Canary in the Coal Mine

Boz has been gaining weight since we landed in Japan. Some people find this surprising as they imagine Japanese food to be primarily fish and rice. That might have been true in like 1940, but not so much anymore. (I just pulled that out of nowhere. I have no idea what Japan was like in the 40's. But I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume y'all don't read RV in search of historically sound trivia bites.) Nowadays, Japan, particularly Tokyo and Kyoto, is coated with Michelin-starred restaurants.

This brings me to an irrelevant side note: The first weekend we spent in Tokyo, a fellow expat at the gym informed us "Japanese people are great at copying foreign cuisines. They take the best dishes from other countries...France, India, Thailand...and just make them a little bit better." I still haven't decided if that was meant as a compliment or a slam, but I do know he was sorely mistaken. There is incredible French, Indian and Thai food in Japan...and it is made by French, Indian and Thai people. But the very best restaurants in Japan serve Japanese cuisine and are run by Japanese chefs. Get your facts straight, dude. (or at least get them straight when they pertain to the current decade. Pssht.)

So...where were we? Oh yes. Boz is getting fat. :) :)

I sense some cringing on the other side of the screen, so let me assure you, B will read this and immediately puff up a bit with pride. He sees weight gain as an accomplishment. As he explains "My weight gain is evidence of my ability to provide. If I didn't work hard to earn a good living, we would have to eat less, or at least simpler, food."

I regularly try to tweak this argument to justify the number of high heels I own. If he were not such a good provider, I would be forced to wear flats. The horror. (...like I said, I'm still tweaking it.)

Anyway...body image is simply not an issue for Boz. 98% of the time, he thinks he looks fantastic. The other 2% of the time, he just thinks it's funny that he's having an 'off' day. Although we have known each other for 8+ years, Boz and I haven't lived together for very long, so for a majority of our relationship, he was spared my random, fairly typical, moments of female insecurity. The first time he watched me get ready to go out and reach a final assessment of "Ugh. I look horrible.", his mouth dropped open and he whispered, dumbfounded, "Why would you say something like that!?!?". I was so surprised by his reaction that I immediately felt guilty...as though I had just insulted someone else...and responded with "Oh no! Ok, I'm sorry babe. I look good." That remains one of my all-time favorite Vegetable memories.

So, don't worry, we can discuss Boz's physique with no risk of emotional damage.

The reason I'm bringing this up is because we have something of a crisis on our hands. Boz has a pair of pants that he wears every single Friday. They are called his 'canary in the coal mine' pants. He has been using them as his weight gauge over the past 6 months and they have been getting increasingly tighter. It is Friday as I am typing this, and I have to report: the canary was coughing and wheezing this morning. If things don't turn around, we very may well lose him next Friday.

In consideration of this development, I am going to try to cook less indulgent meals next week. My Japanese cooking instructor is baffled by this quest and just keeps suggesting Boz eat slightly less at each meal. She doesn't understand that while Boz is indeed human, he eats like a baby dinosaur, and 'eating less' isn't a concept that will ever be considered. So over the next few Fridays, I will report back on the health and well-being of the canary, along with some suggestions for cooking Japanese food without including such delicacies as tempura batter and okonomiyaki. However, those two things are completely delicious so if this experiment doesn't work quickly, I'll just call it a wrap and off the canary. Just kidding, I would never do that!! I love birds.



Monday morning post-script:
1. Boz is as type-A as they come, so while I have made it sound as though things are spinning out of control here, in reality we are dealing with a 32-inch(ish) waist.
2. I made a creamy corn soup topped with roasted kernels and spicy jalapeno relish as a side dish last week. Corn soup is extremely popular in Japan (spicy jalapenos are not, however, and I had to hit the international grocery store to find my peppers.) I keep telling B I'll cook something 'light' but then I discover a new Japanese dish and can't resist trying my own version. If he blows up, it will be 50% my fault.
3. I also found a little Thai cooking meetup group that had a class scheduled out in a sleepy suburb on Saturday night. I went...and learned how to make several classic Thai dishes that completely abolish any chance of dieting in the forseeable future. So, on that note, please disregard this entire post.