Cheese is love

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Cheese is love.

Not chocolate.

Oh, we like to think that chocolate is the most decadent, the most delicious and the most romantic of all gastronomical adventures but I’m here to tell you NO!

It’s cheese.

Cheese wraps you in a warm blanket of gooey goodness.

It’s salty and sends taste buds firing in exquisite ecstasy.

A masterpiece of nature’s most basic food.

I’m here to tell you that when I think of a romantic, sexy meal it’s filled with wine and CHEESES!

You say raclette. I say love.

You say triple cream brie. I say love.

In my house, cheese means love.

When I was growing up, my mother covered meals in cheese, so it’s no wonder I equate cheese with love.

She makes mashed potatoes that are ORANGE there’s so much cheese in them.

And her favorite vegetable?

Zucchini covered in a sheet of melted parmesan cheese.

There are days when I SWEAR I could live off condiments, crackers and cheese.

Stepping out

As the world slowly reopens, so does my social life.

I actually stepped out a few days ago and enjoyed coffee with my friend George.

I was so excited to hug him, I nearly burst.

It was as awesome as I imagined it would be.

We sat outside Starbucks and chatted mostly about piercings and tattoos until he had to take off for a date.

Then yesterday I met another friend at Starbucks and what was supposed to be a 2 hour coffee date turned into an al fresco dinner at Oak & Rye.

Also, VERY GOOD HUGS!

I find myself jonesing for hugs now ALL THE TIME.

All in all, I’ve had a pretty good time emerging out into the world again.

My dear old truck with 246,000 miles on it needed a new battery so I took care of that today just as my kid’s sedan and my mom’s mini van broke down and had to be taken to the same auto shop.

I keep forgetting to bring a mask and I’m stymied as to why because it’s one of those things ingrained in me to do at Burning Man.

No matter where you’re going or what you’re doing, you always have a mask close at hand JUST IN CASE there’s a dust storm.

I’m just not used to planning that far ahead in real life.

It was enough of an accomplishment that I remembered to shower, do my hair and makeup and put on rea clothes (not just another pair of pajamas) to go out in.

Didn’t I look cute?

Happy re-emerging to all of you.

Can’t wait to get a pedicure!

Freeze Dried Meals

My first burn, when I was staying in a tent with a cooler and a small gas stove, I lived off of hardboiled eggs, pre-cooked bacon, and cheese quesadillas.

What I’m trying to say is that my food was pretty basic.

And repetitive.

The last three years I have been spoiled by staying in Tejas’ RV.

With a freezer AND fridge, I had everything I needed to keep food stored properly and really indulge in “fancy” meals.

Butter chicken and basmati rice.

Beef stew and garlic bread.

Thai chicken salad sandwiches.

Yum!

This year I’m going back to the basics and I’m trying to figure out what to bring to the burn as far as food goes.

This Mountain House 14-day emergency food kit looks AWFULLY good to me:

Granted, it’s all free-dried food, but it’s relatively inexpensive, easy to make, and easy to clean up after.

I’ve tried some of the food and it’s not all that bad.

Salty, but then again you need salt in the desert.

Have any of you used freeze dried meals at Burning Man?  What were your thoughts?  Likes?  Dislikes?

It would sure be convenient to just get a box (or a bucket) of meals and call it a day!

Grilled cheese and gin and tonics

Now that I’m stepping on the scale a few times a week, I’m feeling very sheepish.

Like HOW IN THE WORLD DID THAT HAPPEN?!

One minute I was frolicking nude in my backyard, to devil with the neighbors, and the next minute I could barely stand to see myself naked.

Oh yeah, I know.

Curves.

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

But when did I get so CURVY?

You know when your kids are 16 and 18 you can no longer use the pregnancy weight excuse.

So I guess it’s all the grilled cheese sandwiches and gin and tonics I consumed.

I’m still plugging along on my diet.

In two weeks I’ve lost 6 pounds.

Which is an accomplishment, but is also frustrating me.

Like can’t this go ANY FASTER?

I’ve got bikinis to wear, and bodysuits to rave in, and lingerie to pose in, and photos to take!

And I just want to get to my destination AS FAST AS FUCKING POSSIBLE.

I suppose since it took me 10 years to get here I should have a little patience.

Working hard for something makes you value it ALL THE MORE.

And it will certainly deter me from ever eating an excess of grilled cheese sandwiches and gin and tonics.

Right?

Cheese Tooth

My first week on the diet went well.

MY first WEEKEND on the diet?

Not so well.

There’s something about the lack of structure to my weekends which makes keeping to a diet REALLY challenging.

I went to an AMAZING party on Saturday.

The kind of party you dream about attending – fabulous people, great entertainment, and lots and lots of food and drink!

The party had a Burning Man theme – specifically focusing on the principles of gifting and interactivity.

Everyone participated in the party.

Tejas gave away temporary tattoos, to great success.

Marina let people design their own jewelry then she assembled their selection into a pair of earrings.

Here’s mine:

My gift was a bowl of my famous French cheese fondue – a blend of brie, goat and blue cheese.

Absolutely delicious!

I know because I SAMPLED IT.

Quite a bit of it, actually.

I wanted to eat the fried chicken and pot stickers, but I restrained myself.

And when they passed around birthday cake, I was able to decline with a polite, “I don’t have a SWEET tooth, I have a CHEESE tooth.”

So, not surprisingly, when I drove with Tejas to Pescadero the next day to check out a potential retreat center for our regional precompression, I had to stop by Duarte’s Tavern and get a grilled cheese sandwich and their swirled cream of green chili and artichoke soup.

I might (or might not) have washed it all down with a gin and tonic.

Despite these setbacks, I’m actually proud of how I handled my weekend. I certainly WANTED to cheat more but I held back.

And in the end, I figure that the important thing is to do things right MORE OFTEN than you do things wrong and you’re on the right track.

So, here’s to a better week for me!

The diet, thus far

So you want to know how the diet is going?

It’s going.

Truth be told, I’m on a rather bland, mostly liquid, limited diet right now.

I miss flavor. Sauces.

God, I miss chewing!

I’m worried that I will not be successful on this diet on account of it’s so fricking BORING I feel like I’m jonesing for something tasty to eat.

A donut.

Garlic bread.

Macaroni and cheese.

I’d even be happy with a frozen pizza right now.

The trouble is, I’m pre-diabetic.

Which means I DON’T GET TO GIVE UP ON THIS DIET.

My health is at stake.

So I’ve somehow got to find the willpower to stick with the plan.

Originally, I was worried that giving up booze was going to be the hardest thing for me.

Now however, having been on the plan for two days, I must say booze is the LEAST of my worries.

And I was naïve to think that it would be.

By far the biggest impact to my daily diet isn’t the elimination of booze but the elimination of FLAVOR.

And that’s not easy to give up.

Not at all.

Time for some weight loss

Now that I’ve started this diet (more on that later), I’ve been thinking that I need to find a way to commemorate my body, as it is right now, pre-weight loss.

I mean sure, I took boudoir photos 3 years ago, but that was also 50 pounds ago.

The extremist in me thinks I need to post a bikini picture, but the realist in me is aware that is going JUST A BIT TOO FAR.

Plus, it’s probably something only I need to see, not the general internet masses.

So there will be no bikini pics.

Then, I thought perhaps I should post my weight.

You know, for accountability’s sake?

But that assumes that I’m not HORRIFIED by how much I weigh.

Honestly, I haven’t admitted my weight to a SINGLE SOUL.

Not even my MOTHER!

My driver’s license still says I weigh 160.

Such a lie!

I’m not sure how the DMV employees can put that on my driver’s license with a STRAIGHT FACE!

In the end, I think I’ve settled on posting a VIRTUAL model of my proposed weight loss via Model My Diet.

You input your current weight and dimensions and your weight loss goal (in my case a 130 pound difference) and it spits out a side-by-side comparison.

Pretty eye opening, isn’t it?

Definitely time for some weight loss, eh?

Giving up booze

I made every attempt to GAIN WEIGHT my last week before my diet started.

I ate grilled cheese and fondue and pasta.

And I enjoyed it all.

Did I succeed?

No.

I lost three pounds on account of I’ve been sick like a dog with a stupid respiratory virus.

When I open my mouth to speak, I bark.

The sad reality of being sick is that NOTHING TASTES GOOD.

I tried to make myself a gin and tonic and all I tasted was a faint sour flavor when I sampled it.

Being sick prevents me from DRINKING like I usually do.

Ironically, I think that the biggest challenge to my diet will not be the lack of food or calories.

No.

It’s going to be not drinking.

I already know this.

It’s not easy for me to cut back on drinking UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, let alone eliminating it from my diet completely.

Perhaps this is a sign of a problem.

I can’t help it.

One beer becomes a glass of wine which turns into a cocktail and before I know it, I’ve had two or three drinks in a night.

My cousin Jennifer once told me that doctors classify “binge drinking” as more than two glasses of alcohol a night, to which we both replied “then every one I know is a binge drinker!”

Tejas thinks I’m crazy but I’ve bought about 50 bottles of sparkling water to replace the alcohol (and soda) I used to drink.

I just don’t like water, is all.

Of course, it does occur to me that the WHOLE REASON I have to lose weight is too many cocktails.

So this will be good for me, right?

Farewell soft pillows of my body!

I’ve always imagined that I look peaceful and sweet when I sleep.

Like a dainty little goddess floating on a sea of pillows.

Of course that was before The Swede took a picture of me sleeping on New Year’s Day and shared it with me.

Furrowed brow.

Bundled in blankets.

Pouty lip.

Not exactly the picture of sweetness and light I was hoping for.

Lately, I’m unimpressed with all pictures of me.

There’s just a little too much round and not enough angles.

But that’s on remedy, since my Medical Weight Management program starts today.

Nothing like going on a 960 calories-a-day diet to make a person slim down post holiday season, eh?

Sadly, I am fearful I will lose my butt and my boobs in the process, but it’s something I must live with if I want to be healthy.

Farewell soft pillows of my body.

I’m gonna miss you!

Would you like SAUCE with that?

Something I noticed when I was in Sweden is that the Swedes like sauces on their foods.

Virtually everything I ate had some sort of accompanying sauces to go with it.

When I ate steak and mashed potatoes artfully arranged on a plank, there were several sauces to go with it.

My favorite?

Svamp sauce.

Yes, indeed.

SVAMP sauce.

Ok, so MAYBE it was mushroom sauce but I loved the name of the sauce.

The next morning, after eating SVAMP sauce with steak, I had breakfast and The Swede was kind enough to let me sample his favorite – a tube of pinkish caviar sauce which he squeezed like toothpaste ALL OVER HIS BREAKFAST.

I’d like to say “yum” but I believe my reaction to tasting it was to look for something that could replace the flavor in my mouth AS FAST AS POSSIBLE.

After tasting the caviar paste, I was obsessed with it however.

So when I came across THIS display of tubes of sauce in the grocery store, I had to stop and examine them.

The tubes had a millions different flavors – shrimp, caviar, salmon. . .even DEER!

I was amused.

Then I walked around the corner and found EVEN MORE TUBES!

And that’s when I realized that The Swedes really do love their sauces.

Hollandaise, béarnaise, crème anglaise, beurre blanc – the French have NOTHING on the Swedes!