond flattered.

But here I am near the end of week four, a week of apathy and fatigue.  What’s up?  I feel like I’m doing this right…I’ve slowly been upping my intake of greens, I’m making sure I get natural fats like hemp oil, I’m still eating a lot of juicy organic fruits…

Also, I eat very little dehydrated raw foods (they make me feel as dry as they are) and most days just eat foods in their whole simple form without trying to “doll” them up.

I’m hoping that it’s just another cleansing level I’ve hit?  I would expect my recent toxic past to haunt me for awhile. Maybe it’s a little bit mental…one month is the longest I’ve ever gone before raw…? But Jesus do I hate the idea that some or all of the benefits of raw eating might just be in my head.

One interesting distinction I’d like to make: I’m not depressed.  I’ve spent much of my life in moderate to severely depressed states, this isn’t anything like that.  I’m clear about things–almost scary sober–but I don’t necessarily like how that feels…

Sometimes eating raw makes so much sense to me, and I see it as the answer to a lot of peoples problems both on a personal level and a collective one.  That’s how I mostly feel…at other times the whole thing seems ridiculous and absurd!  Not eat ANY cooked foods?  Not get drunk and stupid?  WHY?!?  What am I trying to prove? To whom?

As an example last night a guy at the bar wanted mashed potatoes.  We don’t have that on the menu, but Mike the Chef made some for him anyways, that’s the kind of old school cool we serve up.  When I bring him the potatoes I’m drooling.  When he adds a few dollops of real butter I’m butter.  So I try and remind myself that when I get home later I was actually going to make my own version of mashed “potatoes” which are made from soaked cashews and cauliflower blended up with salt & pepper.  They taste pretty good.  But they are NOT potatoes, and they are cold.  For some reason it just seemed stupid to me…am I too good for potatoes?

My intention with this blog is not necessarily to inspire anyone to do anything.  I simply want to reveal what eating raw is doing for me (now and in the future).  So please take what I say with a grain of pink Himalayan crystal salt.   I’m half-way through my trial and will continue to candidly share my peaks and valley floors with anyone interested…


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60 day raw food log: day 17 Weighing the cost of a raw food diet…is it worth it? (Part 2)

Yesterdays blog (part 1) looked at the misconception that eating “raw” has to be expensive.  It really doesn’t.

Today (part 2) I share what I think is a much bigger price to pay than money when it comes to the raw foods life…

Tomorrow (part 3) I’m going to look at the innumerable benefits of eating raw and try to do a simple Pro’s & Con’s analysis to see if eating raw feels worth it to me.

Part 2

IS GOING RAW WORTH IT EVEN THOUGH I HAVE TO GIVE UP SO MUCH?

Coffee

I love coffee.  The aroma. The acidity. The buzzzzz. And I especially crave the taste.  Black tar washing down my gullet.

I know coffee isn’t great for me.  Sure every so often there’s a report about it having antioxidants as long as we drink it in moderation…come on…let’s be big boys & girls and admit it…we like coffee because it’s a drug.  An upper extraordinaire.

coffeeDM2711_468x416

This morning I woke up feeling like shit.  Warmed over death.  I had almost all juice yesterday and it’s kicking the cleansing back into high gear for me.  Now normally, a quick $3 exchange with my dealer in the green apron would instantly change how I felt. LITERALLY.

Yeah-yeah there would be an energy spike and a corresponding drop..blah blah blah…that’s what a second cup of coffee is for.  And I like most people ENJOY the coffee roller coaster.  Especially because the ride right next to it in the park is the Booze Cruise. booze-cruise

So let me bottom line how I feel about coffee despite the fact that I am better hydrated and overall better off without it.  I miss the nervous creative highs & lows I experienced with coffee.

Alcohol

If coffee is creative than alcohol is fun. Right?  We’ve ALL had fun drinking.  And we’ve all cursed Jack, Jim, and Jose for ever being born.

66 A Shirt Full of BoozeIt’s tough to imagine the world without alcohol.  The liquid hazy realm is where we all become stuff of legends…”Dude!  I got SO trashed!  I woke up in a planter in front of a bank!” and “WTF Lara, don’t you remember peeing on the McDonald’s sign last night

in front of like one million people driving down Wilshire?”

Good times.

I’ve been bartending for about three years.  I’m not the kind of bartender who throws bottles in the air.  I’m not particularly fast.  I’m the kind of bartender that gets to know you and makes you a perfect drink every time.

I love beer & liquor (slowly coming around on wine with the help of Chilean malbecs ), my love of bourbon and tequila drives me to constantly learn and craft each cocktail.

You know how they say that what people choose to drink says a lot about them.  It’s true.  It’s a fascinating thing and what’s really cool is that it changes both seasonally and slowly over time as someones personality shifts.

For example, when I lived in the cold SF bay area all my drinking revolved around bourbon and dark seasonal ales makers-mark-cocktail-shaker-1from NorCal on up through the Oregon coast (My all time fave was Lagunitas’ Lucky 13 Mondo Red).  The cocktail I liked to treat myself to was a stiff Maker’s Manhattan.

When I moved to Palm Springs I became obsessed with drinking Hefeweizens during the hot summer days and with meals.  My desert tonic of choice?  The simplest Tanqueray gimlet:  3 oz of Tanqueray, the juice squeezed from half a lime, and ice go into the shaker.  Shake the HELL out of it and strain it UP into a chilled cocktail glass or over fresh ice in a clear plastic Dixie cup if I was taking out to the pool…

image-20090316-hv3pequktikoz5g40ol9_t_h480

If I seem like I’m rambling a little, that’s because I am.

I want to convey that I really like and miss these things.  I can’t sit here and type some BS lie like, “Oh…I don’t really miss any of that.”  Because I do.

Food

Now obviously, I don’t have to give up food.  I eat as much of it as I want.  As long as it’s fruit, vegetables, nuts…

I’m talking about pizza, steak, hamburgers, mashed potatoes, lasagna, burritos, sushi, cornbread, bacon, chili-cheese fries, artisan goat cheese, nachos, sourdough melts, street tacos, BBQ, potato salad, tamales, Vegas buffets, spanakopita, cubano sandwiches, breakfast potatoes, garlic bread, chips & salsa, pad thai, samosas, baingan bharta, and anything made or topped with copious amounts of sweet roasted garlic…

Making that list this early in my attempt at 60 days raw (and maybe as a way of life) is both a little sadistic and masochistic…but you knew I’d eventually have to get some S&M into a blog called Live Nude Food. Click here for a little amateur food porn I downloaded on a day last week when my food cravings were worse than normal. Go ahead and click it. You know you want to.

So right now you’re probably thinking “WTF!?”.  Me too.

I’ve run out of the time needed to delve into the social ramifications of being a raw food weirdo (that IS what people think).  Suffice it to say that if you think eating a diet that is contrary in every last respect to what the rest of your family, your friends, and the country eats…carries zero consequences; your crazier than Tom Cruise.

Yeah, you can get all new friends (maybe you need to anyways).  You can carry baggies of cacao to the movies and thank the big dipper that raw eateries are coming soon to a corner near you.  But it’s not gonna be all fun, and it sure as hell isn’t easy.  So why claim that it is?

rolling-stone-uphill-against-resistance1

You can see why I say this is the real cost of going raw.  And it’s one I’m still weighing out myself.  It’s good that I’ve made the decision to commit to 60 days 100% raw NO MATTER WHAT.  If I was trying to ask these same questions over and over every day, it would be a disaster for me.  In the meantime my health and overall feeling about life have drastically improved in just two weeks.  That’s frickin impressive on any level.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Tomorrow I’ll try and articulate what’s so incredible about the raw foods experience, and I’ll ask myself how it stacks up to the booze cruise…

What I ate today:

  • Carrot/Orange/Apple juice
  • Half a Pineapple/Green Powder/Honey/Coconut Oil “Colada”
  • My new chocolate hemp Cocoa Puffs shake
  • The other half of the pineapple…

Notes: Felt full all day.  So much buzzy energy I almost don’t feel grounded.  Went for a long walk at dusk along a dried out river bed. I’m updating this at 4:45 in the morning and haven’t gone to sleep yet…


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60 Days Raw Log: Day 3 is for sexy pears & other cravings

Day 3

Feel much better today.  Woke up minus the headache and body stiffness but still have noticeable kidney pain. Also, my body temp feels lower, and I find myself taking a hot shower a couple times a day and wearing long sleeves and jeans for a change. I’m stoked to have one more day off to adjust to all this before having to get back to work Fri night.  I currently work as a bartender and it takes a lot of patience, ability to remember, plain old labor, etc.  So tomorrow night we’ll see how I function at work totally raw.

Cravings…pretty bad today…craving grilled ham n’ cheese sandwiches and marinated tri-tip steak….it’s difficult to imagine eating this way for more than a month or two…

I’m also allowing myself to be kinda boring for now with regards to food prep, and unique smoothies, etc.  I want to get a little more into raw recipes, I especially want to learn how to make raw “chips” so I have crunchy salty snacks (I found a good recipe online for kale chips)!  But I don’t have the money for a food dehydrator and need to take one baby step after the other for now.

I was spoiled when I did the raw thing in SF because there are SEVERAL amazing raw restaurants there, and raw food vendors at the huge farmers market’s that sell these amazing wraps and shakes and stuff.  Here in Palm Springs…not so much.

Looking forward to that energy rush that comes with raw eating, but hasn’t happened yet.  It actually feels like my body is telling me to chill and lay low–I’m sure after all the abuse I’ve subjected it to that it needs major cleansing.

What I ate today:

  • Watermelon Juice (LOVE THIS STUFF!)
  • Lot’s of h20 w/ lemon squeezed in it
  • Huge combo salad: Spinach, lettuce, olives, red peppers, a whole avocado, black pepper, lemon, olive oil, topped with this incredible product called RAWMESEAN (walnuts, sea salt, nutritional yeast).
  • A mango
  • 2 sweet sexy pears! *&^% delicious these organic pairs
  • Raw chocolate & almond butter
  • A raw bar made with nuts and dates
  • Some delicious figs I bought and ate while walking around the Thur nite Farmers Market
  • My asian slaw salad again
  • A real chocolate shake! Raw honey from farmers market, cacao powder, hemp seeds, almond butter, dates…insanely thick, creamy and delicious!

As you can see I’m eating a good amount.  That’s really key with this way of eating.  Eat what you wantDO NOT concern yourself with any of the following:

  1. Calories (all calories are not the same–no matter what they say)
  2. Carbs (raw honey is the food of the gods!  real fruit sugar IS NOT the same as corn-syrup even though they are both “fructose.”
  3. Fat (your body thanks you for the olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, and nuts!)
  4. Percentages--forget it.  Listen to your body, it will tell you what you need.  Fershizzel my Nizzel.