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Saturday
Dec152012

Am I the world's worst vegetarian?

I just ate chicken.  A tasty, grilled chicken burger. 

And?  So what?  Well, I’m a vegetarian.

Google the word vegetarian and you will find someone who doesn’t eat meat. And that includes chicken.

I’ve only been a vegetarian for a few years, so I’m sort of new to the concept of not eating meat.  I’ve always felt good about my decision.  But for some reason today, I decided to give up my beliefs, and ordered a chicken burger. Just like that.

How does that happen?

You think you know what you want out of life and head off in one direction with your book of morals and beliefs in tact.  Suddenly you take a sharp, unexpected turn and throw that book out of the window.   For no particular, good reason at all.

I stopped eating meat after seeing a graphic video where a cow – a beautiful cow with big brown eyes – was shot in the head with a bolt gun and then hacked to bits by an abattoir worker.   The hooves were cut off, then the head, followed by the gutting of the main carcass.   Bit by bit, the cow, that was only minutes earlier standing next to the worker, was chopped into unrecognisable lumps of meat.  The newly named “beef” was ready to be sent off to the supermarket.

The vision of that beautiful cow staring at the camera … staring at me … was etched into my memory.     

Initially I didn’t realise it had affected me.   I turned away from the screen, felt a bit queasy, and went about my day feeling a little icky as you do when you see something a bit gross. Like an episode of CSI with a bloody murder scene or one of those hospital dramas where they slice open a person, slop their insides onto the operating table and then rearrange their organs perfectly.  You’re not eating right now are you? 

The next day, I was in a meeting and grabbed a bacon and egg sandwich as my boss talked non stop at me. Biting into the warm bread, I felt the egg hit my taste buds – then the salty bacon.  Suddenly I could feel tears rolling down my cheeks.   I pulled the sandwich from my mouth as my bewildered workmates stared at me.

“What’s wrong?” they asked, assuming there was something unusual in my sandwich, like those stories of people who find bits of dead rat or toenails in their food. 

“I can’t eat this”, I stammered, as the vision of the beautiful brown cow pierced my brain … “I don’t think I can eat meat anymore.”

My friend Toni leaned over me and sympathetically said, “Don’t worry, I will!” yanking the sandwich from my hand.  “I love dead animals!”

My reaction surprised me. As a child, I spent holidays on my Aunt & Uncle’s property in the NSW outback.  They had sheep, beef and chickens - all of which were killed for food or sent off to market to become someone’s dinner.

I remember my Uncle taking my sister and I to the slaughter house where I saw a cute and fluffy lamb be hung up by its hooves, slit from head to toe, and the blood drain from its body, soaking its white coat.  The red river seemed to run forever … and as I looked down at my bare feet, I saw the blood running across my toes, soaking my own white skin. 

That night, I tucked into the roast lamb and vegies with my family, without a thought for what I’d seen earlier that day.

(As I’m writing this I can feel my stomach churn and the burger rise in my throat.)

So back to tonight’s chicken burger.

Generally I’ve found being a vegetarian a great experience. I’ve lost weight, feel better, have more energy and sleep deeper and longer than ever before.  Maybe its because I don’t have a heavy weight of meat (dead animal) sitting in my gut.

I’ve also rediscovered my love of cooking, experimenting with new recipes, foods and spices.  Before I gave up meat, I would cook and eat the same things all the time.  It was easier to whip up the same meals without having to think too much.  Now, I try new recipes and most of them are awesome. Except for a lentil and broccoli soup I made once. It smelt bad, tasted bad, and created a flatulence factory for me and my flatmate.  Awkward.

I think tonight was a one off.  My friend Nat and I went to a place we used to go to years ago.  It was as if I wanted to relive the memories of when we would hang out together, eat chicken burgers and fries and talk crap about boys till we ran out of time - or food (whichever came first).  Tonight we still talked crap about men (who behave like boys), ate chicken burgers and fries and hung out. 

Not much has changed, it’s just that now I’m a vego.  Well I think I still am.

Oh, by the way, I didn’t actually enjoy the chicken burger.  The best part was the pineapple.   I only ate part of it, as it really wasn’t that great.  But yes, I finished off the fries, because potatoes can’t feel pain … as far as I know.

Saturday
Dec082012

Instant Textification 

 

I need to stop my text obsession according to my friend Twin Kat.   I had apologised for not messaging her back straight away after she asked how I was after a big week at work.  “Mate, texting back straight away is for urgent questions and emergencies, not general chit chat.  This bullshit idea of people catching up over text is ridiculous, Call if you wanna talk to someone, otherwise return their text whenever you want.  If it was urgent, you’d pick up the phone.  Texts don’t have to be replied to straight away.”  

She has a point.  I am guilty of two things when it comes to texting:  1.  Texting someone  back straight away so I don’t keep them waiting – and 2.  Getting upset / depressed when someone (usually a man) doesn’t text me back within a certain amount of time.

We’ve all been there.  You send an SMS to someone you’re keen on, and if they don’t text you back after say, 30 minutes, the mind games start.  He’s just not that into me.   He’s with his girlfriend.   He’s with his wife.   He’s read the message, rolled his eyes and put his phone away as there’s no way he’s replying to your stupid semi flirty text.  Silly girl. 

If hours go by with no reply the following scenarios may also pop into your head:  He’s had an accident.  His battery is flat.  Your message didn’t go through (check phone immediately).  The network is down.  His wife found your message and is currently throwing his clothes into the street.

Let me just point out that you didn’t know he had a wife.   You’re not a cheating mole, you’ve  been hoodwinked by a married man who doesn’t know how to delete your messages.  Or return them.

Twin Kat’s comments made me think about the way most men text as opposed to women.   Men write short messages with basic info and abbreviations.   Women are chatty and add all the niceties you’d expect in a phone call.

Girl Text:  Hey hon, how are you?  It’s a beautiful day! Thought we could go to the Smith Hotel for a few drinks.  Invited Rach and Jase too.  How is 2pm for you?  Let me know. Ta! Xxx

Boy Text:  Wanna grab a beer?  Smith Hotel – 2pm?

The word efficiency of men texting is akin to the word count on Twitter.  Once you work this out, you’ll avoid being upset when he sends you a super short message and you misread it as him being abrupt and therefore disinterested.  He just doesn’t want to press more buttons than he has to.

Most men also don’t feel the need to reply to a text straight away.  When Sports Buddy and I would spend days together on the couch (watching sport), his phone would beep all the time with messages.  I wanted to jump up straight away and see who it was and what they wanted, but he’d stay planted on the couch, only getting up to check them if he needed a toilet stop or another drink.  I now know that when I text him, he’s not going to reply for a few hours – maybe even the next day.  Do I like that?  No, not really, but at least now I don’t freak out when I don’t hear back from him (or other boys) straight away.  And when we do finally catch up, it’s all fine.     

 Actually, it’s been three days since I sent him a text.  If that bastard’s married, there’ll be hell to pay.

Sunday
Jul292012

Another marathon. Do I really want to do this?!

I just signed up to run my fourth marathon.   Are you impressed?   Do you think I’m an idiot?   Thinking that I really must love running so much, otherwise why would I run 42kms in one day?

Actually, I hate running. 

It bores me, I’m not very good at it and when I’m training, I can’t wait for it to be over.

So what’s with doing all the marathons then, stupid girl?

I need a challenge and so far, marathons are the only thing that mentally and physically drive me beyond where I think I can go.  It pushes me to my limits and makes me feel like Wonder Woman.  Just with my undies and super tight sports bra on the inside.  

When I’m not training for a marathon, I eat crap and drink too much.  I have to force myself to do cardio and I turn into a huge couch potato.  I feel terrible and have hardly any energy.   I work too many hours and I don’t look after myself.   I become a human being I don’t really like.  I am bleugh.  

Training for a marathon is hard.   Really hard.   You have to dedicate a stack of time to training and recovery.   And the cost of running on my body and my wallet are huge.   Seeing a masseur weekly for torture massages costs me thousands of dollars.  Add to that the costs of seeing a sports doctor, running shoes, gels, vitamins and a stack of other gear.   If you think you just put on running shoes and a pair of old shorts and head out the door, you’d be as mistaken as I was before I started this journey.   Poorly mistaken.

Back to me signing up for another marathon.  Why would I put myself through this if there’s so much sacrifice?   Am I that much of a masochist?

Crossing the finish line is the best feeling in the world.  I’ve never experienced anything like it.  Anything.

The fact that I’ve just spent over four hours (sure I’m not fast, but I'm not Cliff Young either), running 42kms all by myself humbles me every time.   I’m not sporty so me crossing that finishing line after putting my body and mind through every long kilometre is still a miracle to me.  

I did it.  I ran 42kms, I finished, and I didn’t die.   Miracle.

I’ve got 11 weeks to train for my next marathon.   It’s going to be 11 weeks of dragging myself out for a short run after a crappy, tiring day at work.   Forcing myself to get up early on Sundays to go for a long run and ‘’get kms in my legs”.   Quiet Saturday nights.   Carbs loading and watching what I eat.   Focusing and training and working my way towards the goal.   Another marathon.

What’s that saying about it’s the journey, not the destination?   Or What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?  I’m gonna need a lot of motivational clichés over the next 11 weeks.   

Maybe it’s more like Forest Gump when he says, Stupid is as Stupid Does.    

Run Forest, Run

Monday
Jun182012

Can a psychic help me find love?

Once a year, I get together with a few chicks for a dinner party ... and we invite a psychic to come along and read for us in between entrée, main and dessert.

It’s always a great night – not just because I love catching up with these girls and we drink a lot of champagne - but one by one we disappear into another room to have a reading with Yasmine about our foreseeable future.

Usually we each have a question in mind … sometimes it’s a big issue or a life changing decision … other times it’s the stuff we all wonder or stress about  – relationships, work, family and health. 

I don’t base my life decisions on what Yasmine tells me.  I use it as a fun way to see if I’m on track and things are going to be okay.   However, my recent clairvoyant dinner party experience didn’t go the way I’d planned.

I had a specific question about work but got something completely different – a 34 minute insight into some of the semi unbelievable things that will (apparently) be happening in my love life over the next few years.

My question to Yasmine was whether or not to stay in my current job – of which I’m very happy – or move into a different field which interests me.   She had no real answer, simply telling me to follow my heart.

Instead, my “guides’ told her about three men about to come into my life … “the bastard”, “boring man” and “the yummy”.

By the way, these are the names / labels the ‘guides’ gave to the men in my life – not me.   Good to know they’re creative.

After a quick chat about my health (apparently I need more vitamins as my crazy, busy life puts a lot of stress on my body - no shit), I shuffled the pack of tarot cards and, as instructed, broke them into three separate piles and then back together again.

As Yasmine starting flipping the tarot cards onto the table, she was smiling and pointing to each card repeating “this is great, this is really great”.   Awesome!  Finally some good news in the man department.

Then she pulled two cards from the pile.  The images were black and haggard.  I think I saw the word death on one.  She was silent for a moment, then said “Oh no, I don’t like him!”

Uh oh, not feeling so good anymore.

According to Yasmine (and her celestial beings) the next relationship I have will be with a man that she ‘really doesn’t like’.  He’s what she and the spirits (and most of us from this world) term as ‘a bastard’.  Not only because he will be super critical and break my heart but because he will give me an STD.

Yes, the next man I sleep with (and date) will give me a sexually transmitted disease.  Charming. 

That sounds easy enough to fix right?  I just make sure I always use condoms and appropriate protection.  Done – no STDs for me!

Yasmine tells me that this is a warning to protect myself and that I do have control over what happens to me.  Good news!

Following STD man, comes the boring man … oh goodie, can hardly wait.

Apparently, the reason I end up with boring man is because I don’t believe there’s anyone better coming along.  I have a classic, yet sad case of “What if this is as good as it gets?”   

Can I fix this? Can’t I avoid a relationship with ‘boring man” and change my own destiny?   

On this, the ‘guides’ weren’t quite as forthcoming.   It looks like I need to go out with this less than entertaining person and teach myself to not ‘settle for second best’.   To quote Yasmine, “it’s better to live an exciting life being single, than a boring life in a relationship”.

Of course she’d say that, she’s in a very happy marriage.  

So let me get this straight … the current plan is that I find and meet a guy that’s really boring – go out with him for a while – realise that I’m better than that – and dump him so I can prepare myself for Yummy Man.  This is all after I avoid or get clearance from a scary STD.  Hmmm, I feel like a character on a game show. 

But wait!   Once I go through all this, I get to meet the most amazing man ever … coined Yummy Man by a bunch of dead people who give advice on my life?   I can totally handle that.

I’ve started to look at it this way – being single means I could go out with a bunch of losers (bastards and boring) wondering if there actually ARE any better men out there.   

One bad date after another – one bad relationship after another – one bad man after another.

This way, I at least know that sooner or later, Yummy Man is going to come into my life and make me happy.   He’s cute, funny and smart – and apparently he loves my dark eyes and my laugh.  Plus, he’s really hot so I need to learn not to be jealous because lots of other women will be looking at him.  All the time.  Sure, I can do that.  (I think).

So, off I go to try and find a bastard who will give me an STD … is that a search criteria on rsvp.com?

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