Day Eighty-nine

Today:

I had a quick and easy morning.
Krissy slept in late.
I got in trouble for using three hole punch paper. It’s okay though.
Krissy did some dishes.
I sat outside for a spell at lunch.
I talked on the horn with Krissy while outside.
Krissy relaxed on the couch.
I rode the elevator A LOT.
Krissy took out the trash.
I visited the mail room A LOT.
Krissy worked on some stuff for LA Music Blog.
I had a quick commute home.
We ate the pizza Lil Krissy made for me when I got home.
I had one blueberry beer.
We gathered laundry together.
We went to the laundromat.
We did some grocery shopping.
We did more laundry.
We had King Cones.
Kristyn put away clothes.
I brushed all the cats and the bunny.
Now we’s in bed. Nite!

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Day Thirty

My back is a LOT better today. I’m definitely on the mend. It’s REALLY stiff in the morning and lessens throughout the day. It was hard to even turn over in bed this morning let alone get out of it. A few hours later I could get up with ease but once I was up, it took a few steps to straighten out. Not a good look on a job interview.

Now I feel 100% but tomorrow morning I’ll be back to stiff again. I’m terrified of this getting any worse because we can’t afford to take me to a doctor since we don’t have insurance. So I’ve been taking it easy this week and will continue to until Monday. Then it’s back in the saddle NO MATTER WHAT.

I spent the early part of today dealing with taxes. AGAIN. Not thrilling. The day became better once I finished some items on my to do list. I watched a couple of episodes of Medium to catch up because I hadn’t watched it in a while. I knew it was going off the air but had NO IDEA I was watching the fng series finale!!! Way to broadside a bitch. I had just finished putting on my makeup and then it all got wet from crying. *sads*

I had taken a different picture to add of Kristyn but took this one while Kristyn was dozing. I asked if she was asleep and in a faraway singsong voice she said, “It’s just so nice to lay here and do nothing. I’m pretending I’m a cat like Monster.” A-dorable.

I made a mini version of my Mom’s Baked Ziti tonight too. We had Veggie Italian Sausage with it. SO GOOD.

I’m watching Buffy so Kristyn can continue her pre-bedtime nap on the couch. I feel sorry for Spike. :/

P.S. I finally put on actual clothes today and it helped me feel a LOT better. I really didn’t do good of a job with it but I can’t put anything on that I am afraid the cats will mess up. Hence the technicolor masterpiece you see below:

We had a great Christmas!

I’m a week late in posting this but who cares? I have been partying and having a good time all week. I gave myself sort of a self-imposed vacation. I ate Christmas cookies, drank Two Buck Chuck, watched Buffy and crafted. It’s been wonderful. I also managed to crank out some work and hustle and bustle a bit but I definitely took a week to turn the hustling down to a dull roar. This week, it’s time to turn it back up again haha.

Anyway, we ALSO had a great New Year’s Eve but I’ll tell you about that later. Last year we had sort of a “meh” Christmas because Kristyn had to work both Christmas Eve AND Christmas. We Skyped with everyone and got lots of good prezzies but we were homesick and apart and it was kind of blah.

This year Kristyn had off for Christmas Eve (but worked on Christmas). This is good because Kristyn’s favorite part of the entire Christmas season is going over to her Aunt Alison and Uncle Rich’s for dinner. (ie. She loves celebrating on Christmas Eve.) My family always celebrated on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day because we’d rotate going to see either side of the family on each day.

ANYWAY. On Christmas Eve Eve, I baked like six or seven dozen Ricotta Cookies, two dozen Gingerbread cookies and made two dozen Potato Scones to have for breakfast (not two dozen for breakfast that’s just how much the recipe made haha). I cleaned the house from top to bottom and even wrapped all of the presents our family sent us! Kristyn came home after work at like 1:30am and was mad at me because she had stopped by Walgreen’s to pick out some stuff to put in my stocking as a surprise but I had her debit card on me haha. So we went to Walgreen’s in Hollywood and shopped for a while. We didn’t get home until probably around 3 or so. We chilled, I showed Kristyn all the stuff I’d made and we went to bed watching Buffy.

In the morning, I cued the Yule Log up on the laptop. Here it is:

And we started opening our presents. We got SO MUCH from everyone and we are SO grateful and were SO surprised! I don’t want to list everything because I don’t want to brag or make anyone feel funny but a sampling of what we got is:

* A box of cookies, candy and fun stuff from Matt and Rachel
* Two vegetarian cookbooks from our Moms
* A gift certificate to Trader Joe’s from Aunt Alison and Uncle Rich and the boys
* A box of goodies from my Mom and Nana. Inside were some holiday decorations, Christmas socks, a springform pan to make Apple Cake and a hand-written cookbook. The cookbook made me bawl my eyes out because it’s all hand-written family recipes from my Mom and Nana and even one photo-copied and stapled in that my Great Grandma wrote herself. I grew up with her and think of her as almost like a second Mom. She passed away when I was about thirteen so to see her handwriting again just…it made me really happy and cry a LOT. Haha.
* A gift certificate that let’s you choose any kind of outing you want in California from Kristyn’s brother Charlie, Linda and the kids.
* A gift certificate to our favorite store Target from Kristyn’s sister Lynn, Tommy and the boys.
* And my sister sent us something but it didn’t come until just this past Tuesday so I’ll put it in the New Year’s Eve post. Trust. It’s awesome.
* Grandma Barr sent us money to buy something for ourselves with. So sweet.
* Kristyn’s parents went crazy and sent us EVERYTHING haha. Comforter, dishes, pots, pans, utensils, slippers.

And that isn’t even everything. We are really SO LUCKY and made out like bandits. It wasn’t even the gifts themselves just the thought. Also we got a ton of Christmas cards which we LOVE. Thank you EVERYONE!!!

Oh and with Christmas money we put some stuff in our stockings and decided to buy The Michael Jackson Experience and Harry Potter LEGO. OMG SUCH GOOD GAMES!!! More on that later.

So on Christmas Eve morning, we opened prezzies and gave the animals treats. We then called our Parents and Grandmas to wish them a Merry Christmas. We didn’t eat breakfast until like 3pm haha. We had fake Taylor Ham and cheese on toast, scrambled tofu and potato scones with coffee. So good.

We then cleaned up the horrific Christmas mess we’d made. We let the cats play in the melee of the boxes and paper mess until they got tired out haha. Then we played the Michael Jackson Experience for a while.

After that we decided to make the Pee Wee Herman Shrinky Dinks that I’d bought for two beans at a thrift store a few weeks ago. We’re going to make them into ornaments for the tree. I’ve only done Shrinky Dinks like once and Kristyn has never done them so this was a lot of fun. It was really satisfying to see them curl up in the oven haha.

After that we were kind of hungry so we started on dinner. I made my Mom’s famous ziti (the recipe for which came in the hand-written cookbook). In the pictures below you’ll see that she wrote “Eat like a pig, sleep like a baby” in the book. This is in regards to this recipe hahaha. We found fake shrimp at Whole Foods recently so Kristyn decided to make her Aunt Alison’s Shrimp Scampi with it. (FYI, we do eat shrimp sometimes, we just wanted to try this fake stuff out. It wasn’t bad.) So for dinner we had Baked Ziti, “Shrimp” Scampi, Fake Italian Sausage, Biscuits and Wine. For dessert we had Christmas Cookies.

After we ate, we were kind of stuffed to the gills so we played Harry Potter LEGO until we couldn’t take it anymore. GODDAMN is that a good game. Highly recommended!

On Christmas morning, we got up and had a good breakfast (Facon, Biscuits and Potato Scones with coffee). Then it was time for Kristyn to leave for work. She had kind of a rough day but we drank wine and played Harry when she got home so that kind of evened things out haha.

I had a great day. I watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (my favorite), drank coffee, made a LOT of progress on a dress I’m sewing, fooled around with Kristyn’s Mom’s sewing machine, watched a TON of Buffy and drank some wine.

Overall it was a great Christmas and here is the proof. The pictures start on the one where Kristyn and Monster are kissing in front of the tree. This is at like 3am on Christmas Eve haha:

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Stuffed…

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Usually I would post a whole blahblahblah story about our night but I went ahead and uploaded 45 pictures and that is WAY TOO LONG of a story. So here’s a shortened version:

* Kristyn cleaned things as if people were coming over, which was nice.

* Then she peeled stuff.

* Then I chopped things.

* Then Kristyn went to Target to buy a sensor for the Wii. One of our furry fools chewed the wire so we haven’t been able to pay with the Wii or watch Netflix Instant. We haven’t spent any money on entertainment in a LONG TIME so we decided that this would be the thing so we could play a game together after dinner and watch some TV.

* This was Kristyn’s first Black Friday experience EVER so she was quite proud of herself, haha.

* While she was gone I put the Tofurkey in the oven and prepped some more food.

* She came back and set the sensor up.

* Then we boiled things.

* Then we made things.

* Then we set the table and put the food out.

* Then we gorged ourselves like crazy. We are NOT used to eating like that.

* Kristyn gasped for air but managed to take in seconds.

* I knew there was no way I was fitting seconds in there and anyway I wanted dessert.

* We drank some wine and watching some South Park Christmas episodes. Hiiiiiiidey Ho!

* Then we had some pumpkin pie and Empire Biscuits.

* Then we played Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

* Then we took a series of weird pictures.

* Then we watched episodes of “Parks and Recreation” until we fell asleep.

* It was the bomb day.

Here’s what we had for Thanksgiving:

Tofurkey
Potatoes, carrots and onions
Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Turnips and Carrots
Corn
Greebies
Stuffing
Cranberry Sauce
Biscuits
Sparkling Apple Cider
Two Buck Chuck Chardonnay
Pumpkin Pie with Cool Whip
Empire Biscuits

P.S. Sorry for adding so many pictures of me, my double chin and root vegetables!

Second California Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! I can’t believe it is our second Thanksgiving here already. This past year has felt like it went by in a wink but ALSO feels like “THE LONGEST YEAR OF MY ENTIRE GODDAMN LIFE” haha. I re-read the post I wrote last year on Thanksgiving and the post I wrote a few days later to showcase our grub. I am flummoxed by those posts for a few reasons. At that time we had JUST gotten here. We were still filled with that dizzy giddiness to be here. Also that Thanksgiving was difficult because it was the first one we spent away from our families and even away from each other because Kristyn had to work. One thing hasn’t changed, she’s working again today so we’re going to have our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow because we have the whole day off together. I am oddly less homesick this year but I guess it’s because I deal with homesickness in one way or another EVERY day so why should Thanksgiving be any different? That said, I wish I was there and having fun with our families. Another thing that amazed me about those pictures is how short Kristyn’s hair was! Hot damn them’s some short hairs! Haha.

Anyway, we have all of our food ready to go except one or two little things we will pick up tonight after Kristyn gets home. We had a mini Thanksgiving meal today. I toasted some wheat bread, put heated up Tofurkey deli slices, stuffing and cranberry sauce on it and made “Thanksgiving sandwiches” for us. Good shit. Kristyn is probably going to have a busy but fun Thanksgiving at work today. I have some work to do that I don’t want to have to do tomorrow. SO I’m listening to Christmas music and blogging to warm up my hot little fingers so I can start my other writing assignment haha.

Later, I am going to watch Dexter, drink a bottle of already opened wine (it’s asking for it) and crochet this blanket:

I had bought these colors to make a Thanksgiving blanket with the leftover orange yarn from Nana’s Halloween blanket. BUT they clashed with the orange but looked nice together. (I think we’ve been through this.) Anyway, these colors are Gryffindor colors! SO this blanket is going to make me forever say either “Harry Thanksgiving!” or “HP Thanksgiving!” to people and they’ll love it.

This week has been fun because Kristyn’s co-worker Nina and her boyfriend Marco threw a Thanksgiving party on Tuesday. It was an ambitious endeavor because there were SO many people there. The food was so good and it was SO nice to get out of the house haha. We met a lot of really nice people to. So thanks again guys! :)

And I’m writing for LA Music Blog now so I went to my first show last night. I went to see mr. Gnome at Silver Lake Lounge and they were so good! Here is one of the pictures I took:

So okay I’m going to go do all of that stuff right now. And this below picture is for our families that tease us about our Tofurkeys haha.

Malaise can lead to Scottish Breakfast

I have been pretty homesick for the first time since we’ve been here. I spend a lot of time at home and alone because Kristyn has to work so often. It’s fine and we knew going into it that this was just going to be a tough year no matter how we looked at it. We knew it would be harder for me to find a job than it would be for her and we steeled ourselves for kind of a boring, stagnant time.

The reality though is that, in our normal lives, we are quite active. At home we have a lot of family and a lot of friends that keep us busy. Also, at home, we both had stable jobs which enabled us to basically do whatever we wanted. We could go to concerts, comedy shows, weekend vacations, whatever. But here our limits are basically go to work, search for work, come home.

At first we didn’t really know how to keep ourselves busy in such a limited environment but we had the starry-eyed “OMG we did it!” vibe to keep us going. Now we’ve been in LA for eleven months (!). It’s not that we’re tired of being here. It’s just that the only place Kristyn sees is the highway and her job. The only place I see is the supermarket and this apartment. So these things can be anywhere in the world. When we DO drive through LA (rather than going around it on the highway), we DO both feel the “OMG I can’t believe we’re here” tingles all over again.

Hopefully I can get work soon to at least supplement our income. If I can do that, we can at least go to the movies without worrying what havoc it will wreak on our bills. Moving cross-country is NOT for the faint of heart y’alls. I’m glad we’re doing this at 30, rather than at 20 though. I think if we’d have gone then, we wouldn’t have been able to stay afloat for as long. At 30, we’re mature “enough” to recognize that this is a temporary position and that patience and perserverance will win out. Still, it’s boring and I can’t wait for it to be over. *sigh*

All of THAT being said, I was dying for a Scottish breakfast recently. If you know me, you know that I am Scottish and Irish. My mother’s family is Irish but has been in America since wayback. I don’t even know who came here originally from Ireland. My father’s family is Scottish. My father was born there and moved here when he was seven-ish. So both sides of the family are pretty proud of their heritage. The Scottish side, however, definitely wields the hometown pride a little heavier. Also, the town we’re from used to have a largely Scottish population. Because of this, we used to have a lot of Scotch butchers and fish and chip shops around town. ANYWAY, growing up, we’d regularly have what’s known as a “fry-up” for breakfast on the weekends. This usually consists of bacon, square sausage, potato scones, eggs, baked beans, black pudding and some toast…I am a vegetarian bordering on vegan so that knocks out most of these things (not that I’d ever eat black pudding except when tricked into it by my Grandmother: That wasn’t nice, Grandma). Anyway, I’ve been missing home a lot and realized that this is 2010. Maybe I can’t have traditional square sausage or eggs but I CAN make fake sausage, fake bacon and veggie baked beans. But to me, the most important part is the potato scones. I had written them off like I would just have to wait for my next trip home to NJ to have them. But like I said, this is 2010 and I realized there HAD to be a recipe online for them. I was right! There were some conversions I had to do for the recipe to Americanize it but they came out so good!

In the end I didn’t make the facon but the sausage, toast, potato scones and beans hit the spot and it was all made from stuff I already had but didn’t think of putting together like a dumbass. SO GOOD:

Here’s the recipe for Potato Scones.  I might have already posted it here but I don’t remember and it’s so good that I might as well post it twice haha:

Potato Scones

1 cup mashed potatoes
1/4 cup butter
Mix these together

1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Mix these together

Add the dry to the potatoes and mix with a spoon. Once mostly mixed, finish mixing dough with hands.

Flour a cutting board.
Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness.
Use a bowl as a cookie cutter.
Cut that circle into four sections.

Light spray oil into med heat pan.
Fry on both sides until golden brown.
Dry on a paper towel.

Eat immediately and freeze or refrigerate leftovers.
Reheat leftovers by refrying (recommended) or toasting lightly in a toaster oven.

Do all that and here’s what you get:

I’ve yet to make the full Scottish Breakfast (I’d make it with facon and scrambled tofu) but this was good enough.  Man those scones were good and exactly like the ones I used to have as a kidaroo!

Crafting, Libraries, Jobs and Slap Fights.

On Sunday I was REALLY bored.  I brought new meaning to the word, actually.  What I did to while away the time was make some vegan Almond Shortbread cookies.  Damn they were good:

Yesterday (Monday) we got a package in the mail from my Momma.  I was going to post a picture of the contents but I realized I took a picture of the letter along with the display of goodies.  Not sure if my Mom intended to publicly publish that letter so I’ll tell you what she sent us: A copy of “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” (awesome), two pretty little brooches (awesome), a letter (awesome), and twenty beans to have a good time with (awesome).  Best of all, I liked the label closing the package, haha:

Yesterday we were going to go to the beach but decided to instead further our brains.  We finally went and signed up for Library Cards at the new Silver Lake Library.  Only in Silver Lake (Williamsburg West) would this sign exist in the public library’s parking lot.  It made me laugh out loud and I love it:

We got kind of gluttonous at the library.  Full disclosure: We went to Atwater Village’s library too because they had more stuff we wanted.  You can have books out for three weeks and extend it twice.  I guess that’s enough time to read all of these?  Either way, I have every book that I’ve wanted to read for the past YEAR in a pile at my house.  And YES that top book is a book about two cats and a corgie that solve murders in a rural Virginia town.  Don’t hate.

After the library(ies), we went to Michael’s so’s we could turn in my mother’s twenty beans for yarn and such.  (Kristyn got drawing supplies and I also got a Paint-by-Numbers).  The bottom square is a Christmas blanket I’m re-tooling.  I had started making a zig zag blanket but that’s going to take WAY too long.  Instead she’s gonna look like that.  The top square is part of another blanket I’m doing (but will explain in a hot minute).

I’ve been itching to do a paint-by-numbers for like two years now.  I don’t know why but that’s the truth.  I’ve read a lot of blogs recently where paint-by-numbers keeps coming up for some reason and decided to finish one for once.  (Kristyn is so patient with me.)  We sat outside on the lanai until well after dark.  I was painting these horsies while Kristyn read…

…this entire book out loud to me.  It was pretty good.  It was about modern feminism and the forms it’s taken on from Riot Grrrl to the Spice Girls and everything before, between and since.  It was a good read.

Well probably for the first half of the book I painted.  The second half, I started on another blanket I’m working on.  You can’t see it well in this picture but it’s all multi-color with black around the edges.

Basically what I want to make is a replica of the blanket that’s always on the back of the couch on Roseanne (with my own flair/colors).

Also, I had a job interview today for a job I *REALLY* want.  Please, please, please, please, please, please, please Goddesses of Gainful Employment, take pity on me.  I fling myself at your Birkenstocks.  I will stop picking at my split ends for one WHOLE year if you let me have this.  (No really, I will.*)  I will also continue to go walking three days a week and fit in one day of jogging at LEAST.

* Kristyn HATES that I insist on doing this.  We get into slap fights over it.  For serious.

Anyway, that’s all the kidinky dust I have for your right now.  Let’s hope and pray that I didn’t babble or do anything else untoward in this interview.  I’m on pins and needles, y’alls.

Veggie Tales

My friend Katie just posted a blog about why she became a vegetarian. It inspired me to do the same.

I’m going to break my thoughts down into a sort of outline so that it makes sense and you can skip around if ya wanna.

Reasoning

1) I’d always wanted to become a vegetarian because I’ve always been a big animal lover. I had a Scottish Terrier named Windsor when I was little and a little Tortie Cat named Mitten growing up. We also always had little lizards, fish, frogs, hamsters and all sorts of other sundry little guys living at my house. I know that these aren’t the sorts of things that humans eat but I just felt like I wouldn’t want my pets’ lives to be foresaken so that someone could blandly eat them. SO it gave me a lot of guilt that I was eating animals. I didn’t think I could ever become a vegetarian though because I didn’t really know any and therefore didn’t know how.

2) When I was in my late teens, early 20’s, I stopped eating red meat and pork (for the most part). This was a two-fold decision.

a. I did it to keep weight off. I, before this, had never eaten much poultry at all. When I was growing up, no one really ate that much chicken or turkey. When I was in my late teens/early 20’s suddenly a weight loss fad started up where people started eating a shitload of poultry. I just went along with it. And honestly, I kept off a lot of weight.

b. My family has a history of heart disease on my Mother’s side. My Mom was on blood pressure medication. My Grandfather and his brother had died of heart attacks. My Uncles were having heart trouble. It just was kind of scary and I didn’t want it to happen to me.

3) In maybe 2000 or 2001, I was living with a friend and her parents.  Her father had bypass surgery and was put on a forced vegan diet.  Her mother had wiped the fridge out of all cheeses, milks, meat, etc.  Everything was made of soy.  I kind of got used to black bean burgers, soy milk and soy ice cream.  It wasn’t quite the same but if it’s whatcha have, it’s whatcha have.

3) When we moved to Florida in 2002 to work at Disney, we were partnered with four other girls to share an apartment.  Coincidentally, two of the girls were vegetarians.  Both of them came from somewhat rural areas.  Both of their fathers hunted.  Both of them had basically grown up naming animals and then seeing them be butchered. (I’m oversimplifying here so forgive me Jamie and Regina!)  Anyway, how they ate was just NOT much different from how we did.  They bought bread and cheese and condiments and chips and cookies or whatever it is we were eating at the time.  Just rather than buying frozen meat, they bought frozen chick patties and veggie burgers.  We started buying them too and found that we just liked them a lot.

4) When we moved home, we decided to give vegetarianism a serious shot.  Kristyn had moved in with her parents again and I had moved in with my Dad.  Before long, we got an apartment and started grocery shopping for ourselves.  We’d stock the fridge with the stuff we’d eaten at the DePalma’s house and in Florida.  Whenever we craved a real burger or bacon or something, we just had it.  So basically we were eating veg but having meat when the fancy struck.  That was seriously the best way we could have done it because whenever we DID eat meat, we got really sick.  After a few bouts of that, forget it, we were done.

Effects

1) Not eating meat felt good because my conscience and my actions were finally in sync.  I really felt like I was on the right path in a spiritual sense.  In a weird way, animals are kind of my religion. Animals are reactionary.  They have their own personalities and feelings.  BUT they are put in a subservient position in this world.  And they know it.  This makes them reactionary.  If you treat an animal with kindness and respect, that animal with (most likely) treat you the same exact way.  It is this mutual respect with animals that have gotten me through every tough time in my life.  To make a choice not to hurt an animal felt right.

2) It was nice to eat “clean”.  Meats tend to be greasy.  Meats tend to have a high fat content (at least higher than veg food).  Meats tend to make me feel gummed up.  Veg food made me feel very clean inside which I liked.

3) It was more difficult to find varied foods at first.  When we became veg in 2002/2003, there really weren’t a lot of veg options on the market.  Thank GOD there are now tons comparatively.  But at the time, we ate a lot of veggie burgers. 

4) Going out to eat became a serious hassle.  At that time, there really weren’t any veg options on menus.  If you asked a waiter to change a meal to exclude the meat, you got a serious ‘tude.  We had to learn to say we were “allergic” to something in the dish in order to be taken seriously (or be charged more to take something OUT of the meal, risic).  Thank god there are a bit more options nowadays (or at least more understanding).  Still though there are some restaurants that just do NOT have one meat-free meal on the menu which is always a bummer.

Reactions

1) Our friends didn’t care about us becoming veg at all.

2) Our families DID.  We got a lot of crap from family members who thought we were just being picky.  Some people accepted it quicker than others and were extremely accepting/accommodating.  Other people took it as an affront and made sure to make every meal an occasion to tell us that we think we’re better than everyone else.  *Sigh*  This is not what this is about.  There’s a lot of that “So you think you’re better than me” garbage when someone finds out you’re a vegetarian.  I don’t know why that is.  I guess it’s because any time you step “out of line”, someone will be right there to get upset.  I guess it’s also because you are doing it out of a sense of personal “right and wrong”.  You think you’re doing “right” so that must mean that you think everyone else is “wrong”.  I have never pontificated about being a vegetarian once in my life.  It’s a personal choice that happens to make me happy, end of story.

3) Eventually our families (mostly) came around.  We try to make sure to bring something we can eat to food parties where possible bc:

a. It’s polite.

b. No one should be expected to cater to our needs.

4) Still, on every Thanksgiving, someone has to have a nervous breakdown because we brought slices of Tofurkey to enjoy with Cranberry Sauce.  And that leads into a story about the “time we offended everyone by eating Tofurkey” and that we “expected everyone else to eat Tofurkey” and that we “ruined a traditional American holiday by eating Tofurkey”.  None of these things are true, it’s just the kaleidoscope that they are viewing the situation.  Have your turkey and I’ll have my Tofurkey.  I won’t criticize you if you won’t criticize me.  The bottom line is: Keep crying, because Tofurkey is coming no matter who likes it or doesn’t.  I need something to eat cranberry sauce with goddammit!

Eating veg has:

1) It has allowed us to become more adventurous with what we eat.  We are always trying new things.

2) It has made me eat a lot more cheese and bread which has put a lot of weight on me that I now have to take off.  This doesn’t help in the heart situation but that’s okay. The pros outweighs the cons AND my blood pressure is in the low side of normal every time I get it checked. (And it’s not “too low”, it’s actually usually 110/70.)

3) Made me learn how to cook.  Since it’s harder to find veg food you like out in the “wild”, we need to rely on cooking more often in order to eat the sorts of things we like.  (It’s also saved us a bundle in food costs considering that veg food is cheaper and not readily available for take-out.)

4) Cleared up my food allergies.  I know this sounds stupid but I actually used to be allergic to fresh food and vegetables.  I didn’t even eat them at ALL for at least ten years.  I made a decision that it was:

a. Ridiculous not to eat them.

b. Especially as a vegetarian.

c. I started eating them, allergies be damned and they’re basically gone now.  Whether they faded through time or through exposure, IDK.  But I do know that I eat them and am just fine.  *shrug*

Bottom Line

Whether anyone agrees or not, this is probably one of the more positive things I’ve ever done for myself in my life.  Spiritually and physically, I get more positivity about what I put in my mouth hole than from anything else I do.  When the chips are down, I know that whatever anyone else has to say about me, I am following my heart and mind on this one subject and doing what I know is right.

I don’t expect anyone else to become veg nor do I condemn anyone who isn’t.  I do, however, think that people who eat meat should find a way to incorporate veg foods into their lives.  Here are the reasons why:

a. It tastes good.

b. Variety.

c. Good for your heart.

Eat meat, but try this food and see if it’s as disgusting as you think.  No, it doesn’t 100% taste exactly like what you’re used to…because it’s not.  But if made properly, it can be a great change to your palate and to your life.

Oh and there’s one more thing about us not eating meat that is relevant and those are our “rules”.

Rules

All vegetarians/vegans have a set of rules they live by.  Some are stricter than others.  Here are a couple of definitions to help you delineate the differences:

Vegan: Someone who does not eat/consume any product from an animal’s body.  This includes dairy and eggs.  May extend to not using products made from an animal’s body.

Vegetarian: Someone who does not eat meat but possibly eats eggs/dairy. May or may not use products made from an animal’s body.

Pescatarian: Someone who does not eat beef, pork or poultry but does eat fish.  May or may not extend to eggs/dairy or products made from an animal’s body.

The reason I have so many qualifiers in the above descriptions are because it’s different for every person.  We have friends who are strict vegans.  They don’t eat anything that could come from an animal’s body and all the products they use are vegan as well.  We tried this for a while but found that although emotionally satisfying, it wasn’t something we could keep up with for very long.  At that time, we were visiting family and friends a lot and it’s tough to tell your Nana that you can’t eat the homemade macaroni and cheese she made especially for you because you don’t eat meat.  “Oh yeah, but that has dairy in it!”  And it’s REALLY tough when you go to a birthday party and someone hands you a cupcake.  “Is there eggs in it? Sorry, I’m morally opposed to your delicious and adorable baked good.”  It just wasn’t something that was for us.  Plus we like bread too damn much.

So here are our rules that we’ve cultivated from seven years of trial and error.  A lot of hardcores would call us cheaters but they can feck off, this is what works for us:

1) We don’t eat any meat products at all.  Sometimes people put meat in sauces.  Won’t eat it.  Sometimes people use chicken broth in a soup.  Won’t eat it.  Sometimes people will “take the meat out for you”.  Won’t eat it.  I even have a problem if meat has been cooked on the same surface as what I’m eating.  It’s not that I’m trying to be a bummer, it’s just that my body can’t metabolize it anymore.  I get really sick if I do.  Also I KNOW it bc I can taste the meat grease.  So weird.

2) We will eat eggs if and only if they’re baked into bread or cake, etc.  We don’t eat any other kind of cooked egg.  I will buy eggs if I’m going to make a boxed cake but if I’m baking a cake, cookies or anything else from scratch, it’s always vegan.

3) We will eat something if milk is baked into it but won’t drink actual milk or cream. That includes coffee, no milk in coffee or tea.  We only buy soy milk at home.  We ask for soy milk in coffee or tea or just drink it black if there’s no other way.  But we don’t mind and are flexible about it.

4) We do eat cheese.  We do sometimes buy fake cheese, either grated or sliced.  It doesn’t taste 100% the same but we both like the taste.  The only problem is that fake cheese is sometimes hard to find.  The other problem is that sometimes when you find the fake cheese at the supermarket, it is sitting on the shelf having expired a longlonglong time ago bc no one buys it.  SO we go through phases.  If we know that our supermarket sells a lot of the fake stuff and therefore cycles it out, we’ll buy fake cheese.  If it doesn’t, we get the real stuff and either is fine.

a. Side note about this: When I go off cheese, my allergies are 90% better and that goes for my food, pollen and skin allergies.  I’m virtually allergy-free.  Weird.

5) We sometimes eat fish.  This is a big one that we get haterade on.  I agree that fish are no lower of a life form than any other animal.  The problem is that sometimes we go out to eat with family and they say, “Ah, they’ll have fish there!  You’ll be fine!” or we go to someone’s wedding and are expected to eat fish.  It’s really a meat-eater’s problem haha.  Meat eater’s don’t seem to see fish as animals and therefore think we’ll be fine eating fish.  We don’t have the heart to correct that so off we go to the fish restaurant to have a loving dinner with our families haha.  The things you do for love. 

Now I’m not saying that we NEVER eat fish on our own, we do.  Once in a while we’ll make tuna sandwiches or get in the mood for Salmon but that’s really where it ends.  And every time I have Salmon, I kind of realize that it’s not something I want to eat.  It tastes good but when I’m eating it, I always kind of am hyper-aware that this little guy had a family too and it’s hard for me to choke down haha.

6) We are aware of what products we are buying.  We try to buy products that aren’t tested on animals and do not have animal products in them.  Of course, these kinds of products tend to cost a bit more so sometimes we can’t be as good about it.  We try to buy canvas/fabric shoes over leather.  We buy cotton clothes.  We buy shampoos/conditioners/lotions/soaps that are animal testing free (where applicable).  We use all the things we have until they’re D-E-A-D.  We recycle and donate and buy things second-hand where possible.  So in other words, we are mindful of the things we use/buy within reason. We’re not perfect but we do pay attention to what we are doing when we can afford to.  (Tip, white vinegar is great for cleaning and CHEAP.)

7) We call ourselves Vegetarians.  Although some hardcore people would call us Pescatarians, I feel like that doesn’t fit what we are.  We eat fish as an exception to the rule, not the rule.  I think what you USUALLY do has more weight than what you SOMETIMES do but I’ve met some vegans who beg to differ.  Ah well, so we differ.

Okay, whew!  That was a lot, even by my standards.  I know I’ve blogged this all before but I felt like there was a lot I wanted to say about this.  I hope no one has taken offense, even the people who I mentioned had troubles with our vegetarianism.  We’re all human and subject to foibles and misunderstandings.  It’s hard to be judged by the people you love for something you feel is right.  I try not to take too much offense because I know that what I’m doing is just not in the scope of what I am expected to do or in the scope of what they might do themselves.  Therefore some hurt feelings are bound to result. At the end of the day though, I can’t change myself to fit anyone elses’ expectations nor can anyone change to fit mine so it is what it is.

With that, I’m going to post a picture of a breakfast sandwich that I made the other morning.  It’s a bagel with scrambled Tofu (with diced onions and mozzarella on top), Facon (fake bacon) and American Cheese.  Goddamn that was a good sandwich.  Tell me you don’t want a bite of that guy!