Archive for July 16th, 2007


It’s now been a month since I decided to become a vegetarian.  I can honestly say I’ve had no cravings at all for any meat products, nor any desires to eat them.  I have eaten way more cheese than I should, which is partly why I decided that after the show and its related zaniess is over, I’m going to go all the way and become a vegan.

It’s changed my life in some interesting ways. Going out to eat has gotten a little more difficult, and I can foresee that it will get even more so.  That is not a bad thing.  I need to not eat out so often, but I haven’t had the self-discipline to nip it in the bud when it’s just an issue of health or finances. Make it an issue in eating ethically, though, and apparently I’m there.  I’ve learned that home-cooking style restaurants may offer veggie plates, but you need to make sure those veggies haven’t been cooked with meat (’cause they usually are). 

I’m trying not to inconvenience anyone else that I might happen to be dining out with. But sometimes it’s either inconvenience them or not go. Like yesterday, I invited myself to meet my parents and sister for lunch. But the place they were planning to go has absolutely nothing for a vegetarian. So I told Dad not to worry about it, and I’d catch up with them another day. But they insisted on changing their plans and going to another restaurant. Of course, that place didn’t have much I could eat either; I ended up getting chicken quesadillas, hold the chicken and bacon, please.   I was actually craving a burger, and had they bean patties or Boca patties or something, I’d have gotten one.  Alas! They only had regular hamburger meat patties.  So in order to meet the craving, I ran out to Chili’s today and got a black bean patty (hold the bacon, please) with bbq sauce and ranch dressing. It was truly tasty, and exactly what I wanted.

I went grocery shopping this weekend, and found some TVP, seitan, and tempeh to experiment with. And Soleil’s cued me in to some things that are good. I also got some Tofutti cream cheese substitute to try, some vegan sour cream substitute, and some Nayonaise.  I’m mostly just doing sandwiches or frozen Amy’s entrees this week for meals, though, and next week as well, since it’s so crazy busy with rehearsals.  Tech starts next Tuesday, and we open next Thursday.

What’s surprised me the most is the reactions I get from people, like my husband, who just argued with me incessantly until I told him that it will help me lose weight if I’m not going to Chick-Fil-A twice a week. He’s let off a bit, although he pointedly tells me frequently how meat doesn’t make people fat and I’d lose weight better if I’d start eating meet again. And his friend P. thinks it’s just hysterical that I’m a vegetarian now, and makes it a point to offer me a big juicy steak whenever he sees me. My Monster (term of endearment, I promise) didn’t say anything obnoxious, but said that she’ll just stick with meat.  It’s amused me, because I haven’t tried to convert anyone. It’s just my own decision for myself. I’m not going to buy meat or anything like that, nor will I cook it, but if someone wants to bring something over to the house, that’s cool. I’m not going to take one look at it, shriek, “Unclean! Unclean!” and kick that person out of the house.

Anyway, it’s been an interesting month. I haven’t really lost weight because I’ve had more cheese than usual, even though I’ve also had more beans and veggies and fruit as well. I think that taking the next step will make a bigger difference in getting my weight loss started again. And even though I say I’m waiting until after the show is over to make the switch, I am consciously making efforts to reduce the amount of dairy products I’m using in the meantime.

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Gypsygrrl was wondering how long Joe and I have been together, and how we met.  So now seems as good a time as any to write the story.

I first saw him the day before we met, and my first thoughts were “Wow! What a geek!” Because he had a super-short funky (not the good kind of funky) haircut, had a backpack slung over his shoulder, and his shirt tail was hanging out of his pants. He was having a heated discussion with one of my good friends about something that had been brought up in Sunday School. So not a primo first impression.

The next day (a Monday), our family home evening group was scheduled to meet at the church building at a specific time. I worked on campus (this was at the University of Utah), so I just walked over there with a couple of my friends. We were early, and saw Joe there waiting by himself in the parking lot. So I dragged my friends over so we could introduce ourselves and try to make him feel comfortable.  (He later said, many times, that as he watched the three of us walk across the parking lot, he said to himself that he was going to marry the girl in the middle. That was I.)  He was new, had just moved to SLC from upstate New York, and proceded to blather on for what seemed like forever about weather and lake effect snow.  Fortunately, the rest of our group got there and we headed off to do our service project.

See? First impressions not impressive. 

We saw each other at church and at family home evening and other activities, but I just wasn’t interested in him. I had a crush on another guy.  Joe did ask me out once, but I thought he meant for an evening date and he meant a day date. I ended up having to cancel because I had an appointment that Saturday to help a Korean student work on his Ph.D. dissertation–I did that a lot, because their grammar and English skills were often extremely poor. HR and I worked hard for 5 hours or so, and he insisted on taking me to lunch at the student union building. While we were eating, I saw one of Joe’s best friends giving me the evil eye, and I just wanted to sink through the floor. I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong, but I could just imagine what M. was thinking: “She blows Joe off to work, but here she is with another guy.”  So when I got home that night, I called M to explain. He appeared to believe me, which was good, since it was the truth.

So things kind of went back and forth like that for a couple of months. I liked to anonymously “decorate the doors” of some of my friends, and my roommate and I decided to do it for Joe. We left candy and a book and some other assorted things, and he called because he knew it was I who had done it. I denied it strenously, but he never believed me. And then we got into an argument about the book I’d left for him, and the conversation ended up with me angrily telling him to go soak his head.  Then I went into my bathroom and wrote, on the mirror, in lipstick, “Men! You can’t live with them and you can’t shoot them!”

One night Joe called me up to ask me out for that evening. I had to decline, since my youngest sister had come over to spend the night. But I invited him to join us for dinner and a video. So he came over.  We watched Labyrinth (David Bowie is SO hot in that outfit!), had some dinner, and then I put A. to bed.  For another hour after that, we goofed around on my piano and his guitar. Then, at 10:00 p.m., he lay on my floor and proceded to talk for 4 hours.  I kid you not.  I was sitting on the sofa getting more and more exhausted; I could feel my throat burning and knew I was getting sick, so I lay down. He continued to talk. I wanted to close my eyes, just for a second, but knew that I’d fall soundly asleep and that would be rude. Finally as 1:45 approached, I told myself that if he hadn’t stopped talking by 2, I was going to kick him out. Fortunately that wasn’t necessary; he did stop talking, expressed mild astonishment at the time, and left. And I SWORE that I was never going to go out with him again.

Our mutual friend S. was very amused by my proclamation, because he just knew that we were destined to be together. He invited me and Joe to his parents’ house in Alpine for dinner the next night (Sunday). And Joe was very nice and courteous to me, but I was still so disgusted with him–not to mention coming down with a nasty cold–that I just tried to avoid him.

The next week was when all the students were leaving to go home for Christmas. Joe called me on Wednesday just before he left, and remarked that I sounded sick. “Yes,” I croaked, “I’m as sick as a dog.” I told him I hoped he’d have a good time at Christmas, and thought that was that. But my doorbell rang an hour or two later. He came by with a Christmas card, two packets of instant chicken noodle soup, some candy canes, and a baggie full of vitamin C.

All together now: Awwww!

I truly was moved by his thoughtfulness, but I still thought he was a dork, and I still had a crush on someone else.

So while I was visiting my family in Texas, I talked a lot to my sister about what was going on at home. She was planning to move in with me as soon as she graduated high school, and was very interested in my friends.  The last night of my visit, she came into my bedroom. She said she’d noticed that for every sentence I said about the guy I liked, I said 20-30 about the guy I said I didn’t like. She said that she thought I needed to think about it more.

That completely weirded me out. But I did think about it, with the result that when I got back to Salt Lake I didn’t know how to act around either guy. I brushed off the guy I’d been crushing on because I felt so strange. Then when I called to apologize for being a jerk, he said I had been a jerk, and would I like to go see a play with him that night. So we went to see the play, and I did not like it mainly because of the complex family relationships and my memories and associations. I tried talking to him about it, but he was being so pretentious and a little snotty that it truly irritated me.

The next day Joe called me. I talked to him about the play and how I felt about things after seeing it, and he completely understood. Then he asked me to go out with him on Saturday.

On Saturday we went up to Park City and watched part of a ski tournament, had hot chocolate at a ski lodge, walked up and down the main streets, and ate Chinese food. As we were going home, we saw the most incredible view of the shadows and lights on the mountains. I’ll never forget that moment.

So on Wednesday night I had my last date with M. and my first date with Joe. And I never looked back.

Joe was a geek, and he talked all kinds of way too much, but I started listening for subtext. I learned that he was really lonely, and he will talk to anyone who can stand to listen to him. I think it was our 5th or 6th date when he was blathering on about something as usual, and he said, “What do you think about—-” and stopped cold. He looked at me. “You know,” he said, “I don’t know what you think about anything!”  I said in my best Texas accent, “That’s because you never shut up long enough for me to say anything!”  We laughed, and I told him briefly what I thought about whatever it was before he started talking again.

So that’s how we met and started dating.  It took about 2 years (for various reasons) after we met before we got married on November 7, 1991. And we’ve been together most of the time ever since.

Because despite the myriad ways in which he annoys me, and the myraid ways in which I annoy him, we love each other deeply. And that gets us through the worst times. And the best times are incredibly good.

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Both stolen from Becky’s Book Reviews, because I steal a good thing when I see it.

You’re Watership Down!
by Richard Adams

Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you’re
actually incredibly deep and complex. You show people the need to rethink their
assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they
build their houses. You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You’d
be recognized as such if you weren’t always talking about talking rabbits.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Which is funny, because I’ve never read A Watership Down. Guess I oughta, huh?

And on to the meme:

A book you’ve read more than once:I read most books more than once, if I like them, so I’ll just pick one at random and say Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

A book you would take on a desert island:

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

A book that made you cry:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I sobbed my way through the last few pages.
A book that scared you:

Helter Skelter, which was so intensely evil that I didn’t just throw it away (when I realized I couldn’t read anymore), but I ripped it in half and threw it into the trash bin outside. I couldn’t stand the thought of that book being in my house. I can read some horror things, as long as the horror doesn’t consist of blood, guts and gore, but that was a true story and I think  that fact is what made it scare me so much.
A book that made you laugh out loud:

Attaboy, Sam! by Lois Lowry.  Sam wants to make a special gift for his mother’s birthday and decides to make some perfume for her. Whenever he hears her mention a smell she particularly enjoys, he puts it into his perfume bottle. The only problem is that the combination of aromas is starting to smell, well, pretty funky.  This book had me literally rolling and holding my stomach from laughing.  And I totally have to agree with Becky on Richard Lederer’s Anguished English. That’s another that does truly have me laughing out loud and stopping anyone within earshot to tell them the newest hilarious mot. 
A book that disgusted you:

I can’t even remember the name. It was one of the freebies that I got at the World Fantasy Convention last November. It was absolutely dreadful, and after I read it I warned my companions to not waste their time reading it and I took my copy down to the book table where people were trading books.
A book you loved in preschool:

Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne.

A book you loved in elementary school:

I’ll have to go with Becky’s answer here: The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

A book you loved in middle school:

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. And, oddly enough and much to the surprise of my teacher, who hated it, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I loved it.

A book you loved in high school:

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
A book you hated in high school:

Bless the Beasts and the Children, by Glendon Swarthout.

A book you loved in college:

Enchantress from the Stars, Sylvia Engdahl.

A book that challenged your identity:

Probably the scriptures (The Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine & Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price).

A series that you love:

The Emily books by L.M. Montgomery. The Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. The Albion series by Christopher Golden and Amber Benson.
Your favorite horror book:
Dracula, by Bram Stoker.

Your favorite science fiction book:

I’m not much of a science fiction reader, but there is an old sci-fi book that I just adore: Costigan’s Needle, by Jerry Sohl.

Your favorite fantasy book:

I couldn’t pick just one.  The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein, Twilight and its successors by Stephenie Meyer.

Your favorite mystery:

Crocodile on the Sandbank, and its successors, by Elizabeth Peters.  I also love her paranormal romances under the name of Barbara Michaels.
Your favorite biography:

The Spy Wore Read, and its companions, by Aline, Countess of Romanones.

Your favorite classic:

Jane Eyre. I’ve mentioned it previously, and I feel no shame at listing it again, because it’s one of my top 5 books.
Your favorite romance book:

I don’t care for romances when romance is the main plot. But a good romance as part of a larger scope? Gotta be Twilight again.

Your favorite book not on this list:

The Magic or Madness trilogy, by Justine Larbalestier, and The Uglies and its sequels, by Scott Westerfeld.

What book are you currently reading?

More Book Lust.

What book have you been meaning to read:

I have a whole stack of them, as I’m doing several challenges.  This weekend I read The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddar (I’ll get a review up sometime this week), Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett (ditto on the review), and Doom of the Haunted Opera, a John Bellairs book finished by Brad Strickland.

Speaking of books, my first shipment from Bookswim just arrived! Squee!  So I have Kimchi & Calamari (Rose Kent), Letters from Rapunzel (Sara Lewis Holmes), Hidden Talents (David Lubar), The Mysterious Benedict Society (Trenton Lee Stewart), and Ironside (Holly Black) in my hot little hands. I’m most excited.

I do have one small gripe, though. The website says that if you want to keep any of the books that are shipped, you may do so at a “deeply discounted” rate. But the “Keep it Now” price for each of my books is the list price of the book. I don’t call that discounted at all, far less “deeply discounted.” But I shall email BookSwim to see what they say about that. 

Anyway, lots of booky goodness. It’s nice to have something to amuse myself post-rehearsals when I’m too keyed up to sleep and my Ambien hasn’t kicked in yet.

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