Tag Archives: Wanting a hot dog real bad

Another Post About the Weather


Same Old Horizon

To every thing, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under OH MY GOD TURN ON THE AC.

Yep: summer. It’s not exactly a sudden transition, but a series of changes that become more and more drastic, more and more frequently: The relief of coming inside to the AC, even before you realized you were uncomfortable; the sudden afternoon storm; the reappearance of massive car-movers parked in the center lane along the key, taking people’s Jags and Beamers back to their homes up North.

What feel like the BLAM: SUMMER’S DEFINITELY HERE moments—the smack-you-in-the-face morning-time heat; the “I’ll just have lunch delivered, thank you” afternoons huddled indoors and painful, grump-inducing, oven-stuffed commutes home that end with you in a crumpled, naked heap on the couch the moment you can get in the door and strip (…what? Just me?)—have thus far been offset by still-pleasant moments, including this past week’s surprise 70-degree weather and less-than-washcloth humidity.

But we all know those temperate moments are numbered.

Still, there are things to be said for summer—though “relentless, oppressive sunshine” remains one of my favorite self-coined phrases, and a lot of summer’s benefits involve…well…avoiding summer.

This is the time of year for maximum Gulf-diving anticipation, when there’s zero cold-water hesitancy, because you know the waves will only be about 15 degrees cooler than the air—ie perfect.

And this is the time of year when, even if your car’s AC keeps acting up (thus the grump-inducing commutes), you still have four hours of post-work daylight to take advantage of the Gulf’s bathtub waters.

And this is the time of year when barbecues and baseball games invite you to suffer–but happily so–through the weather, stuffing your face and sweating and laughing, only to discover beautiful clouds, a cool breeze and a wonderful evening on the other side.

And this is the time of year when things turn inward. Indoors, of course, but also the metaphorical equivalent—switching from an obligation for appreciating the whole, big, beautiful world to an awareness of beautiful, closed-in quietude.

I like a nice dark bar with just enough windows to show how blindingly bright it is outside. I like the feeling of sanctuary. Relieved survival. And I like emerging with a buzz into the still-warm humid night: There’s a smell that occurs only when the day has been tempered in the heat and wetness and then plunged into darkness, and it’s most noticeable when you spend a few hours talking about other things, dulling your neuroses and breathing sweet, chemically cooled air through your nostrils.

If you do it right, summer brings things back to scale.

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Makes Me Want a Hot Dog REAL BAD

Apparently today is National Hot Dog Day. I’ve got my Nathan’s in the fridge, although the Salty Dog is right on my way home, so there’s a decent chance I’ll be swayed by a batter-dipped, deep-fried, quarter-pound wiener of awesomeness.


And then there’s this:




Awesome. This is my 101st BananaHammer post. Yay hot dogs.

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Just Give Me Some Season(-ing)

There’s a small but vocal part of my brain that gets mightily embarrassed when I write new lyrics for pop songs. And whenever she gets going, the rest of my brain just sings louder.

Right from the start
You were a chef for healthy hearts,
And I reject your dictum.

You made me eat the parts of things
That weren’t all that pretty,
And with every bite, I icked them.

You’ve been using fat-free cream, uh-oh.
You’re taking all the taste from me, uh-oh.
You tell me that a pat’s enough.
I say tough.

Just give me some season,
Just a little salt’s enough
…plus some pepper.
We’re not broken just bland,
And we will learn to cook again.

It’s in the fats,
All these butters should be eaten in vats.
We’re not broken just bland,
And we will learn to cook again.

I’m sorry, it’s your heavy hand
Where all this salt is coming from.
I thought that it was good.
(No, it needs everything.)

Your palate’s running wild again.
My dear, you’ve eaten everything.
Please watch your BMI.
(Yeah, this is fattening.)

You’ve been using so much cheese, uh-oh.
They say it’s linked to heart disease, uh-oh.
I really think you’ve had enough
Of that Fluff.

(Oh, I love that Fluff.)

Just give me some season,
Just a little salt’s enough
…plus some pepper.
We’re not broken just bland,
And we will learn to cook again.

It’s in the fats,
All these butters should be eaten in vats.
We’re not broken just bland
And we will learn to cook again.

Oh foie gras terrines.
(I’ll fix us some greens.)
We’re helping our spleens keep our system clean.

(You’re building a chin.)
You’re really too thin.
Oh nothing tastes as good as red meat.
We’ll just eat.

Just give me some season
Just a little salt’s enough
…plus some pepper.
We’re not broken just bland,
And we will learn to cook again.

It’s in the fats,
All these butters should be eaten in vats.
We’re not broken just bland
And we will learn to cook again.

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Food Fail

Today's trashcan tells the tale. And it's a sad tale, too. Especially for the rejected apple.

Today’s trashcan tells the tale. And it’s a sad tale, too. Especially for the rejected apple.

When my intestines started barking around 11 this morning, there were a few possible culprits.

Most signs would point to the pepperoni-and-cheddar sandwich I had for breakfast. (On whole wheat! Healthy!) (…with mayo.) However, the grumbly tummy also could’ve been tied to the triple-grande mocha that had so jolted my system I actually found myself wondering if the grumpy little barista had laced it with cocaine. I don’t know why a grumpy little barista would exercise her anger by being so generous with her cocaine stash, but logic is not the strong suit of the hyper-caffeinated Banana.

Come to think of it, that pepperoni had probably expired, too.

Things seemed to have settled down after a trip to the gym, but I wasn’t gonna let my digestive system off the hook that easily. For lunch, I got a Tropical Smoothie, which I’m pretty sure is just semi-frozen, fruit-flavored chemicals with soy protein. It led me to conclude that if shit’s gonna taste like Robitussin, it ought to at least get you drunk.

What makes all this worse is that I usually take a good bit of pride in my culinary sophistication. I can appreciate a well-cooked fillet or a fresh, simple marinara sauce; I exist in a constant state of craving for foie gras and proper Hollandaise.

And then I think, “Ooh, questionable cured meat and orange dairy! What a way to start the day!” and proceed to dose myself with stimulants and hospital-flavored milkshake. It’s not so much bad eating habits as laziness combined with a lapse in dietary prudence: Thinking up a good meal was just too much effort, never mind actually executing one.

Well, at least I took my vitamin.

Aaaaaaand now I’m eating croutons right out of the bag. Dammit. Who put these here?!

I mean, it’s acceptable—trendy, even—to appreciate good food and still crave the occasional McNugget. Anthony Bourdain openly admits his love for KFC mac ‘n cheese. But I’ve yet to eat anything today that even qualifies as food. It’s hard to picture Mario Batali chowing down on some potpourri and Play-Doh and then licking the carpet.

Wait, actually, that’s pretty easy to picture. Bad example. (Also, whoa: Things Mario Batali and my cat have in common.)

Anyway, parents to the rescue. Though Ma and Pa are the ones who introduced me to 50s-tastic fare like fried Spam sandwiches and mayo-topped canned pear salad, they also laid the groundwork for my appreciation of real, home-cooked food, made with fresh ingredients and love, seasoned with salt and expletives. For tonight’s dinner, they’re serving smoked Boston butt, fresh-cut coleslaw and homemade, baked mac ‘n cheese. Not only would my grandmother have recognized these things as food; she’d have shown you how to cook ‘em.

After dinner, I’m thinking I should probably head to the grocery store. I’ve got nothing but tonic water and pickle relish in my fridge, and that makes me scared for tomorrow.

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Ms. BananaHammer Goes to Bradenton

(Part I)

I bitched, but secretly, I was looking forward to jury duty Monday. (Yeah, I don’t have a lot going on right now.) I looked forward to it last time, whenever that was—last year or so? But that time they released us all with nary a juror selected.

But here’s the thing: I stayed up waaaay too late on Sunday night. 6:30 a.m. Monday was not good. Not good at all.

First thing I did when I got to the big juror holding pen was make a B-line for the soda machine. And then I promptly, accidentally bought a Cherry Coke Zero.


Man, that was not a good start. I chugged it anyway and just barely managed not to hockey-burp myself into contempt of court.

“Juror No. 257?”


“Ok, yeah, you’re going to jail.”

Various judges and juror-corrallers use a mic to talk to the room, explain stuff, give instructions, swear us all in, etc. I swear to god, every time someone finished speaking and went to hand the mic off, I had to stop myself from applauding. Weird how strong that impulse is.

But my heart warmed, because I am a cheesy bastard: I like seeing so many different people who came only to perform their civic duty—a beautiful cross-section of humanity, brought together simply to serve the idealistic essence of our judicial system. I’m always so cynical about people’s motivations; it’s neat how everyone here is entrusted with a responsibility to be considerate, thoughtful and honest in analyzing information and working together to come to a consensus. And just by entrusting people with that great responsibility, they embrace it.

And then they wait. And cough. In addition to a model of human service, the juror corral is a TB petri dish.

Around 11, they called my name among a group that was scheduled to see the judge at 1. So I ventured forth for food.

I wasn’t particularly hungry; my stomach was full of Cherry Coke Abomination and pretzels. But I knew I needed to eat, because fainting in a courtroom is not on my bucket list. After a quick stroll up and down Main Street, I decided a hot dog seemed like the most tempting option.

Oh, god, people. The hot dog. Oh god.

Now, I figure a hot dog vendor outside a courthouse is a safe bet. I don’t know why; just seems like if you’re going to set up in such a pedestrian-heavy area, you’re going to be held to high standards.

Oh. God.

From my notes for the day.

From my notes for the day.

First of all, when I walked up and asked for a hot dog, the first thing the old man did was open a little drawer in his cart to deposit his nub of a still-lit cigarette. Homeboy had a built-in ash-tray. He asked what I wanted on it; I suddenly realized I had no idea what to expect of a hot dog cart.

“Onions?” I asked.

I got a onion sauce that’ll knock yer socks off.” He sounded like Billy Crystal in The Princess Bride.

The hot dog? Was grey. The sauce? Was orange.

He sent me away with, “You never had a hot dog like that before, I bet.” It…kind of sounded like a threat.

I was already getting queasy, but I took an obligatory bite as I turned away—because apparently I don’t want to offend creepy people.

I cannot describe to you the texture. There was no texture. It was so soft as to be almost nonexistent. The bun was more toothsome.

You do not want your hot dog to dissolve on contact.

Oh. God.

I did not take another bite.

I walked all the way around the courthouse in search of a trash can somewhere far away from people—because I didn’t want to be seen throwing out a whole hot dog. Apparently that’s embarrassing. I have no idea why my brain sucks like that.

At the far side of the building, I found a trash can…and then looked up to see Council’s. Right there. No idea it was so close. Council’s has one of the best hamburgers in Southwest Florida, y’all. I’m not even lying. And I’d just opted for a hot dog that rendered me hungerless for the foreseeable future. That sucked.

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What I Am…

Doing: Whiling away a Friday.

Digesting: Two strips of bacon and half a flopsy waffle. (Note to self: Don’t leave Eggos on the counter.)

Eating: Tzatziki sauce. With my finger.

Reading: The warning label on my hand sanitizer. “For external use only.”

Wondering: But what if I wanted to sanitize my SOUL?!

Listening to: Tappity tapping keyboards and grammatical observations from McD and Beaucha.

Feeling: Ennui, anxiety, and hope. For a hot dog.

Nursing: Deltoids and triceps, thanks to Uppercut; hamstrings and back, thanks to Fit Crew.

Making: Lunch plans and gurgly noises. (And questionable use of work time.)

Trying to Get Out of My Head: “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger,” Kelly Clarkson

Regretting: Telling you about that whole Kelly Clarkson thing.

Anticipating: Baseball at the Trop tonight.

Celebrating: New pap smear regulations! (Seriously, and sorry, boys, but when you expect an annual and get a consultation, that’s a good morning.)

Congratulating: CCB, for his new Microsoft certifications and impressive shock of back hair.

Picking: Tzatziki sauce out of my keyboard. And…granola?

Longing For: A hot dog.

Remembering: The health column I’m supposed to be finishing right now…

Considering: Posting something else later with more narrative and pictures and stuff.

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