Squeezing Bread From The Air

Posted in Uncategorized on 21/08/2010 by todcrouch

Can’t stand eating ramen Noodles anymore?  Here’s a few things to consider when downsizing the cupboards.

There are five factors to think about when buying food when you are poor

1) shelf life/expiration dates.

2) Price.

3) Economy (number of meals you can get out of it).

4) Nutrition.

5) Tolerance for eating the same thing day in and out.

First off, you are only going to drink water.  Consider milk or orange juice a luxury item.  Since you don’t know when the next time you’re going to get paid, you’re going to need to eat things without expiration dates, which usually involves massive amounts of sodium.  However, you can usually bypass the health concerns about heavily salted food by drinking gallons of water.  Since every meal and dollar counts, you have to abandon the philosophy of deserving to splurge.  It’s good to adopt a staple you can spice up and eat morning noon and night—something you can make a lot of once and microwave as needed. Pasta is a good idea, but find an alternative to pasta sauces, as they tend to run expensive and not last very long, as well as having a limited shelf life.  It’s also not a good time to start experimenting.  It’s also important to cover your nutritional bases: You don’t want scurvy.  Canned soups at first seem to be an easy solution, but alas, they are rather expensive and don’t have a high calorie count.  No milk, no eggs, and no fresh meat.  Canned tuna can come in handy, but most other canned fish is disgusting.  An old urban legend is to eat dog food, but these days it is actually more expensive than people food, and the salt content is not fit for human consumption.

Spices are essential to creating a decent understanding of how taste works.  Oregano, Basil, Garlic, Black Pepper, onion powder, and Sugar are always in my cupboard.  Hot-palette spices like red pepper or black pepper can give you the sensation of being full on very little, but might not be for everyone.  If you are only slightly hungry, down a shot of apple vinegar to curb hunger.  It’s surprisingly filling.

The right combination of spices can substitute for more expensive versions of your staple-of-choice.  Rather than get the rice in a box, you can create your own blend at half the price.  I knew a friend who lived off Old Bay seasoning and ramen for months and ditched the sodium bomb spice packet.

A good rule of thumb is to avoid spending more than $3 on any given item.  A well rounded pasta salad (cold or hot) can last for days and provide decent nutrition.  Deli sliced Ham sandwiches with sliced cheese on whole wheat bread will not last as long as you think, as eating a single sandwich three times a day will not sufficiently stave off hunger—easing you up to potentially more sandwiches per day.

Fat content is another angle.  If you have absolutely no fat in your diet for several days and your body begins to cannibalize your reserves.  You might think that’s great for bikini season—but when you have the heat turned off, you will get cold very quickly…and your body will send you signals that you are still starving which can lead to some very uncomfortable mental states.  Furthermore, your brain requires fat to think, which you will need to sufficiently find a clever way out of your destitution.

Fruits tend not to fill you up, go bad, run on the pricey side, and consumed quickly which makes them a poor choice for your current situation.  Vegetables, however, are usually cooked and diluted you’re your starch staple, making them last longer.  Edible density is another factor to consider:  a green pepper is mostly air and corn on the cob is mostly cob, whereas an onion or a potato is all vegetable (or legume for you assholes out there).  Lettuce has very little nutritional value, tends to spoil quickly, and go fast.

However, don’t force yourself to eat something you detest only because it’s cheap;  It will only make you lose your appetite and still be hungry, and when you are already in a state of anxiety, it will only make you more depressed.  Find a favorite starch and stick to it.  Rather than search the sauce isle, go to salad dressings.  They are significantly cheaper, more flexible, and have a decent shelf life.

The mental state required to squeeze bread from the air is one of self-control.  Only eat enough to not be hungry and distance yourself from ever feeling “full”.  There will be days when even walking through the frozen foods section will seem like the devil himself is tempting you, but those foods are for people who can pay their bills.

Eating out is a possibility if approached in similar fashions.  If you are on the move and your grumbling stomach is limiting your concentration, it might be wise to shave a buck out of the wallet.  In New York, there are many places where you can buy a slice of cheese pizza for a dollar, but don’t get the can of soda that’s a $1.25.  A plain hamburger from McDonalds is not filling, healthy, or even really edible, but it can be the difference between a nagging hunger and a clear head.

Chances are, when you actually get out of your slump, you’ll discover that your ability to scrape together a decent meal with real ingredients, you’ll seem like a master chef.  Bon Appétit!


Five 80s Film/TV Characters with Emotionally Scarring Nicknames: Sources and Outcomes.

Posted in Film/TV, Nerding Out on 21/08/2010 by todcrouch

The only traumatic nickname I recall is when my dad scared my aunt as a child and she ran off, smack dab into a clothesline pole and knocked her front tooth out.  To this day, as they are both retired, he still calls her “Boo”.  But growing up in front of the Television, there were very few reasons for the nicknames that people seemed to acquire in the TV and Movies, that left a permanent mark on the psyche of these people, as well as the people sitting at home watching the torture parade of their lives.

5)Boner (Family Ties)

It's sad to see a man go from boner to pussy.

Whatever happened to Mr. Stabone?  Did he have to leave town?  Was he the neighborhood charity case?  Whatever the situation, even as an eight year old, I knew that Boner had earned that name from something horrific, something never mentioned on the show about the REAL reason he received the nickname “Boner.”  Sure, it’s a nickname that you could easily work at a frathouse.  But I always had the idea from the Seavers that by calling him “Boner”,  they were reminding him of some that terrible night when his dad went crazy and stabbed his mom, and the Young Stabone called his priest to get help, but after the priest shot Daddy Stabone, the child was brutally molested in the garage—but the housekeeper opened the door and the whole neighborhood witnessed it and got quite a chuckle out of it.  Society has named him Boner, and Boner  accepted his pitiable destiny in some dystopian suburb out of a Shirley Jackson story.

It's a hard on life.

4) Duckie (Pretty in Pink)

just wait until you start dying on the INSIDE.

Duckie, life is going to be very hard for you.  Women like Molly Ringwald will keep you on a leash and your wacky free spirit and your wild attire and unusual ways will create many adversaries in the real world.  And though “Duckie” may infer that you are capable of dodging many things—pennies, slushies, rocks– being nimble and light on your light and puckish feet (as we can tell from your glaring attire) will get you through until you start packing on the depression pounds.  I’ve seen it ruin many a folk.   Sure, you got Christie Swanson, but shut down by Molly Ringwald, and that’s the worst thing that can happen to a guy for many, many reasons.  And for what?  Bein’ a nice guy.  Sorry Duckie, You’ll never get over her in your cubicle.  I’d suggest going gay, but in the 80s, you would probably die of AIDS.  You won’t be happy, but stick with Kristy Swanson.  If you can’t be gay, be a nerd, and what better way than to tap Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

I'll kill BOTH of our careers!

3) Lisa “Boof” Marconi (Teen Wolf)

At least they don't pick on you as much as that freakish girl with the religious mother.

The theory is that at some point, she had a bouffant and caught mad hell for it, much like I did with my he man Underoos in kindergarten, which in hindsight was probably sheer jealously.  But oh, if only every house had a girl next door, you would be surrounded by pussy, and the girl next door would no longer exist and penthouse forum would lose half it’s plots (or what there is of it).  How ever she got her name, seems to have a positive connotation to it.  Shunned as she may be at school and invisible to even the were-losers, she seems generally left alone in comparison to the social tortures of …

2) Booger (Revenge of the Nerds)

Can't you just wait to roll over every morning and see this?

In that strange genre of “attempt to get laid” movies, there is always a dude who embodies the juvenile humor of their target audience.  What simple elegance to be named after what he is apparently good at.  He practically renounces society in a mad genius kind of way and expects adversity at every step—and it’s turned him into a hard-hitting, high rolling mother fucker.  With such a moniker, his emotional scarring ends up manifesting by buying a few paltry stocks in this little company called International Business Machines.  After buying the Alpha Beta’s frat house and turn it into a highly lucrative sewage treatment center (which by a legal loophole, the Alpha Betas are still required to live in aforementioned sewage treatment center),  Booger gives some start up money to his friend Bill and becomes a primary stockholder.  Now he puts cigars on five digit courtesans and says, “Say my name, bitch!  Say my name!”  The cigars has given his weaselly voice a raspy, Jabba the Hutt baritone as he darts off for a weekend of making a new snuff film because it’s the only way he can get an erection.

Panty Raid!

1)Lawrence “Chunk” Cohen (the Goonies)

The truffle shuffle is now what they call getting defibrillated at age 12.  Knowing how cruel kids can be, he was not named because he battled with childhood obesity–it’s because he lost half a finger to diabetes, which to their young eyes looked like someone had taken a “chunk” out of his finger.  Of course he’s a little needy, even if his closest allies are torturing him with his quickly arriving death.  Unfortunately, Data’s attempts at making a dialysis machine failed miserably.

Top 5 Unlikely Man Crushes

Posted in Film/TV, Nerding Out on 21/08/2010 by todcrouch

It’s necessarily a short list and nearly void of eye-candy.  Though I don’t like most things, there are five dudes out there that would form the eclectic team of Super Friends of my mind.  I probably have very little in common with them, probably couldn’t carry a conversation with them, probably wouldn’t sleep with them–but I, like Michael Moore swooning over Hil-dog, admire them from afar because they could probably kick my ass.  Truth be told, I would probably be reduced to a gibbering, teenage girl in tears in their presence.

Seriously. If you saw how I looked meeting Jim Jarmusch, it's not far off...

Sometimes, it’s their talent.  Sometimes, It’s their sense of gravitas. and sometimes it’s the crazy Shit they say.

5)  Vice President Joe Biden

So after JFK got himself shot up, America got Lyndon Baines Johnson, covered in blood.  There are rumors that Johnson laughed over Kennedy’s corpse.  If I was VP and my main man was bustin’ commies, Cubans, Cosa Nostra, and Kong in the early 60s, and I was as batshit crazy as LBJ, even I would say to myself, “Are You fuckin’ nuts?”

Biden is Obama’s LBJ.  I had a social sciences teacher who told me that Johnson held his cabinet meetings skinny dipping, because Johnson was real proud of his huge dick (ew) and two cabinet members quit ‘cause they were repulsed by Johnson’s appointed executive member and I don’t blame them.  At first, Biden was the crazy guy who made obam look good; now he’s the right wing nut’s worst nightmare:  assassinate this nigga and THIS crazy motherfucker makes the rules. You wanna fuck wit me? Do ya? DO YA? Biden is the fucking Scarface of the White house.  Aw bitch, he’ll mutherfuckin nuke the middle east, North Korea, South Korea, Detroit (not that anyone would notice) China and Kansas just to get the point across.  Biden would nuke the muthafuckin deficit!  He hit the red button so many times, Clinton’s call girls on speed dial get jealous.

Naw, man, let Biden say whatever the fuck he wants.  His folksy sass show up in spades,   All Obama has to do is throw up his presidential gang sign and say “How you gonna fuck wit me? I gots crazy on my side.”

Any time the presidential hate mail gets above ten tons a day, they stop slipping the Clonopin In Joe’s Juice box and send him on a press junket where he gets his hypoglycemia out of whack on fairground funnel cakes and goes on The View to find out which one is the lesbian.  It’s a fucking big Deal.

It's the kiss of death before throwing him under the bus.

4) Dennis Quaid

Kurt Russell tried out for the part of Han Solo.  And I started to think about Harrison Ford and thinking the unthinkable about the revered smuggler.  Sure, hating on star wars is now just as popular as liking it, so I’ll throw my hat into the ring with a new pinion:  Dennis Quaid is a better Harrison Ford than Harrison Ford and not as pricey.  Whereas Harrison gets top billing to do a few crap movies, Dennis gets more work doing some real eye-gougers—but does it with all the gravitas of Harrison.  There’s no disappointment when Quaid plays Hawk in GiJoe–but when Harisson climbs into a lead-lined refrigerator to avoid an atomic bomb, he is forever disowned.  Furthermore, Dennis has a silly-looking brother, Randy, who carries his own weight when it comes to comedic roles–a nice foil for Mr. serious/seriously ripped.  And that says nothing about his refusal to do post-Jedi Star Wars.  Fuck him.  Let Dennis Quaid do it.  He’ll do it better.  Oh yeah, and for the record,this is what Han Solo could have looked like:

3) Bradley Whitford:

I’ve loved Bradley since West wing.  Then he moved to studio 60 on the sunset strip. Ok, Aaron Sorkin is carrying him because he’s a good actor.  Canelled, cancelled, cancelled.   Why?  The programming was  “too smart”.  Maybe Brad here is just really good at giving a monologue while he’s heading down a corridor and can relay snappy dialogue that’s actually a monologue that’s four pages long of tech talk.   Then there are the photos of Mr. Whitford at a charity bachelor auction, where the tie comes off and six pack comes out, which set aside any assumptions that this ½ ginger has a chest of pasty, sallow, translucent skin.  The boy is ripped.  And what does he do?  He packs on thirty pounds for his quintessential role in “The Good Guys”, probably the most hilarious buddy cop TV shows out there (and I fucking HATE cops shows).   Sporting a mustache and badass one-liners, he really seals the deal on “The Good Guys” as a cheesy stuck-in-the-seventies cop, slutting up the cheap whore witnesses, jumping through plate-glass windows, sneaking whiskey from his flask, and wheezing against the inevitable heart attack before taking down the bad guys.  Wait…wasn’t he Secretary of State in the last season of West wing?  Daaaamn right.  And now he gots a mustache.

I think he's wearing his snuffleupagus underwear (hooo-dear...)

2) Sir Ian Mckellen

This is me with my ass in the air, Ian.  First off, you are a knight and it doesn’t get any hotter than that.  Second off, you are both Gandalf and Magneto.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not into older dudes, but for who you are and what you have done and being unabashedly gay, I’ll break my rule and say you can poop on me.  Not In the mouth, but Sir McKellan, WRECK ME.  And please, before you do it, explain it to me in great detail with all of the Shakespearean bravado at your disposal.  I get the vapors just thinking about it.  Pop a Viagra before you grab my hair and punish me like the dirty boy I am.

You want to see this sex tape, but you'll never be able to "unsee" it.

1)  Bruce Motherfuckin’ Campbell

Bruce Campbell is a funny Steve McQueen.  His roles have been cowboys, Elvis,  CIA agents, and swachbucklers—not to mention his harrowing performance in Evil Dead 2.  Think about it: unholy horrors are mentally fuckin’ with you for a whole night—few actors can express that understanding of survival.  Yet he turns around and plays a French waiter in the spider man series, hilariously mispronouncing peter parker’s last name as “peck-erre”.  I crack up every time I see him frozen in mid-diving-away-from-an-explosion face during the opening credits of Burn Notice.  When he dies, I hope he would donate his jaw to me.

Being in shape is for whiny little bitches.


Posted in Flash on 10/05/2010 by todcrouch

Once upon a time, my pirate father and I were stranded on an island.   He had a bag of rations, as did I.  After three weeks,  I killed him.  Only natural for an eight year old.  When I ravaged his rations, I only found stones in his bags.  When I ate him, I understood sacrifice and never stopped sacrificing.

The Forty Year Old Hipster

Posted in Flash, shorts on 10/05/2010 by todcrouch

That tandem bike you’re riding alone after you broke up with your bartender girlfriend really takes you down a notch, don’t it? And your blazer with the elbow pads and Buddy Holly glasses (or as you call them “elvis costello glasses”) just make you look like an even more undateable, pathetic douchebag.  Say hi to all those neighbors you have in shittown, buddy.

Catering at The Consuuuuurvatory

Posted in Flash, shorts on 10/05/2010 by todcrouch

In my white dinner jacket, I avoid the lusty attempted eyeraping of misinformed cougars.  Sadly, they are dairy cows to milk.  They could never survive in the wild.

Whore envy #2

Posted in Flash, shorts on 10/05/2010 by todcrouch

Oh, the ex-boyfriend that I never got over, why do you poke me?  Do you do so to rekindle what we had together that you gave up for a college crush who left you out to dry and which my wrath will delete you from my friend list for ever?  Are you starting a slow burn to put this bitch In heat? It doesn’t matter.   Delete, my long lost love, where we can be eternally in each other’s trash bins and finally agree on something.