My First-Time Muffin

My First-Time Muffin

Do you remember the first time you ate a muffin? I do. I remember it like it was yesterday. Incidentally, it was yesterday. How come I’ve got so far and so old without ever chancing to eat a muffin? Dunno. I wish I had a profound explanation. I have no anti-muffin agenda though, it just never occurred to me to eat one.

I’m currently watching one of the most idiotic TV shows ever done, Scrubs, and leaving aside my poor judgement and taste, there is one character who is always eating muffins. We all know how persistent advertising works, so it’s no surprise that I soon became obsessed with muffins. My obsession culminated to the point when I actively desired to eat one and, the advertiser’s dream, I took action to procure it.

Please note that we’re not talking euphemisms here. By muffin, I mean muffin. I got myself one in Tesco. It was unreasonably expensive, for a muffin, though I wouldn’t know, having never noticed that they even sell this shit before. I carried my muffin home, asphyxiating it tightly wrapped in one of those anti-nature plastic bags.

Not a muffin

There, I set my muffin on a plate and commenced examining it visually. It was labelled as a chocolate muffin, hence it was nicely dark brown, but you never know whether it’s brown because it’s chocolate or because it’s artificial colouring and flavouring. I was pretty puzzled by the muffin sitting with its bottom stuck in whatyoumaycallit, baking cup? Another of these anti-nature wrappings, but paper, not plastic.

I got so many questions. Why is it called muffin in the first place? Because it muffles whatever you’re saying when you have your mouth stuffed full of it? But then it would be mufflin, I guess. Also, is it soft or hard? Some things are indeed better hard, like Oreos, but I’d prefer this one soft. And is there something in the centre of this misshapen ball? Like, uhm, cream filling? And will it explode on my face? On this note of practical considerations, how the fuck are you supposed to eat this thing??

I dug an exploratory finger in the top of the muffin and behold, it’s soft and crumbly! It’s so soft and crumbly that I got crumbs in my keyboard. Damnit. It’s nice though. Very nice. Very chocolatey. Also, now that I’m observing the remains of a muffin which has just undergone a lobotomy, have you ever noticed that the muffin looks like a nuclear mushroom cloud? No? It totally does! Look at that shit properly the next time you eat a muffin. And for your information, the muffin was as empty inside as me.

Bringing Light to Instagram

Bringing Light to Instagram

Do you think this post is going to be about my enlightening Instagram? Gotcha! Of course not. You should know better now than to trust me. I bring gloom and doom wherever I go, including Instagram.

Since the last week’s power outage, I’ve been entirely enthralled with manifestations of light. Light is good, especially artificial light, because artificial light means the power is on. And so is WiFi.

So I bring to your attention another instalment of my photo-a-day project (which I’m still denying I’m doing), as originally posted on Instagram.

19 March: Go, Cheddar, go! Cheddar didn’t but I went to get groceries.
20 March: The grocery mission was an unqualified success. For a small fee, I will organise your fridge all neat and nice like this. I’m OCD, that’s what I do.
21 March: This is my flat entry door. I think someone forgot to throw in a threshold. Light Exhibit #1.
22 March: That’s a perfectly useless random window in a wall between two rooms. But, good for Light Exhibit #2.
23 March: I wasn’t drunk when taking this. My phone apparently was. But it’s Light Exhibit #3.
24 March: I changed the bulb. Not ideal, but I never said I was a good janitor. Light Exhibit #4.
25 March: I specialise in low-res grainy shitty photos. Street Light Exhibit #5.


So I Was Trying to Cook…

So I Was Trying to Cook…

I cook every day. Still, I’m even worse than the worst cook ever. In cooking, I follow strict principles:

  • the dish must not require more than two ingredients
  • no more than two pots and one piece of kitchen utensil are allowed
  • it has to be done in under ten minutes

I usually end up with cooked frozen veggies and tofu.

I was feeling ambitious today, though, so I procured exotic ingredients to produce a shockingly complex meal. An omelette.

It involved eggs, bacon and onion. (This breaks the rule of maximum two ingredients.) It took half an hour to make. (This breaks the ten-minutes-tops rule.) I had to dust off a plethora of kitchen utensils I own just so but never use. (This breaks the two pots/utensils rule.)

In short, I wasn’t recognising myself. I forgive myself though for I did not know what I was doing. (Literally.)

Guess what! An omelette.

I needed to Google the recipe. Why, no, I don’t really know how to make an omelette. The recipe called for a pan, but fuck that, I don’t keep such devilish devices at home. So a pot it is instead. The instructions demanded that I beat the eggs. What? I’m pacifist, I don’t beat anything. I compromised though and massaged the eggs for a bit in a mug with a fork. That’ll do.

I was also peeling and cutting an onion. I couldn’t believe what was happening. It was seriously surreal. Onions might be nice, but they’re optional and I don’t remember ever going for the option. (It goes against all that my minimalist cooking code represents.) I was trying to make small cubes from half an onion, alas, I somehow ended up with thick crescent-shaped slices. Whatever.

I vaguely remembered from my random observations of people cooking that you put the onion in first. Which I did. It well quite well to start with. Then I put in the bacon and poured the eggs over it. Only then did I attempt to add salt and pepper, which turned out to be a bit late because it didn’t mix. Oh well.

I proceeded to hypnotise the pot and wait.

The recipe claimed the omelette is ready when the top gets crusty. The top refused to do such a thing and while I was willing to wait for it, I was increasingly disturbed by the smell of something burning that started to emanate from the pot. I tentatively poked the work in progress and found that it got stuck to the pot. *shrug* I peeled it off and discovered the omelette’s bottom is burnt and the top is raw. Interesting.

It tasted better than it looked but you’d better not try this at home.

What I Hated the Least Today 186/365: Loyalty Cards

What I Hated the Least Today 186/365: Loyalty Cards

Card collecting
Card collecting

Inspired by this Rebekah’s post, which was inspired by this my post (it’s complicated), here’s a follow-up on the (not so) thrilling subject of groceries and loyalty cards. I have quite a collection of them, against my better judgement. Most of them do very little, and what some of them do I don’t even know.

I went to get a few items in the Mara-approved Billa supermarket today and, forbid, I had a good shopping experience. My shopping was checked in by the shift manager, who is always very polite and all smiles. How the hell does he do that? His wages probably range between 12k and 18k minus about 30% tax—for comparison, my rent plus utilities is 11k, which is about the usual. Maybe he’s hysterical. I would be. I am. However, he fixed me with a 10% discount coupon because it’s my birthday this month.

That’s nice and not nice. The coupon applies to one batch of shopping, which means that the coupon user is under pressure to buy more to “save” more. The coupon is valid for a month, so I have time enough to ponder upon the dilemma. That’s philosophy in everyday life.

What I Hated the Least Today 184/365: Groceries

What I Hated the Least Today 184/365: Groceries

My 1.6 foot grocery bill
My 1.6 foot grocery bill

I’ve been to get my groceries today. Or, as the Scots say, messages. Sure, my life is uneventful to that extreme when going out to get groceries is an event. Also, I’m running out of subjects to blog about (see my recent toilet paper post), so I figure I’ll blog my grocery bill today. Yes, I’m serious.

Before punctuating my post with a delightful unordered list (aka <ul><li></li></ul>), let me state my utmost satisfaction that that’s it done, groceries for another week at home. I’ve found that I can carry about a week’s worth of groceries in one take (I don’t own a car) and since I always pay about the same amount for my weekly shopping, I was able to calculate how much I spend on food per month.

One one hand, my findings led me to Google how long one can last without food; on the other hand, I was almost grateful (I’m never grateful, so almost is the key word here) that I still have money for food. And for rent even. Until it runs out. Meanwhile, however, my grocery bill. It was 1.6 foot (50 cm) long, but most of the paper was taken by advertising nonsense (on my defence).

I bought, in the same order as checked in by the cashier:

  • frozen fish fillets
  • frozen shrimps (I should bloody stop buying fancy food)
  • mints (as a smoker, I need a mouth sanitiser for when I approach people)
  • frozen vegetables, corn mix
  • frozen vegetables, broccoli mix
  • frozen vegetables, carrot/corn/pea mix
  • tofu
  • whole bean coffee
  • regular pasta
  • corn pasta
  • cookies (damn the cookies, I always buy cookies though on diet)
  • rice crisp bread
  • rye crisp bread
  • soya
  • fish spice mix
  • rice crisp bread with paprika seasoning
  • salt
  • fish spread
  • wholegrain baguette
  • fresh champignons
What I Hated the Least Today 180/365: No Foodie

What I Hated the Least Today 180/365: No Foodie

Definitely not a foodie
Definitely not a foodie

I blogged about my comparatively successful ongoing effort to lose weight before, always with the cautionary warning that you don’t try it at home. To further my message that slimming is not worth it, here’s a decisively anti-foodie post. Please be warned that the following contains graphic images: extremely bad snaps of rather bad food.

I’m a foodie in the sense that everyone else is—I assume everyone likes to eat nice food—and I’m not a foodie in the sense that I rarely eat nice food (nice food is inconsistent with dieting), I hate preparing dishes (too much effort wasted to too little effect) and I hate arranging food on the plate (it’s not like you’re not going to eat it anyway).

Perversely, I cook daily out of necessity. Stupidly, not only my cooking sucks, but also the dietary ingredients I use to much extent preclude the possibility of tasty results. I cook vegetables, tofu and soya; and when I indulge myself, rice, pasta, fish and chicken. When I don’t cook, I eat crisp bread, which is probably the least awful thing on my menu.

Here are the promised gory images of my disgusting food, deliberately squared Instagram style to poke fun at actual foodies. I’m losing weight, but I’m retaining my weird sense of humour.

What I Hated the Least Today 150/365: Lifestyle

What I Hated the Least Today 150/365: Lifestyle

Annoyingly showy lifestyles
Annoying lifestyles

I’m scared of people who take a perfectly normal thing, like eating or exercising, and turn it into a whole lifestyle, so making it somewhat abnormal. The trouble is that people with a conscious lifestyle (orthodox yogis, vegetarians, non-gluten eaters, you name it) tend to spread their enlightenment like crusaders.

I found myself very uplifted when I came across a YouTube channel of a slightly creepy but likeable guy who pokes fun at conscious lifestyle leaders. While it’s difficult to say to what extent it’s a marketing pose, it can’t be denied that the man possesses the rare qualities of common sense and sense of humour.

Below is the first video I saw (I think it’s all over the internet now), which is somewhat lengthy for my taste but you don’t need to watch for more than a few seconds to see how he nails it.

My special favourite is his yoga video, which is hilarious and which also gives him away as a yoga practitioner (if he didn’t do yoga, I doubt he’d be able to strike the poses, plus check out his figure). It begins: The three most important things in my life are: God, my family and my Instagram account. Said with a deadpan face. Gotta love this.

What I Hated the Least Today 148/365: Eating Out

What I Hated the Least Today 148/365: Eating Out

Eating out - literally
Eating out – literally

I never eat out—except when I do, of course. I did so when I had two hours to pass away before my return bus’s departure when I finished teaching/examining. I could have taken the more expensive, less comfortable and Wi-Fi-less train, but I’m loyal to my preferred bus service (less expensive, more comfortable and Wi-Fi-equipped). I thought I could have a lunch somewhere while waiting, as I’ve grown increasingly fed up with my low-calorie food diet (fed is probably not the best word choice in reference to my diet) and was craving actual food (I maintain that vegetables and tofu do not qualify as actual food).

I spent much time deciding if I’d go for lunch and even more time deciding where to go for lunch. I’m indecisive. I’m also scared of people and eating out requires dealing with them. I went through my agonisingly slow deciding process while sitting on a bench in the scorching heat and chain-smoking (two is already a chain), vaguely unhappy with myself. Perhaps I could just as well remain here, contemplating my incompetence, and making do with my crisp rice bread snack? But then the thought of food that is actually food was so tempting.

I consulted my mobile device for eating places nearby. All of them looked OK, none of them looked like a must-visit though. Round the corner there was what turned out to be a vegetarian diner—so as to prove to myself that I’m not biased, I checked out the daily menu posted on their web and found that they offered sweet rice and a tofu meal. Now, that’s not much of an improvement when compared to the rice bread in my handbag and the tofu in my fridge. As I noticed I was already starting to draw attention (a nervous person sitting alone and fidgeting on a bench is bound to want to blow something up), I abandoned my post and went in the nearest restaurant across the street.

Inside, I planned to tuck myself into a corner somewhere, but seating options suitable for a single person were somewhat limited, so I climbed on a slightly raised platform strewn with a bunch of small tables. That was a largely counter-intuitive choice, but at least the platform lined the wall. I hate open spaces (which is another way of saying I’m agoraphobic). The waiters (or, as one of my students termed them during her oral exam, the servants) were complaisant (which always makes me embarrassed for myself for no good reason), and the menu offered chicken wraps and a pasta salad (which I deemed acceptable).

I was so cheeky as to ask if I could have the salad without dressing. I don’t like my food all sticky with a semi-fluid substance of dubious colour and texture. The waiter reported that the dressing was already mixed in the meal; so never mind, let’s try the wraps. The waiter double-checked, correcting my wraps pronunciation (I czechified it, but the waiter was probably proud he knew how to pronounce it in English, so I naturally didn’t mention my PhD in English and tried not to let on the depth of my embarrassment). I asked for water then, possibly with a slice of lemon or something, because I reasoned it would be cheaper than mineral water.

The food was alright but rather expensive, and the tap water turned out to be outright overpriced. Good to know that next time I should just have beer, which is the cheapest drink you can get (cheaper than water and cheaper than bread). I was quite proud of myself because I ventured to interact with people (I hated it) and I confirmed my initial suspicion that eating out was neither affordable nor too delightful when practised alone. I’m also pleased to report an entertaining incident: as I was leaving, I obviously forgot all about me being on a raised platform, and I nearly faceplanted, to the genuine concern of the nearby waiter. He advised me to mind the step.

What I Hated the Least Today 145/365: Nutrition Specialist

What I Hated the Least Today 145/365: Nutrition Specialist

An apple a day (no way)
An apple a day (no way)

As I was sitting on a bench, having consumed a snack of puffed rice bread and finished off with a smoke, I was approached by a young man of unclear intentions. Have you been sitting here long? he inquired. I considered it a curious way of greeting but responded that not really and inquired what he wanted. He wouldn’t say.

Instead, he sat down next to me and asked me what I had for breakfast. I thought it escalated quickly but decided to humour him. As far as a brief snort of I don’t eat breakfast qualifies as good-humoured. I quickly asked in turn what he ate for breakfast but didn’t really want to know. The answer was the quizzical nutrients.

The conversation continued in this vein, which soon became boring and I was no longer interested in what the man’s problem was. He eventually came clean, confessing that he was a nutrition specialist. I was too nonplussed by then to even fall into a fit of laughter at the wild idea that I would waste my non-existent money on the advice of a nutrition specialist.

I told the specialist straight away that his service was not required. When I left the bench and walked a bit on, I saw him harassing another random person in the street. I think he was doing it wrong. He didn’t even leave me his business card. I could have just as well got drunk and wanted to call him to give him my honest opinion of his nutrients.

What I Hated the Least Today 126/365: Scotch and Pizza

What I Hated the Least Today 126/365: Scotch and Pizza

Cheap (but still too expensive) whisky
Cheap (but still too expensive) whisky

It was Friday night and I got depressed—as do all people who don’t know what to do with themselves when they don’t have anything urgent to do at the moment. My solution to depression was classically self-destructive: I ordered pizza, poured Scotch and watched Game of Thrones. I found all of these but the Scotch deeply disappointing, so the solution didn’t really solve much, besides successfully dissolving some of the disappointment in the budget whisky.

What I hated the least was that my favourite (possibly the only) pizza delivery service in my location tentatively entered the twenty-first century and introduced the option of online ordering. Since they launched the online order feature, I’m sure the company has noticed a huge influx of new customers recruited from the ranks of sad, pathetic and socially inapt people like me, who are willing to do anything to avoid making a phone call. Even if it means starving to death because ordering by phone is too much of an embarrassment to go through. What needs to be done now is the deployment of drones for pizza delivery—I don’t want to talk to the pizza boy.

Though the pizza wasn’t worth the money (next time I’ll use the pizza money to buy more/better booze) and the latest episode of Game of Thrones had sedative effects on me (unrelated to the alcohol consumed), I did my best to have some fun: I made a pizza unboxing video. This feat was inspired by a conversation with Cardinal Guzman and Rebekah (and others) below the post on my new laptop, where iPhone unboxing videos were ridiculed and the subversive idea of making a pizza unboxing video was suggested. Here you go.