Saturday, 3 October 2015

7 Things Vegans Won't Tell You

1. Trick! Vegans will probably tell you all these things because y'no how vegans like to tell you aaaaaaaallllllll about veganism lol lol lol.

Although I think part of the reason vegans get a bad rep for this is actually on meat eating folk. I have noticed that I am not able to decline a single food article without encountering a four hour intrusive Q & A sesh on the moral journey and complex ethics that lead me to not want a bite of your hamburger.

Maybe it's ironic that I'm writing a post about veganism after saying that but hey, you don't have to read it.

2. Daiya is vegan cheese and it is no coincidence that they named it Daiya.

BECAUSE IT IS DIRE. I may be pronouncing it wrong however.

If you know me, you know I love love love sparkle heart throbbing heart double heart rainbow emoji cheese.

I avoid it now so how is that going? Is my life ruined?

No, it's oooooook. It's not so tough because I don't eat as many things that require cheese to make them taste good. For example; where cheese and ketchup tastes great on a meaty burger, hummus and garlic veganaise is a black bean burgers best friend. And vegan pizza slices are usually so packed with the weirdest toppings the sprinkling of cheese is more for texture (plus HOT SPICE and you're good) - take a look at this behemoth from Apiecolypse now.

The Pig Destroyer 
Creamy garlic sauce, House hot sauce, Hickory BBQ soy curls, Seitanrizo crumbles, Secret spiced not chicken, Vegan bacon bits, Vegan pepperoni slices, Garlic artichokes, Vegan smoked gouda, Vegan mozzarella.

Also, there actually are some great less processed cheese alternatives such as cashew nut cheeses which taste delicious, they're just a bit harder to find (but it is a noble and worthy quest)! If you're lucky like me you have lots of great local stores like this vegetarian butchers to explore.

3. "Look! We managed to make something that looks a bit like what meat eater's eat (but it doesn't look/taste as good and is actually a bit weird)!" - Vegan Food

If you follow the Instagram accounts of your cities top vegan food places, you will see what I mean.

Through Being Cool Vegan
Mac N Cheese

However, nothing tastes better than the moral entitlement of not harming animals and the environment using industrialized intensive farming practices am I right??!!!

IMHO vegan food is delicious - there are millions of recipes from all different cultures that just don't include or require meat and dairy at all. When vegan food tries to imitate processed meat and cheese dishes the results can vary, but it's great to have these as options when you get all nostalgic (lol to like 3 months ago in my case).

Side note: vegans have the best puns. What you may lose in flavour, you sure will make up for in light humour, I'm looking at you Hail Seitan sammich!

4. It's cheap.

Vegan pizza slice ~ $4.50

Regular pizza slice ~ $4.50

And we all know that is the only metric we need to worry about right?

No seriously, a pack of tofu is $1.29 from my local convenience store and that one pack will make scrambled 'egg' and substitute for meat in a couple of meals. Also, I find that most recipes re-use the same ingredients way more, so one weekly shop will cover you for a week's worth of recipes without any wasted ingredients. 

I was surprised to find the same is true if you want to extend that to cruelty free toiletries; for example, animal product free shampoo from Whole Foods is $3.99 (the same price, if not cheaper, than shampoo in Shoppers). Whole Foods is expensive for meat and dairy by the way, because it's all free range, organic stuff which obviously costs more. If you're just buying veggie stuff it's super reasonable.

Finally, the best part I have found about buying vegan products is that my reliance on big supermarkets has completely been replaced with small, local grocery stores and health food shops. I have found that they tend to have way better alternative selections and fresher produce - plus I can just grab stuff on the way home from work!

5. In Toronto, most regular restaurants, pizza places and take-outs have great vegan options

You don't have to be super antisocial and drag your friends to vegan brunch spots every weekend.

I learned that lesson quick. I had never really looked for vegan stuff so I hadn't noticed, but check your menu next time and have a look. Restaurants like Sneaky Dees and Grapefruit Moon, chain pizza places like Pizziola, and burrito places like Burrito Boyz all have awesome vegan stuff!

6. "Vegan", "vegetarian", "pescatarian" are just handy labels

You don't get audited every year for claiming to be a vegan. You can totally cheat. Ok, so people might get annoyed if you call yourself vegan and start eating bacon wrapped tofu.

For example, when I first started this I decided I was OK with eating some sea fish like shrimp (what the hell do they know stupid little sea insects) and maybe goats cheese (I have no idea why, I just thought when have you ever seen an unhappy goat).

Now I have learnt a bit more about sea fishing and how it's just a big giant net that catches everything in the ocean (duh) I try not to eat sea fish either.

But the point is, it doesn't have to be all or nothing! Just because you can't commit 100% to something doesn't mean you should just give up and not bother.

I probably eat about 95-97% vegan. So sue me. If I'm in a restaurant and they don't have vegan options, I'll order whatever I think is the most ethically friendly thing on the menu.

By doing some research, finding out how meat, dairy and fish is farmed and produced (and having super knowledgeable friends in the farming and animal welfare industries) has allowed me to form opinions on this stuff and make conscious choices about what I am OK with consuming. And it feels awesome.

7. "There is no way of living in the modern world without doing morally reprehensible things on a daily basis."

I stole this from a great article I read a year ago which had a big impact on me. We all know the world is fucked up and it feels like we are pretty helpless when it comes to making any real change, and while that isn't necessarily true, simple decisions not to consume products that you are aware cause direct suffering just feels like an easy win.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Why Lena Dunham can go Suck a F****

Lena Dunham posted this Instagram pic last night:

As you can imagine, I was seething with anger. Here's why:

1. 'Deep thoughts'

2. 'I am concerned not enough of us realized she was rude'
Daria was not rude, she just was devoid of insincerity. This is an important difference. Being rude is easy, and being insincere gets you a lot of friends and allows you to avoid awkward situations completely unscathed. Being sincere means you actually have to say how you feel when people make ignorant, uninformed or incorrect judgements. It's the difference between nodding along with a racist comment to save face and actually putting social conventions aside for a moment to say how you really feel. So yeh, Daria was not rude, she just had a zero tolerance policy for bullshit. To effect any real social change we all need to learn from this.

3. 'almost definitely had clinical depression'
No, Daria was almost definitely miserable, not depressed. On paper you, Lena, and Daria had relatively similar upbringings; you both grew up in a wealthy white family with supportive parents willing to fund whatever life choices you eventually decided on. The difference being that you lack any self awareness whatsoever and do not seem to ever question your incredible privilege and the social constructs that are in place to allow you this platform to go around making broad pro-feminist statements without ever acknowledging the deeper issues that surround the profound inequalities within society. If you were to do this, then you would be miserable too. Anyone who spends too much time acknowledging this is destined to a life of misery, unless they are able to put this towards effecting change in some way, which isn't super easy if you're still in high school.

4. 'could have benefited from therapy and maybe some medication'
Why? So we can all shake of our drab critical thinking and conform to being self-obsessed, nonchalant, entitled Girls just to avoid bumming you out during a conversation? And medication?? I'm fairly sure Daria was T-Total, which is fairly impressive as a subversive high school student. I really don't think pushing drugs on a person against their will, 'medical' or otherwise, in order to modify their personality in order to conform to societies expectations is necessarily a good idea Lena. 

5.  'I really don't feel she, like, moved to New York and took the city by storm unless she got some help.'
WHAT ARE YOU EVEN SAYING. Do you even realize how precocious this sounds? Is this a joke? Did I take all this way too seriously when really you were just being entirely ironic? 

I had previously reserved judgement on you, thinking that perhaps your complete lack of self awareness was, although still exhausting, based on a simple kind of naivety. But the way you use your platform to promote easy, lazy feminism is probably doing more harm than good when you seem to be entirely incapable of reflecting any deeper for fear of becoming any kind of real life, thoughtful and concerned human. When it comes to dimensional characters, I think you are the cartoon here Lena.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Stand-up mix the bourgeoisie and the rebel

I gots some opinions OK so listen up.

Everyone (Jezebel included) seemed to be really critical about Madonna's comedy debut. I mean like, I'm not concerned for Madonna's feelings here; she is a legend, an icon, MADONNA.

I'm not actually a huge fan btw, I grew up during her "Music... makes the people, come together..." ft. Ali G phase, which wasn't great (although I realized this after I purchased the album and listened to it like 100 times, so Madonna still came out on top).

Anyway, my opinion on Madonna is therefore relatively unbiased.

And I think that her stand-up debut was cool!

a. It was great to see a World Famous Icon Of Fame looking so natural and exposed. I think it really goes to show how intimate stand-up is; there's no filter to it. Even during interviews, thoughts/feelings/emotions are pretty premeditated or coerced. But stand-up is literally just stuff that naturally occurred to you walking around in your own head, that you decided to regurgitate in public. It's a weird form of entertainment when you think about it, and I think seeing someone so completely familiar to us, but in this setting, proves how strange a medium it really is. And I thought she was  funny!

b. I watch a lot of amateur comedy, but before I got into comedy I had only seen a couple of amateur shows. Unless you're a comedy nut, you probably base all of your comedic references on super established, super funny, famous comedians. Famous comedians have put 10 years worth of teeny iterations into their material to get it that reliably funny. That's not to say that amateur comedy isn't funny, it's hilarious and watching comedy live is always great as laughing is contagious and seeing people try stuff out can be exciting and there can be some really unique, spontaneous laughs. This went a bit off topic - point being that you can't expect someones first year or so in comedy to be like a Netflix special, but it can still be hilarious to go see live.

c. Most importantly; I think the reaction to this and her recent fall at the Brit awards plays nicely into the rhetoric that women over the age of 'conventionally sexy' can no longer be taken seriously/respected/celebrated unless they are Merryl Streep and just super demure.

So GO YOU MADONNA. You're paving the way for me to be a young living, kick ass-ing, comedian-ing woman for (fingers crossed) many years to come! And booooo to you Jezebel for not having her back here!

Friday, 10 April 2015

It's a low, low, low, low, happening

Hello youuuuuuu...

Just to remind you that come see this show on Saturday plllzzzzzz:

Really looking forward to it! 

I have been super busy recently and I am away next week but I am trying to keep going with the comedy stuff as it is lots of fun and I miss not doing it. 

This week I decided to swing by a workshop open mic night: 

WORKSHOP / Open mic @ The Central on Tuesday's @ 6.30pm

It was super helpful to get some feedback from a totally new group of comedians, and it's on my way home from work so it's pretty handy! 

It's probably been the longest I have gone without doing a show in a little while so I forget how nerve wracking it is going up in front of a bunch of skeptical strangers and just saying words you thought sounded funny in your head a little while ago. But the more times you do it the more you realize that even if not a single person laughs (hey, I have done this in front of an audience of 5 people), you go home in one piece and no one really remembers / gives a shit except you.

On that note, little tangent, I think that possibly, everyone just goes around in their  heads all day worrying about how they come across, what they said/shouldn't have said to their boss this morning... blah blah blah... but everyones so wrapped up in their own internal business that they're probably not thinking about you right now, ok.

I think that doing stand up and also going to a lot of comedy shows has helped my perspective a huge amount in 'real life'. 

The point being; what you take away from seeing a show is just an overall feeling of like, oh that was fun, kind of thing. No one really nit picks every little thing you do, except you. 

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Sistering Success


I meant to do a blog post on what a success Kris Jenner's Komedy Kids was - thanks SO MUCH to everyone who came :) I had a lot of fun and we raised money for an awesome organization!

Yes - that's right - people actually came to an event that I put on. Crazy I know I was so surprised and happy!!

Thanks so much to all my comedy pals for performing also, they were hilarious as always :)

She's a brain with bouncy hair; I can't compete.

Lots of fun comedy goings on have been going on in the last few weeks as many of my Comedy Girl pals are taking part in a comedy festival called Empire Comedy Brawl, which runs over the spring/summer with the top prize being $1,000 (plus yay you won). 

Anyway,  there are +350 comedians competing this year so it's a long competition, but my Comedy Girl class mates have been doing awesome so far!

If you would like (please please please please please please x 1,094,239,843,984) to come vote for me in this competition, please (please... etc) come to this one:

Lucky for me, it's right next to my house so I get to go see (most) of my friend's awesome shows :D

In other news, the Comedy Girl classes taught by Dawn Whitwell at the Comedy Bar were featured in an awesome article in the Globe and Mail, you can read that here... It's such a great article. 

Plus my friend at work pointed out that I can now use this quote in 'promotional materials' hehe...

"Deadpanning Brit Theresa Ramirez... It ends up being a pretty funny bit." - Globe and Mail

The classes were a great way to get into the incredible comedy community surrounding the Comedy Bar.  Love that place (it's essentially my second home). And as I have said like a million times, Dawn is awesome. You know this, I know this, I say it all the time, duh.

FINALLY I am doing this show next week:

I have a bio for West End Girls which I am ridiculously excited about and keep showing people, sorry. Not that big of a deal but w/e.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

There is no moment in life that can't be improved by pizza

So Daria is my favourite show of all time, I loved it on Channel 5 as a teenager and then I binge watched every single episode at university and started accidentally talking like Quinn.

Anyway, I just bought the DVD of the complete series for $20!! And it's estimated shipping is just before my birthday aaaaarrgghhhh so birthday plans = SORTED.

I am actually planning on having a cheese & chocolate fondu BYODip party for my birthday so look out for a lame fb invite coming your way - Daria will be looping in the background the ENTIRE TIME. And we will listen to chillwave all night from my playlist only.

I made these FUN Daria and Jane Lane make-out shirts for girlongirl, which I will be selling on Sunday @ Kris Jenner's Comedy Kids!!!! SO EXCITED FOR THIS.