Happy Thanksgiving, folks!

It's that time of the year again: the holidays; and it is time for me to be the cynical bitch that I am :D I despise the ornaments and the gaudy decorations, and I despise even more the sales techniques that every retail store employs to lure shoppers into their store. I'm sick of the red, and I'm sick of the lights already - and it's not even December!!

I'm sure at one point in time, the thought of thanksgiving meant just that: to give thanks. But why is it that we need a commercialized, money-making holiday such as this to remind us to give thanks??

Screw that. We *should* be giving thanks every day of our lives. Some of us do... some of us make a conscious effort to carry an attitude of gratefulness, and we attribute it to the blessings we have in our lives, whatever they may be. For those who believe in God or a higher power, they attribute it to Him. But for the most part, some of us, myself included, will take advantage of the people and possessions that we have.

So why do the most of us fail to be truly grateful for the people and things we have in our lives? Why, in perhaps the most privileged nation in the world, do we fail to realize just how much we have?

We sometimes lead hectic lifestyles. Aside from work, commuting to and from work and other places, cooking dinner, tending to children (if you have any), and taking care of other responsibilities, we don't take time to just sit back, take a deep breath, and enjoy the good company of friends or family. We focus our energy on how the hell we're going to get by this month because we have so-and-so bill to pay, when we should just be thankful that we are alive and in good health. I'm not saying that we should just settle, accept the fact that we can't pay it off, and expect a miracle to happen. Instead, I'm saying not to focus on the negative on the situation; keep a positive attitude and find a way to make ends meet. Your optimism will do more for good for you than your negative attitude ever could.

After all: "What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind."

Perhaps one of the other reasons we aren't ever content with what we have is the simple fact that we've been suckered into the materialistic, superficial nature that is consumerism. We can, at times, be consumer whores.

*Gasp*! She said "whores"!

The stores realize this, and they prey on it. We want and want and want.

This reminds me of three signs that I see outside of the Emeryville shopping center in, you guessed it, Emeryville. As you're driving out of the main street that is adorned with Gap, Victoria's Secret, and countless other over-priced stores with items that were imported directly from Bangladesh and China sweatshops, you will come upon three propped up signs.

The first one says: "Happy" and has one shopping bag underneath it.
The second says: "Happier" and has three shopping bags underneath it.
The last says: "Happiest" and has about five shopping bags underneath it.

Moral of the story, kids? Consume and you shall be happy.

Reminds me of the signs Roddy "Rowdy" Piper saw when he put on those truth glasses:
"This is your god"; when the glasses are off, it is simply a dollar bill.


This post might seem jumbled up as I jump from one point to the next. Had a good ole' cup of coffee before I typed this out, so I'm on a caffeine high.

Anyway, be grateful. Hug a family member or a friend today.
And have a Happy Thanksgiving :)
It's the day before Thanksgiving, and I volunteered at a homeless shelter in San Francisco today.

It was my first time volunteering - ever. I had always wanted to get more involved ever since I had my first experience in high school at a choir outing. We had visited an elderly home and sang Christmas carols for them. Needless to say, it was super depressing. Some cried openly while others were on the verge of tears. I soon found out that as I tried to concentrate on my words that were slowly becoming incoherent, I was mimicking the latter. I'd like to think that we brought them a moment of joy, but I'm afraid we made them sad instead.

Fast forward 8 or so years, and I still had not sought to do what I had a desire to do. Call it procrastination, laziness, or whatever... the idea of volunteering would always be pushed to the back of my mind, and I would soon forget about it. I realized two weeks ago that my procrastination was going to be put to an end :) I needed to act upon my wants, so I looked up local volunteering opportunities and found an organization that offered housing to the homeless.

How was my first experience? Awesome. Truly awesome. I may sound like Bill or Ted, but there really is no other word to describe it.

Including myself, there were only two volunteers, and a few staff helped distribute the food also. I had the chance to interact with some of the residents, and for the most part, they were very friendly. I distinctly remember handing a plate full to a lady who couldn't hear me very well but was so grateful and had such a kind smile. It helped to keep me in high spirits during the 3-4 hours that I was there. After serving pumpkin pie slices for dessert, we cleaned up and I headed on home.

I know that the residents are grateful that they received so much food, but I feel I am the one who feels rewarded the most. There is something truly great about helping our companions and sharing that moment of friendship. Just like kindred spirits.
It's Saturday morning.

This past week, I feel like I haven't gotten much sleep. I attribute it to the video games I play until 2 or 3 in the morning and the way Monster and Trouble sleep so that I basically have no leg space and can't sleep comfortably. That's a cat for ya... And I had a solicitor knocking on my door at 8 this morning. Persistent lil' bugger.

So needless to say, I was not in the mood to make a fancy schmancy breakfast for me and the kiddo. In fact, I NEVER feel like making a fancy schmancy breakfast, but sometimes I do because someone's gotta do it. I didn't feel like making a tofu scramble with tortillas or toasting waffles... actually, I don't even have syrup because it's really expensive right now so that idea was moot anyway.

I did what I do best: bust out with the Tofurky.When all else fails, I lean on Tofurky to get me through my indecision. I made sandwiches. Using good old Vegenaise, I slathered more than the serving indicated on the nutrition facts label, cut off a piece of lettuce, and placed three pieces of smoked Tofurky slices.

I was so lazy I didn't even use a cutting board to slice up the tomatoes. Yup, I did it on a sheet of paper towel :) Whoo-hoo!!

And the end result? A simple sandwich to satisfy those morning hunger pangs. A bleepin' Tofurky sandwich. The sandwich on the left looks like it's got a green beard...

And now my latest not-even-a-crisis crisis: What the heck am I gonna make for lunch?!!

When one thinks of slandering fast food companies, most people will usually use McDonald's as an example. Why is it that this worldwide fast food chain gets all the bad rap and all the bad publicity, considering that there are a handful of other popular chains (Carl's, KFC, Burger King, etc.) that don't get knocked on as much?

Hmm... like some of the companies in this world today, McD's is a pretty greedy corporation. Aside from the obvious, such as their capitalistic business methods, their insatiable thirst for using up the world's natural resources, and their very unhealthy products, they flat out piss off some vegetarians and vegans everywhere because of their animal-laden products :)

Some of you may have seen this game before, and some of you may have not. It's gotten a good amount of exposure on the net, both controversial and praising. The folks over at Molleindustria created this McDonald's video game a couple of years ago, and it really irritated the big heads at the corporation when it first came out, especially since it exposed their unethical business methods.

The beats of a song that resembles an old school rap anthem plays as you enter the main screen. There are four sections in the game: the agricultural, the feedlot, the actual restaurant, and the headquarters. It is up to you to use your power and methods of brainwa... um, I mean... management to make the big bucks.

Learning curve is moderate. You'll probably have to try and die a few times before you get the hang of it. Wanna play?

And to think that this company and its silly lil' commercial could turn into an unethical multi-billion dollar company... wow!

Seriously, what was up with Ronald McDonald? He had a cup for a nose and a whole flippin' meal on his head and resorted to craptacular dancing that wasn't even in beat with the song.

"Watch for me on TV - we'll have lots of fun!" Um, I don't think so, Ronald. I just don't think so...
G for GAIN

V : Vitality
Heart attacks and strokes are the #1 cause of death in the U.S. High cholesterol is the cause of 99% of all heart attacks and the majority of strokes. There is only one way that you can get cholesterol into our bodies, and that is through the food that you consume. The only food sources that contain cholesterol are animal meats and dairy products. The food you eat should nourish you and give you life, not get you sick and kill you.

E : Eliminate
Get rid of the dead rotting flesh from your body!

G : Gain
You gain a sense of accomplishment when you go vegan because you know you are doing your part to combat animal cruelty. It can be hard to give up foods that you are accustomed to eating your whole life, but you do it anyway for the sake of the animals, your body, and/or the world.

A : Anti-greed
You do not support the greedy meat and dairy industries. For the sake of profit, they pump hormones, steroids, and other drugs into the animals. They don't care that their customers get sick or die in the process. It's all about making that mighty dollar.

N : Natural
Because I truly believe that eating vegan is as natural as it gets. Plenty of whole foods: fruits, veggies, nuts, and grains. Just like nature intended!