Tag Archives: fajitas

Work Diary, Sept. 30, 2009: The Daily (Bump And) Grind

24, female, Midtown Manhattan, working in corporate finance.  She often wonders if she peaked already, and is now just racing downhill in a speedboat full of misplaced ambition, yuppie angst, and terribly bad work habits.

8:15 AM – Rough Morning

I wake up feeling like there’s a small Mexican toddler in my belly.  That’s what a night of fajitas, rice, and sangria will do: impregnate you.

hpotter11:05 AM – He’s Actually a 12-Year Old Boy

I have a meeting with an IT guy who has action figures on his desk.  There is a GI Joe next to the family photo of his three kids.  I’m not judging… but, he also has a WWE folding chair.  I sit on Stone Cold Steve Austin’s face as he (the IT guy) explains the statistical properties of data matching.

11:45 AM – My Office Romance

Like many companies, we have to touch our ID card against a scanner to get into the office.  I have become so lazy that I’ve taken to hipchecking the scanner, because it’s too much work to pull out the ID from my pocket.  And when I have my ID in my back pocket, it’s like having a little bump and grind with the scanner: turn around, love tap, access granted, feeling good! 

…Of course, I only do this when I’m by myself.  Or else it would just be embarrassing.  

12:01 PM – Why I Haven’t Left Finance Yet

great-depression-soup-lineI walk outside to go to lunch and there is a huge line stretching the entire length of the street.  People are filling out job applications while they wait.  It harkens back to a Depression-era bread line, reminding me once again that jobs = food.  And even though I may dislike my job, I love food. 

12:40 PM – My Work Oasis in the Elevator

Back from lunch.  I love when I get into an elevator alone.  Usually I do some stretching.  Sometimes I sing.  “I Will Survive” is a favorite, especially given how rickety and slow the elevators are.  And because there are no (visible) security cameras in here, I feel completely justified in my elevator activities: everyone needs an outlet.

TOTALS: One hour of data mining, two work projects completed, six elevator rides, one elevator ride alone (“I’ve got all my life to live, I’ve got all my love to give”), and three love taps, with one interrupted by a co-worker who I can no longer look in the eye.

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A Reality Show That Inspires a Bigger and Better Reality

Throughout the fall, I’ve developed a steady workout routine. Every Tuesday, I rush home to watch my favorite reality show, The Biggest Loser. From my spot on the couch, I watch while quasi-attractive fat people work their way to becoming very attractive thin people. I cringe during the last chance workouts. I recoil from the trainers’ sharp tongue-lashings. I shudder at the suspense of the weigh-ins, complete with untimely cuts to commercial. The show has its soft side, with corny lines, tearjerker moments, and just the right amount of family drama. It has its hard side, with a lot of grunting, groaning, and heavy metal weights. The not-so-subtle product placement has enlightened me to the wonders of Extra gum and Jennie-O turkey. Then, of course, there is the sex appeal. (Although during this season of Biggest Loser: Families, it seems wrong to make eyes at the husbands and fathers, no matter how muscular they’ve become.)

biggestloser1

Rawr...

While watching the Biggest Loser contestants hit the treadmill, lift weights, and eat lettuce wraps, you would think that this would encourage similar behavior from the viewer. At times I am compelled to do leg lifts or crunches, but more often I find myself fighting the urge to make cookies. Or cupcakes. Or sizzling chicken fajitas. And thus I usually end up exercising my gastrointestinal muscles, going at my food with an intensity that rivals Paula Dean digging into a country-fried steak. During last night’s show, I ate two fajitas, three cookies, half a bag of grapes, and a yogurt. I was thinking about heating up some meatballs and opening up a cantaloupe, but there just wasn’t enough time in between commercials.

Some might think it’s weird that The Biggest Loser has inspired my sedentary, food-filled Tuesday nights. But American Idol often compels me to belt out a little Mariah. So You Think You Can Dance encourages me to try some Irish tap dancing. Top Chef makes me want to explore non-microwave cooking possibilities. So why wouldn’t The Biggest Loser inspire me to get really fat just so I can get skinny again?

It makes sense to me. Fingers crossed that I’ll make it for The Biggest Loser: Rabid Fans in 2025.

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Anger Management With a Side of French Fries

I’m in a fighting mood today. As we have already determined, Tuesdays suck, and I’m barely treading above 40%. So, what to do with all this anger?

Some may suggest such therapeutic activities as punching a pillow, going to the driving range, or letting it all out with an Alanis Morissette CD. Others may just sit around and mope, or vent to anyone who will listen. Still others may decide to go hunting and kick puppies.

My anger management technique of choice? I’m going for the food. I’m thinking fajitas, guacamole, mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes. Cornbread and apple crisp, topped off with Cool Whip. Hot fudge sundaes. Bacon. Cookie dough. Pie. You can sit there with your stress ball, yoga mat, and meditation exercises, and I will eat my strawberry shortcake.

The sage Elle Woods once told us that, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t kill their husbands.” This might seem contradictory to using food as a stress reliever, but, isn’t eating just an exercise for our gastrointestinal tract? Aren’t we working our kidneys and jawbones? Isn’t the act of deciding what to eat (Taco Bell or Wendy’s?) an exercise of the mind? If so, I am raking in the endorphins.

Yes, over time, consumption of copious amounts of mac and cheese may harden my arteries, enlarge my love handles, and hasten my path towards obesity. I could end up bed-ridden and immobile at old age, a beached whale pining for the days of my limber youth. In the short term, however, a little bit of Velveeta may save me from belting out “Ironic” and letting cocker spaniels fly. So, there is a tradeoff.

There may come the day when, in fact, I have developed a surplus of chins, and the whale analogy has become less and less funny. Perhaps then I’ll stop depending on cupcakes and fries to broker my inner peace treaty. But right now, I’m still young, limber, sole-chinned, and more dolphin than whale. So, if I’m mad, I’m getting out the frying pan… to make pancakes, not to kill my husband.

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