Ahmusings

The 98% humorous musings of M. Lizabeth Currain

Tag: Diet

TLC Sundays

And I’m not talking about T-boz, Left-eye, or Chili. This is strictly about The Learning Channel and their Sunday evening programming. I’ve had this blog floating around in my head for awhile and finally decided that it needed to be let out. When I say “a while” I’m not talking two weeks, I’m talking two years at least. Two years I’ve held this belief, and I’m finally sharing it with all three of you.

The Learning Channel, most commonly referred to as TLC, shows the weirdest, most depressing programming on Sunday evening. Seriously. It’s usually about people with birth defects, people who are severely over weight, people with odd conditions, etc. One time they had a show about David Reimer, called “Born a boy, Raised a Girl“, it was about how but they botched the circumcision at birth, so the doctors thought it would be best if he lived his life as a girl. That plan didn’t really work out as nicely as they thought it was going to. They sent him to therapy when (s)he was a child and the therapist pretty much molested him and his brother by making them touch each other. The therapist even brings in a trans to try and show how the situation is okay, but the girl always felt like a boy. Finally at whatever age, she gets to be a he, but ends up killing himself later on down the road. On Sunday Feb 8th, the line-up wasn’t as grim, but included The Pregnant Man , Mermaid Girl, and The Woman With Giant Legs.

We all know about the Pregnant Man–TLC was just reminding us. You don’t really want to get me started on this. I mean, yes, this is a step in the right direction for the acceptance of transgendered people and I believe that people should be allowed to live their lives how they want as long as it isn’t harmful to themselves or others…HOWEVER, this is not some miracle. This is a man who was biologically a female and kept those baby making parts, enabling him to have children. This is not a man who was biologically a man with man parts that squeezed a baby out of his peen. This is one reason that I am not so fascinated with the Pregnant Man.

Mermaid Girl–this one was depressing. This girl was born with her legs fused together, so that she sort of only has one leg and it looks like a mermaid tail. It’s hard for her to support her upper body and because she can’t be as active as she needs to be, she puts on weight easily. The surgery is dangerous because all of the nerves are tangled up and stuff. She’s probably going to be a mermaid for a while. But she’s pretty positive…I’m not so sure how happy I’d be if I didn’t have any genitalia. Here’s a clip I found on YouTube, it’s not from the TLC documentary, but it’s kind of equally depressing.

The Woman With Giant Legs was a little unsettling. Mandy Sellers is from England and has something called Proteus syndrome, which is most commonly associated with this dude:

Mandy also seemed upbeat, which is amazing considering the shear amount of energy she has to put forward to just put on her shoes (which are unfortunate, I wish the shoe guy she had could make her a cuter pair). One of her feet is turned completely around, which makes it even more difficult for her to walk. She weighs 20 stone which is roughly 280 pounds…and 210 of that are her legs. This is all putting strain on her heart. She wants to have her legs amputated, but if they do that, she will only have her top half…and they aren’t able to make prosthetics that would enable her to walk, so she is going to wait until the last minute to have her legs amputated. She was kind of funny because she was getting her hair done and going shopping for a new top and basically said if her legs are going to look like this and people are going to be staring at her, she’s not going to look like a hot mess up top. Those are my words, though, not hers. She also kind of looked like Stephen Merchant.

This coming Sunday the line up includes; Extreme Aging: Hayley’s Story and Joined For life: Abby and Brittany Turn 16. Also on the following Sunday, TLC will be airing; Half Ton Mom, followed by Half Ton Dad, concluded by, not surprisingly, Half Ton Teen. If there is one thing that I have learned, it is that TLC LOVES a fatty! Case and point Manuel Uribe. TLC was good for him..he lost some weight, got married, and some company even made him a sex ramp so that he could do the dirty with this wife.

It’s as if TLC is saying, “Hey guys, it’s Sunday. If you weren’t feeling shitty already about the beginning of yet another terrible week, here are some stories that are sure to cheer you up, because you know what, at least you aren’t 1000lbs, don’t have giant limbs, and have genitalia.” That kind of nonsense doesn’t work for me…and I’ll tell you why. One Sunday evening a few summers ago, I was watching at TLC documentary on a supercalifragilisticexpialidociously fat man in England somewhere. He was basically bedridden and had home health aides who he made sign a contract not to allow him to stuff his face with crisps or mayonnaise or crisps dipped in mayonnaise no matter how many horrible things he said to them. He was lying in his bed, his head peering above his ginormous body and his hands folded over his mountain of a stomach, telling us his story. As I was watching this, I realized that I WAS LAYING IN THE SAME EXACT POSITION AS HIM watching him talk about how fat he is and how much he likes his crisps. That is depressing and I immediately turned on my side.

Economic Crisis Diet

So, times are tough. I say this phrase at least 5 times a day, to try and make it really sink in to those around me. Especially my employer, because it’s the most passive away to imply that one needs a raise. Which I do. Because I am poor.

I basically live paycheck to paycheck–the last one I get in the month always being the one that I use to pay my rent. That paycheck is barely enough to cover my rent, and my rent really isn’t that high. But once you tack on things like electric (which is killer in the summer if you are not a hot/humid weather type of person, i.e. ME) and gas–generally not that expensive because the stove is more like a conversation piece than something I actually use on a regular basis–things get tight. Then there is my student loan, credit card, etc. I have no chance to save any money, because basically, I go through it like toilet paper–and I go through a lot of that because we aren’t allowed to put toilet paper in our toilet. It’s a long story that involves plumbing that I don’t quite understand, but maybe Joe the Plumber would.

So I am stretched financially. And that means something has to fall to the wayside. I’ve already practically given up on fashion–I’m wearing bootcut jeans that I got at a thrift store! Who wears bootcut jeans?! I might as well be wearing flares! It’s all about the skinny jeans, people. Also, I’m still wearing tank tops. It’s pretty much like 50 degrees outside. But I can’t afford the luxury of a long sleeve shirt. Not in this economy. Mostly all of my clothing at this point comes from the thrift store where I work. Sometimes I will buy a t-shirt–from work. Tres Faconnable. Tres Chic. Tres Pauvres.

Now this economic crisis of mine has asked to me to give up something else that I love. Something that I love almost as much as fashion–sometimes, even more, when I’m depressed. Food. Yes. Food. When did groceries become so expensive? When did eating a normal meal become a luxury? No longer can I enjoy a Chipotle burrito; my lifeblood; or a sausage, egg, and cheese on a bagel on those dreadful Sunday mornings when I have to work. No more.

But I know I am not suffering alone. And I want to help others out there, that are in a similar situation as I. I’m going to give some tips, some recipes, some advice.

If you work in retail, or anything sort of customer service related, where you interact with people–sometimes the same people–on a daily basis, try to make friends with a few of them. They are going to be essential in getting you the nutrients or snacks you so desperately need. This past Sunday, when I had forgotten my lunch, one of my favorite customers came bearing gifts of delightful little pastries, from a reputable bakery. They satisfied my sweet tooth for 3 days. Also, don’t be selfish; offer some to your coworkers–at least the ones you like anyways. When someone comes in asking to borrow a pair of scissors, try your best to find a pair, because you never know when they are going to be violently trying to open up a bag of Starburst Jellybeans and offer you some. When a customer comes in bringing food for your boss, who is not there that day, don’t be afraid to split it amongst you and your coworkers. That food could go bad, better yet, that food could be poisoned, and you will have saved your boss’s life. It is a great way to supplement the pathetic lunch you have packed for yourself (I added a soup to my sandwich today! For free!) and save you the hassle paying for a drink at the deli–with regards to that, just buy a can of soda, it’s only a buck and not as bad for the environment as those $1.25/1.50 bottles of soda. Arizona teas in the can are also a great bargoon for $.99. Also, if you buy one, $1 bottle of water, you can keep refilling it for free, from your own tap! Water is pretty much included in most people’s rent–and a lot of work places have water coolers.

If someone offers you some free food take it. Don’t ask questions, just be grateful that you are getting something for free. Also, mention foods you like, because a coworker may have some foodstuffs in her house that she gets from the government for free, like peanut butter, but doesn’t like and can’t feed to her child because they are allergic to nuts–you can benefit from that. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Don’t be afraid of brands you have never heard of or the generic stuff. Tropical Fantasy Soda comes in a variety of, well, tropical flavors in a generously sized bottle for only $.65 (at least that’s how much it costs at the bodega by my apartment.)! Go for the $1.39 loaf of bread with a name you can’t remember–it tastes like Wonderbread, but better because it’s not $3. Also, generic pretzels, pretty much the same thing as Rold Gold, but CHEAPER. Hotel Bar butter? Bet you haven’t heard of it. It’s cheap, but it looks like butter, tastes like butter, and it fucking is butter–but it’s cheap, because their logo is a g.d. bellhop from 1957. And when you see a name brand cereal box touting a special price of $2.79, grab that mofo because that won’t last. And Froot Loops taste better when you aren’t being charged $4.39 for a box that is going to last you, in all honesty, like 3 days. We are adults, not small children. Our cereal intake is at a different level and just can’t be compared to that of a small child.

If you are going to order out, which I don’t recommend, unless your Father is paying for it, try to extend that takeout for as long as possible. That Chinese food I ordered on Saturday? Lasted me until Tuesday. I was having that stuff for lunch and dinner. It’s all about portion control. Don’t order from places like Papa Johns…my roommate makes this mistake all the time. A large pizza is like $23. That is too much. I can get a large pizza from Nick’s/Frank’s/Whatever-his-name-might-be for $14. At 8 slices in a large, that’s 4 meals if you eat two at each sitting. Everybody’s different, but 2 slices of pizza is a reasonable serving for someone who is grown and not binge eating because they are drunk. Also, Subway, $5 footlong–sure you may find a knife in your sandwich, but how can you beat $5 for a footlong?! That’s two six inch subs. That is lunch and dinner, or lunch and lunch. However you want to spread it out. I believe Quizno’s offers a similar deal–choose your poison.

Buy pasta. Buy the cheapest pasta you can find. It is all going to end up in the same place eventually (get what I’m saying?), so why splurge at this point? Cook it, put a little bit of your Hotel Bar Butter on it while it’s still hot, sprinkle a little salt, a little pepper–maybe some garlic powder if you have some–and there is dinner, every night of the week until you can find a new job that pays better or until someone does you a favor and puts you out of your misery.

Buy pancake mix, but be sure to read the box so that you are buy the “just add water kind”. I recommend Aunt Jemima–lady knows a pancake, okay? That can be breakfast and dinner until the box is gone. It will last a while (I’ve had my box for a good 5 or 6 months), unless you consume massive quantities of pancakes at each meal. Pace yourself. Also, Aunt Jemima syrup is delicious. You’ll want to have that around. Not only is it good on pancakes, but when you realize that you have no food in your apartment, except for a jar of Peter Pan peanut butter your roommate bought you to replace the one he ate while he was drunk, you can drizzle it on a spoonful of peanut butter. I can sense that you are judging me right now, and I am okay with that. Because when you try it, you will know what I am talking about. It’s the right blend of salty and sweet.

What started this whole thing for me, was that fact that, yesterday, in order to save myself some money, I bought Smuckers Goober Grape. For those of you elitist consumers out there, this is what real America is about. It is peanut butter and grape jelly combined. In one jar. For only $3.19 (at my bodega). Skippy peanut butter alone was $2.39 with jelly around the same price. I am saving practically half. It tastes okay. It wouldn’t be my first choice if I gobs of cash to be grocery shopping with. But it does the job. Slathered on some $1.39 no-name bread, served with some generic $1.19 pretzels and a $.65 Tropical Fantasy ( I recommend the Peach or Mango flavor) soda and you basically have a lunch for a little over a $1. That is true savings people!

Also, Halloween is coming up. You can either go trick-or-treating yourself and collect yourself some delicious candy bar meals, or you can steal the candy from children. It’s up to you. November is coming and if McCain wins, we could be facing even tougher times, and no amount of Goober Grape is going to be able to get us through it.

As with any diet, try and think of the end goal. With the amount of weight one will lose, from the lack of nutrition and food that is being eaten, when that new job comes, and one’s personal economic crisis is over, those brand new skinny jeans are going to look great!

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