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In Defense of My Existence

28 May 2005

better than cream cheese

I am a vegetarian. A very bad vegetarian considering I will still eat fish on occasion. Nonetheless, given my mindset, I will most certainly be vegan soon enough (I am heading in that direction, you see). Surely a very bad vegan though, as I doubt I will put very much effort into learning the egg and dairy content of my baked goods, not to mention my veggie burgers.

Eggs aren't much of a problem. They tend to gross me out except for the occasional hard-boiled egg--something I can easily live without. Dairy is more of an issue. I tend to subscribe to the notion that dairy products aren't much better than poison when human consumption is involved. But I sure do love ice cream... and milk on my cereal... and cheese. Cubes of cheddar and swiss and meunster... and cottage cheese with pineapple or Fritos (it's surprisingly good)... and, of course, cream cheese on my bagel.

I can handle ice cream and milk deprivation. I love sorbet and genuinely enjoy substitutes made from soy and rice milks. I use rice milk on my cereal and in my cooking with stellar results. And cheese? Well, simply because of how awful it is for you I wince when I find a slice of cheese on my sandwich. However, I will have a few cubes of the tasty little toxin at a party or office event, and a block of it can, once in a blue, be found in my and my boyfriend's 'fridge. (Sorry, vegan foods industry, you need to keep working on your "cheese" products. Nutritional yeast flakes only go so far.) I do love cottage cheese, though... I mean really love cottage cheese. Since it's not as bad for you as other cheeses it's here to stay. That leaves me with cream cheese. I like it but, as with cubed cheese, it's a treat. I will sometimes get flavored or low-fat (blech), but I usually take my bagel plain.

("Wow! This guy's really hung-up on dairy foods." I promise I have a point... not a very important point, but a point nonetheless.)

So, a few weeks ago I went to
Veganopolis for a quick something on my way to work. I decided on a spelt bagel (it's a vegan cafe, of course it's spelt). "That's two bucks." Two bucks for a fucking bagel! "It's organic." Two bucks for a fucking bagel! "It's locally made." So we're all about locally made in Portland, but it's still two bucks for a fucking bagel! (Keep in mind it was a very small bagel and I was in the two-days-before-payday-what's-going-to-bounce stretch.) "It's only $2.50 with Tofutti brand Better Than Cream Cheese cream cheese substitute." I do a quick calculation in my head: same price as lox and 25 cents more than veggie at my regular spot. Why the hell not.

Mmmmm. Surprisingly creamy. Without the oily aftertaste of some regular cream cheeses...

Thank you Veganopolis!
Tofutti brand Better Than Cream Cheese really is better than cream cheese!

Now if I could just find a damn cottage cheese substitute!

27 May 2005

the downing street memo

Yesterday, as I often do on Thursday afternoons, I was flipping through The Portland Mercury, a "fuck you!" alt-weekly here in Portland, Oregon.

I love page five.

There's the hilarious "One Day at a Time," Ann Romano's tongue-in-cheek take on the events of the past week. (What has happened to Lindsay Lohan's boobs??) In the upper-right we find the everchanging guest columnist. This week? "Seven More Secrets of Highly Effective People." (Take it from Creflo Knight, president of Servo Oil in Pensacola, Florida: going to church with a buttplug up your ass is funny shit!!) And my favorite, "Troubletown," the wonderfully subversive comic just catercorner in the lower left. This week's title is "Did you know...?" I hate to admit it but I didn't.

I didn't know anything about the Downing Street Memo, first published in London's The Sunday Times on 1 May. I didn't know anything because American media outlets have been practically silent about this memo that provides damning evidence of the Iraq War's illegality. It mentions how Iraq's "WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran," something we are all well aware of now. Evenso, Bush was intent on removing Saddam from power as early as summer 2002 and "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." If they can do that to a head of state (albeit a rogue state), think of what they could do to you. And mainstream America knows nothing of it??

You might expect me--a self-described liberal--to be feeling a bit smug right now. But no... disgusted is the better word...

More information and updates can be found at downingstreetmemo.com. If there is an Air America station on your radio dial (or if you have internet-streaming capability), Randi Rhodes has been talking about this situation on her show. Also, be sure to read the letter, sent to the White House by 89 members of Congress, demanding an explanation of the memo's revelations. Bush has not replied.

Please take the time to learn more about this disquieting memo and spread the word to liberal, conservative, and moderate alike.