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It's been almost two full weeks since I've shoved a piece of candy down my greedy throat. This may not sound exactly noteworthy to most people, but most people do not keep a caramel lick bedside.

Losing candy (for now! at least until i learn to better control my urges.) has been hardest between the hours of 2pm and 6pm, when I'm working and would do anything to get out of my seat, travel 200 feet to Duane Reade, and purchase 12 full ounces of SUPER Hot Tamales. Attending movies has been no easy feat, either. I don't love popcorn, especially when accompanied by bottled water (i am trying to cool out on soft drinks, too, because, really, they're not much different than candy.), and the thought of becoming one of those movie theater weirdos with a satchel of Gorp is just too much to bear. I'd rather stay home and rent, or put out matches on my cornea.

I've actually been feeling slightly better since the candy strike. Lately, I'm finding I actually have more energy - sometimes enough to finish chewing my lunch. Also, because the god I worship is a cruel one, armed with the world's biggest joy buzzer, I have three new pimples to keep me company on my strike. They are possibly stress-related.

Last night, I tried to preview another dietary consideration I've been toying with. After the show, I joined some friends at a pub and ordered a turkey burger with NO BUN. I asked for it flinchingly, half-expecting the waitress to punch me in the teeth. I was also concerned because my friend, Andres, who was in attendance at the pub last night, has been on the Atkin's diet for the last month or two. Ordering burgers without buns has become a regular and mandatory humiliation for him. (though i expect he is more evolved than me, and sees it as a minor inconvenience rather than a major embarrassment.) I ordered my turkey burger Andres-style, taking a cue from his (so far successful) diet, and I feared he'd think I was making fun of him. This is, I realize, a perfectly insane thought. If nothing else, surely I could put my head together and come up with a better way to mock my friends. "Look at me! My delicate tummy hates bread-bread, too!! I'm a BABY. Maybe I should get my cheeseburger served in a diaper. Isn't that how you like it, huh, Andres?!"

Andres was not angry, or at least did not express his anger in front of our collected peers. (though i'd LOVE to have been a fly on the wall as he wrote in his diary last night. claws out!) That was a lucky break. I also woke up this morning feeling something I haven't felt in a long while: well.

Not wanting to ruin this amazing single-day winning streak, this afternoon I ignored my impulse for meat/cheese/bread, and ate sushi for lunch, at a restaurant recommended by a friend. As soon as I walked in, past the pre-prepared katsu don bowls and the Krispy Kreme doughnuts display case (which will forever remain a mystery to me), I knew I'd like this place. I have never been in a restaurant that felt so calming, all at once. The decor was simple, tasteful, clean - just like the way I'd imagine heaven must be appointed. As I waited for my chirashi, seated with a clay cup of complimentary tea, I couldn't help placing my hands flat on the blonde wood of the table. I did this repeatedly, spreading my fingers out occasionally, and thinking, "I belong here."

The sushi restaurant was a rare find in Manhattan, in that some of the staff were actually Japanese. I can usually tell when I'm in a Japanese-owned and staffed restaurant because, by the time I've exited, I've spoken to every single person in the establishment. Everyone greets you at Japanese restaurants, from the chefs to the busboys. It's nice, but overwhelming. I'm not sure whom to send holiday cards this year? Everyone at the restaurant, since they're all my new best friends? Or should I just send one addressed to "The whole gang at..."?

I'm glad I had sushi today. I have made up my mind that I don't want to get diabetes because of my love for refined sugar, and I don't want to get heart disease from all that meat/cheese/bread. However, I'm perfectly at ease with fish parasites.

(incidentally, the other way to tell you're in a Japanese-owned and staffed restaurant is more subtle. after the staff has greeted you, let your eyes drift from theirs and then, when they think you're not looking, strain to glance back out of the corner of your eye. do not move your head; just your eyeballs. now make sure you can see their faces. if, when they're positive you can't see them, their eyes glow bright red, they are japanese.)

WE FIRST MET ON 11.13.2003

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