Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Zench & Shania Twain

The first time my pal Peter & i were at Patrick's Point together was in February of 2005.

We had just finished running a race called "The Trinidad to Clam Beach Run" http://www.trinidadtoclambeach.com/ (which he of course WON - the 5 3/4-miler; i was third in my age group).

We were going to go to Larrupin Cafe for dinner that night and had some time to "kill" between the race and dinner, so we decided to take a journey through Patrick's Point, the place where we returned just a couple o'weeks ago to camp & hike, etc.

While hiking in 2005, we found this amazing bench among the redwoods that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. We named it "Zench" because it was such a peaceful Zen-like setting for a bench to be. He took a photo of it in all its glory, all by itself, and used it on his super cool business cards. So this time when we went back, happy to see it again, we took photos with it, "just because."

I have to tell you, i'm so proud of that long-sleeve shirt i am wearing! I had just bought it a day earlier at a second-hand store that benefited Arcata Hospice. It says "Humboldt State Basketball" on there. Like i went to college @HSU or something. HA! I sorta wish i had...

Go Lumberjacks!


Happy belated (28 August) 41st b'day & wishes for a great year ahead to: Shania "I think there's something odd about eating another living anything" Twain...

More "famous veggie" quotes:

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The summer season & over 101 reasons

Last few photos from the trip to Humboldt County!
During one of our hikes, this one at the Prairie Creek
Redwoods State Park way north of where we camped
at Patrick's Point, Peter and i spotted this tree. It had
branches that were swept to the side on top. Neat!

At the Farmer's Market in Arcata, we spotted this
little pup and her four-legged mom as well as her
two-legged "other" mom and got some snuggle time.
We really missed Heidi and Mattie a LOT. We saw
sooooo many dogs (and quite a few cats) on the trip.

We snuck into the back of the esteemed Larrupin Cafe in Trinidad
on a day it was closed (Wednesday?) and there was this papier
mache cow there that i had to stop and get close to... (We
saw lots of cows on our drives all over NoCal, but i did not
get to get up close and personal w/'em. I wanted to, too!) At
the back of the cafe, there is a gorgeous garden. We ran our
hands thru some rosemary and got some free aromatherapy,
then picked some wild blackberries and ate 'em. Good times.

We ate at Larrupin a couple nights later and the waitress,
a former vegan (*sigh*) had the chef whip me up a groovy
vegan meal of portobello mushrooms cooked in olive oil
and some rosemary potatoes and a few other little goodies.
I was thrilled. We had "had" that waitress a year ago February
when we were on vacation and she remembered having the
chef prepare a tofu-and-veggie-skewered grilled dish for me.
They were out of tofu this time. But what i had was darn good,
albeit pricey. But that's Larrupin, a very romantic place *wink*.

Cool light inside a store at the Arcata Plaza.

Breakfast at Wildflower Cafe (posted about it earlier).
Peter's eyes look crazed, no? Too much coffee!?!?! :o)

Relaxing after enjoying a great "hot tub" in Arcata.


Over 101 reasons "not" to be a vegan!
Not negative, all tongue-in-cheek, really.
Vegans and vegan-friendly peeps'll like these:


More good nooz on the vegetarian lunch front!
Out of SF/Oakland/Bay area this time...


Vegetarian quotes:

I like this one from Leo Tolstoy:
"'Thou shalt not kill' does not apply to murder of one's own kind only, but to all living beings; and this Commandment was inscribed in the human breast long before it was proclaimed from Sinai."

Do you have a favorite?


This week heads us into a new month, wow... time's a'flyin'!
Wishing you a blessed last week of August/first week of September.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Life is a Celebration

There's an old song by Rick Springfield (i know, i know...) called "Life is a Celebration" from his third album, "Wait for Night" (the one before his 1981 breakthrough "Working Class Dog" - which has one of the all-time best rock album covers, by the way...) and it's been running through my head. Why? I'm not sure... The song goes, in part:

"Life is a celebration, and Lord, I’m gonna celebrate.
Don’t you know that life is a celebration,
so come on now and celebrate, celebrate.
Life is a celebration... look it’s a revelation...
so celebrate now, celebrate life, yeah..."

At Patrick's Point, Peter and i made it to both Wedding Rock and Ceremonial Rock. That was cause for celebration indeed.

Below you can see the view looking toward the Pacific Ocean from atop Ceremonial Rock, and then the view looking up toward Ceremonial Rock from a road below it. Not too shabby!

More on Patrick's Point here:
(Worth at least one click... trust me!)

Thank you for indulging another round of Patrick's Point photos and this accompanying post.


Wow, i totally dig this site...
The restaurant listings, at least for my neck o'the woods, are updated.
That's pretty cool...
Plus the site's official title:
Sounds so... i dunno... serious. So official!


Friday, August 25, 2006

Making a Point

Peter looks tiny on this rock at Patrick's Point!

He's microscopic here. The rocks were gigantic!

A bunch of seals were hangin' out on the rocks!
I really thought this one was lookin' up at us...

Agate Beach at Patrick's Point, just down the road
and down a huge set of stairs from where we were
camping. I felt even more giddy than i look here.

That's Agate Beach behind us. We camped just a
short distance away from where we took this pic.
Oy, our heads look sooper huge! Too funny!


This looks like a cool site, "The Vegan News"


Curious as to what this "vegan health study" is all
about... if it's still going on... at $750, i can't do it!


Good nooz from the school lunch world.
(Note: There is a difference between a vegetarian and a veterinarian!)
Love the last quote of the story from the first-grader... pretty cool.



Behold the vegetarian crocodile!


May your weekend be filled with good times & love.
Any plans for you? I'll be working, but also visiting
blogs to see what you're up to. :o)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Marketing 101

Well, more like a market off Highway 101.

These are photos from the weekly "Farmer's Market" held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Arcata Plaza in the middle of town in the city of Arcata, of Humboldt County in Northern California.

A colourful array of fruits and vegetables, animals and minerals. And people.

Oh yes, lots of people! Women and men, boys and girls - and some we were unsure of! Peeps of every age, babies to octogenarians, almost every nationality and religion, varying hues of skin colour, differing political viewpoints, all hair types, all sorts of eating habits and drinking choices, wearing (or not wearing- ahem!) clothing and accessories of every description, probably in any possible living situation, those with obvious (and not obvious) physical and/or mental challenges, etc.

A menagerie of everything in life, pretty much. Quite a collective thing to take in, believe me.

We have these kinds of weekly markets throughout San Diego but none as eclectic as what Peter and i saw here. Very, very interesting in every possible way. When he attended school in the area, he said he went to this almost every week and bought fresh organic foodstuffs, flowers and crafty things on occasion, too.

<----This kid, the son of someone in the audience, parked himself in front of a groovalicious band in the middle of the Plaza and did what we all need to do: he danced "like no one was watching." He was entertaining - and i'm sure had a blast!


Love this quote from Andre Benjamin of Outkast, from link below:

“Ten or 11 years ago I became a vegan, and it was because when we first came out (in 1994), you know, I was doing the drinking and smoking and all of that and felt terrible. You look in the mirror and you’ll be like, ‘Man, you’re really going down the drain.’ So I had to stop it.

“I go to Whole Foods at least twice a week because I like to cook. I cook a lot of broccoli. I love broccoli. I learned how to make the split-pea soup that they make here so I make it a lot. And when my son’s (Seven, who’s 8) in town, him and his little friends come over to the house, and I’ll try to experiment and make something. ...

“It’s funny. People think that Erykah (Badu, the R&B singer, his ex-girlfriend and mother of Seven) made me eat a certain way. And made me dress a certain way. But actually that was the reason I met her, because I was already that way.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Let sleeping dogs lie

<-----Before we left the girls behind last week at our respective parents' houses (thanks mom 'n' dad of Peter and thanks to my mom 'n' dad!) we went out for a bite to eat at a local bagel place and as you can see, Mattie and Heidi were pretty nonplussed at the situation. Dogs never lie but they do lay pretty well, no?

Wonder what they're dreamin' of...

It was a great trip we took, a much-needed vacation for both of us, leaving the southern sunny climes of San Diego near the Mexico border for six days for the friendly confines of a damp but dreamy Humboldt County, way up north, almost near Oregon.

The time away from home wasn't without incident (i.e. our rental car trunk wouldn't close, i got stung repeatedly in the back of my left knee by a gang of yellowjackets while hiking one morning) but it was a totally fantastic holiday overall. No complaints, really!

I am posting just a few photos today to give an idea of some of the things we did and people, places and other natural wonders we were fortunate to see. (Not in any order whatsoever; hey, i'm a Pisces, and we're not always the most organized sorts, y'know.) I'll try to post more as the week goes on.

Talk about impromptu! This photo was taken next to a "bench" at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. http://www.redwoodvisitor.org/printrecord.asp?id=1729
Peter had taken a nap atop a downed part of a tree (perfect for resting on), and i was sitting next to it near him snacking on something or other. I just happened to look behind me and saw these faces carved into the side. It said "Daniel '99" underneath. I thought it was really cool. Finding artwork unexpectedly... isn't that nice?

This captures the first of four times we ate at the Wildflower Cafe, a vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurant right around Humboldt State University, from where Peter was graduated a few (!!!) years back. Ohmydog, this place ROCKS!

In that photo above, i was snacking on an ammmmmmmmazing chocolate raspberry brownie with some water, Peter munched on a chocolate chip walnut cookie with a cup o'coffee. We went back later that night for dinner (a huge plate of vegan mushroom stroganoff for me, spanokopita for him) and a few mornings later, we would return for breakfast. He had a broccoli and mushroom scramble, i ate incredible vegan french toast with fruit compote.

We landed (well the pilot of our Southwest Airlines plane landed us nicel) in Oakland and we (sans the pilot) drove through Napa, which is renowned for beautiful, sweeping views and lush landscape, miles and miles of vines holding juicy, plump wine grapes, myriad B&Bs and other such pleasures.

We stopped a couple of times on our way up (about 6 hours' drive) to Humboldt County and i was able to snap a photo of some grapes (which we snapped up and ate!) that were just hangin' there temptingly on one of thousands of vines. Totally sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet in every way.

This is one small part of Patrick's Point, which is just an incredible, breathtaking, wondrous and a few other hundred adjectives i could throw in place to be... and really you can just "be" there! This photo hardly does it proper justice. Peter and i stayed the first and last night at one of our friends' house in the city of Eureka, but the other three nights we camped out not far from where this photo was taken, in Patrick's Point State Park.

Camping was, as it always is, an experience combining spontanaity, sacrifice, surprises and... well, this time it also included slimy (but beautiful) banana slugs, cackling crows, rummaging raccoons, cheery chipmunks, magical web-spinning artist spiders and evidently some big ol' state of Calfornia bears, too ... more on that in a later post!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

McDonald's Haiku

Blast from the past

<----Even at 11 years old, i loved the animals, carrots & lotsa colour. Never mind showing my navel way before it was "in" to do so.

I won that bunny in a colouring contest sponsored by one of the Chicagoland supermarkets where my mom shopped called "Dominick's." I'm pretty sure every kid who entered won something...

I'm back from vacation, will try to visit blogs soon. I have missed everyone!

I hope to post some photos of the trip my pal Peter & i took to Humboldt County very soon...

The following link will take you to what i feel is an interesting read via a magazine called The Age from Australia -- i would surely love to see your comments if you have time:


Wishing all of you & your loved ones a bright and beautiful week!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Cowles 'n' Chops 'n' Cows 'n' Cards

Friday i hiked up Cowles Mountain. At 1,591 feet above sea
level, it's the highest point in the city (not county) of San Diego.
( http://historyandculture.com/writings/cowles.html )

I didn't take Mattie because it's a long ways up there
and it was the early afternoon and far too hot for her.
(She's doing much better w/her "bug" but still not 100 percent.
Thank you all for the wishes. I passed them along! *WOOF*)

The water in the background is Lake Murray, a reservoir,
around which you can run, skate, bike and walk.
You can rent a kayak to paddle around and there is a
huge amount of wildlife, from ducks to snakes, there.

Isn't my sweat just so "ladylike"? There goes my
modeling career - and my reputation. Hahahaha.
It was super hot when i went up... but still... eyew!

Above link gives a cool panoramic look from the top.
The view is truly SO AMAZING on a clear day...
The photo of yours truly was taken about 3/4 of the way up.

I also hike around here, and do take Mattie on occasion:

Playing that funky music (the white boy) with his
great chops on the piano is my vacation partner:

Peter gave an impromptu concert at his parents' house over
the weekend. Heidi and Mattie are right behind him, and
his parents behind them! Mattie of course being deaf was
unable to enjoy the great cacophony of soul and sound, but
Heidi was wagging her tail to the beats... A great "show."


Anyone brave enough to check out San Diego band Cattle Decapitation?

Quote from wiki entry:
"Originally founded in 1996, Cattle Decapitation's songs protest the mistreatment and human consumption of animals as well as the abuse of the environment. All members of the group are vegetarians, as displayed by their consistent usage of animal rights oriented lyrics..."

Go veg*ns!
Death metal veg*ns, hmmmmm...
They got a nice write up in Canada, too, 'eh?:

Off to Patrick's Point and other gorgeous areas in Humboldt County in Northern California starting Tuesday for vacation! Yay!
Will try to post from there if possible :o)

Speaking o'that, a post from Sunday's Post Secret Web site ( http://postsecret.blogspot.com/ ) is so ironic to me as it's a postcard of Patrick's Point, i am a regular blood donor & i love muffins. This is it: http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/994/593/1600/muffins.jpg (But it's not my secret!! Really!)

Till then... sending along sincere wishes for an absolutely fantastic, productive week to one and all.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Cheers to you!

Hope everyone is happy and healthy & has had a wonderful week/end. I've been kinda busy with a lot of writing/editing, family stuff and preparing for an impending vacation... i haven't had much time to post here. Also, Mat's been a li'l ill - she got E.coli last week from what i recently found out is a polluted stream she swims in + drinks from. Not that you'd know it by her great attitude. Poor kid (now on meds)!

Have a great weekend... more soon!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Every buddy was Kung Food fighting

<---- Ate there today!

Kung Food's "express" cafe' ( http://www.kung-food.com/ ), which i'd been Jonesin' for since the weekend as it is right next to Balboa Park, where i spent much of Saturday and Sunday with Peter 'n' Heidi 'n' Mattie ("oh my!").

Today i again found myself at Balboa Park for a few hours (with Mat), meeting my dad, my mom, her baby bro (my uncle) and one of my nieces, who's visiting from England. As i waited for the mishpacha to arrive, i meandered over to Kung Food.

They're a little pricey and i'm a poor journalist, so i don't go there often. However, i was hungry so i walked through the drive-thru (what a rebel) today instead of their in-restaurant cafe' and ordered the vegan swiss cheez 'n' mushroom burger. It was ready in about 5 minutes and it was oh-so-good. Got a day-old apple cupcake for $1 that made my taste buds tingle. I hardly shared with the Matster...


Classic Bizarro! Dan Piraro cranks out another winner.

I know i've been on a Dan Piraro bend of late but humour me once again, please, as i simply must report on the Bizarro 'toon today (8 Aug.). If you have access to it, please check it out! I can't find the actual comic to post it here, but i'll describe it best as i can.

The cartoon's got a young gal working behind a food counter (like at a do-it-yourself salad bar) and a man with a plate on a tray grabbing a chunk of food with a pair of tongs.

The man says to the lady, "How's the chicken tonight?"

She replies, "Happy and healthy. That's seitan."


Monday, August 07, 2006

Joy Ride

Is this not the total look of happiness?
The girls out for a ride in Peter's car yesterday as we prepared for a rousing game of horseshoes at Balboa Park ( http://www.balboapark.org/ ).

I never thought i'd see the day, but here it is, amazon.com is selling food. They even have "Natural & Organic" stuff at http://www.amazon.com/ but personally, i'd rather buy locally...

Happy birthday tomorrow to Rikki Rockett of the band POISON.
The vegetarian drummer boy'll be 45! Yikes... where does the time go?
A superb interview with the animal rights activist here:

(And just as a side note, U2's David Howell Evans (The Edge) is also celebrating b'day No. 45 tomorrow, and while i don't think The Edge is a veg (it would make such fine poetry though, no?) U2 co-founder Larry Mullen Jr. is... and like Rikki Rockett, he's a drummer too!)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

It's a PARTY!

After a yummy veg*n brunch of waffles with blueberries, peaches 'n' maple syrup at his parents' pad yesterday, Peter & i, accompanied by our four-legged furry blonde galpals, played a round of "Disc Golf" ( http://www.discgolf.com/ and http://www.discgolfassoc.com/ ) before i went to work. Today we enjoyed a vegetarian brunch at Jyoti Bihanga ( http://www.jyotibihanga.com/ ), then played horseshoes, till i meandered into work... Lots o'fun.

Calling all partiers!!
The brilliant and uber-cool Tom Scholz of BOSTON ( http://www.boston.org/tom.html ) is a long-time vegetarian, and he wrote the upbeat song "Party" (with Brad Delp), but that's not the kind of party i'm talkin' 'bout...

THIS is the one i mean:


Hope everyone has a blessed, productive, healthy and happy week!!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Raising Caine? No, praising Kay!

Sometimes, though it's a rare desire, i'm a little sorry i don't watch TV, 'cause i'm missing certain things i might learn from. Like, i used to turn on Animal Planet on occasion and i was at one time obsessed with "Forensic Files" on Court TV. (And OK, OK, so i would catch reruns of "The Brady Bunch" - i mean, hey, i've only seen every episode at least 50 times!)

Evidently Tonya Kay http://www.tonyakay.com/ is on TV these days. She has a pretty nice site and a cool blog (journal) as well, if anyone feels a need to check it out.

The skinny on what she's up to:

My kinda gang!
Anyone else wanna join?

I'm not Christian, but i happily sing the praise of this reverend and the way he revs up his diet. Hallelujah!



Friday, August 04, 2006

Mat mulls things over

Sometimes Mat's gotta get in touch with her innerself... like "mother" like "daughter," i guess... She can't contemplate her navel, but i caught her with this look of deep introspection near a naval base last week. Does that count?

I don't know when my dear deaf dog's b'day is but i'm guessing it's near mine. Only a Piscean could appear this pensive on a beautiful day at the beach...

This is really odd timing, just saw this in San Diego's "Reader," a weekly alternative newspaper/magazine that comes out on Thursdays. Dan Piraro was here recently, if you can believe that!


This is an excerpt from the above link:

One cartoonist looked a bit like Elvis Costello, and I asked him who he was. I freaked when I found out it was Dan Piraro, who does Bizarro.

I told him I loved his strip, and that I think he's funnier than Gary Larson ( The Far Side ). I said I thought Larson was overrated, and he replied, "I agree with you. I enjoy reading his stuff, but it just seems like a lot of it just has... mass appeal."

But Larson has millions. We don't.

Piraro got up to speak and said, "I didn't even know I was going to be a guest speaker until I saw it listed on the program." He talked about marrying his wife after only dating for three months. When I saw her arms had tattoos, I asked if Piraro drew any of them. She pointed to two that he did (one being a heart, a real heart, which looked freaky).

I said, "Your parents must love the fact that you married a cartoonist."

She laughed and said, "My dad is a cartoonist -- Ralph Smith, who does Through Thick and Thin. And my stepfather (Chris Browne) does Hagar the Horrible (his late father Dik Browne's creation). I was always around people in this business, so it was no surprise I married a cartoonist."

When Piraro was drawing on the kid's shirt, I asked what the weirdest thing was he's ever drawn on. "A pregnant woman's belly."

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Dan is da man!

Dan Piraro. Oh if the world could have more like him!

Please do check out his recent letter/clarification to The Hamilton Spectator on the link or read below:

By Dan Piraro, Brooklyn, N.Y.
The Hamilton Spectator (Aug 1, 2006)

Re: 'City woman conquers Death Valley again'
(The Spectator, July 27)

In your coverage of Scott Jurek, seven-time winner of the Western States marathon and two-time winner of the Badwater Ultramarathon, there was no mention that Jurek is a vegan.

This is important because a vegan diet is a more natural, healthy diet for humans than an omnivorous one and Jurek is proof that even world-class athletes don't need animal protein to compete.

With obesity and other weight-related diseases at epidemic proportions among Americans, the benefits of a vegan diet is important news for everyone.

If you have time, check out <-----Dan's Web site,
and be sure to visit the animal & vegan 'toons:


And if you still have time and are so inclined, this is the show he appeared on earlier this year for Vegan Radio:

I am so grateful for folks who think compassionately, act locally and globally, and feel passionately like most veg*ns do ... people who speak out on behalf of/help give a voice to animals ... people who as often as possible "do the right thing"... people like Dan Piraro!


And speaking of (errrr... writing of!) locally, please take a minute to read about this veterinarian with a HUGE heart. When In Defense of Animals honours you, it is a grand thing indeed!


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

25 years of MTV

In honor of MTV's No. 25 b'day (oh for the old daze of the videos "Cuts Like a Knife" by Bryan Adams, "Borderline" by Madonna, "Oh Sherry" by Steve Perry, "She's A Beauty" by The Tubes, "Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel, "White Wedding" by Billy Idol, "She Bop" by Cyndi Lauper, "Beat It" by Michael Jackson, "Let's Go Crazy" by Prince, "Love is a Battlefield" by Pat Benatar, "Stay the Night" by Chicago, "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osborne and of course myriad groovy ones by my fave vegan "Weird Al" Yankovic... *sigh* i digress...) a little story that mentions MTV by some musicians who seem to have some good vegan vibes:


I like the last quote from the guy, the last line of the article:
"You don't have to be vegan. Do what you are capable of and comfortable with, but if it's something you are interested in, take it step by step, slowly. It took me 3 years and was wicked hard."

Didja know that Martha Quinn, once my fave MTV VJ (do they still have them? i don't watch TV!) is a vegetarian!

And the MTV cake from the crazy
cake-making place i linked below: