Archive for the 'Cheese' Category

03
Jul
09

Stinky Cats

Happy Soon to be Fourth of July….well for those who celebrate it at any rate.

I don’t think we’ll be doing anything interesting but maybe we’ll go see the fireworks down by the beach. Sometimes it’s pretty nice to live so closely to the beach since we don’t have to worry about parking. Of course now I really want an outdoor grill just for the holiday but I’ll have to make do with my indoor one. Hmm…maybe I’ll make my Seitan Asado tacos or Hot sauce Tempeh with corn…we’ll see.

Anyway, it’s been really nice here in SC in terms of weather and traffic. I think part of it has to do with the increased parking this year so the tourists aren’t taking our residential parking as much. Nathan tells me that our neighborhood meter lady blasts Metallica on her rounds but I have yet to see her. I think that would pump me up into giving people tickets and not caring if they’re mad.

The weather is doing wonders for my plants and I need to buy more pots. The basil is really springing up quickly and my pepper plants are shooting up nicely. I was worried about one of the pepper plants because snails had eaten some of the leaves and at one point he didn’t have any leaves at all. But now it’s doing great and I’ll have to take more current pictures. I initially planted Genovese basil since I make pesto once a week, but we picked up two Thai basil plants at the Farmer’s market this week since I’ve never had it and Nathan loves it. I kind of wanted a purple basil plant but there is only so much basil we can consume I suppose. Anyway, I totally over planed the basil and now there is a ton growing in one pot. I think I’m going to try to separate some of them and give them to neighbors/friends and also maybe repot some of it.

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I really should update more. They’re much bigger now, especially the basil. I really want to get these pots from Terracylce.net since I read in Veg. Times that they are making pots from old computers and fax machines and then they get local artists to paint them. They’re pretty cheap too but I think they’re only selling those kinds through stores so I’ll have to check that out eventually but I’ll probably end up going to our local Hardware store for the pots.

No new food items since I’ve been trying to focus on my knitting. I am getting increasingly bored though and the most exciting dish has been salads so far. I’m pretty excited though be we found some vegan ranch and cesar dressing this week that I can’t wait to try out. Mmmm…although Nathan is convinced that the cesar is going to suck but I have hope.Anyway, I suppose this is all I’m going to post since my brain doesn’t really function before noon as it is. I’ll try to post so more plant pics soon.

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11
Jun
09

Pie? Mmmmm

Yay for summer time.

Lots of things have been happening in the world that have been really horrible, tragic, and concerning. But I try to remember that there is lots of suffering going on even when it’s not headlines. I’ve been really bothered by so many stories of wrongful or misunderstood imprisonments and I hope that by thinking of them that their stories and lives will be remembered and fought for even though they remain in horrible, unjust conditions. I heard recently of a blogger who might have taken his life after spending some time in prison and another from Yemen who did the same. It worries me that Americans often don’t question our own government in the treatment of prisoners, both foreign and domestic, since we often fall prey to patriotic propaganda and the likes. The notion that the government is infallible and always has our best interest at heart seems a bit naive on our part. I think I’m pretty cynical but I also hope that through my critical eye that we question everything around us for the sake of compassion and understanding of those who become muted and/or erased by our government. But it’s not just the U.S., I should admit that much, but many other countries, political groups, gangs, etc that forget their humanity in the struggle for power and dominance.

It’s also so weird that I’ve been thinking about this and yet I have a bit more respect for our local police that helped us out yesterday. We’ve been taking our walks for a few weeks now since we got our cool little nikes that don’t cripple our feet like our old ones did. Yesterday was a bit of a random day since I had some things to do so we didn’t start our walk until 7pm which is rather late for us but it’s been so light and warm out we still were able to exercise. We reached the top of the hill and were getting ready to cross the street when we noticed a man attempting to break into Nathan’s car. >.<  I was about to flip out at the guy but we calmly walked over and then of course Nathan laid into the guy….He had managed to pop out part of the back window and was trying to get it to go down when we found him but thankfully we got the window back in easily.

This guy starts giving us some bullshit about how it’s his friend’s car and how he lives at No.4 and he knows our manager Carlos….We totally laughed in hindsight….why would you break into a friend’s car in the first place? The guy who lives at No.4 is not named Steve….and our Manager isn’t named Carlos. The sad part is that he could have found out the manager’s name if he looked at the ‘For Rent sign…call J-‘. I just couldn’t believe the nerve of this guy especially since the only thing of value in Nathan’s car is an empty soda can. But this has actually happened numerous times…he’s actually gotten his license plates stolen and we got tickets because the DMV wasn’t open on the weekend when it happened. I had to buy a new drill kit because they stole his out of his trunk because he didn’t think anyone would break into his car….the list goes on. Granted he’s getting rid of his car because of major electrical problems but it’s still the principle.

And I’m totally for being a Narc being that we have to deal with this kind of stuff all the time. We even saw a couple walk by the guy and they didn’t even say anything…personally I would have called the cops if I witnessed a break in even if it turned out to be the owner who locked in his keys I still would want to make sure it wasn’t a break in. Especially in our neighborhood. It’s not even a bad neighborhood but we get so many transients and people who are just ‘scumbags’ to quote my neighbor. Seriously, we have an elderly home on our street and a lot of nice people but Santa Cruz just attracts a lot of people in our area…haha but I suppose it makes life a bit interesting as opposed to living on the Westside where everyone is loaded and kind of assholes to regular folks. Anyway, so we called the cops and tried to tail the guy but he turned into one of the apt. complexes near us and we’re pretty sure he just jumped a bunch of fences since the two streets that he would have taken are really long so it’s great visibility. The cops showed up really quickly and to be honest the female cop was kind of a bitch and looked at me funny…maybe my purple running shorts were seen as a fashion crime in her eyes. But the male officer was really nice and was joking around with us and every understanding. We got to watch him dust for fingerprints and I even helped out since his roll of tape was hard to peel and since I have long fingernails I can now say I partook in civic duty. I doubt they’ll catch the guy but if the fingerprints come up and he tries it again maybe it will help their case. It’s really odd because a lot of the cops can be jerks around here but I’ve also seen and heard from friends about really nice ones so I guess it’s like any profession…although I do think certain counties have a higher proportion of jerky cops but maybe I’m just biased. We actually had a friend who got fined for spitting which I thought was really over the top because I’ve grown up knowing, hearing, and seeing guys spit because they feel the need (even though personally I think it’s all in their heads because I’ve known way too many guys who don’t spit regularly). But he actually won his case but that is just a random story that I thought I should write….

Anyway, that was exciting….

In other news, Nathan finally hooked up my new monitor (from christmas) and installed his wireless mouse (also from christmas)…we’re not usually that lame about things but I knew Nathan would feel sad about not having a big screen even though he’s using my old screen which was bigger than his old one. Little puppy dog eyes totally get to me so I’m sure we’ll be getting him one also since we’re totally spoiled only-children. But I think we’re a bit unique because we’re not the kind of spoiled kids that want a bunch of stuff and need a bunch of attention but we definitely get jealous if one of us gets a shiny new toy. I’m still jealous of his iphone even though I like my little phone and I can’t ever work his touchscreen anyway…but now that they lowered the prices on them we might both get upgrades since he thinks his ‘old’ phone is too slow since it’s one of the OG iphones (original gangster). But the point is that we’re shiny addicts…we love new shiny boxes, shiny new books, dvds, it’s just so magical because it’s like christmas for us every time we buy something.

So I’ll have to take a picture of my new monitor but I’ve been kind of pathetic with taking pictures lately….too much work, I think. But I have taken some which I’ll present now…woohoo

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My awesome blueberry pie! Well, it tasted great and looked pretty good from the top but the recipe told me to make a mound in the center but I think I made it a bit big by the looks of the photo but it was my first one. I’ve waited an entire year for fresh summery blueberriers and $20US later I was stocked up with them and making my pie. Blueberries aren’t the cheapest berries for a pie but it was super good and they’re full of great things like anti-oxidants. Mmmm. Personally, I was thinking about going with the ‘joy of baking’ recipe but Martha is pretty consistent so I tried hers out. I think there wasn’t enough of something because the berries didn’t meld as much as I thought they would  and I’m think I should have mashed more of the berries than the recipe called for. Still yummy and maybe in a week or so I’ll make it again.

The only other picture is my celtic cable scarf which was taken two weeks ago ( I think) and it’s longer now but still going slowly since it’s hard to find time between the cooking and cleaning and the bike riding.

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The flash kind of washed out the cables since the shadows show the depth and interweaving more but every time I tried it with no flash it was blurry. It must have been me or something because I’ve taken the flash off before and it was fine. Anyway, it’s more a magenta then a pepto pink…not sure if it looks girly but I like bright colors. It was kind of nice because I went to the bookstore and picked up a knitting magazine and the checkout woman was asking me what I was working on and talking to me about knitting. Sometimes I feel like I’m projecting some 1950s image but when I meet people who like similar things or understand my work it’s both relieving and wonderful to connect with someone.

I didn’t start this scarf as a celtic cable scarf since a. I thought it might be a little euro-centric of me and b. everyone loves those cables. But after a few failed attempts at the triple twist cable I figured I ought to switch for my sanity. To be honest, I’ve been a bit conflicted about my cooking and knitting b/c I spend so much time cooking that I don’t get as much knitting in as I’d like. I’ve been thinking of toning down my cooking menus but I feel bored if I eat a meal twice in one week, excluding salads. I think I’m still in awe of vegan cooking and discovering all I can do. I’ve always loved working with my hands and touching things so cooking is so fascinating and there is so much to learn from vegan cooking in terms of binding agents, leavening agents, and substituting the right thing in regard to flavor. So maybe I’ll eventually get into more of a cooking pattern so I can delve into knitting more. I have so much to learn and since it’s all self taught I have many disasters and frustrations but so much more enjoyment. Plus I think it’s a bit easier to sell knit items than cooking stuff unless I make a cookbook. At this point I’m trying to focus on gaining more skill, making some presents, and hopefully being able to turn out some easy, warm, and functional items for the winter for the charity organizations. I actually saw last week that an immigrant workers union is looking for warm clothing, blankets, and food items for their clients (not sure if that is the correct term) so I’m really hoping to make some items for them as well. Plus the vet we go to is always asking for blankets for their animals since they are in partnership with some adoption agencies so I think about doing something for them too.

I guess I just want to help others while at the same time I want to earn money off of my future talent. I’m still learning so much though that I can’t really expect to make patterns and items until I invest more time and money into knitting but I still think about these things. I remember one time in one of my anthro classes that this one student was complaining that these elderly women were knitting items for the organization she worked for that helped women and children in africa that were suffering from issues such as disease, aids/hiv, lack of food, etc. And she was saying that instead of knitting these blankets that they should have been donating money because their items were impractical. Even though I hadn’t picked up knitting at that point, I was still upset because people still need those sorts of items and if the issue was that the yarn was too heavy for the climate then why didn’t they approach the knitters about making more light weight items…or making knit diapers (which I’ve seen some really crazy, time consuming ones) or even knit mosquito nets? I suppose I was upset by the ungrateful attitude of the student who obviously didn’t know how much time goes into those items and they obviously picked that organization to help. They could have sent those items to E. Europe, or Asia, or the colder regions of the Americas. I guess it upset me that she was looking a gift horse in the mouth….I think that is the phrase…if not I’ll come back and correct it. haha.

In light of all that has been happening in California, I think they should nominate me as the new Miss California because I do want world peace and I want to help out even though I don’t make six figures and I don’t think money is always the answer. How many times have governments and corrupt groups taken aid and money and never helped those who were starving and dying? We donate to our local radio station a few times a year, give tips,  and try to lessen our impact on the world and yet so many others only care about if they have the newest Tiffany’s bracelet or fancy new car. None of which are bad (although I would still argue about blind consumerism) but I think we need to pull together as a people, nation, and world and help each other out. I think most religions would agree. And I’m not even trying to be a saint because I love bottled water, I love my new nikes, I love being wealthy enough to buy organic and fair trade, and I love being a first world citizen…I even ::gasp:: consume dairy once a week which goes against our veganism. I suppose I’m just sick of people saying they’re too strapped to give back or are too busy….what about volunteering? or what about not maxing out their credit because our society practically forces us to consume excessively. Ugh…I’ll stop this rant. I think Disney corrupted me with ‘It’s a Small World’ ride. Even though we don’t go to church and we’re not really religious I think we’re good followers of Jeezy Creezy. Every time I wear my Nino de Atocha or St. Francis de Assisi necklace I go into the world thinking about those groups that they help. Maybe it’s silly and superstitious but deep down I pray that they will help the prisoners, travelers, or lost animals and guide them to a path that leads to their safety…haha maybe I am a bit more of a Catholic than I think I am.

Anyway, I need to post more because I tend not to rant as much but I’m pretty sure only my family reads this ::waves:: I think I’m safe.

I’m going to end with a great video link of a World of Warcraft movie that players love and many people make great movies but this group is one of my favorites.Until next time….eat good food and be happy.

02
Oct
08

Identity

I grew up with two anthropology parents who both happen to be Latino/Hispanic/etc. So Identity has always been a topic in my life that has permeated every aspect of my experiences.  I’ve spent the greater part of my life moving and often times being surrounded by either Salvadoran/Latinos or white intellectuals due to my parent’s ties to the universities. It’s given me many memories which cultivated the way I see myself and this can be frustrating.

As a little girl I remember wishing my parents would come to my school for the sole purpose of showing the other latino kids that I was actually latina and not making it up. I remember one girl in particular used to make fun of me until she saw my dad one day in the office dropping off my lunch that I had forgotten. After that she never teased me but ignored me…which was the better of the two options if I couldn’t ever be her friend.

And those kind of sentiments are still present even today. I feel as though I walk a fine line between being “white” and being latina in the way people interact with me. A few weeks ago I was riding my bike to longs and this latino guy sided up next to me and struck up a converstation. Questions like : are you a student?, why are you still in santa cruz (since I’m not a local), are you latina?, can you speak spanish?, and then his conclusion of who I am…you should get out of your bubble.  Within the short span of meeting this person I felt like he had sized me up and I spent the rest of the day irratated because I’ve dealt with that for so long and I still don’t know how to respond.

My spanish isn’t so great and everyone seems to want to tell me that I should learn. Well thanks for that suggestion but the thing is that I forget the language being that I don’t know anyone here who speaks it. And it’s not even that I forget, I just get rusty. But everyone seems to think I’m ashamed. What I fail to understand is that I’ve known many latinos whose grammer was horrible but because they ‘looked’ more latino no one said anything. They’d correct them but it wouldn’t be a huge deal. What bothers me even more is when non-latinos precede to tell me how they know way better spanish and that I have a limited vocabulary. But now I’m going on a tangent.

The point being is that I never seem latina enough so people treat me accordingly…either I’m ashamed or trying to be white or (in the views of non-latinos) I’ve forgotten my culture. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I’m rather light-skinned and everyone assumes that to be latina I must be dark or at least ‘chola’ looking..that I have to listen to salsa and reggaeton. But I listen to EBM/Industrial…which for anyone who wants to know has a Mexican group called Hocico which I love…but right there again..I’m justifying an aspect of my latino connection by stating that group. ::sigh::

I suppose most people look for key cultural indicators when they meet people and I just seem so ambiguous that they take it out on me or act a bit racist or hurtful. I know logically I should brush it off and not waste my time thinking about these kinds of attitudes. But I can’t because I feel as if I’m failing to resist and thus becoming another blank face in the U.S. There’s “a bit of a crowbar” space as Eddie Izzard would say when it comes to where my identity falls.

Anyway, I suppose I should end this post because my other thoughts seem disconnected. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that I don’t want a pat on the back or someone to tell me ‘you define yourself and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise’. I mean those things make me feel better but it doesn’t make it easier to deal with in the future. I’m still going to be shunned by latinos that don’t know me who think I’m white-washed and thus an outsider….or I’ll get strange looks from non-latinos who can’t figure out what I am. So this ends my post and I really hope if anyone reads this they don’t think I’m all sad. Really I’m just thinking and hope to share my experience as a human hodgepodge.

28
Sep
08

/wave

So let’s see…I currently live in santa cruz, california with my nai-nai-poo. That’s him in the shorts…something I’m sure not even his mother has seen in a decade. But being that we were in Mexico at the time it really didn’t make sense to be die-hard about pants. Anyway, we also take care of our mini zoo which includes : two fat cats(re and fe), trotsky the gecko, and two lovebirds (mango and voxie).

So I’m a sorta-vegan…I know it’s so annoying when people are like ‘oh i’m vegan’ or ‘oh i’m going to free tibet with my bumpersticker’. It’s a fine line between believing in one’s choices and using those choices to promote one’s social status. But anyway, I’m mainly vegan but I do admit I eat cheese here and there…well some cheeses more then others..like Brie..I can eat a .5lb of that and not even notice. I blame it on my family…my southwestern and salvadoran heritage just always pops some cheese in somewhere. Like enchiladas or pupusas….mmm I love cheese but thankfully santa cruz doesn’t carry salvie cheeses so I stick to the brie..mainly.

So being vegan is a big part of my life because I love food and I have to come up with ways to make old dishes taste similarly while meeting nutritional reqs. Golly gee this post doesn’t sound articulate or interesting like those peeps in nebraska so I’m going to end here and maybe post something else.




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