Retrospective Updates

Summer has officially arrived. Well, it arrived a day or two (or three) ago, but who wants to get technical? Not me, especially after the eleven-page technical report I wrote during finals week. Yeah, that’s right: eleven pages! Thankfully, the topic was interesting and relevant, and I was able to incorporate creative design elements into the document.

Now that school is several weeks behind me, I’ve been quickly adjusting to my old way of life here on the West side. Costco welcomed me back to work on June 14, and I got my first paycheck today. I’m very pleased to be making money again instead of just spending it. Of course, now that I have an income, I’ve found myself wanting to make a number of frivolous purchases.

Chief among said purchases is a Nintendo Wii. Yes, I owned one before, and yes, I hardly made use of it then, but this fall, I anticipate having a greater amount of free time (although any amount of free time would be more than I had these last few months).

So limited was my free time that I scarcely visited the gym during spring quarter. While this may suggest that I gained weight and lost muscle mass, you would be mistaken—I actually lost weight due to stress, and I didn’t have any muscles to lose. Well, unless you consider my stomach to be a muscle. In that case, I really bulked up.

As a kid, my mom described my eating habits as bird-like. As I grew older, my eating habits became more like grazing: I enjoyed a little bit of everything throughout the day but rarely ate a full meal. After starting at Costco in 2005, I found myself routinely drained of energy and needing more food, so I made a habit of packing a hearty lunch full of anything I could find in the pantry (within reason). My meals became grand events, and many co-workers marveled in awe and with more than a bit of jealousy.

Then college rolled around, and I had to adjust my eating habits once again. My food plan dictated the number of meals I could afford per quarter, so I had to be cautious: if I ate too often, I would run out of money. The buffet style of Holmes Dining Room provided the best value for my pre-spent dollars, but it also presented a problem. Brunch was between 10am and 1:30pm, and dinner was between 4:30pm and 7pm; if I wanted two meals, I needed to pay twice.

So, I came up with a simple plan: eat one really big meal each day. To put it eloquently, I gorged myself like a pig. The photos I’ve used in previous blog entries attest to this fact, as do the photos on Facebook. In most cases, I wasn’t even hungry. I ate like a king and slept like a baby—naps became a necessity due to the massive quantities of food I consumed. My body and brain would shut down by 2pm daily, and if I didn’t take a nap, I regretted it later.

All this is to say that my first year at college revolved primarily around food, at least until finals week. I mentioned that I lost weight (due to stress); that’s true, but I also lost weight because I wasn’t eating very much during the last week of May and the first two weeks of June. The balance on my food plan was running low, much lower than during fall and winter quarter, because I started treating a number of friends to coffee and/or lunch. That was all well and good earlier in the year, but it caught up with me in the spring.

So I ate less often, and I ate less. My incredible expanding stomach maintained its elasticity, but I rarely stretched it. Now that I’m at Costco again and actually getting exercise (albeit mostly walking and standing), my ravenous sense of hunger has returned.

I ate a lot of Double Double burgers in the past nine months. Eating one last burger seemed a fitting way to say farewell to Central, at least for the summer. My last Double Double was consumed sometime during finals week, when I had two ridiculous Shakespeare papers to write, two short stories to revise, that aforementioned technical report to work on, and… what else? Oh yes, a creative world literature paper.

That’s all over, now. Thank God. If I ever have to write about Shakespeare again, I may go nuts. Another technical report is inevitable (but not imminent) as tech writing is my career goal. Over the summer, I hope to finish a not-so-short short story. The only world literature I’ll likely be reading is my bible. Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait until September for another Double Double.

As good as that burger is, I can wait. For now, I just want to enjoy the summer, enjoy good food, and get some writing done. And maybe buy a Nintendo Wii. Again.

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