Coexistence is not an option

I thought for certain that living above a cat lady would provide me with an impregnable barrier against rodent infestation. This false sense of security lulled me into a blind, slothful state of indifference to the crumbs that may have occasionally ended up on my floor.

I was in my kitchen last nigh at about 1 am. I had entered with the intention of steaming some veggies, and then eating them. The problem with staying up until the post 1 o'clock hour, is that the last time I ate was probably at least 5-7 hours previous, which means my body thinks that it is time for another entire meal. I had a mad craving for french toast, but had decided that eating bread dipped in egg, and covered with butter, syrup, and strawberries would probably go straight to my neck if I ate it right before bed. So I made a compromise, and decided to go with the veggies.

I saw something move out of the corner of my eye, and didn't think much of it. But then that something emerged from my periphery, became a mouse, and ran across the counter top and behind a cutting board leaning against the wall by the sink to take, what I was hoping would be, a suicidal leap behind my stove. Unfortunately upon inspection, after I was done swearing and being acutely disgusted, I found that the creature did not in fact commit mousicide, but was indeed still living somewhere in the vicinity of my kitchen.

At least I didn't want to eat anymore.

Upon inspection of my food cupboard, I found several rat shitlings scattered throughout the lower shelf, and a gnawed through Ramen noodle seasoning packet. At least the little bastard had bad taste, and stayed out of my almond slivers and cliff bars.

I feel so violated. I feel like everything in my kitchen is tainted, and that I therefore must spend copious amounts of time cleaning and disinfecting everything. What the hell good is it having my own cat lady, if her useless felines can't keep mice from invading our home? She has upwards of 5 cats, for heaven's sakes. That delusive aura of kitty security has caused me to be a little too lax in my kitchen cleanliness, mostly in the sense of "I'll clean this dinner mess up in the morning." No more.

Off to get some rat poison. I don't want to use a conventional trap, because I have this grisly vision of a mouse getting its head snapped off, and spraying blood and haunta virus all over my kitchen like a Tarantino film. I may be a vegetarian, or a responsible omnivore, or something, but I refuse to coexist with rodents.


Pioneer day refund

I think I was smitten with a food poisoning on pioneer day, and I think it was for possibly making one too many Brigham Young/pioneer jokes.

I couldn't really help it, you see. I went with some friends up to Ensign peak, which overlooks the Salt Lake Valley. Where, to my knowledge, whether correct of false, Brigham Young stood, raised his broad sword in the air, and declared, "By the power of GraySkull, this is the place." I'm not sure how accurate the location is. I really know nothing about Ensign peak. It simply seemed like a good place for a broadsword to be raised, and a Mormon nesting location to be declared. And I know it is in some way significant to pioneer history, although for the life of me I can't remember anything about it from my Utah history course a few years back. I suppose I could spend 13 seconds on Wikipedia and figure it out, but I rather enjoy the pristine image in my mind of brother Brigham, a broadsword, and a line from He-Man.

I went there with Adam in the evening, in order to watch the fireworks from a higher vantage point. Which where fireworks are concerned, it turns out, is a pretty shitty vantage point. It's probably about like watching them on TV. Totally lame, unless a magic carpet, a princess, a lying street rat, and a spectacular Disney song are involved. So mostly, I acquired a sore ass from sitting on dirt and rocks for about an hour, a slightly sweaty upper torso, an itchy nose from wind and dust, and a chance to sit under Brigham's watchful eye (and sword.)

Later, about 1 am, I decided that eating a Beto's burrito sounded like a hell of an idea. I don't know why a burrito the size of a small infant always sounds good about that hour, but for whatever reason, post midnight is really the ONLY time they ever do sound good. About half an hour later, I was in bed. At approximately 4am, I crawled to the bathroom, convinced that I was going to refund that burrito, and every other thing I have ever eaten into the toilet, via my cranial sphincter, rather than the more common route. After laying on the floor for a time, I thought maybe it was possible the cursed burrito would remain where it was. So I crawled back to bed, snagging a rather large plastic bowl in route. 5 minutes later, I rolled out of bed onto the floor, and did a pretty commendable job filling up that plastic bowl with a whole lot of stomach acid, eggs, and pico de gallo.

I could just imagine brother Brigham watching me heave my stomach lining into that bowl, and saying, "Who's laughing now?" And then maybe he'd poke me with his ethereal broadsword. And all I could think, was "I'm sorry about the jokes. Please stop smiting me now." In conjunction with, "I swear in my wrath, I will never be poisoned by another Beto's burrito AGAIN." Not necessarily because I think I will never eat one again. Simply, because I won't ever make pioneer day jokes and then subsequently eat one. I felt pretty nauseated until I woke up Monday morning for work. So like, a 30 hour poisoning. All because of a few jokes.



Birthday hypocrite

As of July 13th, I had consumed no meat for an entire month. Ages longer than any other previous meatless interval. My previous record was probably somewhere close to 12-15 hours. Possibly fewer.

So when my birthday came along, and Carrabbas wanted to buy me a filet in celebration of being 28 and not dead, I suddenly began to panic. It has been easy to say no to chicken, ribs, shredded pork, and a myriad of other meats since June 13th. And it has certainly been easy to not purchase any steaks. But to be offered a Filet. A free filet. The God King of all meats. This was a conflict.

Put 100 free chickens in front of me, and I'll say no every time. Easy. I even turned down halibut (which I love) at our quarterly work meeting where we try all the new specials. NBD. But I have always loved steak to the max. As much as my little brother, I believe I have previously stated. It has been slightly hard, delivering steak after steak to table after table over the last month. Slightly, because said meats were never offered to me. Not until now.

A free filet. DAMMIT.

So I stewed it over in my mind for a few hours. Weighed the pros and cons. Cons being, eating the filet will sort of compromise my moral position and make me feel like a hypocrite. Also, perhaps I will enjoy it so much, I may slide back into my former life as an indifferent, apathetic carnivore. I thought about the pros, and besides the enjoyment that would come from shoving an extremely tender, bloody hunk of cow flesh down my gullet for the first time in over a month, I couldn't really think of any real pros.

In a moment of weakness, I decided that eating one measly filet, in the whole grand scheme of things, wasn't really a big deal. Who could even know where our Carrabbas cow meat comes from? Maybe it was ethical. There was roughly a 30% chance it might be. Probably not. But maybe.

As I sat at the pasta bar, waiting for my filet to cook, the only thing going through my mind, over and over again was, "Please, for the love of God, don't let Bob over cook this thing." I thought this, because likely this was going to be the only filet I would be eating for a very long time. If I was going to sink to the level of a hypocrite for 10 minutes, I wanted to enjoy it. I thought that after a long, meatless month, this filet would probably be one of the best things I had ever put in my mouth. It was my birthday. Couldn't I be a hypocrite?

Upon cutting into it, besides cursing Bob's name for slightly over cooking it, I marveled at the tenderness. I didn't even need a knife. A spoon would have sufficed. I put the first chunk in my mouth, expecting an explosion of palatal ecstasy, a veritable mouthgasm, I expected to think, "Man, have I missed this. Meat is so terrific. I wish I could eat 100 meat, every single minute. Wrap me up in a meat blanket, and feed me to myself."

Rather, I thought, "Huh. This is tasty. But so is a chipotle black bean burger. And felafel. In fact, I could eat a tomato stuffed with mushrooms, red peppers, garlic, and goat cheese over this any day." In other words, it wasn't blowing my mind. At all. Yes, obviously it tasted good. And was something that I would certainly enjoy eating on occasion. However, the experience was altogether lackluster. A let down. Which was AWESOME.

While part of me regrets descending to the level of a weak birthday hypocrite, I am ultimately glad I ate that filet. I realized that honestly, I am not missing much. I can think of about 15 things right off the bat that I have enjoyed the last month just as much, if not more, than I enjoyed that filet. I think as we come to decide what our favorite foods are, and the values placed upon them, whether cultural or familial, we build these foods up to mythical proportions. I attached meaning, value, and importance to a filet because, being an expensive chuck of dead cow, it was mostly a special occasion commodity. So, after abstaining from all meat for a month, and delving into an entirely new realm of the food chain, I realized that a filet (and meat in general) is really only as good as we mentally make it to be. When something suddenly is no longer a choice, other things take its place. Other foods can inherit an abandoned food's value and meaning. A caprino stuffed tomato is my filet.

I guess what I'm saying, is by eating a filet, I realized that I truly don't miss meat. I may miss the meanings I attached to different meats. Like a summer tri-tip bbq with friends. But now that I realize it is more the meaning that I miss, I can quit missing the meat itself, and begin attaching new meaning, memories, and feelings to new foods.

Sometimes being a hypocrite works out okay.


Birthday bars and mixers

When Fish children get married (I only know this through sibling hearsay) they are given a Bosch mixer. For those of you unfamiliar with what that means, it is like the Mercedes Benz of mixers. Or maybe more like a Range Rover. The 800 watt motor will gladly spin up to 15 lbs of dough. Won't even be pist about it. Just try to do that with your 575 watt kitchen aid. Get real. Some scooters have 800 watt motors.

I am fast approaching my 28th birthday, a day I thought I'd never live to see unmarried. Well, 4 or 5 years ago, anyway. The last couple years I have resigned myself to the fact that I should probably reevaluate my vow to kill myself if single at 30. It is easy to make drastic, personal ultimatums when you are half a decade away from something. "Either get married by thirty, or kill yourself man. Those are your options," I'd threaten me. Now that I'm a paltry 2 years away, 30 doesn't seem so bad.asjkdl;wa;e Not nearly so bad as the gnat, or whatever it was, that just flew into the corner of my eye, causing the startled key mash above, and the trip to the bathroom to dig it out, which nearly interrupted the fluidity of this paragraph. You shant have the satisfaction of that accomplishment, you asshole gnat.


So apparently my parents have given up on the possibility of me ever getting married, and therefore went ahead and awarded me with my very own Bosch mixer as a gift for making it to 28, without any major drug addictions, nor children born out of wedlock running around. And I'm a little embarrassed about how excited I got/am about a mixer. To this point, I have been mostly a stove top (the range, not the shitty brand) kinda guy, so baking is going to open up a whole new world for me. Breads, cakes, cookies, and...breads. I don't know what on earth to do with a mixer besides those things. And considering my current eating choices, cookies and cakes are pretty much out. So mostly bread.

Speaking of new things and healthy eating, I experienced today, for the first time in my 28 years of life, the brief, relative joy of a big hunk. Brief, because I felt gross almost immediately after consuming it, and relative, because it brought me joy relative to, say, a kick to the groin. Or to be fair, more like a plain celery stick. To be even more truthful than fair, I enjoyed the Big Hunk about 100 percent more than I thought I would upon making the decision to actually eat the thing. Which was not at all.

The Big Hunk was discovered by a server, after being discarded on a table, or in a garbage can by a Carrabbas patron. I heard conflicting stories as to the origin. A slip of paper was taped to one side that said, "Priesthood holders are..." I was more bothered by the fact that "Priesthood holders are...Big Hunk," didn't work grammatically, than by how stereotypically BYU cheesy the whole thing was, or whether it had spent some time in the trash can or not.

I am pretty good at not buying garbage. And by garbage, I mean things like Big Hunks, and other candies and treats. Come to my kitchen, and you won't find anything that your dietitian would yell at you for. However, when candy, or treats, or deserts are placed in front of me, I sometimes struggle with control. I can usually completely abstain, but if I eat one of something, pandora's gummy box is opened, and I eat most of whatever that something happened to be.

I was reaching into the martini cooler for a glass, when I spotted the Big Hunk. It was about 8pm, and I was bored and hungry. It was pretty much a given that I was going to eat that Big Hunk. I pulled it out of the fridge, and wondered just what the hell was in there. I really had no idea what to expect, as the big hunk doesn't offer any sort of picture or illustration on the package, cluing you as to what lies within. Because they know if you knew that it looked like probably the most unappealing candy bar you had ever seen, you probably would never give it a shot. Even the claim of "Low fat!" on the wrapper probably wouldn't be enough.

I flipped it over, and was thrilled to see that corn syrup and sugar were the 2 main ingredients. I knew right then that I wanted to put it in my body immediately. I tore it open, and stared at the almost chalky white bar with peanuts nestled here and there. "This doesn't even look remotely good," I said to no one in particular. But hunger prevailed, and I snapped a piece off. It mostly tasted like a marshmallow with peanuts in it. Which was about 100% better than what I had expected. My plan was to eat about 3 bites, but that was thwarted by the aforementioned hunger, boredom, and general lack of self control. By the time it was finished, my stomach felt sick, and I completely regretted eating the whole thing. Sort of like I regretted eating 5 pieces of birthday cake yesterday.


It's my 28th birthday week, I am in the best shape of my life. I can be a little out of control.


With liberty and guns for all

My oh my is the political right good at making themselves look like imbeciles and rednecks sometimes. Reasons such as those that follow make me, at times, embarrassed to have some conservative views, and therefore be lumped in with "conservatives."

Rep Stephen Sandstrom of Orem has decided that, along with championing a bill similar to the mind numbingly idiotic piece of immigration legislation recently enacted by the Arizona state legislature, he will put forth a bill that would eliminate the need for a permit to conceal a handgun in the state of Utah. Now, Utah residents may already conceal a weapon in their car, or homes, and can even, God help us, open carry. In other words, any redneck jackass can wear a gun on a holster and scare the hell out of those who aren't accustomed to being around firearms, while ordering a burrito at Del taco. So Mr. Sandstrom is proposing that any person be able to pack heat where nobody can see, no questions asked.

I own a .45. I sometimes conceal it. I have a permit to do so. I grew up around guns. I am familiar with them. I'm not going to accidentally blow my nards off, nor the nards of any other person. In order to get said permit, I had to take a class familiarizing me with the different gun laws of the state, and handgun safety in general. All pretty necessary things, I think, in order to be a "safe" carrier.

This dummy of a right wing conservative said this:"It's just like freedom of religion: You do not have to go and get an exercise-of-religion card." Did I copy and paste that right? Did he really say, "exercise-of-religion card? " Does that even make sense? Or is it as incoherent as I think it is? And is he really comparing the right to carry around a deadly weapon to the right to worship? Last time I checked, you can't blow your own nards off with a bible. Nor the nards of your fellow church goers. Unless, of course, you are an Islamic extremist, and you filled a bible full of C4, and strapped that to your genitals. I guess what I'm saying here, is this is ridiculous.

People on the KSL comment board, bless their little ultra conservative hearts, were saying things like "The bad guys are gonna carry guns anyway. They don't care about permits, blah blah blah I have tunnel vision."
Well, while it is certainly true that "bad guys" will carry guns regardless, that doesn't mean that I want just any moron to waltz into Cabbellas' and buy his first 9mm, and walk out the door with it stuffed in his waist band.

"It does not say you have the right to keep and bear arms as long as you have a permit from the federal government or your local or state government — it just gives you that right. Bearing arms means carrying them." While I agree that the constitution certainly gives people the right to carry weapons, there is nothing wrong with the fact that we have added a little responsibility to that right. The founders didn't say, "You have the right to keep and bear arms unless you are a felon," but we certainly have added in that clause. So I guess if this "purist" Sandstrom wants any asshole to be able to pack secret heat, then he should probably include felons in his crusade. Or is he simply going to pick and chose what he likes vs what he doesn't like? Typical.

The bottom line is, I want responsible people to carry guns. There is an inherent responsibility that goes with requiring a permit. It isn't expensive to get. People aren't being truly limited, or even overly regulated. I think the state is just trying to make sure that those who chose not to exercise their right to bear arms, aren't harmed by idiots who do, but are too stupid or lazy to learn how to do it right.

Since we're obviously shooting for a more wild west friendly state theme, maybe if we arm everyone, we can just force all those pesky immigrants out at gun point, and then we wont even need to emulate Arizona's legislation.

Kill every bird with one stone.


Heber school district fail

There seems to be a pretty common hiring criteria for the hostesses at my place of employment. Blonde (whether fake or real) thin, and "attractive." Attractive, of course, being a relative term. Attractive in a general, "that girl is thin, blonde, and doesn't look very intelligent," sort of category.

During the hours of 1:30-5ish I really don't have much to do at work. I typically spend this time acquiring, what seems to be, a pretty stellar dose of carpal tunnels in my hands from chatting with amigos via iphone gtalk. Sometimes, I will venture on over to where the hostess stand is located and sit on the bench for a while. It was during just such a time, when I was asked by one of the aforementioned 18 year old dream babes, "Hey Fish. Can I ask you a question?"
"Okay. Well. Umm. So, what is a heterosexual?"
This is where the incredulous "are you really asking me this question you poor, poor imbecile" look was splayed clearly across my face.
"Are you seriously asking me this?"
"Yesuh, I don't know! I never had sex ed classes in school, and I grew up in a small town! Common, it's not my fault!"
"What town did you grow up in?"
"Get real, I grew up in Nephi. You excuse is invalid."
"Okay whatever, just tell me."
I had to think for a minute how to best explain this, because I was worried that saying, "a heterosexual is a person that is attracted to the opposite sex," may further confuse her, as she may not understand what I meant by "opposite sex," or sex at all. Like, maybe I was saying that it was a person who was attracted to the opposite of sex. Which made me sort of confused, because I didn't know what the opposite of sex would even be. Seriously. If someone said to you, "Hey, lets do the opposite of sex," what would that mean? You can't just say, "Not have sex." Because that would be doing nothing, and the opposite of doing something would have to be doing something else. Man, I really digress.
"Well. As a heterosexual female, you are attracted to men."
"Ohhh. Haha. Okay."
"What the hell did you think it meant?"
"I just like, thought it was a guy who like, liked girls, but was like way femmy."
"Well, that would be a metro-sexual. But that isn't even a real word. It is a slang term. Heterosexual can actually be found in the dictionary, and is by all means a word you should have probably learned in junior high. Perhaps sooner."

I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when she later approached me in the bar and asked, "Fish. Can I ask you another question."
"By all means."
"Umm. What's like, a good drink, but that doesn't really taste like alcohol?"

This question is made more humorous (or possibly sad) by the fact that our sweet little darling here is dating a dude with 2 or 3 illegitimate children running around the valley. I'm certain at some point, this sperm launching sex fiend will probably tell her something like, "Don't worry baby. If we have seh standing up, you can't get pregs." And thanks to the Heber school district, she won't recognize that for the terrible lie that it is, and 9 months later, numero cuatro will come sliding out of the birth canal, hopefully not soaked in alcohol.

I'll be sure to tell her about fetal alcohol syndrome, even if she doesn't ask.