Tag Archives: beer

Brain Food

I’m SOOOO close to finishing the draft of Book 13!

Each time I start a new book, I promise myself that I’ll write steadily within a realistic timeframe.  And each time, I end up writing day and night to finish in time for some self-imposed deadline.  In my quest for energy and inspiration this week, I’ve uncovered new FactsTM (see footnote below) about brain food.

Earlier civilizations believed that foods resembling a particular portion of the anatomy provided special nourishment to that anatomy.  So cauliflower, lumpy and brain-shaped, was ‘brain food’.  (This theory also explains the popularity of bananas and cucumbers; but I digress.)

Modern medicine informs us that ‘brain food’ doesn’t, in fact, resemble the brain; instead, the secret to smarts comes from complicated things like omega-3s, antioxidants, and flavonoids.

But after extensive research (a couple of hours at least) I’ve discovered that both ancient and modern beliefs are wrong.  Brain food isn’t brainish-looking.  It’s not complicated or difficult to obtain.

It’s…

*suspenseful drumroll*

Junk food!  And I have FactsTM to support my conclusion!

When I’m plotting a book, I usually pace; although I may also stand stock-still staring into space or drape myself over the furniture in odd positions.  (I bet you thought you were supposed to sit with your butt on the sofa cushions and your feet flat on the floor.  Pshaw.  The correct position is:  Belly on the cushions, arms draped over the sofa back, toes on the floor.)

Pacing is my favourite creativity stimulant; but even better is Pacing With Brain Food.

I can think better when I’m chewing; probably because jaw muscle contractions stimulate my brain.  My research supports this, because I’ve found that crunchy foods provide much more inspiration than soft foods.

I love gooey goodies like cheese and ice cream, but they offer no inspiration at all.  Likewise, chocolate (while ever-so-yummy) doesn’t help me.  In fact, the more chocolate I eat, the less I can think; until my entire mind is subsumed by four words:  MUST… HAVE… MORE… CHOCOLATE!

Tradition holds that booze is a veritable fount of inspiration; but not so.  A moderate amount of booze completely drains my brain; and too much booze fills it up again with ideas that seem brilliant at the time but when reviewed the next day make me say, “What the everloving f…?”

So once again, the FactsTM bear me out:  It’s gotta be crunchy.  You can’t chew booze.

Fruits and veggies?  Meh.  They’re better than nothing.  But…

Popcorn.  Chips.  Beer nuts.  Pretzels.  Cheezies.  OMG!!!!

My brain goes into overdrive.  I pace frenetically, gobbling handful upon handful of crunchy brain-stirring goodness.  Ideas flow, like belly fat breaching the waistband of too-tight jeans.

It’s a good system; but it’s not really sustainable unless I want to buy a whole new wardrobe to accommodate my… *ahem* expanding creative process for each subsequent book.

So in a few more days I’ll be back to my usual sensible diet; but just remember, you heard it here first:  Junk food is the ultimate brain food.  It’s a FactTM!

*

1 FactsTM is a trademark of The Fake News Generation Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Bullshit Consortium.  FactsTM is defined as “any random statement, however ridiculous, which is shouted loudly enough to be reported by the media”.

P.S. I’m travelling today, so I’ll be checking in later – ‘talk’ to you soon!

P.P.S. It’s spring on the Island!  Hooray!

 

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Filed under Humour, Life, Writing

Subversive Shorts

I was chatting with my nephew about university and its associated hi-jinks, and he mentioned Bermuda Shorts Day.  It’s been an end-of-term tradition at University of Calgary since the 1960s, but there was a kerfuffle this year because the administrators prohibited the campus pub from serving alcohol during the event.

My mind boggled.  It’s a university end-of-year party and they’re shutting down the pub?!?

I guess I’d understand it if I pretended to be a responsible adult for a moment.  A massive piss-up isn’t healthy for the participants or pleasant for those who have to clean up afterward, but still.  The twenty-something rebel inside my brain was scandalized.  It’s university!  End of classes!  It’s supposed to be a piss-up!

The funny part was the apparent implication of Bermuda shorts as culprits, as if none of these mature and responsible students would ever even consider partying hearty except while under the influence of evil garments.

I made some crack about ‘subversive shorts’, and my nephew laughed.  “That sounds like a title for one of your blog posts,” he said.

Well, dang, he’s right.

So what constitutes subversive shorts?  Judging by the news photos in which they’re wearing either long pants or Daisy-Dukes, these kids wouldn’t recognize real Bermuda shorts if they crawled up their legs and gave them a wedgie.  But that’s okay.  I wasn’t sure what was so special about Bermuda shorts, either, so I looked them up.   Turns out the only defining characteristic of Bermuda shorts is their length, about 1” above the knee: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bermuda_shorts.  How anti-climactic.

But I speculated that since the military have worn them for so long without causing chaos, there must be something else about them that incites people to the kind of uncontrolled drinking and mayhem that the U of C apparently fears.

When I envision Bermuda shorts, my mental image isn’t of the restrained and dignified version described in the Wikipedia article.  I tend to think of them in bright madras plaid, which might be enough to incite violence among those opposed to plaid.  So maybe the psychotropic component of Bermuda shorts is loud patterns paired with pasty white legs:

Okay, now I need a drink. And those aren’t even Bermuda shorts.

Okay, now I need a drink. And those aren’t even Bermuda shorts.

But maybe this is all merely the deranged imagining of a heavily medicated mind.  I’m currently stoned on antihistamines, so my brain function isn’t to be trusted.

In fact, neither are my optical functions:  A few days ago I served myself a slice of pizza at the table before turning away to replace the pan in the oven.  Hubby’s laughter made me turn, only to realize that the plate I’d seen in my mind wasn’t actually there at all.  My hot slice of pizza was lying in the middle of a naked placemat.

And get this:  I had modelled those loud shorts only a couple of hours earlier.

Coincidence?  I think not.  The shorts must’ve subverted what was left of my brain.  An uncontrollable drinking binge can’t be far away.

Loud shorts:  Love ‘em or hate ‘em?

* * *

P.S. The first VBBC (Virtual Backyard Book Club) discussion starts today!  Check it out here!

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Want Some Cheese With Your Kryptonite?

Happy New Year!  I missed you!

I thought I was doing myself a favour by taking a one-week vacation from blogging, but apparently if I want to retain my sanity I need to interact with people who don’t exist solely inside my head. (And if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll be justifiably horrified that this is my version of ‘sanity’.)

But sane or not, I’m grateful to all of you for taking the time to read and interact with me every week – thank you!

This is prime time for New Year’s resolutions, but (as usual) I haven’t made any. I’d love to pretend there’s some noble intellectual reason for that, but the sordid truth is that I avoid making resolutions because of my donkey DNA.

I’ve mentioned before that it forces me to respond to dares, but it also impels me to do the exact opposite to any resolution I make. The instant I resolve never to (fill in unhealthy habit here) or touch another bite of (fill in unhealthy food here), I’ll immediately seek out the prohibited food or activity and binge on it… even if I don’t really enjoy it. I swear I could renounce brussels sprouts and within a day I’d be sneaking away to pig out on them.

Okay, bad example.  I could probably resist brussels sprouts, but everybody has their kryptonite: a substance that renders them weak and utterly helpless. I’ve already confessed my shameful addiction to hortiporn and my ongoing membership in Toolaholics Anonymous, so I won’t revisit those-

…Vegetables! Perfect vegetables and brilliant flowers, and the seeds are so cheap! And tools! Shiny beautiful wrenches and air tools and-

*shakes head and slaps own face vigorously*

Sorry. I’m back now.

You’d think two varieties of kryptonite would be enough, but no; I have several:

  • Ice cream – I’ll eat it any time of the day or night, even when it’s 30-below outside. I’d eat it for every meal if I didn’t know I’d gain so much weight that I wouldn’t fit in my car. And that would prevent me from going out to buy more ice cream, which would totally suck.
  • Cheese – Ditto. Any kind of cheese; or better still, all kinds. I’m particularly partial to stinky ‘robustly-flavoured’ varieties but I love them all, from mild to malodorous to mouldy.
  • Yarn and fabric – I don’t go into those stores anymore. Crossing their thresholds would violate the terms of my parole.
  • Camping/outdoor equipment – Show me anything from a Ka-bar knife to a kayak, and I’ll immediately begin to salivate. It’s pathetic.
  • Outdoor reference books – Want to identify a bird? I have seven bird books. Mushroom? Four volumes. Wildflower? Fish? Animal track? Turd? Yep, yep, yep, and yep! (Do you know how hard it is to find books on identifying animal scat? Sheesh.) And still, any time I travel to a new area I buy a flora and fauna reference book as a souvenir.
  • Potato chips – I can’t even have them in the house. At least not for longer than it takes me to snarf the entire family-sized bag.

You may notice that I’ve omitted beer, chocolate, and rare steaks from the list, but believe it or not, I can actually resist those if necessary. (Most of the time. And I reserve the right to define ‘necessary’.)

What’s your kryptonite?

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A Mashup Of (Mostly) Food

(Don’t worry, it’s safe to read this.  I promise it’s not about gross squished food.)

I’m a little scattered this week. Between my usual writing schedule, my cover updates (only one more to go, woohoo!), the production of the Never Say Spy audiobook (up to Chapter 39 and sounding great), and the busy round of Christmas cards and baking and extra social activities, my brain just doesn’t seem to want to disgorge any sort of organized blog post.

So what the hell, why fight it? Here’s a mashup up of some goodies that have caught my eye and tweaked my sense of humour lately:

You may recall that I mentioned OBSL in a post a few years ago. At the time, I created that acronym to describe my hypothetical Optimum Beer Saturation Level: That perfect point of intoxication at which I become a deadly 8-ball player. When I wrote that post I assumed that I was (as usual) full of shit.

Little did I know that greater minds than mine were busily proving me right. In fact, a recent study shows that there is an OBSL, and it occurs where your blood-alcohol level is 0.075. Unfortunately for my hypothesis, they weren’t testing for 8-ball skill; instead they were focusing on the OBSL as it relates to creativity.  And shortly after science delivered its verdict, some brilliant marketers capitalized on it. Voilà! The Problem Solver: A beer that comes with a creativity scale on the side. Dang, I could’ve used some of that stuff when I started writing this post…

And speaking of happy discoveries involving my favourite foods, science has come through yet again with a discovery that turns peanut butter into… wait for it… diamonds! Apparently it’s messy, but it works. (It was also just a publicity stunt.  It seems peanut butter isn’t an optimum diamond-producing substance.  Go figure.)

Unfortunately, though, the news from food scientists isn’t all good. The latest studies indicate that comfort foods can actually be depressing. Bummer.  Now I need to go and eat a bowl of ice cream.

Moving on from science to silliness (though still food-related), here are a few fortune cookie predictions I could have done without:

“You learn from your mistakes. You will learn a lot today.” – Great, just great.

“Your true love will show himself to you under the moonlight.” – Uh… okay, so my true love is a deranged flasher.  Will there be criminal charges or jail time associated with this?

“You have an unusual equipment for success; use it properly.” –  I guess if I was a guy, I’d know exactly what to do with my unusual equipment, but under the circumstances I’m just not sure how to interpret this.

“Wisdom is on her way to you.” – This one might be intended to encourage, but for me it bears an uncomfortable resemblance to the cartoon about the guy reading a fortune that says ‘Big things are coming your way’ just as a grand piano drops from the sky above him. Wisdom sounds like a good thing in theory, but it seems to me that the phrasing is a little ominous.

I’ll leave you with a cartoon that sums up my attitude when things get as hectic as they are now.  And hey, it’s food-related, too!

* * *

P.S. Here’s Book 8’s new cover, with many thanks to John R. for arranging my great truck-driving adventure and letting me photograph his truck:

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It’s A Conspiracy!

I’ve long suspected that my body has it in for me. I’ve mentioned a few of its subversive attacks in previous posts:

But there’s more.

Confronted with any occasion where photos are likely to be taken, my skin goes haywire. Like the last time I went for a photo shoot:

A few days before the big day I was washing my face before bed. Uh-oh. Sore spot on my chin. Yep, you guessed it. An incipient zit.

I ignored it, hoping it would go away. Wrong thing to do. Obviously feeling slighted and seeking attention in the way of misunderstood teenagers everywhere, it invited all its friends and threw a party.

Fortunately, zits don’t have many friends because they’re… well, zits. So the party stopped at three, but still. My skin had been fine for the past few months. Why now?

In fact, why ever? It should be illegal for zits and wrinkles to coexist on the same face. When I was teenager, all the experts agreed that acne goes away when you’re an adult. Well, they lied, and I want to know which way to the Complaints Department.

But maybe the underlying problem is that I’ve never actually grown up…

Anyway, I had hoped that would be the extent of my body’s betrayals. But no; this week my brain has gotten into the act, too.

Maybe it’s because of the antihistamine I took, or maybe it’s just my usual post-book recovery phase (Book 10 is with the beta readers now), but the end result is the same: My brain has buggered off to La-La Land without leaving a forwarding address.

Usually I don’t have any difficulty writing blog posts, but today finding words to string together feels like groping for a live goldfish in a vat of molasses.

(And now I’m wondering where the hell that thought came from. Why would there be a goldfish in a vat of molasses? Wouldn’t a goldfish die in molasses? So it would have to be some kind of sugar-fuelled mutant super-carp… Argh. Never mind.)

I knew I was in trouble when I looked in the mirror and there was a sign on my forehead that said ‘This space for rent’. Anybody who’s been planning to alter my behaviour with subliminal suggestions should seize the opportunity, ‘cause there are no other thoughts rattling around in my skull to interfere with the programming.

I’m not sure what all these mutinous body parts are hoping to accomplish. Do they want shorter hours? Better working conditions?

Maybe more beer would pacify them. I hope so, because without a brain to guide the action, that’s about all they’re gonna get.

Come back, Brain! I miss you!  Whatever your demands are, just let me know and I’ll do my best to comply.

‘Cause the sound of wind whistling through the vacant space between my ears is really starting to get on my nerves…

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Public Menace #1

I like to think I’m a relatively harmless and competent person. I’m not much of a threat to public safety unless I’m forced to listen to the vapid warblings of 80s boy bands (but no jury would convict me for doing whatever was necessary to escape such a horrible fate).

The motorcycle safety course I took decades ago made me a good driver. Thanks to my dad’s teachings and some firearms courses, I handle weapons safely and I’m a good shot. Ditto kitchen safety: all my knives are razor-sharp, but I’ve never cut myself. I’ve never harmed myself or anybody else with construction or automotive tools…

I should knock on wood because I realize I’m tempting fate. Tomorrow I’ll undoubtedly drive my car into a tree while simultaneously shooting myself in the foot and being gut-stabbed by the kitchen knife I was inexplicably holding when my airbag deployed. Then, launched by the impact, the tools in my trunk will rocket forward and bludgeon me to death. If you don’t see a blog post next week you’ll know what happened.

Anyway, up until last weekend I really didn’t think the rest of the world had anything to fear from me.

I was wrong.

Apparently I’m an absolute menace with darts in my hand.

Come to think of it, if my sister’s reading this she’s undoubtedly going, “Uh, DUH!!! Yes, you’re a menace with darts!”

But she’s just bitter about that unfortunate lawn-dart incident when we were kids. So she still has the scar; pshaw. It’s in a place where nobody but her husband will ever see it. Anyway, I was young then, so it doesn’t count.

But these days that excuse won’t fly.

And neither did my darts. At least not where I wanted them to fly.

I hit the bullseye once, but that was sheer random chance. My darts wobbled and soared and plummeted and all but performed backflips on the way to the wall. (I say ‘on the way to the wall’ because saying ‘on the way to the dartboard’ would be a gross exaggeration of my competence.)

I stuck a dart in the wall four feet below the dartboard. And a foot above it. And knocked a piece out of the protective plastic cover that some forward-thinking person had installed to protect the fire alarm (which was only about 9” above the dart board; so that wasn’t really my fault).

And here’s the saddest part: I wasn’t even drinking. Maybe that was the problem.  I’m quite sure some beer would have made me a better darts player. It couldn’t have made me worse.

I don’t understand why I sucked so stupendously. In grade school I played outfield on the girls’ softball team because I was the only one who could throw well enough to get the ball back to home plate. I can toss a used tissue with unerring accuracy into a 9” square garbage can a few feet away while lying in bed with my eyes closed in the pitch dark.

But if I’m throwing darts? Go hide in another room. And don’t bend over, just in case.

Any darts professionals out there? Can you give me some tips? (Besides “Quit before you get slapped with a lawsuit for personal injury and property damage”?)

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Alcoholity 101

Though I generally avoid religious and political discussions, today I’d like to introduce you to a widely-practiced but poorly-documented religion: Alcoholity. As a practicing member, I think it’s important to spread the Holy Word so that Alcoholity can be given the rights and recognition it deserves.

Archaeological records show that Alcoholity was practiced as early as 10,000 B.C., long before any other organized religion. After thousands of years of development, Alcoholity today is divided into two main branches: BeerHallicism and ProBoozetantism.

BeerHallicism is the more stringent of the two branches. Devout BeerHallics attend services at their local place of worship on all High Holy Days, which include Friday evenings, Saturdays, Sundays, days the in-laws visit, and any day on which a major sporting event takes place. Additional days of worship may also be observed at the adherent’s discretion. The most orthodox BeerHallics also designate a day after High Holy Days as a Day of Contemplation, which requires fasting, resting in a dim room, and abstention from loud noises.

Orthodox BeerHallicism is not for everyone. In addition to the extensive time commitment, it frequently comes with a heavy burden of guilt and also requires a rigorous Confession upon returning home at the close of each High Holy Day.

ProBoozetantism encompasses a number of denominations and is a less demanding branch of Alcoholity. ProBoozetants observe the High Holy Days to varying degrees, and unlike BeerHallics they are not required to attend services in a designated building. Services may take place in restaurants, private homes, at sporting events, or even in public places (though open-air services tend to be subjected to religious persecution by the authorities).

The three main denominations of ProBoozetantism are Presbeerterians, Wineglicans, and Liquorists. Their liturgies are very similar, differing mainly in the content of their Holy Communion, though Wineglicans also perform a complex ceremony with the Communion glass resulting in a euphoric state similar to Rapture.

On the subject of Holy Communion, it should be noted that while scholars consider fruit juice and yeast to be the true Body and Lifeblood of Alcohol, all current branches of Alcoholity accept the consumption of any form of booze and food for Holy Communion.

In addition to the three main denominations, many smaller offshoots of ProBoozetantism exist, such as Coolerism, Shooterism, Cocktailism, ‘Shineism, and even Screechism, a tiny sect existing only in Newfoundland, Canada which includes a baptism/confirmation ceremony called a ‘Screech-in’ that requires speaking in tongues and bestowing a kiss upon the holy Cod.

Unlike most other established religions, Alcoholity is inclusive. As the religion continues to evolve, denominational lines are becoming increasingly blurred and ecumenical services are common.  Even the most orthodox BeerHallics warmly welcome everyone to their places of worship to participate in Holy Communion. ProBoozetants and nonbelievers alike are allowed to bow over the BeerHallics’ holy altar, the Pool Table, and everyone worships with equal fervour before the Big Screen.

And the best thing about Alcoholity is that it can be practiced concurrently with almost all of the other mainstream religions.

With such rich historical tradition and widespread adherence, it’s long past time for Alcoholity to be recognized as a mainstream religion. Please lobby your local authorities to write it into law.

And remember: Your employer must accommodate your need to observe the High Holy Days, and may even be required to do so with full pay or face legal action for discrimination on the basis of religion. Schedule a meeting with your Human Resources liaison today and demand your religious rights!

Oh, and let me know how that goes for you…

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True Confessions

I just finished confessing to a complete lack of literary sophistication over on my blogging buddy Carrie Rubin’s latest post, and it got me thinking (always a dangerous thing).

And the more I thought about it, the more I realized I lack taste in most areas.

I hide it well enough in public most of the time. During my lengthy and painful sojourn as an interior designer I managed to build a veneer of deceptive behaviours that masqueraded as good manners and (somewhat) refined taste:

  • About once a year I went to a nice mid-range clothing store and bought a few things in whatever colour/cut/style was purported to be ‘in fashion’ for the season so I could blend into the professional community.
  • I suppressed coughs, sneezes, burps, farts, and every hint of my dirty mind and twisted sense of humour.
  • I feigned fascination and deep concern over furniture and paint colours and carpets that were fundamentally the same and would be indistinguishable from the alternate choices within minutes of being installed.

While I was a computer geek the rules of taste were mercifully relaxed, but in my next incarnation as a business owner I forced myself to attend networking events and dinners and seminars in the hope of convincing other business owners that I was sufficiently socially aware not to be an embarrassment while providing them with computer training.

  • I sat through presentations on everything from team building to angel channeling to economics to unleashing the power of my femininity: straight-faced, asking pertinent questions, and nodding seriously at the replies.
  • I suppressed my natural urge to pig out at dinners and ate politely, nay, dare I say daintily.
  • I never, not even once, stood up and shouted, “All in favour of throwing on some jeans and pounding back some beers, follow me!”

Fortunately I’ve always had good friends who know the real me and therefore find my fakery hilarious, or my brain probably would have exploded.

These days I hire others far more qualified than I to interact with the normal human race (thank you, David and Sharon, for being the public faces of my computer training business), and I lurk happily in my sordid home-office lair, wearing comfortable clothes and writing things that make me laugh.

It’s far too late to impress anybody now. So, inspired by Carrie’s honesty, I hereby confess:

  • I hated the literary classics. All of them.
  • I cheerfully wear the same T-shirts, fleece jacket,  yoga pants, jeans, and sneakers week after month after year without ever desiring any newer or more fashionable clothes.  In my defense, I do wash them after each wearing.  I may not have fashion sense but at least I’m clean.
  • I enjoy poetry, but my true love is limericks.
  • Farts make me snicker.
  • I love fine food and wine, but I love burgers and beer just as much.
  • My liking for classical music might make me look as though I have taste, but the truth is I like rock and pop just as well. And blues and country and metal and reggae and ragtime and big band and just about everything else including polkas and accordion music. Sad but true.
  • I’ll choose a stupid sitcom over a serious drama every time. (Does anybody remember WKRP in Cincinnati? “…As God is my witness, Travis, I thought turkeys could fly.”)
  • In private, I lick my fingers instead of using a napkin.  Sometimes I lick the plate, too.  Especially if there’s rare-steak juice.

How about you?

  • Dress-up or jeans?
  • Haute cuisine or pub grub?
  • Comedy, drama, action, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, or romance?
  • Classics or genre fiction?
  • Shakespeare or e e cummings or doggerel?
  • Adolescent humour or… wait, never mind. If you’ve stuck with me this far, there’s no hope for you.  (Sorry about that.)

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The Secret Of Happiness…

I’m pushing to finish Book 8 this week and I don’t have any wordpower (or brain power) to spare, so it’s cartoon time:

the secret to happiness

** Also, good beer is a major part of the secret of happiness.

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Beef Is A Vegetable

Yes, it’s true.  Beef is a vegetable, and today I’m going to give you a logical explanation as to why that’s so.

And as a special bonus, I’m going to address the age-old question posed by unhappy students ever since Plato and Aristotle started flapping their gums all those centuries ago:  “When will I ever use these grand principles of logic in real life?”

The answer is ‘frequently’… if you have a devious mind and a burning desire to justify unhealthy nutritional choices.

Hubby and I have both.

Frankly, I was a lot happier when I thought the four basic food groups were sugar, salt, fat, and booze.  But then I went and educated myself about proper nutrition, not realizing how that knowledge would cut into my enjoyment of the all the tastiest treats in life.

On my more cynical days, I figure cutting out all the best yummies won’t actually make me live longer; it’ll just seem like it.  But since my main ambition is to not die of my own stupidity, I generally make an effort to eat well.  And on the days when I don’t feel like doing that, I use logic to justify my poor food choices.

‘Cause, like, y’know, logic is like, all sophisticated and stuff, so that makes me feel smarter when I’m ingesting enough saturated fat to bung my arteries solid.

I’ve already discovered a few useful pre-rationalized vices.  I’m sure just about everybody has seen the one about how chocolate comes from a bean, and beans are vegetables.  And vegetables are healthy and an essential part of good nutrition, therefore it’s necessary to eat chocolate.

Or the one about how grapes are fruit, and wine is made from crushed grapes, therefore wine is just as healthy as fruit juice.

And barley sandwiches are a super-nutritious meal, too.  (For those unfamiliar with barley sandwiches, the main ingredients in beer are barley and yeast, which are essentially the same ingredients as bread…)

If you think that’s a weak argument, never mind – I have a better one.  Beer fights cancer, so it’s actually medicinal.  And I just re-read that article and discovered that they consider a ‘healthy’ intake of beer to be up to two or three units a day for women.  Dammit, I’ve been under-medicated!  Bring on the beer!

But the people who thought up those rationalizations are rank amateurs compared to my husband.  He has actually formulated a logic chain to justify eating gigantic quantities of steak:

Beef is a vegetable.  And vegetables are healthy.

I did point out the food pyramid to him, indicating where there was a clear differentiation between meats and vegetables, but he just shook his head with the patient tolerance of a Zen scholar and proceeded to enlighten me.

“It’s simple,” he explained.  “Cows eat grass.  Grass is a vegetable.  You are what you eat, so beef is a vegetable.”

I couldn’t argue with that even if I wanted to.

Is that the sweet, sweet smell of barbeque?

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