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Live Blogging: Kombucha

13 Mar

We get a lot of free books sent to my office for review, and every now and again, instead of tossing them in the trash, we schlep a few down the street in a roller suitcase and sell them for cash, which we then toss in the air and/or spend on exorbitantly expensive and totally unnecessary beverages from the neighborhood boutique grocery store before returning to our drab and moneyless lives.

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This, for instance.

*ahem* So having sold a few books today, we walked over to this five-and-dime of folly so a coworker of mine could purchase overpriced coffee. I’m hypersensitive to caffeine, for some reason—which is great in the middle of a drinking binge, but less handy in the middle of the workday—so I settled on a jar of kombucha.

Which, I know what you’re thinking here: Kombucha? You mean that ridiculous Gwenyth Paltrow-y beverage that has a lump of mucous that some people with sex and intimacy issues call a “mother” smack in the middle of it?

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Yes, that’s exactly what I mean

I’ve had commercially produced kombucha before, and liked it quite a bit. It tastes kind of like the shrubs that everyone’s mixing into cocktails these days—vinegary and sweet—and it makes me just caffeinated enough to bounce around my office like a crazed balloon animal, without convincing me I’m about to have a heart attack. And usually the ones that you can buy in stores have had the gross jellyfish “mother” removed, so I can pretend it’s just slightly fizzy vinegar tea instead of a “living organism that boasts a dynamic, probiotic profile.”

Well, that wasn’t the case this time. I start drinking this cloudy, slightly pink thing, thinking, “Hey, this tastes not bad at all, and my hips are starting to maybe relax a little? Like when I drink booze? And maybe I want to dance a little?”

I dance a little.

“Perhaps I should look this up online and see what awesome benefits I am currently getting from all these dynamical protobiozomes or whatever-the-hell.”

The Mayo Clinic, at this point, basically tells me that the ratio of positive scientific results to adverse reactions to drinking kombucha is so low that I shouldn’t be drinking it at all.

“Ha. Ok. Well, it can’t be worse than some of the things I’ve put in my body in the past ten years.”  *imagines credit card and crushed up pile of Adderalls.*

FIVE MINUTES LATER

“Man, I feel good right now. Like, I feel fantastic. Just ran 10 miles fantastic. HEY OFFICE GUYS, Y’ALL WANT TO RUN DOWN TO THE ICE CREAM SHOP RIGHT NOW LIKE RIGHT NOW COME ON IT’LL BE FUN! LET’S DO IT I WANT TO YELL AND MAYBE DANCE AND WATCH A MOVIE ABOUT YELLING AND DANCING!”

I decide I am going to drink kombucha every day if it makes me feel this fantastic, science be damned. The end of the beverage is drawing near; I’m closing in on the dregs, and hence, the dreaded “mother” in the bottom of the glass. After every sip, I look quickly at the bottle to make sure I won’t accidentally take a sip of the blobular thing that lies in wait for me.

*Accidentally takes sip of blobular thing that lies in wait for me*

“ACK. Ugh. UGHHHH. *retches* I just. UGHHHH that tasted like a chunk of tripe made out of dirt and wall mold!!!”

The kombucha now sits in the trash. And that’s where you shall stay, kombucha.

FWIW though, kombucha mother is the consistency of really hard jello.

You know you were wondering.

Ew.

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The Other Lode

10 Jan

I figured out how they came up with this shit.

I imagine all the grocery stores in Chinatown to be like medieval fortresses, where if you accidentally stray into a back room looking for a dragon fruit, you could end up in this ridiculous Russian doll situation and wander around for weeks. You’d go through one door and be like, “Weird! There are live chickens in here!”  And then you’d want to leave, but there would be another door, and hey, since you’re already in here and everything, you’d have to go through it, and then there would be some knock-off purses, which you were expecting. But then in the next room there would be like an entire circus family and miniature acrobatic equipment and stuff. And then you’d get to the dragon fruit.

Anyway, I kept hoping I made this up, but then on Saturday I was craving ramen noodles and I wanted to put weird vegetables in it like my old Vietnamese roommate used to, so I went to Chinatown to investigate. The first store I went to had light green things that looked like bok choy, but also white and green things that looked like bok choy, and also darker green things that looked like bok choy. I was very confused so I got all three of them (the light green ones are the best) and was going to walk to the back of the store to look for pallets of spicy ramen noodles.

There was a doorway in the middle of the store that led to another grocery store, which was disconcerting enough, but then I got to the back of THAT store and someone had left a door ajar that led to a room filled with the most rotten fruit I have ever seen in my life. There were persimmons in there that were mere hours away from sprouting legs and becoming video game villains.

As I was standing there horrified that one of the half-melted persimmons would come after me like a Super Mario Brothers ghost if I stopped looking directly at it, one of the shop owners came in and was like, “Hey! What you doing in here!?”

And then I found this weird pink squirrel tongue-looking thing in the ramen I bought.

I think it’s a warning.