December 06, 2006

Up down up down up down up up down down left right left right select start.

That's how they go, my entries. One aggravated, one giddy, one depressed, one ecstatic, one despairing, one inspired, and so on to the end of my blogging days. Whenever that is.

Today my house is driving me insane. Five times in the last week I've come downstairs to the smell of delicious fresh chocolate chip cookies, cast one hopeful glance at them, and been told by the baker, "They're not vegan. Sorry." In fact, the central heating system currently appears to be blowing cookie smell from the kitchen into the study where I'm currently sitting so that there is no way to escape it (the other common rooms are closer to the kitchen, my room is the closest bedroom in the house to it, and even the roofdeck gets air blowing out of the kitchen exhaust fan). There's no way to be in Kingman Hall right now without the maddening smell of unattainable cookies.

It's one small part of the two colossal difficulties I have with being vegan: living with nonvegan food and making it through the holiday baking season. It wasn't so frustrating to eschew dairy when Jacob and I were living together and I only had to resist the occasional sprinkling of cheese. Now my house is full of Nutella, (nonsoy) ice cream, (nonsoy) yogurt, eggs, and the whole range of purloined and mysteriously acquired pastries that my cohabitants accumulate and bring home with incredible and increasing frequency. Then add to that the fall and winter gamut of Halloween candy, Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas cookies, hot chocolate, egg nog, pies, gingerbread, you name it -- almost all of which can quite easily be made vegan, but around here it just isn't. It's far worse to live with people making delicious things and forgetting* to make them vegan than to live alone and never have any delicious things except what you can find the time and energy to make yourself. Here I'm reminded constantly that we're a community and I can rely on my housemates to share the fruits of their labors with me, except that I can't.

If I'd been thinking clearly a few weeks ago when spring contracts were being arranged, I probably would have put in for a transfer to Loth, the vegetarian house with considerably more vegan-friendly cooking habits. I think I still would if I weren't so attached to my "let's all put eggs in fucking everything" housemates here. Stupid eggs. Stupid cookies. Yesterday I almost stabbed my Oklahoman housemate with a spoon because he told me point-blank and with absolute confidence, "You can't eat chocolate. It's not vegan." Gah! How am I supposed to teach people about vegan chocolate chip cookies when they don't even think you can have vegan chocolate chips? What's next? Kidney beans have kidneys in them? Flour isn't vegan because it's ground up with giant wheels made of puppies? Broccoli isn't vegan because it has heads? Sigh.

*I'm being generous here. Most people simply don't care because there are only 3 vegans in the house, and a few have told me bluntly that vegan food just tastes worse, categorically and unredeemably, by virtue of being vegan. I didn't punch them anywhere, thank you very much. Really.

Posted by dianna at December 6, 2006 05:20 PM

At the risk of sounding extremely boring in comparison with all the rest of your commentators, I have a remark about a message you sent on December 1, 2004. You might be happy to know that YOU were the only hit on a Google search for what I have come to believe is an extremely obscure Ray Conniff Singers Christmas song. I do not know the exact title of the song but it goes something like: Is this not a Christmas Tree? Yes, this is a Christmas Tree. Is not all this candy free? Oh yes, all this candy's free, candy free, Christmas tree OHHHHHH, what a happy Christmas Party what a Merry Christmas Tree! I was beginning to think I am from another dimension where this song exists. I want this album very badly. Did you ever look for it or find it? If so, tell me where, PLEASE! Thank you from my Labradors and me.

Becky Moore

Posted by: Rebecca Moore at December 6, 2006 05:29 PM

I had a similar experience yesterday. I came home to my apartment to find the UPS standing at my door writing out a package slip. I told her I lived in #34 and would be happy to take the package. After signing for it I looked at the label: It was a care package from my law firm, wishing me luck on finals. Hooray!

Contents: One 1/2 Gallon Deluxe Brownie Sampler.

I haven't bothered opening the box yet, as the chances of any of the brownies being egg-free, cream-free, milk-free and butter-free are so slim that it's not worth the heartbreak of reading the ingredients list. My Care Package has become an It's-the-Thought-That-Counts Package.

Posted by: Zach at December 6, 2006 05:53 PM

Case in fucking point. It's dinner time right now, as I type this, and I'm sitting in the study room with my paper because when I went out to get something to eat I discovered that the only part of tonight's delicious-smelling dinner that was actually vegan was the breaded eggplant. I mean, A, I don't like eggplant much. But B and much more to the point, eggplant is not a fucking full meal. Vegetables are nice. They're good for you. Full meals also have protein and carbohydrates. If you tried to serve the entire house a meal consisting only of one dish with outrageously limited nutritional value, there'd be an uproar. But if you only do it to the vegans, all you get is two of them grumpily and pointedly cooking their own dinner in the kitchen and the other one retreating to the study to wish terrible vengeance on you.

Grar. Sometimes I'm willing to accept that the thought counts. In the case of the care package from your law firm, definitely. But I've found I have a statute of limitations on counting thoughts -- if you're someone who continues to know me, you only get to make that mistake a couple of times before the thought ceases to count for anything and in fact counts pretty heavily against you.

As for the song, I don't think I can help you. I've still failed to get a copy of it, even from my family. I vaguely recall that someone in comments on my earlier post had figured out something about it, but I don't think that something was how to get ahold of it.

Posted by: Dianna at December 6, 2006 07:18 PM

Hey, haha I'm in the same boat as you Becky. I spent my morning searching the web for some trace of this christmas song that I have listened to for years, yet now the CD has broken, and I think it must be the most obscure song in the universe, because there's not even a trace that this singer has recognized ever doing this song. I'm desperate, so if you find it, or at least the title of the song, I'd really appreciate if you told me. =) Thank you!

Posted by: Brandy at December 16, 2006 05:54 AM

I'm here in the South and I too have been looking for the same album/cd/tape...I grew up listening to it with my family..the album mysteriously dissapeared years ago and my Father has accused all of us of having it. My sister showed up last year with a cassette copy of it and played it for our nieces and nephews and left the cassette player behind with the tape in it. When we found the cassette player left on the floor behind a chair by the fireplace - the tape was missing from it. So again - it has slipped through our fingers. I happened upon a forum a few months ago and it seems there are more of us than I even knew had heard of this album....unfortunately - NO ONE has been able to locate a copy. I will continue my search and hope that whoever finds it first will post results - Merry Christmas to all....

Posted by: Sara at December 19, 2006 11:23 AM

I FOUND IT !! If you wish - I can email the entire album in mp3 format...

Posted by: Sara at December 19, 2006 02:53 PM

I wish! I wish! Yes please!

Posted by: Dianna at December 19, 2006 05:29 PM

post your email and I will send it...

Posted by: sara at December 20, 2006 04:19 PM

BETTER YET - go here

and download it!!!

Posted by: sara at December 20, 2006 04:24 PM

Oh my god. I'm listening to it right now! Happiness is mine. You have worked a wonder.

Posted by: Dianna at December 20, 2006 08:04 PM

Like many many others who felt they were living a dream - I searched and searched for this song for several years. Thank goodness for Ernie (not Bert) who magically found and shared this Christmas jewel. PLEASE share our great find - maybe - just maybe we can inspire all of our local radio stations to include this with their Christmas music mix so the world may join in our glee....

Posted by: sara at December 23, 2006 11:25 AM