INDIEchouette


WORTHWHILE
30 June, 2007, 929 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

PersonalDNA.com

It’s another personality test, but it’s modern and different.  I’m a Compassionate Thinker.  Tell me what kind of person you turn out to be.



I GUESS WE ALL FEEL LIKE CRAP SOMETIMES
30 June, 2007, 757 pm
Filed under: My Experience with Existence

Derek didn’t try to call me yesterday at all, and he didn’t try to call me today, either. And he’s not going to call me today. At this point, I know that either something is wrong, or that he doesn’t want to talk, which I’d also classify under something being wrong. Perhaps he’s accepted that I’m moving on the twenty-fourth and wants to move on. I mean, when I told him we’re moving five days later than originally proposed, he didn’t jump up and down or even really sound excited or relieved. It was just kind of an, “Oh,” reaction. I know I often give off that vibe, but when I found I’d have five extra days with him, I was stoked (even though, generally speaking, I want to get the move over with).

Although sitting in front of my computer, I feel bummed out that I haven’t had the communication I took for granted and then started to thrive on, I at least have the hope that I’ll see him tomorrow, assuming that nothing too major is wrong and that he still wants to see me. And if not, then I can feel nauseous for a few more days and cry myself to sleep for another week and feel like absolute shit, but I know it won’t get me anywhere in life, so eventually, I’ll recover. Maybe lose some weight like Reese Witherspoon did and come out on top. It’s just the waiting around for a miraculous phone call to cure all that hurts. The panacea. I don’t even like talking on the phone, but if it means knowing that Derek’s a-okay, then I’ll do it. And I don’t even know what’s wrong. I don’t know why I’m upset, or if this is all miscommunication (or lack of communication) and I’m mistaken.

I know also that a good portion of this lack of balance is because of social anxiety disorder. I’m thinking that Derek is judging me when he hasn’t even seen me in a week, and (if I can base this off of my own experience of being away from him) probably misses me very much. I’m thinking that he is thinking the same negative thoughts about me as the ones my internal voice tells me, things that are exaggeratedly negative. I’m thinking that he’s lying about missing me, when that doesn’t fit in with his character. I’m thinking that he prefers that girl percussionist who offered him a hug, when, if I was in a similar situation, it would make me sad, and it would remind me of him, and it would make me not want to hug the offerer, but to tell him (if I was in that situation) about how much I missed my boyfriend back at home, and I’d know that he wouldn’t appreciate knowing that I’d hugged someone else when our friendship prior to dating didn’t involve PDA to any extent. Well, except how, on spring trip a half a year prior to dating, we sat next to each other on the bus and I put my head on his shoulder when I was tired. I wouldn’t say that part.

I’ve read parts of the self help books for social phobia, and they’re nothing new. I’ve attempted the exercises, but they don’t help me. I know more than some doctors do about it. I already know about diaphragmic breathing; I’m an oboe player and you need that kind of skill. I already learned about tensed and untensed muscles from my mother when I was young and had trouble sleeping. I already know that I have extremely negative thoughts about myself often, but they’re nothing irrational like, “I’m a loser.” They’re things like, “I need to lose weight,” or, “My hair is not behaving today,” or, “That lady at the beauty salon waxed my eyebrows so that they are way too far apart and it makes my eyes look small,” or, “I have less friends than my sister does, and she’s Satan.” And I know they’re not nice and I’d be better off without them. I know that people aren’t paying attention to where my eyes are focused when we’re talking, or the fact that my mouth twitches in math class when I drop my pencil without meaning to, or that my hand shakes when I write, or that my whole body shakes when I have a band playing test. I can’t simply read a book, though, and just think that my problems interacting with society are going to go away, though. What I need is therapy and maybe, when I get older, medication (although I’d like not to be put on medication).

Here’s something for those of you wondering what I’m rambling about. I’m one of those seventeen million Americans with social anxiety disorder. This means that I find social situations extremely uncomfortable…so much so that I sometimes have panic attacks before, during, or after a social situation. I can’t talk on the phone, I can’t meet new people, I can’t go out in public, I can’t IM people, I can’t even get up from my desk at school to go to the bathroom or to throw away trash or to sharpen my pencil without suffering from extreme anxiety. If I’m invited to some big event, like the PSAT excellence awards, I’ll worry about it every night for months leading up to the event. If I have to make a phone call, I start breathing short, anxious breaths from my chest and my throat tenses. Ever since I’ve become a teenager and realized that many working class people go to my school, I can’t even order at a restaurant without feeling uncomfortable. Social phobia boils down to the fear of being judged, and it leads to self-criticism.

When I say “judged,” I don’t mean the way emo people talk about being judged. I mean that I worry that people are watching my every move and evaluating me. They’ll notice my nose is a bit crooked at one point, or that my teeth are kind of yellow. They’ll notice a hand twitch or a mouth twitch or that I’m breathing too fast and that my voice is breathy because of it. They’ll notice that because my mouth is dry, I have to swallow a lot. And what’s wrong with all that? Well, I don’t know. They’ll think I’m weird. And that’s one thing social phobes hate. To stick out, especially negatively.

As a child, I was always considered “shy” or “quiet” by my peers and by my teachers. My mother resented it when teachers would write that on report cards. She said that it didn’t explain how I was as a person, and that it was a bad adjective. I agreed, but somehow, I think it got twisted in my brain that she was saying shyness was a bad thing, which she wasn’t at all.

When I was seven, I moved to Virginia, and my teacher resented me. I’ve compared with other kids’ impressions of her, and they all agree that she was a bitch. I once tripped over her foot, and she got angry and I was embarrassed. That’s the first time I really remember social phobia kicking in. When I was still seven, I moved to a different school where the kids were nice and the teacher was angelic, but I was more cautious.

There’s not really much else too embarrassing that I remember until I got to seventh grade, and my English teacher was lecturing the class, and I attempted to put my hair in a ponytail while she was talking (God forbid). She got really pissed off and lectured the class, and I felt the most embarrassed I’d felt in a long time, probably because she made me out to be some kind of beauty queen primping for prom, but I was an earthy gritty type of girl. Later that year during gym, I tripped and fell over someone else’s leg (I’m pigeon-toed) while running laps and broke my glasses, and that’s another time I felt the heat of embarrassment on my cheeks.

Nothing else happened until ninth grade, when I started to feel awkward walking to the front of the room to turn in papers or to sharpen my pencil or to grab the bathroom pass. As a solution, I started sharpening my pencils at home and not going to the bathroom during school. During gym that year, two sophomores liked to openly mock my running style which friends have done to me all my life, but since I didn’t know these kids, it embarrassed me, and the next year, my teacher commented on how I ran funny and that I should see a doctor about it (which I did when I was maybe three or four years old, and they couldn’t do anything for me). So I stopped running, and nowadays, I only run by myself. It’s seemingly small things like this that led up to my social phobia. Sophomore year, I openly liked a boy, and he openly rejected me because I was “weird.” I’ve mended.

A few months ago, I stumbled across an online quiz and it told me I might have social phobia. I cried for hours, because I thought everyone had anxiety when talking on the phone or placing an order at a restaurant. I thought it was normal to only have a few friends and feel intense discomfort in social situations. Well, it’s not.

I’ve also added two new tags. The first is intended as a warning, although if you’re in a mopey mood and you want to wallow in the pity pool with me, you can click on it and read my “Pity Pool” entries from now on. Supposing you’d like to read more confident, straightforward ones that matter, you can read “Actually Matters” entries. Just, I feel bad for sometimes subjecting the readers to a little bit of both, or to the Pity Pool without their consent. I’m now giving you the option of skipping over them.



I’M GETTING MY OLD TOUCH BACK
29 June, 2007, 852 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I couldn’t even get through the Foreward of Targeted: The Anatomy Of An Animal Rights Attack without laughing out loud and saying, “WHAT?!” Here’s a quote from the Foreword, before the book even STARTS. First, some background on the one page I was able to read before it. John M. Orem of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center “suffered” an animal rights attack in mid-1989, and after the attacks, some of his supporters sent him plaques of approval, I guess. But he sees them as a sign of his “struggles” and of his weakness.

“For my part, my broodings were alleviated by reading Primo Levi’s The Drowned and the Saved and Bruno Bettelheim’s The Informed Heart. The perspective obtained from these authors’ attempts to understand their experiences in the German concentration camps showed me, on the one hand, that my burden is small and insignificant and, on the other hand, that there are parallels between the techniques of Nazi Germany and those of the animal rights movement.”

I laughed and yelled, “WHAT?!” Haha, yeah…okay, so the animal rights movement is attempting to rescue animals from the horrid living conditions and the exploitation they suffer daily, to free them. We’re attempting to make them happier. Nazi Germany was making an attempt at genocide, because Hitler essentially piled all of the problems of Germany, corrupt after WWI, on the Jewish population, on Undesirables, on Gypsies, on the mentally ill, on homosexuals…on anyone who wasn’t just like him. Ever read Night by Eli Weisel? Yeah, his family was tricked into thinking that the train was taking them to a place with better conditions than their hometown, which had been staked out by Nazi soldiers. They thought they were being protected or saved. Yeah, they ended up at concentration camps, where Eli lost his family and his happiness and ended up an orphan. Let’s read on, though, shall we?

“This movement uses propaganda to accomplish its goals; it cares nothing about the truth and is even attempting to rewrite the history of science to discount the role of animal research. The movement has infiltrated our schools; it condones terroristic acts as a means to its end; it uses legal bullying to silence its critics; it is anti-intellectual and antihuman.”

Cares nothing about the truth. Propaganda. Hmm. What about people who like to cover up the truth? Okay, let’s look at a generic carton of cow’s milk. How about Lehigh Valley milk? You’ll see a graceful green field on the label, with a rising sun. On other dairy products, you might see pictures of cows roaming happily on the plains, eating grass, with a big red barn behind them. You’ll read picture books about it. You’ll even see commercials about it, like the Turkey Hill one, where there’s a little girl jumping on a trampoline on a farm in Hanover, Pennsylvania, or maybe Lancaster (I forget). They certainly don’t get their animals from these places. So where do they come from? Oh, yeah–factory farms. Or “free range” farms. Well…why don’t they plaster pictures of these places on their containers and in their ads and in their commercials? I mean, that would be telling the truth, after all. Oh, what? They’re disgusting and inhumane? But they show completely unrelated pictures to their customers? Isn’t that misleading? Do the meat eating customers ever see how their meat lives? Do they see how they’re slaughtered? Do they see the look of disdain in a cow’s innocent eyes in her last seconds of life? Do they know that their meat may have been conscious while being skinned? Do they know how much SHIT is in what they’re eating? Are you getting tired of my rhetorical questioning? The thing is, I don’t think it’s the animal rights movement that doesn’t care about the truth. I think it’s the other end of the spectrum. Like Iams testing on animals. That’s “science.”

Do you know what else about science? I’ve never had to dissect a frog, but my classes have dissected squids (fourth grade), female rats (seventh grade), and pig fetuses (tenth grade). And I wanted nothing to do with it. For the squids, my partner did everything. For the rats, I pretended I was sick so I wouldn’t have to, and for the pig fetuses, I opted out and my teacher almost sent me to the clinic because she thought I looked like I was going to barf all over the individual desk I had to do my optional assignment at. She never did collect that assignment; she gave me a free perfect grade. The thing is, one of the places I expect to escape cruelty is at school. We’re talking about math and chemicals and prose. But when it does come up at school–in the form of that huge bug in the hallway, or the bird on the side of the school, or the pig fetus, or the rat, or the squid–I normally lose it.

Back to how fucked up this book is. Anti-intellectual. So Orem is saying that it’s intellectual to exploit and control animals? It’s intellectual to attempt to be the master of someone smaller than you–someone absolutely defenseless against you? Come on, Johnny. Grow up.

“My conviction from this experience is that this movement can be stopped by doubt. Propaganda works because of the absence of doubt. Doubt is critical thinking, and, with it, although we may not arrive at the truth, we can ferret out many lies.”

Exactly. Propaganda, like the pictures that come on the cartons of animal products, works because of the absence of doubt. How many average, ever day people/soccer moms/grocery store workers are going to believe, after x years growing up with these fantasies, the pictures and videos PETA shows them? Probably none. And they’ll come away really pissed off. Doubt may be critical thinking, but it’s been a good fifteen years since our old buddy John M. Orem wrote this poor excuse for a Foreword, and I don’t think the animal rights movement is declining any.

While we’re talking about animal rights and PETA, take a look at this load of bull. If you don’t have time (if you don’t, then why are you reading this?!), it’s an article released by PETA about their opposition to the EU dog and cat fur ban. The comments on the article are complete bull crap from blind PETA supporters. PETA’s reasoning for their opposition is that the abuse will be displaced from dogs and cats to other fur animals, and that these animals, commonly known as household pets, will still be abused…just now they’ll be mislabeled as other animals. They say it will grease the tracks for the fur trade. As legitimate as this all sounds (and may be), the ban is still a small step towards change. My opinion is that they keep the ban. It’s raised awareness to those who were formerly unaware, and lifting the ban would allow for open abuse of cats and dogs. Though this ban may not be completely saving them–and may encourage underhanded practices–it’s a start. I mean, what animal abusing system isn’t underhanded about its practices? We need that to change, but let’s start by educating everyone that not everyone is as honest as they make their self out to be.



LABYRINTHIAN POMP
29 June, 2007, 1212 am
Filed under: My Experience with Existence

My biggest mistake thus far has been attempting the “cold turkey” (ironic) approach to veganism. Just dropping everything right away. Although this works for some people, I know that I’ll have to take the same approach as I did to vegetarianism–gradual but permanent, and no steps backward.

Let me share a story with you. Coming into high school as a fourteen-year-old freshman, I’d just lost twenty pounds because my doctor told me that I ought to. I remember going in for my annual check-up that January, and they weighed me and I came in at 123 pounds and only thirteen years old, whereas most skinny girls my age weighed in at under a hundred. I wore glasses (but my teeth were perfect), and I had thick eyebrows and a low self-esteem. This isn’t a pity story. My doctor asked me if I felt comfortable with my weight, and I told him, “No.” And he asked my mother questions about my eating habits, and about my physical activity, and although at first I was depressed, I agreed to lose the weight. When I was feeling particularly moody, my mom used to tempt me with baby tees at Aero. I lost the weight, I got contacts, and I let my mother pluck my eyebrows. I was still the same naive, insecure girl I used to be, but I was prettier now. I’d struggled a little.

English had always been my favourite academic pursuit, seeing as the teachers were normally pussies and understood my plight and my writing and my ugly, AWFUL poetry. But this year was different. For my freshman year of high school, my teacher was a young man–and he was vegan. And he intimidated the fuck out of me. He wasn’t mean. I was just scared of him because he seemed like the most legitimate adult I’d ever come into contact with. No bullshit grownup shelter stuff. He treated us like his equals, even though we were some of the most immature little shits ever. While we wrote our journals, he’d play some fantastic music from his iPod that I didn’t know the name of, and he assigned us some Jawbreaker lyrics as one of our journals, and he let us watch Pootie Tang while studying The Odyssey. Looking back, he was the best teacher I’ve ever had in my whole gradeschool career, but by the end, I was still terrified of him (and granted, part of that was social phobia). I just now looked up to him for it.

And when I reread the journal entries I wrote, all whiny and complainy about middle school and shit that doesn’t matter in the long run, I also feel awful that he ever had to read them. And he wrote that he appreciated my honesty, which, I feel his pain. If I’d been him, I would have kicked me in the face. In addition, I also liked Avril Lavigne and shit fake punk rock that’s really pop, and fake emo, and I wore these ugly leather DC shoes that were FUCKING ugly, and, well…he’s vegan, and I kind of wish he’d badgered me for it. I swear, I tossed those shoes out before I even committed to vegetarianism.

Okay. So animal rights. At the end of the school year, this new girl, Meghan, entered my science class. She was (and still is) vegetarian and the coolest person I’d ever met, and why hadn’t I met her earlier?! She opened my eyes to new music (which was far better than what I listened to at the time, but still not what I like today), new kinds of people, and, of course, animal rights. She invited me over to her apartment once and we sat and shadebathed and swam in the pool and ate Boca chili and talked about PETA and animal rights and rock and roll.

Meghan’s ideas spread like wildfire, and soon, there was talk amongst a bunch of us non-vegetarian freshman girls of a vegetarian week. We would organize a week where we’d abstain from eating meat. And that’s where it all began. Meghan mentioned it to our English teacher, and he set us up with PETA stencils and stickers and posters, but told us to keep it on the hush-hush, since if the school found a trillion PETA stickers around campus, he was the obvious first person they’d confront. We spray-painted our tee shirts and went to school to advertise, and the rest is history. For the next six months, I’d eat meat on and off, claiming vegetarianism one week and going back to eating meat the next. And then on January 12th, 2006 after watching a multitude of PETA videos, I decided I never wanted to eat meat again, so on January 13th, 2006, I stopped altogether after a six-month trial period. I ordered the PETA vegetarian starter kit and got a bunch of stickers and eventually even got a new email address. And whenever the time comes, I vote for the sexiest vegetarian.

I’m not sure as to the validity of PETA; I’ve only heard vague bullshit, but if you’d like to expand or kill rumours in the comments, that’s fine. Because I’ve been looking for answers about PETA for two years now, and most are distorted or indirect.

So veganism, for now, I need baby steps. I need to stop drinking milk (which I did a long time ago). I need to not put creamer or half & half in my coffee. I need to stop drinking YooHoo. And that’s one baby step. Then I need to focus on something else big, like gelatin, and completely abandon that. And honey. We had Chipotle for dinner today, and instead of getting sour cream which I admittedly occasionally do, I opted out and got a vegan burrito. I need to add layer upon layer until I can handle it all at the same time, and then I’ll be vegan. It might take a while, but I’m taking charge.

Oh, and I saw Fast Food Nation today. If you told me that Gigli (yes, starring the first Bennifer) had Paul Dano in it as an extra, I’d probably go out now at 2146 and rent it from whatever movie renting place is open. I love Paul Dano. As an actor. So naturally, I had to see FFN, but I also wanted to see it because it was criticizing something so prominent in today’s culture–the fast food industry. It’s now one of my favourite movies because of how exposing it is (despite the fact that yes, Avril Lavigne is in it). It has real film from the slaughter, which is graphic and gruesome, but its all-star cast will tempt the innocent and many eyes will be opened. Upon later reflection on the film, it reminded me a lot of Sinclair’s The Jungle. Today’s meat industry isn’t any better than it was when it was first created. They’re still killing animals just as brutally, the living conditions are still just as awful, the meat’s still just as unsanitary, and the workers are still immigrants (though they’re no longer my Lithuanian descendants, but instead Mexican border-hoppers) and they’re still mistreated. Like Sylvia is forced to have sex with her superior just like Una is. They’re both young, beautiful married women in a strange new country, and they’re naive. Their husbands ultimately become injured, and their families fall apart–though Sylvia’s family is somewhat repaired, and Una actually dies. You should watch it when you get a chance, and tell other people to watch it too. Included in the Special Features are the Meatrix, the Meatrix II, and the Meatrix II 1/2. Available to normal people.

One last matter I’d like to discuss before signing out. Every day at lunchtime, I have a phone conversation with Derek, who is in Illinois until Sunday. I feel nauseous thinking about that. The first thing he had to say to me about his day was that a girl percussionist had asked him earlier hypothetically, “What if I gave you a hug?” He responded, “I’d wonder why,” and left the room. I laughed awkwardly and said something like, “Oooookay.” He’s an extreeeeemely attractive teenage guy, and this sort of thing will happen all the time after I move, and he won’t be under as much pressure to jet out of the room. That it’s happening before I’m even gone makes me feel like I was hit in the stomach with a gigantic Tupperware container.

Not only does it make me realize how awfully possessive and unreasonably jealous I can get, but it also makes me realize how much I care about him, and possibly how much he cares about me. First of all, that he told me about something this seemingly trivial in the first place only gives me reason to trust him, and that means he cares. Not that I don’t or didn’t or won’t trust him, but it calms me down. The mind strays from reality, especially with social phobia, which makes it a long and hard process for me to trust anyone. This sort of thing happens to me occasionally, where I’ll find that someone is attracted to me, but I normally brush it off, or I don’t mention it because I’ll sound catty or coy, like I’m trying to make him possessive or jealous to make myself feel “secure”. And I do have several guy friends, or enough to make any normal guy a little uneasy, but they’re nothing to worry about at all. This is only the first or second time it’s happened to him, I guess, unless he just brushes it off like I do when we’re both at home, but he must have been feeling particularly nostalgic or something to tell me about the incident. Or guilty?! I think only I would feel that way in such a situation. There’s nothing to feel guilty about; he did nothing wrong. And I think that even if he had hugged that girl, I wouldn’t have been any more riled up than I am now. I’m so completely passive that he probably could have pecked her on the cheek or received a peck on the cheek from her, and I wouldn’t have said anything for fear of aggravating him. Not that he’s irritable at all.

And what if he considers it? I mean, this is not at all a judge on his character, but mere blowing things way out of proportion, as anxiety will do. Suppose she’s more beautiful than I am, or far thinner so that he’d be able to carry her for a few steps without his back hurting? What if she’s more outgoing, and he learns he prefers that? What if she has blue eyes or even green eyes and he thinks they’re really pretty, as opposed to my muddy hazel ones? What if she’s got darker hair than I do, or lighter hair, or longer hair, or more eyelashes? What if he likes that she’s so much more straightforward than I am from the beginning? I never was straightforward, and I’m still not quite. It’s not my game. UGH.

What I’m saying is that he’s in my current position a lot because I have a ton of interaction with guys my age. I’m taking a walk in his shoes now, and it makes me realize how careless and mindless I can be sometimes even when I don’t mean to be. I feel nervous and worried that he’ll find some week-long band camp replacement for me maybe a Canadian girl who’s more fluent in French, and that he’ll love her more than he does me, or that if I show him how much this trivial thing riled me up (and it SHOULDN’T; it’s wrong of me), that he’ll think I’m some possessive control freak, and he won’t tell me about anything like this ever again.

For clarification, he’s the most loyal guy I’ve ever met, the most steadfast friend, and I’m blowing everything WAY out of proportion because I’m tired and anxious and I miss him. And I’m trippin’ ballsz because I’m listening to of Montreal. Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?

As a closer/mood lifter, I’d just like to mention that I went to the library by myself yesterday and checked out six books, and I actually read Anthem by Ayn Rand, and I’ve already started Chocolat by Joanne Harris, and I’m currently halfway through Painfully Shy by Barbara Markway, Ph.D. and her husband Gregory (also a Ph.D.) and the end of Chapter 6 helped me a little bit. I also checked out The Vegetarian Handbook by Gary Null (I didn’t know that legume was an English word, too!); Social Phobia by John R. Marshall, M.D; and this book called Targeted: The Anatomy of an Animal Rights Attack, which I’d initially thought was pro-animal rights, but turns out to be all for lab testing and gives advice on standing strong against the movement, but it’ll give me some perspective on the animal rights groups out there like PETA and ALF and such. Especially PETA.



SHE SAID, “WHAT?” HE SAID, “YOU.”
26 June, 2007, 344 pm
Filed under: My Experience with Existence

She said, “What are you talking about?” He said, “You.”

Whoa, Kate Nash is impressive. She’s like a more blunt Lily Allen who writes her own material.

Let’s talk music. Yesterday at H&M, I was browsing through tops, and I came across a plain white tee shirt, really long, and on the front, it said in bold black letters, all caps: “IT’S NOT OVER NOT OVER NOT OVER YEAH!” Yes, Klaxons. I kind of wanted it, but I knew my mom probably wouldn’t like it/buy it for me, and I didn’t know what I’d wear it with,anyway. Leggings and black Chucks (hi-tops) would be ideal, I think. Maybe a jean miniskirt frayed on the ends with a stud belt, depending on the actual length of the top. And maybe not.

Let’s talk veganism. Step one for me was downloading the A-Z list of animal products that Deb pointed me towards, and then syncing it with my pod. Step two was searching all the ingredients of Sour Patch Kids using that list (I found out later on the internet that they’re “Accidentally Vegan”). Step three was bookmarking vegan websites left and right, and step four was researching whether or not Ice Breakers Sours are vegan (it’s questionable; I’ll find out, though). Step five was assuring that Chipotle is vegan, assuming you choose the correct ingredients, and I was ASTOUNDED at what I found out!

Okay, so Chipotle uses free-range animals instead of factory farmed animals, they have cheese and sour cream that’s got vegetable-based rennet, and everything’s fresh there. The only non-vegan items there are the meats, cheese, sour cream, some honey salad dressing, and the pinto beans (which have bacon). It’s either one fourth or one twenty-fifth of their black beans are organic, and they’re working on that. Chipotle recycles. Nothing bad, except that, of course, they still have animal products–but free range meat is better than factory farmed meat! Now look at this hot piece of information: up until October 2006, over 90% of Chipotle’s stock was owned by McDonald’s! They were owned by McDonald’s. That’s sick and sad. But not anymore. The other bad news: one burrito, which I sometimes eat in one sitting, is worth over 1000 calories. Now, for your average growing boy, I guess that’s fine if you eat that much because it’s about half of your caloric intake, give or take a few hundred calories, but for your average growing girl, that’s TWO MEALS and snacks in the middle! HOLY SHIT.

I’m done freaking you out. I’m sad that Ice Breakers Sours might not be vegan. Anyhow, let me tell you how my eating has gone thus far at my casual movement into veganism.

Since I’m already a strict vegetarian (no meat, no seafood, no lard, no cochineal, no carmine, no gelatin, no milk), and have been for over a year and a half, I’m already on the right track and generally know what to look for on the food labels. Why don’t I drink milk as a vegetarian? I never liked it as a child, and as a teenager, the idea of milk is just disgusting. Only infants need milk–from their mothers. Therefore, supposing I ever had a child, I’d breastfeed, I guess. But I don’t really plan on having kids, not at this juncture. And you’re not supposed to make your kid vegan until he’s at least two years old. And supposing I have carnivorous or omnivorous pets when I’m grown (which I don’t plan on in the first place), I won’t make them vegan, but I won’t buy them IAMS or anything vile, either.

Back to my food choices. This morning, I ate wheat Chex and some watermelon and it was the highest-calorie breakfast I’ve had this week, but it was also the healthiest and the most filling. Then I ate some Sour Patch Kids. And now, I’m chilling, waiting for myself to be hungry for dinner, which I’m not yet. Keep in mind that I got up and had breakfast at 1100 and it’s now 1545, and I’m nowhere near hungry.

UPDATE AT 22:23 PM::  My mistake.  Free range animals aren’t better off than factory farmed animals.  “Free range” animals are, in most cases, really the same as factory farmed animals; it’s just a title to make people feel good about the meat/dairy they’re consuming, and the only requirement is that animals have access to the outdoors–but that doesn’t mean they get to actually go outside or anything.  They’re still debeaked, and it’s still inhumane (and they’re still killed in the end).  Allegedly, Chipotle is one place that lives up to its word, but I think I’d honestly to have to see it to believe it.  Like, take a tour of the place and decide for myself whether those animals are happy.  Many thanks to Deb for the information in the comment.

Also, supposing I ever have a child of my own, and supposing my husband consents, he or she will be a little vegan baby.



HEY-OH IT’S MONDAY!
25 June, 2007, 1029 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Monday Melee

The idea comes from Fracas, and I’ve meant to do it for the past month, but always remembered on Tuesday.  And I would never cheat.

1.  The Misanthropic:  Name something (about humanity) you absolutely hate.
I despise the way we treat animals.  I hate it.  I hate zoos because no animal deserves to be gawked at.  I hate the circus for some of the same reasons, and because of the way they treat their performing animals.  I hate the Deep Run Homecoming Parade because every year I have to march right behind the truck carrying the caged wildcat and just stare that poor, beautiful cat in the face while it inhales smoke, endures yelling, sits in a cramped, uncomfortable space, and is forced to look at me.  I hate the SPCA because they could afford nicer cages for their pets and better lights and because they kill their animals.  I hate factory farms, I hate the idea of dairy products, and I hate the idea of meat even more.  I hate hunting and fishing and I hate roadkill.  I hate industrialization.

2.  The Meretricious:  Expose something or someone that’s phony, fraudulent or bogus.
Oooh, let’s see.  I could expose a bunch of things right now.  But I think I’ll expose the ending of Happy Feet.  It’s so not going to happen like that, but if it did, that would be nice.

3.  The Malcontent:  Name something you’re unhappy with.
I don’t like that Derek is in Illinois and I’m in Virginia.  I don’t like it one bit.  I miss him so much that it can’t even register.

4.  The Meritorious:  Give someone credit for something and name it if you can.
Credit goes to Spencer for reminding me about Sigur Rós so I would start listening to them today.  Because they’re good.  And Icelandic.

5.  The Mirror:  See something good about yourself and name it.
I have a pretty little mouth.  And when I get the chance, I use it to stand up for myself.  I’ve conformed a little to the Deep Run standards, but I haven’t sacrificed who I am and worn unflattering Polos and Crocs and Uggs in the process.  I’m a tomboy, but I’m also as delicate as a vase.  And I don’t say much.

6.  The Make-Believe:  Name something you wish for.
Yesterday, it was that Derek makes it safely to Illinois, which he did.  Right now, it’s somewhere between hoping that he doesn’t die before I get to see him again and maybe something selfish and superficial like wishing I had perfectly straight dark brown hair instead of wavy brown hair with hints of red or wishing I had blue eyes instead of hazel eyes or wishing I had perfect vision or wishing I had a different nose, more clearly pointy.  If you’re talking about more material things, not superficial, I wish there was more fruit in my house.



COMBIEN DE CHOSES?
25 June, 2007, 1210 pm
Filed under: My Experience with Existence, School

Naughty me. I’ve not been sticking to my eating plan well today…I had some Sour Patch Kids and a popsicle today, plus three Frosted Mini Wheats. That is not a part of my agenda. I’m not fat. I’m just not skinny. It’s not even so much the fact that I’m not skinny as it is that I’m not particularly healthy. I’m not sick and I don’t need surgery or anything, but I eat way too much. Never fear; no eating disorders here!

Speaking of food and eating, I’ve been avidly avoiding dairy lately. Water only, try to eat mostly fruits and veggies, et cetera. Of course, at this point, there’s almost no escaping it, but the road to veganism has cleared up ever since Luke aka surplusvalue asked me what was holding me back. Well, money. But I can get a job once I move. There are vegan things in our household, or at least things that a vegan could eat. Not much. Fruits and vegetables. I need to look up exactly what vegans don’t eat. I know vegans don’t eat dairy, meat, animal products (which means no gelatin, no insect-based carmine), no flour. I wonder if vegans can eat Chipotle? If not, then I should e-mail Chipotle and inquire as to whether they’d be able to make vegan meal options available. They seem friendly, laid-back, and concerned for the animals (not that most people in Scene Pump care).

Derek is in Normal, Illinois at the BOA (Bands of America) Symposium. Why would I even consider lying? I miss him. I miss him a lot. The night before he left, we drove around to what seemed like every godforsaken CVS in the tricounty area looking for candy for the bus ride, and then he took me to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. We filled up my gas tank a bit and drove around Innsbrook, and then ended up back at his house and watched Happy Feet. We had an ongoing joke about Happy Feet, by the way, before we saw it, because once when Tim, Jordan, and Derek were at my house for a Guitar Hero pit gathering, at dinner, Jordan told the story of Happy Feet in COMPLETE GRUESOME DETAIL, so we didn’t want to see it since we had already heard it. But it was the most amazing children’s movie I’ve ever seen, with a better message than friendship or sharing–save the penguins–and it reminded me that I genuinely despise zoos. I mean, endangered species in captivity to reproduce, fine, but not for ugly snotty little kids and parents to ogle. Anyway, by the end of the movie, we were laughing like hysterical drunks about everything, completely effortlessly, and it was fun. Pure fun. Not like the awkward laugh with tension that we sometimes experience, but it was genuine laughs from both of us, because we both felt the same way–tired and not wanting to be separated.

And then I left and he went to Normal.

The neighbourhood ladies are nice. They don’t really socialize all too much, but ever since the news came up that we were going to sell our house, they’ve helped my mother in every way possible, from giving tips on interior design to assessing how much the house is worth. When I got home, I found that earlier, they’d taken my mother to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory about a half hour after Derek and I left, and they gave her tons of Bath & Body Works shit. At first, I was like, “WTF?!” but she deserved it. My mom knows everyone, but it seems like she tries not to get too attached to anyone, sort of like me.

Then yesterday, when I had expected to be in a funk about Derek’s absence, at about 1215, my good middle school friend Amber called asking if I wanted to go to lunch at Panera with her and Erin and maybe Emily and Ben, all middle school friends at other schools (the only one who goes to my school is Emily, who’s in the IT program). It was weird at first seeing Amber and Erin (I see Emily a lot) grown up, and it was even weirder hanging out with girls only. Intellectuals. That’s not to say my Deep Run friends aren’t smart, but it’s hard to explain…once you’ve endured the IB program even for those three years, you’re nearly a certified intellectual and you crave political conversations and just debates, and Harry Potter speculation and polls on who Beatrice (see: A Series of Unfortunate Events) really is, and for the past three years, my brain’s kind of been rotting, not being surrounded by that type of person anymore. I’ve stooped to making dumb jokes and adding “your MOM” to phrases. It’s pretty bad. I don’t really talk about Harry Potter, and I haven’t even read books 12 or 13 in ASOUE. When you go to Deep Run, conforming is part of the package, and I won’t deny that I’ve conformed some, at least as far as standards of intellect go.

We warmed up, though, after Erin took a poll asking whether or not Snape is good or evil (come on, guys, he’s good). Let me explain our middle school group. Amber is extremely intelligent and she excels at writing, mathematics, science, politics…everything, and she rides horses. She could completely convince you that (little kids look away!) Santa is real if she wanted to, and she’s vegetarian ever since Lent last year. Erin is artsy and comfy but unique, and also extremely intelligent. She’s into manga and goes to anime conventions, and she got me into Fruits Basket. Emily is athletic–she runs cross country, or she used to, and she’s smart, neat, organized, and polite, but not annoyingly so. And then there’s me. I am the messiest, the youngest of our group, and I used to be the most impressionable…not dumb, but more narrow-minded. I make excuses, I’m less rich, and my parents are the only ones who are splitting. I have to tweeze my eyebrows daily. I used to be the one who tried really hard to make everyone laugh. I’m the one who’s the most concerned with my appearance. And now, I’m judgmental and quiet and cold, and indie. Yes, I’m indie.

We played DDR and watched Little Miss Sunshine, which made me automatically think of Sufjan Stevens, who never fails to make me think of Derek, now especially because he’s in Illinois right now (Come On Feel The Illinoise). Paul Dano talks exactly like my pal Tim, and they almost look alike. I love that movie.

It feels weird that I’m going to leave behind all these people I don’t normally see, who don’t go to my school. We bought the house next to my cousins, and it’s ours on July 20th. I need a smaller bed. I will actually use my closet for holding clothes. I don’t get to keep my car; it’ll be my dad’s instead. So I don’t really have a car, which is depressing. But I can drive, unless I don’t get the court order before I leave, in which case, I have no idea what I’ll do.

I didn’t think my parents’ divorce would change my life. I’m not upset about the end of an emotional commitment at all. I’m not upset that I won’t be able to see my dad as much anymore. I’m not upset that things didn’t work out, things that brought myself and my sisters into existence in the first place. I should, but I don’t. My dad blames it all on one or two miscarriages that occurred before and after Alexa, and I remember the last one. My mom doesn’t say anything. It just has to happen. I’m upset about the changes. I’m a hypocrite. I hate being no one here, but I don’t want to be the new kid there. I hate the privilege and the snob attitude of here, but I don’t want to go there, where no one cares. I hate that I can’t be the smartest here, but I don’t really want to be the smartest there. But Derek isn’t in Lewisburg. Well, he’s not in Richmond right now, either, but he’s normally in Richmond.

If anything, I’ll say we should move for Alexa. Her friends here suck.

I have some blood on my hand, but I don’t know where it came from. When I smile lately, I can see the dimple in my left cheek.

My mother came to me yesterday and told me that either I’d need to get a scholarship or I’d need to think smaller for college. Because Kenyon is a private college and it does cost a lot. Because it’ll especially cost a lot for someone from a family like mine. I was upset about this for a while–limiting my education choices, COME ON, but then I thought about something Erin said later on. As an artsy person, she’s considering going to a mathematical school because she’ll stand out. Maybe I should do that. College Board College Finder, here I come.