Pasta Perfection

Day 41

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Feeling pretty good today! I spend a lot of time thinking about the future. What will life hold for me after the blog is completed, my belly is full, and my magical pass loses its powers and reverts to a hunk of useless plastic? There's a lot of things I haven't been able to do in the past month. Here are some of those things I haven't been able to do that I'm really looking forward to doing in eight days:

-Eat any kind of fruit
-Get drunk
-Have a date somewhere other than Olive Garden
-Feel that my life has meaning
-Consume fewer than four breadsticks
-Not dread a trip to the bathroom

Lunch was skipped.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

Spaghetti Western
Whole Hweat
Marinara Trench

Every day's a step closer!

A special thanks to my dining companion, Vinegar!

Day 40

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Happy Hell-oween, boils and ghouls!

Tonight's boo-log will creature four kill-licious pain-stas from everyone's favorite die-in restaur-haunt, Olive Gore-den! Axe yourself: is there anything more scare-ifying than italian sausage?!

These epi-gore-ean treats will definitely tick-kill your funny bone while they fill your stom-ache! Ehehehehehe!

Lunch was Night Of The Living Bread[ed Chicken].

Dinner was decomposed of three plates of pasta:

An Italian Sausage In London
I Know What You Ate Last Supper
Rosemary's Gravy

See you tomorrow, kiddies!

A special thanks to my dining companion, Nosferatu!

Day 39

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When I was fourteen years old, I saw a dying squirrel in my backyard. I don't know why she was dying. No obvious injuries, no predator animals nearby. Writing that out, now I wonder how I even knew she was dying. Maybe I'm just looking back and realizing she must have been dying, since she was dead a few minutes later. Or maybe dying is a state that anyone can recognize.

Anyway. She died and I wrapped her up in a t-shirt from my Mathlympics club that I paid $8 of my mom's money for and buried her in the backyard, next to a tree. I thought to myself that this was a very meaningful and poignant thing to do, and I was looking forward to sharing the anecdote with somebody, many years from then, in a private moment. It would foster a kind of intimacy, the kind that stories like this always seem to foster in movies and books.

Lunch was Roberta.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

Donnie
Frank
Kitty

I never did share that story with anyone, but I hope you all got something out of it, though what I'm not sure.

A special thanks to my dining companion, Nick!

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Day 38

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Communication today is different than it ever has been. With so much of our day-to-day interaction being purely text, we miss a lot of the subtlety and nuance that tone, context, and body language play in conveying meaning. Enter the emoticon, and, since 2008 or so, the emoji, which serve to fill in these gaps. Can pasta be represented in this medium?

Lunch was ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°).

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

(づ。◕‿‿◕。)づ
ʕᵔᴥᵔʔ
ლ(´ڡ`ლ)

To be honest, I mostly just wanted to see what kind of URLs these titles would generate. The pages actually wouldn't load properly (at least in my browser) so I had to rename every URL by hand. Weak.

A special thanks to my dining companion, Billy Joel!

Day 37

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In many ways, a dish of pasta is like a band. Each part contributes to the whole, and they must work together in harmony to achieve the desired effect. Any part that is lacking, or overpowering, brings down the entire performance.

Consider this as we review today's pastas.

Lunch was Bass.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

Lead
Rhythm
Percussion

I hope your own efforts in finding your personal pasta "jam session" are fruitful!

A special thanks to my dining companion, no one!

Day 36

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A lot of people have been talking about the blog, emailing in words of support and caution, asking for interviews and such. That's great. I'm really happy my blog is something people find interesting. Everyone wants to know why I'm eating all this olive garden food - am I "just really hungry?", they ask, and then laugh. I laugh, too.

What I don't say is that I'm not hungry. I haven't felt hunger since sometime in week three. Maybe that's just an early symptom of diabetes. I don't know, I'm not a doctor. What I do know is that the only thing that can fill the hole inside me is pasta. And I'm still far from full.

Lunch was Denial.

Dinner was composed of four plates of pasta:

Anger
Bargaining
Depression
Acceptance

It's been 36 days since the start of the challenge, and 795 days since she left.

A special thanks to my dining companion, myself!

Day 35

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It's a strange sensation to look at a pasta you ate and enjoyed just a few weeks ago and discover you don't remember it. I recall how wonderful I thought alfredo sauce with meatballs was. When I picked up today's pasta I could only remember it was a creamy sauce, and now I can't make sense of it.

I stood up and closed my eyes and saw Vino, myself - six or seven years old, sitting at the dinner table with a cookbook, learning to review food, saying the words over and over with my mother sitting beside him, beside me...

"Try it again."

"A fine bouquet. A certain je ne nais quois. Delicate notes of basil."

"No! Not basil! It's caraway!" Pointing with her rough-scrubbed finger.

"A fine bouquet. A certain caraway. Delicate notes of je ne sais quois."

"No! You're not trying. Do it again!"

Do it again... do it again... do it again...

"Leave the boy alone. You've got him terrified."

"He's got to learn. He's too lazy to concentrate."

Caraway. Caraway. Delicate notes of caraway.

"He's slower than the other children. Give him time."

"He's normal. There's nothing wrong with him. Just lazy. I'll beat it into him until he learns."

A certain...a certain je ne sais quois. Sais ne je quois. Quois sais ne je.

And then looking up from the table, it seems to me I saw myself, through Vino's eyes, a forkful of pasta, and I realized I was bending the utensil with the pressure of both hands as if I wanted to snap it in half. I threw the fork against the wall, the creamy sauce smearing and then slowly sliding down the wall. I let it lay there and its ragged white tongues were laughing because I couldn't understand what they were saying.

Lunch was skipped.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

Shame
Weakness
Futility

I've got to try to hold onto some of the things I've learned. Please, God, don't take it all away.

A special thanks to my dining companion, Tawnya!

Day 33

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It's harder to remember things. Nothing as crazy as what happened yesterday - I definitely can piece together my entire day. It takes a while, though, and I miss some details. Hopefully it's just starvation of certain essential amino acids, or nerves.

Lunch was Moon.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

Sun
Nebula
Asteroid Belt

Well, I'm definitely not hungry.

A special thanks to my dining companion, Janessa!

Day 32

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Today I woke up in an Olive Garden. I didn't remember ordering a fettuccine with marinara and italian sausage. I didn't remember my waitress's name. I didn't even remember how I got there. I was just...suddenly aware.

Physically, I feel fine. I remember that I was sick. I don't remember much else. I guess I should be worried, but really, looking at the calendar and seeing I only have a little over two weeks left now, I am just relieved that I'll be free soon.

Lunch was Hootie and the Blowfish.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

Laurel and Hardy
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Fettuccine and an Entire Sausage

At least I remembered my camera.

A special thanks to my dining companion, nobody, apparently!

Day 31

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Spaghetti. Angelhair. Fettuccine. Penne. Cavatappi. Linguine.

Spaghetti,

Angelhair.

Fettucine?

Penne!

Cavatappi~

Linguine...

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Lunch was I.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

II
III
IV

Spaghetti. Angelhair. Fettuccine. Penne. Cavatappi. Linguine.

A special thanks to my dining companion, these blind men who grope through the world and see nothing!

Day 30

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One month of nothing but pasta, and now I can see colors that defy description. Beautiful antivermillion and ultrayellow auras dance around the wait staff, colors that are so obvious and brilliant that I can't believe that only I see them.

Occasionally, I catch glimpses of pastas from long ago in the past; even now, Mussolini's final bowl of farfalle hovers before me. But that's not all. I can see pasta from the distant future. A cruel dictatorship that crushes the public under its iron boot, where the only meal is an unsauced elbow macaroni dish, served cold and butterless. This is only one possible future, but it will happen unless the whispers of the ancient Keepers of the Sacred Noodle are true, and the prophecy can be fulfilled.

Lunch was Walden.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

Nature
Self-Reliance
Experience

Only I can save us.

A special thanks to my dining companion, Conch'igle, High Priest of the Sacred Noodle!

Pasta Combination Selector