In which I am still weird, queer, and vegan, but now in Virginia

TJ, where have you been? Our lives are empty and meaningless without you! WHY, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN US?

I hear your cries, dear readers, and for that reason I have returned. You may rest easy now that your source of incoherent rambles about veganism, writing, and queer culture is back, and you no longer need cry into your pillow at 3 AM, staring up at the moon and wondering if I, too, am staring up at that very same moon.

As you can see, the time away has not done much to improve my general state of weirdness.

So, yes, I am back! It’s been quite a long hiatus, and it was certainly an unplanned one, but it happened to coincide with me moving across the country and subsequently encountering a host of new challenges, which I won’t get into here but which I would generally categorize as Deeply Not Fun.

But now, things are relatively stable, I’m back in a place where I feel somewhat pleased with my life, and thus I’m able to give some brainpower to pursuits like writing blog entries.

For a quick rundown of my current situation, I’m at present living in northern Virginia and working as an ESL Teacher in Washington D.C., and my biggest surprise on moving from Chicago to the D.C. area was the realization that housing is really, really, really expensive here. And you would think that in a place where housing is so expensive, the salaries would be commensurately higher, but in fact, that is emphatically not the case. So, yeah, I struggled (and continue to struggle) to make ends meet on an ESL Teacher’s salary, but a Buzzfeed quiz told me that this would be a good year for me financially, and I have to believe it, because what reason would a Buzzfeed quiz have to lie?

As for veganism, I passed my one-year veganiversary back in October around the time of my birthday, and lately I’ve been working on getting away from junk food veganism and back into the whole-food, plant-based, actually-good-for-your-body form of veganism. Yesterday, for instance, I made a massive pot of black bean chili, and my snacks as of late have all been fruit or whole grains. I’ve also been satisfying my sizable sweet tooth with chocolate chia seed pudding instead of wolfing down half a package of Oreos and then wallowing in Regret. So, hey, progress.

Over the holidays, because I’m now actually in the same general part of the country as my family, I was able to ride up to my grandparents’ house and take part in a family Christmas for the first time in a thousand years or so. This was also my first time at a holiday since becoming vegan, and I was really surprised by how easy and nice it all was. I brought my own Gardein turk’y roast and made my own gravy, and my mom, who was in charge of the mashed potatoes, made a non-dairy version for me, and when it was time for dinner, we all sat down with our respective meals and ate together. There were zero issues except for the oven catching on fire, but that was probably not the fault of my turk’y roast and was instead because of the grease from the actual animal turkey, and that’s all I have to say about that.

Another bonus is that my aunt actually made some vegan sugar cookies so I could partake in the sweets along with everyone else, and there were no awkward questions about where I get my protein or if plants have feelings or what I would do if I got trapped on a desert island with a host of delicious animals, and this was very lovely indeed. <3

Anyway, I’d like to make more posts in the future about food and writing and awesome gay people and a ton of other things, so hopefully I’ll be able to make that happen in a somewhat timely manner. Until then, I’ll just say that I hope everyone is having a lovely 2020 and is somehow not having daily mental breakdowns due to Australia being on fire and a madman trying to start a war in a vain effort to distract us from all the many reasons why he should not be president or, in fact, be in charge of anything at all in the functioning adult world.

(In an effort to be as apolitical as possible, I am naming no names here, and I’m sure I’ve been far too subtle for anyone to have even the faintest clue as to which current U.S. president I may be referring.)

Until next time~*~*~<3

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