So this is the New Year?

There's nowhere I would rather spend my NYE/NYD than with loved ones. Unfortunately, this year that means spending it in a room in the ICU. Fortunately, it means my loved one is still with me and I get to see her smiling face in 2010.


Sushi Fraud

Next time you're out eating sushi, you might wanna consider where it's coming from...

...or you could just stop eating it, give our oceans a chance to replenish themselves.


Some of the yummy food I've been making lately (all vegan, of course):

Shells and cheese (my recipe)

Orange-glazed scones

Corn Chowder

Apparently it's orange food week in my kitchen.


"If any vegans came over for dinner, I could whip them up a salad, then explain my philosophy on being a carnivore: If God had not intended for us to eat animals, how come He made them out of meat?"
-Sarah Palin

We're made of meat too, does that mean we can eat each other? I bet Sarah Palin would taste gamey as hell.



Now playing: The Photo Atlas - Jeolous Teeth
via FoxyTunes
I almost started looking at job listings on Craigslist when it dawned on me that I don't have to do that anymore. What a good feeling.

I start my new job on Monday. Will report back on that later.

Yesterday at my temp job a woman asked me, "So do you think you'll ever give up being vegan someday?"

I don't understand what type of answer she was looking for. I mean, is this a stupid question to anyone else besides me? Why would I say anything other than no to that question? If there was any reason I thought I would start eating meat and cheese again someday, why would I be vegan right now?

What people often don't realize is that veganism is a lifestyle. It's not just some fad diet I'm trying out.

It's a choice I made that goes beyond what I eat. It's about living responsibly; it's about the decisions I make and how they will affect the environment/other people/animals. The decision to be vegan has opened my eyes to so many issues that I never knew I cared about so passionately. Not only do I purchase food that doesn't contain animal products, but now I also want to purchase products that weren't made by exploited workers, or that won't last a million years in a landfill, or put the least strain on resources and create less pollution during their journey to the shelf/hangar. I want my choices and purchases (or lack thereof) to be my vote. I'm voting for companies that want to do the right thing by using recycled materials or companies that strive for sustainability.

So yes, I'm vegan, but that isn't all I'm about. I'm not just some hippie that feels sorry for animals that die for your steak. I care about the overall health and well-being of the earth and all its citizens- I think I have the best interests of everyone at heart, even if I sometimes feel like I'm carrying the burden of it all by myself. It's worth it to know I did my best while I was here.

Now playing: Crystal Castles - Vanished
via FoxyTunes


Ellen Degeneres: Why Go Vegan?

Living a Cruelty-free Lifestyle
It is obvious that in order to eat meat, an animal had to be slaughtered, but the issues of cruelty go far beyond just the death of an animal. The lives of animals raised to be slaughtered are miserable. Often packed into close quarters, many animals are unable to lie down or turn around, and the hygiene is terrible. Many slaughter methods are imperfect and cause great suffering before death.

Even animals that are not raised for food are poorly treated. Chickens that provide eggs for consumption often spend their entire lives in a cage no bigger than a piece of notebook paper, and dairy cows face abuse and mistreatment in addition to being injected with hormones to facilitate milk production. A person who wishes to live a cruelty-free life chooses to remove him or herself from any participation in this process.

Help the Environment
Farms used for meat and dairy production are incredible sources of waste and air pollution. One large farm can create more waste than the entire city of Los Angeles! The Environmental Protection Agency considers manure one of the top 10 pollutants, and US farms create 2 billion tons of it each year.

Reduce Famine
More than 70% of grain produced in the US is fed to animals raised for slaughter. In order to get just one pound of meat, it takes a full 15 pounds of grain. If this grain were given directly to people, there would be enough food to feed everyone. Also, the land that the animals are raised on can be used to grow significantly more food than the land currently provides.

Save Water
With drought-like conditions all across the country, water is getting more and more valuable. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce just one pound of meat, as opposed to just 25 gallons for one pound of grain.

It's Never Been Easier!
Major supermarkets are carrying more vegan-friendly options than ever before, and thanks to the Internet, you can have food sent directly to your own home. It has never been easier to make the transition to being vegan, so why not now?



Nominate your favorite MLS goal of the year!

Giant jellyfish FTW.

Subject: Overfishing and it's devastating effects on the environment.

Here's an interesting segment I heard on NPR's Fresh Air yesterday about overfishing.

I don't feel that the story was urgent enough though (I blame Terry Gross and her love for fish and obvious unwillingness to stop eating it- haha). It did make some very good points though, about how the fishing industry is impacting our environment. If only people would realize that the only true way to stop the madness is to simply stop eating fish. There are no "safer" choices anymore. The idea that switching to different fish when a certain species is diminished is effectively wiping out entire ecosystems.

Trawlers with nets big enough to fit 6 jumbo jets side-by-side in them are being dragged across the ocean floor. That's a lot of fish. But these nets aren't selective; everything is raked up, from sea turtles, to coral reef dwellers, to sponges, and even smaller invertebrates. Basically, as Daniel Pauly states in the NPR segment, the ecosystem is being mowed down, like a forest transformed into a plowed field.

Read Daniel Pauly's original article in it's entirety.


The A.V. Club interviewed my good friend Jen about the stereotypes of cyclists. I find the comments section to be the juiciest. You can really see the rivalry between the driver and the cyclist. I'm pretty sure it's every driver's secret (maybe not-so-secret) repressed impulse to run us all over. I just hope that impulse doesn't take over next time I cut off a driver that is trying to pass me dangerously. ha.


The woods are lovely, dark, and deep...
Well, the city is, anyway.


Stella, my dear sweet kitten. I'd like to see the world through her eyes just for one day.


Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!


It's been a bit since I actually wrote anything worthwhile on here (okay, so I probably haven't ever written anything worthwhile on here, but I'm optimistic), so I figured I'd give a little update on the life and times of, well, me.

After losing my job back on July 17th (and lying to several unimportant people about the actual embarrassing cause), I am STILL on the job hunt. Fucking economy, I really should have stayed in Argentina...Anyway, I guess that wasn't an entirely accurate statement about being jobless this whole time. I have been working, somewhat, here and there, at random intervals, intermittently, etc. etc. I recently finished a month-long part-time job as an assessment administrator. I'll spare you the boring details of what that means, but let me just mention that I still have not been paid for the 90 or some odd hours I put in. They are telling us end of October at the latest. Which translates to, end of October, so don't get your hopes up that you'll get paid sooner than that. I have not received a paycheck from a place of employment since July. OUCH.

Have had a couple other interviews, one of which resulted in a part-time position at a local fitness center and spa. I start there this Wednesday. Glad to know my college degree is being put to good use. I also have an interview tomorrow and one on Tuesday, for jobs I vowed to stay away from due to their similarity to my old job (the one I lost after 3.5 years), but in recent desperation, applied to because I need money. We'll see how those go.

In the meantime, had to ask my dear mother for 300 greenbacks, which will help with rent, but won't get me through the rest of the month. What would I do without my mom? Thanks, Mom, you're the best!

Where was I? Oh yes, I was about to go into the joys of being absolutely and completely broke at the age of 28.

Suffice it to say, there are no joys. I had to dust off the credit card after not having used it since Argentina, and before that, many years. I HATE using a credit card to pay for things like groceries, cat food, and the occasional beer (hey, I can't quit drinking just because I'm broke; if anything, beer is my only comfort in this cruel, cruel world and I should be drinking more of it). I feel like such a loser. I feel irresponsible and adolescent. So I'm broke, AND I'm racking up more debt. Vicious fucking cycle.

Sorry, I'm whining. And worse than that, I'm boring you to tears. Because you're all in the same situation. I'm not special. And things will get better, eventually...

So other than applying for 80 million jobs on a weekly basis, I've been keeping myself busy doing pretty typical fall activities: riding my bike through the crunchy leaves, cuddling with my cat, cooking warm meals with seasonal squash, and most recently, busting out the old acoustic guitar for a little bit of homebody fun. Things could be worse.


This is so cool! An even older hominid was recently found to be older than Lucy, previously the oldest human ancestor ever discovered. "Ardi" dates back to 4.4 million years ago.
I'm dyin' in this fuckin' country-ass fucked up town

Stole this from Star and Chris' flickr bc I like it even though there's no sound. Just our faces are enough.


Last night Mark and I made the most delicious vegan meal: Roasted acorn squash with vegan butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar, garlic red potatoes, and sauteed asparagus. Noms!


The L.A. fires brought smoke to the Denver area (and some pretty amazing sunsets)


Just wanted to give a shout out to my lovely Mark's new blog:

Sushi No!


I know this song/video came out a while ago, but I really love it.


Life after being fired hasn't been too bad so far. In fact, the past 5 days were some of the most fun I can remember (since SF).

Thursday, I got the news that I was fired. Won't go into details, except that I feel it was an overreaction to a problem that could have been addressed in a civilized manner. Whatever. Fact is, I was burned out, and even though I definitely would have preferred it be on my terms, it was time to leave. Moving on...

Friday was Mark's birthday, so there was no time to wallow when so much fun was to be had. Mark and I rode our bikes down to the Wash Park Whole Foods for some coffee and lunch before riding to the Chez Artiste to see the new docu, Food, Inc. We both really enjoyed it- I wish films like this were a mandatory part of school curriculum, and that it was in more theaters for people to see. But at least it's out there presenting the facts about the companies behind the food industry, and how well they have veiled their despicable practices. I hope it opens people's eyes to the injustices that Big Food has committed. I am inspired to read labels even more carefully now, and make sure I'm buying local and/or organic food. Like the film stated, everytime we purchase food, we're voting. Companies give the people what they want, not the other way around. If everyone makes more of an effort to buy foods made by ethical companies, our world would change drastically.

Anyway, later that evening, we went to Park Tavern for happy hour before meeting Chris, Star, Brian, Rhonda and Erin at Rockbar, where we proceeded to get hammered on various shots and cheap beer. It was soooo worth the hangover the next day ;)

Saturday was pretty lazy, I think Mark and I left the house only to get some electrolyte-filled beverages and yummy snacks. Then we watched the Rapids game.

Sunday we rode down to The Market for coffee, then hit the library to score a few new reads. They were having a bike workshop in the west courtyard, so we stopped by to see what that was about for a little while. Later, we went on a much-needed grocery run, then spent the evening watching season 5 of Entourage on Netflix.

On Monday we went for a hike in the mountains. The plan was to hike Grays and Torreys, but the 4x4 road leading to the trailhead proved impossible for Mark's Dad's S-10 to handle, so we ended up hiking to Silver Dollar Lake, starting on a trail about 9.5 miles from Georgetown on Guanella Pass.
(Naylor Lake, a private lake just below Silver Dollar)

The weather was gorgeous all day- not too hot, and no rain. Plus, we only saw a few other hikers on the trail. Round-trip, the hike was about 3 hours, including a stop for lunch at the lake.

That evening, we cooked nom noms for din, in the form of Thai coconut curry tofu and called it an early night.

Tuesday we woke up early enough to catch the Blue Plate Special at Watercourse. It was so good, with generous portions of tofu scramble, hash browns, a delicious biscuit, green chile, and coffee...all for 5 bucks! You really can't go wrong with this one, especially if you're out of a job like me! haha. Anyway, Watercourse is one of the little gems in Denver, with amazing veg/vegan food, cool atmosphere, and of course, fantastic art by Ravi Zupa, who just so happened to be eating at the booth across from us, funnily enough. Wish I had one of his pieces up on my wall!

Tuesday night I talked Mark and Chris into riding Loops, something I've wanted to do for a while. Here's is the map of our route, although the three of us took some detours and made a pit stop for beer along the way. Good times!

Thus wraps up my post-fired vacation. Today it has been all work no play for this one. Everybody gotta eat, right?


So I just watched the premiere ep of The Goode Family, on ABC. I thought it was hilarious, and can't wait for more. I think it's great that even though they are making fun of vegan environmentalist hippies (like myself), I wasn't offended at all. The fact that there is a show about this lifestyle means that the concept is interesting to people, and hopefully it will get people thinking. I particularly liked the scene at the church dance. Any show that mocks over-the-top right wing religiosity is fine by me, especially when it is done in a comedic manner.

The vegan closet meat eating dog Che is such a great idea. I don't feed my cat fish-based food anymore because of the overfishing problem, but I still can't deny that my pet is a meat-eating predator. I know there are people that feed their pets vegan diets though, which is ridiculous but also something I've thought about haha.

Another hilarious part was when the mom gets drunk at the end, and is in the back yard hugging the dog and sloppily telling him "you're my friend." Classic!

Anyhoo, I can tell I will love this show, right down to the silly theme song that sounds like a montage from the Lion King.


Okay, I'm really bad about updating this thing...Anyway, I did keep track of what I ate for a week, and although it's not the most amazing thing you can imagine, it got the job done.

Friday dinner: Vegan sloppy joes (tofu and sloppy joe mix), corn, tater tots. It was a simple night. Had a few Mothership Wit beers to wash it down. Did you know the makers of this brew, New Belgium Brewing Co., have been wind-powered since 1999? I didn't until recently. Definitely going to support this company more in the future.


Breakfast: Was in a hurry to get to by brother's house so I could watch my niece, so just a bowl of Peanut Butter Pows and soy milk for breakfast.
Lunch: @ Whole Foods- Tofu spring rolls dipped in peanut sauce, and a veggie eggroll
Snack: Soy lemon yogurt
Dinner: Leftover sloppy joe stuff (okay, so this weekend wasn't the most creative, but I had places to be, yo! ha)

After-bar snack, or the vegan 4th meal: Indian pot pie (from last week), sprinkled with Tapatio (one of many hot sauce appearances sure to come). I took the leftovers from the samosas I failed at making (potatoes, parsley, peas, onions, indian spices) and threw them into whole wheat pie crusts. Topped them with the leftover phyllo dough, sprinkled with cayenne, and baked them. Turned out pretty delicious I think!


Breakfast: Bowl of cereal with ricemilk
Lunch: Sandwich with Yves ham, vegenaise, mustard, roasted red peppers, artichokes, lettuce, and garlic/greek olive hummus.
Dinner: Vegan pizza from City O' City, yum!!


Breakfast: Grapefruit
Lunch: Boca chicken patty sandwich
Snack: Pita and hummus
Dinner: Baked potato topped with vegan butter, broccoli, tomatoes, salsa, spicy vegan sour cream
Dessert: Champagne mango


Breakfast: Leftover vegan pizza from City O' City
Lunch: Spicy Boca chicken sandwich w/bbq sauce, lettuce
Dinner: Finished up the Indian pot pie, salad


Breakfast: cereal and rice milk
Lunch: spicy boca chicken sandwich with salsa, lettuce, tomato
Dinner: Soba noodles with soy sauce and sri racha


Breakfast: bagel and vegan cream cheese
Lunch: Amy's bean and rice burrito smothered with lettuce, tomato and salsa
Dinner: Good old PB & J


Breakfast: Cereal and rice milk
Lunch: Soba noodles with soy sauce
Dinner: Vegan chili- tofu, and my chili recipe: onion, garlic, tomato paste/sauce, tomatoes, garbanzo/black/kidney beans, corn, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, tapatio, sri racha

This started out pretty cool, but as you can probably tell, I forgot to keep track of everything I ate, and was forced to rely on my memory after the fact. My bad.



Most common question asked by people when they find out I'm vegan. Runner up comments/questions include:

"I could never give up cheese." and

"Where do you get your protein?" Yeah, this used to be number one, but people are starting to hear about something called tofu (this is not my only source of protein, btw).

Thus, I decided to document one week of meals for y'all. Starting Monday. Mysteries will be revealed like you won't believe!! I don't just eat vegetables, people!
This Monday marks 10 years since the Columbine shootings. There has been a lot of activity on NPR news- interviews with teachers that were there that day, as well as parents who lost a child or had a child that was shot and is now in a wheelchair. Touching stories I had never heard.

I was a senior at Conifer High School, and at the time was dating a junior who attended Columbine. In the middle of symphonic band rehearsal I received a phone call in the office from my mom. She told me there were shootings happening at Columbine High School- like, right now, shootings going on. She didn't have any more info for me. Immediately, I left school and flew down the mountain back to Littleton where I lived with my mom and step dad. I paged my boyfriend (no cell phones yet). I paged him again and again. No call. I paged a friend of his that went to school there. No call back. All I could do was wait. Wait and watch the news as bits and pieces of the story were revealed. Two boys, two students at Columbine, came to school carrying semi-automatic weapons and began shooting people. It was chaos. No one knew what the hell happened really, or why. We just had to wait. Eventually the SWAT teams got in and were able to help some students leave the school. Footage of children running in single-file to safety. Kids crying into cameras as they explained what they witnessed.

Finally my boyfriend called. I raced over to his house. His story was frightening. He had barricaded himself, along with a bunch of other students, into a closet in the cafeteria's kitchen. He heard gunshots, he heard the two shooters voices. He held the door as one of the shooters tried to get in, but luckily was unable to. Trapped in a closet for hours. He was lucky to be alive.

The the death tolls started coming in. A teacher was dead. Kids were dead. People my bf knew, close friends were dead or barely hanging on to life. We watched the news all day and into the night. There was nothing else to do. My bf sat in shock, unable to grasp the day's horrors. I didn't know how to help him, except to sit with him, listen when he wanted to talk, watch TV in silence when he didn't. We were all in shock, but we had not seen what he had seen. We had not jumped over the dead bodies of our friends while running out of the school. We had not seen a child begging for his life, only to be shock point blank in the head.

We were just 17 years old. It's hard to believe 10 years have gone by since that tragic day. Listening to the stories on NPR, I still tear up, thinking about how people's lives were stolen from them. And the parents...Darrell Scott's father had to deal with the loss of his daughter, as well as the emotional scarring of his son who was also at school that day. What these families have been through is unimaginable.


I'm sorry, but my niece is the most perfect creature on earth. I just needed to get that out there. :)


I just need to say, I am not down with the old folks joining facebook and trying to befriend me.

It started with a mother of someone I went to high school with. She comments on my status updates and photos now. And I don't even know her! Next came an invite from my step aunt, and I held off adding her for about a week- a week is all you can really get away with when you are updating everything else, because it's obvious you are ignoring the invite if you wait any longer (can't claim you don't know how to use fb and just overlooked it if you're uploading photos and commenting on friend's status updates). So whatever, I added her because I didn't want to be rude, plus, I never see her so what does it matter? Well, things reached a new level of weird when I got a friend request from my step grandma today (mother of said step aunt). This woman is 75 years old and facebooking! Okay, sounds kinda cute right? WRONG. This woman is uber-religious, an ordained minister who sends me tracts on my birthday with little notes that say, "The Lord put this on my heart for you." The tract says something about how I am going to hell because I had sex before marriage.

How am I supposed to live a normal online life (haha) when I have her looking over my shoulder? Not that I care- I mean, I am who I am and believe what I believe and am perfectly content, but still..I don't want to feel like I am censoring myself just so I don't offend anyone. Don't need to be getting more than just the occasional one of those pamphlet things in my birthday card.

I think this is an issue that will only become more urgent, as more old people figure out how technology works. It's up to us to specifically NOT help them sign up for accounts to these various social networking sites. Don't be an enabler. Do you really want your mom knowing that you're stumbling, slurring, drunk dialing/texting/tweeting wasted at 2am Saturday night? No, those updates are for friends only.


So our trip is coming to an end, and I think that fact is making it hard to motivate myself to do anything. Usually when you know you only have a few days left of a vacation you try to smash as much activity into them as possible. But after 3 months of being in Argentina I kinda just want to go home. I miss it so much. If I could hug the U.S. I would, even given the current state of our economy. Ugh, just thinking about that millionth pizza I just ate makes my stomach churn, my throat burn with the acidity of anticipation. Blech.

Another reason I don't feel like doing anything is because we already spent a month in Buenos Aires, saw all the sights, walked mile after mile down the dog shit-spotted sidewalks. I don't feel the need to do that again.

I know, I sound so retarded. You're probably hating that I have lost perspective on where I am and what I'm doing. I'm just tired, and I miss home.