Montageman: A dude who writes

March 3, 2008

Starting over

Filed under: laila, random, traderjoes — Tags: , , , , , , , — montageman @ 10:06 am

As of this morning, I am a Trader Joe’s crew member.  I have been working at TJ’s for a about 6 weeks now, but have also been working at American Processing Company.  My weeks consisted of working from 7:30 AM to 4 PM at APC driving an hour to TJ’s and working 5 pm to 12 AM.  Yesterday was my first true day off in a couple of months.  I’m not complaining, mind you, but working 80 hour weeks is draining especially coupled with the commuting.  Now my commute will be 15 minutes instead of 45 minutes (sometimes 90 when there is snow on the ground or if 696 is being nasty).  I’ll have some mornings off, so I’ll see Heather and Laila more, which is wonderful.  I plan to read and write more.  We’ll see how everything pans out.

A few things that I’m currently loving:

  1. Garfield minus Garfield – the usually straightforward Garfield comic strip with Garfield (and Odie) taken out leaving Jon Arbuckle to work out his feelings of inadequacy on his own. As incredibly sad as Jon’s life is with Garfield and Odie present, it becomes psychotic (and more hilarious) with them absent.
  2. The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain – hard to believe that this time last year I was totally annoyed by Bourdain’s arrogance on No Reservations.  I was much more interested in Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods (new season starts March 4!).  I still love Zimmern, but have a new found love for Bourdain.  His writing is accessible and spot on.  Bourdain’s TV personality is not arrogant as I first thought, but rather, he is very particular about his likes and dislikes and is vocal about it.  Last season’s visit to Ghana and Bourdain’s elation throughout is a perfect example of how great traveling the world can be.  That episode makes me want to travel to Africa.  Hell, I want to travel to most places Bourdain and Zimmern visit.
  3. Dark chocolate covered Joe-Joes – Trader Joe’s version of the Oreo cookie dipped in dark chocolate.  An all natural Oreo engulfed by artisan dark chocolate?  Could there be a more perfect food?  I doubt it, but at 150 calories & 8 grams of fat a piece, they are best to be enjoyed in moderation – like half of a cookie at a sitting.
  4.  Beer.  Haven’t had much recently, but nothing beats a pint of Two Hearted ale.  And I a couple bottles of Lagunitas that I’ll soon try.
  5. Stuff White People Like – totally engaging commentary on the lives of white folks.  Very funny and mostly very true.

There’s plenty of other stuff to go along with this small list – Haba toys, Bum Genius cloth diapers, really anything having to do with Laila and Heather, and being able to write more.


November 2, 2007

Of Obsessions

Filed under: beer, food, identity, laila — Tags: , , , , — montageman @ 10:29 pm

Jeff wrote about obsessions yesterday. As a new parent as well, I have been grappling with similar issues. I’m not making a soundtrack (although I think this is an excellent idea), rather I have been singing to Laila and transplanting her name into the song i.e. “Laila Battles the Pink Robots” or “Laila is a Punk Rocker”. There is some part of me that hopes in a few years she’ll share a love of the Flaming Lips, Ramones, and John Coltrane with me. Will it destroy me if she doesn’t? Doubtful, but I do want her to have a love of some type of music. Jazz, punk, funk, hip hop, pop, whatever – I’d love it if she was interested in music.

I am a consumer first and foremost. I am obsessed with music, food, beer, sports, video games, and whatever else crosses my path. I run a food blog, review beers over at, use avidly, upload 1000s of pictures to flickr, etc. All of my obsessions, require me to consume more and more. I can never try every beer, so I must always consume the one I’ve haven’t tried yet. I take a picture of each beer I try and each meal I make – the fleeting pleasure of eating and drinking can be lengthened by the image, but more than that, I am obsessed with uploading the pictures so that others can share in my pleasure, even if the it is only visual pleasure.

Will Laila be as obsessed with all of this stuff? Who knows? I can only hope that she’ll have something to love outside of her profession (as Jeff says). Thinking back, it was my parents that fostered my obsessive behavior. My mom and dad would travel all over to find toys and video game for my brothers and I, so I have always had a desire to have more than what was readily available, which plays into the pleasure of the search. Always searching for new beer, food, music, etc. Obsessions are insatiable – there is always more. Once the obsession becomes boring, move onto the next one! There is even space for an obsession within an obsession i.e. a love of beer turns into a love of the double IPA, so the obsession becomes localized. Localization inevitably leads to a dead end, so step back and look at the broad obsession again and localize elsewhere. It’s never ending!

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