I’m tired. Don’t want to play this game anymore. Want a platter of sushi, a nice hot chai latte, some M&Ms, a slab of charbroiled tri-tip, a cheese enchilada with green salsa, a black and tan sundae, a pint of chocolate milk. I want a carne asada burrito fresh from the grill, with cilantro, tomatoes and guacamole oozing from the tortilla. I want a platter of salumi with a hearty red wine and fresh sourdough bread, and a handful of Greek olives. I want Kettle Korn, pistachios, a Hershey bar with almonds, a salmon steak with dill and lemon and capers, rice pilaf and a waiter to ask me if I would like cracked pepper on my salad and freshly grated parmesan for my pasta. I want a Pepsi. I want a box of Junior Mints. I want a Tucker’s milkshake made with locally made coffee ice cream and whole milk and the crunch of crushed real coffee beans down in the very bottom where the fat straw can suck them up. I want to stop thinking about my food. I want to eat what I want to eat and stop talking about it. I want to get off this ride. I want my money back. I wanna go home.
Guess what? So do people on food stamps.
Breakfast: Coffee. Simone: chocolate croissant, green tea. Patrick: grapefruit, oatmeal. Julia: generic Cheerios and milk, nectarine.
Lunch: Julia: apricot, 3 bites of 3-bean salad; watermelon, chocolate chip cookies*. Simone: watermelon, carrot/celery sticks, peanut butter sandwich. Patrick: deli lunch at work (company paid).
Dinner: Julia: Grapenuts dust and milk. Ana: nectarine, Top Ramen, chocolate chip cookies.* Simone: 4-bean chili, hamburger bun, chocolate chip cookies*. Patrick: 4-bean chili, hamburger bun, tortilla chips, Pepsi (purchased: $1.50).
*Finally baked the cookie dough that was sitting in the fridge since Saturday. They were so good!
Food budget left: $13.50
Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of "Veronika Layne Gets the Scoop" and "Veronika Layne Has a Nose for News" (rep'd by Booktrope). She is the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. Her articles have appeared in Thrillist, Quill, Paste, San Francisco Chronicle, and in many magazines; her latest poetry appears in The East Bay Literary review.