I had onions for lunch

Now you know. I didn’t have JUST onions but I thought it was important to tell you that they were a big part of that particular meal.

If I was alone in the world I would have onions for lunch every day. And for dinner. I could even squeeze them into breakfast. Actually I could more than squeeze them in. Have you ever had a plain bagel with scallion cream cheese, tomato and red onion? Or an omelette that’s so full of onions and peppers that you can’t really see the egg?

I’m in the office today and the rest of my team is either off or working from home. In fact the entire floor is pretty vacant so I thought I was safe. I’ve been trying to have salads at least once a day and nothing makes a salad better than…yep.

Alone in the office. No in-person meetings. The next human I’ll see today will be at 6:30pm. Hours after consumption. I had no choice. The stars were aligned.

It’s been a tough couple of weeks. An insane work schedule mixed with the usual family obligations mixed with unexpected health scares (my mom – who is recovering like a champ). Can you blame me for letting off some steam? Going a little crazy? Letting my hair down? Sure I could have turned to alcohol and drugs – I still may – but for now, this will do.

Anyway – I gotta go brush my teeth and eat a pack of mints.

Back to School Blurb

I love Facebook for many many reasons. Birthday love. Vacation pics galore. Inappropriate overshares. I love it all. I especially love the beginning of school. I love all the happy, shiny faces with their new backpacks and lunch boxes heading into the new school year. I only have one picture of me that resembles anything close to a back-to-school shot growing up. I’m not sure where it is. In a grocery bag in a closet somewhere, I think.

That’s not said with any judgement or vilification, my mother or father literally drove me to school from 1st through 12th grade (I don’t think I went to Kindergarten. Is that legal?). Of all the things I never did growing up (like eat mustard, cream cheese or sour cream), I never rode a school bus. I mean I did on school trips and things – but never in the morning or back home. I’m not sure why my parents decided to do this and I’ve never asked why. Although they were over protective about weird things and then completely carefree about other things. Example, I wasn’t allowed to watch most American horror movies because there were bad words and boobs and yet Bollywood with it’s love to violence and rape was a green light in our house. Confusing no?

So I never rode a big yellow bus. But don’t you worry. I learned all the bad words and met all the bad friends anyway. I just did it at the lunch table. Eating my peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich on my Brick Oven bread. If you were nice to me I’d let you share my snack, oh wait, there was no snack. Just a sandwich and a thermos full of OJ. In high school I started buying my lunch. Actually I bought crackers and milk and pocketed the money for other things. Food wasn’t as important as the new U2 cd coming out. I know better now.

Happy back to school to all you kiddos. Enjoy the gluten-free, organically grown/fed/butchered lunch that probably cost more than my outfit. Hope there’s square pizza and fried tater tots in your future!

Good Pain

What would be your last meal? Steak? Lobster? Caviar? Nope. Not me. This would be my last meal.

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Cheese. Bread. And a long, hot, pepper! It’s very ethnic of me. I can’t help it. It’s in my blood. It’s of my people. I went out shopping this morning and rewarded myself with this beauty for lunch. Do you know how happy I get when I see a pepper like this? The kind that’s so big it doesn’t even fit in the frame. The kind you find in a pizzeria, laying on top of a pile of garlic knots and waiting for a lunatic like me.  Waiting to be sprinkled with sea salt. Waiting to be devoured.

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I’m hard pressed to find something that I love more than this combo.

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Happiness is a slow, salty burn after your meal. Really.

Benign Masochism

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Most Sunday mornings start the same way for me. If we don’t have anywhere to go I wake up to the sounds of CBS Sunday Morning.  It’s usually my husband to my left and Charles Osgood and his bow tie to my right. Cozy.

It’s the perfect show. A little smart. A little silly. Lots of pictures. Perfect. I don’t remember a Sunday without it (or without 60 minutes for that matter).

This morning’s episode featured a Yale psychologist named Paul Bloom talking about a human’s need for pleasure.  Pleasure through all sorts of things. At the end of that segment they talked about people who love spicy foods. So spicy that the experience borders on pain. This need to push pleasure onto the realm of mild pain is called “benign masochism”.

I perked right up. My husband perked right up. You see, he’s been married to a benign masochist for a long time, and now we finally have a name to my disease. I love…no adore…no need super spicy food. If there’s a mild sweat developing while I have my penne arrabiata – awesome. If the name of the food has the word Habanero in it – it’s for me! Do you know how many times my daughter has said,” why? Mom, why?” This is why!

I blame my upbringing. I blame my Indian heritage. I blame….how delicious everything spicy really is.

My family and friends have been so supportive – they’ve always hidden their horror.

They don’t laugh when I order Chinese food (vegetable fried rice, no eggs, no mushrooms, extra spicy).

They didn’t laugh when I, at 6 months pregnant with my son, asked the cafeteria worker in our conservative financial firm to remove the jalapeno decorations during a Mexican themed lunch so I could actually eat them.  I had to.

They love me so much that when we go out for lunch or dinner or even breakfast, they never forget to ask for the crushed red pepper or hot sauce.

I’m surrounded by love. And hot peppers.

 

 

 

 

The Lunch Table

This picture is circa 2000.
I had just gotten a job at a Fortune 500 in NYC. After two years of being at home with my baby, I was back at work as an event planner and loving it. Technically I wasn’t a planner until a year later – in the beginning I was an admin.
An admin to an insane, crazy, brilliant woman who ran our group. The woman who gave me a 45 minute lecture on using colored folders instead of beige folders (the colors distracted her as she walked by my cube). The woman who called me from the Tarmac while boarding a flight to tell me she doesn’t like prop planes and why hadn’t I known that and I better fix it ASAP (I couldn’t because there were only prop planes flying to this part of Colorado. I had offered to book her a car the day before when I warned her about this but she hadn’t been listening, something about researching the perfect toilet – no joke).
But all those moments that would have driven me to quit turned into funny stories we shared. Funny war stories at the lunch table.
We worked really really hard. Almost 24/7. Weekends. Holidays. For no money. It was rough.
But every day, we had lunch together – the whole group. There are a few ladies missing from this pic but this was the core group. We also had a Swiss National and a Brit.
We bitched, we ranted, we raved, but most of all – we laughed.
This restaurant lunch was a rarity. Almost all lunches were either in the cafeteria or at a table on our floor.
No one from other groups ever joined – probably because they weren’t invited. This was anti-networking. This was cocooning.
The majority of the lunch was used to make fun of each other. And there was plenty of material. Marriages, weirdo eating habits, childhood traumas – all ripe for the picking. We left our egos in our cube. Belly laughter ensued.
Then we’d go back to working our asses off.
There were weddings, babies, break-ups, promotions, and more.
The crazy boss lady left. And shockingly, in hindsight, I would miss her. Aside from the batshit crazy episodes, I learned a lot from her. And from all those ladies.
It was and continues to be the best job I ever had.

(not sure why I have glasses on? contact lense malfunction that morning?)

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Big Mac without the Mac

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Actually, this is a Whopper no meat.

I couldn’t help myself today. I needed something from a drive-thru window. I didn’t need to supersize it or make it a meal. But I really wanted this sandwich.

Did you know that McDonald’s and Burger King all have veggie versions of their famous sandwiches? Not a veggie patty (ewwwww). I’m talking all the goodness of the burger with none of the meat. The meat is the goodness you say? Meh.

Don’t be fooled. These aren’t healthy by any means. I may have knocked out a few thousand calories, but there’s more where that came from.

Give it a shot next time. I promise you won’t be disappointed.  Well – you might be. If you need beef in your burgers you’ll be disappointed.

(ps –  I like raw onions. I don’t get to eat them often because I don’t live alone in the wilderness. but I like them. alot.)

Anyway – what did you have for lunch?

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“lunch”

Some days I feed my kids fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.  They wake up to homemade pancakes, have a balanced lunch and go to bed after a healthy dinner.

Other days I have back to back work calls and they are left to their own devices. My girl will whip up some PB&J sandwiches for the boy, or he’ll have whatever assortment of fiber laden food he can find in the pantry (did I tell you about his obsession with raisins, oatmeal and apples. Good for his little body, not so good for our septic system. We have 3 bathrooms in our house and 4 plungers. Sorry. Had to go there. He’s cute, but he’s deadly).

Then there are total and complete fail days. Days when I start working at 6am and forget that I have to feed anyone until I’m dragging them through Target at lunch and they start foaming at the mouth for “beef” hot dogs and disgusting blue ice drinks.

Guess which day today was?

Love, Mother of the Year. Again.