Archive for April, 2009

Thursday Thirteen





13 thoughts about veganism

  1. My health. I know, so mundane and selfish. But I’d been looking very seriously into having lap band surgery, and had the insurance company not seriously pissed me off, I’d probably be banded by now.  Since going vegan, I’ve lost 20 pounds and kept them off, and I’ve got a lot more energy.
  2. Animal rights. Because I so obsessively research anything on my mind, by now I’ve watched shows about factory farming of animals. Meet your Meat  had me literally sobbing.
  3. My dogs. The day I made the decision, I looked into their loving eyes, and asked myself if I would eat them. The answer, of course, was a vehement no! I asked myself if I would want dogs and cats squeezed ino a space where they don’t even have room to turn around, and once again the answer was no!
  4. I watched a very brief clip about a dog trainer given the challenge to train two pigs in three weeks. When she first met the pigs, who had never had room to even turn around, they were running around a room as joyously and as quickly as my dog Scout. 
  5. The documentary King Korn showed the ghastly results of cattle being fed corn. They had tumors because their bodies were not meant to ingest corn in such extreme quantities, but they were still deemed fit for human consumption.
  6. The sight of chicks being debeaked before they are crammed into holding cages where they are forced to produce eggs until they’re no longer viable, at which point they’re cruelly slaughtered.
  7. The tremendous amount of foods I can cook and prepare at home. It’s better than just about any restaurant I’ve ever been to, and even my omni husband has started to look forward to my new concoctions.
  8. The online vegan community. I’ve found a lot of help, encouragement, and information, and it makes it a little easier on the days I think I’d do just about anything for a grilled cheese sandwich.
  9. Being vegan keeps me away from the fast-food restaurants that were my mainstay. After reading Fast Food Nation a couple of years ago, I decided to be vegetarian. It worked for a while, but I was very dismayed at how hard it was for me when I decided to go vegan for a week. So I continued to drink gallons of soda, eat grilled cheese sandwiches and french fries, and stayed just as fat as ever. But now there are only a few places that I’m comfortable going to, and the selections there are so limited that I just don’t go.
  10. The farming that needs to be done in order to feed the cattle to death could feed so many more people if they went directly to people in the form of food, rather than beef or pork.
  11. So even though I began as a health vegan, I am becoming an ethical vegan, and an environmentalist vegan. There’s a circle of life here (not to rip off Disney), and it could be so much more compassionate and thorough than it is.
  12. I really like vanilla rice milk, and when I want chocolate, the chocolate almond milk tastes fantastic.
  13. When I went vegan, I went cold turkey off caffeine in every form. It turns out that for me, the caffeine was causing the very effects I used it to alleviate.


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Put your music player on shuffle. Post the first forty songs that come up. Then answer the questions.

1. “Delicate” Damien Rice
2. “The Streak” Ray Stevens
3. “Brand New Day” Sting
4. “Call Me” Blondie
5. “Same Old Lang Syne” Dan Fogelberg
6. “Assassination of the Sun” The Flaming Lips
7. “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” Richie Havens
8. “Attitude Dancing” Carly Simon
9. “Lady of Shalott” Loreena McKennitt
10. “Friends Don’t Let Friends Dial Drunk” Plain White T’s
11. “Stand By Your Man” Dixie Chicks
12. “Happiness Is” Violent Femmes
13. “When I Fall” Barenaked Ladies
14. “Summer in the City” Regina Spektor
15. “Can’t Get Enough of You Baby” Smashmouth
16. “Lonely Boy” Andrew Gold
17. “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” Leo Sager
18. “That Time” Regina Spektor
19. “It’s All Been Done” Barenaked Ladies
20. “Hotel Song” Regina Spektor
21. “Small Blue Thing” Suzanne Vega
22. “Rocks and Water” The Weepies
23. “Fibre De Verre” Paris Combo
24. “Oh, Lonesome Me” Mary Chapin Carpenter
25. “20 Years of Snow” Regina Spektor
26. “So Into You” Atlanta Rhythm Section
27. “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” Green Day
28. “I’ve Got a Theory/Bunnies/If We’re Together” The Cast of Buffy The Vampire Slayer
29. “Eskimo” Damien Rice
30. “Sunglasses at Night” Corey Hart
31. “Mama Tried” Randy Travis
32. “If You A Viper” Erin McKeown
33. “Can’t Hardly Wait” The Replacements
34. “Fields of Gold” Sting
35. “Gimme a Chance” Plain White T’s
36. “Write You a Song” Plain White T’s
37. “I Remember” Damien Rice
38. “Banks of Claudy” Loreena McKennitt
39. “You Can Call Me Al” Paul Simon
40. “Summer of ’69” Bryan Adams

1. Which song do you prefer, 1 or 40?  They’re such very different styles of song that you’ll get it when I say that my preference depends upon my mood.
2. Have you ever listened to 12 continuously on repeat? Nope. There are songs on my iPod that I do listen continously on repeat, but none of them popped up on this list.

3. What album is 26 from? One of those “Best-of” albums
4. What do you think about the artist who did 15? Meh. I like a song or two of theirs, but am not a huge fan of the band.
5. Is 19 one of your favorite songs?Actually, it is. That’s one of two BNL songs I’ll wander around singing.
6. Does 38 have a good message? If you’re as patient as Griselda, your patience will pay off.  Well, and you have to be devotedly true, too.
7. Does 20 have better lyrics or music? I like the music better, but that’s me.
8. Do your friends like 3? As far as I know.
9. Is 33 from a movie soundtrack? As a matter of fact…
10. Is 18 overplayed on the radio? Not so much.
11. What does 21 remind you of? Getting the news that I had a lump in my breast and was going to have a biopsy, and rehearsals for “What Happened: A Play in Five Acts” and making art in the rehearsal area outside of Soleil’s flat, and drawing my lump and crossing it out. Mixed emotions.
12. Which do you prefer, 5 or 22? I don’t really have a preference here.
13. What album is 17 from? I’m going to take a wild guess here, and say it’s from one of those Best-Of CD’s again. Hey! I was a kid in the 70’s. Good times.
14. When did you first hear 14 ? After I heard “Fidelity” and figured anything Regina Spektor did had to be good.

15. When did you first hear 7? Oh, gosh, I was a kid. We lived in Georgia, and every now and then would go tour the old antebellum plantations. Seeing them, and hearing about the Underground Railroad, and stories of my ancestors, it all ties in together with how I feel about that song.
16. Do you listen to 8 a lot? Not really, but I like it.
17. Do any of your friends like 13? Not that I know of. I’m a crazy Barenaked Ladies freak, but don’t think my friends are so much.
18. What color does 4 remind you of? Yellow.
19. Have you ever blasted 11 on your stereo? Yes, but when Tammy Wynette did it and when I was much younger.
20. Who does 10 remind you of? L2, and I mean that in the best way
21. Can you play 37 on any instrument? I dunno–if I saw the music for it, I might be able to play it on the piano.
22. What is your favorite lyric from 30? “I wear my sunglasses at night, so i can, so I can watch you weave and breathe your story lines”
23. What is your favorite lyric from 34? You’ll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
You’ll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we walk in the fields of gold

24. Would you recommend 24 to your friends? Probably not. My liking for it has to do with the music I listened to as a little kid.
25. Is 23 a good song to dance to? Not really, but it’s great to sing along with.
26. Do you ever hear 16 on the radio? No, but I don’t listen to oldies radio very often.
27. Is 32 more of a nighttime or daytime song?  Both. Listen to it and you’ll agree.
28. Does 36 have any special meaning to you? Yes, perhaps partly because I have a husband who writes me songs.

29. Is 31 timeless? It is if you like twangy country.

30. Is 2 a fast or slow song? Fast, and I’m really embarrassed it popped up on this list, because it’s a very odd, very dated song. I honestly don’t listen to it often. It’s one of those that I just uploaded the album into iTunes.
31. Is 35 a happy or sad song? It’s happy. Ish.
32. What is one of your favorite lyrics from 29? “”Brightness fills empty space in search of inspiration”
33. Is 25 better to listen to alone or with friends? Alone.
34. When did you first hear 27? No idea.

35. Name three other songs by the artist who did 6. “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” “Do You Realize” “Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell””
36. Do you know all the words to 9? No, but I can fake it.
37. Does 28 have better lyrics or music? “It could be witches, some evil witches, which is ridiculous ’cause witches they were persecuted, Wicca good and love the earth and women power and I’ll be over here…” Lyrics, babe. Lyrics.
38. What lyric from 39 can you most relate to? A man walks down the street
It’s a street in a strange world
Maybe it’s the Third World
Maybe it’s his first time around
He doesn’t speak the language
He holds no currency
He is a foreign man
He is surrounded by the sound
The sound
Cattle in the marketplace
Scatterlings and orphanages
He looks around, around
He sees angels in the architecture
Spinning in infinity
He says Amen! and Hallelujah!

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Let the itching begin

Actually, it started several hours ago. The dentist prescribed something for the pain, and it works beautifully except for the whole itching like crazy thing. Head? Itches. Arms? Itch. Chin? Itches.  Left cheekbone? Itches. Back? Itches.

I think you get the picture.


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The incomparable Izzybella and I spent a large portion of the day Saturday scanning photos so we could make a cool slide-show for our Dad’s & Monster’s 25th wedding anniversary.
We also ran across a few photos of ourselves that were fun.

This was my favourite dress in first grade. And what’s with that cocky, confident look on my face? I remember Miz Gibson telling me that I was the best reader in her class, and the youngest. It obviously went to my head.
Cute kid. Wonder what happened.


And here’s the incomparable Izzybella being incomparably awesome.

Do you know  how much my honey loves me? I asked him yesterday if he’d make me some of his superlative mashed potatoes, since I have to be on soft foods for a few days. We ran out of time, and both sacked out around 10 last night. So you can imagine how surprised I was to wake up and find a big pot of mashed potatoes on the stove. When scout got him up last night, he stayed up long enough to do the potatoes. That was totally sweet!! I feel loved.

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Here I Am, Baby

I like laughing gas. I didn’t actually laugh, of course, but nor did I have a panic attack in the dentist’s chair. And okay, I did feel those shots and I felt the pressure when the tooth was being exracted, but it was all over remarkably quickly. That was more than two hours ago, and I’m just starting to feel some pain. But I took the pain reliever as prescribed, so I’m hoping it won’t be too horrible.

Joe’s out of town again, so Scout’s doing his vigil.

And I can’t type anymore because I’m sort of stoned. Legally and as prescribed, but stoned nonetheless.

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a can of red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
a chopped shallot
a huge clove of garlic, pressed
a splash of olive oil
some chopped yellow bell pepper
the rest of the peach salsa (about half a cup, maybe)
served over corn tortillas and with a huge juicy orange

It’s been a decent weekend, although I’m mostly sorry to see it come to an end. I got to hang out with the awesomest chicas at Spiral Diner on Friday night, and spent most of the day Saturday at Izzy’s where we were scanning photos for the big anniversary party Tuesday night. I’ve just got to get them organized and everything for the slide show.

My tooth is still hurting like billy blue blazes, and I wish the extraction were taking place tomorrow instead of whenever it will be, because I’m sick to death of this raging pain in my mouth.

So it’s bedtime, and I wish you all a good night’s rest.

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That’s Joe’s new favourite phrase. And he just wandered into the bathroom a few minutes ago while I was foaming at the mouth to ask me if I wrote down the recipe for the beans I cooked last night.

Well, no, I hadn’t. But they were really very good, so here it is:

Faith’s Primo Pintos

Soak some pinto beans in water at least overnight (or up to 2 days in the fridge)
Drain and rinse the soaked beans.
Dump the beans into a large pot, and add water to cover by about an inch.
Add a large sweet yellow onion, chopped, 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
Pour in a slosh of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
Add a good-sized pinch of cumin along with some sea salt and ground pepper
Cover and bring to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer and simmer and simmer and simmer and simmer

If you’re like me, you’ll eat a small bowlful with some corn tortillas a little too early, when the beans aren’t totally cooked yet. Don’t get me wrong. They’ll taste good, and you’ll get the opportunity to adjust the seasonings (this pot needed a little more salt, but not too much, because overly salty beans aren’t really very good at all.) But if you simmer the pot for 3 or 4 hours beyond that, you’ll have a really savoury bean soup. Still good with corn tortillas, good hot, good cold, presumably good in the pot nine days old. (I really wouldn’t recommend the latter, though.)

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