Change for a Year

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Month: December 2012

Letters to My Future Self – #1

Pen and PaperDear Future Self,

I know.  I know.  You opened up this letter thinking it was going to be something wicked cool.  I mean, you’re 30 now, right?  The last time you got a real bonafide letter in the mail our sister had that awesome New Kids on the Block cassette rocking the boombox.  But it’s just me, or you I guess.  However you want to look at it.  It is a little confusing.  And a little pretentious too.  I mean, who writes a letter to themselves?  I must be an arrogant little bastard, right?  Joke’s on you though.  You’re the one reading it.

So why am I bothering you with this?  Don’t worry.  I do have a point.  I just want you to know that I think you’re awesome.  Seriously dude, remember how you were just two-and-a-half years back.  Let’s be real for a moment.  You weren’t all that and a bag of chips.  In fact, you were kind of lame.  Now don’t feel bad. You’ve changed since then, right?  Right?

Remember after college how your journalism professor told you about that opening at the local paper.  Hell, you were already freelancing for them.  I bet you could’ve gotten that job.  But you didn’t even try because you told yourself you would just write on the side and go get a real job and pay off those loans.  You were going to storm through life like the Tazmanian Devil and conquer the fucking world!  Books would be written about you, and you’d be epic and awesome and then settle down and live the dream while your kids thought you were just boring old dad.

But you couldn’t even muster the writing on the side part.  And let’s not even remind ourselves of how you did at conquering the world.  Hell, you didn’t even try at anything for a long time.  Remember?  You were a lazy bastard.  I just wanted to thank you, or myself really.  You are still writing now, aren’t you?  Yeah, you’re not making much money doing it, but there is the occasional paycheck and it gives you something to do.  And it makes you happy.  That’s the important part.  That was the goal when you graduated.  Nice to know you finally got back on track.  So I just wanted to thank you for that.  I’d given up on that dream.  It had faded away into the ether until you jumped up and pulled it back out before it disappeared altogether.

Thanks, you sexy devil!

You are sexy, right?  Remember just 30 months ago?  It’s hard now that you have to bat the ladies away with a stick, but if you try I think you can conjure it up.  Remember that November in 2012 when you were really down about life and just sat around poisoning your body with bad fast food and your mind with bad television and you were pushing 400 pounds.  Your feet hurt.  And your knees.  And your back.  Jeez, you were a sad bastard, weren’t you?  Just a hopeless little man with no dreams.  Ha!   Glad you can look back at me and we can share a laugh.  It’s funny now, isn’t it?

Everyone thought you were crazy when you turned vegan.  Everyone did!  They waited for you to fuck up.  They looked at everything you ate and asked you all those questions and couldn’t believe you stuck it out.  Thirty months later your still sticking to it, I bet.  No one expected anything when you started, I mean, you were the king of false proclamations.

“I’m going to lose weight this time!”

“Just wait, you’ll see it’s different now.”

“Well, starting next month, I mean, watch out world!”

“Seriously guys, this time I will … fuck it just give me a cheeseburger.”

Now look at you.  If you were a superhero your power would be charging up to the bad guys and screaming, “Sexy Beast Mode ACTIVATE!”  And all the bad guys would go running in terror, overwhelmed by your panache and charm and good looks and general kick-assery of life.

And you started running again.  That’s one of the best parts, isn’t it?  Hell, I think you’ve probably ran a marathon by now.  Yeah, knowing you of course you have.  You’re a real life Tasmanian Devil now, charging through life knocking shit down.  You drain three-pointers blindfolded.  You don’t just chase your dreams but catch them and beat them into submission. Your farts smell like delectable blueberry pie.  Vegan blueberry pie, of course.  A person as bad-ass as you, I bet your thinking of doing another one even.  I bet that felt good–running that far–like you slayed a fire-breathing dragon with your damn hands.  And now you have to answer all those silly questions too.  Questions about why you run and how it’s bad for your knees and all that other crap just like when you turned vegan.  But now people believe you.  Now they know you’re not going to change back to that sad old you without any dreams.

In fact I bet right now you’re thinking up something epic.  Something fucking spectacular and beautiful and amazing to ring in your 30th birthday.  It’s your golden birthday, you know.  Well, yeah, of course you do.  We know.  You’ve been dreaming of what adventure 2015 could bring for awhile now.  And you’ve gotten healthy and happy and spent the last two years working your ass off every single day towards being that person you’d imagined you should become.  It’s almost time for some real adventure now.

These past 30 months, they’ve just been the prologue.  Chapter 1 is about to begin.

That is exciting.  There are no limits, only possibilities.

Boy, it’s going to be grand.

Sincerely,

Past Me

Angel

When I heard her laugh I fell in love. It was the laugh of a real woman, a no-holds-barred laugh, an I-don’t-give-a-fuck-what-the-world-thinks-of-me laugh. It came from deep within her stomach and exploded across the bar. It was the reason I first noticed her. It was the reason I fell so hard, so fast.

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Keep on Dreaming – What are your dreams for the new year?

Last week I talked with my sister into the late hours of the night.  She had dreams, big things she wanted to do in her short time on this earth.  She didn’t want to die old and bitter.  I had dreams too.  Dreams that seemed to be fading away or disappearing altogether as I grew older.  I knew I wanted good health and crazy adventure and interesting stories and … something more than simply going through the motions until I died.

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Vegan Apocalypse – What to do Before I Die

It’s hard to decide what to do with your last day on earth.  In fact, I almost forgot about the Apocalypse altogether.  The Midwest blizzard left me stranded at work all night, and by the time I got home, rested, and dressed, it was 10 am before I realized my world could come, quite literally, crashing down around me at any moment.

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The Morality of Muffins – Why are you Vegan?

Two muffins are sitting in an oven.  The first one says to the second one, “Man, it sure is getting hot in here.”

The second muffin jumps, “HOLY SHIT!  A talking muffin!”

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Dreaming in the Dark

Dreams are a funny business.  Some people spend their whole life chasing, reaching out, trying to get them, but rarely are they a catch-all to happiness if reached.  Some people are empowered by their dreams.  They can rejuvenate and re-energize.  Others grow bitter and despondent at the things in life that never were or never will be.

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The Complete Guide to Vegan Pizza (Part 3) – The Vegan Pizza Cook-Off

I get strange looks when I tell everyone pizza is one of the staples of my diet.  “Aren’t you vegan?” they will ask.  Or sometimes just, “Bugger off fellow, I’m just here to fix your cable.”  But seriously, I have to tell everyone because it’s that good!  In fact, I have 8 balls of dough sitting in the freezer as we speak.  And I can eat pizza every night and try any kind of toppings my little heart desires.

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The Complete Guide to Vegan Pizza (Part 2) – The Sauce

Now that we’ve got a versatile whole wheat crust, the hard part is over.  Pull a ball of dough out the freezer to thaw and it’s pizza time whenever you like.  What to put on it?  That’s where the fun starts!

I tried four simple homemade sauces to use as a base for different pizzas: Traditional Tomato, Garlic and Oil, Basil Pesto, and Caribbean Jerk Barbecue.  The great thing is you can use the leftover sauce to liven up a bunch of other dishes as well.

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Three Weeks Vegan: Breaking Habits and Weighing in

Today marks my 21st day as a vegan. They say it takes 21 days to break a habit, and if there’s any truth in that number, I can say it does seem easier now, especially now that I’ve changed out a few staples of my diet and have some go-to vegan options I can consistently enjoy.

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On Becoming a Vegan, Hippie, Liberal Douche

It all started simply enough.  One day I woke up and decided I needed a new car.  By lunch time I cruised my fresh, new ride off the lot, zero on the odometer, windows down, lean full on.  Bass was thumping and the paint shimmered in the sun’s glare.  In short, I was a baller.

That was the day I bought my Prius.  I pictured flowers blooming and squirrels dancing in the wake of my exhaust just like those cheesy commercials.

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Vegan Milkshake – Chocolate Banana or Blueberry Peach

Perhaps the greatest thing about becoming a vegan is discovering Silk Dark Chocolate Almond Milk.  It is pure heaven.  There is no way I will ever be going back to cow’s milk.  Once opened though, it only lasts 7-10 days.  And you need both vanilla and chocolate in your fridge at all times.  Trust me, you do.  It’s that good.  So what is there to do if you don’t drink both cartons by the end of the week?

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The Complete Guide to Vegan Pizza (Part 1) – The Crust

pizzadough8Before last week I had never made dough from scratch.  Heck, I’d only made pizza two or three times with those “just add water” mixes.  Every time it was a total bummer. I figured why even bother with the hassle when there’s so many great pizza joints in town?

Then I became a vegan and couldn’t eat pizza again.  Ever!  That is, until I heard of vegan pizza.  I attempted my first homemade pizza dough, and you know what?  It turned out pretty decent.  Good, but not great.  Plus, it was fun and easy.  Still, I had a lot of questions.

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One Week and One Weigh-in

Biggest surprise so far?  Being a vegan is not that hard.  Sure, I had to pass on birthday cake and steak slathered in A1 sauce and only eat a generic garden salad when I went out to eat with my friends.  But, honestly, I never was tempted once to go “off the wagon,” no matter how scrumptious that Sweet Asian wing sauce smelt on those darn chicken wings.

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