It may not be obvious to anybody who’s seen me in real, physical space at any point in the last year or so, but I’m actually trying to lose weight.

My plan is simply to eat less.  I don’t keep a food diary or anything like that, and I  haven’t sworn to cut any foods out of my diet, although I pretty  much just decided I  don’t like potato chips that much a couple  of years ago, but still can’t say no to  McDonald’s fries.  So, my plan is only to eat when  I’m hungry, and then just enough to satisfy the hunger.
Also, I know the recommended formula is to  eat less and get more exercise, but exercise takes time, which has to be deducted from one of your other activities, such as social media, watching TV, or smoking pot, and that’s a greater level of sacrifice than I’m willing to make.

Anyway, today we were invited to a 1 year old’s birthday party.  Oh, we knew there would be a lot o food there.  We know this family, and the mother is an excellent cook.  Also, they are Ukrainian, so that means that before things even start, the table is absolutely covered with food.  I guess it’s supposed to be appetizers, but for most normal people, it would have been a more than adequate meal.  There were cold cuts, including rolled bacon and meatballs, beets, potato salad, pickled mushrooms (they were great), caviar, and what looked like a cake, but was actually several layers of liver  paste separated by some kind of stiffened cream sauce.  Once I  got passed  the  disappointment of it not  being a sweet thing, it was quite good.
Then came the soup.
Then came the first main course, which was fish (stuffed with  mushrooms, and breaded – as the only mushroom lover in my family – ditto caviar – I got a few extras), with small potatoes glazed with a light herb sauce.
Then cake, a couple of kinds.
Then coffee, and I thought that would  be an end on  it and, as much as I  appreciate a good meal, I was damn glad it was over.  It was not over.

She brought out some stuffed peppers.  I  would  have passed, but  proud grandpa was sitting right  next to me, saying ‘Oh, you have to try  these,’ and shoveling three of them onto my plate.  He was right, they were exquisite.
Then, a second main course, this  time lamb chops with green  beans.  Really, really fat lamb chops.  With over a dozen people around the table, the thought went through my mind that they’d spent rather a large amount of money for a birthday party that the birthday boy will never remember, and I felt guilty about not being able to finish the meat, but I noticed I was not the only one.  Other people were starting to flag at that point as well.

Not surprising.  While my family  were the tee-totallers, the host was, at very frequent intervals, filling up the shot glasses: vodka for the men, Metaxa for the ladies.  Not quite as sexist as it sounds, some of  the ladies were drinking vodka, too.
Then, finally, the birthday cake.

Then fruit.

Sam said “This is not  ‘all you can eat.’  This is ‘more than you can eat'”.  I  thought that summed it up pretty well.

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