living underground in the real world

Monday Miscellany: hot chile edition (updated!)

Jacob’s stepmother is from Thailand, and grows a truly astonishing amount of (primarily Thai) vegetables in a beautiful upland garden here in Hawaii. Here is one part of the green papaya forest, with Thai chile plants in the foreground. One morning we volunteered to help harvest chilies.

Just a few links for this lazy holiday week:

Blogreader Orlande pointed these out months before, but MY GOD! SO ADORABLE! Handmade vegan shoes. I’ll take one pair of each, please!

There is something beautiful and calming about a three-star New York Times review (beware: intense non-veganism at that link) even of a restaurant I will never, ever go to. Maybe this means that I’m a bad anarchist because deep down I value standards and being judged. Luckily, I am on vacation and am not going to think about it that deeply.

The chilies are HOT.

Oh dear this little French girl is cute. Just ludicrous.

Sometimes, as a subversive sort of “fuck you” to health food freakers, and because it looks so fun, I tell myself I want to get into intense sugar work like this or this or this. The desire always passes…but I hope that one day it doesn’t. In ten years, I’d love to have given myself over to the world of refined, refined sugar in all its glory.

Here’s a fascinating read about the real-life world of a non-supermodel model (since my favorite secret guilty pleasure blog, Elyse Sewell’s brilliant Livejournal, is apparently defunct, I apparently have a vacant spot for jaded ex-model stories).

This is her last batch, being sun-dried to a toasty crisp. She cooks with a LOT of chilies.

Two bits of local outrage to end with:

First, what is UP with this freaking New Paltz Middle School MADNESS? How can people who are against the renovation not understand that a) it has to be done, for the safety of “the children! the CHILDREN!!” and that b) it will cost much more down the line, if we don’t do it now? I’m so confused. Is it the same old boys network freaks who wanted to build a completely new school? Do they even understand the math at all, or are they just 100% corrupt? Either way, they certainly have a lot of cash—$800 ads in the NPT every week, really? I’m not very coherent on the whole thing, obviously, but School Board member KT Tobin Flusser is, so go read what she has to say.

Second, our blogreader pal Dan recently pointed out, in a well-written letter to our erstwhile local rag the New Paltz Times, that this whole natural gas drilling thing is a giant fiasco that threatens the very survival of our beloved Catskills.

This appears to be the next big battle in my neck of the woods between capitalism and the continuation of our local ecosystem, and I’ve been steadily ignoring the horribleness that is looming ever closer. The worst aspect of the war to come, it seems to me, is that it really pits us (mostly middle-class, let’s admit it) environmentalists against mostly working-class (if such a thing was permitted to exist anymore, which it’s really not) people who see the quick cashy allure of letting the very land under their feet be drilled (by such upstanding companies as….Halliburton!). This pollutes drinking water (and it’s not like all of NYC depends on upstate for their drinking water or anything…) and puts their houses at risk for fun things like exploding—but it does give some cash-strapped homeowners some desperately-needed dollars.

It’s a mess from top to bottom, and the very thought of stopping it is so daunting it makes me want to breathe into a paper bag. But stop it we must. And so we shall.

Dan points out CatskillMountainKeeper.org as the place to go for outrage/info/action.

Also, Dan? We’ve never met, but someone just told me you’re David Porter’s son? The David Porter who almost single-handedly defeated Wal-Mart in NP? I’m so in love with your dad!!! This makes me want to have a little New Paltz-Resistance is Fertile blog meet up thingie! Just you and me and Brittany and KT. And ol’ what’s-his-name! Um….maybe not.

10 Responses to “Monday Miscellany: hot chile edition (updated!)”

  1. Dustin

    –>Maybe this means that I’m a bad anarchist because deep down I value standards and being judged. <—

    I want to talk about this some time because I am struggling with this myself, now that I live in the godforsaken culinary destination that is Washington DC. I am so offended by what people call and think is good food here—worthy of eating. I have had two absolutely magnificent meals at restaurants since living here, and both are the opposite of vegan. Almost every vegan I know is content to eat a plate of shit: fake meat, a stir fried frozen vegetable and white rice. It's HORRIFYING.

    And then: there's another part of me that wants to be more like that! I want to be less obsessed with food, less of a snob—and I feel pulled in 20 different directions trying to sort my real thoughts out on this.

    But ultimately it comes down to what (I think) you just said: if you are going to bother opening a restaurant, the food should be very good. It shouldn't be so-so, and it shouldn't ultimately trick people into thinking that shit is actually food.

    Help me. Enlighten me. Clear my cloudy brain, please.

    Reply
  2. lagusta

    OK, two things:

    “I have had two absolutely magnificent meals at restaurants since living here, and both are the opposite of vegan.”

    What does that mean?? I mean, if they were vegan, than they were not the opposite of vegan!

    But I get what you mean, I think–last night I made a cashew-based macaroni casserole, and I asked Jacob, “Does it taste, you know, vegan?”

    Vegan has become a shorthand for crap, and we can’t let that happen! I do it too, obviously.

    It’s so easy to do, because:
    ” Almost every vegan I know is content to eat a plate of shit: fake meat, a stir fried frozen vegetable and white rice. It’s HORRIFYING.”

    Exactly. Fuckin’ vegans! BUT! I feel like I’ve seen a major giant shift away from this style of eating in the last decade or so. There are now honestly good vegan restaurants (maybe not in DC, argh), and lots and lots of vegan chefs and bakers making good stuff. Yes, some of them aspire to nothing more than making faux hostess cupcakes, but there is some real quality happening there. I’m sure you know that.

    Still, you, and I, are surrounded by idiotic vegans who think that replacing eggs with mashed bananas works in every baked good known to man.

    But! Imagine if we weren’t vegan–we’d most likely be surrounded by the same idiotic eaters, they would just be eating animal flesh.

    I think the bottom line is that it’s just hard to find friends with good palates when you’re as awesomely snobby as we are–vegan or not.

    Reply
  3. Dustin

    Yes, I meant delicious, amazing vegan food at decidedly non-vegan restaurants. :-)

    Reply
  4. brittany

    also, when did elyse nix the lj? it was interesting but i could never read more than 2 or 3 at a time due to her elitest, condescending snobbery… i find her to be painfully irritating. i guess i like what she stands for… i just don’t like HER.

    Reply
    • lagusta

      really? I never noticed that…maybe because I am such a snob myself. Point me to some posts!!

      Reply
      • brittany

        well, i’m assuming you didn’t watch her season of ANTM? (america’s next top model… pretty sure you know that part, but just in case)…

        http://www.flakmag.com/tv/elyse.html

        http://www.splendicity.com/style-television/top-10-quotes-from-antm-favorite-elyse-sewell/

        “Adrianne, stop interrupting me. Stop quoting Jay and Silent Bob right next to my ear; I’ve had enough of you. Robin, how f***ing dare you show me that ‘foolish is the atheist’ bible verse this morning, and ask me ‘what do I think of it?’ What the f*** am I supposed to think of it? And you know what I think of you? Foolish is the woman who believes that g**damn tripe. Giselle, you f***ing worthless c***. You are so… wasteful, bitchy, stupid… you’re worthless. Your parents must be ashamed of you. J., you offended me today. I know that medical school is hard work! How could I possibly not be aware of that? It takes a f***ing ass to cover every seat, you s*** slice. Katie, I don’t believe a word that comes out of your mouth. You’re the most insincere person I’ve ever met. Damn it, let me f***ing die. You bitches.”

        – Elyse’s rant, America’s Next Top Model, cycle one, “Episode 2 – The Girl is Here to Win, Not Make Friends”

      • lagusta

        yeah, I didn’t watch it, but I’ve seen that video…and I liked it!

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