Archive for the ‘vegan’ Category

Andy Wood Vs. Virginia Jones: On How To Write A Morrissey Song

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

My very smart and talented friend Andy Wood made this keen observation on the songs of Morrissey and the Smiths- but that’s not the end of the story.

There’s also starting with the chorus, singing exclusively about stuff you hate, and lots of grace notes!  So there!

No Gracias, Madre- my review from Yelp.com

Monday, March 31st, 2014

  I have always loved Gracias Madre SF and was looking forward to checking out the new Melrose location.   Every time I’d been to San Francisco, I’d made it a point to visit Gracias Madre, even though it was always a wait and jam-packed with happy customers.  I had been talking our local outpost up to local and far-flung vegans.  It was a bit of a wait, as usual, but our spicy Purista tequila drinks and cauliflower and cashew cream were fantastic.

When I got my entree, however, I bit down hard on a tooth-sized shard of glass that had been inside.   I felt that unpleasant nausea of “did I break a tooth” and then tasted blood as I scraped my tongue.  We called the waitress over and she apologized and told the kitchen.  The manager came over and apologized again.  I was offered a comp dessert, but I found that my appetite was reduced after the glass chewing.  The last thing I needed to deal with was glass-filled Mexican wedding cookies.  I was pleased to see that the tab was reduced to just drinks and one entree and we sent our card to pay.  An apologetic waitress came back over and said she’d gotten it wrong, she was only supposed to take off the entree that had the glass in it, and brought us a new tab.
Look, I’m not complaining that I got a large, sharp shard glass in my food, which ruined my dinner and evening.  I know that this stuff can happen, and in their defense, glass is totally vegan.  I’m just surprised that the comp was only for the food that had glass in it.
I hate to review a vegan restaurant like this, but I really feel that this was handled poorly.
See the receipt with the code for foreign object discount, which for some reason made me laugh.  In short, gracias but no gracias, man.

My receipt, showing the discount for a foreign object in my food. Yum!

 

It’s a Very Vegan Christmas!

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

 

My talented best friend Pete (designer of my website, music impresario, DJ and artist- previously mentioned here, here, and here, and here and here!)  has made this adorable t-shirt, suitable for you or your vegan/vegetabletarian friends and family!

  It’s available in yellow, green, or blue, and is hand-printed in Pete’s home studio in soft, eco-friendly waterbased inks.  I like this tee especially because it doesn’t have the “and you’re a dick” subtext of a lot of veggie tees, it’s just a fun burger that loves you and wants to be eaten, because everyone knows that tofu is a very masochistic food.  Click HERE to order!

This first run is limited to 75 pieces!  You’ll be wearing the only tofu burger tee in the whole vegan grocery/yoga class/tall bike ride/waterpark/DJ night/transgender dance party/coffee bean tasting/hula hoop class/laundromat dance party/bear bowling event!

Happy Anniversary

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

My Boyfriend, The Automatic Espresso Maker

This Friday is a very special anniversary for me.  I had a furious one-sided battle with Starbucks last year, who at first lured me in with the promise of free soymilk in exchange for unquestioning fealty, and then took it away, so I bought a Gaggia Titanium espresso machine and started making lattes at home, despite not really knowing how.

How fast a year flies by, especially when your heart is palpitating!  I am at 1700 espressos pulled (double shots) and have cleared $5,000 in savings.  I have put fancy beans (David Lynch, my favorite local Groundworks, Lord Windsor from Long Beach) and cheap/normal beans (bulk from Costco, no-name sale beans at Fresh & Easy) and I’m sorry to say, every single pull has been fucking delicious.   The  beans create a variety of flavors but I’ve never pulled a shot I didn’t care for.

When I’m away from home, I have been using an Aeropress rig that I’ve used to pull shots in the Catskills, in my sister’s place in New York, on set in Van Nuys and Simi Valley, and in the adorable hipster paradise that is Hicksville trailer park in Joshua Tree.  Pulling hot espresso shots on the fly makes you very popular with musicians, comedians, writers, actors, and directors.  This is also very fun to use and makes a delicious shot, but it’ll never replace my main man.

I mean, what does love mean if it’s not slowly killing you?

Alt Resume

Friday, June 14th, 2013

I am close to taking my Summer Sabbatical, which is not really what it is, but it makes my Mom feel better when I say “I’m Taking A Sabbatical” instead of “I’m quitting my job and hanging out all Summer”.  I thought it was time to get my list of “OTHER” skills together and post them on the Internet.

If you feel like you read a slightly different but kind of the same list as this one, it’s because my site was hacked and my service restored from last week’s restore point and I lost it.  It’s because SOMEONE was very jealous of my 70 hits a day.  Eat it, haters!

1. Pit Toilets: I’m very good at using pit toilets in Asia.  You just have to pretend you’re camping, which you kind of are.

2. Sleeping on Airplanes: Also work related.  I can sleep bolt upright on a red eye to Turkey and emerge as fresh and ready as if I had slept in a garbage- filled car.

3.  Tap Dancing.  I’m not the world’s best tap dancer (SAVION GLOVER, because we can really only have one famous tap dancer at a time), but it’s the skill that took the most time and expense to learn, and which has the lowest street value.  I’m considering trying to make people pay me NOT to do it.

4.  Bemani.  It’s no longer fashionable but I can totally do it- I get more points for style than accuracy on Dance, Dance, Revolution, but Karaoke Revolution is my bitch.

5. For that matter, I can lead in six count swing, and I can lead about five things in Lindy hop- I’m a good Lindy follow- I like a lot of dances.

6.  I can make dance parties happen.  I can make people do it.  At karaoke, at coffeeshops- most of the time.

7.  Karaoke.  I’m good at it.  I don’t have the most amazing American Idol style voice, but I know my range and I will perform the SHIT out of a song.  I like to work a crowd.  When I do it in Hong Kong they are upset with the dancing and eye contact.

8.  Comedy.  I do it for money and for free.  Mostly for free.  Don’t ask me to tell you a joke, I’ll make you laugh, m-f.  Just you wait.

9.  I can draw- I haven’t for around five-seven years, but I probably still can, right?  I’m sure I can.  I have an art degree.  I can blind contour the shit out of something.

10.  According to the Munsell test of Color Acuity, I am a Superior Color Discriminator.  I will discriminate the shit out of your color.  I need a lab coat and a light box with a true North setting.  But I will do it.

11.  I can make patterns and sew.  Again, I usually don’t.   But I can make seriously obscure and fucked up Halloween costumes!

12.  Goth Makeup and Fantasy Make up!  I want to teach a stage makeup course for comics and actors sometime.  I have an airbrush and I’m  not scared to use it!  I can airbrush a fake tattoo on you!

13.  I’m really good at telling long, involved, interconnected stories to people on acid.  I can be on acid or not, it doesn’t matter.

14.  I can tell a fake art history lecture at the drop of a hat, especially if the hat is from a particularly evocative period

15.  I’m really good at making one kind of vegan chocolate chip cookies.  Just one kind.

16.   I’m really good at maintaining a blog for 8 years that only my mother consistently reads!

17.  If I had just bought my first guitar, I would be a crazy natural guitar playing genius- however, I have had my own guitar for a decade, and play it occasionally.  I’m mediocre, but proud!

18.  I’m really good at steering an oversized Costco shopping cart with my elbows while eating free BBQ nuts.

19.  I’m a good trivia team member- I don’t know that much about television or sports, but I’m very good at arbitration to try to determine the likeliest answer.  Also, I like to win but I don’t care if I do.

20.  I’m really good at running a White Elephant party.  I will whip the crowd into a frenzy over Scratch tickets and a rubber garden gnome.  Blood will flow!

21.  Despite all the above, I’m really good at not going to Burning Man!  I haven’t gone every year it’s happened!  Consecutively!

With this kind of skill set, I’m gonna destroy this job market!

Illamasqua Hates Sunlight, Loves Animals

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Illamasqua is not just the most gothity-goth high end fantasy makeup line in the market, they are also 100% vegan, animal testing, and cruelty free.  II particularly recommend their luxurious line of synthetic makeup brushes.  It’s not your mother’s Wet & Wild dollar eyeliner, people-  I have used them for many years and was delighted to get this update on EU animal testing policy ban from them in my email this morning!  How far behind is the US going to lag on this issue?

 

Comedy Hates Cancer

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

bra3

 Photos by Evan Ballinger

  MZ & Emmers is an organization that raises money for breast cancer charities by asking prominent women to decorate and donate sports bras every year.   They have raised thousands of dollars for cancer research from bras donated by athletes and female MMA stars,  and this year they have branched out to women in comedy, and I was asked to participate.

My sponsor, Oakley, donated a medium compression sports bra, decorated with some of my credits and my favorite expression for what a good sports bra should do.  Margaret Cho’s, Janeane Garofalo’s, Ilsa Schlesinger’s, Alysia Wood’s, and my bra are all up for bids!

rightside

leftside

This bra was worn and decorated by me, and will be auctioned off on eBay at THIS link:

Virginia Jones’ Sports Bra

Bid bid bid!  Bidding ends March 31! It’s for a good cause, and I might get famous and you’ll have my goddamned bra!

Watch it!  Bid it!  Buy it!

If you’re a stalky creeper fan, I’ll overlook it this once!

Previous Charity Press

bra2

How Starbucks Made Me Their Bitch

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

May 2012: Starbucks has really got me over a barrel.

Me and DJ Initial P, flaunting our shit-Photo by Evan Ballinger

My usual method of coffeeshop patronage was to choose an independent local business, and they would know my drink, and I would have a little punchcard and get free coffees with every tenth one, and I would make jokes to the employees and they would pretend to think the jokes were funny.

I miss First Cup on Woodstock, and I miss Stumptown on Belmont. I would default to Starbucks when away from home, especially in podunk towns, because it was the best way to ensure that they would have soy milk, and they would use my special cup (here’s an art template for your own Starbucks art-your-own 16 oz tumbler! ) Since moving to Long Beach, I have not found a walking-distance local coffeeshop, so I have been going, with some resignation, to Starbucks.  One day, an employee pointed out to me that if I would just register a coffee card with them, they would give me my soymilk (.60) for free.

This is annoying, because Baby Jebus knows that soymilk does not cost sixty cents more than cow’s milk, but I was paying it, because I am addicted to the sweet sweet veg*n latte goodness.

And now I can get it for “free”.   Because I’m in the “club”.  The “coffee club”.  They’ve tricked me. Like the airlines who now offer the “perk” of being able to “check a bag”, which used to be free and now is not.

So I got a card.  I kept it full.  Liquid assets.

Then, I found out that you can buy coffee on your phone if you get the app. You can wave your phone in front of the scanner like you live in Gattaca. So I did that. And that’s when they really got me.  And you can do things like put money on your card through the Internet, and send coffee money to friends, and find out what Starbucks food items are veg*n, and blargity blarg blarg.  But the best part is, I got a star every time I drank coffee. I got a gold star, like I was in school.

coffee2

  13 stars.  Look how happy they are.  They’re dancing.

 I win a game by purchasing coffee, which is something that I would do anyway, but now it rewards me for doing it, so now instead of going to Starbucks with some amount of shame and resignation, I am actively seeking them out so that I can get a GOLD STAR FOR DRINKING COFFEE, SOMETHING I WANTED TO DO ANYWAY.  People like getting gold stars.  They like being rewarded for stuff.  And now I am Starbucks’ bitch, because I want to get a gold star for drinking coffee, like a good girl, and then I get a free coffee.

Then they give you a special gold coffee card, just to let the regular people know that I’m not a regular people, that they might toil and sweat for their half-caff sweet double chai frappucino, but that I am one of the chosen ones, and that I will have free soymilk-

  FURIOUS POSTSCRIPT, 9/18:  I just got an email from the Evil Overlords thanking me for my continued patronage, letting me know my coffee benefits are New and Improved, and that future free drinks will load straight onto my card, like I always wanted, and that I’ll get a free coffee every 12 stars, instead of 15.  Also, barely worth even mentioning: as of October 16th, MY FREE F*CKING SOYMILK IS GOING AWAY!

As a spoiled and privileged vegan, I AM FURIOUS ABOUT THIS, CORPORATE OVERLORDS!  I am reacting like a RABID WILDEBEEST!  I don’t even know if they get rabies!  I hope you enjoy the view of me leaving, because I’m not coming back after the 16th!  Unless, you know.  It’s an emergency.

Postpostscript 9/20: I think they’re onto me, man.   I think they gave me decaf this morning.  I can’t spell and I feel like I got hit in the neck with a tranq dart.  THIS IS NOT OVER, STARBUCKS!

Postpostpostcript 10/11: And lo, the end is nigh.  I have commented about soymilk many times on mystarbucksidea.com, and I have “liked” other comments from people who like free soymilk, and now all the other people hate us for complaining about the same thing over and over every day for a month, and they are immediately demoting our comments.

I’m sorry, other people.  This is how the capitalist internet system works.

And so, it has happened: if you feel a slight shiver in reality today, the sense that everything was picked up, rotated five degrees, and then dropped back into place, it’s because I have ordered an espresso machine and some coffee, and I am free forever.

And let’s be clear: I purchased an expensive, heavy, large machine to live in my kitchen because Starbucks wanted to charge me sixty cents for soy milk, which I used to get for free when I was special- and lest we forget, another group of people got pretty mad when their tea was getting taxed, and they started a little something called THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, and that’s a little more intense than my latte boycott!

Hell hath no fury like a vegan scorned.

1/15 Postscript: After walking out on the Bucks in October, I was back visiting in December to get an afternoon beverage, and I was the belle of the ball- the local employees said that I would get free soy at their location.  I smiled and thanked them for the offer.

Today, I went in for my birthday latte, and got a distinctly chillier reception.  It was like a whole coffeeshop of ex-girlfriends, although my latte was hot and delicious.

The Math: As of this month, I have broken even on my espresso machine vs. the $60 a week I was spending at Starbucks, so the next 9 months of espressos are pure profit.  I’m sorry, corporate overlords!  I’m still an addict!  Just not a slave!

Love Angel Music Baby

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Photo By Pete Ellison

I just hope that sweet little lamb’s blue ribbon isn’t for reading.

Photo by Pete Ellison.

Scott Lurhs and Steve Hernandez!

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

 

Recently, I was invited to participate in the world’s most famous podcast (well, that’s what they said…), Respect The Danger of Knives, with Steve Hernandez and Scott Luhrs.  I was asked to bring five songs that are important to me.  As usual, I left mildly sweaty and with the distinct impression that I had said things that would get me into trouble.  I know I discussed day jobs, divorce, veganism, Mormonism, and why being in love is a bad idea- Why not listen here?

Postscript: I have never gotten in as much hot water as from this one podcast- but apart from a needless attack on a third wife, I stand by all thoughts and opinions.  They may be shit, but they’re mine.