Monday, January 29, 2007

We got a puppy, Nick and I (that's us in the pictures)

His name is Darwin, and as of today he is 9 weeks. =)




Saturday, October 14, 2006

I am bad at blogging..

I haven't died. I'm just incredibly busy... I'm working two jobs right now--nanotechnology policy research and babysitting--and am in classes full time. My mom was here last weekend, I spent the day at the ER because I thought my IUD had destroyed my abdomen (turns out it just "shifted"), I'm spending some nights in Providence and then taking the train to my Boston classes at 7am.. etc.

Right now my boyfriend is making me sprouted toast and hummus--except he had the toaster oven on bake for ten minutes instead of 'toast' and when he finally figured it out he burnt the toast. So right now he's scraping black stuff on the sink.

I plan to write soon about my nanotech research, because it is awesome.

Friday, September 08, 2006

YES!!

The slaugher of 90,000 horses every year that occurs in the United States (in order for their meat to be shipped abroad for food) will no longer occur. This is a huge deal!

I had told various people about the slaughters that were occuring in the US, but nobody believed me. For some reason, it's too appalling to think of companion animals being killed at such gruesome rates to even believe such a story, yet it's okay for "farm" animals to be killed by the billions and nobody questions the validity of those numbers, because for some reason beyond me, farm animals get no moral considerability and don't count.

As wonderful as this news is, I was still angry when I read the article because the reasons for banning this slaughter were so hypocritical and unsound. Apart from the whole companion animals hypocrisy, one guy in the article said something like how it was appalling for the US to slaughter horses for their meat because that kind of food is a "delicacy" and not a "necessity", unlike chicken/beef/pork.

If it is "necessary" to eat farm animals, then I must be a living, breathing phenomenom. Someone contact the National Enquirer.

I feel like I should be prancing around Boston playing the new John Mayer video to everyone, the one where those guys graffiti a bunch of words like, "THINK" all over skyscrapers.

Regardless, I am so happy about this news. Hooray for horsies.

Article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060907/pl_nm/food_horsemeat_dc

Thursday, September 07, 2006

5 Things to Eat Before You Die

I have had so much fun reading everyone else's 5 food choices when they got tagged for the "5 Foods to Die For" thing, (which was started here and has been circling blogs viciously ever since), that I forgot that someone might tag me. I figured that noone would because I never post recipes on here, though I am a total cookaholic. I think part of it lies in the fact that whenever I think I have a totally great recipe, I go to blogs like Fatfree Vegan Kitchen and What the Hell Does a Vegan Eat Anyway and get so overly intimidated by their creativity and presentation that I just get mildly depressed and eat my recipe by myself. (Instead I talk about food nonstop to people like my boyfriend and anyone else who will listen to me get into vivid detail over something like my new jar of organic cumin).

Despite my sheepish culinary silence, Bazu pleasantly surprised me with a tag, so here I go!

In no particular order:

1. Longan (or Lam-Yai): If you've never tried this fruit, you're in for a treat. It's literally sold in every single streetcorner in all of Thailand for very cheap, and people just walk around eating them everywhere. Longans taste a lot like lychees, but the flavor is a bit more subtle and (I think) even more delicious. They're addictive though, so buy a lot!

2. A mixture of black peppercorns, cloves, black cardamom, pieces of cinnamon stick, turmeric powder, and chilli powder. This is the spice base for any authentic Indian curry dish, as I learned in my cooking class in India this summer. Curry variations exist after this initial blend is concocted. I'm sort of cheating with this one because since it's so fundamental, it accounts for all types of curries and not just one. I LOVE CURRY. Indian & Thai alike. I even sought it out for breakfast in Asia.

3. Hummus. If somebody could somehow figure out what has continually had the most biomass in my stomach for the past five years, they would quickly discover that it is hummus. I eat it for breakfast almost every single morning (slathered on toasted rye and sprinkled with wheat germ), dip into it with almost anything for snacks, and sometimes, after a day of all this already, crave it for dinner in a sandwich with pickles and soy cheese (shutup, it's good). I am so picky with it and like it so much that I've now got a hummus guy in Boston; this wonderful Middle Eastern man who makes hummus in his kitchen and sells it to small natural/organic restaurants. I've actually never made it on my own.

4. Falafel. I think that I ODed on this stuff once when I studied in Australia because for a few days, I couldn't stomach it after eating it for lunch every single day for two months straight. I loooooooove falafel. I even started the first falafel group on facebook. There is this awesome Lebanese woman who sells falafel (amongst other things) at this hut on campus, and she knows me so well that I have a tab there.

5. An organic avocado. Sliced, drizzled in high quality olive oil and sprinkled with a bit of salt. This is just so good that it needs not even a semblance of explanation.

Runner up: a spicy green papaya salad (incredible; get it at any Thai restaurant or make it yourself!)

So umm... I'm not going to tag anyone because most blogs I read have already been tagged and the other people have absolutely no idea who I am :) Thanks for the tag Bazu!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Cambodia

Here are some pictures that I took this summer at the Angkor temples in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Angkor holds over 100 temples, Angkor Wat being the largest religious monument in the world. The temples were built between 802 and 1220 AD by the Khmer civilization. During the height of the Khmer dynasty's reign, Khmer kings presided over a domain that stretched from Vietnam to China.

Though by far neither the largest nor the most architecturally stunning, Ta Prohm was my favorite wat. It has become engulfed by these enormous ancient trees, and their roots wrap around the stone slabs of the temple, creating a really incredible contrast between nature and the man-made.

Angkor Wat is truly surreal, and what you see below are the parts of the temples that survived the attempted destruction of art committed by the Khmer Rouge, the Maoist-extremist organization that ruled Cambodia from 1975 until 1979... and who are responsible for the torture and deaths of approximately 1.7 million people, almost a third of the country.




















Thursday, August 24, 2006

I never wrote about Farm Sanctuary

Right before jetsetting to SE Asia for the months of June and July, I interned at Farm Sanctuary during the month of May. For those of you who don't know what Farm Sanctuary is, it is a sanctuary dedicated to the care of factory farmed and/or abused animals. They do shelter work and care for hundreds of animals, along with education and advocacy work.

Every single animal that entered the farm had an incredibly powerful story. They were neglected, starved, chained, put in cages they couldn't even turn around in, beaten. Some were downers at stockyards (downers are animals too sick to stand anymore, so they're left where they fall, half-alive, until they slowly die); others (a cow, Queenie) escaped a factory farm and ran around for days until she was caught; many of the pigs came from being stranded in a scorching hot trailer for days while they were on their way to the slaughterhouse. Hundreds of broiler chickens (broilers are used for their meat, rather than layers which are used for eggs) were rescued from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, where they had been buried alive in mass graves. The chickens are the animals that I worked most with when I was there, and it was incredibly gratifying. I never saw chickens as having personalities and quirks, and I've never been more wrong about anything before. Chickens are hilarious.

My favorite animal was Mako the rooster, who was HUGE (all of the broilers are because they're bred that way-- we called all broilers "mutant chickens", but Mako was exceptionally large), walked like a pirate with a wooden leg (he would jut it out and then put it down), and had the largest, floppiest comb out of any rooster I've ever seen. He was like a dog, and would follow you and lie down next to you in the sun while you stroked his back. He was also VERY good about his pill, and while I had to push the pill down some chickens' throats, Mako followed me around until he got his, and then begged for more. I don't know why I'm talking in past tense, because he's still very much alive, though how long he will be is not for certain; broilers are lucky if they live up to two years (whereas 'normal' chickens live past twice that age).

The animals at Farm Sanctuary were trusting and loving of people, despite the heartless betrayal and blatant anthropocentrism that they've faced from us. At the farm, they now have acres to run around in, they get treats, they are hugged and loved by shelter workers and visitors, they receive top-notch medical care... but most importantly, the animals there have become advocates for the millions who suffer silently and without love.

http://www.farmsanctuary.org/


A pig enjoying a mud bath and some sunshine.


Relaxing!


This is Mako, who I adore.


Piggie snout ;-)


Turkeys are so gorgeous... I wonder if people realize that their turkey sandwich used to look like this?


Me and a friend.


This is Opie


Two of the broilers that I worked with daily

Friday, August 18, 2006

I've got crabs

I'm erasing the old post because my boyfriend says I lie and make him look bad. For the record, the cage I bought was the second largest in the petshop (my bad), not the first. And he is not ignorant about vegan food.

Instead, here are some pictures of my favorite new crab, Ben Lee. I like him best because he's not scared of me, and immediately crawls around on me instead of hiding in his shell when I play with him. He's also very curious. Right now he's on my lap, though I don't think he has any depth perception because he just fell off. I love his beady little eyes. And when he eats he crabs a tiny bit with one of his legs and does a taste test, putting it to his mouth a couple of times and nibbling-- and then if he likes it he takes big chunks. Aww.

The cool thing about hermit crabs is they can live off people food, provided its organic, well balanced and has enough calcium. Right now his bowls have fresh organic kale, cherry tomatoes, raisins, and mixed dry fruit. I also bought them some sun dried mini shrimp because that's pretty much what they eat in the wild--and they all ate an entire shellful in one night (by all I mean Ben and Margaret because my third crab, William Shatner, who I rescued from some horrible conditions at a pet shop two days ago, hasn't come out of his shell since I got him- hermie hobbyists have a name for this behavior but I don't remember it, it's post-something-shock). Hermit crabs supposedly need cuttlebone as an extra source of calcium when molting, so I ground up some of that and mixed it in with some nutritional yeast and put it in another bowl-- they picked around the bone parts and ate the nutritional yeast... I would've done the same :-)

Anyways, I can't wait for this fucker to change shells because his painted shell is so ugly.






I promise my next post won't be about hermit crabs.