Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Birdhouse In Your Soul

This is a picture of my favorite urban phenomenon.

I noticed this a couple of years ago -- if you look, you will notice that every single lightpost has a sparrow who nests in the tubular crosspiece, whether on Graham Avenue or 6th Avenue. Sometimes more than one sparrow -- this one had a little guy poking out of the opposite hole but you couldn't really see in the picture I took. Look today -- if you look up I guarantee you will see someone loudly singing in his luxury, rent-stabilized high rise. Now THAT's loftology for you!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Brooklyn Bunny

We are addicted to watching Roebling, the bunny on Brooklyn Bunny. Now every time I walk by the street bearing his name, I get a little HOP in my step. Hooray, Roebling!

Monday, April 21, 2008

A More AccurateTitle For This Article Would Be,

Face It, Some People Will Always Make You Pick Up Their Slack!

Have you seen these? If you haven't, take a look. Make sure you have some Kleenex.

Elaine Vigneault wrote a good diary at DailyKos about the need to demand transparency in animal agriculture. There's a very disturbing image at the end of her diary -- it's of particular interest to me that many commenters criticized her for including it.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Some Things

I kicked the ASS of the beauty - industrial complex by both coloring and cutting my own hair last night. It looks awesome. And I went to yoga. And I made dinner.

It is Pope-mania in Midtown and a true pain in the fucking ass. If it were The Arcade Fire, I could understand.

Things are looking up -- the weather is gorgeous, a certain AWESOME WEDDING is around the corner, and we are going to Farm Sanctuary for my birthday -- I just got the packet in the mail this week.


Spicy Tempeh With Brussels Sprouts And Quinoa

I make this tempeh at least once a week. Here is the recipe! It is adapted from the Spicy Tempeh in Veganomicon but I tweaked it -- plus I bake the tempeh in the oven rather than grill it.

1 block tempeh, cut into wedge shapes
1/2 cup wine
1/2 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup sriracha (rooster!) hot sauce
1 tsp cayenne
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp molasses
1tbsp pomegranate molasses
3 garlic cloves, minced
about a thumb-sized lump of ginger, cut fine to match the garlic (USE ORGANIC GINGER IF YOU CAN THAT STUFF IS OUT OF THIS WORLD, TASTE-WISE)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
black pepper
juice of 1 lime
some lime zest

Preheat oven to 400. Place tempeh in a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a measuring cup, mixing thoroughly and tasting until you like it -- feel free to adjust to your liking. Then pour over tempeh, flip tempeh pieces to coat, and cover with foil.

Bake for 30 minutes, remove foil, and flip tempeh -- bake uncovered for 25 more minutes.


These are the Rosewater Pistachio cookies from Veganomicon! TOTALLY DELICIOUS! The pigs say, HOORAY!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

This weekend Trey and I went to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. The cherry blossoms have not yet bloomed, but the magnolias! Holy moly, they are beautiful! And we saw grackles and a yellow warbler, who was so golden and hoppity and nice! In our own back yard all the birds have been making a royal mess of our feeder, and there are two new birds we've seen, a kind of Junco and a Brown Headed Cowbird.
Last night I made a fantastic chili! Really, insanely good. Here is how you make it!

5 cloves of garlic (or more), minced
One roughly diced onion
2 diced poblano peppers
A few dried hot peppers, sliced
1 modest carrot, peeled and diced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 head parsley, chopped fine-ish
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 8 oz package of tempeh, cubed into 3/4" cubes
1/4 cup-ish molasses
White wine
1 can (the bigger one) crushed tomatoes
1 can black beans (the soup can size)

1 tbsp cumin (or to taste)
1 tbsp thyme (")
2tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp mole chili powder (or whatever, you can mess around)
1 tsp fennel seeds

Put the tempeh cubes in a small saucepan. Cover with 1/2 cup wine, 1/2 cup tamari, and 1/2 cup water over medium heat. When it starts to simmer, reduce heat to low and cover, stirring occasionally. Let this simmer while you make the other stuff.

In BIG saucepan or skillet, saute the hot peppers, garlic, onion, and carrots until they start to soften - 5 minutes Add the poblano peppers and saute some more -- another 5-8 minutes. When these soften too, add the tomato paste and combine. Add the dried spices (except the fennel! -- that's for the tempeh!) and the parsley -- saute for another 5 minutes or so. Now add the crushed tomatoes and drained black beans. Cover and let simmer/bubble. Check on the tempeh. The tempeh should be getting tender and the liquid level reduced. Add another 1/4 cup wine, 1/4 cup tamari, and the molasses and the fennel seed. Stir so the molasses is mixed in all the way, and then cover and let simmer a bit more, say 10 minutes. Be sure to turn the tempeh pieces.

Now add the tempeh/ broth mixture to your main skillet of chili. Add some paprika or whatever other flavors you like, and simmer for as long as you can -- at least 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. I swear to you, this chili will drive you crazy.

In happy news, I do not have breast cancer. I had a lump in my right one for 3 days and luckily it went away. I didn't tell anyone but Trey and only when I knew it was going away. The internet is cruel to encouraging one to think a zit is a ductal carcinoma.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Girls Girls Girls!

I had a really, really nice time in Boston with Ashbloem (who will be played by Scarlett Johannsen in the movie) and the other stolichnaiads this past weekend! I mean, SRSLY nice, and relaxing, and wild and fun and good, and it made me realize how lucky I am to have solid smart women in my life, both Wellesley-related and non. It also reminded me of how grateful I am to just LIKE WOMEN, PERIOD.

I was in the mood for more girl-hangouttery yesterday so over IM I invited my good friend Daisy to go to the movies, and we picked The Other Boleyn Girl, which was overall much better than I thought it would be -- or rather, the two leads' acting was much better than I had been lead to believe.

Moral of the story? Boys who are incapable of being good friends will not make good BOYFRIENDS, especially if they are the goddamn KING and think they are all that. Oh, and patriarchy sucks ass, and boobs. Because life is precious, and God, and The Bible!

P.S. The selection of this picture is in NO WAY meant to imply Natalie Portman would play me in the movie about me: that would be Marion Cotillard, right?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Faraway, So Close

Gore is launching a new $300 million advocacy campaign to foster awareness of climate change working with the Alliance for Climate Protection.

What do they propose? Lots of good stuff. But there's one big-ass lacuna there! Can you guess what it is?

My diet is vegan not just because I care about animals. It's because it's an environmental issue, and it's also a human rights issue. Eating factory farmed meat is like wearing Nikes made out of dead toddlers. Come on, already.

I'm extra sad because of something that happened in my neighborhood. Here is my IM with my sister from Tuesday:

lillet langtry: okay
i love my neighborhood
i was in the backyard
7:32 PM starting to do some gardening stuff
step one being to transplant my mom's irises into these bigger pots
i look in the italian people's yard 2 yards over
and they have 2 pet bunnies! running around!
one white and one orange!
7:33 PM then
mr. pontani comes out
gives me this long monologue in italian
about polish people, housing prices, he's going to italy friday
7:34 PM and then goes into the shed and comes back with this bottle of homebrew port
and tells me I should take it with "a little soda."
7:39 PM sister: i just took the pups out for their last daylight romp
that is a goot

I told Trey about the bunnies and he was totally excited to see them. I tried to videotape them one afternoon when I got home from work but the battery in our camera was dead and I couldn't figure out how to charge it. And then I was off to a super fun weekend in Boston!

When I came home Sunday night, Trey told me the bad thing that had happened: He went out in the backyard to look for the bunnies again. And saw one. Skinned, and being gutted by Mr. and Mrs. Pontani. I was glad he hadn't seen them when they were sweet and alive.

All of that and what for? A wad of flesh the size of two fists, maybe, and all, in the end for nothing.