So I’m trying to eliminate gluten from my already restrictive diet. I’ve been feeling really sluggish and heavy, and I know that my occasional binge-eating of whatever day-old bread Chett brings home from WFM is not helping matters.

But I am now officially the obnoxious, allergen-ridden person that I have always rolled my eyes at. Don’t take yourself too seriously, folks. You’ll look like a fool sooner or later.

So now my meals consist of an avocado, a can of beans, some berries, and corn chips. I feel like I’m back in college!



I still can’t really describe what coriander tastes like to me. I always expect it to be sweet, since so many of those sticky summer ales boast that they’ve been brewed with coriander, lemongrass, and orange peel. Really they just taste like Budweiser with a lime squeezed in it.

But the other night, I followed Isa Chandra’s recipe for Nirvana Enchiladas. I am really bad about cooking on an electric stovetop, and my new apartment is presenting challenges in the stovetop cookery department. I wanted to toast the cumin and coriander seeds (which seemed like such a nice, earthy base for a tomato sauce), but I tried to do something else at the same time and the seeds may have…overtoasted a little bit. I didn’t burn them!

Everything ended up tasting really amazing. I’m totally obsessed with my immersion blender even though it spits hotass droplets of soup (or sauce, whatever) all over the kitchen every time I use it.

Just trying to get the lumps out! And crush the cumin & coriander seeds. I was right about that earthy sauce though. Since most of my attempts to make my own tomato sauce have been abysmal failures, I’ll definitely recycle the whole toasting seeds thing next time I foray into tomato cookery.

SLC Punk?

But where were all the punks? I saw lots of Mormons and their hundreds of children. There was a yummy Chinese restaurant with lots of vegetarian food that stayed open all day on Xmas (thanks!), and a movie theatre with an espresso machine.

But no punks.

Chett and I stayed in our teeny tiny AirBnb all day and watched movies. We gave each other some presents (Octavia Butler for me, a book on Native American mythology for him) and I tried to ignore the Mormons.

The views made that a lot easier.  The mountains ringing SLC are stunning. We drove in at night like we did in Denver, and again awoke to glorious snow capped vistas. I called them vistas; it might be the only accurate thing to say of the Utah Mountains.

Other than that, it’s a total wasteland out there. Thus further defending my theory that cultural centers must be founded and maintained by water (trade routes, long-term survival).

In Boise now. Already been to the two places in town that know what vegan food is. Looking forward to Seattle. I’ll leave it at that.


It has snowed both nights we’ve been in Denver, and each morning, the sun comes up and melts all the snow, no matter what the temperature. I think this is a pretty ideal way to experience winter, as every morning is a frosted, cheery event, and the day that follows is bright and unbelievably blue. It could be worse.

Denver has a homelessness problem. There is a stark contrast between the glittering glass facades of the shopper-friendly downtown and the rows of bearded men wrapped in threadbare winter coats. Being vegan seems incredibly bourgeois at times like this; all of the vegan-friendly places (here and everywhere) are just as shiny and into recycling as the strips of chain restaurants downtown, and they cater to the rich white people who “diet” as a verb. 

I like to think that my veganism is much more than a diet: a part of my feminism, my activism, the way I try to live my life participating in as few horribly harmful things as I can manage. When veganism becomes a tourist attraction (which it has in Asheville), a commodity for neoliberal REI-wearers to buy and feel good about, then I start to get annoyed. What else can be commodified?

The things that we place value on are the things that can be purchased; those who cannot purchase (people in poverty and/or experiencing homelessness) are excluded from the ideological basis of so much of American culture. The folks without places to sleep here in Denver mar the natural beauty that I can capture on my iPhone and post to the internet.

Sometimes things become so contradictory that I just want to take a nap.

Truth: Denver is gorgeous. It sparkles like an ice cream cake. The mountains behind the city loom and shadow. I am drinking tea and ate a vegan croissant and I am working on my grad school writing sample. Chett is the best travel buddy (but don’t ask him to carry your leftover pizza). 

Yesterday we were cold and wanted a drink. We went into the nearest bar and lots of TVs were showing sporting events. Chett and I watched some football and drank beer. Go Broncos!


Now in a part of the country that I have never seen. Looking forward to awakening to massive snow-capped ridges tomorrow, not to mention the all-vegan bakery and cafe that I intend to camp out at to finish my grad school application.

Snowing charmingly.


My dear friend Brook has lived in Chicago for 5 years and I have never visited. Until now. She lives in an area called Pilsen, which just reminds me of pilsner, the light beer which was so prevalent in Prague that I will forever associate the two.

Anyway, it’s incredibly cold here. I like cold but I am running low on long-sleeved shirts kind of cold. Like 12 degrees wind chill at 1 degree kind of cold. It’s invigorating, excuses excessive wine consumption, and encourages all-day (and indoor) scarf wearing. In short, fabulous. 

Adventured in the Art Institute today. Chett wrote a thorough blog post about that. Took a bunch of photos of abstract expressionist paintings for future poem composition. Ate some delicious vegan food and recalibrated with some awesome comics courtesy of Chett’s best friend.  

Now making curry and sporting some adorable slippers that used to belong to my dad. Because I’m secretly a 60 year old man.