Tag Archives: lunch bunch

Laughter with a side of lunch

Only in daily Lunch Bunch e-mails would a group be discussing a bag of Doritos and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in one e-mail and 10 reply all laters, I’m some sort of a celebrity with a book tour to boot.

The group, which answers the daily question, “what did you have for lunch today?” is a lively bunch. And rarely do we refrain from poking at someone’s choice for lunch (repeat incidents of yogurt, string cheese and buddig lunch meat could make one a target quickly.)

So, when I fired back a humorous response to someone’s lunch description (which included more than just her lunch) from yesterday, I didn’t think anything of it.

Until LB Paul wrote that my quip had cracked him up and he was wondering why I’m not creating humorous television commercials for a living.

Honestly, I think they are an easy crowd, but I indulged him with a response.

Probably because no one has asked me to.  What I’d really like to do is finish my memoir and get it published. Then I could pretend to be famous, go on a book tour and eat some impressive lunches across the country,  follow up my first book with a second memoir – “Tales from the Lunch Bunch: Is it lunch or is it therapy? 

 A girl can dream…

To which everyone started asking me if they could join me on my book tour.

What book tour? I have no book tour. I have no book. All I have is a blog and no one is sending me on a tour for this anytime soon.

So I responded:

For those who wish to accompany me on my [imaginary] book tour, please fill out a request for proposal [fake] and the company [imaginary] will be in touch accordingly.

Thank you,

Stephanie A. Carey [Not quitting day job.]

I went to a meeting, came back and there were three or four e-mails about how I shouldn’t doubt myself  and I could write a book if I wanted to. Someone else had taken the time to create this image, asking if she could go on my tour with me.

My first thought was, the Lunch Bunch has lost it.

And then I really started thinking, dang those rain boots are cute.

But then I realized that there I was being silly with my fake book tour, but all the while these people, my friends really believe in me.  They even take the time to create graphics to depict my fictional future.

I’m pretty lucky to have such an inspirational bunch standing behind me. Whether or not I make it big, I have the feeling that the Lunch Bunch will be a constant role in my life for years to come.

Because sometimes when you share what you had for lunch, you end up sharing just a little bit of who you are.

What did you have for lunch today?


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The more the merrier

“Hey, I was at your wedding on Saturday.”

It was Tuesday and I was sitting in a sports bar  (with my husband…woot!) and friends to watch the KU/K-State game.  This factoid was shared by the guy who delivered my grilled chicken sandwich (with swiss cheese and mushrooms…yum.)

My first thought was he must have been someone’s date that I didn’t get around to meeting…

But then Mr. Quirky remembered.

Every wedding has them. Those strangers who wander into your wedding, whether it be playful, voyeuristic or just to drink your booze.

The wedding crashers.

And ours just happened to be holding a delicious grilled chicken sandwich.

“Oh my gosh,” I said after stuffing my face with a fry. “I remember now. Oh, and can I get some ranch dressing too?” (Because any good wedding crasher should provide ranch dressing.)

I did remember. The cute couple who Mr. Quirky found in the lobby at our wedding reception (the venue is attached to a bar that is open to the public.) They had wandered in to peek at the wedding, (Because who wouldn’t want to be at that party? ) and Mr. Quirky invited them to stay and have a beer.

And now, a few days later, the guy is forgetting to bring me my ranch dressing.

Turns out our wedding crasher is a cool dude (ranch dressing forgetfulness aside) who happens to work at a bar that I have been a regular at for years. The bar that introduced the Lunch Bunch.

So, we did what we do. We made a new friend, swapped numbers and hope to hang out soon.

Crash is such a harsh word. I like to think of them as wedding  fans, wedding joiners, wedding strangers who become friends…


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It’s not spam. It’s the lunch bunch.

Every day an e-mail hits my inbox somewhere between 11:30 and 12:30. The subject line reads something like – Thursday Lunch Bunch.

There are about 12 people copied on the e-mail, but do not be mislead. This is no spam. It’s 12 of my favorite people who love to click “reply to all,” and have the ability to turn even the blandest of Mondays into a giggle fest. Who knew lunch could be so funny?

I have mentioned them here before, particularly Kevin, who is probably the biggest character of the group. You also may recall Fry Fest, our annual celebration of all things fried. And I do mean all things.

To help you better understand the quirks of this group, I put together some common LB terms and definitions.

Lunch Bunch – a group of 12 friends who respond to a daily e-mail asking the simple question, “what did you have for lunch today?” The group was created by Jay, but has taken a life of its own. Members live in Kansas City, Des Moines and Cleveland.

 Iowa State Fair – The act of eating anything fried on a stick. Must be done with members Dorothy and Jay. A topic of conversation long before said event even begins, as Dorothy’s lunches get leaner and leaner weeks prior. She has to be in prime shape for this event.

 Fry Fest – The act of said 12 friends in addition to a few other stragglers getting together to fry anything and everything. The weirder the better. More important than the event of Fry Fest is the activity of chattering about it during the daily Lunch Bunch e-mail.

Jim – Partner of Kevin. Should never ever be copied on any mass Lunch Bunch e-mail. Does not have time for reply to all insanity that often results during a particularly fun Lunch Bunch day. Otherwise, a perfectly delightful fellow.

 Run for the Border – Not the annual trip to Mexico made by Kevin and Jim. More like a semi-daily trip by member Sheila to Taco Bell. Often times, the border is only as far as her fridge where she has stored goodies from the previous evening’s border run. [We worry a lot about the nutritional intake of Sheila, but she looks great, and her odd Taco Bell diet seems to work for her…]

 Creepy – Any item of food that has either been sitting around for a few extra days, is off-color or just plain off. Creepy food is completely acceptable to eat, but one must disclose the creepy level of his or her food.

Blackberry lunch assault – A dangerous device, allowing any lunchbuncher to share lunch commentary from anywhere. Member Paul is often guilty of blackberry lunch assaults and sometimes includes phone photos of lunches he enjoys (rubs in) during his work travels all over the country (And Canada. We hate him.)  QoQ would never ever stoop to this level….

 TG’s – The initials of the place of worship, er drinkage where several members of Lunch Bunch first met. Also a popular destination on Wednesday nights and formerly known as too many names to list in this definition. It’s just that place we go sometimes.

 Buddig – A type of deli meat, sold in individual packages. Often eaten without bread along with string cheese by member Dorothy who lives in Des Moines. I’m thinking Iowa is not getting a good food rep with this group…

 Cookies – A necessity at the end of any good Lunch Bunch member’s meal. May sometimes require a special trip to retrieve. Acceptable substitutions: cake and brownies.

 Ella – Adorable toddler daughter of  stay-at-home and expecting mother Toni. She often shares in Lunch Bunch by default of having had the same lunch as her mom. Or, vice versa. Toni is the only member who has ever included “juice box” on her lunch reports.

 Jay’s Office – Must be the most fun place on the planet to have lunch. Member Robin works there and member Paul often brings lunch there when he’s not traveling. Secretly, the rest of us kind of hate their little club. XOXO.

 9 p.m. – The time at which we usually receive an e-mail about member Ellen’s lunch. We’re not sure when she eats.

 1 p.m. – The time at which Kevin shares the delicious dinner he is fixing and rubs in that he is enjoying a cocktail while some Lunch Bunchers slave at their desks. [Kevin has recently moved to Cleveland with Jim and is studying to be a massage therapist. Since he started school a few weeks ago, we haven’t heard from him as much lately. We’re not sure if they are having TV dinners for meals or what.] 

 Spam – The most disgusting substance on earth, but often a subject of the Lunch Bunch. We are currently in two camps – love it v. hate it. Guess which camp I fall into…

Intrigued? Disgusted? A little bit of both?

You’d be a great fit. We occasionally allow new members. I’m just sayin’.



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An Asian themed party in which the guest of honor indicated we should have been throwing a lobster party instead

Lunch bunch Kevin, who wants you to know he is the #1 fan of this blog (and don’t you forget it) e-mailed me last week about the dumplings. His e-mail was something along the lines of “how do you make those dumplings again?” (Even though as my #1 fan, he probably should have been able to extract the recipe from my blog, but I know, I know, that search box disappeared a long time ago and even I can’t figure out how to get it back up there.)

So about 5 e-mails later, I think he had the gist of how to make the dumplings, or at least how to get me to come over and make them for him.  The trick was to throw a party for his roommate, Shane, who had recently returned from a month in Italy. He thought Shane might enjoy the dumplings, some egg rolls, Asian slaw, ribs and the brookies (thank you Kevin for the awesome name for these. And yes, I know they don’t fit the Asian food theme, but I guess that theme stopped at dessert.) The party was for Shane, but perhaps really it was for Kevin and his partner Jim who are moving to Cleveland in a few weeks. But regardless, it was a party and all were in attendance. (Including Gertie who instantly ran upstairs to take a nap with Jim, because that’s the socially acceptable way to be a guest in someone’s house.)

Only Shane had spent the morning at the lake and showed up looking a bit like a lobster. Shane, did you use sunscreen? I asked.

No, I was only out there for three hours.

I responded, That’s 2.75 hours too long to not wear sunscreen.

Anyhow, apparently the dumplings taste good whether or not you have a sunburn.

So speaking of dumplings, I am super hungry and the fiance finally got his butt out of bed so I’m going to take advantage of this fine opportunity to go chow down with my favorite man.  (Don’t worry, Kev. You’re still my #1 fan. You can fight him for that role.)

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Braggy Brag Brag

This is so lame, but I have to brag it: I ran eight miles yesterday.

It’s lame because I’m bragging. It’s lame because it was only eight miles (for serious distance runners, eight is the bottom of the barrel of long runs – the bare minimum  you need to scrape by and call it a “long run.” ) It’s lame because it was the highlight of my weekend.

I need a life.

I mean, yeah, I was in the news after witnessing a scaffolding accident and then reporting it on twitter. But that was Friday…oh so long ago.

And I did go to a kicking barbecue on Saturday afternoon and got to hang with some of the Lunch Bunch. But that took about zero effort, unless you count the trips back and forth to the fridge to fetch another beer.

And the boyfriend did take me to a very nice dinner on Sunday after we visited the parents. But I spent most of that dinner still reeling from the stress my parents were oozing over their pending move.

So, the fact that I got my  butt out of bed on Monday morning to run eight miles for no other reason than I may or may not run a marathon this fall and I kinda want to see how my body does in some long runs, kind of impressed me.  And it was the first time I’ve run that far since 2006. And it was a drizzly dreary morning.

I can get over myself about right. now.

Ok, but one more thing.

(And then I pinky swear, cross my heart and hope to die, Girl Scout promise that the next post on this blog will not be a bragolicious, self-righteous, look at me, I’m such a good runner, tale.)

The rotel cheese dip and bacon ranch pasta salad I made for the Barbecue at the boyfriends rocked the hizzouse.

That’s all.

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If only I’d had that lasso…

Wonder Woman - Lynda Carter

The boyfriend went to Comicon on Sunday and well, he bought me a little something. Little as in the amount of skin it will cover…. Something as in a hand-crafted Wonder Woman costume.

Oh yeah!

Apparently being a super hero fan is hot these days, and while I’m not a tried and true super hero fan, I can play dress like one.

Halloween next year is covered.

And the occasional event throughout the year where a Wonder Woman costume may be in order. You never know…

I’m not going to lie. I’m totally digging the super hero thing.

Lunch Bunch Kevin wrote:

Is this a Halloween costume or for when the boyfriend is feeling like a villain?

Wouldn’t he like to know.

It’s just too bad I didn’t have Wonder Woman’s truth lasso when I was married. Maybe some things would have been revealed and I’d have found the boyfriend sooner…


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Fry Fest

It will be a long time before I want anything remotely resembling fried food.


But yum.

We fried:

  • chicken wings
  • potato chips
  • mushrooms
  • spinach
  • onions
  • egg rolls
  • crab rangoon
  • olives
  • cat fish
  • twinkies
  • cookie dough

And yes, spam.


It was fun to get the Lunch Bunch together. Now it’s just back to talking about which lean cuisine, sandwiches and other non-fried lunchy foods.


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Live from Chicago (or kind of)

Not really Chicago. More like Skokie. Hit the road with the boys (aka the boyfriend and his gamer buddies) for a free tag-along trip to Chicago.

So far, this trip has involved:

  • Nine hours in the car (we did score an SUV for the price of a compact thanks to Enterprise’s mix-up. Thank you, Enterprise!)
  • The quest for curly fries in nowhere Missouri. And a cashier at Hardee’s who couldn’t do math, despite those fancy cash registers that actually tell you how much change to dispense.
  • A fabulous dinner thanks to my parents’ gift certificate at McCormick & Schmick’s.
  • Drinks in the hotel bar. (Cosmos. Yuuurm.)
  • Rise and shine Saturday morning to drop off the boys.
  • An hour work out in the hotel gym. 
  • Several hours at a nearby mall for some much needed girly time.
  • And drinks late last night after the boys were done.

Now we are ready to hit the road again. Back to KC. Back to life and work and all that good stuff that is not the holidays. 

But next weekend is Fry Fest with the Lunch Bunch. Stay tuned for that, and speaking of Fry Fest,  I owe you the story of the Great Turkey Fiasco of 2008. 

And speaking of stories, I have a doozie.

I’m such a tease.

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The Ghost of Christmas Past

In this edition of Memory Lane Monday, I’m reminded that it is Christmas. Due to a lack of space in my apartment, there is no tree, there are no ornaments. Quite frankly, it feels a  little bah humbug.

Although, I’ve finished my Christmas shopping and I have to say, I do feel pretty good about my gifts this year.

But at the same time, I’m also reminded of all the different Christmases  since graduating from college in 2000.  From Rocky Mount, NC to London to Kansas City, it’s been an interesting mix.

But if Ebeneezer Scrooge learned anything during his reflections, it was to stay in the present and appreciate what life has given you. In honor of the Christmas spirit, I’m scratching Memory Lane and celebrating Christmas 2008!

So from the Ghost of Christmas Present, I celebrate:

  • My wonderful family
  • A terrific dog
  • A warm, cozy apartment
  • A fabulous boyfriend!
  • His fun-loving family who accept me into their fold
  • A solid job where I am appreciated
  • Friends, friends, friends – Thank you to all of you. I couldn’t have made it through this year without you.

To mention a few (in no particular order):

  • D, you allowed me to crash at your place several times this spring with my dog. You have seen me through tears and laughter.  (Sorry about your couch. 🙂 )
  • Justin, you have been a constant friend and a source of both professional and personal advice. Thanks for keeping me laughing. I have enjoyed all of our adventures and am thankful for our shared world view!
  • The work girls – you have more than put up with my mood swings and listened to both my rantings and my celebrations.
  • Stephanie, thank you for visiting me for my birthday this fall and for being there for me this year all the way in Virginia. I’m so glad you walked into the Rocky Mount Telegram all those years ago and that we share the most awesome name ever.
  • Shannon, it was great to see you this year and thanks for listening to me on the phone. You exemplified your role as “maid of honor” because you were there when I needed you most.
  • J, you don’t read this but thank you for your support — even sticking with me when it was really messy and for sharing my love of Mexican food.
  • Mollywolly, I’m so glad you have found the love of your life this year and thank you for being there for me over bri, answering heinous phone calls in the middle of the night, sharing your family and finding me wine when I needed some.
  • The lunch bunch for all the great laughs and for always making me feel like a princess whenever you see me in real life. Your constant compliments flatter me.
  • Facebook friends of old: I’ve so enjoyed reconnecting with so many of my friends from Jr. High -College and North Carolina.
  •  And of course, there is a special place in my heart for all of my new friends – Christi, Crystal, Jeremy, Ian and the whole gang.

And finally, blog friends, thanks for reading and helping me find my voice this year.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!!!!

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Budumbum Ching

Today’s lunch bunch conversation went as follows:

Me: Speaking of food, Ethiopian food last night followed by Chipotle for lunch today was not a good life choice…

Kevin: How much food could be there be when discussing Ethiopian food….

(Common joke when talking about Ethiopian food. Grrr.)

Me: Budumbum ching.




On a side note, dinner last night was very tasty. I’m glad we could enjoy it with my sister for her birthday. I’m a huge fan of Ethiopian food, but think you have to have a sense of humor when eating it. After all, it is a messy, gloppy food that you eat with your hands. (If you aren’t familiar with it, the food is served on top of a spongy sourdoughish pancake. More “pancakes” are used to scoop up the food for consumption.)

After we had polished off most of our combination plate (in which several different items shared the same “pancake”), my cousin wondered out loud if anyone would ever just take the entire thing and roll it up like a burrito.

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