June 17, 2011

Again it’s been too long. We’ll start with a quick update the move on to other things, time permitting. I was told I had severe hypertension last month. That was a real bummer. It’s most likely medicine induced, but because I’m on so many, there’s no real way of telling for sure. What a pain in the ass. If it’s not one thing it’s another. So in typical doctor form, I was prescribed a beta blocker and a medicine that relaxes the blood vessels. More medicines to poison my self with. So far it’s been working and my blood pressure has come down, but it’s still not in the “normal” range. It’s still high. I’m hoping that with some exercise, reductions in medicines and the new blood pressure pills, that will all come together and bring it down. My energy is still low. It’s hard to sit here and say “I’m feeling bad” because a year ago I was much worse off, so I’m much better by comparison, but I feel like I’m operating at only 60%. Taking the time to heal and rest is necessary though. I feel like I’m slowly improving and I do feel a little better than I did a few months ago.

In my personal life, Alex and I went to Charleston last month to see a taping of “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” which is an NPR news quiz show. It was a lot of fun. If you’re familiar with the old BBC show “My Word,” it’s very similar. The format is a panel of 3 B list celebrities, who happen to be very smart, answer questions about the week’s news in an irreverent manner. We made a little vacation out of it and stayed for a couple of days. We ate at Toast, 82 Queen, Hominy Grill, and Bessinger’s BBQ. All were excellent. 82 Queen is one of the restaurants in Charleston that’s led the way to Charleston becoming a culinary destination. It serves locally produced, seasonal, low country dishes with an emphasis on fresh quality ingredients and traditional cooking methods. I was pleased because there was none of this fusion nonsense, no twists on what are stand out dishes. They just make everything fresh, local, and traditional. It was one of the best meals and best restaurants I’ve ever been to. Toast is a breakfast spot that is a bit touristy, but served an excellent sausage gravy biscuit and amazing hash browns. It’s hard to be a restaurant in Charleston these days and survive, so no matter where you go, it’s going to be pretty good, but some places are head and shoulders above the rest. Toast is a standout anywhere else, but since it’s in Charleston and the competition is fierce, I’d say it was average. We also ate at Hominy Grill. This place was really unique. It’s tucked in an old barber shop in a neighborhood in the north end of the peninsula. The dining space is small, only seating about 100 people. The line to eat there is long, and they don’t do reservations. Get there early or be prepared to wait at least 45 minutes. The food is well worth it. It was rated as one of the top 10 breakfasts in America by Esquire a few years ago, and they haven’t lost their touch. Again their gig is all local, traditional, and fresh. My sausage patty country breakfast plate was out of this world. I also was able to introduce Alex to grits, since in the low country they do them right and good grits are hard to come by. Especially when you’re out. She fell in love with them. But for some reason I’m having trouble conveying to her and her Mom they’re not at all cream of wheat. I think it’s just a regional thing. I’ll have to whip up a batch of shrimp and grits Crooks Corner style and maybe seeing how it’s made will help convey the message. Bessinger’s was the second highlight of my trip. It’s a top 10 BBQ joint according to the South Carolina BBQ Association. They serve SC style BBQ, which was pretty good. They offered two typed of sauce. SC gold sauce and what tasted like a smoky tomato based sauce, closer to Bulls Eye than anything else. I was disappointed in their collards though. They tasted bitter, as if they had been over cooked. Overall it was a good place and I’ll be going back next time I’m down that way.

Now for some ranting, raving, and general being mad. Exit now if you don’t want to know.

I read about a promotion that KFC is doing where you buy a tub of soda and a dollar is donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. They tried this crap a while back with Buckets for the Cure, where you bought a bucket of chicken and a donation was made to the Kommen Foundation. I was in the hospital when this began, and I’m not positive, but I think I threw something at the TV and began screaming obscenities. KFC should just shoot their customers in the back of the head on their way out the door. They’d be doing them a favor. And they should change their name to Kentucky Fried Genocide. FUCK OFF KFC. This looks like it’s a local promo, but I would encourage everyone not to eat there on principle alone. Their food is crap to begin with. If you want better tasting fried chicken, go to Bojangles or Popeyes. At least they’re honest. They don’t say “Hey, drink this diabetes causing cocktail so you can make a donation to JDRF.” What a load of bull. Have fun getting your Type 2 diabetes by drinking sugar to research Type 1. If JDRF has a shred of integrity, they’ll refuse to accept any donations from KFC.

It’s summer. So when you go outside, remember that Melanoma is the deadliest form of cancer. And one of the most common. And one of the fastest growing in terms of new diagnoses. So put on a hat, sunscreen, and long shirt. Hopefully this video will pop into your head before you go outside next time. Have fun at the beach. Just don’t be an idiot. Ladies, no one wants to date a chick who looks like a piece of poorly cared for antique leather. Same for guys.

Finally, stop poisoning yourself with regular food and start asking for organic foods at your local grocery. Yeah, it’s a bit more expensive, but would you rather have chicken that is roided out and doesn’t look like a chicken, full of antibiotics, full of chemicals that’s spent it’s whole 54 day life in a cage sitting in it’s own filth, or would you rather have a chicken that’s fed natural grains and no chemicals? I’ll take the low risk of infection to have a chicken that won’t give me cancer or a stroke, or make me super fat because it’s been messed around with by food scientists. We live in a society with a broken food system. And it’s making us sick and killing us slowly, like frogs in a pot of water slowly being boiled. Longevity is higher, but only because we pump ourselves full of medicines to counteract the damage we’ve done through a shit lifestyle and food. If you eat organic food, you’ll be healthier. You’ll get more nutrients lower your risk of diabetes, stroke, cancers, heart disease, obesity, and a bunch of other diseases. I don’t eat everything organic. I can’t afford to. But I’ve noticed I feel healthier and more satisfied after eating thanks to eating more organics in my diet. If we went back to organic farming practices, instead of coming up with more and more artificial ways to fix the broken food system, making our food more and more toxic, we could eliminate most of the health problems plaguing this country and the whole ridiculous debate over how to fix the health care system would almost be taken care of. You don’t have to be a genius to realize this, just not a politician.

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5 thoughts on “June 17, 2011

  1. Carey, I am SO HUNGRY after reading your post that I am about to start gnawing on my govt-issued Skilcraft pen! Sounds like you had a great visit to Charleston. Looking forward to seeing you in a few days–and Alex at the end of the month! LU&SF

  2. Hey Carey
    Can I call you before I go on a business trip so you can search out restaurants for me? You have the priorities just right for pickin food spots.
    Lois

  3. I love “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” !! So jealous!!
    Totally on with the food…love you, and soo you in Aug.
    Aunt Ashley

  4. Well, I’d just like to say that I love “Wait, wait, don’t tell me.” I’m sure it was lots of fun to see it (hear it?) live. As for the rest of your post…..it’s your party, so rant if you want to, rant if you want to. Sorry to hear about the hypertension, hopefully the meds will get that under control, and I’ve heard that ranting is healthy! I’m glad you’re feeling better and I hope each day brings an improvement. Hello to Alex.

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