Friday, April 25, 2008

Home Work

I used to get pretty heated by people who thought it was a woman's duty to be in the kitchen and to stay at home rearing the children. The idea still seems pretty archaic to me, I really don't see this idea having any worth in today's world. It is not a woman's obligation or duty to be susie homemaker just because she has a set of knockers.

There are three different kind of woman I will touch on in this post. There is the woman who works 40-60hrs a week and does not have time to ALSO be the person responsible for everything that needs to be done in the home. There is the woman who is OC, what I mean by that is, she carries her dog in a bag with her, wears ginormous diamonds (most likely mined from conflict), lives for her giant fake boobs and the man who pays for her every need (and has a maid, mind you, so none of the cleaning really matters to her, but she is still at home 80% of the day being rich and fake and boring) and there is the woman who has chosen to stay at home and raise the children and be a an active member in the community and her children's lives.

That being said there is a sort of debacle I have been having in my personal life that relates to said subject. I kind of fall in between the first woman described and the third. I have been working full time the last three months in an unpaid student teaching position. It has been a crazy time with lots to do with school work, planning, and the dreaded TPA's (my personal assessments, not that you care). So life has been crazy even though I have been getting home early enough to take care of some stuff around the house.

For those of you who know me, you know I am both a terrible cook and a person who doesn't love cooking (if you need to know why, please see previous part of the sentence). I also do not love housework. I dont mind vacuuming, but our vacumn isn't working well. Dusting is annoying and dishes are not bad, but I get tired/lazy sometimes. Cleaning the toilet is gross and laundry is the worst. I sound so neggy right now. In reality I don't mind doing these things but have found myself rebelling against them. I am rebelling against the fact that I should be doing more housework as my man has been paying 80% our shared bills and he is amazing for doing so.

I do realize that because he is basically taking care of my financial needs it would be nice if I reciprocated by doing some crap around the house so he doesn't really have to worry about it. But my struggle lies in the vision I have of a woman, me, in a gingham jumper dress pulling a pot roast out of a steaming oven and placing that and the side dishes on a nice piece of china and then setting it directly in front of my bf/husband who happens to be seated in front of the table I set in the middle of all of the other "chores" to be done around the house. Oh and don't forget the napkin he has placed in his shirt collar to not dirty his nice, starched, work shirt.

The reality is that this is not the case at all. He helps with so much and at times even does more. Anyway, I guess at the end of the day my giving in to doing more housework does not ACTUALLY make me the next Doris Day, but just a contributor to the well being of our little pseudo family.

Friday, April 11, 2008

I am a Vegetarian--or am I?

There are so many different kinds of ways people classify vegetarianism.
Here are some of them:
I am a lacto-ovo veg, which means I eat eggs and do dairy products.
Some are lacto which means they do dairy but not eggs.
Some are ovo which means they do eggs but not dairy.
There are vegans which means they use nothing in their lives that has been derived from animal byproducts (i.e. honey, leather, foodstuffs, etc).

Then there are the ones I used to call the delusional ones, the ones who think they are vegetarian because they don't eat red meat, or they only eat fish. News flash: Fish are still animals--Fish is still a meat. Chicken is STILL a MEAT.

Not only are there several different classifications of vegetarianism, there are also many different reasons why people choose this lifestyle. There have been books written on all of the reasons why people become vegetarian or vegan so I wont really go into it in great depth.

Some are to be advocates for the animals (there are some gnarly practices going on in American/International slaughterhouses).
For some it is due to the health aspect: allergies, blood pressure, heart disease and so on.

I was one of those that did it for the animals. I read about everything that occurs in the slaughterhouses and none of it seemed right. It is my true and honest belief that animals are creatures of God meaning they have souls and feelings. Who are we to think we are so superior that it is ok to treat animals as if they are just there to feed us. Some may argue that God put animals on this earth to feed people, and that may be correct, but the way we have gone about persuing this right is unGodly.

Anyway the thing that prompted me to write this blog is my struggle with my ability to be a true to word vegetarian. I just really started to become more aware of some of the non-vegetarian processing practices and the instances of non-vegetarian food additives in products I would never have thought to look. Cheese and sugar for instance. I was always aware of gelatin and how it is made, but what about creating a more refined sugar by breaking it down with animal bones. Can it make me feel better to know that only 25% of sugar processors use this practice? No, because what about those times I am not at my home eating my 100% natural blah blah blah sugar, and I get some sort of food that has sugar in it and it happens to have been processed using this practice but I would never know and Lord knows my sweet 20yr old college student waitress wouldn't know either. So I eat it, doing my best pretending that there can be NO way this sugar was broken down and made that pretty white color by using animal bones.

So for someone like me who has chosen this lifestyle to be a spokes person for the animals what are we supposed to do. Do I hole myself up in my apartment for the rest of my life, going to work only to make money to spend at the whole-natural-organic (which also has several different classifications by the way)-food stores? In my current financial state it is almost like I cant really afford to be a true vegetarian, eating products bought at these stores just to ensure I am in no way contributing to slaughterhouse products or slaughterhouse by products. Here are some examples I found online:
  • gelatin (from animal bone)

    • avoid jello, starburst, skittles, sour cream, Extra Polar Ice gum, some gummy bears

      • Skittles from the Czech Republic and Starburst from England do not contain gelatin.

    • note: most camera film is made from gelatin.

  • lipase (from calves, lambs, or kids—a enzyme used in food processing)

  • A lot of wine and beer is not vegan - anyone know about hard alcohol?

    • almost all cheap and imported beers and wines are filtered with isinglass (derived from fish) or bone char.

  • White flour and white sugar- supposedly the calcium carbonate used to bleach these products can derive from animal bones. Can anyone provide a primary source to confirm or deny this claim?

  • Chocolate - yes its true. apparently the refined sugar in it is made using a process involving animal bone charcoal.

  • Sugar - some brands of refined cane sugar is made with a process using animal bone charcoal to "scrub" it clean of impurities, color, flavors, and minerals. C&H used to be vegan (as of 2001), but not Imperial. All sugar derived from sugar beets is vegan (not filtered with bone char). This is also true of common "Brown sugar" which is white sugar before the brown is added back in

And these are just a few. So the question is, is what I am doing or trying to stand for even worth it? Do I just give it all up and start eating meat, like in its solid form, almost as if the last 9 years don't even matter. The food industry is making it very hard for me to be solid in my belief and they way I choose to act on those beliefs.

I am having a vegetarian identity crisis.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I heard about this craze on the news this evening. DOGA. Can you figure it out? If you are smart and on top of it, you have already concluded that this acronym stands for Dog Yoga. Apparently, there are DOGA classes across the globe in places ranging from New York to Japan and everywhere in between.

This should definitely be added to the blog, Stuff White People Like. When was the last time there had been a fad so off the wall....let's revisit the past. Barrettes that looked like little hats, shabby chic furniture, ponchos, hammer pants, snap bracelets (loved em), wearing clothes backward (think CrissCross), garbage pail kids, etc.

I don't think that even I could jump on the DOGA bandwagon, regardless of the fact that I have no dog. There is a reason in yoga we have downward facing dog, because they already do it. Yoga is about listening to the Earth and finding peace and I don't think that having your (insert appropriate breed of dog here) running around your mat and your body as you are trying to contort or perfect your headstand would be provide for a very productive yoga practice.