Ollie’s, Heisenberg, Mill, and Chock Full o’Nuts

The Breaking Bad finale made we wonder how much change we can take before we’re not us? Reminded me of an Italian restaurant near Columbia that became a Chinese one.

How much change can we take before we’re not us?

Me: You know what our problem is, don’t you?
Bryson: What?
Me: Even though we know we’re 40, inside, we still think we’re 17.
Him: (laughing) That is so true.

Gave my buddy Bryson a ring the other day. Been laid up with my bum leg again; got injured a few weeks back and it’s not getting better. Bit the bullet and called up the doc today. I’m praying it’s not another ACL tear but it looks more and more likely as the days go on.

Disconcerting. Moreover, it’s the main reason behind my insomnia these days.

In one of those hazy nights, remembered when I actually was around 17. Was at Columbia University at the time. There was an Italian diner on the corner of 116th and Broadway called Ollie’s, run by an Italian dude named Ollie, natch. You could go in and get spaghetti and meatballs – which I did often – a burger, and Chinese food. The reason was because it had a Chinese cook.

Down the street was a diner called The Mill. Picture your typical diner with spinning stools and that was The Mill. They had a Mexican cook and a Korean cook so you could go to there and not just get a burger, but also a burrito or a Korean dish.

They’re both still there but The Mill’s been gut renovated and is now a Korean restaurant. And Ollie’s? It’s now a chain of Chinese restaurants in the City.

No one remembers what they used to be. That’s not true; I remember.

Did you know that Chock Full o’Nuts, the coffee brand, is called that because a fella named William Buck used to sell nuts. But then the depression hit so he had to sell coffee for a nickle.

Thought of that Sunday night when the Breaking Bad series finale came on. The Mill, Ollie’s, and Chock Full o’Nuts – they were born one thing but the world changed around them and they became something else entirely.

Like the Ship of Thesus, I wonder how much change we can go through before we’re no longer the person/thing we once were. Sometimes, something changes us so fundamentally the only thing left of us is our name. In Heisenberg’s case, not even that.

Bryson: The wife is telling me I should take up running.
Me: Ha, mine is telling me the same thing. I’d do it if I didn’t find it so boring.
Bryson: It’s hard to explain why we are the way we are, isn’t it?
Me: Don’t really think I understand it myself. (pause) But it wouldn’t be us if we didn’t do what we do.

Location: my pad, with ice on my leg
Mood: concerned and #$@#$ tired
Music: really want to stay inside and sleep the light away

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4 replies on “Ollie’s, Heisenberg, Mill, and Chock Full o’Nuts”

Hi Logan, it’s been awhile but I’m still alive. I’ve been on a quest to improve my overall health. Cutting out most grains, esp wheat, has been huge. I came across this recently and actually tried the recipe – quite good, although some would prefer a bit of sugar if using not so sweet fruits. (Or just dissolve in your coffee) The gelatin/collagen has really helped improve the elasticity and smoothness of my skin and my joints don’t feel as creaky. Try it, maybe it can regenerate your knee ligaments!
Wouldn’t it be great if you could avoid surgery by eating jelly fruit snacks?

Heya! I’ve been wondering where/how you were.

Cool, I’ll try pretty much anything at this point to get my body back on track; I’ve been taking supplements but I’m all for more natural ways of doing things. We’ve been cooking a lot more now that the weather’s cooled off some where we are so I’ll these ideas to my daily diety.

Besides, I do enjoy Jello and Jello-related items AND I just bought a ton of strawberries so I’ll give this a whirl. Thanks!

Lemme know how it turns out! I think i used too much gelatin the first time, kinda rubbery, I wanted more of the jello consistency. And I used blueberries instead of strawberries, so not as sweet. Hmmm, now to figure out how to get the ‘gusher’ part into the middle.

Q: How do you know when you’re old?
A: When all you want to buy is food.
I’m officially old.

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