Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Single serving

I’m a big fan of the single serving size. I know it’s the big imperial evil American way, but I love it when I can make a meal without having 3/4 of it left after I’m done, and I’m not really into the whole leftovers thing. If I have spaghetti on Monday, I’m damn sure I won’t want it on Tuesday. So things like Lunchables and snak-paks and tiny jars are my friend, and I hate that the grocery store down the street only sells spaghetti sauce in the making-dinner-for-18 size. One of my favorite meals ever is the Dinty Moore beef and potatoes microwave bowl, which is served in a vacuum-sealed package that doesn’t need to be stored in hot or cold, and can be nuked in two minutes. Ten years ago when I worked at Wrubel’s machine room on Sunday nights, I used to hike across campus with one of these in my pack, plus a shitload of CDs to keep me busy. And now I found that the Rite-Aid drug store carries them, so I always buy all of them they have in stock when I’m there. And I just read about a new kind of coffee in a can that’s coming out that has a chemical heater in the can. You just bust open a seal, shake it up a bit, and in a couple of minutes, there’s hot coffee. It’s only a matter of time before someone puts one of those bitches in a soup can, and I’ll buy them by the case.

It suddenly turned winter last night. When I went to bed, the wind was tearing through the windows, and I got a good night of sleep in the cold. But when I woke, the weather page said it was -3 out with the windchill. (That’s Fahrenheit; I’m not a metric geek.) It took a lot of work to stumble to the train station; even with a thick hooded sweatshirt on under my leather jacket, it felt like the wind was knocking straight through my skin and splitting apart my DNA. There’s some snow on the ground here and there, but it’s mostly just little patches of glare ice here and there that threaten to knock you on your ass when you’re trying to run at top speed toward a heated building. And just yesterday, I was wondering why the hell it was so warm in December. I guessed I cursed it for everyone.

I wanted to get some more writing done, but my head is pounding, and I mostly want to lay in bed and do nothing. This is why I need a tablet PC, although I have a feeling I’d spend three grand on one and it would get about as much use as my laptop, or my Pocket PC, or any other gadget I’ve bought. Maybe I should throw $2998 in the house-building account and buy a good pad of paper at the drug store and write in there.

OK, Tylenol, TV…