INDIEchouette


EARTHLINGS

A friend wants to go vegetarian.  I have advised her not to go by PETA’s terms, but I’m not sure that she understands the gravity of the situation, and how labeled she will ultimately be if she does choose that path with her animal rights journey.

Here’s my thing.  I watched Earthlings with her yesterday, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, yeah yeah.  Many of the video clips in the film were reminders of just why I chose to go vegetarian in the first place.  And now that I look back at them, I wonder why I didn’t just go vegan from the start.  A lot of the clips were new, especially those pertaining to the dairy industry.  But I wonder how someone can watch all that, listening to Joaquin’s eerie voice, and seriously not immediately think, “I need to go vegan.”  I mean, vegetarianism is a serious jump for some.  But Earthlings covers everything involving animal use, from Pets to Food, Clothing, Entertainment, and Research.  There’s no room for argument.  Once you’ve seen it, you have virtually no excuse in the whole world.  Pescetarians have no good reason as to why they eat fish.  You have no backing behind your leather belts.  And “kosher?”  Come on, America is capitalist.  Capitalism treats animals as resources, as things.  And do you really expect capitalists to regard things with any respect, even relating to any religion (ya, even Christianity)?

So I’m saying watch it at your own risk for enlightenment, but watch it anyway.  And some of you (Travis) will disagree with me.  Some of you will think I’m being an extreme terrorist, but when coupled with the narrative, I think this provides essential information.  And I’m not really one for handing out extremely graphic animal rights videos.  But when you hear those screams, when you picture all the organs as though they’re hanging from your dying best friend or beloved cat just like they did from that “kosher” cow, you have to pay attention.  When you consider the agony of the dolphins being separated from their kin and see the schoolchildren walking by unperturbed as these dolphins are slaughtered, you’ve got to wonder what’s wrong with us.  We don’t want to know what goes into our food, our foolish whims, but for the record, we’re already desensitized anyway.

Oh, and also, you can’t help but wonder what kind of a life your cat led before you.  And I guess you’ll never know, either.  You’d just like to imagine it was good, or that you saved her.

For the record, I’ve known and loved Babygrrl since she was born.  For the record, the cats I live with at home are spayed.



VERDE

Fuck going green when there are far more important immediate crises.  Example:  Conditions in third-world countries.  Example:  Homelessness.  Example:  The conditions of animals living on factory farms or in puppy mills.  Global warming will have extreme effects years from now.  These things are already having extreme effects right now.

Also, if you’re going to go green, if it matters that much to you, then go vegan or even vegetarian and encourage your self-proclaimed green friends to do the same.  Not only will you kind of “save” some animals (I don’t like to refer to it in that manner because it’s not like Superman’s coming to the rescue…you’re just lowering the demand or maybe even just not contributing), but you’ll also “save” the environment (ditto).

Oh, but if you take my advice, don’t do it on PETA’s terms, please.



BIRTHDAY EVE

It doesn’t feel like tomorrow (Thursday) is my birthday.  I’m really reluctant to let go of being seventeen.  I feel like I’ve built up so much to be this age, kind of like when I was twelve and fourteen.  Those were ages which, for one reason or another, I aspired to be.  I figured I would savour them and in truth, I did.  I went through a lot of major changes at those ages.  Now, though, I don’t know what age I aspire to be.  Seventeen was kind of it for me.  I love being a teenager, save for all the misconceptions.  Fortunately, I still have two years left, even if I’ll legally be an adult.

I guess part of this whole it-doesn’t-feel-like-tomorrow-is-my-birthday business is that I’m away from most of my family, so it’s not like we can really celebrate.  And I need to make my own cake if I want one.  I’ll probably forego that because…

Okay, first, my sleeping habits are all fucked up.  I’m always tired on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and I take long naps in the afternoon.  Naps are very French, so I’m okay with that.

My eating habits are pretty fucked, too.  I don’t really want to go into that because it will scare those of you considering veganism or even vegetarianism.  NO, it is not hard to be vegan or vegetarian.  YES, VCU does offer a plethora of vegetarian options, as well as a few for vegans (which is really nice, considering that some restaurants aren’t even that considerate).  The problem with my eating habits has more to do with time management and being busy and slightly lazy.  If I have lost weight over the past two weeks, it is only because I do not feel like boarding the bus to go over to Shafer Dining Court or walking there.  I do eat in my room, though.  I’ve had fruits and nachos and occasional granola bars and cereal.  Also, I guess I do get a lot of exercise, especially on days when I am motivated enough to make the 1.5-mile “trek” between the MCV campus (where I live) and the Monroe Park campus (where all of my classes are and everything happens).  Okay, so in just two weeks, I have gone from being a health-conscious “leafy green” vegetarian to being a lazy-ass junkfood transitioning vegan.  That definitely needs to change as soon as I’m more settled.  Fortunately, I’ve been researching good grocery stores in the area.

Muzak, though!  I haven’t written about music in so long.

Okay, the first tune, I have been spinning (lolzers, more like “telling my iPod to repeat”) constantly for the past few days.  It’s not only the catchiness and the depth of the lyrics, but it’s that little background noise.  Some MGMT, I didn’t like at first because it’s pretentious and it sometimes reminds me of of Montreal (nothing wrong with a little of Montreal, but I can only handle so much), but you have to love “Kids.”  It just feels right.

Kids | MGMT
[zshare] [mediafire]
[buy] [direct link]
MGMT’s Site
MGMT’s MySpace

So now I’m giving MGMT a second chance, because I always used to get pissed reading that people thought Animal Collective was “artsy for art’s sake.”  Come on, now!  What’s wrong with being artsy for art’s sake?!

The next track I must present to you is one of the most desperately catchy songs I’ve ever heard, again.  Except I’d venture to say that Van She is far more pop-friendly than MGMT is, and I predict that you’ll hear more from them in the mainstream soon.

Virgin Suicide | Van She
[zshare] [mediafire]
[buy] [direct link]
Van She’s Site
Van She’s MySpace

In the meantime between now and when I’m legal/now and my next post probably, I’ve got to write an Argumentative Diagnostic Essay.  Fun stuff.  Um, Explosions in the Sky soon, as well as maybe some French sheittt for all those fellow francophiles (I know, there are so many…).



“RABBIT RABBIT” FOR MAY

Going to the art show made me realize that I should have submitted more art.  Also, my friends are artistic wonders.  I especially enjoyed flipping through Paige’s sketchbooks.  I’ve been thinking about starting a sketchbook for quite some time; I’ve now decided that I must.  It is imperative.  I also want to take art classes galore in college, even though fuck, my major has nothing to do with art.  It’s really a release for all of the visual creativity I’ve got built up.  I write every day, but it’s rare that I get the opportunity to visually represent what’s on my mind.  And in elementary school, I was an art buff.  Some part of me thinks that perhaps I shouldn’t have traded art for band in middle school.  I’m in love with music and at least I’m glad that I learned to play mallets.  CONSOLATION for choosing oboe.

Nanyway.  Over the past few days, I’ve been regularly hitting up the Last.fm group for the Rilo Kiley concert on June 8th.  People (twenty-somethings, mainly) are afraid of people my age turning it into a fucking sing-along.  How RIDONKULOUS do you think we are?  And why wouldn’t you want to sing along?  I mean, look.  My freeenz and I live by the wisdom of Jenny Lewis.  We want to marry Blake Sennett (or something).  We realize that Jason Boesel is the rational voice of reason, and I guess Pierre de Reeder makes us dance or something.  I don’t know.  I guess I understand why you wouldn’t want a sing-along, but call me a “teeny bopper,” and I’m peissssed.  Just because I’m seventeen and a female.  Seeeriously?  Come on, now.  Reserve that term for someone who listens to one fuckin’ FOB song and goes to the concert.  All those pretty thirteen-year-old jelly-bracelet-wearin’ chicks at a Dashboard concert.  But please, never call a hardxcore Rilo Kiley follower a “teeny bopper.”  Please.  You will get beat down.

That being said, I have lately realized that I have two qualities that are automatic negatives.  One:  I am seventeen years old.  Thus, I’m not quite an adult and still insanely naive.  Two:  I am a girl.  This is like a double whammy, because it disallows many people from taking me seriously.  For example, people on Last.fm who think this is my first fucking concert or something.  The kind who call me a “teeny bopper” resentfully.  You don’t knoooow me!  And you also don’t know how committed I am to Rilo Kiley.  Committed, seriously.  Favourite band.

But when I’m writing, I have none of this in mind.  I don’t constantly think, “Oh, I’m seventeen and a girl.”  I just think about my passion for music, my passion for art, my passion for writing.  My passion for other people and details.  I also never have vegetarianism on my mind unless I’m at the grocery store.  And even then, it’s like, “Oh.  Today, we’re going to try to avoid cheese.”  Yeah.  And for the record, I would probably never buy or create a shirt declaring my vegetarianism.  Delia*s disappointed me in selling these.  It’s honestly nothing to brag about–kind of like wearing a shirt that says, “I dye my hair” or “I shave my legs.”  If you wear a shirt declaring it, people will think you’re pretentious.  High-and-mighty.  Holier-than-thou.  While I did constantly think about it two years ago, it’s now just part of life.  I don’t make it a point to tell everyone or rub it in everyone’s faces.  My point is that these shirts are for sellouts, mainly.  People who do it for the credit, or as a conversation starter.  Well, fuck that way of life.

Also, fuck PETA.

Hm, what else?  Oh.  The main downer point of my day.  I typed up my senior project paper, right?  All fancy and long.  Nice-looking.  Of course, I have had to guess and check on most of my project, because every time I asked them for clarification, they were extremely vague and unhelpful.  Well, I brought it down to Guidance in a spare moment.  And the woman.  At the desk.  Tells me.  That I did my paper wrong.  That it was supposed to be a five-paragraph essay.  With a cover sheet.  Telling about what I learned.

I almost screamed in frustration.

I’ve been making shit up as I go along ALL YEAR because Guidance has been the biggest lump of shit as far as help goes, and after I’ve done all of my hard work and put in many hours of organization and creativity, they have the BALLS to tell me that I did it wrong.  The fucking balls.

On my way out of Guidance, I felt tears welling up in my eyes.  They were not tears of, “I have to rewrite my paper.”  They were not tears of, “Poor me.”  Not the usual tears of sadness.  They were tears of frustration.  I was actually angry.  There was steam coming out of my ears.  I was soooo pissed.  Because Guidance can sit on their asses all day long and turn in my college applications over a month after I gave it to them after promising me “ASAP.”  They can give me the fucking PSSAs senior year.  They can force me to do a graduation project in less than half the time everyone else did it–and then threaten me with In-School Suspension (ISS) if I don’t turn it in on the same day as the senior slacker delinquents do (who have had about three years to complete their projects–over three times the amount of time I had).  But they can’t do their fucking job right.

So I put my head in my hands and pretended to sleep when in reality, I was stressed.  I am normally an expert at repressing tears, but this time, they leaked into my hands, I guess because of the pressure or some sheeeittt like that.  I just sat there and thought, “Oh, shit, how am I going to wipe my eyes off without making it look like I was just crying.”  But people knew because my face was all red, and I was acting like a pissmonkey, and I had to keep wiping my eyes.  If I had had someone to talk to, I think I would have been fine, but again…all of my friends were at the art show, and here I was stuck at school.  I never, ever, ever cry at school.  The last time I cried at school was probably sophomore year when the janitor pissed on me.  Well, he didn’t literally piss on me, but he yelled at me for something I didn’t even do, and made me clean it up, and called an administrator to supervise me, and it was humiliating.  Oh, and when my mother called the school about it, the Assistant Principal told me to get new friends.  It was actually laughable.  I laugh about it now because it was so ridiculous.  Fuck Guidance, seriously.

Also, I haven’t been so justifiably pissed in quite a long time.  I get frustrated with our school system, but I have not been this pissed at anyone for a good year, maybe.  And I haven’t been this justifiably pissed since the janitor thing.  Or when we got kicked out of the mall for wearing black.

Of course, I was pissed off for the rest of the day.  Rewriting the paper is no big deal.  I’m just frustrated with Guidance.

When I got home, of course it was a fucking Cryfest, boo-hoo, Guidance, blah blah, nyeeehhhh.  I was pissing at everyone.  And then in the middle of telling my mom this, she goes, “Look, you really need to wear coverup every day.”  And she pointed to my acne by my mouth.  So fucking superficial, I can’t even stand it.  Yes, I know that I have acne, mom.  I wash my face three thousand times a day.  You stressing me out is not going to cure anything.  You telling me that I shouldn’t have acne is not going to magically cure it.  And fuck, if I touch my face, I am not going to sprout a fucking pimple right there on the spot.  And for the record, my face is fucking dry.  Yeah, fuck astringent.

I went for a run, then.  And after that, we went to the grocery store.  And then I decided to work out for an hour.  I made my abs hurt.  I worked my arms hard.  I wanted to run again and do a million more reps, but there’s really only so much a person can do.  Exercise makes me happy.  It makes me feel thin and healthy.  I like that feeling.

Granted, I took some routines from Seventeen.  I used to think that Seventeen was so great.  It is, if we’re talking about body image.  But it does two things I don’t like.  One, it ignores the environmental situation.  In one issue, they specifically recommend aerosol hairspray for a style.  In another, they recommend packing a bottled water in your bagged lunch.  I’m sure there are other examples in every issue.  I just didn’t look.  Two, it stereotypes guys.  It tells you signs that he’s into you.  It tells you what subtleties he won’t pick up on.  It tells you why he likes you.  And really, this makes girls generic, too.  I picture the same girl for every write-in.  She is thin, well-liked, and beautiful.  Clean and naive.  And really, it makes me sad that anyone can think that they fit into a certain category.  You’re so different from anyone else, in a million ways.  The way you are, how you were raised, where you grew up, who your parents and siblings are, your aspirations, your tastes.  What you look like.  Just embrace it already.  Stop trying to look like Brittany Snow.  You’re beautiful on your own.  Or handsome–you’re stunning on your own.  Also, I find that Channing Tatum is an oaf.  Where the hell is the appeal everyone talks about?

Men.  Do you really think that every girl judges a man by his body?  Do you seriously think that every girl wants someone with a six-pack and bulging biceps?  Here’s a testament to the opposite.  I pay no attention to physical “treats” like that on a male.  I really don’t.  Partially because I would have no idea what to do with it.  Partially because a body like that would make me feel extremely self-conscious about my own body.  Also, I do not think that a toned, built man would go for me when I look like this.  But the main thing I look for in someone is something insightful and different.  I’ve found that more often than not, a guy who builds up his body is too busy conforming to what he thinks all girls want to have time to be insightful for me.

Well.  Huh.  Here’s my favourite track to work out to.  Brittany showed me the glory that is Santogold, and I fell in love.  Ali even said that on “L.E.S. Artistes,” she sounds like she is the baby of Tegan and Sara and M.I.A.  Funny, Santogold and M.I.A. are biffs.

Creator | Santogold
[zshare] [mediafire]
[buy] [mp3 direct link]
Santogold’s Website
Santogold’s MySpace

Might I add that Santi White is exceptionally beautiful?!



LA NOURRITURE!

The last time we went to the grocery store, my mother told me that I should lay off of pre-packaged and frozen special-made vegetarian and vegan foods because they are too expensive and I need to be more resourceful. After all, when I am in college, I will need to learn to cook. By the by, just typing about college makes me get butterflies in my stomach. I am so excited.

Anyway, I bitched and moaned about “OMGZ, Mom, I’m vegetarian! You can eat anything I can eat, but I can’t eat everything that you can eat! Make a Venn Diagram! UGHGHGhghghghhh!” I think that I was so irritated because of two reasons. One, my period was on its way. Two, I have wanted to cook for myself from scratch for a long time (because it would give me more of an opportunity to slip into going vegan), but I have always figured that my mother would be pissed about it. The fact that she was not even remotely pissed somehow set me off.

So I ate my boxed couscous and pondered on gathering recipes.

I am the sort of person who always needs a project. I rarely finish my projects, but what I get done is grand. So in order to aid my attempt at veganism/learning to cook, I decided that I must gather recipes. And in order to organize that, I should gather them in a cookbook of sorts. Since I love composition notebooks, I grabbed one from my drawer.

The question was then where I should gather them from. Well, a while back, I found this website featuring a Jenny Lewis interview–and at the bottom of the page, it had her recipe for vegan “chicken” and then Mike Mogis’ recipe for vegan gravy and this recipe for vegan Worcestershire sauce. Although I had bookmarked it, I lost all of my bookmarks once in a Firefox update sesh, but FORTUNATELY, I had preserved my bookmarks on my LiveJournal in anticipation for the move. And let me tell you, this modest site has changed so much.

The site is actually called Cooking With Rockstars, a…I want to say subsidiary…of Jenville. Cooking With Rockstars chronicles a bunch of interviews conducted by the lovely Jennifer Robbins with various stars in the musical mainstream. But I don’t want to say mainstream. I almost want to call it the indie mainstream. You know, the artists you know and love. Probably. I mean, considering you’re on this blog. Rufus Wainwright, Ben Gibbard, Sam Beam, Britt Daniel, Annie Clark. I mean, just to name a few. And the artists contribute recipes, and Ms. Robbins publishes them on her site. I actually think that she is Mrs. Robbins, because she has an official “Wedding Site.” And also, she is a charming interviewer.

Fortunately for vegans, there are many vegan recipes on there (mainly salads, but I should think that Jenny Lewis’ “chicken” should be grand), as well as several vegetarian recipes where you’d only need to alter one or two minor ingredients (like swap butter for vegan margarine). While there are a few non-vegetarian recipes on there, eh, I took eighteen edible ones away (and those were just some of the ones that were to my taste).

Anyway, I guess as I begin the transition and learn to cook, I shall chronicle my adventures. You know, what tastes good, where I got my recipes from. Yeah.

On a completely different note, I am the creepiest creepster with Facebook. Every time I see that someone has a new album, I’m all over it. Like, holy shit yes. I’d like to think that it is all about my obsession with aesthetically pleasing things. But maybe I am just a lurker.

Now. All weekend, I sat on my ass, collecting music to offer to you-all. My first noteworthy find is “Wake The Sun” by the Matches. It’s quite a catchy, cheerful tune, like 10/10, almost sure to start off a good day. It is necessary, kind of like coffee or OJ. In retrospect, I now realize that I heard it once in art class when someone plugged in his (probably his, maybe her) iPod to the art room speakers. Actually, that day, someone was playing spectacular music that I did not recognize. It was one of those rare days.

Wake The Sun | The Matches
[zshare] [mediafire]
[buy] [mp3 direct link]
The Matches’ MySpace
The Matches’ Website

The next song is a Vampire Weekend, equally impeccable and equally catchy. Automatic love right here. Plus, the lyrics are familiar in a good way. Maybe I’ve never been in a situation like that before personally, but it sounds like something that happens all the time.

Campus | Vampire Weekend
[zshare] [mediafire]
[buy] [mp3 direct link]
Vampire Weekend’s MySpace
Vampire Weekend’s Website

This last track is actually my mother’s finding. While she was at the Matt Nathanson concert with her friend, she texted me and told me that I would like the band that opened for him. Of course, the text was in like teeny bopper talk, with “u” for you and “r” for are. That’s not important. I looked up the opening act, since she omitted the name, and came up with the name Honeyhoney. There was also like Jason Reeves or something, but I figured she was talking about the band. I checked for them on the Hype Machine and failed. Then I iTunes’d them and came up with five tracks–apparently they have recently released an EP. I laughed at the clips I heard. They sucked. This is an example, though, of iTunes sucking at picking out 30-second clips. Gaddamn.

This morning, my mother slipped into my room and sat on my bed and started unwrapping this CD case. She gave me the CD and told me I would probably like them because they were an “off” band. I kind of cringed, but loaded it on my computer anyway. And then I gave them a second shot.

While I didn’t love the first two songs, the last three were slower and more my style, and they really allowed Suzanne Santo’s voice to shine. I basically loved the last three tracks. Thus, I am jealous of my mother.

My madre was sort of concerned about the parental advisory on the CD, and then she asked me if I ever buy CDs with that. I was thinking, “You should hear some of the music I listen to,” but instead, I just affirmed that I do, indeed. Well, I did not hear any explicit lyrics in the first three songs, so I was wondering why there was a warning (maybe because the first song is about a gun?). That is, until the third song came on. It’s raunchy and sexy, but mellow at the same time. Thus, I shall present you the reason for the parental advisory.

Thursday Night | Honeyhoney
[zshare] [mediafire]
[buy] [mp3 direct link]
Honeyhoney’s MySpace
Honeyhoney’s Website

Also, while I’m at it, I might as well say that I love being a senior in Pennsylvania and getting to sleep in again tomorrow because underclassmen have to take the Terra Novas and PSSAs. LOVE IT.

*By the by, I have revised my host site so that mp3s show up on the Hype Machine.  You now have a variety of options for downloading them.  I really recommend MediaFire or the direct link because there is no waiting time, but if you’re more familiar with YouSendIt, just click on the title.  Or if you’re more familiar with zShare, click on that link.  Anyway, I am not sure how long I am going to keep this three-host thing up because it will get old fast.  I guess I am just transitioning.  Also, I am in debt to the Hype Machine help staff.  They’re so nice and easy to work with.  Plus, they responded to me right away.  No guarantee that they will always do that, but I was impressed.