Thursday, January 6, 2011

Food is Awesome (when you can afford it)

I'm sort of bored these days. I've managed to hold down a job for the last few months and earn some decent money in the process, but at the same time I've given up a few of the things that made being unemployed so much fun!

To be honest, yes, being unemployed did suck. Badly. On the scale of annoying things after jogging, few things can beat looking through the cabinets in search of that last ramen packet, only to discover that you finished it off three days ago. You attribute the lapse in memory to the hunger-induced delerium and go off in search of your next fix.

At the same time, there was something refreshing about the creative efforts I'd have to go through in order to not, you know, die. I'm kind of a skinny guy by nature and only eat once or twice a day even while getting steady income, but I still need that protein boost that you can only get from hipsterish foods like Greek yoghurt and soy-laced tea. While I'm sure that you can get sustinence from other methods, if I can reduce the amount of time necessary to prepare my meals to no more than five minutes I call it a win for efficiency. Seriously, what could be easier than a) open lid, b) add granola, c) eat yummy, yummy food? I enjoy going out more than eating in, because most of my favorite foods are Asian and require more preparation skill and time than I could really ever hope to achieve. Yes, I can roll my own sushi, but it takes forever just to steam the damn rice and I'm not even close to being that patient.

But, what to do when you can't really afford any of those things? Well, you have to get creative.

Option 1: Dating for food. This works occasionally, but as a guy, there's something counterintuitive about this method.

Option 2: Craft meals out of free condiment packets. I think it's possible to gain enough calories out of free half-and-half containers from Dunkin' Donuts, but I can't confirm this and don't want rickets.

Option 3: Take up cooking. Yeah... my cooking skills extend to my Foreman grill and no further. If it involves an oven or stove, chances are I'll die in an gas explosion. And mine are electric.

Option 4: Pull off a daring Murakami-esque Bakery Heist, running off with enough bread to keep you fed for days. This worked once or twice in my favor, except now I can't walk into a bakery without thinking there's a baker with a shotgun lurking behind the glazed buns.

There are quite a few options, and I only went in for the 'donating blood plasma' thing once or twice, because while the free cookies and juice are nice, when you're not supplementing it with anything else you start to get a tad anemic and they stop taking you. I figured selling a kidney might set me up for a couple of years, but I started my job before I could find a dealer reputable enough to do business with.

As far as starvation went, I didn't really care for it. I've done the starving artist thing off and on for a few years and I prefer not having to think about where my next meal is coming from. There's something to be said for the freedom that comes with my picking up the phone and ordering delivery/takeout (or going online, thus reducing the need for human interaction yet again).