Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I'm a Trader Joe Ho.

My life just got really boring all of a sudden. Ok, it was always boring, but now I'm just kinda feeling more bored with it than usual.

Last week, I was driving everybody around all morning. This week, Beeb has one more day of Geek Camp (oh, sorry - Chess Camp). Then we'll have absolutely nothing to do until next Tuesday, when Beeb goes to her first Ambassadors event. Then she starts school the next day.

This morning's big event was taking the kids to see Babaloo at the mall. He's kinda like Raffi, only funnier. He sings about underwear a lot. Kids love that shit. I had him autograph a CD for The Ape Squad. He actually made it out to THE APE SQUAD. How awesome is that???

So, what else have I been doing recently? I've been hanging out at Trader Joe's. I'm working really hard on resisting the lure of the convenience of Fast Food. When I'm out in the car, shuttling kids around, it's so tempting to swing by Lion's Choice or Sonic. We try to stay away from the Golden Arcs (Trivia: What classic 80's movie has the main character working under the Golden Arcs?), even though I know that all fast food is equally bad for you.

Here's what I've been doing. Sometimes I just want to eat something other than the stuff I have at home. It's not unlike yarn shopping. Intellectually, I know that I probably have more yarn than I will live long enough to use. But sometimes, it's just fun to get something different. So, the new food rule is, if I want something other than what I already have at home, I have to get it at a grocery store, the idea being that I'm gonna have to cook it anyway, so I'll have to decide if I reeeeeeeeeeally want to take the time to go out and buy something. I'm supposed to decide NO. But I don't. I fall victim to the lure of "Hey, it's organic! It's overpriced! It probably tastes like crap, so it must be good for you!"

My current favorite grocery store is, as I mentioned, Trader Joe's. It's small enough that you can get in and out in just a few minutes, especially if you know what you're looking for. If you have time to browse, you will find food products you never knew existed, because the mere idea behind them seems contradictorily absurd. But if you're not careful, the abundance of beautifully-packaged meatless meat might make you believe that you can seamlessly switch your family to all-veg products without anyone ever tasting the difference.

I appreciate what they're trying to do, but look... you can NOT squish a whole lot of whatever Tofu is into a nugget-shaped mold and convince me it's just as good as a big ol' greasy piece of chicken. Yeah, I KNOW it's better for me, but eeeewww!!

But they put these really yummy looking pictures on the front of the box and they just look so appetizing, I fell for it. I fell big time. I got the Meatless Barbecue Ribs, Meatless Meatballs, Meatless Hamburgers, and Chickenless Chicken Nuggets. They looked so YUMMY on the boxes! As I unpacked the fauxmeat and put it in the freezer, however, I started to feel like a big dumb meat-eatin' chump.

I tried to pass the Chickenless Chicken Nuggets off on the kids. I even thought about getting out the video camera to capture their reactions, but I was afraid they'd think something was up. Their reactions were actually less dramatic than I'd envisioned, but Tito did say in his throaty Russian accent, "This tastes very bad." I had to agree.

I really, really REALLY respect and admire the people with the resolve to not eat meat. I do. Because, and I say this with all due respect, it will never be me. I'll risk Mad Cow, Bird Flu, Botulism, Salmonella - BRING IT. I'm eating MEAT, y'all. Is it any less risky than eating unpesticided soy beans infested with beetle larvae? I'm not asking to be mean or nasty, I truly am ignorant (in the truest sense of the word) when it comes to vegetarian/vegan stuff. Seriously, I have nothing against the non-meat eaters at all, unless they get all up in my carnivorous bidniss, telling me why I should be a vegetarian too. And the more they try to convert me, the more I just wanna eat a big ol' sinewy turkey leg in front of them with my mouth open.

I know the preachy types are the minority. But lemme give you a couple of examples of the morons I've dealt with in the past.

Psycho Vegetarian #1, my college roommate. She didn't want to eat meat because she believed it was cruel to animals. Meanwhile, she had a totally kickass leather jacket that I coveted. I tried to talk her into giving it to me, but she didn't. Somehow leather wasn't the same thing. Oh, and P.S., she was BULEMIC. So what the hell difference did it make what she ate anyway? Sheesh.

Psycho Vegetarian #2, a co-worker at Aveda. Once she saw me eating Chicken Fried Rice from the food court and said, "Omigod, I could never eat anything that had, like, y'know, EYES." She'd had three abortions at age 22. Ok, so you won't eat a chicken, but... oh, never mind, I don't even wanna go there. I'm not sayin' she shouldn't have had three abortions, I mean, do whatcha want, but you can't tell me there's not at least a teeny bit of irony there.

My All-Time Favorite #1 Totally Cool Vegetarian, My Uncle. Amylovie's Dad is one of the straight-up funniest people I've ever met. Funny on purpose, not like the Aldi side of my family, where they're totally oblivious to how hilarious we (and when I say "we" I mean myself, R, you, and everyone within the sphere of this blog's influence *snort*) find them. Funny like doing hysterical magic shows for the kids. Funny just for the sake of funny. The side of my family that I share with Amylovie, I'm sure she'd agree is darn near impossible to decribe without using the term "non-stop zany-yet-controlled goofiness". We've got a family reunion coming up in November, and I can hardly wait. Plus, PLUS, PLUS, I'm gonna hang with BEZZIE. Is it wrong that I'm as excited about that as I am about going to Yarntopia? Maybe Bezz can come to Yarntopia with me...

Anyway, so back to Trader Joe's. They opened a new one on the road I take to Beebie's Geek Camp, so today after I dropped her off, I took the boys with me to TJ's. I really just wanted something to drink, as I was feeling a little parched, but I left with a can of diet root beer, a bottle of Smart Water (electrolyte-injected), a box of cookies, two organic cheese pizzas, a ceasar salad, a bag of popcorn with 50% less fat than whatever other kind is made by the same company, and two CLIF protein bars.

Why do I do this? I'm such a sucker. I just wanna be trendy and cool like the other cool people who shop at Trader Joe's!

And lemme tell ya, that that low-fat popcorn tasted like sawdust held together by buttcrack sweat.

The pizzas, however, were delicious.

And the Smart Water tasted like water.

And I sure as hell don't feel any smarter.

Tease for next post: I finished King Pie's Crown! Man, did I ever eff up that pattern. But he's happy, so it's cool.


JRS said...

TJ's frozen pizzas--yum! I love those things! Check out the Greek yogurt with Greek honey too. Only at TJ's...or, well, Greece.

Your post made me hungry. I'm now craving pretty much most of TJ's inventory and a Lion's Choice roast beef (which is so tasty because you can actually feel the granules of MSG they put on the meat...) I'm especially craving these things because I'm about to board a 13-hour economy class flight, where I will no doubt be served something that would make those meatless "ribs" seem pretty darn tasty!

Bezzie said...

See now when I was growing up, tofu was cheap. My mom used to make tofu burgers and pass it off as real meat. I ate two of them one night before she broke the news to me. I was probably about 10 when she did that. As you can see, I've never really gotten over it ha ha! Apparently my grandma did it to her when she was a kid too. When did tofu become so chic and not so white trash?

Man this Thanksgiving we will tear it up! I'm down for a road trip to Katy to Yarntopia! Tell Beeb I'll bring the curlers if she brings the bubble gum! But be forewarned, I fear sometimes I'm funnier on paper than in real life ;-)

Poops said...

I love Trader Joes, and I too get sucked into eating healthy for about ten minutes. Luckily they have lots of really tasty and fattening stuff too, so all good there.

Before I forget, some words of wisdom you cannot argue with:
"If God didn't want us to eat animals, why did he make them out of meat?" --Homer Simpson

Cheryl said...


I love this movie....

Cheesy Knit Wit said...

I'm so glad you get to meet Bezzie! That is just awesome!


Ben said...

The golden Arcs was from Coming to America

my roomate always shops at trader joes
ive never been there
sounds like im missing something

OldLadyPenPal said...

here is why i do not like Traitor Joe's:

once upon a time i was married. and we lived in the ghettooooooooo for various reasons, #1 being i was not with my then-husband when he went home-shopping. this was a neighborhood in which shopping carts served as landscaping. ok. there was a Traitor Joe's a good twelve miles from us, so obviously the transient bum who left the cart in my yard was in ralatively good health. i called up traitor joe's and asked that they come retrieve their cart. they said NO. traitor joe's would not come get their sutpid cart. what kind of responsible neighbor does that?? down with ye, traitor joe.