Monday, June 30, 2008

A Question to the Vegans...

Ok, so how strict are you? I've found that people keep making me food that they say is vegan, and then I find out that there was egg white in it. I don't induce vomiting, and sometimes I still continue eating b/c I figure the damage is done. I feel kind of bad about it, but at this point it has been all egg that has been involved b/c people can't seem to understand that egg is not vegan. I was also recently told in a restaurant that they don't have any vegetarian items other than the grilled chicken sandwich, so I do live in strange place, but I just wondered what your opinions were on this.

One other question. My friend Lindsay and I are going on a cruise in January (hooray!). I've called the cruiseline and they have promised that there is vegetarian eating, but not vegan eating. I am thinking that I am going to be vegetarian for the cruise and a few weeks prior (to get my tummy ready) but I still really don't want to. I don't want cheese. I don't want butter. I don't want milk, eggs, etc., but I don't want to starve on the cruise. Does this make me a hippocrite?

I'm not sure why I'm asking people because really, I am making my own decisions, but I just feel so badly about this and unsure of what the right thing is. I've got that devil/angel thing on my shoulder.


Birthday Update: Friday

I have many stories from my birthday and I will seperate them into several posts because it really was an eventful weekend. Since I don't have my camera with me to upload the photos, I'll update you on Friday, which was the least eventful of the days and there aren't any pictures from it anyway.

The day I turned 28 was a good one. I woke up early, snuggled with the kitties, and got ready for my MRI appointment. Let me tell you, I was lucky that it was just my knee because even that was pretty uncomfortable, sitting still for 40 minutes or so (while I was reading my book, so it wasn't all bad) while my knee did this weird involuntary twitching. They made me a cool cd to take to my doctor and I looked at it but it doesn't mean anything to me. Hopefully it will just be like "here, pop a pill and you'll be all better" but I really don't see that happening. It will probably be "there is nothing wrong with you, you shouldn't be feeling pain". But the MRI isn't the fun part of the morning. The fun part was me driving to the MRI, which I did in a sort of silent reflection on my life (with music blaring in the background). I am finally feeling good. I think that time in the cottage was good for me. I feel like I'm willing to try new things, I've got some confidence back, I feel healthier, and I just feel content. I'm trying my best at work everyday, I have great friends, and life is just good. So I sort of felt the sunshine on me that morning and it felt good. I'm vowing to worry less and have more fun with my life, so that should be good if I can follow through. I certainly did this weekend!!

The rest of Friday didn't go exactly was planned. We'd taken the boat out on Thursday only to realize that there was an issue with the engine. Which threatned to thwart our Saturday plans. So Mircea called around and the $4 part that we needed could only be purchased in Baltimore. That's right, BALTIMORE! He got out of work at lunchtime and we drove up the 2 hours to the marina to get the part. And then we turned right back around. We had planned on going to the River Concert Series at St. Mary's College, but the weather was a little stormy and frankly, I wanted to go to Trader Joe's in Annapolis, so that is what we did. We got all kinds of yummy treats, which we broke into for the ride home (who knew two people could eat a huge jar of fantastic green olives on the way home?) and just had a good time enjoying each other's company. We got home and there was a box on the porch...a box of flowers that Mircea had sent to the house for my birthday and that had unfortunately wilted out on the porch because I wasn't there to pick them up. He was like "i had a decision to make, and i figured it was better to go up and have fun in baltimore together". So that's my sweetie!!

Ok, so Friday was mundane, but still fun. Saturday is even better, so just wait. :-)

Oh, and shout out to Sean who sent me an awesome birthday gift. We know each other's Amazon wishlist so well, so it's always easy to please. Thanks again-the soundtrack helped my train of thought and the book will help me with my goal!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Food Review: Veggie Sub, Subway

I bet this is pretty decent for other people. At my crappy little podunk Subway on base where they basically throw the food at you, I had a different experience. Now I knew the veggie sub wouldn't be all that thrilling, I grant you this. I wanted a sub on wheat bread with spinach, tomatoes, and black olives...with a little oil and vinegar on top to "gel" it all together. I got exactly that, but it's the quanities that were a little warped. I counted, believe me, I counted. 8 leaves a spinach, 3 slices tomato (1.5 in diameter) 15 black olive slices and a little bit of oil and vinegar (he definitely had that amount correct, but not for the ratio of other veggies he provided me. I ate the sandwich in approximately 2 minutes (so sad) because it was basically just slightly oily bread...but it was good, and I was hungry and if I can somehow convey that I want more veggies that would be great. I knew I should have gone off base, but you know, if I hadn't packed a disgusting lunch I wouldn't have gone anywhere, thereby saving gas, and for the greater good-the environment.

So the sub is good, just not at that Subway.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Recipe Thursday: Mexican Mashed Potatoes

Mexican Mashed Potatoes

In an attempt to make potato taquitos, I created these spicy mashed potatoes that I thought were awesome. They work really well as a filling for the taquitos, but I’m still working on perfecting my use of corn tortillas.


2 red potatoes, skins on, boiled
2 baking potatoes, skins on, boiled
Cumin (to taste, approximately 1 TBSP)
Cilantro (to taste, approximately 1 TBSP)
Garlic Powder (to taste, about 1 tsp)
Sea Salt (to taste)
Chili powder (to taste, about 1 tsp)
Earth Balance: I used about a TBSP of this as well


Boil potatoes, mash with skins on. Add all the other ingredients to taste (hey, that’s how real people cook, I try to guide you but you just have to find out what you like) and allow flavors to marry for a little while. For the taquitos, spoon into corn tortillas, roll, spray with PAM and bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until browned. The taquitos need some work, so if anyone tries this, let me know how your taquitos turned out.

**I bet this would be good with some sour cream and cheese, but as you know, I do not partake in either of those.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It Was Fun While It Lasted

Mircea and I have been watching Euro 2008 because Romania was playing, attempting to get into the quarterfinals. I have never watched a game of soccer in my entire life, and had some trouble with the rules (I still really don't understand off-sides) but I do love that it is commerical free, fast-paced, and kind of fun. We watched the first game, Romania vs. France, and it was pretty fun and a great way to spend the afternoon. On Sunday, Mircea said, "hey sweetie, will you find out when Romania plays again?" and so I went to Comcast and got on ESPN2 and looked for the airing of the game. I said "2 am on Wednesday morning" and he said "oh we'll get up for that." So we did. Our alarm went of at 2 am this morning. We got up, took our pillows and blanket to the couch, and watched the game on the big screen with the kitties (who were very confused but happy to cuddle). The first half of the game goes by. Then half time. And at 70 minutes, one of the commentators said "tonight at 8 we'll find out if Boston won the NBA title" to which I said "$*#@! this isn't live" and we went on the Internet and saw that the game had already happened and Romania had already lost. Son of a gun! We laughed and turned off the tv and went back to bed. That alarm came pretty quickly and we both had some trouble getting up, but it was totally worth it. Oh well, the World Cup is in 2 years I believe, so we'll hopefully be back and ready in 2010!

A side note: I have a sports crush on Adrian Mutu. Though I just read he tested positive for cocaine several years ago, which I'm not a big fan of, I guess I like how Romanian he is. Apparently I have a thing for those guys!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Vegan San Diego Food Tour

My trip to San Diego was a symphony of flavors and taste sensations. Best of all, I was able to eat vegan at every restaurant that I went to, and there were only limited menu modifications that I had to request. It was wonderful to be able to walk into any establishment and know that I would be served a great vegan meal. I only had one terrible meal in SD, and it was at the convention so it isn't San Diego's fault by any means. I will now share some food reviews, chronologically, of the lovely downtown San Diego restaurants. I know that most of my friends don't live there, but if you are ever visiting, these places are totally worth it. I have eaten a lot of food in San Diego over the years and this trip gets the top prize for awesome food. And it was vegan, let's not forget that folks!

The Yard House: Corner of 4th and Broadway

This place is a dream come true. First of all, they have over a 100 beers on tap, and the two I ordered were delicious. Of course I can't remember the name of the best one, but the other one was Hoegaarden White, and it was a wonderful, citrusy brew. I ordered the edamame for an appetizer which we all shared (and the omnis LOVED) and I had the lettuce wraps with tofu and mushrooms for my main course. It was so delicious and wonderful, with its smoky tofu and tasty dipping sauces. One of the other ladies (Julie) got the same thing, and she loved it as well. Shelly enjoyed the four cheese pizza, and it did look delicious. We were all so happy after this meal and returned to the hotel completely content.

Sogno Divino: 1607 India Street, Little Italy

Not only did this place offer Italian eye/ear candy, the menu items were delicious as well. Although the menu options were very limited for me, I ordered the Endive and Celery salad, and was very happy with the choice. The endive was so good, and the mustard vinegarette was divine. I happily scarfed that up and was only slightly envious of my dinner companion's meals. Tim got a very yummy antipasta plate, Shelly enjoyed the Quattro Frommagio Panini (notice a trend) and Julie had the Panini al Bosco. The best part of the meal was the wine that we enjoyed. I am hoping to find it here, and have a call in to our local speciality wine shop in the hope of enjoying some for my birthday. Note: I am not a red wine fan and this was stellar!

Pappalecco Gelato: Corner of Cedar & State, Little Italy

I've already reviewed the gelato, but I had to mention it again. This place was so good that I thought I had died and gone to Heaven. We all loved it so much and the owners were just so great and wonderful. All the fruit flavors are vegan, and from what my fellow gelato lovers said, their flavors were wonderful as well. It was reasonably priced and so delicious. It was a perfect end to our Italian dinner and it was even worth the long walk back two days later from my hotel. They also serve sandwiches and salads that looked delectable. Unfortunately their website isn't complete, but if you google it you can get more info. Don't worry, it's so worth it!

W Hotel Beach Bar: West B Street

Their drinks were spectacular. But their "sexy fries" were so freakin' sexy I couldn't believe it. I feel that it is necessary to order these delightfully sinful items, even if you aren't three sheets to the wind at 1 am. The fries are very simple. They your standard french fry, but they are seasoned with garlic and sea salt. TO DIE FOR. My friends went back a second time for them, but I didn't have any room left in my belly for french fries. I tried so hard, but I just couldn't hack it. I was elected as the one who had to duplicate this recipe, so I will be sharing some french fry recipes over the next couple weeks and hopefully I will get this flavor down perfectly. And hopefully I won't get too fat in the process. (I realize that the fries may have been fried in oil that had animal residue in it, but it doesn't appear that the W has a lot of fried chicken or stuff like that so maybe there was a chance. Living in Southern Maryland, you don't get a lot of options other than fried, so I've had to look the other way on that a little bit.)

Sushi Deli 2: 339 West Broadway (near Horton Plaza)
They don't have a website and I went by myself at the suggestion of several locals, but this place was good. And it was dirt cheap and there was a huge line to get in, but since I was a party of one, it wasn't too long a wait. The service wasn't all that great, but my avacado rolls were excellent and everyone in the place seemed to love their meals. I talked to the lady next to me and she said that this was her favorite sushi place in town, and it seemed like others thought the same thing. They have a great happy hour with 99 cent sake and 1/2 price hand rolls, so this is a necessary stop before an evening on the town.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Photo Tour of My San Diego Trip

I spent a week in San Diego for an Unmanned Air Vehicle trade show (AUVSI). It was really fun, but there was also a lot of downtime, so I got to spend some time by the pool and out with my friends. I was lucky enough to see George for lunch, but my dearest Rebecca was in Ohio, enjoying a training class. I know I'll see her again-I know it!
x-ray vision or beer goggles? We went out for some drinks in Little Italy and it was fun. Here I am wearing some glasses. I think they make me look more intelligent. so yummy Some yummy gelato. The fruit flavors were dairy-free so I had a triple threat of pear, banana and melon. Delicious!
Some pretty flowers on my walk back to the hotel from my tour of San Diego. (It was an eating tour on the last day. I had to walk it off, slowly, so I stopped to smell the roses)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

It's More Than Traffic

Traffic in Southern Maryland is one of those things that really grinds my gears. The rush hour trip home is usually a total pain in the butt, but it is manageable and the bridge traffic hasn’t been too terrible lately. It will be once they start expanding the bridge (or whatever they plan on doing with it) but it will be for the greater good so it will be worth it. Yesterday was one of those days that reminded me why I think there are a lot of assholes in the world and that most of them are driving in Southern Maryland.

Yesterday we had kind of crappy weather and I think people were panicky to get home before the “big storm” hit. It wasn’t raining or windy on my way home, so there was no impending yeah, this picture is effectivedanger. Traffic was terribly backed up as soon as I got off of base (yet surprisingly there was no one on base, which is where I usually get all backed up) and I just stayed in the far right lane, knowing I’d be turning in like 3 miles and figured it wasn’t worth the fight through traffic, since none of it was moving anyway. So I inched ahead in the right lane. People kept zooming by in the right turn lane, as I’ve depicted in this lovely paintbrush drawing and I knew better than to assume that they were going to be turning at the next traffic light where the sign says “RIGHT TURN ONLY”. Oh hell no, they were going through them, and creating their own super fast right lane. I watched a Fed Ex truck that was like 10 cars behind me, pull into the right hand turn late, go up about 15 cars in front of me, and pull back into the right lane. Oh, I’m sorry, do you want to get home, or to a delivery? Well guess what? I want to get home to a delivery of a beer in my hand to help make this painful day disappear too, but you don’t see me disobeying all the rules. Am I wrong here? Or am I one of those people who says “you know we’re all in this together, if we stay where we are we’ll get there faster and not have a ton of people cutting in and out, causing us to use our brakes and go slower than we would otherwise.” One lady even zoomed through the right turn only sign into the lane where everyone legally gets into the right lane to turn on the Solomon’s Bridge and she almost got crushed by the big truck in front of me. She was just gabbing on her cell phone driving through the turn only lane at the intersection, figuring “I will do whatever I please.” The crowning glory of it all was when I actually turned onto to the road where the bridge is. The road is notoriously backed up, so you know you’re going to have to wait. I was the second to last car to get through the light, so there was just one person behind me. Oh wait, she wasn’t behind. She was riding parallel in the lane that merges, gabbing on HER cell phone and trying to get in front of me. I look over at her and she looks up at me and I sort of motion to her like “why don’t you get behind, considering there is NO ONE BEHIND ME?” (I would have loved to have just flipped her off and told her to blow me, but I’m not that low brow. Not then at least, I was paying it forward, letting people in, and just being a good citizen. A lot of good that did me.) This biotch wasn’t taking no for an answer. There is still no one behind us. She is getting to the portion of the road that becomes “right lane must turn right” because the lane is ending. I’m still not letting her in on principle alone. She keeps riding next to me, going into the shoulder of the road (which is more than a car length wide) and keeps riding there. She doesn’t have a turn signal on, so I’m not even sure she wanted to get over. All of a sudden she speeds up and I don’t see her at all anymore. I figured she got in front of the guy in front of me. Oh no. She has just driven as fast as she could in the right shoulder until she got to a place where the shoulder is too narrow and got over into the regular lane-like 20 cars in front of me. It was unbelievable!

I know I’ve ranted on about this long enough (too long?) but I really feel like traffic is the pulse of society. You have your people that let people in every once and while, and stay in their lane, and move with the flow of traffic. And then you have the people that are apparently so important and so much better than everyone else that they should be able to create their own traffic lane and do whatever the hell they please. It really frustrates me. I don’t mind that I’m in traffic forever…that part doesn’t bug me at all. I just hate the people and the way people just think for themselves and don’t drive defensively. They drive like they are the only ones on the road, unaware of the other drivers out there. That’s not true, they are aware of the other drivers and they just don’t care.

By the way, that beer tasted awesome when I got home.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Much Needed Update

I haven't been writing much b/c I've been trying to decide what exactly to do with the blog. Frankly, the title is all wrong, because I have been a vegan for way longer than 30 days, and I'm sick of having several blogs for the different areas of my life. I'm trying to come up with a blog that would just be everything, with less of my daily ranting and more posts with some substance, but I've gotten into such a roll with the ranting that I can't seem to get through that.

I have found a ton of great vegan recipes and I'll take more pictures this week. The problem is, other than one original recipe, I'm stealing from other people. Of course I will give them credit when I post the recipe and the pictures, but I want to have some of my own innovations and ideas. I'm just learning the different flavors with all the vegetables (I must have lived under a rock) so I am sure that I'll experiment more and get working on my own recipes soon.

Be sure to visit my regular ranting blog.

Monday, June 02, 2008

It is Always Something

On Thursday I got a root canal. I love my endontist and don't have a lot of trouble with the root canal...usually. I'm not sure if this is because I already had a crown on the tooth and he had to drill through it, or that this just went poorly, but I was in pain. (BTW, I did want a root canal on that tooth before I got the crown last year but my dentist said it wasn't necessary.) I don't do well with Vicodin, but had to take that, and I was not happy at all. Not happy. I finally get all the pain and sickness (from the painkiller) out of my system yesterday. And this morning, around 9 am, what happened? I'll tell you. My flipping tooth cracked clean off-thank God I had the root canal. I figured it would be weaker with a hole in it, but how good would it be once they filled the cavity? I wouldn't think it would last as long. I am going to the dentist this afternoon but I'm irritated. I'll probably have to get another crown ($700) and I just paid last week for a crown ($700) (another tooth that probably needs a root canal b/c I'm not going through this again $600) and a root canal on Thursday ($600). YOU DO THE MATH! Dear Lord, I don't have any money left. None. I'm out. Plumb out. What really sucks is that I got the "good dental" this year. It pays 50% and has a $2k max. The $2k max part is nice, but the 50% does nothing. Oh yeah, and I pay like $150 per month for that, so it's really not worth a hill of beans. Ok, I'm done bitching. For right this second. I am just so flipping cheesed at myself for eating on it, even though the endotist said it would be no big deal. Argh!