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Crosscurrents is our award-winning radio news magazine, broadcasting Mondays through Thursdays at 5 p.m. on 91.7 FM. We make joyful, informative stories that engage people across the economic, social, and cultural divides in our community. Listen to full episodes at kalw.org/crosscurrents

Into The Fold Episode 1: The life-changing magic of eating burritos

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Camille Adams Photography
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Stand-up comic Kristee Ono thinking about a burrito.

When I think about it now, it seems like a lifetime ago.

On Thursday, January 8th, in the year of our Lord Two Thousand Fifteen, at 6:35 PM Pacific Standard Time, surrounded by friends and family, I ate my 100th Burrito…in 100 Days.

But this was actually the end of a much longer journey. It started as an accident. I happened to eat a burrito every day for a week, as you do, and decided to keep going. I made it to 52 days that first round. I talked to my friend and fellow comic and burrito enthusiast Josh Argyle and he said he’d once gone 60 days. I wanted to beat my friend's record. And why not make it an even 100?

I tried a second time to eat a burrito a day. I got as far as 62 and then I just lost track. So I started over, I set a date, wrote out all the rules, and began on October 1, 2014.

RULE 1. Eat the whole burrito. Consuming in parts flies, as long as the burrito is gone by midnight.

RULE 2. I can catch up, but not bank burritos. If I, for whatever reason, miss a day, I have one day to catch up. But I cannot eat two burritos one day and skip the next.

RULE 3. Breakfast burritos count. Come on.

RULE 4. No cheating with the Soulritto, Chicken Tikka Masala Burrito, or Sushirritos.

RULE 5. Taco Bell counts.

RULE 6. Frozen burritos count. I don’t discriminate, I regulate every shade of that ass.

RULE 7. Homemade burritos count.

RULE 8. I forget what eight was for.

RULE 9. I will take a picture on Instagram. @rabidpixie

RULE 10. I will blog about it here.

“Here” being my tumblr. Remember, this is 2014, the year that tumblr usage peaked, at over 100 million blog posts every day. That’s a lot of sad teenagers

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Kristee's tumblr, an eternal record of her feat.

Now, I have been asked repeatedly, with various levels of disbelief, why would you do this? Well, my mother tells me that when she was pregnant with me, she craved burritos. When I knew nothing of this world, I knew I loved burritos. Whether my mom will admit it or not, burritos made me the person I am today. They get as much credit for my creation as she does.

Am I an expert? Am I a connoisseur? Sure, or maybe not…can anyone claim to be an expert of love? Can any person claim to be a connoisseur of beauty? Not without being a little creepy.

So, I do not claim these things. I admittedly have no special knowledge about burritos, how to enjoy them, or which are the best. Full disclosure. I am just a fourth-generation Japanese-American kid from the Bay Area who likes burritos. A lot.

And throughout my 100 days of burritos, I never got tired of them. Honestly I loved every moment. Even the slightly inconvenient parts like being the only one eating a burrito at Thanksgiving and Christmas that year. I truly believe that committing to 100 burritos in 100 days made my love of burritos stronger.

And you know what? At the risk of sounding like a cheese ball cliche, it made me stronger too.

When I got started, I was just over 2 years sober. I had gotten through the more difficult parts of abstinence from drugs and alcohol. Things had really gone a little off the rails 3 or 4 years prior but by that time in 2014 my life had stabilized significantly. As it turns out, if you are committed to drugs and alcohol as a lifestyle it takes up a lot of your time, so after around 12 years of that life, I had to find new interests.

I was able to keep performing stand up during this whole process, but I was not doing it at the same frequency, so I was looking to incorporate stand-up into whatever I did next. Lucky for me, trying to eat 100 Burritos in 100 Days is pretty funny. So, I got to write, I got to make jokes. And When I read through my tumblr now, I am still amazed at my brilliance!

It was an incredible journey of self discovery. It was the first time in a long time that I’d set a goal and achieved it. These were my words at the time:

I am not one to do anything. If left to my own devices, I choose sleep, above all else. My MO is to get away with as much as possible with the least amount of effort. Goals require focus, dedication of time, and doing stuff. Yuck. This challenge was actually a big deal for me personally. It was the beginning of a new level of participation in life that I’ve avoided until now. I will do stuff. I will put in the effort. I will work. For now, I have seen that in fact, I can accomplish things I set out to do.

I have been participating in life so much since I ate my 100th burrito. I’ve been able to be a part of a lot of amazing projects and meet a lot of cool people. Podcasts, shows, tours, just so much dang participating, so much collaborating, and we ate some pretty good food. I deepened my love for burritos but also found a community of burrito people that I think deserves to be exalted with the burrito itself.

And now, I think it’s time for a new challenge. The last burrito thing I did was all about me, but I want my next burrito thing to be all about the people.

I know I’m not the only one whose life has been changed by burritos. I want to share those stories with you. Let’s go on a journey of discovery and exploration together. I want to welcome you into the fold.

I truly believe that committing to 100 burritos in 100 days made my love of burritos stronger. And you know what? At the risk of sounding like a cheese ball cliche, it made me stronger too.
Kristee Ono

Edited and mixed by Gabe Grabin