Thursday, December 23, 2010

Waving to Jackie O

It started when Trench informed me that we have met Taylor Swift. I have no recollection of this whatsoever. It's true that in 2007 Trench and I went on vacation to Toronto with a friend of ours who went to the Taylor Swift show and interviewed her. We didn't go with. We dropped him and the car off in the parking lot of the auditorium, then walked downtown until we found a restaurant, and Interviewer Friend met us up after the show. Trench has a mind like a steel trap, though, so for awhile I was like, "Wow, I met Taylor Swift and don't remember it at all." (I'm fairly certain that's the impression Taylor Swift would have on me.) Finally I asked Interviewer Friend if he introduced us to Taylor Swift and he replied that he introduced us to her music, but not to her. Trench was adamant that when we dropped Interviewer Friend off, there was a van and a blonde girl was in it and we chatted with her for a bit. I'm just as adamant that this never happened. Interviewer Friend backs me up. Trench laughed and recalled a story on NPR about a husband telling the story about Jackie Onassis Kennedy waving to his wife on a street in New York, and his wife waves back till she realizes that Jackie O is just hailing a cab. The husband remembers everything about this story in great detail, but the wife insists that he wasn't even there, she was by herself.

I thought this was just a one time thing, but then it happened again. Trench started telling a story about the time we went to see Dancer In the Dark and how depressing it was, and after it was over we ran into a friend of ours who had taken a bunch of shrooms before the movie because he thought it was going to be a happy musical starring Bjork.

"Wait!" I stopped him. "That didn't happen to us. That happened to our friend, Mouse."

"No," Trench insisted. "I remember it. He was wearing those giant raver pants and a shiny shirt." (This was '00 people, ravers wore that stuff.)

"That's not our story!" I insisted right back, and texted Mouse, who replied that that indeed happened to her, and that she was with her ex-boyfriend. This has not convinced Trench otherwise. He still thinks we met Taylor Swift too.

Last week we were in New Orleans and we started telling a story to our traveling companions about something that happened to us our first trip there, ten years ago. It was our very first vacation together and one night we decided to go get tarot card readings. I went to this famous tea house first, and the reading was meh. Trench went to an occult bookstore, and he liked his reading, but it was mostly him and the tarot card guy talking about Alastair Crowley, so I don't think it was a reading so much as two geeks talking. Then there was this 19 year old indie kid who was standing outside some touristy store on Bourbon Street who told us he'd do a reading. And this was the real deal. He read our cards and our palms, getting detailed enough to say things like, "Okay, I can see that you have lower back problems, so make sure you're doing yoga." However, the best part was after he finished reading Trench's cards, I shuffled the deck and he laid out the cards for my reading, did a double take and said, "Whoa, dude, you have to look at this! It's the exact same cards except in different places!" It was a defining moment in our young relationship, where we knew, "Yep, this is it."

Until Trench mentioned that the kid had long blonde hair. I clearly remember him as having short, messy dark hair.

I tried so hard to brush it's just hair color, we both remember everything else the same way. But WTF! Blonde hair? Trench even described him as "elfin." So Legolas did our card readings? I remember him as Orlando Bloom without the wig. Am I the crazy one? Maybe I really have met Taylor Swift and saw a shrooming friend after Dancer In the Dark and had my tarot cards read by Legolas? Even scarier...have we officially become that couple who bickers over the small details of stories that happened years ago? I'm afraid the answer is yes. In the end, does it really matter if one of us or both of us waved to Jackie O as long as the story ends the same? Probably not.

But that tarot kid totally had dark hair.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

a post about what I made for dinner turns into a rant about vegetarianism

I just made a pretty damn good dinner if I do say so myself. There are so many times where I go to look up a recipe on the web and then get sucked in looking at pictures of delicious things to eat until my blood sugar sinks so low that I'm ready to eat hummus with my fingers and call it a night. I really can cook a good meal, I swear I can! And I've successfully followed recipes from smitten kitchen, fatfree vegan (um...I usually add a handful of cheese to these recipes. Shh! Don't tell!), and 101 cookbooks. Trench is definitely the chef of the family and I've been bugging him for about three years to start a cooking blog, but like a true philosopher, he hasn't gotten past pontificating about the blog in order to start one.

Usually when I get home from work, I just can't handle making a full on meal, and so I rely on a one-pot recipe instead. For a long time, this meant pasta. Farfalle with olive oil, diced cherry tomatoes and feta cheese, or fusilli with butter sauce and shrimp. All delicious, but probably not the most nutritious on a nightly basis. Finally I've discovered that 1 Grain + chopped up veggies + 1 protein = healthy, delicious and quick to make dinner. Tonight it was quinoa with chopped up swiss chard, pre-cooked and marinated tofu (thank you Trader Joe!), can of diced tomatoes, and a can of chickpeas. Really good, and just one dish was more than filling.

I don't think I've written about it before, but I'm a vegequarian, meaning I eat mostly vegetarian with an exception for fish. Yes, I know the technical term is "pescatarian", but I like "vegequarian" better. Giving up meat was a very gradual process for me. We didn't eat very much of it to begin with because meat is annoying to cook, with the thawing and meat juice that gets everywhere. My mom once gave me a George Foreman grill because she was worried we'd become anemic, and we mostly used it to make grilled cheese sandwiches. About six years ago I was feeling slightly ill from Thanksgiving turkey and realized I was feeling that way whenever I ate lunch meat, so I decided to take a break from eating meat. I didn't miss it, so I never went back to it.

I'm starting to feel guilty about the fish. The more I read about the modern methods of fishing, the less I want to support that industry. I don't want to give up fish though. Yes, I could finally take that step and become vegan, but there's such a rabbit hole when it comes to healthy eating. A 100% meat-free vegetarian might look down on my diet, but a vegan would snub them. (The authors of How It All Vegan refers to them as "lazy vegetarians".) The vegan might feel pretty good about him/herself until a raw foodist comes along and points out all the enzymes they're destroying by cooking perfectly healthy vegetables. Then a fruitarian who lives off fruit that falls from the tree might snap that vegetables don't want to be eaten and it's just as much murder as eating a lamb. (I'm imagining fruitarians as being very snappish and pissed off all the time because they're so hungry, but I'm sure if you asked them they would talk about how much energy they have during the day and how much sleep they get at night and that really the human body doesn't need much more than an apple and a handful of grapes to be healthy.)

Honestly, I have absolutely no problem with people eating meat, I just don't like the idea of supporting factory farms, I think they're a holocaust for animals. I'm jealous of people who live on the west coast because it's so easy to support local farms. Or perhaps you could do it the way a couple friends of mine did and buy your own farm where you raise and slaughter your own meat, knowing that the animal had a good life and was killed as humanely as possible by your own hands. As for me, I'm considering sticking with fish that's local. I live in Illinois. This probably means eating a lot of cod. However, next week I'll be visiting New Orleans. Bring on the crawfish!