Sweetie, I Wish I Knew How To Quit You
I just heard yesterday that “sugary drinks” are now the #1 source of calories in the American diet.
Yeah, baby! We’re #1! We’re #1! We’re #1!
Something I can graph? Excuse me while I sprint to the spreadsheets. I get to graph something!
Lately I’ve been a wagon-follow-offerer. Vegetarian? Check! Granulated sugar? Check! Coke and/or Pepsi? Check! Alcohol? Now wait just a damn minute. I never went on that wagon. Ah. I see what you did there. Well played.
For some damn strange reason I seem to get off on attempting to test my willpower. This is invariably followed by a period of extreme humiliation. Try it! It’s good fun.
I blame my mother for my lifelong love affair with sugar. Some of my earliest memories of life involve the morning bowl of breakfast cereal. Like Cheerios. And it just wasn’t a bowl of soggies unless there was a gooey thick mess of partially disolved granulated sugar remaining in the bottom of the bowl.
To this day I wonder why she deliberately went out of her way to teach me that. I mean, I was only a child. I wouldn’t have known the difference if I was served Cheerios in the raw, right? Continue reading →
Legally Obliged: Pepsi gets Coked
File this under Things That Make Me Feel So Good…
Where’s Eric Clapton when we need him? Cocaine! (Little known fact: Eric Clapton’s version of the song was a cover. The song was original written and recorded by JJ Cale in 1976.)
Coke used to contain cocaine but even today it still contains an extract of the coca leaf. The Stepan Company does the processing in New Jersey and is the only facility in the United States licensed by the DEA to import coca leaves from Peru.
Continue reading →
I’ve unfriended a lifelong companion
One of the best friends in my life no longer whispers sweet nothings in my ear.
We met when I was really young. Some of my earliest memories of life involve this friend. I’m pretty sure my mom introduced us and we went together like peas and carrots.
Like a bowl of breakfast cereal. I just knew I’d done something wrong if the bottom of the bowl didn’t contain a thick syrupy residue of my best friend. Drinking and licking the bowl for this sweetness became the norm for finishing up a bowl of soggies.
Later, in school, my friend took many forms, notably Wintergreen Lifesavers during my junior high years. I used to eat a box per day. If memory serves it was 20 rolls for 20 cents each, or $4.00 a box. Ugh.
Somewhere along the way mom must have regretted her role, and she tried to switch me to diet sodas. I fought that tooth and nail. An ice cold Coke was one of the most pleasing shapes my friend could take.
As an adult I took things to a whole new level. After the “New Coke” fiasco I somehow found so-called “Classic Coke” unpalatable. So I switched to Pepsi. It didn’t matter since my friend remained even more constant than the Northern Star. Even in a Pepsi my friend still ensconced me a warm lover’s embrace. I’d have a 12-ounce can of Pepsi for breakfast to start the day. Then, throughout the rest of the day, it was 32 ounce “Big Gulps” and then, later, the masterful invention of the 44-ounce soda to go.
Serving sizes are their own discussion. Back in the 1950’s a 12-ounce can of soda was described as “king size” and was said to contain two servings. Today a 32-ounce serving is considered to be “medium” size. (Source: TheSocietyPages.org.) That is one wild ride I was happy to go along with. At my peak I’d estimate I drank close to a gallon of soda per day. Here’s another excellent link about serving sizes and soda, or what they call “liquid candy.”
Luckily I (mostly) kicked the soda habit about 15 years ago. One day I decided to give it up cold turkey. Oh man, the headaches. Those lasted about two weeks. In the end I went about two years with no soda of any kind. (I still refused to drink diet soda on principle due to chemicals.) After that two years, I dipped a toe back in the soda waters, but only as a rare “treat.”
Something interesting happened when I gave up soda, though. My old friend felt snubbed and vowed to get revenge. Soon my friend was showing up in coffee and iced tea. I rationalized it as “three spoonfuls” vs. the famous “16 teaspoons” found in a soda. That had to be my homemade version of a “diet” drink, right? At least in comparison to the ultimate evil of soft drinks.
That relationship was ongoing until two weeks ago last Sunday. That’s the last day I touched granulated sugar. I’ve now got two solid weeks of deprivation under my belt. Cold turkey.
It’s been rough. Black coffee was a fairly easy adjustment, but tea? Hot or cold, I’m having a real hard time. It’s just not the same without the granulated sugar. I’m drinking a hot tea as I write this post and it’s really hard.
The other day I had the sugar jar open and I was negotiating with my wife for permission. (Which, of course, she says isn’t hers to give.) “How about just one teeny level teaspoon,” I whined. I even had it out and on the spoon. In the end, I’m proud to say I dumped it back in the jar and not in my drink.
Deprivation seems to be my new friend. For some strange reason I’ve always enjoyed trying to deprive myself of things. Like the two-year hiatus on soda. And once I gave up alcohol for more than a year just for the hell of it.
This last year I got in the habit of making a pot of coffee every morning. I’ve never been a big coffee drinker but suddenly here I was doing it every single day. Then one day about a week ago I skipped breakfast, skipped lunch, and showed up for my new job at noon shaking and feeling queasy as hell. I blamed the coffee. So now I’m depriving myself of that, too.
In fact, I love deprivation so much, I’ve already decided. The next thing I deprive myself of is going to be deprivation itself. And the only way to accomplish that is to go back to full throttle on all of the other things that were previously cut out.
Sounds like a win-win to me!
Let’s weed ’em out
Coming soon to a state ballot near you: marijuana AKA cannabis.
Seems like all I hear these days is pro-legalization news. Pot was criminalized on a lie. Pot isn’t all that bad. Look what you can do with hemp. Driving while stoned isn’t as bad as being drunk. Yada yada yada.
Well, BAH FUCKING HUMBUG!
I often find myself on the wrong side of the popular vote. I guess that makes me a Lone Wolf. A renegade. A man outside the law. Meh.
How many laws are on the books that you don’t agree with? Well shit. What’s that got to do with it? Most laws in our country existed before I was even born. There was no “acceptance period” when I reached a certain age where I was ever asked which laws I agreed with and which ones I didn’t. That’s just tough noogies for me. I have to live with it. That’s life in a democracy like ours I guess.
When marijuana comes up for legalization in my neck of the woods – which is an inevitability – I will personally vote “hail no.” I find that shit utterly disgusting. I don’t like the way it smells, I don’t like the “culture” built around it, and I don’t understand the overwhelming desire to intoxicate oneself. For the record, however, I understand that some folks may have a legitimate need to ease pain and suffering in their lives. In that narrow definition I can support use. Of course, “medical marijuana” is one of the most abused concepts of all time. That makes it ever-so-tempting to shut the door on all use. The rest of this post has nothing to do with those who have a legitimate need.
I get it. Life sucks. Life is hard. Life is pain. But you can choose how you respond. You have choice. You have free will. You can decide to take on life and grapple with it. Or you can check out and go to La La Land and float on a cloud. In my ever so humble opinion the time spent on that cloud is time wasted. (Pun intended.)
I’ve been reading and hearing about the “whaaaaa!” situation in Humbolt County, California. The county is economically depressed. If it wasn’t for marijuana, proponents claim, the county would be even worse off economically than it is now. They say that marijuana is the county’s #1 cash crop. I saw a video of a self-styled Humbolt County “businessman” in a fucking suit extolling the virtues of the plant. Is it just me or did he take the easy way out by basing his livelihood on an illegal business, one that is highly profitable, and one that he now wants to legitimize and have a head start on corning the market? I could give a shit less about him. Me? I’m just a humble law-abiding citizen who’s salary is a pitiful fraction of his. Why the fuck should someone choosing to obey the law matter? Why should the criminal be rewarded?
According the Wikipedia’s cannabis page, marijuana is the #4 cash crop in the United States. Imagine the market that exists to support that? Wow. And in states like California, New York and Florida it is the #1 or #2 cash crop.
You know what that tells me? That too many damn people are spending too much damn money to intoxicate themselves and live on a cloud rather than deal with real life.
When you factor in what we spend on pot, alcohol, other illegal drugs, and abused pharmaceutical narcotics I can only imagine what a whopping number that must be. For completeness we should probably include cigarettes (perhaps the most addictive force known to humankind). Hell, throw in caffeine (Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Red Bull, etc.), too. It’s all drugs, right?
Stop and think about what we do as a society. The need to check out of reality is incredible. What if all the resources, time, money and energy spent on all that shit could be used for good? Can you imagine how different this world could be???