Description and Intro to upcoming book: “How to Look Fuckable While Pregnant”

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08F25B281

Book Description

Are you preggers and horny?  How horny are pregnant women and why aren’t they thought of, especially by the fashion industry, as sexual beings?  What does the prevalence of young White women getting knocked up by “persons of color” reveal about hipster fashion?  Why is college a scam and how does it make people fat and stupid?  Which nets a better return on investment,  giving heroin users a $1000 a month or using that money to fund schools?  

Read this book if you’ve ever thought that nearly everything you learned in school is bullshit.  Read it if you want to know how the world really works.  Read it for insights.  Read it for laughs.  Read it because you want to scream: “FUCK THIS SHIT!!!”      

Introduction

I owned a now defunct clothing store, The Privileged Poor.  I opened it because I wanted to think about how Americans imagine and manage their identities vis-a-vis fashion choices and how these choices become meaningful.  I also wanted to see what happens when we scramble identities.  

The sorting system at a typical clothing store begins with gender.  The segregation is spatial, with the Women’s section occupying this space, Men’s that space, the division clearly marked so Julio doesn’t embarrass himself.  In these gendered spaces, products will be further sorted by apparel type (eg. sweaters, skirts, lounge wear, suits, shoes), which are then arranged systematically by sizes. Some other classifications include event (eg. bridesmaid, prom, beach party) or style (eg. J. Crew’s “Style At Every Age” campaign, which explicitly matches fashion sensibility with an age group).

Are such gendered spaces necessary? What’s their function? Julie already wears her boyfriend’s jeans, boxers, and button downs, why not make it easier for her to continue her style after he dumps her?  Do we really need to tell Jimmy that his package isn’t going to fit well in those red thongs? My favorite pair of sweatpants was a boot-cut “Women’s” pair (discontinued) from Club Monaco that fit perfectly and didn’t make me look like a slob, as Men’s sweatpants usually do to men.  I’d pair it with a soft and thin tail-less button down — also from Club Monaco — and accessorize with a simple canvas messenger bag and a well-trained Siberian Husky for a comfy lounge-wear look good enough to get me great service wherever I went shopping.

At The Privileged Poor, we got rid of gender distinctions and stopped sorting by apparel and size and instead organized clothing and accessories by identity.  Ironic identities.  For instance:

  • The Bourgeois Bohemian
  • The Pretentiously Frugal
  • The Over-Educated Dirtbag
  • The Redneck Poseur
  • The Privileged Poor
  • The Frat Boy Hippie
  • The Champagne Socialist

We provided the pieces, re-branded in our own fucked up way.  Where does that thick and coarse 1989 Bud Bowl T-shirt go, to the Redneck Poseur or the Frat Boy Hippie?  The tagless soft cotton button down from who knows when and where except it came at a Third World cheap price, to the Bourgeois Bohemian or the Pretentiously Frugal? The point of this experiment was to give customers an opportunity to explore possibilities and put together an outfit, a persona — an *identity* — that enters and disrupts narratives of migration, alienation, and belonging.  We wanted (American) customers to feel like immigrants — to try new and confusing identities, as immigrants often do — so they can reclaim their immigrant heritage, the essence of  Americanhood.  

This book — a collection of essays about American culture and politics —  is divided into four parts.  Part I, titled American Fashion, isn’t just about clothes and their accessories, it’s about what’s culturally fashionable.  It begins with an eponymously titled satirical reading of American identity politics.  Instead of asking why there aren’t more Black physicists and Asian basketball players, I wonder why the fashion industry treats horny pregnant women as non-existent and how we can change that.  Suburban White Trash is the title and subject matter of chapter two, where the voice of an eighteen year old self-identified suburban White trash woman explains why high fashion begins not in hip cities but in overlooked suburban White trash communities.  Chapter three, Why She Got Knocked Up, is a story about why the (White) girl next door got knocked up by a cholo and what that tells us about hipsters and American culture.  Chapter four reviews 2019’s romantic comedy hit film, Crazy Rich Asians, and asks if it’s still fashionable to be an American.  

Part II is titled and about Schools, because Americans have a fetish for them.  Chapter five’s title asks “What if They Spend the Money on Heroin?” — a reference to 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s proposal to give a universal basic income of $1000/month to *all* Americans —  to begin a discussion about the value of schools.  Chapter six tells you How to Not Become Stupid in College by examining the history and original purpose of the University.  Chapter seven, Free College is the Second Dumbest Idea Ever, shows how public policy’s fetishization of college as the solution to all social problems leads to social disaster.  Chapter eight, College is a Scam, draws parallels between the Catholic Church and the University.  College Makes People Fat and Stupid, the title of Chapter nine, provides more examples of how college is a bad option for nearly all people.  Chapter ten lists How We Can Improve Schools Without Spending More Money.  

Part III is about Resumes, how Americans are taught to write them and what they reveal about the typical American psyche.  We approach this topic didactically, beginning with chapter eleven, Notes on How to Write a Resume.  Chapter twelve, Boy Wants Job to Get Laid, is an example of how I think resumes should be written, which is the opposite of what they teach in school.  Chapters 13-15 shows you how to write a resume like the one in chapter twelve.  

Part IV is about American Politics.  Chapter sixteen, Notes on the 2020 Sino-US Trade War, examines the impetus for the aforementioned trade war and what it reveals about how Americans pereceive themselves and the world.  Chapter seventeen, Passage of Seattle 15 Minimum Wage: Notes and Predictions (from 2014) examines the assumptions of the Democratic Socialist wave in American politics.  We end with Chapter eighteen, Notes on the 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang, to dissect his key proposal — Universal Basic Income of $1000/month to all American citizens ages 18-64.   

While the placement of chapters aren’t random, each essay can be read independently of the others.  Comments are welcome and can be sent to foodyap@gmail.com.  

Book Description and Intro to Paradise Frost: Satan as Santa (coming soon)

Book Description

Think Hell is hot?  Think again, it’s as frigid as Hillary Clinton.  John Milton wrote the literary classic Paradise Lost to give us Satan’s perspective of his predicament and The Fall of humankind.  Dante Aligheri wrote The Inferno, part one of his Divine Comedies, to give us a look at life in Hell.  When you combine the two and set Hell on the North Pole, you get Paradise Frost: Satan as Santa.  Read it to learn how much of a sinner you are.  Read it to be surprised by who is stuck in Hell.  Read it to find out how the deviant Mrs. Clause uses her elves as dildos.  Read it to discover how Santa satisfies his carnal urges with human whores.  Read it to decide if this is a work of blasphemy.  

Introduction 

I’d been writing this book with no intention of publishing it. It was a private project, one of self-reflection.  I wrote this to think about the seven deadly sins — lust, sloth, wrath, gluttony, greed, envy, and the deadliest of them all, vanity — and how I commit them.  

As a published work, this is a story about our Total Depravity and our Original Sin.  The underlying theme is that we are born corrupt and sinful, and we sin in ways we don’t realize.  Our suffering has little to do with external events, it’s the result of the dissonance between how we think of ourselves and who we really are.  

I struggle to understand what is and isn’t a sin. And my intuition tells me that the most dangerous sins are those we don’t recognize as such. To some, the Christian notion of sin is outdated, it’s an atavistic concept.  In other words, morality is relative and “sin” is contingent on cultural standards.  Fine, but keep in mind that I’m not interested in debating about cultural expressions of sin —  Mormon prohibition against alcohol, for instance.  I just want a better understanding about human nature.  Whether or not stoning an adulteress is a sin is irrelevant to me.  I’m only interested in why an adulteress is stoned —  was someone envious of her?  Another example: I put Hitler in Hell for being sentimental (emotional gluttony), and not for mass murder.  Because this is a story about human nature, about how everyone, across all cultures, are tempted by lust, sloth, wrath, gluttony, greed, envy, and vanity.  How someone expresses vanity may vary from culture to culture, and I don’t care about that.  I’m only interested in what vanity  — and the other six deadly sins — does to people.  

This book is Part I of an ongoing series which may never end because there’s so much moral ground to cover and so many people to send to Hell.  The main theme of Part I is that what seem like harmless, benevolent acts, are actually manifestations of our sinful nature.  Is sentimentality a sin?  James Baldwin thought so.  How about self-love, is that a sin, is that narcissism re-branded as a virtue?  What about self-care, is that a euphemism for selfishness?  What’s the hidden meaning behind popular cultural tropes?  My aim here is to desecrate the sacred, also known in the Bible as false idols.  False idols are everywhere and the worship of them is a sign of depravity.  

The title, Paradise Frost, is a play off of John Milton’s literary classic, Paradise Lost, which gives us Satan’s perspective on his predicament and The Fall of humankind.  This book combines the thematic content in Paradise Lost with that of Dante Aligheri’s The Inferno, part I of his Divine ComediesParadise Frost is a story about Satan and those who’ve unexpectedly joined him in Hell.  Biblical stories also figure prominently in Paradise Frost.     

To make reading more fun, I wrote in gratuitous and lascivious sex scenes inspired by some of the more grotesque sex scenes in the Bible.  No need to read deeply into these scenes for hidden meaning.  It’s pornography and it’s in here because sex sells.  

And yes, I’m a Christian and I consider this book an exploration of Christian theology.  

Enjoy!  

10 Years Old

Hey Everyone,

Alive Juice Bar has been in business for 10 years!  Thanks for the awesome memories, you’re the best for making this milestone happen.

The Shoreline location will close and move to downtown Everett in September.  To customers who live in Everett, I’ll see you there.  To those who live in Shoreline/Edmonds/Lake Forest Park/Mountlake Terrace, I’ll miss you so much.  I’ll continue to patronize Juicy Power Yoga, I’ll see some of you there.

We’re publishing books — including two Alive Juice Bar cookbooks — as a going away present, love letters really.  You’ll at least have the recipes to make your own Alive Juice Bar drinks and food.

We’re also opening The Soup Nazi Kitchen adjacent to Alive Juice Bar in Everett.  We’ll have a Facebook and Yelp page set up for it when it’s close to opening.

Stay strong, hugs and kisses,

 

 

 

 

Intro to upcoming book “Juice Nazi Seeks Head of Secret Police: A Guide to Running a Juice Bar”

Book Description

Wonder what it’s like to start a neighborhood juice bar?  Curious about how the Juice Nazi runs his notorious juice bar?  Can you correctly answer the infamous Alive Juice Bar application test questions?  Will you find the questions funny or mind blowingly offensive?  Read this to find out how to run a juice bar and if the Juice Nazi thinks you’re batshit crazy.  

Introduction

They say the Chinese government is run like a business.  The President is the CEO and the Premier is the COO.  The Politburo are the board of directors and Communist party members are shareholders.  Provincial leaders are district managers and so forth and so on, all the way down to the student interns.  Chinese citizens are the customers.  

Restaurants — businesses in general — are run like the Chinese government.  Juice bars, even more so because unlike most restaurants, my job at my juice bar isn’t solely to entertain customers, but also to guide them about matters of health and diet.  I don’t just cook nutritious drinks and meals that taste good to the customer, I’m expected to nurse sick customers back to health, to prescribe remedies to heal an injury, and to absolve those who’ve committed dietary debauchery.  Which means my job isn’t to give customers what they ask for, my job is to build trust.  That means I treat customers differently from what you’d get at a typical restaurant.  I expect customers who are transparent about what they want and need.  

I might poll customers about their preferences (focus groups) but I don’t let them decide what and how I serve because most of them, like American voters (myself included), don’t know what the fuck is going on on my end business-wise and on their end health and diet-wise.  Want wheatgrass?  Go to Jamba Juice, I’m not serving bullshit shots.  Want an acai bowl?  Go get one at Costco, that shit is a waste of time and resources.  The customer isn’t always right, the customer is usually wrong, ok?  My job is to cut through the bullshit to give my customers not what they want, but what they need to be healthy.   

An employee who makes an excuse gets chewed out.  No, not later when the customers are gone, immediately because otherwise, they’ll forget what happened.  Managers run the store as they want as long as we’re getting good results, and if the results aren’t good, they’re fired.  There’s no states rights or voting.  There’s surveillance.  Employee input and checks and balances, sure, we have those in place, just like how it is in China.  But no more than that because businesses need to be nimble to survive, we don’t have time for long debates and hesitation.  

It’s not my intention to conflate the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with the Nazi party, the two parties are nothing alike unless you believe Western — especially American and British — media’s representations of the CCP and China (I don’t).  Rather, the “Juice Nazi” moniker that customers gave me references Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi, who is based on a real person.  In any case, I haven’t done anything extraordinary to earn this praise — I’m not at the same level as great chefs like Marco Pierre White, Jiro Ono, and Charlie Trotter, or great athletes like Tom Brady and Michael Jordan.  I’m nowhere as demanding, strict, and disciplined as any of them, which is why I’m nowhere as successful as they are.  

My purpose here is to show readers how to run a juice bar without boring those who aren’t planning to do so.  You can read this book as a behind the scenes reveal of a notorious juice bar, similar to Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential.  

This book is divided into five parts and thirty eight chapters.  Part I, Mindset, shows you my mindset and the reasons for it when I work.  Part II, Hiring, is mostly a collection of my most controversial application questions and shows how far we go to find the right employee.   

Part III, Employees, has musings about human nature — which you have to understand to run a juice bar and most businesses — considers how employees should be compensated, and reflects on why the labor market is what it is.  Part IV, Customers, explains why I treat customers as I do.  Part V, Nuts and Bolts, shows how Alive Juice Bar is run, from its use of music attract and repel customers to its batshit crazy way of luring new customers.  

This book can be read in whatever order you want.  Feedback and questions are welcomed, send it to foodyap@gmail.com.  Enjoy!  

 

 

Prologue
How it began

Part I — Mindset

Chapter one — Sixty rules I learned about owning a business
Chapter two — Mindset of a bad cook
Chapter three — Your hobby is not your passion
Chapter four — So you want to be a porn star?
Chapter five — Ten worst reasons to open a juice bar
Chapter six — Devil in the Kitchen: Review of Marco Pierre White’s memoir
Chapter seven — Ideas are worthless
Chapter eight — To whom I’d sell Alive Juice Bar
Chapter nine — How the cult of self-esteem produces fuck ups

Part II — Hiring  

Chapter ten — Reader reactions to Juice Nazi application
Chapter eleven — Juice Nazi seeks head of secret police
Chapter twelve — Alive Juice Bar seeking angry people
Chapter thirteen — Alive Juice Bar seeking very very very nice people
Chapter fourteen — Seeking Darth(ette) Vadar to join the Dark Side.
Chapter fifteen — So you want to manage a controversial juice bar
Chapter sixteen — Example of management material
Chapter seventeen — Answer key to

Part III — Employees

Chapter eighteen — On human nature
Chapter nineteen — How to spot bullshit
Chapter twenty — Training employees guidelines
Chapter twenty one — Passage of Seattle $15 minimum wage: notes and predictions
Chapter twenty two — $15/minimum wage: bring it on, motherfuckers
Chapter twenty three — What’s a fair wage?
Chapter twenty four — What’s a living wage?
Chapter twenty five — Who deserves a living wage?
Chapter twenty six — Jobs for all is the dumbfuckingest idea ever
Chapter twenty seven — How schools train students to not be responsible.  

Part IV — Customers

Chapter twenty eight — How to talk to customers
Chapter twenty nine — Obedience versus responsibility
Chapter thirty — What is means to be responsible
Chapter thirty one — Never say “no” to a customer
Chapter thirty two — How not to run a start-up business

Part V — Nuts and Bolts

Chapter thirty three — How to run a juice bar
Chapter thirty four — How to break rules and get away with it
Chapter thirty five — Use of music
Chapter thirty six — Guidelines
Chapter thirty seven — Etiquette
Chapter thirty eight — Are you batshit crazy?  

The Soup Nazi Kitchen business plan

Plans to open a bistro — Pot Roast — are on hold. We’ll instead open The Soup Nazi Kitchen. To the left, motherfuckers, to the left! Listen to this as you read:

Problem

Covid-19 has fucked everything up and getting back to normal is going to take awhile. This isn’t just about social restrictions, the economy is going to be fucked for awhile. Everett, where we were planning to open a sit down restaurant with patio seating, is a company town that’s dependent on Boeing jobs. Boeing, which was reeling before Covid-19 happened, is hyper fucked. I’m predicting an economic depression in Everett until it’s able to replace permanently lost Boeing jobs. It’s going to be hard to find customers willing to pay $30-$50 per person — a mid priced meal — for dinner.

While social restrictions will be relaxed, enough will remain in place for a long enough time to make owning a dine in restaurant unfeasible. Seating at half capacity, for instance, isn’t going to work financially for most restaurant owners. And I’m not sure if servers wearing masks is going to work for patrons. (Unless it’s a bandit themed restaurant? Hospital themed? Taliban themed, servers wear burkas and miniskirts?).

Solution

Quick service take-out restaurant, The Soup Nazi Kitchen, instead of a sit-down bistro. Whatever social distancing measures that are in place will be enforced with the zeal of Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi (based on a real person, Albert Yeganeh)!

A meal of a 16 oz soup and an accompaniment can be had here for as little as $9, tax included, making it a well priced and hearty option in an economically distressed community. The 90s and Seinfeld themed nostalgia will hopefully lend comfort and inspire laughter.

Menu

What makes our soups distinctive is that we add garlic-onion-ginger juice to each broth. Broth is made in house using either a variety of bones or an assortment of seasonal vegetables. All prices include tax:

Soups, 16 oz ($6) or 32 oz ($10) options:

  • Beef stew (add $1)
  • Chicken or the egg? soup
  • Bacon and sausage chili
  • Salmon stew (add $1)
  • Vegan chili
  • Chinese dumpling soup
  • Tomato soup (vegan)
  • Coconut carrot soup (vegan)
  • Special weird shit of the week (eg head and tail soup [oxtail soup with beef cheeks]; pig trotters soup; lamb stew; cauliflower New England clam chowder; kimchi tofu shrimp soup; hot and sour egg drop soup)

Accompaniments ($3)

  • Curry brown rice and beans (16 oz)
  • Yam/kale/beet/apple chips
  • Half of a grilled cheese sandwich (add $1 for bacon)
  • Black bean brownie
  • Hummus
  • Chickpea salad
  • Kale salad
  • Pork and veggie dumplings
  • Raw carrot cake
  • Garlic cinnamon bread
  • Pineapple penises

Drinks ($7, add $1 to add alcohol)

Made and picked up at Alive Juice Bar

  • Fresh hacked coconut juice (add $1)
  • Kale smoothie
  • Green margarita
  • Summer berries
  • Tropical Bugs Bunny
  • Tropical Breakfast
  • Tropical Northwest
  • Old English malt liquor, 40 oz ($8)
  • Saint Ides malt liquor, 40 oz ($8)

soup_nazi_large

Description and Intro to “How to Cook Like a Racist” (upcoming cookbook)

Book Description

Want to know if you’ve been cooking like a racist?  Need tips on how to cook for an emotional eater?  Want to know how to serve dinner on a naked woman’s body?  Want to learn some of Alive Juice Bar’s recipes, including the one for its signature brown rice and beans and its black bean brownies?  Curious about how making kale chips is similar to giving a hand job?  Then this is the cookbook for you!  How to Cook Like a Racist doesn’t just feed you recipes, it explains what’s going on behind them, like how and why the infamous Juice Nazi came up with them so that you too can come up with your own.  You’ll also learn  how to consider the meaning of the food you cook and eat in the context of post-colonial identity politics.

Introduction

In the summer of 2016, Bon Appetit released a video of a White chef explaining a way to eat pho. Enough controversy ensued that Bon Appetit took down the video and apologized for its broadcast.

The controversy centered on the chef’s Whiteness and the politics of cultural appropriation. That is, the activists who demanded that this chef be boiled alive in his own broth insisted that it’s not ethical for a White chef to cook and talk about food from a non-White culture, in this case Vietnamese. Doing so, they argued, is an imperialist and Orientalist act, it’s stealing from and exoticizing another culture. It’s the same as a White person donning yellowface.

So the motive for the title of this cookbook isn’t to rouse or satirize or provoke, it’s to address a controversy that affects a lot of people. Don’t expect any jokes that include dunce hats, nooses, tape, and sombrero hats. The aim here is to think about what it means to cook and eat under the specter of post-colonial identity politics.

This cookbook is divided into five parts. Part one, Who are the racists?, questions prevailing assumptions about who racists are and are not. The eponymous first chapter reviews the controversies surrounding the Bon Appetit video mentioned above and the publication of the White authored Thug Kitchen vegan cookbooks, which has been accused of writing and cooking in blackface by using the black vernacular to narrate its recipes. (It’s not clear to me if swearing and acting like a “thug” while cooking is distinctly a Black activity, or if it’s simply a human activity).  This chapter also includes a scorecard to help you determine if you’re able to cook like a racist.  Chapter two, Harvard Hates Asians, takes a look at the 2018 discrimination lawsuit against Harvard University to reveal what Malcolm X saw in the motives of White liberals and asks who the most perilous racists are.  Part one ends with chapter three, which features Alive Juice Bar’s rice and beans recipe.  People of all races are free to appropriate it and all other recipes in this cookbook, you have the Juice Nazi’s blessing.

Part two, How to Cook for Emotional Eaters, is trying to get at the source of the obesity epidemic and considers how we can help emotional eaters eat and live better.  Chapter four asks Why Emotional Eating Happens and takes a hard look at American society and culture as the source of emotional dysfunction.  Chapter five, How to Stop Emotional Eating, offers solutions that turn the morals and manners, the sense and sensibilities of middle class America upside down.  More life hacks in chapter six, Why People Get Fat, this time on how to prepare oneself mentally for the tumult that triggers emotional dysfunction and eating.  Chapter seven uses porn star Ron Jeremy and anal sex to help explain why you shouldn’t think that carrot juice contains too much sugar.  It ends with a recipe for many people’s favorite comfort food — brownies! — except ours is made with black beans instead of flour and packed with nutrition instead of empty calories.  Tastes just as good too.

Part three, How to Cook for Hedonists, is a story about how fucking hard it is to own a juice bar because while everyone says they want to be healthy, most want to be hedonistic even more so.  Chapter nine, Doesn’t Everyone Want to be Healthy? brings home that point (the answer is no, no, no, even if everyone says yes).  Chapter ten, Food Isn’t the Enemy, It’s the Solution, warns against grouping food into healthy versus unhealthy categories and explains why doing so doesn’t make sense and can be dangerous (yes, you can overdose on kale).  Chapter 11 reviews Anthony Bourdain’s book, Medium Raw, because it’s about how great chefs stand firm with their vision and refuse to give into the customer’s basest desires.  You’ll know where the Juice Nazi gets his inspiration.  Chapter twelve, How to Prepare for a Potluck explains why potlucks are typically gross hedonistic revels instead of balanced feasts.  Chapter thirteen, How to Make Kids Eat Veggies and to Love Their Parents elucidates why getting kids to eat their veggies is as difficult as it is to teach them to love their parents.  Chapter 14 teaches you the Alive Juice Bar way to make smoothies.

In Part four, you learn How to Cook Like a MisogynistNyotaimori Dinner is the subject of chapter 15 and you’ll be taught how to prepare a woman’s body to be used as a serving dish at a dinner party.  The Politics of Eating Meat headlines chapter 16, and if you’re wondering what eating meat has to do with misogyny, I have no idea but “Meat is Misogyny” would make a great banner at a MeToo march and an even better book title.  How to Pick Out a Steak is the subject of Chapter 17 because most people do it wrong.  How to Cook a Steak is the title of Chapter 18 because most people cook it wrong.  Chapter 19 explains how to make oxtail soup.  Yum.

Part V, The Politics of Eating and Cooking, goes beyond identity politics to consider the merits and downsides of popular culinary trends such as the localvore movement and the modernist approach to cooking and eating.  It begins in chapter 20 with a review of Anthony Bourdain’s graphic novel, Get Jiro!, that summarizes how intolerant and myopic are these culinary trends.  Chapter 21, Punk Versus Classical Fine Dining, is a critique of a restaurant review that was used as an opportunity to bemoan the “punk” trend in dining.  Chapter 23 is a review of a documentary about legendary sushi chef Jiro Ono (memorialized in Get Jiro!) to show what it takes to achieve culinary mastery.  The next two chapters are recipes that reflect Alive Juice Bar’s philosophy of cooking — waste nothing.

Part VI  are More Recipes, including one that involves a hand job.  Enjoy!

Comments, including hate mail, are welcome.  Send them to foodyap@gmail.com.  Write in subject line, “Dear Racist.”

Part I – Who are the Racists?

Chapter 1 – How to Cook Like a Racist
Chapter 2 – Harvard Hates Asians
Chapter 3 – Rice and Beans

Part II – How to Cook for Emotional Eaters

Chapter 4 – Why Emotional Eating Happens
Chapter 5 – How to Stop Emotional Eating
Chapter 6 – Why People Get Fat
Chapter 7 – Glycemic Load versus Glycemic Index
Chapter 8 – Black Bean Brownies

Part III – How to Cook for Hedonists
Chapter 9 –   Doesn’t Everyone Want to be Healthy?
Chapter 10 – Food Isn’t the Enemy, It’s the Solution
Chapter 11 – Review of Anthony Bourdain’s Medium Raw
Chapter 12 – How to Prepare for a Potluck
Chapter 13 – How to Make Kids Eat Veggies and to Love Their Parents
Chapter 14 – How to Make a Smoothie

Part IV – How to Cook Like a Misogynist
Chapter 15 – Nyotaimori Dinner
Chapter 16 – The politics of eating meat
Chapter 17 – How to pick out a steak
Chapter 18 – How to cook a steak
Chapter 19 – Oxtail Soup Recipe

Part V – The Politics of Eating and Cooking
Chapter 20 – Review of Anthony Bourdain’s Get Jiro!
Chapter 21 – Punk versus classical fine dining
Chapter 22 – Review of Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Chapter 23 – Signature Salad Dressing Recipe
Chapter 24 – Avocado Salad

Part VI – More Recipes
Chapter 25 – Yam chip recipe
Chapter 26 – Kale chip recipe
Chapter 27 – Hainan chicken recipe
Chapter 28 – Gluten free quiche recipe
Chapter 29 – Raw carrot cake recipe

Introduction to “I’m Just Not That Kind of Girl: a sadistic basic bitch story” (upcoming book, April 10th release)

Available in paperback and Kindle.

 

 

Synopsis:

Roxanne G. is trying to get her boyfriend — Dummy Boy — to tattoo her name on his penis. He doesn’t want to do that. So Roxanne uses her womanly wiles to train Dummy Boy to do what he doesn’t want to do — go to a bookstore and hot yoga, eat sushi and dim sum, attend a symphony and bookreading…until he finally agrees to get the tattoo. She dumps him after he gets it, leaving him distraught and suicidal.  Read this misandristic story to find out if Dummy Boy survives to show his penis to another woman.

The original purpose of this satirical soft-core foodie porn novelette was to tell lewd jokes to make people laugh.  That’s it. No themes intended, just vulgar fun with a foodie bent that involves fictional Yelp reviews from an imagined basic bitch perspective.  Now that this book is done and I’ve read it a few times, themes emerge: the hypocrisy and cruelty of people; people as frauds; the lies we tell ourselves about ourselves; and the truths about ourselves we inadvertently reveal.  What other themes have I missed?    

I use the Yelp review format because I originally wrote most of this story on Yelp (and taken down by Yelp thrice).  Since Yelp doesn’t allow for fictional characters writing semi-fictional reviews on its site (and, okay okay, some of the reviews are mind-blowingly offensive to some people), I’m publishing it as a book, e and paperback.        

Why Yelp format?  Why not? I’ve seen “Elite” Yelp reviewers use Yelp pretty much as a diary.  “Last night my boyfriend and I went to Metro Grill and we had this and that and we liked this, didn’t like that…”  So what’s the value of using this format? I don’t know. I’ll let better literary critics assess the literary merits of this format, I’m just a pornographer.

Who is Roxanne G.?  She’s an experiment, she’s my alter ego. I created her to train myself to observe and feel from a different perspective.  Roxanne G. should have a voice dissimilar to mine — the voice you’re reading now — and I apologize if I fall out of character often enough to make your experience jarring.  Let me know what I can fix and I’ll see what I can do.  

Roxanne G. isn’t based on any specific person.  She’s just a Valley Girl, a basic Basic Bitch I imagined.  My imagination probably is informed by personal experience, but I don’t want to get into that right now.  I want the reader to focus on Roxanne G.’s story as her own story, to not get sidetracked by gender politics, at least not until after reading it. You decide how accurate the representations of, say, romantic relationships, BFF relationships between women, women and men in general…are in this book.  Send what you think to foodyap@gmail.com.  All sorts of comments welcome, including hate mail.  You must greet me with “Dear Misogynist” in the subject line. 

Like any weekly TV sitcom, each Yelp review can be read independently of the others.  But you won’t be able to follow the story arc if you do that for the first read, and you won’t get a feel for the build-up of tension.  Any way you read it, I hope you enjoy it!             

 

Intro to “How to Eat Like an Asshole” (book available on kindle and in paperback)

 

I work at a juice bar. Juice bars are unlike conventional restaurants because their purpose isn’t solely to entertain the customer, but also to guide them about health and diet matters. I don’t just cook nutritious drinks and meals that taste good to the customer (taste comes first, taste always comes first), I’m expected to nurse sick customers back to health, to prescribe remedies to heal an injury, and to absolve those who’ve committed dietary debauchery. That’s a lot of conflicting roles and needs to balance — I have to be stern and funny, candid and soothing, and my food has to be salubrious yet pleasurable.

My (sometimes clumsy) attempts at balance to make sense of the absurdities of American life is the driving theme throughout the 17 essays in this book. In the eponymous opening chapter, I show how what’s commonly considered as Anglo-American good table manners is actually bullying masquerading as good breeding that makes eating a tortuous rather than pleasurable experience. Chapter 2, Redneck Food is Healthier Than Stupid Middle Class Food, takes aim at stereotypes about Rednecks and redneck cuisine and posits that it’s actually the diet and sensibilities of the American middle-class that’s fucked up. We segue into chapter 3, Stop Buying This Shit, for more detailed examples of stupid, expensive shit people buy in their attempts to live healthier lives.

In chapter 4, Why We Don’t Carry Wheatgrass, the essay in this book I’m most proud of, we move on to supplements of dubious value. This chapter begins with a take-down of Wheatgrass as a tonic and then asks what our attraction to snake-oils reveals about human nature. Chapter 5, How to Eat With Instincts, is about how and why we’ve learned to stop eating with instincts and how we can get them back. In chapter 6, How to Order the Nasty Shit, you learn how to order the Chinese food Chinese people eat. We pivot, in chapter 7, Why We Eat What We Eat, to a history of American cuisine to  understand how and why certain ingredients became nasty to most Americans.

My juice bar is known for “bad service.” We address this reputation in chapter 8, Why People Prefer Bad Service, which turns middle-class American notions of “good service” on its head to reveal an American middle-class culture rife with politeness grandstanding and obsequious bullying. The topsy-turvy questioning of “good manners” continues in chapter 9, Why Being Nice Will Kill You. Here I note the correlation between nice personalities (personality type C) and diets high in sugar and processed food.  Chapter 10 introduces The Alive Juice Bar Diet that’s not quite a diet. See, balancing!

Chapter 11 asks Why People Hate McDonald’s and I guarantee you it’s not what you think, this will surprise the fuck out of you. Chapter 12, Soy, Men, and Titties, tackles rumors that about soy messing with people’s estrogen levels, making men grow titties. Chapter 13 is about How to Get Kids to Eat Their Veggies and to Love Their Parents because most of them are doing neither.

The final four chapters are about why people are fucked in the head. We begin with Do You Have Feelings about Feelings, in chapter 14 to figure out why Americans are some of the most emotionally repressed and broken people in the history of the world. Chapter 15, How the Cult of Self-Esteem Produces Fuck Ups, looks at the consequences of the self-esteem movement and how self-esteem is wrongly confused with self-confidence and the correlation between the two is actually inverted. Chapter 16, What the Story of Echo and Narcissus Tells Us About Self-Love, is a moralistic re-reading of a tragedy.  Chapter 17, Why People Don’t Change, is about why it’s so hard to get people to change their diets and other habits.

Though the essays are intentionally ordered and grouped, they can be read independently of each other. Enjoy and comments are appreciated and can be sent to Foodyap@gmail.com.

More books coming soon, including “How to Cook Like a Racist,” where we offer cooking tips and lessons in the context of American racial politics.

 

 

What the Story of Echo and Narcissus Tells Us About Self-Love

 

I. What’s worse, a hottie you can’t have who knows he’s a hottie?  Or a hottie you can’t have who has no idea she’s a hottie?  The former rejects you because he thinks he’s too good for you.  The latter because she thinks you’re too good for her.

II. Did Narcissus know he’s a hottie?  All versions of the story I’ve read think he does, but I’m not so sure. Maybe he was just weirded out by all the attention he’d been receiving and wanted it to stop?

III. It’s easy and comforting to feel superior to the hottie who knows she’s a hottie.  “Arrogant, superficial bitch, not worth the trouble,” Larry the lackey tells himself before he runs home to jerk off to rape porn. No such option with the awkward hottie who has no idea he’s gorgeous. Hating him is like hating a puppy you can’t have.

IV. Find it improbable that Narcissus had never seen a reflection of himself until Nemesis, goddess of divine retribution, led him to do so so he’d fall in love with himself. Dude had to have been sipping water from streams and ponds all his life and nothing ever happened, never went on a selfie binge.  It’s more likely that Nemesis replaced his naivety (and nonchalance?) with vanity so when he got a drink at the pond, as he always does, he fell in love with himself and his selfie.

V.   Nemesis doesn’t get much action in the story.  Yet she’s more important than Echo, who is just a foil, and without Nemesis, there’s no Narcissus.  Nemesis doesn’t just punish evil deeds, but also corrects undeserved good fortune, like making sure lazy Larry loses all 10 million of his lotto winnings within five, excruciating years. Born gorgeous?  Don’t think you’re off the hook, and many fashion models would agree.

VI. My interpretation and re-telling of the story: Narcissus is a heart-breaker, not because he’s vain, but because he’s so not.  Nemesis says this needs to stop, people — of dubious virtue — are wasting away because of him. She could turn him ugly, as gods and goddesses sometimes do as punishment, but that’s not retributive if Narcissus doesn’t care if he’s ugly (my theory).  Better to curse him with self-love instead, have him ogle his selfie until he dies. This way he learns what it’s like for others to love him, to suffer as they have.

VII. The point is that Narcissus wasn’t a narcissist until cursed by Nemesis. Narcissus recognizes the reflection as a selfie and his love of it as a disease.  From Ovid’s Metaphorphoses, Book III: 437-473:

 I am he. I sense it and I am not deceived by my own image. I am burning with love for myself. I move and bear the flames. What shall I do? Surely not court and be courted? Why court then? What I want I have. My riches make me poor. O I wish I could leave my own body! Strange prayer for a lover, I desire what I love to be distant from me. Now sadness takes away my strength, not much time is left for me to live, and I am cut off in the prime of youth. Nor is dying painful to me, laying down my sadness in death. I wish that him I love might live on, but now we shall die united, two in one spirit.

Narcissism, or vanity, kills Narcissus. And he knows it.

VIII. Takeaway: OUR nemesis — “the inescapable agent of someone’s or something’s downfall” — then, are those who tell us to love ourselves.  And the moment we engage in self-love is when we begin to die as Narcissus had.

IX. “But self-love has nothing to do with narcissism,” many object.  What’s self-love, then, according to promoters of self-love? Here’s one definition I found online:

Self love is the belief you hold that you are a valuable and worthy person.

Valuable and worthy of what and to whom? According to every great religion and every great philosopher (yes, even Rousseau), everyone is a piece of shit, everyone deserves a life of pain and suffering and anyone who thinks otherwise is going batshit crazy.  But let’s play along and maintain the distinction between self-love and narcissism.  How do you think narcissism begins?  It begins with entitlement and that begins with thinking highly of oneself (“valuable” and “worthy,” regardless of actions and results). Inches down this slope is selfishness, where one thinks one deserves better treatment than do others precisely because one is more “valuable” and “worthy,” than are others. So it’s looking like all signs point to “self-love” and its concomitant theories about “self-esteem” as the breeding ground of narcissism. That explains why Larry the loser can’t figure out, while he’s jerking off, why he doesn’t bang the same hot babes as Sam the surgeon does. Or why mediocre Mina can’t figure out why the man of her dreams doesn’t propose to her and treat her like the beautiful and brilliant princess she thinks she is.  Would this explain why everyone has the same complaint — narcissistic profiles — about online dating?

X. Self-love is the normalization of narcissism.  That’s why it’s so dangerous, it’s like having a disease without realizing it.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions #23

Future Plans

I hear you’re closing?
Yes, lease is up October 31st 2020.  We may stay until Thanksgiving.

Why won’t you renew?
Anchor 24 Hour Fitness is moving (they’re 25 percent of our business). We’re also paying 9k in rent per month for juice bar and dance studio.

Where is 24 Hour Fitness moving to and are you moving with them?
New mixed use development where Mountlake Terrace light rail stop will be.  Not moving with them because a)there’s no street parking, only underground parking; b)we won’t operate in what’ll be a construction site until the completion of new development and light rail in 2024.

Are you opening elsewhere?
We’re negotiating for a space in downtown Everett.  It’d be a restaurant (Pot Roast) and a juice bar that becomes part of restaurant during evening (eg. add rum to smoothie).

That’s so far!  Weren’t you trying to move a block away, adjacent to Juicy Power Yoga?
Yes, but we didn’t get the spot. Someone else was able to move in sooner than we could.

Why downtown Everett?
Landlords are mom and pop and I’m getting good vibes from that neighborhood — lots of art galleries and interesting businesses opening up. And rent is more reasonable.

I hear you may be moving to Arlington?
Got an offer to open a restaurant on a farm. We first need to see how much a commercial septic tank costs.

What’s going to happen to the dance studio?
One of the instructors is working on opening a new dance studio.  May not be in the neighborhood though, but close enough.

Why don’t you sell the juice bar to someone so the neighborhood will still have one?
When you go shopping for the juice bar, do you know how many avocados to buy and how ripe they should be?  Guess wrong, and you lose money. Guess wrong enough times, and you lose the business. Juice bars that use fresh ingredients are notoriously difficult to run because of spoilage. That’s why Jamba Juice mostly uses syrups, sherbets, and juice from concentrate.

Rumors

Is it true that owner writes school papers for employees? 
Who started that rumor?

Did owner tell customer to do something unspeakable with a cucumber?
Define “unspeakable.”

Is it true that there’s black wood fungus in the hot and sour soup?
Yes.

You ate this if you tried the hot and sour soup.

Did owner chase, with a sword, five people out of the store?
Yes

Did Roxanne G. murder Dummy Boy?
No, it was suicide and she had nothing to do with it.

Groceries

Where do you get your turmeric?
JD’s Market on 200th and 44th in Lynnwood.

Where do you get your coconuts?
Ranch 99, Edmonds

Where else do you shop?
Winco (Edmonds) and Grocery Outlet (Lynnwood); Costco; Country Farms produce stand (Edmonds).

Is Coronovirus affecting ginger prices?
Possibly.  The price recently doubled, looking into it.