Category Archives: Friend

The Bad Waitress; Wellness Update

This morning my friend Stevi and I went to the Bad Waitress, here in Minneapolis, for breakfast. We both had the Heavy Pedal, which is a tofu scramble with whatever added ingredients the consumer desires. Stevi got some vegan sausage as a side, and I have to admit that it looked amazing. She said when she first tasted it, she thought they gave her the wrong sausage. If I can forego being humble for a moment, I am sure it tasted almost as amazing as the vegan sausage links I make. I haven’t made them for a while, but I should probably make it a point now that I’m vegan again.

I loved my meal, because it was full of good stuff like broccoli, mushrooms, curry powder, and turmeric. I also got gluten-free toast as a side and a delicious Americano to drink. Sadly, the gluten-free toast wasn’t vegan, but I ate it anyway, because it was already toasted, and I hate to waste food. Once I started eating the toast, I was pretty excited because it was the best gluten-free bread I’ve ever tasted. Now I’m on a quest to find delicious gluten-free and vegan bread so I can eat toast at home sometimes. I just love toast. I mean, I really, really love toast. TOAST!

After we ate, we walked down a couple of doors to Glam Doll Donuts, where Stevi bought some vegan donuts to take home to share with her fiancé. They seriously have a dozen different vegan donuts there, and surprisingly, the guy who helped us wasn’t pretentious. I prefer Mojo Monkey Donuts, because the women who work there are all kind and helpful, it’s closer to my house since it’s in St. Paul, and I’ve never had good luck with the folks who work at Glam Doll. However, this visit really bolstered my desire to return there to get some vegan donuts, because the guy was kind, funny, and helpful. Basically, he may have saved my faith in Minneapolis donuteries. Mojo Monkey is still my favorite, though.

On our way back to our meeting point, we stopped at Mississippi Market Co-op, where Bec and I are members, to get some Shea butter and turmeric. I ended up buying organic, fair-trade bananas and a container of organic, fair-trade Shea butter for my super-dry skin. I looked at some apples, but they were all $8-14 per bag, so I decided to buy those at our regular grocery store where I can get organic apples for $6 a bag, and I decided not to get the turmeric right now, because it was also very expensive. I get paid on Friday, so I’ll go this weekend to pick some up.

I have read and been told that turmeric can help to manage inflammation, but I am not a huge fan of the taste of it, unless it’s mixed with curry powder like in my tofu scramble this morning. I thought I would buy some turmeric capsules to help keep my joints from aching and my skin from itching so much. I have to admit, that short of some dry skin, my itching “from the inside” (as I like to think about and explain how my allergic itching feels) is all but gone. I have had one hive in the past two weeks, and I haven’t been taking my allergy medicine at all.

I don’t feel tired, and I don’t have pain when I go for a long hike. I’ve hiked as far as six miles on hilly terrain with no soreness in my joints. I’m at a point where I want to start running again, and I thought I would start again once May got here,  but I’ve decided to hold off until I get back from Indiana and start running again on June 1. I’ve lost 13 pounds since March 28, which wasn’t a real goal, but I’m pleased that it has happened, since being less fat will certainly make running success come easier.

I’m feeling content with my dietary decisions, and will continue them through May 25th when I visit Indiana. I am trying to decide how to manage life with being vegan full time, and will likely compromise with vegetarianism sometimes. As for sugar, well, I am hoping to be done with it, since sugar is neither good for me, nor does it help with my mood stability, and I’m just addicted to it. Once I start eaten M&Ms, I can’t stop until the entire bag is gone. I’m also planning to remain mostly gluten-free, but I have no desire to be insistent about it. Since food is an excellent way to bring people together, the last thing I want to do is cause people to be anxious about preparing meals in which I will partake. I am, however, planning to ask for a food allergy screening at my physical this summer, just to see what things may have actually caused me to feel so yuck all winter long.

Lastly, I got a great shirt in the mail last night. It says, “Eating animals is weird.” The more I think about it, the weirder is to me, and the sadder I am that I ever went back to it. Today, while Stevi and I were talking about speciesism and Danna Hardaway’s book When Species Meet, I was thinking about when I’ve shared the 50-wing platter at the Anchor Bar with Adam or Josh. That’s 25 chickens right there. The thing about veganism, or even vegetarianism for me, is that I feel so much more at peace. More kind. More compassionate. More loving. I’m not ingesting violence. And I feel it. Call me hippie-dippy, but I seriously feel more at ease in this world when I don’t have another animals blood coursing through my veins. And, I don’t have dreams of cows, pigs, and chickens chasing me at night.

25 chickens, dead for one meal.

25 chickens.

25.

Eating animals is weird.

Dear High School Students

You don’t have to go to college the year after your graduate. You really don’t. In fact, you’d be much better off figuring out who you are, what you want in life, and how you can go about getting that. Right now most of you are probably whoever your parents want you to be, you are probably pursuing whatever your parents want you to pursue, and you are probably following the path they’ve laid out for you since you were a small, small child. Likely you have no idea who you really are at the core, because you’ve spent the last 17-18 years trying to please your parents, your teachers, your religious leaders, your friends, your siblings, or countless other people who love you and think they are doing the best for you by pushing into college.

News flash: those people who love you will still love you, even if you tell them to piss off and get a minimum-wage job on the opposite side of the country or in another country for a few years until you figure out who YOU are, separate from them, separate from everyone’s preconceived ideas about who you should be.

News flash: college is expensive. If you are not 100% certain about what you want to pursue for a career, you might as well take your parents $100,000 or your $100,000 in scholarship or loan money, stack it next to the toilet, use it to wipe with, then flush it down the toilet.

Maybe I am a bit bitter about all this, because I am 40 years old now and wishing I didn’t have to pay nearly $750 a month toward student loans and credit card bills to pay for one graduate degree I quit and other graduate degrees that will get me nowhere. I don’t regret my education; I simply regret not waiting until I was ready to go to school. I regret not working at a job for a while. I regret not moving away from home sooner than I did. And I regret doing what I thought would give me security, instead of doing what I loved.

Maybe this is all to say, do what you love. What YOU love. Not what you think will pay the bills, not what you think will satisfy someone else. DO WHAT YOU LOVE. In the words of Bukowski: “My dear, Find what you love and let it kill you. Let it drain you of your all. Let it cling onto your back and weigh you down in eventual nothingness. Let it kill you and let it devour your remains. For all things will kill you, both slowly and fastly, but it’s much better to be killed by a lover. ~Falsely yours.”

One thing I will promise you, as Bukowski promises you, all things will kill you, but I’d certainly rather be penniless and making art or writing than smothering to death under a mountain of plastic debt, false hopes, and eviscerated career “opportunities.”

Give yourself time to find what you love, and let it kill you.

Dear Little Girl Who Was New in Second Grade

We sat together at lunch, in music class, and in the classroom. We played together for five recesses, then we sat under the birch tree, then you were gone. I don’t even remember your name. How I want to know your name. How I want to unpunch you.

My seven-year-old brain thought that if I was nice to you, people would say about me what they said about you: you dressed funny, you smelled bad, you brought your weird lunch in a brown paper bag, your teeth were all capped with silver, you were no doubt poor, and you lived at one of the less-desirable trailer courts in our district.

For all of these reasons I punched you in the face under the birch tree at recess that day. Every one was watching, the girls and the boys, so I had to save face. They said I loved you. They said I was a n—– lover, even though you were pale, pale skinned with blonde hair and blue eyes, and not African American at all. So I kept punching you in the face, in the sides, just like on TV, but when the teacher came over, I lied and said nothing happened. Even then I didn’t have the heart to face what I had done, and it was a good thing I wasn’t very strong because you only had a faint red patch on one cheek. You were too stunned to cry, and too scared to tattle.

You were different and a little bit weird. I was too, but my second-grade brain didn’t think about that. Our mutual oddities were evidenced by the fact that you and I had been having a lovely time sitting under the tree, watching the ants crawl on the blades of grass, talking about what they might be doing or where they might be going. We had previously broken off small bits of the birch bark and pretended we were pioneers taking notes with our charcoal pencils on those fragile pieces of bark, oblivious to the fact that our fantasy was so historically inaccurate.

The day before, which was your first day, we held hands while running through the field next to the playground and fell down laughing when you tripped on your long skirt. You didn’t make fun of my jeans that had to be rolled up because I was rounder than I was tall, and I didn’t ask about your beautiful, shiny, silver teeth. I was transfixed by how pale you were, the opposite of my darkness. Your long blonde braids were the perfect complement to my short black bob. I knew we’d be friends forever.

But then there was that horrible moment under the birch tree.

I need you to know that I’ve learned a lot since then, and I haven’t learned a lot since then. I would like to think that I’d not hit you today. I’d like to think I’d embrace you in the face of adversity. I’d like to think that given a challenge by my peers to chose someone who needs me over them, I’d chose you. I’d like to think I’d let people call me names for being friends with you.

But I am not sure I can promise you that. All the time. With complete assurance.

I strive every day to be the person I wish I would have been that day under the birch tree, but I still miss the mark sometimes. I strive to stand with those who need me, to recognize that my freedom is bound up with the freedom of those who have been oppressed, to be kind, to show grace, to be the person I know I need to be.

In my mind’s eye, I stand with you. I chose to be that person. I stop making excuses and I hold your hand under that birch tree, and tell every one else to just piss off. I give you grace, and I unload my shame.