Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Step into my way-back machine.

Last night as I was pulling the garbage can into my garage* I noticed a box of stuff my mother had sent home with me months ago. Of course as soon as I got the box home I dropped it on the on the floor of the garage and thought nothing more of it until yesterday. Peeking out of the box was my 8th grade graduation dress. A navy blue with pale pink flowered concoction that in 1992 I thought was the BOMB DIGGITY!**

It was a short off the shoulder number with a fluffy pink tulle underskirt and I loved it. Looking back my friends and I prepared for our middle school graduation as if we were going to the prom; fancy dresses, hair appointments and tons of make-up involved. I don't think I have a single picture from that night. But I remember having one. It was a polaroid, taken of me as I walked into the local Lion's Club hall for the graduation after party. I can see this picture in my mind with complete clarity. I was beautiful.

I can say that with out a shred of embarrassment now, but at the time all I knew was the teasing, these days it would be classified as bullying. Two boys stand out as my main tormentors. "Tobie has cooties!" or thanks to an unfortunate pair of green denim pants I wore in the 5th grade "Tobie the Jolly Green Giant!" It was the very first one "Tobie-wan-kenobie" that I was tagged with in the second grade that still prevents me from truly enjoying the first Star Wars movie.

But that is not what I want to talk about! No! I'm just wondering what happened to that picture... I had it in a frame for the longest time but somewhere over the many years I've lost track of it. Here is where you all come in. Send me your prayers/good vibes that I will find this picture! If I do I'll post it here in the internet!

*I keep my garbage can in the garage so that if it is late at night and the kitchen garbage can begins to stink I can take it out with out having to venture into the dark spider-filled alcove that houses my other 3 trash bins. Also, I can do it nekkid if I feel like it!
**Seriously go back and watch some of the early episodes of 90210, my dress would fit right in.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cheese, you delicious bastard, come on over here!

I love cheese. Like love it so much that I would marry it. My favorite being mild cheddar, followed closely by mozzarella and pepper jack. It is the main reason I will probably never go vegan. I just can't quit the cheese! Is there a 12-step program out there somewhere?

Unfortunately... cheese hates me. Why else would it abuse me so badly whenever we meet and I haven't properly prepared for the encounter?

It has only happened a handful of times and it was only recently that I deduced the cause of some very violent visits* to the bathroom.

The only reason I am bringing this up is because my love for cheese and lack of planning for social situations where food is involved is a recipe for disaster!** Have you ever been to a party where there wasn't a cheese platter of some sort?

A week or two into my vegetarianism I was invited to a party. I was a guest, invited by a guest so the hosts would have had no way of knowing about my dietary restrictions. Also, I have decided that this vegetarian lifestyle, something I have chosen to do, is no one else's responsibility to accommodate. If someone were to ask me if I had any objections to a particular dish I will gladly thank them for being so considerate. But I am not going to show up at a party and demand some sort of special food just for me. But back to the party. The hor d'oeuvres on offer were; cheesy spinach artichoke dip, caprese salad (with giant slices of fresh mozzarella), and a cheese and pickled veggie platter. Dinner served about an hour into the party was lasagna with meat and garlic bread. I loaded up on the appetizers that I could eat and didn't think anymore about it... for 30 minutes or so.

I was sitting on the couch talking with some of the other guests when I started getting a very weird rumble in my stomach. I didn't really think anything of it, just a slight discomfort. Soon there was some toasting of the birthday fellow followed by cake and ice cream. Seeing as I hadn't had much in the way of dinner I said yes to the German chocolate cake and ice cream, thankful for the additional food. I am not even kidding when I tell you that within five minutes of finishing my slice of cake I was in trouble. The slight rumble had turned into full on gut wrenching*** pain and I had to excuse myself.

When I returned to the party I was still in a lot of pain, but not wanting to make a big deal of it I just held on and prayed to God that I would make it out alive. Luckily we were able to leave soon and I was able to sleep off the worst of it.

Fast forward to last weekend. I was at Christy's 70's themed birthday party enjoying the fondue and answering questions about how going veg was working out for me. I had just fished out my latest piece of bread and was relating my last party/cheese catastrophe when I realized I needed to STOP EATING THE CHEESE! Unfortunately, I was a tad bit too late. Fortunately I hadn't eaten all that much cheeses so it was all over quickly.

Upon discussing it with Christy the next day, I came to the conclusion**** that cheese and I get along great. As long as there is a nice carb-y buffer between it and my stomach lining.

*Alliteration - I love you!
**I'm also use cliche's ALL THE TIME.
****We also concluded that I talk about cheese WAY too much.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bacon, I don't miss you as much as I thought I would.

It was been about two months since I stopped eating meat. I finished off the remaining frozen chicken ages ago and almost had to force myself to do that. I've been consciously trying to NOT make a big deal of things. I didn't jot down in my planner* the day I began, I didn't take a minute to memorize the last meat dish I cooked for posterity. It is just something I'm doing now, almost like I've been doing it all along.

In the past I was a bacon lover. Growing up, my family would have BLT's at least once a week in the summertime. I wasn't a huge fan, but I would definitely claim my fair share of the bacon whenever it was cooked. A few years ago I discovered just how well bacon and avocado go on a bagel and was quite obsessed for several months. Since then my bacon comsumption hasn't been quite so often, but I would still gobble it up whenever I could.

Bacon, or lack of it, didn't even cross my mind when I started out on this new way of eating and to be frank I don't think I even remembered it existed** until this weekend. I was visiting a friend in the San Mateo this weekend and we found ourselves at a small sandwich & coffee shop for lunch. I ordered a grilled ham & cheese on rye - minus the ham*** and on whole wheat bread - with a cup of clam chowder****.  Except I got so caught up in making sure there would be no ham on my sandwich I forgot to tell the cashier no rye bread. I had no sooner sat down across from my friend when I remembered! I HATE rye bread. I would almost rather eat the ham than the rye, that's how much I hate it. So I caught the attention of someone in the kitchen and changed my order. Phew, crisis averted.

I was half way through my sandwich before I'd even tried my chowder. It looked good, slightly less creamy than you usually get in restaurants and strongly resembling my family's old recipe. I took the first spoonful... delicious. But wait! What is that flavor? BACON! Crap! There was bacon in my clam chowder! I looked across at Christy and silently debated if I wanted to indulge in the yummy deliciousness, but I must have made a face because she asked my what was wrong. She suggested that I just take it back and ask for another soup. I felt a little dumb after making a big deal over the rye vs. wheat bread but knew she was right. Also, the last time I just went ahead and ate something***** cooked with bacon I'd gotten violently ill.

Moral of this story, being vegetarian requires a lot more forethought and reading of ingredients, but I'm committed so bring it!

*I've attempted to use my many electronic devices to keep a schedule but find myself coming back to paper time and again.
**Hyperbole! I use it often.
***Why not just order grilled cheese you ask? 1. It wasn't in the menu. 2. The sandwich also came with tomato & grilled onion, yeah!
****I have decided that I can eat clams. I would have no problem digging up and killing it with my own hands. Sorry little clam :-/.
*****The pinto bean at Chipotle. It was super busy and the line was long so I opted to just more forward rather than mess up the assembly line and waste everything they'd already added since the person who added the beans to my fajita bowl hadn't mentioned the presence of meat in the beans and my whole bowl was only waiting to be put on a tray and paid for******.
******How's that for a run on sentence?