12 September 2008

Beautiful, gorgeous vegans.

I did a podcast where I mentioned all the lovely email that I've been getting from my wonderful listeners. One of them was Tracey. She was the one who told us that story about being in  restaurant with her friends, and things devolving rather quickly when she found an insect in her salad:

Here is a funny story for you that happened to me at lunch today…
I was invited to lunch with a group of co-workers. I called ahead to find out what they had that was vegan before I arrived so I was prepared to order rather than sit there and question the waiter with my rant of "does it have milk, egg, cheese.. yada yada." So we all get our lunches and as I am eating they are asking about what I am putting in my iced tea. I explain what Stevia is and they start asking questions about veganism (yippeee, right?). 
Then, I feel a weird crunch [this is where you are going to go, "eww"] I pull out what looks like hard dried up meat and put it on the plate. Then I inspect my mushroom enchilada and low and behold … I see a long insect leg. As I unwrap it further, I find a dead horsefly in the food. They are looking at my plate and grossing out, then they start making comments about me needing the extra protein. (insert curse word and growl) 
Anyway, the plate is quickly and gracefully removed by the waiter. I carefully inspect my salad and cautiously bite each leaf of iceberg with wide eyes looking for inch worms or locusts. At this point, the manager comes over and offers me a gift certificate for $30 to come back. My thought is, "Why would I want to come back to a non-vegan restaurant and be served bugs again? That’s just nasty."  And here’s the gripper, as I ate my salad, I couldn’t help but notice that the omnis were just gulping down their food not chewing and oblivious to the potential “extra protein” they could be consuming. I sat there and ate my salad slowly chewing each bite. I just don’t understand how our society has such little regard for what they ingest and are quick to consume anything in front of them; not just food but all things.
I asked her permission to show you all her and her boyfriend (she sent me a photo), and she agreed. Here it is:

08 September 2008

How to keep your man

I have lived, quite happily, with very little money. As long as I've had my Steve there, it's been really nice. But once in a while, he drops me a little reminder as to why I can't keep him out of my head, and what a treasure he is in my life. 
So anyway, a bit of gossip, because I know we all love it. Puppy found God, and started going to church every Sunday. By the time his services are over, everyone is ravenous, so he and a group of his friends from said church like to go out and have brunch. I hate freaking brunch, because they should just call the stupid thing "Breakfast with booze" already. The food sucks, it's fattening as all get go, and there's tofu weeping out of every pore. No. HATE brunch. Also, the people who "go have brunch" are usually the same types who drink bottled water even though they live in MANHATTAN, WHICH HAS THE BEST TAP WATER IN THE COUNTRY FOR GOD'S SAKE. And they get all twitchty if they have to get into a crowded subway with a homeless person. 
Mind, this isn't all of them, and I'm being a perfectly insufferable little thing, because I really hate brunch a lot.
OK. So back to the story, and away from my ranting. So he's been going, and as in EVERY church, temple, or otherwise group, the church people want to meet the spouse. Because then they can finally put a face to the name, and know what on earth the church going one is on about. I don't particularly want to go, because I'm not a churchy type. I like ... many ... other things. And, being who I am, I tended to think of them as the family loving, latte drinking, starbucks frequenting, IFC watching hipsters. And I don't know how I feel about that.
Actually, I do, but I don't want to have them crashing through my window like the CDA from Monsters, Inc and take away my giant black specs. (You'll see the picture at the bottom.) 
So he's been fairly good about inviting me on, and I've been fairly elusive, like some rare spice you only find once in a while. Like freaking Kashmiri saffron. Yeah. Bums.
In related news, I'd gone out with my fabulous friend Melissa. We went to the party at the Guggenheim (she had free passes), and wandered around to look at the beautiful exhibits. Definitely check out the Louise Bourgeois exhibit if you're there; it's really quite comprehensive. It's got both her drawing and sculptures. We're wandering up and down, and discussing the pieces, and just having a good time. An hour or two later, we both got hit with the sleep monster, and needed to get out of the party. So we begged off, and I accompanied her home.
What strikes then, but rampant hunger. I was STARVING. Fortunately, she'd had some home made double garlic hummus in her apartment, so she invited me up to have a go at that to take the edge off. We started chatting about her party, and how her friends are a very eclectic bunch. However, there were those who can't handle that, and would go sulking into a corner or whatever. Fortunately, that wasn't the case here. Everyone, although they were completely different people and would generally never hang out, was laughing and talking and just having a good time. Melissa said, "I don't need them to be best friends, but I do expect them to be social for a couple of hours at the very least." 
That's when it all clicked. Puppy doesn't need me to come with him every week to overpriced West Village haunts to eat, or drink, or anything else. He just wants me to be social for a couple of hours, regardless of what I think of them as a group or individuals (to put your curiosity to rest, I did like them all; they're lovely folk and not at ALL what I thought they'd be). I don't know /why/ it took so long to penetrate my thick skull, but sometimes you need someone else to mention something in passing for something completely unrelated to click. 
So I was about to go to the store on Sunday, when I thought, "well, I made it this far out of the house; why not just go?" I jumped on the train, and went to the place. I got there, said my hellos, and chatted for the hour or so. I find that I can usually find something in common with most people that I meet, and have a conversation for a couple of hours. We then went to Jackson Heights, bought some food, and headed home. I cooked, did some clean up, and stayed up way too late. 
But the best part is yet to come. I married Steve, because he is a kind man, who's considerate of others' feelings, and loves me dearly. I woke up to find the note. 

07 September 2008

Role Models

And no, I don't refer to the type that walk down the runway, although those are rather nice. This is going to be a sort of meandering entry, so if you bore easily, just keep scrolling down until you get back to my usual rambling!

I was listening to the latest episode of Eat This Hot Show, where they were discussing who our GLBT role models are. I know I don't discuss being gay very often, because it's such a part of me that I don't really think about it, if that makes sense. Rather, I tend to go about my life, with my dear husband, and live in my New York City bubble. I'm not reminded of it until I hear something specific that makes me think about it. 

For the record, most of the planet, from what I've experienced, is still decidedly homophobic, and is hostile towards anyone who doesn't toe the line to the heterosexual norm. And yet, we're pointed to the gays and lesbians being shown in the mass media as some sort of giant step forward in the day to day lives of GLBT people. Think about it though. Your typical hetero young person has people that feel like s/he does being represented as the norm, and the gays in her/his life as the other. Your young gay person, on the other hand, is presented with images that really have little to do with reality, and are more of a caricature of gay life than anything else. 

Who do we look up to?

I'm not sure, because I'm drawing blanks on your "regular every day gay couple" who is in the public eye. The kind where the husband and husband, wife and wife, or whatever other combination (I don't want to leave out my transgendered folk who may identify with different terms), living together, taking care of each other, and doing typical day to day things. I'm not really seeing too terribly many people who do have that regular life out there that I did see with some of the shows that I grew up watching, like Family Matters, or Step by Step. 

It's that sort of lack of visibility that I think might contribute to the sentiment that people think that my civil rights are a matter that should be left up to the decision of the bigots who don't want them for me. My mother and I were talking about this. "If I can get married to your father, in the middle of some one-horse town in India, and then come to America and have it recognised, why can't you and Steve have YOUR marriage recognised if you go to London or whatever and come back here? Those aren't exactly little middle of nowhere places where stuff is hard to verify! What's wrong with this country?"

What's wrong, indeed. 

If I were to think hard, however, I'd come up with Ellen Degeneres, as did the ladies on Eat This Hot Show. She's always been classy, and understated. She's not out there drugging it up with reckless abandon. She's stayed with her partner since forever. Another one was Gianni Versace. He and his partner were also together for so many years, and obviously cared for each other. But where's the rest? I'm just coming up with people who are in the media spotlight more than anything else. 

If I think more about it, I come up with the people who I've known personally, like my friend De, who was the first openly lesbian person I'd ever met. I attended a workshop she did, where she had a panel of youths (around my age) discussing how their coming out of the closet affected them. Since I was still deeply closeted, it was a turning point for me. Then there's Mike. He is a junior high school English teacher. He was also very matter-of-fact about being gay, and at that time, that was exactly what I needed to see. I've got Eddie, who took me to my first gay club, and showed me that two men or two women together is perfectly normal, and that I'm not the only one out there. Then you've got all my friends in my senior year of high school. All of them were not only accepting of me, but downright loving. 

Weird how a simple question could have started the ETHS discussion, and how it got me thinking about my own journey. So what do I think we need? As much as it's important for people in the public eye to out themselves, I think it's equally important for people in day to day life to come out as well. This is NOT to say that coming out is right for everyone; that's a decision that each person needs to be able to make for herself or himself, with no judgement from anyone else.

I just wish I'd had someone to look up to sooner than I did.

04 September 2008

Weekend was MAJOR fun

Of course, now that we're back from Jersey, and severely missing being around that many vegans at once, we're both yearning to be adopted by Pat and Elise. Besides. Her kiddo has a huge tub of Harry Potter toys. Sign me up! Apparently, there are plenty more vegans who are equally interested in being taken aboard the Pat/Elise train. So. Guess there's a wait list. Ah well.

We came home to an empty apartment, which was nice, but not as nice as one being filled with vegans.

Now that I'm back in the city, I'm getting excited about seeing some of the designers during Fashion Week. I'll be sure to bore my friends to tears while I discuss every stupid aspect of it. That's what you lot get for being my friend! Boredom!

I did another podcast episode within a day of posting the one before, because someone asked a question that had a response burning through my skull, so I had to do it immediately. Also, he seemed fairly in need of said information, so I figured that it would be a nice little present to get him going. It's the Travel show, for those of you who are curious. He responded enthusiastically, as I'd hoped he would:
Wow! That was everything I needed and more! Thanks so much, these meals sound good enough that I'm going to use them at home too. Tons of great info, and be careful writing back so quickly (5 MINUTES for my first email!), you'll have dorks like me writing you more often than you'd like! Good stuff.
Maybe some day, I'll start getting so many emails that I won't be able to respond within a few minutes, but I know that I'll never be too busy to chat with my friends and people who enjoy my work. There's not enough silly ego bumping around in my skull to be unapproachable! Feel free to email me any food questions to alternativevegan at gmail dot com, and I'll be sure to get back to you as soon as I can. I also see the comments in this blog, but I tend not to respond, because ... it seems weird to respond to a comment on my own blog!