Tag Archives: Breakfast

I hate breakfast

I hate breakfast. Everybody’s always like, “Better eat a good breakfast! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” Fuck breakfast. There’s no way it’s more important than lunch or dinner. Hell, even a decent midafternoon snack is of more consequence than breakfast. Even if you don’t have anything in the house, just an apple maybe, a glass of juice. I’ll take a half-eaten bag of pretzels over breakfast any day of the week. Because breakfast sucks.


OK, take a second, close your eyes, imagine all of your favorite foods. Yeah, that’s it, OK, you’ve got them all there, now throw them all away, because we don’t eat any of that stuff for breakfast. Sorry, it’s just eggs and toast, bowls of cereal and yogurt, maybe some pancakes or waffles if your lucky, but even that’s kind of a once-in-a-while treat.

It’s terrible, because I wake up every morning and I’m starving. All I want to do is sit down and eat a full meal. But we don’t do that here. No, you’ve got to eat breakfast, a sorry excuse for what should be one of the three most pleasurable and delightful experiences of every day.

Most people don’t even bother with breakfast, simply because it’s not worth all of the time and trouble for something that’s ultimately not worth it. Better to just slog through the first part of the day on coffee alone and hope that you’re not too famished and pissed off by the time lunch rolls around.

Isn’t it like engrained in our culture? It’s almost perversely celebrated. It’s that scene that you always see in commercials for those Toaster Strudels or Go-Gurts or Eggo Waffles, where a family is running around the house like a bunch of lunatics in the morning, struggling to be wherever it is they’re supposed to get to time. “Don’t forget your breakfast!” the mom calls out to the dad who ran out the door with his tie undone around his neck, the little kids with their backpacks unzipped, homework flying everywhere. And then they stop for all of three seconds to stuff some hyper-processed piece of frozen garbage in their face, “Gee, thanks mom, you’re the best! You and Pop-Tarts!”

What’s there to look forward to? Get up every day, much earlier than you’d ever wake up if you had any real say of how you’d like to live your life, you barely have time to go to the bathroom and brush your teeth, let alone consider what you’ll ingest as a means of early morning sustenance, not that it matters, not like you have much of a choice.

Ninety percent of breakfast is just dessert dressed up like a full meal anyway, trying to weasel its way closer to the bottom of the food pyramid. And don’t get me wrong, I love dessert, I love Dunkin Donuts. But you give them to me for breakfast, the entire trajectory of my day is ruined. Now what am I supposed to eat for actual dessert? How am I going to be able to satisfy my ever intensifying sweet tooth when the stuff I’m being presented as a treat bears little difference to the four pieces of frosted cake I’ve just eaten this morning for breakfast?

No, I’m throwing in the towel on behalf of breakfast. Let’s just give it up, OK, we’re not doing anything productive in the morning, and we’re not fooling anybody by telling ourselves that the giant bowl of Waffle Crisp I shoveled into my mouth this morning is doing my body any nutritional good.

I blame the workday. I blame the morning. Do you think anybody wants to wake up and go straight to work? No, nobody does. And then by the time we get home, we’re exhausted, way too tired to even think about making something decent for dinner. You know what? Screw dinner, that’s not a meal either, it’s just a daily struggle not to feel guilty about all of the money we’re throwing away every night on take-out.

Just give me lunch, OK, that’s all I need, a giant lunch, like three sandwiches, I want a whole bag of chips. Right, chips aren’t exactly that healthy, but whatever, it’s the middle of the day, it’s my only real time to myself, out in the sunlight, feeling like an actual human being. I’ll eat whatever I want for lunch, all right, just don’t talk to me about breakfast anymore. Most important meal of the day? Ha. More like least important meal of the day. Ha.

Happy Fifth of July!

Happy Fifth of July everybody. If there’s one day out of the whole year that gets absolutely no respect, it’s today, July 5th. The day after Christmas is awesome because you’re still playing with all of your new stuff. The day after Easter is equally cool because Easter sucks and it’s a relief to not have to pretend to be celebrating a bullshit holiday anymore. But July 5th, man, nobody likes July 5th.

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And that’s too bad. Everybody looks forward to the Fourth, there’s usually some sort of a three-day weekend involved, except for this year, the Fourth is on a Thursday, and so all of the bosses are like, what are you high? A four-day weekend? Nice try. We’re actually giving you a two-day weekend this year. So don’t get too comfortable on Thursday. Seriously, stop laughing. I’m not joking around at all. I expect you in the office at nine tomorrow.

And so chances are you’re probably reading this from work. Maybe your boss sent out a mass text to everyone at like seven am, “Rise and shine team! Just a friendly reminder that we are OPEN FOR BUSINESS and that I expect you all AT YOUR DESKS in two hours!!!” And it gets to the heart of why everybody hates this day. On July 5th, it’s just this annual reminder that summer’s never going to be as fun or as cool as it was when we were all little kids.

I mean, yes, next year the Fourth is going to be on a Friday, and so the fifth will get a little bit of a break, but not much. That’s just Saturday. The default awesomeness of Saturday comes at a price, namely that, while it’s consistently the best day out of the week every single week, it’s kind of stuck there at its weekly level of greatness. What I’m saying is, you try taking a really great day and throwing it on a Saturday and it kind of evens out to just another Saturday.

Like when Christmas is on a Saturday. Nothing’s worse, because your boss is like, this is great, we don’t have to give any days off for the holidays this year. And there’s always one employee who fancies himself a leader, he starts going around from employee to employee, “This isn’t fair! We should all just make our case, that we want off for Christmas Eve!”

And some people coworkers might be like, “Yeah!” but even his more vocal supporters aren’t going to actually stick their necks out. Most people are just going to be like, “You know what’s worse than having to come in this Friday? Having to sit here and listen to you plot out a Christmas Eve revolution. Get out.”

When he finally goes to the boss, the boss is like, “No, we feel that the two-day weekend is more than fair, and we expect everybody to work the whole day on Friday,” and, realizing that things aren’t really going as he envisioned in his head, the employee might reach for a feeble, “Come on, maybe a half day?” but the boss just shakes his head from side to side.

July 5th should be more appreciated. If I were in charge, first of all, I wouldn’t make anybody come in today at all. I’d say, “Enjoy the four-day weekend everybody,” adding, “and you know what? Take Monday off also. Enjoy the five-day weekend.” I’d be a hero. And I’d be doing my staff a service. Everybody wants a vacation during the summer, but why are you supposed to use your vacation time? And you take a week off sometime in July, then you’ve got to get out there and vacation with every other person in America also trying to take a summer break, and the airlines jack the prices and everything’s more expensive.

Fuck that. There should be a built-in, government mandated weeklong summer holiday, starting on July 5th. Obviously we’d still have the Fourth off, but this would be separate, a July 5th week off.

But if I were the boss, and I still had a boss, and even though I wanted to give everybody off, maybe my boss would be like, “Absolutely not!” and he’d be shaking this printed out spreadsheet at me, like, look at these numbers, just look! “And you want to give the whole team a day off?” In this situation, I’d at least get everybody a catered breakfast. People would come in, all pissed off that they really have to work on Friday after having had off on Thursday and they’d see trays of eggs benedict and French toast. It would make the day. And of course there’d be a catered lunch as well.

Man, don’t Google employees get that every day? I’ve applied for a Google job like twelve times and they never even respond, they’re just like, “Thanks! Someone has received your application!” Goddamn, I want what they have. I bet you nobody at Google is working today. I bet you they have free Fifth of July t-shirts on the way into the office, but nobody’s wearing them because everybody has the day off. Meanwhile, the rest of the working world is lucky they have the Friday off after Thanksgiving. Hey Google, come on, give me a job, please, I’ll do anything. Just let me have that free lunch. If your Internet robots are out there crawling the web, have them send this blog post to somebody at HR.

Anyway, try to keep your chin up. This fifth of July will be over in no time and, it’s really not that bad, tomorrow’s Saturday. Everybody loves Saturday. Just make sure you stay the full day today, like all the way until five, or six, or ten if you’re a lawyer of something like that. Happy fifth everybody!

Running really late for work

Sometimes I feel like I’m always running late, regardless of when I have to be up, or how much time I have at my disposal to be ready. For example, the other day my boss asked me to work a double shift. “No way,” I told him, “I hate working.” OK, I didn’t say that exactly, but I still said no. Not taking no for an answer, he countered “OK fine,” he told me, “How about you can come in at noon?” And I was like, all right, fine, that sounds doable.

And I started planning out how the day would go. I’d wake up at eight-thirty, get like three blog posts done, take my dog Steve for a long walk, make a nice breakfast, maybe even get some reading done. Let’s do it!

The next thing I know my cell phone alarm clock is blaring at the periphery of my consciousness. I’m trying to get out of bed but my body is completely unresponsive. My cell phone alarm is so loud, so grating. I don’t know if everybody is familiar with the iPhone alarms, but I always use the one that sounds like the red alert from Star Trek. It’s intense. But it’s the only one that even stands a remote shot at waking me from a deep sleep.

What happened? Eleven o’clock already? Jesus. I usually wake up a lot earlier. I barely had time to get up, shower, shave, and then take the dog for a walk before I grabbed my bike and pedaled to work at a pace I usually reserve for outrunning taxis I’ve accidentally bumped into in traffic. OK, that’s not really true. I don’t outrun taxis. I just got a little carried away with the length and dramatics of that sentence. Although I did love Premium Rush.

But still, I was right on the verge of being late for a shift that I was already told to come in late for. I really was biking to work a lot faster than I usually do. For the first time in the better part of a year, I had left the house without so much as putting a morsel of food in my mouth. More importantly was coffee, or the lack thereof. Brewing and waiting and sipping, it was all completely out of the question.

I made it on the floor of the restaurant literally at the very minute. And I’m not one of those guys to throw around the word literally. Like I actually punched in and it said 12:00. I made it to work and the floor manager sees me and goes, “Finally! Rob’s here. Where have you been?” That deal that the general manager made with me? That whole thing about working a double and then telling me to come in at noon? Did we seal the deal some kind of a secret handshake? Because he didn’t tell anybody else. So I had to explain myself to the other managers, telling them I actually wasn’t late, but even when I hunted down the GM, “Right?” I asked him, “Remember you said I could come in at noon?” “Right …” he had that look on his face, like I might be making it all up, like he couldn’t really pinpoint the agreement I was talking about.

The day is over. I made it through. I just can’t get over the fact that, with two extra hours added to my day, I wound up being later than ever, later than I am on a regular day when I have to be at work at my regular time. I missed breakfast, I missed coffee, and I didn’t get to write anything. My whole day at work was thrown off balance. I was having what I assumed to be a lack of caffeine induced headache, even though normally I don’t believe in those. And I was starving. I was starving and serving people delicious, delicious lunch. It was torture.

When did I become so dependent on coffee? I never drank coffee in college. I don’t even remember when it became this habit. I honestly don’t know how I got to the point where I need three cups of coffee just to feel like myself in the morning. That’s kind of crazy, right? But tons of adults drink coffee. Maybe I’m more of an adult than I’m letting myself admit. You know, aside from the whole almost being late to work at noon thing.

Can I get some more coffee? A little more coffee, please?

There’s this diner right down the block from my place. I love it so much. I love diners in general. There’s nothing better than sitting down and being handed a menu as thick as a phonebook with absolutely every single dish in the world printed somewhere inside. I never even look at the menu, because I know that whatever I wind up wanting to order is going to be in there somewhere, and if it isn’t, someone behind the line will just make it for me anyway. Diners are the best because they’ll do anything you want and it’s never a big deal.

I love this diner, but I’m not sure if I like going there for breakfast. As soon as I get up every morning, I’m automatically starving. My first thought is always: what do I have to eat, and how long before I can start eating it? I get started on breakfast before I take a shower, before I brush my teeth. I’m just always really, really hungry. If I go to the diner, I have to get ready first, which means that my hunger is going to mount and get stronger and tug at the corners of my consciousness. I don’t know if it’s the same for everyone else, but if I let my hunger get past a certain point, it wins. It says to me, fine, you want to be hungry? You’re going to be hungry. And after I get past that point, there’s nothing I can do that will satisfy it for the whole day. I’ll keep eating, but I’ll still be hungry. Once every couple of years or so I’ll find myself either waiting in a waiting room or being stuck in a car in the middle of nowhere for like eight hours. It might not be exactly that situation, but it’ll be some sort of scenario where I’m starving and there is absolutely no way that I’ll be able to put any food in my mouth for an extended period of time. In this case, my hunger wins, but it doesn’t stop. It metastasizes into something cruel, something vicious, something that, when I finally do get myself in front of a plate of food, won’t even let me enjoy it. Do you know what I’m talking about? How sometimes you get so hungry that when you finally get to eat it actually hurts? It doesn’t feel good or satisfying at all. It’s like your stomach has started to feast on it’s own lining, and it’s all you can do to put something, anything back in there to stop your whole digestive system from self-destructing. And each bite you take you wish you could take out, but you know that you just have to pay your dues and take your lumps and try to remember to always keep a bag of something or a piece of bread or fruit in your pockets at all times, especially when you think you might be somewhere without access to a snack for a while.

It’s obviously not that extreme, getting ready to go to breakfast at the diner, it’s only like maybe an extra half hour to an hour, getting ready, getting out of the house, walking to the diner, waiting to get seated, waiting for the waitress to come over, waiting for the food to come out. But the same process that eventually ends in me not being able to enjoy my food begins somewhere in that time span. So even though I love the diner, and I love a diner breakfast, I’m not really sure how I feel about going to the diner for breakfast.

And then there’s the issue of coffee. I get up in the morning and I love to drink coffee. I make a giant pot and just sit there and drink it and eat my breakfast. Going to the diner, it’s like the coffee is this whole separate hit-or-miss process. On a best-case scenario, I’ll sit down at the table, and a busboy will come up to me right away, even before the waitress has a chance to say hi, and he’ll say, “Coffee?” nothing else, not “hello,” not, “Would you like some …” just “Coffee?” And I’ll just say, “Yes, please, thank you so much, coffee.” And he brings me over a cup of coffee. I can’t be alone in this. Maybe people like me have this look that people who work at diners have learned to recognize as an expression of anguish that can only be satisfied by the immediate serving of coffee. And diner coffee is the best. If I could choose one type of coffee to drink for the rest of my life, it would definitely be diner coffee. It’s always so fresh because they’re constantly serving pots and pots of it. It’s just the best.

But they bring it out in these tiny cups. It has to be a huge joke. I wish they just had a coffee machine installed at every table. Barring that, I wish they’d serve the coffee in a giant cup, a cup big enough to hold five or six cups of coffee. As soon as I’m served my first cup of coffee, I like to down it in one gulp, before the busboy even has a chance to walk away, and I want him to see this. I want him to see me pour this scalding cup of hot coffee down my throat, and I want him to know that it physically pains me to do this, but he’ll get it, he’ll get the message, that I really wanted that coffee, despite the pain, despite the burning, so go get the pot, fill me up, and keep it coming.

But that’s, like I said, a best-case scenario. A slightly less best-case scenario involves the waitress having to come over, asking me if I’m ready, and I say that I am, and I have to order my cup of coffee in the same sentence that I order my large glass of orange juice and my Greek omelet (I’m being hypothetical here. I never order the same thing for breakfast. A Greek omelet just happened to be the first thing that popped in my head. But I’m not being hypothetical about the OJ. That’s always the same. Well, maybe I’m being half-hypothetical, because every once in a while I’ll get a large half-OJ half-grapefruit juice. But that’s only if I get my coffee first, because I don’t want to overload the waitress with commands that might hinder the timely delivery of my coffee.) When everything’s ordered all together, it really deemphasizes how badly I’d like the coffee to come out first, to come out right this second, can you just send over the busboy maybe? Coffee?

Amidst all of these less-than-best-case scenarios, one time I had an cup of coffee at the diner on a busy Sunday morning, and I had moved the empty cup right to the edge of the table so anybody working in the restaurant could see that I needed some more. But my waitress wasn’t around. Finally another waitress came to the booth in front of me with the pot and started pouring, and I let out a sigh of relief, but I shouldn’t have let myself get too comfortable or too relaxed, because as I closed my eyes to let out that sigh of relief, she disappeared. So now I had to wait for my waitress to show up, and I had to kind of wave her down, which I never do, because I’m a waiter myself, and I really hate it when people flag me down, or worse, snap at me, or scream out, “Hello!” to get my attention, because can’t you see that I’m really busy? I’ll get to you in just a second! But I got her attention really quick and asked for just a little more coffee, please, I’m sorry to have flagged you down, I see that you’re really busy. And she says OK and disappears. And right as she fades out of my peripheral vision, I see the busboy from across the room, and he points to me and mouths the word, “Coffee?” and I’m thinking, oh shit, what do I say? If I say yes, then there’s definitely going to be a weird awkward moment where the waitress who I totally inappropriately begged to stop what she was doing to get me some more coffee will run into the busboy with another coffee pot, both of them clearly wasting their time on the same customer for just a cup of coffee in what’s obviously a very busy diner. She’ll think that I asked her for coffee, but then got so impatient that I also asked a busboy.

But, there’s no way that I could tell the busboy no because, and I know this from working at a restaurant, the minute I say no more, then I’m totally off of his coffee radar for the rest of the meal. He’ll think to himself, that guy’s done with coffee. He said no more coffee. And then I’ll have to constantly be waving down my waitress for the rest of the meal. They’ll hate me. So the busboy is waiting for me to answer, so I just kind of make this pained expression of my face and nod, “Yes, coffee.” And he goes to get the pot, and he gets it, but as he’s making his way back over here, just like I predicted, my waitress comes out of nowhere and fills my cup. And it’s super awkward.

I take a sip and the busboy appears again, not to be outdone by the waitress, and fills me up, even if it’s just a sip’s worth of coffee. I guess it wasn’t all that bad. I try to explain myself to the waitress but she’s as uninterested as humanly possible and not only that, she’s visibly annoyed. She drops off the check and it says, handwritten, “Please pay at the register!” and I’m thinking that this has to be a personal message, because every time I come in I always just leave it at the table, because that’s how we always did it at the diner by where I grew up, and it was never a big deal. And at the restaurant I work at now, there is no register, not for customers anyway, it’s just for the staff, so we just always just take the check and the money, you always pay the waiter there, and I always get so annoyed when a customer stands up with the check and looks for somewhere to pay that doesn’t exist, but now here I am, my cup of coffee, my check before I had a chance to ask for it, and I feel just as stupid, just as stupid as I imagine my customers to be when I’m looking at them wishing they would all just sit down and stop waving and wait for me to have a second and I’ll get to them next.