Friday, December 30, 2005

How are you most underutilized?

Came up with that question last night at a party when one partygoer said he was underutilized at his job. I bet that 92% of individuals feel similarly.

Unless the $ you're making is directly from work you would do regardless of the paycheck, you most likely are underutilized. But I'd like to hear from you.

Pictured to the left is tonight's dinner...cheezy cream of yam soup, cabbage, and seitan ribs. Night before last night, to your right, we ate lasagne, which turned out pretty well. I used portobellos, zuchhini, and my Vlacho Nacho recipe.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Change & Chocolate

Can we change, realizing something is amiss and make adjustments accordingly, as Patrick Stewart suggested about the story behind his film Nemesis? Or are we stuck with ourselves, unable to escape our own weaknesses, as suggested by Arthur Miller?

My opinion
on this changes depending on whether I'm listening to an old interview with Mr. Miller or I'm listening to a current one with Patrick.

I tend to agree with Arthur, who was a fatalist. He suggested our personalities and inclinations are set and we ultimately cannot escape our own fate (fate used here to apply only to our own set of characteristics and not some grand masterplan for our lives). Famous tragic heros as well as duplicitous villains have been created and destroyed under this philosophy. Shakspearian heros and Arthur's own Willy Loman are obvious examples. The fatal flaw that gets ye every time. But what of our own complexities? Are you consistent in your beliefs and actions?

On the surface I'm asking the old cast the first stone question. And I'm casting, baby! No, really I shouldn't. Cause I'm good, loving the animals, peace, kindness, and all of that happy stuff. But I'm also mean. And I yell. Curse, even, at loved ones. I'm suspicious of people sometimes. Don't trust 'em. But boy do I like to give if at all possible. Just don't get in the way of my own comfort. I try to change but am uncertain about my progress. To think I'm stuck with my personality, some might say this is lazin
ess. Represents an unwillingness to change. And goodness sakes, I'd like to change.

So Patrick's view is encouraging (delusional? my skeptical side wonders) and lends me the hope for change. We aren't stuck! Hooray! But there is work ahead. This brings me to the book I just finished, entitled A Fractured Mind: My life with Multiple Personality Disorder by Robert B Oxnam. Fabulous book. Not only does the reader travel somewhat voyeuristically through the experience of living with 11 separate personalities (each with his or her own set of unique memories inaccessible by all the others), but is faced with the question "What makes us whole?" At the end of the book Robert's psychologist exporles the treatment he utilized for Robert and discussed the two forms of recovery. One is catharsis, retelling to another supportive individual. The other is reworking the internalization process (hard wiring). Changing the negative response patterns into good, good, good ones. This of course takes more work. The other secret ingredient used in Robert's treatment was the element of possible loss. The psychologist cannot be his best friend; Robert must not be secure in that assumption. Therefore healing can take place with a more firm, yet compassionate, doctor 'o the mind.

Healing in this case is integrating all of the separate personalities into one. This means they will share the same memories, have the same experiences to offer, and operate under the rule of only one leader. Once again it must be asked, who operates under such circumstances? That is, do you react differently depending on what part of you is called upon? Say, at a family gathering for instance. At work. With certain friends. Under the influence of particular groups. After the revelation of upsetting news. And the list can continue indefinitely.

Which is why we have truffles. I just made my first batch last week. Peppermint Glitter truffles! Check 'em out...on the left they are with their friends the peanut butter balls, and the right all done up in their glitter. In the middle, there is nothing...just like death (hopefully).

Speaking of, we also picked up a free piano today. Only it wasn't really free after we paid for the U-haul and help moving it in the house. Pianos are particularly heavy and not receptive to swearing, pushing, or other abuse. But we love our little dusty 1925 Whitney Chicago.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Vegan Options

Today I became hopeful when I Googled "Soy White Russians" and came across a link. Unfortunately it was the blog of an anti-SWR'er. He even said something about how his ex-girlfriend suggested SWR's and then somehow things didn't work out. As if it were the SWF's fault.

He also said it is natural "biologically" to drink milk wh
en we're born therefore justifying the dairy industry somehow. I couldn't hold my typing fingers back and did leave a comment that most of us are weaned from our mothers before age 3 (unless we're in really strange families...) and the only creature that is naturally supposed to suck on a cow nipple is a little baby calf. Not only are we the only species who drinks the milk of another species, but we pursue this into adulthood!!

That brings me to my next topic. The other day I made a very nice pizza with sesame dough (above). This one is topped with the cheesy nutritional yeast, tofurki sausage, olives, portobellos, & onions. Next time I'll make one with a nice pesto topping.

Here I made some traditional Greek white bean soup (almost gone in the pic), more sesame bread, (the pizza dough is from this batch) and a sugar cookie cake. Actually, it was supposed to be made into cookies but I put coffee into it and it became more cake-like. I just had to use the extra coffee, at the expense of the cookies. But it was still quite good.

This morning I made some good 'ol Biscuits and Gravy for breakfast. Here are 2
pics, before gravy

and after (yes I like lots of gravy).

I made a shitakke mushroom gravy. I used tapioca starch instead of cornstarch, which is why it didn't turn out quite thick enough.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post about multiple personalities. Well at least that is what I feel like writing about right now.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

X-? Away from "Home"

X really is perfect to describe this elusive holiday. Who came up with that anyway? Please vote - should the name for this time of year (tty) be X-mas? Just X? Do I have too much time on my hands?

Speaking of this, I find this station quite lovely at the moment (choose the SKY option...)

In any case, here are some messages of tty:
  • Giving without expectation of getting
  • Warm cozy treats and homes
  • Kindness to everyone
  • Someone was born in a manger. Go tell it on a mountain.
Here are some actual messages I've received/sent:
  • That's all I get? After what I got you?
  • A personal message on the card would be nice.
  • Not even a freegin' card?
  • Hmm. S/he must be mad at me/us.
  • The X-mas finger.
In other words, X-mas does not really exist 'cept in our lovely heads. But it would be nice. I won't be home for x-mas, ever, because Home is as fleeting as Santa Claus. Bah.

But I like it all anyway. Even the arguments. But especially the Charlie Brown Christmas Special.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Pictured here in the fine Binge CafĂ© are some Seitan BBQ cutlets I made…from scratch and love. Unfortunately the love is not purely vegan, cause love is full of suffering, baby! Speaking of the idea of purity and suffering, check out the following link (after of course you’ve read and commented on my blog) to a great essayist/philosopher Matt Ball: A Meaningful Life.

Also notice my peanut butter balls with my bite out of one of them. That one is ½ price.

Hear ye, my next campaign, following the extremely successful effort of establishing Soy White Russians in Alabamy, involves the re-incorporation of the word “ye” into our vernacular. If that offends ye, I apologize. “Ye” statements are like peanut butter for those without deadly peanut allergies. Coincidentally Ye also blends well in any of the numerous names for This Time of Year (TTY, not to be confused with the telephone service).

Last night we went to Durham’s Culture Crawl. You walk/crawl to several different locations to view art, hand-made jewelry, and bands. We’re lucky enough to live in walking distance to a few cool galleries, shops, and pubs, and went to a few places like the Electric Blender, a warehouse full of funky colorful clothing and misc, along with a performance space for bands. Check them out.

We also went to see the infamous Pumpkin Boy, whose art was not only viewable but touchable as well. With your right hand, on the button. “Where do you want to touch it?” Anyway, don’t upset PB by touching his art in the wrong spot. Check his cool stuff out at 803-B Ramseur Street.

:: I Need You Paragraph :So our band is looking for your recommendation. We want to find a good analog studio recording situation for mid-March. If you know of someone, or someplace, nearby Durham, NC let us know. Shortly thereafter we’ll be touring the East coast…whoopee-doo-da!!!!
:: I Need You Paragraph End ::

Random statement of the day clothed in the misguided socks of depth: Scraping off the paint of our bathroom mirror has given me the opportunity to look at myself. And as the famous quote from ST sort of goes, the day God made Me S/he should have rested.

Well, with that, we’re off to the Cat’s Cradle to check out the free show / Merch holiday party. Hope we don’t get lost driving to Chapel Hill.


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

News, Drink, and Neil

I think that I have blog-fright. My mind is racing with all of the possible brilliant blogs I could create, but each possibility is subsequently evaluated and ultimately labeled mediocre, or worse, worthless. So I will ramble with no point or focus. Enjoy.

On my band’s site I promised to provide information about my campaign to ensure the presence of Soy White Russians (SWR) in each and every bar in America. And now I ask, please join me in that effort.

How? I haven’t quite worked out that detail. But stay tuned.

So we bought a fixer-upper house when we moved from Seattle to Durham NC. We’re working on it every day, with the vision of performing again, tours, and a great place to hang out keeping us steadily scraping, removing, and adding. The foundation slopes, windows were broken, and there was a tree through the roof. We’ve finally painted a couple of rooms though and things are feeling better. My intent was to create at least one room where one would feel, as Rob’s former boss once put it when visiting us at our old place, like he could “take off his clothes and run around naked.”

We’ve also had our faithful companion NPR close by at all times. One needs to listen to something besides their own thoughts when scraping lead-based paint. I was distressed yesterday to hear more about the Australian race riots. In particular it was upsetting to hear everyone allude to drunkenness as being a strong consideration in why a bunch of white guys were running after those of Arabic descent. Um…the last time I was drunk I think I just kissed people on their cheeks. Not that I’m always a passive, loving drunk, but I can’t recall any soy white Russians ever compelling me to beat up those of another race. So that’s a lame excuse.

Which brings me to a question I ask people often (it is on my list called Big Talk with many, many such brilliant questions): Does drunkenness create an altered self or an accented self?

Also heard an interview with Neil Diamond. I love Neil Diamond. But I hope he can float cause he’s about as deep as his sparkly suit.

For good, good tunes I’ve been connecting to

Well over and out for today. Here’s the vegan chocolate cake I made last night, with caramel frosting in the middle & drizzle and chocolate on top.

Welcome to Binge Cafe

My husband is working on the bathroom while I sit here and create a new blog. I must get back to scraping the paint off the walls and windows of the Library. More excitement to follow later.