Friday, May 30, 2008

So far, so green

On my third day of temporary vegetarianism, I am feeling good. No blood lust has set in, and my cat is healthy and whole.

To celebrate my first day of vegetarianism, I ate dinner at a swanky vegetarian cafeteria called Commensal. There were many tasty choices like salads, quiche, lasagna, and various bean and tofu dishes. It was hard to stop loading the plate. At the cash register, my eyes grew as large as saucers when my total came to $17.

After looking over the plates of other diners at Commensal, I realized that the source of my financial downfall was the weight of my choices. If I had loaded up on leafy salads like everyone else, I would have paid less since Commensal charges by the gram.

The next day, I decided to try a more affordable option for dinner. I used those coupons I received at the Green Toronto Festival to buy some It's All Good products: Veggie Chick'n Breasts and Veggie Beef Strips. For dinner, I had one of the Veggie Chick'n Breast, which was tasty, then promptly put it to the test by running six miles with Flocons. Based on this experience, I can conclude that eating a vegetarian meal will give you more energy to run than running without food or water. Poor Flocons.

Half a package of Veggie Beef Strips along with some asparagus made up my lunch today. The Beef Strips were not as delicious as the Chick'n Breast but still quite good. If you are interested in finding out if I am lying, here's the coupon for It's All Good products.

The one thing that has surprised me about my foray into vegetarianism is that I have not suffered from hunger, as many of my vegetarian friends have. Maybe it is because I have tried to keep protein high in my diet.

Now that the weekend has arrived, we will see if I can stay the course when friends view my temporary vegetarianism as a sporting event. I must stay strong...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A week of eating green

Joe and I visited the Green Toronto Festival last weekend at Dundas Square, and found ourselves very open to suggestion. One vendor promoted the idea of trying vegetarianism for one week, which we smiled politely at then grabbed some coupons for "chicken" nuggets. However, much like Homer's leap into Clown College, the idea of temporary vegetarianism stewed in our minds until we were convinced that no one was going to stop us. I haven't had meat today yet so I guess today is my first day of vegetarianism.

My reasons for trying vegetarianism are health and environment related. Vegetarianism has been recommended as a way to lower risks of cancer and heart disease, and vegetarians have a lower mortality rate than meat eaters (see Wikipedia entry). Eating less meat would also mean less livestock to pump methane into our atmosphere.

I have a sense of what not to do in the coming week. Joe's previous foray into vegetarianism resulted in rapid weight loss, probably due to a lack of protein. So, I'll be eating some tofu, beans, etc. I'll also try to integrate lots of green vegetables as opposed to empty carbs into my diet. This is in contrast to a former classmate of mine whose vegan diet consisted mostly of french fries.

I hope that my friends will not mock me by throwing steak in my face or singing, "You don't make friends with salad," which a vegetarian friend of mine endures every Thanksgiving with the relatives.

I have to state that there is no guarantee that I will not start licking my lips while watching my cat or a friend's baby. In fact, vegetarianism may prove itself to be an unhealthy choice; a friend's vegetarian uncle was directed by his physician to eat a ham sandwich a week in order to maintain a healthy diet ("Did he ever vary it up - steak here, chicken there?" I asked. "No!" my friend retorted in horror, "It was a necessity, not a pleasure.") But, I am willing to give vegetarianism a shot and record the results on this blog.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Comic Con - here I come!

Two years ago, I went to Comic Con and loved it. In fact, last year, my friends and I went into withdrawal during the month of July because we were not in San Diego.

It is funny that one of the most effective ways to bring back all my Comic Con memories is to listen to Cassie's "Me & U", which was played on the radio every half hour. I wish I was exaggerating.

So, we've decided to go back to Comic Con in 2008. I am happy to take on some challenges again from anyone who cares to see me suffer in California. In the meantime, here's some Cassie.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Fuck me and fuck you

I just found out that the Queens of the Stone Age will be playing at the El Mocambo this Friday. The Toronto Star posted this tidbit on their website mere minutes before tickets went on sale at 6pm. Starting at 8pm, I attempted to buy tickets for half an hour before giving up.

I guess if I had been more in the know, I would have heard rumours about this gig and been on the ball. Now, I'm disappointed and feel like a loser. Come to think of it, I don't even know if anyone would have gone with me. (pout)

I will just have to play their songs over and over again on Rock Band at Alex's place. My sobbing will add that extra edge to the wailing.

In other news, "HD-DVD death hasn't helped Blu-ray sales" according to the Globe and Mail. Hahahah!
Alex, don't be a sore loser and let me in!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Man Eating Tigers and War Rugs! Oh my!

The recent transformations of the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario have placed them at the top of Torontonians' to do lists but there are two lesser known museums in Toronto that I recently visited and highly recommend: the Gardiner Museum and the Textile Museum of Canada.

The Gardiner Museum, located across the street from the ROM at 111 Queen's Park, unveiled a transformation of its own in 2006. If the Museum's focus on ceramics does not compel you to visit, the building's architecture should. The minimalist style of the expansion makes the most of the attractive surrounding neighbourhood and natural light with strategically placed windows. On the top floor, visitors can do lunch at the swanky Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner.

Man Eating Tiger and Other Staffordshire Figures was the featured temporary exhibition at the Gardiner Museum during my visit. The title of the exhibition refers to the ceramic piece shown above, "The Death of Munro." Gruesome and hilarious at the same time, I found it appealing in a way that I never thought possible for early 19th century English ceramics. The rest of the show was equally entertaining, all of the ceramic works exuding a cheerful naivete while depicting scenes ranging from bull baiting and spousal abuse to reading. Unfortunately, the exhibition ended on April 20. Still, with less traffic than the ROM across the street and a beautiful, new building to explore, the Gardiner Museum is a civilized way to spend an afternoon.

Battleground: War Rugs from Afghanistan recently opened at the Textile Museum of Canada (55 Centre Avenue, Toronto) and will run until January 27, 2009. The exhibition shows the influence of thirty years of war on Afghan weavers who recreate disasters, mines, and political martyrs in the fabric of their work.

The collection is quite extensive but suffers from the dim lighting - probably a protective measure for the rugs. The space itself is rather strange; the Museum occupies three stories of a condominium highrise. As a result, it lacks the polish of the Gardiner Museum. However, the Museum's exhibitions have been consistently interesting, challenging traditional notions of what should be covered under its mandate. One memorable exhibition back in 2006, A Terrible Beauty, featured domestic wallpaper and textile designs composed up of thousands of tropical insects.

The ROM and the AGO will probably hog the limelight for years to come as both locals and tourists check out the renovations. Avoid the crowds by supporting smaller yet worthwhile institutions like the Gardiner Museum and the Textile Museum of Canada.