Flash Fiction #146

Trump

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

ROUND AND ROUND

I don’t want to go on a round-the-world cruise. By the time you get there, you’re back here.  Besides, it might pass perilously close to North Korea.

Still, it would be nice to get away from Trump for a while. The two most inflated things about The Donald are his ego, and his Twitter account. Those are the only things that I want “blown up.”  Are there any cruise ships without Wi-Fi?  It might be worth it to pay extra for some political peace and quiet.

Unlimited booze and food??! I’d come back with a figure like Frosty the Snowman.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

 

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2017 A To Z Challenge – Gastronomy

Challenge2017  Letter G

Don’t confuse the title of this post with Astronomy. That’s the study of heavenly bodies.  This will be about the study of my body.  It’s far from heavenly, but it has its own gravitation field, and can cause eclipses.

For the first half of my working career, eating and weight gain were no big deal. My office jobs were so sedentary that I didn’t require great numbers of calories.  With two kids to raise, there wasn’t a lot of spare cash available for French fries, junk food or soft drinks, and the wife had not yet become the great cook that she would be a bit later in life.  Although I did manage to go from a stick-thin kid of 135 pounds, to a solid, well-built man of 185, and stayed that way for years.

All that changed when I left the offices, parked my brain at the door, and went to work in the plants. Suddenly, the jobs were so physical that I needed and consumed 3000/3500 calories a day.  The kids grew up, and there was enough cash for the occasional fast food treat, and the wife was described by her brother, a professional chef, as a better cook than him.

185 lbs. crept to 190, then 195, then to 200. I’m a good eater.  The greeter at the grocery end of Wal-Mart says, “Welcome back Archon. It’s always nice to see you.  Two more visits and I can retire to Florida.”  The wife learns 5 new recipes, and I gain 5 new pounds.  Now I’m 205 lbs., and I can see retirement looming, but not my toes.  Changes have to be made!

The wife says that we’re getting older, and the chance of weak bones is increasing, so drink chocolate milk and eat cheese every day. I’m okay if I stay upstairs, in the computer room, but if I go downstairs in the evening, I’m wrestled to the ground by a toasted bagel – or some potato chips that were on sale – or cookies and hot chocolate.  It’s always something.

I have lots of will power. What I need is some won’t power.  The wife thinks I’m obsessive, because I weigh myself every day.  Seven years into retirement, I’ve passed 210, and occasionally 215.  217!  218!  The day I saw 220, I – not ‘panicked’ – but something has to be done.  Something other than letting the white beard grow back in, and buying a Santa suit.

Yesterday, the scale read 209.8, but my blood pressure was 136/78. The diastolic is still low, but I need to do something about the systolic – like lose some more weight.  I don’t want to be the guy in the Christmas song – round John Virgin.  If I was the victim of a shooting, the chalk outline would be a circle.

Thanx for reading the whine I had with my cheese. I’ll see you around….as long as I’m not quite as round next time.   😳

Fat Man

In Shape

Has anyone seen my diet?  It should look a lot like me, lumpy, round and swollen, lying someplace, moaning softly, and trying unsuccessfully to drag its ass off a couch or chair.  Poor thing never had a chance.  The, I’ll have some of this, and try some of that; at last Saturday’s Multicult festival was just the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning.

The wife bought some deformed asparagus at the market last week.  Not straight and neat, it was bent and almost twisted, but twice the amount for the same price.  The wife has developed a recipe for broccoli soup.  Chop it up, boil it, drain it, buzz it in a food processor, and add it to chicken broth.  She’s allergic to milk products, so we added some shredded Kashkaval cheese.  The name Kashkaval translates to cheese made from mare’s milk, but the stuff we get is from goat’s milk.  It has a crisp biting flavor much like cheddar.

She thought she might make up an asparagus soup, much the same way.  We didn’t put the special cheese in; rather she added a cup of Coffee Rich, liquid, non-dairy creamer.  Milk allergies, remember?  Not exactly a cream soup, but nice and rich, served with pumpernickel rolls and butter.  The son and I were supposed to sprinkle shredded cheddar on ours, but I forgot to shred.  That was supper, Tuesday night.

People who grow zucchini are always looking for ways to get rid of it.  We have found that slicing it ¾ of an inch thick, and frying it in a butter/olive oil mixture, sprinkling it with garlic salt and topping with shredded Kashkaval cheese is one good way.  Another way is buying larger zucchini and splitting them lengthwise.  Gouge out the center, retain the pulp, buzz it in a food processor, and add it to fried hot Italian sausage meat.  Steam some of the excess moisture off and add bread crumbs.  We buzz down a couple of Portuguese buns.  Seal the cut edges with Saran Wrap, and microwave the little green submarines for a minute.  Place the halves, cut side up, fill with the meat/bread mixture, and bake for 45 minutes.  Top with shredded cheese, we use the Kashkaval, but mozzarella, cheddar or Monterey Jack are good.  Place back in oven for five to ten minutes to melt cheese.  Serve to overweight blogger.  That was supper Thursday night.

At market, we were offered a deal on avocados, a whole flat for $5.  What in Hell are we going to do with sixteen avocados?  The daughter says she just read that you can freeze guacamole, and it comes back well.  Next thing I know, the son and I are making four big batches of guacamole.  I froze three, and left the fourth in the fridge, because we’re always having some kind of TexMex.  Friday, for lunch I had a platter (that’s platter, not plate) of nachos with the home-made guacamole, and some previously home-made salsa, as well as sour cream.

Saturday we had homemade pizzas, two 14 inch large.  I fried up some more of the hot Italian sausage, as well as some mushrooms, added sliced pepperoni, bacon, mozzarella and a dusting of parmesan.  We always make the two large, to put some aside for lunch for the wife and/or I, as well as a mid-night meal for the son at work.  It was a real struggle to actually have some left over.

I took the daughter to a thing called Barterworks, held at the back of a downtown vegetarian cafe, where a number of folks, as well as anyone who wanders in to the cafe, can buy, sell or trade whatever is displayed.  The son asked me as I left, to stop at a little bakery on the way home, and pick up a loaf of thick-cut French bread, so that we can have a feed of French toast and bacon (Mmmh, bacon!)  for Monday brunch.

On the Canada Day holiday Monday, the daughter and grandson are coming over early to help make supper.  We’ve decided to make up a couple of batches of perogies.  The daughter is allergic to potatoes, so we’ll use sweet potatoes as a base for hers.  Serve these little calorie grenades with some nice beef gravy and some 99% lactose-free sour cream and it will soon be hibernation time.

The doctor told me to watch my weight, so I put it out in front of me, where I can keep an eye on it.  We put aside some of our cooking in Tupperware or Ziploc containers, for the son to eat in the middle of his work-day.  Some jealous co-workers complain that he eats better on leftovers than they do with the stuff they bring.

My doctor told me I need more exercise.  I asked what I should do.  She said, “When you’re sitting at the table,”  “Yeah, yeah??”  “put your arms down by your side.”  “Yeah, yeah??”  “Bend both arms at ninety degrees, and then firmly grasp the edge of the table, with both hands.”  “What then??”  “Push away from the table before you take a second helping.”  I’m doomed, I tell you, doomed.  Maybe I could get a job as a stunt double for the Michelin Man, or Poppin’ Fresh, if I can haul my ass off this computer chair to apply.

I didn’t intend that this be a cooking column.  Did anybody get some ideas for a meal?  Damn, now I feel hungry again.  Is there a bit of cheese left in the fridge?

The First Rule of Blogging

The first rule of blogging is that there are no rules about blogging.  Blogs don’t have to be long, or short, or funny, or serious, or, as I recently discovered, about what you were going to make one about.

I’ve been assembling one in my mind for several days.  It was going to be all about man’s inhumanity to man, and how, even in the holiday period, people still seem to go out of their way to screw someone else over for lazy or selfish reasons.  Then I got THE FLU.  Now I understand what SavortheFolly was talking about on her site, hot flashes, cold spells, weak, can’t concentrate…..

I originally started this blog over a week ago and got as far as concentrate, above and then did or didn’t do something, and lost the 800/900 words that followed.  I couldn’t post that little bit without the hook and punchline, and I couldn’t figure out how to get it back.  Not terribly technically savvy at the best of times, the flu just made things exponentially worse.  I did learn that the first rule of blogging is really, “Learn to run the platform, so that s**t like that doesn’t happen again.”

I mentioned to the wife that I was unusually weak, and couldn’t concentrate enough to do the Inhumanity one, and she said, just do one about getting the flu.  A spark of genius, but I was in no condition for it to be mine.

First of all, the wife is in charge of getting colds and flu at our house.  She already suffers from fibromyalgia, which can render her weak and sore.  If some guy in Hong Kong sneezes, she’s in bed for two weeks.  I don’t get sick!  If she passes something on to me, I have a little k’choo, and twelve hours later I’m as normal as I ever am.  I lost two consecutive days of work, forty years ago.  She’s never seen me SICK since.

I can’t talk logic to an emotional wife.  It’s just the flu.  I don’t normally get it this bad, but I’ll be over it in two weeks.  Yeah, right!  She drags me off to the clinic, where she finds that she has a bacterial cold, for which the doctor gives her medication.  I, on the other hand, have a case of viral flu, for which they can and will do nothing.  Take a week off and call us if you die.

My dad used to say, about bad infections like this, that there would be a couple of days when you were afraid that you were going to die, followed by a couple more, where you were afraid you wouldn’t.  This is now officially a zombie blog, because I’m pretty sure I died and came back to life.

I have a much more accurately empathetic understanding of what the wife goes through 4 or 5 times a winter.  I couldn’t believe the lethargy and sleepiness.  If the house was on fire and I didn’t have to reach too far for a phone, I’d have to call someone to come and drag me out of my chair and rescue me.  Just getting up to go pee was a five-minute project.

The aches and pains meant that I wasn’t sleeping well, at a time when I needed more sleep than usual to combat the infection.  When I needed to sleep, I NEEDED TO SLEEP.  I could be reading a newspaper, or trying to have a conversation with someone, and suddenly just have to lie on the couch for a nap.  I would be wrestling Morpheus and dead to the world before my head hit the cushion.  Could be twenty minutes, could be two or three hours.

One of the strange symptoms of this flu was hypersensitivity on parts of my body.  One of my cats reached over to touch my side, to get my attention.  No claws, just petting me as I might pet him, and I thought that he had beat me with a leather belt.

I’d gained about ten pounds since I retired two years ago.  The only plus I see to this flu attack, is that I have no interest in food and too little strength to chase down even a couple of pieces of toast.  I could stand to lose some more, and what I’ve lost will probably come back, but two weeks of flu have lost me ten pounds of weight.

As I told the wife, it’s been another week and I feel better.  Like the guy in the  Benylin TV ad, I’m not better, but I feel better.  I’ve finally woke up both the hamsters in my head and got them facing in the same direction on that little wheel.  This morning I had two coherent thoughts in a row.

What a whiny little personal rant this has been.  If you don’t get colds and flu, you are now congratulating yourself.  If you do get them this bad, at least you are reassured that others also get them as bad, support in discomfort.

Thanx for reading, and I hope to have something a little more intellectual and less depressing in a couple more days.