Today we’re going to talk about vices. Did you slip back into any old habits that you wish you hadn’t? Did you gain any new habits that you wish you would have walked away from? Did you discover the evils of Nutella? ‘Fess up … we won’t tell.

I’ve always had a hard time sticking to a schedule of (a) bringing in my own lunch, or (b) choosing to eat my own lunch in lieu of something tastier. Let me explain this a tisch in more detail.

There’s a minor plethora of restaurants across the street from my workplace. Of all the fastfood chains I will eat from, Wendy’s is among the few1. They happen to have a location across the street, and their cheap menu items are a for-sure way to get a cheap (albeit less than healthy) lunch. Secondly, there is an Egyptian/Middle-Eastern fast food restaurant that serves delicious shwarma, pretty good wings, and a variety of other tasty Middle-Eastern food. Next to them is Zetti’s, but I refuse to go there anymore (except for special occasion) because of their ridiculously rising prices and the owner’s derogatory and naive attitude towards food trucks. Down from them a little further in the plaza is an adequate Chinese takeout restaurant, and that pretty much wraps up the food selections in close proximity.

Considering how often I feel the compulsion to get out of the lab to escape the madness that is my coworkers for just an hour or so, between that and the temptation of fresh, tastier food than my own, I have binges where I slip into dining out for 2-3 days a week for lunch. Getting a shwarma lunch runs me nearly $8 after tax (and is among the healthiest options), whereas I can eek by on a $3-4 lunch at Wendy’s which hardly has any nutritional value to it. In either case, these scenarios are not really feasible to maintain. Neither financially, or in terms of my own nutritional health.

I’ve slipped out of the habit of cooking as much as I used to. I need to return to the days of cooking 2-3 nights a week, so that I have leftovers to eat for lunch during the week; tasty leftovers at that! Spaghetti used to feed me for nearly a week, yet I haven’t made it in months! Granted, I’ve been on injury reserve for the past two weeks, but I need to start getting some motivation going again and adding regular days to my cooking cycle once again.

Thankfully this week, I have a plethora of seafood chowder and potato & leek soup to keep my lunches occupied. Plus, I’m making some pizza from scratch tomorrow night, instead of splurging for a Pizza Hut Chicken Supreme via takeout (although I reeeeeeeally still want to).

1I would consider eating at the Subway right next to the Wendy’s, but the owner is an asshole and skirts company policy on various things. I refuse to give him any of my business.

What is one word that you would use to describe your 2011? Why does that word sum up your year?

Looking back on #reverb10 from last year, it really doesn’t feel all that long ago. However, the year has flown by for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, I’ve been terrible with National Blog Posting Month last month, so here’s an attempt to realign those penultimate yearly blog experiences for this month of December.


This past year has done me a wonderful job of learning about myself. I’ve built some order into my life, developed some new relationships and friends, and learned more about what has worked and what hasn’t through it all.

Work has solidified itself into a realistic project. My committee meeting coming up on the 15th will very much be a presentation of the work I’m publishing in the immediate future. From that, I’ll be platforming my (ideally) next paper, and start discussing how soon I should setup another committee meeting to evaluate when I can start writing my thesis. It’s a little creepy and unnerving to think that I’ll be done with that degree this soon.

I spent 2010 being hypercritical of myself and my potential for relationships. That very much changed in March when I met Rachel at a random party my friend Virginia threw. That quickly swung into a relationship that I was not expecting nor quite ready for in retrospect. It was good to realize what I had going for me still (and what good qualities I still find in others), but it was also good for learning what my faults and drawbacks still were.

I watched my hometown flood. Saw my parents’ house covered in water up to the 2nd story. I’ve still yet to get back home on a vacation to help them, and I feel terrible about it. I really do; I’ve had a hanging guilt inside me because I meant to do this back in September, and experiments have held me back ever since. I didn’t know how I’d react to this event; I was a bit surprised and shocked when I was choked up and nearly crying a couple times reading and/or watching about the event. I know my family was fine…but a place that I called home for twelve years of my life was being inundated by water for months.

I ripened a friendship into something grand, unfortunately to watch her leave. Susan was an amazing person as I got to know her more and more from the year previous. I spent last Christmas with her, just enjoying good wine after I put in a half day in the lab. We’d kill the occasional afternoon/evening at McGarrett’s, a few times in the gracious presence of The Writer Chaz himself. I even got to take her fabulous self to the Buffalo Philharmonic one evening last spring; I felt totally underclassed for the evening, bringing her bombshell self to a formal affair! Despite that, there were also the couple evenings where we splurged on Jim’s Steakout, too. Amidst all this, I learned about her strifes in life, but even more importantly, how to get through life despite all them. How to push on, push past, and conquer what’s in front of you, despite what it may be. She will definitely rank up there among the strongest women I know, and I miss her occasional company sorely.

Then along came Cori. She hasn’t taught me quite as much about myself as the rest of the year has, but she’s taught me just what kind of a catch I can attain. I could splurge more, but I’ll save that for a more relevant post, if it hasn’t been covered already. She simply reminded me how to be entranced with a person again.

2011, despite its up and downs, has been grand. Educational. Uplifting. Sorely missing. But wrapping up amazingly. I’m very much happier with the way this year has turned out, despite what I was expecting. It seems I managed to take my own advice from last year, with good reason. I need to listen to myself more.