Burger Therapy

by J.D. Roth

It has been a strange week.

We’ve been unusually busy here at work, which is good. As you might expect, the incredible self-destructing weblog has sucked up all my spare time. Between the two, I feel drained. Meanwhile, there’s a mountain of e-mail accumulating on my computer, e-mail that needs replies. Jason wants to go for a walk? Too bad I didn’t even read the e-mail until after the suggested walking time. Somebody wants to host a wine-tasting event? I know there’s a message somewhere about it somewhere, but I can’t find it.

At night, I’m exhausted. Kris, too, has been coming home tired. Last night — our third night of this — we knew we had to take drastic action. We drove to Mike’s for burgers.

Mike’s Drive In is a sort of local Dairy Queen-type semi-fast food joint. They have good burgers and great shakes at reasonable prices. There’s no mistaking it for gourmet faire, but there are times when all you want is a good burger. (Lew’s Dairy Freeze is actually much closer to us, but we ate there the first day we were in the new house and have never gone back. We weren’t impressed.)

You know what? After a chili burger, an oreo shake, and a basket of onion rings, I felt refreshed. And fat. Very fat. (I’ve gained back all the weight I had lost this summer. Can you believe it? Of course you can.)

Back home we watched the third of four DVDs that make up Undeclared: The Complete Series. Undeclared was a short-lived sitcom from the same minds that created the brilliant Freaks and Geeks. (And, more recently, filmed The 40-Year Old Virgin, which I’ve yet to see.) Whereas Freaks and Geeks, a one-hour drama, followed the travails of a group of high school kids during the early eighties, Undeclared follows a similar group of kids as they enter college in the early aughts. (By “similar” kids, I mean that some of the same actors have prominent roles in both series, and that certain characters seem to have been deliberately plucked from Freaks and Geeks and transplanted into Undeclared.)

Undeclared struggled to find its footing during the first few episodes, so much so that we almost removed the series from our Netflix queue. I’m glad we hung in; our perseverance has been rewarded. By the end of the series, the actors and writers had become more confident, endowing each character and each story with a sort of enthusiasm that is contagious. The show busted me up several times last night: I was in stitches. My favorite character is Lizzy’s stalker ex-boyfriend, Eric. He runs a copy shop, and with his posse of co-workers, he bumbles through his possessive, obsessive life — shouting, stomping, storming, swallowing tongue studs.

Updated: 14 October 2005

Do what's right. Do your best. Accept the outcome.
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