Wednesday, May 20, 2009

There Ain't Nothin' Wrong with Sweet Hot Sauce from a Bottle

See? Alongside some broccoli, carrots, and crispy tofu, nothing can go wrong.

Potato Spinach Enchiladas

A friend recently gave me her copy of Veganomicon. It feels strange to talk about the book as if it were mine. She's moving to England soon and she has to get rid of a lot of her things-- she doesn't want to spend a fortune on shipping things. I understand that she'd be ditching some of these things anyway, but still, it's hard to accept such nice things. Well, I'm taking her out to a nice all-vegetarian, organic restaurant in Düsseldorf soon. I hope that'll make up for a little bit of it.

I've been dying to get my hands on this book for a long time. I've been drooling at the food porn posts from this book on my vegan forum for ages. Of course there's the recipes that everyone seems to love, that everyone is trying, and have been made over and over again.

I've been wondering, "What will I make first? The Chickpea Cutlets? Vanilla Yogurt Pound Cake?"

In the photo section, I saw a heart-warming picture of Potato Kale Enchiladas and my heart was won.

I subsitituted kale for spinach and some way-too-expensive and "exotic" soft flour tacos for the corn tortillas that the recipe asks for. When I made them yesterday, I was a pretty underwhelmed. Today, I mixed the potatoes and spinach together, served everything at the right temperature, and got the wrap to the right level of sogginess-- then it reached my standards.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dreams 2

I dreamed that I was staying as a semi-permanent guest in my friend Frank's old flat. Everything was filthy as if we'd partied like frat boys the night before. Another friend of mine, Erin, and I were staying in one of the three bedrooms which would normally occupy one of the flat's three residents.

We woke up together to find this chaos. We were woken by a strange man who was short with brown, army-cut hair and too-tan skin who strolled into the room. It might've been his room, but I felt as if it were mine and I was embarassed on account of the mess. He walked back out again and Erin and I began to get ready.

I went to the bathroom for my morning pee. The bathroom was falling apart. The door didn't shut properly. One of Frank's friends came in the doorway in a manner that was both accidental and casual. I don't know which of Frank's friends it was-- they all look the same to mee: skinny, long hair, slanty-eyed, artsy, plaid shirts. He was in the doorway for a short time and then he left. I couldn't pee.

I heard someone else coming and I leaned forward on the seat and moved to shut the door. But the door, in its dilapidated state, fell off its hinges as I tried to swing it shut. Stirred by the commotion or perhaps with the original intent of peaking in, Freddie, one of the flat's residents, appeared in the doorway. In real life, I have a gigantic pathetic crush on this kid whom Frank and I have given the epithet of Cherub Cheeks. My emotions in my dream were not much different. Freddie started to speak to me, but I couldn't listen. I was on the toilet with naught but a T-shirt on and underpants down to my ankles. I couldn't pee, so I got up off the toilet.

Freddie and I were in the hallway. He was still speaking to me. I still couldn't listen-- I was thinking about my underwear. I was sure that I was wearing a thong and was horridly aware of my bare butt standing blatantly in the hallway. Then I remembered that I was wearing a sort of underwear that partially covered my tush and I relaxed a little. I tried to speak to him a little, but I couldnt remember many words in German. (Freddie doesn't speak English.)

Then Erin and I were still getting ready. She had a friend coming over that she knew from her German course. Erin was getting dressed and preparing a mixed tape for the guest on a machine that could've also been a toddler's playtoy. She sent me into the hallway to meet the guest because she was still not ready and she wanted the tape to be a surprise.

Erin's friend was a Pakistani or Indian woman and spoke in heavily accented German. We made small talk for a while until Erin called her in, speaking English. I wondered why the two of us hadn't started with English. Then I couldn't decide the language with which I should speak, flipping back and forth between the two. Then I woke up.


Preface: I read _The Old Man and the Sea_ yesterday.

I dreamed that there was a whale. A beached whale. He was the subject of my dream, although very little of the dream was relavent to him. There were three sets of people: those who desired to do something to the whale, a touist on an island in the sea nearby the beached whale, and some hikers nearby on the mainland, close to the sandbar on which the whale was beached.

My first goal was to warn the man on the island-- he was recieving a massage there and the whale, should it tip in the direction of the island, meant impending doom for him. To reach the island, I had to go through an underground mall. There, I ran into S. and his mother, but he had a different mother-- an American woman who I know through his Kindergarten. I followed them down an escalator and chatted with the mother while she bough S. a cookie. (The cookie purchase was in German, as were a few words taht I exchanged wtih S., for those interested.) I am even loquacious in my dreams.

I found the man on the island, but I'm not sure if he heeded my words. I could only see his head, which was blury, and he was lost in the ecstasy of the massage.

I moved on to the sandbar area where the whale was beached. There were some extreme activists there on a ship. What their intentions for the whale were, I'm not sure, but as for the people they ran into who were not part of the project-- I knew they had only malintent. I did not stay with the activists for long. I had to warn the hikers before they came upon the ship.

It was nearly too late for the hikers-- the acitivsts had spotted them. They may have killed one. We ran away into a barren land, taking a steady climb up a mountain.

I saw the whale one last time. The massive creature flipped itself into the water between the sand bar and the mainland. I am not sure if by this action he was able to save himself or not.

I continued to climb the great, barren mountain with the other hikers. There were many hikers travelling down the mountain. I believe we were the only ones travelling up, but this did not seem strange to me. My new companions knew many of the people who we came across.

One of my companions went to join another group of hikers. His marooning was sudden and by the time we noticed he was gone, it was too late to follow him-- the distance between our groups was rocky and great.

Lastly we lost another crew member. We found him finally. He'd strayed from the path and joined a group of construction workers. The other workers were young- either children or very young adults, I'm not sure. My companion, who like the others was about my age or slightly older, chose to join them and then we moved on.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I went to see a ballet with a friend on Saturday evening. Per usual, neither of us knew much about what we were to see as we walked through the opera house doors. Having just arrived from Aachen, I turned my purse and my full-of-vegan-asian-goodies backpack in to the coat check. The checker gave me a funny look and proceeded to look around for a spot to hide it amoung the mink and Yves Saint Laurent coats of the 60+ crowd. I caught some grandparents eyeing my torn and filthy Converse shoes with disdain and I, in turn, eyed their sparkling cleavage.

My friend and I found our seats-- 9th row, not bad. She said, "I like the stage setting." Two identical, 20-foot-high, famous-looking, Romanesque sculptures stood at either side of the stage. I said, "I rather like the foot long cocks," because, due to the height (and nude-ness) of the statues, their penises were, as one might say, "larger than life." I thought a nearby grandparent glanced my way, but maybe that was because I was speaking English amoung a crowd of Germans. The backdrop was a scrim with a contemporary Roman sacrophagus printed on it, quite like one on today's featured wikipedia article.

The ballet opened with a slightly Eisenstein-esque dance. A group of women danced around each other. Their hair was covered entirely with black cloth and they wore long, flowing black dresses. They emphasized the space around themselves with big, sweeping movements of their arms in front, above, and to the side. A leg lift carried the mass of black cloth with it, leaving a noticable, sweeping expanse of space between each woman's leg. The dance concluded with the women circling around each other, stage center, and one of them emerging with a baby doll, wrapped in black cloth. They were then interupted by Trojan soldiers, who removed their robes to reveal costumes like those depicted in the picture above. The soldiers raped/ had sex with the women, and threw them into cages that had risen from the backstage floor.

The Trojan soldiers had a beautiful dance together. Every costume, aside from the mournful women who opened the ballet, revealed the dancer's abdomen, much to my pleasure. The soldiers had sharper, quicker movements. I particularly enjoyed a momement when all the soldiers did a hip shake from side to side.

There was a beautiful sort-of duet: two pairs of Spartan dancers; the first pair, white and dressed in black, the second, black and dressed in gold. The men lifted and twirled their partners around, making the audience forget about the laws of gravity and that one cannot actually glide across the floor as if on skates. The black male dancer danced with particular passion. I wondered then why it wasn't he who was chosen as the lead, which the white dancer apparently was. I suspected the black man had some Othello-like role to play.

At intermission, I said to my friend, "Well, I think there could've been more nudity, don't you?" We went outside to sit in the grass and drink a can of beer that she'd bought in the train station earlier.

In the second half, the Trojan soldiers appeared less and the Spartans more. The Spartans had a beautiful, magnum-opus scene wherein the groups of men and women danced across the stage, running, leaping, pirouetting, and sashéing (i can't spell that for the life of me, but hopefully we all know what i'm talking about) across the back of the stage at speeds a sprinter would be jealous of. During this scene, a group of Trojans costumed differently than the ones we'd seen before, ran across the stage.

ok, i meant to finish this ages ago and do the discriptions some better justice. still, i think the bit i have is worth sharing until i get around to finish my description of the end, fuzzy though the memory of it is.

Don't you miss...?

I get a lot of the same questions when people find out I'm vegan. One of them is, "But don't you miss x? I simply couldn't live without x." In the secret, dark, vegan closet, I might miss x a little bit, but I know that I have a severe allergy... to oppresion, so I rarely ever think about consuming x.

A few months ago, my friend Timo picked up a can of mock abalone from a sketchy asian shop.
"What's that?", I asked him.
"I dunno," he answered. "Let's try it."
We made a stir fry with the gluten-ous vegetarian meat and it was delicious. After dinner, a quick wikipedia search revealed that abalone is some kind of shell fish.

I found another can of abalone at the aforementioned sketchy shop yesterday, only this time it's a curry version. It was next to cans of mock duck and mock chicken. And then the mock abalone.... It makes you sardonically wonder, "Oh, cool! Mock abalone! I've been wondering when they'd create a substitute for this!"

I made a curry with it for lunch today (and heated it up again for dinner). It was delicous.