Tag Archive | animals

Something to Put a Pickle On

I want something to put a pickle on.

That’s my whine every night as I ride home on the crowded #3 bus.  At least it is ever since Jeff and I decided to eat vegan.  I’ve never said it out loud, this pickle prayer, but if I did, it would sound ridiculous.

Why are you eating vegan?  That’s the question everyone asks.  If I had a better answer to that, then this whole thing would be going better.

Animal rights? Um, nope. It’s shameful, but I don’t particularly care about animals. No, I don’t gun the gas when I see a broken-winged bird in the street.  But I can’t pretend that my vegan experiment stems from a crystallizing moment when I stared into the eyes of a gorilla at the zoo and just knew.  Actually, the fact that I willingly visit zoos probably points away from a deep communion with the animal kingdom, Amiright?

Health benefits? Another great answer, but also false. I’m fairly reckless with my health. Exhibit A: I run home in pitch dark during the winter.  Exhibit B: I don’t always wear sunscreen because GREASY.   I think the China Study is compelling and believe that animal products spell big problems for our hearts and the size of our asses, but none of that is as compelling as a tasty hunk of brie or milk chocolate.

So, basically, I agreed to go vegan for all the wrong reasons.

First, I wanted to beat Jeff.  I knew he’d be more moderate in his approach.  I, knowing nothing of moderation, planned to out-vegan my husband and raise my fists in victory.  On day four he caved at a business meeting while I was home eating quinoa and asparagus.  Victory was mine in less than 96 hours.

Second, I love talking about food.  And of all the conversations I’ve started about food– including ones with an opening salvo about my anorexic and bulimic past– nothing gets people more riled up than talking about plant-based eating.  Ooooh eeeeeh, I’ve heard some mouthfuls on this.  Vegan enthusiasts at work stopped by to give me tips on new ways to eat beans.  Ardent champions of meat stopped by with their sausage McMuffins to taunt me and describe their grandma’s thick-cut bacon.  Friends expressed their concern when I posted a picture of vegan cheese on Facebook:

Nachos.  "Nachos." Not chos.  Not chosen to be eaten because vegan cheese is puke.

Nachos. “Nachos.” Not chos. Not chosen to be eaten because vegan cheese is puke.

(I was trying to make nachos.)  I liked the attention.  I liked the discussion about the ethics of eating, mindfulness about food, and the health benefits of food choices.  It was enjoyable to watch other people froth at the mouth in defense of their own food choices.

(For the record, I’m not judging others.  I’m too busy grieving the loss of cheese in my life.)

Third, I’d been in a rut for a while with the chopped/cobb/Caesar salad routine, so it was a novelty to order the hummus with pita toast points and carrots.  I started eating an avocado every single day.  I replaced my afternoon yogurt with nuts and a mango.  I wept with joy when I found something called Soy Chorizo at Trader Joe’s.  Now of course I’m in a vegan rut.  I’ve eaten a criminal portion of beans over the past twenty eight days.  Lentils now remind me of the mushy hairballs I’ve pulled from the pipes in my sink. I had a crisis of faith when all the avocados at the store were rock hard.

I’ve put pickles on the black-bean-and-corn “burgers” that Jeff has perfected.  Folks, it’s not the same.  Think about putting a pickle on a loosely packed pile of beans and corn.  See? Not appetizing.

I’m willing to stick with vegan eating for all kinds of morally muddy reasons.  But please, someone, help me find something to put a pickle on.



Do’s and Don’ts of Chaperoning A Preschool Field Trip

The date for the preschool field trip was set weeks ago.  The bus was rented, the driver was hired.  The children studied farm animals extensively in preparation for their big trip.

And most importantly, the names of the 3 lucky mothers who were chosen at random to accompany the children to the “Fall Farm Field trip” were selected.


Guess who got to go?

You guessed it: Sharon Olgilvie, Patricia Hartnett and Camille Strong.

Oh for Heaven’s sake, I am just kidding– Who the hell are those people?

It was Outlaw Mama who was chosen from among her maternal peers, so I suited up and showed up for the magical farm visit yesterday morning.  Now, I am perfectly poised to give you some tips for the next time you chaperone an outing for your child.   I’m going to recommend that you bookmark this page or print it out and put it in your wallet.

Because this is about to get real.  Real valuable.

Here’s the list of DO’s:

  • Do figure out how to check your Twitter while making it look like you are taking pictures of all the precious little children feeding the pigs.
  • Do offer to hold the children’s hats and gloves on the bus ride, but also do refuse to give the hat back to the kid with the big head whose hat will fit on you, especially if it’s 30 degrees and you forgot your hat.
  • Do let the teachers know that you are vegan and adamantly opposed to exploitative farming, especially the kind that requires cows to live in tiny feces-laden pins and chickens to roost in miniscule coops.

And, even more helpful, here’s the list of DON’Ts:

  • Do not try to set the bus driver up with one of your friends after you find out that he is single.
  • Do not ask the host-farmers their thoughts on how cruel it is to eat animals, especially in front of the children.
  • Do not talk about avian bird flu as the children are petting the chickens.
  • Do not ask the teacher who the “real a**hole kids are” because you want to “steer clear” of them all day.
  • Do not lose any of the five children you are asked to watch, even that little punk in the green puffy coat who keeps running off to the horse barn.
  • Do not teach the children to say, “Guess what? Chicken butt!” in the middle of the chicken coop.
  • Do not yell, “Watch out for the cow sh*t,” as the children are walking through the fields.
  • Do not teach the children to sing “99 bottles of beer on the wall,” on the way home from the field trip.  (Change the words to “99 recyclable, BPA-free, free trade containers of organic, local, pesticide-free nectar on the wall.”)
  • Do not ask how the cows, Maisie and Daisy, are slaughtered “so that selfish little children can eat hamburgers.”
  • Do not be offended when the group of alpha-male preschoolers hurl insults at you. (The insult: “Sadie’s mom! You’re a picnic basket.”  Who knew that outdoor dining was such invective these days? Take it like an adult and smile because they are only testing you.)
  • Do not explain the ins and outs of the Petraeus sex scandal, and definitely do not pull out the flow chart explaining how the biographer, the “other lady” and General Allen are involved.  (Now that I think about it, don’t bring up sex at all.  Wait until they are in kindergarten.)

If you can follow these simple tips, you will be golden as you escort your tiny charges through the vast world beyond their classroom.

Editor’s note: I have no idea how to punctuate “don’t’s” to make it look right. So, if it’s wrong, stop being so critical and just enjoy the post.  I’m sorry your mother didn’t love you, but stop judging my punctuation.

6 Items of Miscellany

Happy hot-as-f*cking-hell-day to you! The heat fried my brain and stole my will to live, so today I am setting ya’ll up with some miscellany. (How kick ass of a word is “miscellany”?)

1. Let’s start with inspiration.  I have watched the video of Kristin Wiig’s send-off from Saturday Night Live over 10 times. I can’t get enough.  There is so much love for her from her cast mates and her boss (can you imagine getting a warm hug like that from your boss on live TV?), and she’s trying so hard to keep from losing her sh*t or flashing her ass.  I tear up every time.  I hope one day to take in the love I see her taking in here. (Also, can you see John Hamm at the end dancing on the right side of the frame? Dorky dancer alert. But it only made me love him more for being fallible.)

2. Are you a shopper? I am fairly committed to retail endeavors, but even the casual shopper of groceries or apparel for troops in Afghanistan could learn something from this insightful article about why consumers suck at math.

3. Passion. Do you have it? Do you want it? Read about it and discuss my guest post on author Stephanie Saye’s blog about how passion snuck up on me when I wasn’t looking.

4. Animals. I am not an animal person, which is one of the more glaring pieces of evidence that I may, in fact, be a sociopath.  But I found this blog (Cute Things Falling Asleep) and thought it was cheery.  And, it made me feel better about the pulled muscle in my bootie, which is killing me by the way.

5. Archival evidence. Here’s a fun former post about Jeff and I going to get our engagement pictures taken way, WAY back in the day.  Maybe this wonderful shared memory will help Jeff forgive me for the little tiff we had at lunch, which was 50% my fault.

6. Ballsy.  That’s what I want to be: more ballsy.  I found just the purse for the aspiring ballsy woman (the purse and image are from Etsy store Crafttasticparties.  Click here to see more):

Ballsy purse

Ballsy purse