something old, something new...


according to the welsh, today is the most depressing day of the year. the factors in their calculations (holiday debt, crap weather, broken new year's resolutions, and so on) are solid enough, but let's remember the biggie: it's mischa barton's birthday.

mischa barton quote of the day:
"A friend once said to me that it's a big world and a lot of stuff happens, which really stuck with me because it's true."

(aussie cosmo, fall '05)

v-day 23. thank god for cigarettes. after three solid weeks of cruelty-free eating and nearly two of being an amateur gym bunny (i'm not mainlining protein powder or anything, but i've been jogging 2-3 miles every few days), i'm starting to lose my sense of self; the lung darts are my proof that i'm still in no danger of being a good person. they're also the vice crutch for the next seven months of treehuggin' fun, as i've decided to extend the vegan tour of duty through our august wedding. prenuptial masochism hey!

speaking of masochism, i'm three hundred pages into bill clinton's my life. my favorite digression thus far is his paragraph on wade davis and the ethnobiology of haitian zombies (in brief, they're created with the tetrodotoxin found in puffer fish). zombies in presidential memoirs: i love america.

discussion of the preposterousness of various 101 in 1001 list items (the lottery and casino ones, for example) is having a fascinating effect on the likelihood of my accomplishing them. i bitched in october about 012 write (publish) a mcsweeney's list, and wouldn't you know -
sorry we haven't gotten back to you about this--it's probably going to run in our Book of Lists, which'll be out sometime next year. We'll let you know for sure soon.
hot shit! i don't think it'll happen, of course, which is what one must say to counter-jinx the jinx of talking about it at all. i have, however, hidden the list they liked - just in case.*

v-day 10. the serious newly vegan hunger pangs have subsided, though there was a mini-breakdown last night involving the scarfing of month-old clementines; this i blame on my first trip to the gym in a really, really long time. i've officially lost the ability to eat the aforementioned vegan chicken salad (child: how many days does it take to trigger one's gag reflex with faux chicken and vegennaise? lauren-owl: one, two, three [bleeargh!]. three.), but i've discovered the wonder that is the local better burger. it ain't cheap, but it ain't bad.

*i should also, of course, credit pica and her undercover valencia street activities for this positive development. i think dave eggers & co know better than to get on her bad side.


101 in 1001: 007 go vegan for at least 1 month [ongoing]
v-day 3. the experiment is afoot: since midnight-ish (we were on a plane, so new year's eve / day weren't fixed events) on saturday night, i've been a dietary* vegan. predictably, my respect for people who do this gracefully all the time has gone through the roof; i'm constantly ravenous, my grocery expenses have tripled, and i'm pretty sure i hate everyone. costs will drop when i make a significant shopping trip (as opposed to curiosity-driven impulse buys), but i'm thinking the hunger will get ridiculous when i join a gym later this week. as for hating people, habitual altruism pretty much begins and ends for me with donating platelets; since my hematocrit numbers are notoriously jumpy anyway, qualifying to give blood now is probably right out. in happier news, i can share the results of hippie food experiments.

karen & sisters vegan chicken salad: today's lunch, recommended by a fellow shopper at the grocery store across from the office. texture was chickenesque,** taste wasn't bad after salt and pepper. accidentally bought the "meatless" version of this at another store last night without noticing organic egg in the ingredient list; i'm going to have to get very careful very quickly.

rice cheeze (pepper jack style): billed as aromatic, which turned out to be true - i could smell the jalapeno bits because the 'cheeze' had no smell at all. ditto for taste, and the texture was like nothing god intended woman to eat. per veggieboards.com, though, "It's firm, melts well, and tastes GOOOOD... YAY! No more nasty soy cheese!" hug a vegan, would you?

soy dream (enriched, vanilla flavor): this has replaced skim milk in both my coffee and joe's: we're both fond of soy lattes anyway, and the vanilla is a nice alternative to the equal and/or sugar we usually use. thumbs up.

*one could argue that this isn't truly vegan - since i'm still wearing wool, leather shoes, and so on - but i'm primarily interested in the food restrictions. also, it strikes me as unwise to throw away one's shoes for the sake of a month-long experiment and/or to wear large quantities of canvas and cotton in new york in the winter.

**the beautiful thing about long-term veggie habits is that one does forget what actual meat tastes and feels like; the faux stuff, then, becomes much more believable and/or satisfying than it has any right to be. that said, i'm still painfully aware that most eggless, non-dairy replacement products taste like shit.