What is this?

Day 14

Comments

The journey of a thousand noodles begins with a single bowl, and I've now eaten roughly 286 of those noodles. Some observations from the past week:

-Still no appreciable change in weight, energy levels, or any other vague metric of 'health'
-Still cannot resist a breadstick placed within snatching distance
-Still cries at a good film
-Have had dreams in which I accidentally ate food from somewhere other than the Olive Garden and I had to induce vomiting to maintain the integrity of the challenge
-As of today, all 36 pasta+sauce combination has been tried. They were all delicious! You should try some. Why not go to the Olive Garden tomorrow? You could even go with me! I mean, if you don't have anything else going on, I'm just sayin', I'll be at Olive Garden. You don't, like, have to come or anything.

Please come. I'm so alone.

Lunch was Cannonball.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

Pier on an Orange Lake
"Healthy" Choice
Rime of the Ancient Marinara

Thus ends week two of seven. I've got a long way to go.

A special thanks to my dining companion, the blank stare of my own twisted reflection in a pool of five cheese marinara!

Cannonball

Cannonball
Meatballs smothered in Five Cheese Marinara, tossed on a cave, boy! A cave of Angel Hair
Comments

This pasta is, in a word, dense. Thin strands of angelhair weave themselves into a thick mesh, inexorably trapping the pure cheese goo of the Five Cheese Marinara sauce, along with the heavy meatballs. Though tasty, this dish will definitely impregnate you with a food-baby, and I will warn you up front that it will likely be a preemie.

Pictured here is Cannonball, in all its stick-to-your-ribs goodness.

Pier on an Orange Lake

Pier on an Orange Lake
Spaghetti impeccably drowning in Five Cheese Marinara, enriched with vitamin Chicken Fritta
Comments

Sometimes coming up with titles for dishes is more fun than eating them. Perhaps it's not a coincidence that this is happening more and more as I get farther into the challenge.

Pictured here is Pier on an Orange Lake, the very picture of modern Romanticism.

"Healthy" Choice

"Healthy" Choice
Marinara ensconced by a ball the size of a chihuahua's head of Whole Wheat Linguine, enriched with vitamin Meatballs
Comments

For those of you who measure the "healthy-ness" of a dish by buzzwords associated with it - organic, gluten-free, whole wheat, low-fat, etc - this dish is about the best you can do at Olive Garden. Marinara is the closest to a vegetable you can get in the Neverending Pasta Bowl, as it's little more than tomatoes and salt, and the linguine is probably good for you, somehow.

Pictured here is "Healthy" Choice - feel good about overeating!

Rime of the Ancient Marinara

Rime of the Ancient Marinara
Marinara combined with Angel Hair, delightfully covered in Shrimp Fritta
Comments

It is an ancient Marinara,
And shrimp toppeth, two or three
"By thy thin strands and flakes o' basil
Now wherefore eaten thou by me?"

Pictured here is Rime of the Ancient Marinara, and it genuinely depresses me that I came up with what will be the height of my entire pun-writing career this early.

Day 13

Comments

Between the blog, my job, and the actual consuming of pasta, I have very little leisure time. But weekends throw a wrench into this, and the amount of time I suddenly find myself with paralyzes me with anxiety, not freedom. I don't think "what can I do with my time", I think, "what should I do with my time"?

Sometime in college I developed a sense of guilt about doing anything 'pointless', like playing video games, reading fictional novels, browsing the internet, or so on. Note that I didn't stop doing these things; I just felt bad the whole time I did them, and awful when I saw it was time for bed. Had an entire day just slipped by, with nothing accomplished but a higher number above my gnome warlock's head?

Lunch was Noah

Dinner was compose of three plates of pasta:

Atrahasis
Gilgamesh
Nûḥ

Clearly, my guilt is even more useless than my hobbies, but I've yet to find a way to escape it.

A special thanks to my dining companion, Danny!

Noah

Noah
Whole Wheat Linguine heaped with Italian Sausage, impressively coated in Five Cheese Marinara
Comments

"The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time."
-The Bible, after God discovers this dish.

Pictured here is Noah, and doesn't it make you want to just wipe out the human race?

Atrahasis

Atrahasis
Spicy Three Meat Sauce mixed with Chicken Fritta, uniquely set upon a hill of Cavatappi
Comments

"When the sixth year arrived
They served up a daughter for a meal,
Served up a son for food. "

-The Akkadian epic, Atrahasis, describing a country where a famine is so great that for five years there was no food but this dish.

Pictured here is Atrahasis, and you'd eat your own children too if this was the only alternative.

Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh
Marinara nigh-erotically sheltered within a deep well of Penne
Comments

"Instead of your bringing on the Flood,
would that a lion had appeared to diminish the people!
Instead of your bringing on the Flood,
would that a wolf had appeared to diminish the people!
Instead of your bringing on the Flood,
would that famine had occurred to slay the land!
Instead of your bringing on the Flood,
would that (Pestilent) Erra had appeared to ravage the land!"
-A scene from the epic of Gilgamesh, in which the world's most overdramatic customer returns his extremely over-sauced pasta.

Pictured here is Gilgamesh - and personally, I'd rather a wolf diminish my people than ever eat another bite.

Nûh

Nûh
Fettuccine kissed with Alfredo
Comments

"O my Lord! surely I have called my people by night and by day! But my call has only made them flee the more, and whenever I have called them that Thou mayest forgive them, they put their fingers in their ears, cover themselves with their garments, and persist and are puffed up with pride. "
-The Quran's version of Noah, unsuccessfully attempting to get people to stop putting extra cheese on top of alfredo sauce.

Pictured here is Nûḥ, pronounced just like it's spelled.

Day 12

Comments

Today I was famous.

I liked doing this, but the end product was heavily edited. This is just a partial list of things cut from the interview:

-A scene in which I look at the menu and say "I think I'll have...EVERYTHING!", then the camera zooms in on the waiter's shocked face [sound effect: slide whistle]
-The boom mic operator distracting the manager while the cameraman fills his gear bag with breadsticks
-Palpable sexual tension between me and the reporter
-My reading aloud of the entirety of the ending speech from Atlas Shrugged, in which I replace all personal pronouns with pasta equivalents
-The ending montage of me eating pounds upon pounds of spaghetti, interspersed with shots of starving 3rd-world children

Lunch was Exposition.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

Recapitulation
Scherzo
Cadenza

Big thanks to the cameraman who asked the most insightful question I've yet to hear in an interview - "what does Hospitaliano mean to *you*"? I'm still thinking this one over!

A special thanks to my dining companion, Kay!

Exposition

Exposition
Angel Hair covered in Meat Sauce, thought-provokingly garnished lavishly with Meatballs
Comments

It's important to not consider pastas on their own merits alone, but their part in the greater whole that is the meal. Granted, for most sane people, a meal only has one pasta in it, but let's ignore that for now. Consider this particular dish the theme upon which the rest of the day's food is a variation.

Pictured here is Exposition - a blank slate!

Pasta Combination Selector