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Lessons from Leaving

May 9, 2019

Thank you for all your kind words and thoughts yesterday. I’m going to miss you too. For what it’s worth, I think I’m getting better at leaving. After all, I’ve got a lot of experience.

The first big move I remember was when I was six years old and the family was leaving Brooklyn and relocating to Miami. Going off to college is also a big move, and not everyone goes out of state, so let’s count the move to Philadelphia as number two. Then once college was over, I went back to Miami for a hot minute before packing up my worldly possessions and driving to Berkeley for move number three. By big move number four I picked up a wife and a son, and the three of us drove from Berkeley to Albany.

If you don’t count the several month sabbatical in New Jersey, that makes our pending Albany to Ann Arbor relocation, big move number five.

Today, I want to talk about the preparations I made for move number four. Because while it may have sounded good to eat all the foods I was going to miss one last time before leaving the Bay Area, it had disastrous consequences. And it’s a mistake that I won’t be repeating.

Twenty pounds. That’s what it cost me. Twenty pounds.

We’re not talking about the currency of the British empire. We’re talking about additional fat and flesh that I had to carry around on my body frame for close to a year. But the bottom line is that if you eat like a jerk, your body is going to treat you like a jerk.

Seriously, I was a bit out of control. Some of it may have been panic about never being able to have easy access to such concentrated deliciousness ever again. Some might have been suppressing my feelings about leaving Northern California for Upstate New York by drowning them with food. Still, it seemed like a good idea at the time. And the eating itself was a lot of fun. I felt like a man on a mission.

Part of the frenzy was driven by work events, advertising parties, and goodbye festivities. There were dinners and then second dinners, fried chicken sandwiches, Zachary’s stuffed crust pizza, as many egg custards from my favorite Chinese bakery as I could cram into my pie hole, dim sum galore, and more. I’m pretty sure I remember coming out of particularly filling lunch with Raf, and him being shocked that I was going for a dan tat after the meal. But when I reminded him of my imminent departure, he relented.

Twenty pounds is a lot to take off. And these days that takes even longer than when I was younger. Plus I just came back from the doctor and my blood report was not the best.

So this time I’m taking it easy, which isn’t going to be easy.

There are things that we take for granted up here. Wings are a big one. Pizza is another one. Seriously. Yes, I know our pizza scene is lacking the density of great places you might find in Long Island or New Jersey, but it’s still massively better than my brief survey of the pizza landscape in Ann Arbor. Then there are the regional specialties like Fish Fry and Mozz & Melba. While I’ll miss Famous Lunch dearly, Michigan is not lacking for old school hot dog joints.

My hope is to still get a last bite of some of my favorite foods, along with some notable things I have still yet to try. But I’m going to attempt and do them in conjunction with outings. The goal will be to spend time with people, and not eat all the foods. I don’t need a full order of wings. Just one wing will make me happy. Okay maybe two or three wings, but you get the idea.

In order to control my gluttonous impulses, I’m going to need a posse. Sharing will be the order of the day, and on any given outing, I’m likely going to eat less than anyone might expect. But the hope is that there will be multiple outings, so try not to worry. For example, I just found out that Lost & Found brought back its amazing porchetta sandwich. That can definitely be cut in half and shared, but I’m thinking I could be happy with just a quarter of that glorious beast.

On Tuesday night at Dinosaur, I tried to put these limits into practice. I had two chicken drummets, one extra small end piece of a rib, one small pork slider, a few bites of macaroni and cheese, and a deviled egg. To drink I had mostly water, with a few sips of a low ABV beer from SingleCut Beersmiths.

It was perfect.

Now, I’ve got to head back out to the doctor and see if my moderation from the last few days has paid off at all in helping to reduce my blood pressure. And then I’ve got to get back on track, because even though I’m on track with my weight, I’ve loosened the reigns too much on the fatty meats, butter, and all that other stuff I love.

Really I blame Passover. But it’s okay. Because it will help me avoid the panic of leaving my precious Mozz & Melba behind. And it will prevent me from eating through the cases of ice cream at the Dutch Udder. Or ordering everything on the menu at Fairy Sichuan.

Some lessons have to be learned the hard way. And while I wouldn’t say I particularly regret my choices when leaving California, I’m certainly not going to repeat them.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Marti permalink
    May 9, 2019 11:32 am

    I don’t think I can bear not reading your blog. How will I know where the best pizza or doughnut is? And that wit and writing! I’m pretty sure you can still be fussy in Ann Arbor. And live to tell about it.

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