Moons Over My Hammy By Lisa

dennys2 Brian update: He is getting a little better!!!  To get the latest updates, go to Caring Bridge.

With my birthday looming tomorrow(March 30th- Hint, Hint, Hint!), I started wondering if Denny's still offered a free meal on my special day. As I started to do research, (unfortunately, they discontinued this offer 6 years ago- BOO! HISS!) I began to daydream about foods of my past, the grub of yester-year.... the meals I needed at a certain time, from a certain place, to get me through a certain situation. Not surprisingly, most of my fondest memories of pigging out are from my college days. Can we say Freshman 25? I'm NOT kidding & have the bloated pictures to prove it! And if you still don't believe me, Matt can tell you about the first time he saw a picture of me sporting my mom jeans. It wasn't pretty & he's still not over it.

1.  Moons Over My Hammy

Ah Denny's....where to begin? You were always there for me... through the good times and the really, really bad.  When I was drunk off my ass...your booth was always a soft place to fall-literally. Somewhere around 2:00AM after some frat party, Liz and I and many others, would rush in the doors like wild animals seeking out their prey. We'd flip through the large, colorful, plastic menus trying to decide... what went well with the twelve Pabst Blue Ribbons we'd already ingested through a beer bong? Breakfast, lunch or dinner?  Hmm...

In my sloppy state, I was usually a breakfast gal; a big fan of "Moons over my Hammy" but also incredibly fond of the "Grand Slam Breakfast".  Occasionally,  I'd take a walk on the wild side and also order a side of fries with a vat of ranch dressing to dip them into. And sometimes I'd top the meal off with brownies a la mode. And to think that there was a time when I couldn't figure out how I got so big?

Denny's, although you are partially responsible (more culprits of the fast food and fat free persuasion are about to be revealed) for causing my waistline to expand about THREE SIZES and making it really, really hard to squeeze my gut into my mom jeans, it was worth it. You were worth it. And I'm sorry that I dumped you after college, but a girl's got a rep to protect.

2. Western Bacon Cheeseburger with a large fry, a side of ranch, an order of fried zucchini and an extra large regular Dr. Pepper

Carl's...ah Carl's... you were always there for me--the morning after. As I'd wake from my drunken coma at noon, you were my first sober thought.

Need. Carl's. Now.

It's amazing how fast a group of girls can rally when they need to get their fried food on! We'd jump in Liz's mint green Acura Integra and whip through the drive- thru at mock speed. As soon as I held that warm bag in my hand and shoved a fried zuchinni down my throat, I'd already be planning my outfit for that night's party. Which pair of high-waisted jeans would I wear with my leotard top and brown braided belt?

And BTW Carl's... you did NOT need to make changes to your menu! After a recent GNO, I tried to recreate my collegiate hangover meal and was shocked to find out that the junior hamburger NO LONGER EXISTED and the fries had changed. WTF?

3.  One Large Angel Food cake with a side of Natural Light


They were the two most glorious words any of us had heard since Natural Light !  I'll never forget when Liz's aunt told us we could eat ANYTHING we wanted as long as the label said it didn't contain fat. Despite the fact she probably warned us otherwise, all we heard from her speech was that calories didn't matter, nutritional value didn't matter, nothing mattered....WE COULD EAT AS MUCH AS WE WANTED... as long as the food we were consuming was sans fat.

For some reason we were all thinking about health and fitness around that time (no clue why!). We joined L.A. Fitness and could often be spotted sporting bike shorts with thong leotards over them (that's a whole other story I need to write!) as we danced awkwardly around our step class. After our "work outs" we'd of course be REALLY hungry.  One of our roommates, Kristi, would make a large angel food cake ("no fat!" she exclaimed)....and we'd all dive in and all quickly devour it. (And since I'm laying it all out on the table, I know there were times when I ate the entire cake myself).

And our trips to the grocery store were suddenly so fun and exciting! You would've thought we'd won the lottery as we gleefully pushed our cart around Albertsons. We got fat free cheese, fat free bagels, fat free cookies, fat free mayonaise, fat free fat.  And then we'd turn our cart down the alcohol aisle.....and high five each other because our beer was also fat free.

Too bad we weren't.