Saturday, May 14, 2016

Going Light with Some Grilled Chicken

In light of yesterday, I decided  that I needed to cut back today in order to make up for at least a part of what I ate yesterday.

So I started off with a fiber brotein bar.

A while later, I had a handful of mixed nuts.

An even whiler while later, I was offered a couple Oreo Thins in mint variety.

And finally, I grilled some chicken with onions.

I ate about half of this. I added some Buffalo sauce, and it was really good!

For dessert, I had a banana.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Bidding Lawrence Adieu

I started the day with a fibrous brotein bar before my two shifts at Mrs. E's.

I then worked for three hours, then ate lunch. I had a ham, egg, and cheese stromboli to start.

Then, when lunch came into full swing, I ramped up the meats.

On one plate, I had nothing but smoked turkey breast.

Then, on another plate, I had some roast beef and chicken with corn and vegetables.

And on my last plate, I had some "gyro meat" along with some salad chicken and some roasted red potatoes.

I'm not convinced that the "gyro meat" is actually lamb, or even meat for that matter, but it tasted alright. The potatoes, however, were delicious.

During my second shift, I was working in the back. The bakery had some left over brownie scraps. They were just going to throw them away, so naturally I couldn't let that happen. I did my part in making sure that as little food gets wasted as possible.

I think I ended up having probably 3 or 4 pieces about this size. The brownie was good, but it was the ganache on top. One of the bakers described it as butter and chocolate chips melted together. Ummm...YES!!!

But after Quinn and I got off of work, we headed back to his and Andrew's dorm room to finish packing. After this packing was mostly done, we started trying to make plans on what we should do.

Being Andrew's last day in Lawrence, we thought we ought to do something to commemorate it. And since the only thing we ever do together when we hang out is eat, we found no reason to change it up!

But we didn't want to just go to some place we'd been to a thousand times. We (Andrew) was trying his hardest to make a decision, but bless his heart he just couldn't bring himself to it. Luckily, through the power of suggestion, we finally landed on a place to go. Zen Zero is a restaurant specializing in Pan-Asian cuisine. None of us had ever been there, so we didn't really know what to expect.

For little munchies, they brought out these puffy shrimp cracker thingies.

There was also some hot pepper sauce, or if you ask Quinn some extremely mild salsa, that went great with these shrimp puffs.

For my actual dinner, I ordered a No. 36 with chicken.

For those of you who don't have the Zen Zero menu memorized, this was, as may be obvious from the picture above, chicken with onions, garlic, bell peppers, and broccoli. It came with a side of steamed white rice.

I poured a little less than half of this rice into my chicken dish.

Andrew, being truly huge, gladly accepted my remaining rice.

After this dinner, we made the decision to send Andrew off with a classic favorite. So we all headed to Sylas and Maddy's for the best ice cream in the world.

Being a significant occasion, I decided to go all in and get a double waffle cone. I guess I'm truly huge too!

The flavors I opted to get were also two classic favorites. One flavor was DaBomb and the other one was Triple Fudge.

While Triple Fudge needs no real explanation, DaBomb is a little less intuitive. It's sweet cream ice cream with cookie dough, and chocolate cookie pieces. Quite simply, it's literally amazing.

Quinn and Andrew decided to share a quart, with their two flavors being Birthday Bash and, fittingly for Andrew, Graduation Day.

Afterward, all hopped up on sugar, we decided to hit up some serious parkour. And by parkour, I mean jumping up and touching things and jumping on top of things.

First, we saw who could jump and touch the highest part of an awning.

We used the letters as a guide to how high each of us jumped.

Moving on from this, we found a mailbox.

We all attempted to jump up and land sitting on top without using our hands.

After a while of this, we found a sign higher up on a wall, and we took turns trying to touch that, occasionally using the wall as a springboard.

This higher sign in question is the round one near the left of the above photo. As you can see, it's slightly higher than the awning on right that we were previously jumping up and touching.

Then we found a lower sign, which we tried to touch by jumping off of one leg.

This is a 5 year old photo, and the sign in its present form is a round one and that of Ramen Bowls (previously featured when Quinn, Sangsoo, and Arnesh competed in the Ghost Ramen Challenge). The Ramen Bowls sign might hang slightly lower than the one pictured.

And next, there came the now infamous trash can.

We attempted to use this trash can as a makeshift box jumping exercise. I was able to jump up and land with my feet on top, as was Quinn. But then it was Andrew's turn. He was hesitant, but at our prodding he eventually tried it too.

As you can see, it's a pretty tall jump. But was Andrew up for it?

Oooohhhh, he was sooo close! Unfortunately, the design of this trash can made it so that the openings on the sides were just big enough for an Andrew-sized foot and shoe to get lodged in. He looked to be in a bit of a predicament.

In fact, it looked like he was going to be in a fair amount of pain in just a few seconds.

But, alas, his feet came free of the slot, and he was able to return safely to Earth on his feet.

After several more reps by Quinn and I, Andrew put his shattered confidence back together and successfully jumped on top of the trash can.

Having successfully conquered this street box jump, we were looking for something more challenging. We entertained the idea of jumping clear over the trash can, as well as jumping up from a farther distance. While still trying to decide, Quinn attempted the latter. Unfortunately, he was just far enough away that his feet, instead of stomping firmly in the middle of the top, came to rest right on the edge of the top. This unbalanced distribution of weight and moving forces was too much for the geometry of the trash can, and it was sent tumbling over into the street. No one was injured, and we hurriedly picked up the trash can. We then proceeded to momentarily cease all jumping operations.

We eventually found a short stone wall that we started jumping on and over...

...but we didn't stay long. We then went on our way. It was a fun way to expend some energy while competing and bonding with bros on Andrew's last day in Lawrence.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Chicken Jerky

Today was a pretty long day. I worked 2 shifts today, and although it was only 6 hours, it felt like 600. Luckily, Quinn was also working today. By the time my second shift started, he was working in the deli. Now, Quinn is a master of the deli. Using the commercial grade toaster oven, he has perfected it is very own cheese cracker recipe and his very own chicken jerky recipe. Basically both involve the dehydration of their respective ingredients, but the cheese cracker is much more involved. But he agreed to make me some chicken jerky, which did wonders in uplifting my spirits and getting me through my shift.

And if it looks like deli chicken that has been pressed in a Panini press and then toasted in the toaster oven multiple times, that's because that's exactly what it is. I will say that it was tasty, though extra salty having been dehydrated so much.

Once my shifts finally reached their conclusions, I was hungry. I had only eaten a single fiber brotein bar on the day, so I needed some food.

Luckily, it was a good day for food at Mrs. E's. They had smoke turkey breast, of which I got a hefty serving size.

They also had sweet potatoes, corn, steamed carrots and broccoli, and crab rangoons. I got as little sweet potatoes as I could, and I only got one crab rangoon. Gotta watch dose carbs, ya know!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Cubic Finals

Today was a day of reckoning. I had my physics final at 0730, my medical entomology final at 1030, and my evolution final at 1330. I needed some fuel to get me through all these finals, so I made provisions.

I ate the fiber bar and one brotein bar at around 0700 this morning, giving me a boost for my physics final. I ate the next brotein bar before my entomology final, and finally the last brotein bar before my evolution final.

On a little side note, one of the worst possible scenarios played out this morning. I awoke to flashes of lightning and claps of thunder. That's not good. This was still a little while before I had to leave, so I was hoping the storm would blow over by that time. And when I got ready to leave, I walked outside to find dry skies. I looked up the radar on my phone and saw a line of heavy rain just to the west of Lawrence. I thought maybe I could get to school and walk to class before the rains hit.


About 10 seconds after getting into my car, it started raining. As I started driving, and subsequently the farther west I got, the rain got harder. I was driving straight into the storm, and I couldn't do a darn thing about it. The rain only got harder and harder the farther I drove, and a sinking feeling was growing in the pit of my - let's be original - left foot.

I pulled into the parking lot, found a spot, and contemplated my plight. But contemplate long I could not, for I only had 12 minutes until my final would start.

So I opened the door, rain poured in, and I shut the door again. Luckily, I had had the foresight to bring and umbrella, so I got it out and opened it slightly. With the umbrella ready, I again opened my door and stepped out into the deluge. All seemed to be going reasonably well. I wasn't getting too wet. Then I looked down. My shoes were showing signs of dampness, and I had only taken maybe 10 steps. After another 10 steps or so, they were most definitely wet. The farther along the sidewalk I walked, the faster the water was running. About a third of the way to my class, the veritable flash flood on the sidewalk could have carried away a small village. At this point, my shoes were soaked through, and my socks were beginning to feel wet. And finally, after probably 10 more steps, my shoes were effectively full of water and my socks were at their absorptive capacities.

But I made it to my exam on time.

Afterward, I assessed the damage.

This may not be much visually, but these shoes are supposed to be light gray. They were super soaked. It wouldn't've made them any more wet if I had jumped into a pool while wearing them.

But they were the only shoes and socks I had for the day, and with 2 finals left, I couldn't afford the time to go home and change. Luckily, my physics exam only took about 30 minutes, so I had ample time to prepare for my next final. As that one approached, I became so enthralled with going over my notes that I forgot to eat my brotein bar. It wasn't until I was sitting in my seat and the professor started passing out the exams that I remembered. I hurriedly retrieved the bar from my backpack and shotgunned it as quickly as possible. It took me maybe three big bites to get it down, and then I was ready to roll.

This entomology exam took me about 45 minutes, so again I had a decent amount of time for some last minute preparations before my evolution final. I met up with Quinn in the library, and soon we were joined by Andrew. He was studying some sort of math that I don't understand, and Quinn and I were going over our evolution.

My final final took me about an hour and 10 minutes, but then I was done for the semester!

I went home, started watching The Sound of Music with Sidney. At intermission, we got to work on dinner. We made tacos.

My first two tacos consisted of ground beef taco meat, sour cream, shredded cheddar, some salsa, and some shredded lettuce (not pictured).

I eventually found myself wanting a little bit more, so I got another one.

This one just had some beef, sour cream, and cheese. They were all good.

I should note that my shoes and socks looked like this all day. When I got home at 1500 they looked and felt no different than they did at 0730 this morning. It's not that much fun to walk around all day with wet feet, but luckily I avoided developing trench foot. So that's another small win on a day full of wins.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Bro & Bro & Bro: The Epic Buffet Finale

It's Finals Week. That means sleep will be at a minimum and stress will be at a maximum. Today, I had my Systematics Final at 0730. To prepare for this, I had a couple bars.

One was fiber-rich brotein bar, and the other was a more traditional brotein bar. The benefit of this combination is that I get 41 grams of brotein, 17 grams of fiber from one bar, and 17 grams of carbs from the other. It's like a dream meal.

This was the first time I had tasted the chocolate chip cookie dough fiber bar.

It is much better than the chocolate one I had yesterday. It still isn't that great, but it's definitely tolerable and worth it for the nutrients. Plus, eating it first makes the other brotein bar taste even better!

I ate these bars about 30 minutes before my exam so I would be primed for optimal performance. After smashing the exam (and later realizing a answered part of a question incorrectly) I went to the gym to expel some stress, frustration, and to attempt to get lean.

I got on a stationary bike and peddled my little heart out. I tried to do a variant of high intensity interval training. It basically consisted of me setting the resistance to level 15 or something and then peddling at a moderate pace (like 75-80 RPM) for 30 seconds followed by a higher pace (100-110 RPM) for 30 seconds. I repeated this cycle 10 times with the final cycle consisting of a full minute of high intensity. It took all of about 20 minutes or so including warm up and cool down, and then I went home.

A little while later I met Quinn (the soon-to-be Wayward Gringo) and Andrew at Aladdin Cafe for their lunch buffet. The idea was to get one last big meal in before Quinn starts his vegetarian month and before Andrew leaves Lawrence forever and returns to New York. The event was, as you'll soon see why, dubbed "Meatpocalypse."

And as you can see, Quinn was wasting no time getting through the door.

Once inside and seated, the three of us wasted no time hitting the buffet line. Now, here's where things get a little interesting. I've been to Aladdin Cafe before, but never for the buffet. So I kind of knew what to expect, but I still wanted to sample a fair selection. This led to me making the preliminary decision to get to plates right off the bat, each loaded with unique food items.

First, the plate on the right.

This plate featured (top to bottom) basmati rice, Chicken Shawarma, and lamb Gyro meat.

Now for the other plate.

This plate (starting with the soup and going clockwise) featured a bowl of lentil soup, baked tilapia, hummus, a couple falafel balls, and a few beef meatballs in "sweet" sauce.


The lentil soup is really good, the rice is good, the chicken is pretty good, the falafel is good, the tilapia is excellent, the hummus is also excellent, but the lamb and beef meatballs... they are simply incredible. They just have such a deep and rich flavor that can't be iterated in words. This restaurant, put quite simply, went from a pretty consistent and solid option to one of my favorites. It was that good.

So, practicing fundamental Buffetology, I considered the food I just ate, deliberated for about 0.01738 seconds, and headed back to load up on the best options.

This is what I came back with.

It was essentially a plate, first covered with rice then piled high with the beef balls and lamb. In the future, I would come back to Aladdin Cafe's buffet just to get this plate. There's not many things better than this plate right here.

I also attempted to get some pita for my hummus, but they were still out. Pita is just about the hottest commodity on the Aladdin Cafe buffet, and it gets eaten just as fast as they can make it.

I was stalking the kitchen while eating, and eventually I saw a fresh batch heading toward the line. I jumped up and sprinted to the buffet to get my hands on some fresh pita naan flatbread carbs. Being ever the considerate person, I left some for others and only took 4 pieces.

This was not quite enough for the amount of hummus I got, so I needed a little more. Luckily, the lunch crowd had thinned out a bit, and there was a surplus of naan pita pizza bread on the buffet. I got two more pieces.

This was just the right amount for my remaining hummus.

After this was gone, I made the decision that it was time for dessert. The only option was rice pudding. Having been recently converted to a rice pudding fan by Sidney, I decided to try some.

And by some, I mean half a bowl.

It was made with rose water, and was actually really good. It was pretty thin, less like a traditional pudding and more like a drink...

And here's where things get very interesting.

Enter, glass full of rice pudding.

Yes, this is a glass full of rice pudding. And there's more there than it looks like. This is how much pudding is in this glass:

Andrew joined me in this rice pudding chugging extravaganza.

Obviously, Quinn was enjoying the spectacle that was Andrew and I first spooning and then pouring our pudding from our bowls into our water glasses.

I can report that it is a bit of a mind twister trying to drink this stuff. While it's extremely low in viscosity relative to other puddings, and very capable of being consumed in drink form, it's an interesting sensation drinking something with chunks (big at times) of stuff in it. But once you get past that, there aren't many things better than chugging about 4 or 5 big gulps of rice pudding out of a glass.

The irony of this situation is that, originally, it was Quinn and I who were going to do this. Andrew protested, claiming that he didn't want to feel "too" full, so we initially decided against it. Eventually, though, Andrew came around. But by this time, Quinn had gotten more food, so he no longer wanted to partake in the chugging of rice pudding.

But, of course, eventually it happened. We couldn't leave without getting a picture of three water glasses full of rice pudding.

With this, we ended our buffeast. It was a good meal to say the least, and a proper ending to our Epic Buffet adventures.

A little while later, or quite a while later actually, I finished my day right with three chocolate covered peanuts and a peanut butter cup.

The huge shall rise again!