Posted by: T.J. Baer | February 7, 2019

Vegan Stuff!

Greetings, friends. I’m off to the shower in a moment, but I thought I’d share the fact that I’ve compiled a page of links and resources for anyone interested in vegan stuff or plant-based eating. It is, creatively, entitled, “Vegan Stuff,” and you can find it either in the top site menu or right here:

VEGAN STUFF <–Here.

Check it out, peruse, consider, and feel free to leave comments, questions, or your own recommendations in the comment space.

And for now, adieu~!

 

Posted by: T.J. Baer | February 6, 2019

On being “not one of those” vegans

When I decided to start eating vegan, it was with the solemn promise to myself that I would not become an angry, evangelizing vegan. I wouldn’t be “one of THOSE” vegans, I told myself. I would be a peaceful, breezy, “live and let live” kind of vegan, and all would be sparkly and good.

Yeah, unfortunately, that’s turning out to be a bit tougher than I’d first anticipated. :P

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Today, a discussion of my struggles to eat healthily and get enough exercise, plus a tragic tale of egg in my rice.

Additionally, my microphone has betrayed me yet again, so the sound isn’t as crisp and clear as last time. Alas. Someday I’ll sort this stuff out, rly.

Posted by: T.J. Baer | February 2, 2019

Fighting For the Galaxy Returns!

IT’S BACK.

…on a Saturday, because no calendar tells me what to do, yo.

For the uninitiated, Fighting For the Galaxy is the epic science fiction masterpiece* (*citation needed) composed by my Star Wars-obsessed thirteen-year-old self. It features Commander T.J. Baer and her struggles to defeat evil aliens, save the planet Earth (and the galaxy, one would assume), and have happy kissy times with a violet-eyed boy named Rendar she apparently has heterosexual-type love feelings for. (13-year-old me was still somewhat in denial on that front, alas.)

To read Fighting For the Galaxy from its glorious beginning, you can check out the FFtG main page here: Fighting For the Galaxy: Main Page

In our last installment, T.J., Jess, and Captain Abrigio were forced into the scantily-clad service industry in a fine home on planet Sffonia; Rendar, Mark, and Jen busted out of jail with an exceptional degree of violence and snappy comebacks; and Rendar said, “Damn, damn, DAMN!” because 13-year-old me thought “damn” was the height of swearing, and damn x 3 was bound to be 3x as cool.

Today, we once again visit the alien planet of Sffonia, where T.J. leads a daring escape, Jess makes yet another unfortunate decision that leads to gunfire and general mayhem, and Rendar, Jen, and Mark wander around the city arguing and wasting time. ONWARD TO EPIC SCI-FI!

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In which I further discuss my attempts at raw vegan eating (including some frozen berry-inspired trauma), Darla attempts to attract my attention by attacking various nearby objects, and I am a good Samaritan tragically trapped in my home for (probably) the rest of the day.

Also, headset = actually functioning, so you may be able to hear me in this video. Hooray!

So, news flash: Chicago is cold! Also, I’ve been experimenting with raw vegan dishes in an attempt to avoid post-meal regret and general suffering. Hurrah! Also, I’m not sure the camera app on my computer actually uses the headset microphone, as the sound quality on this video is less awesome than I’d expected. Sadface, etc.

Posted by: T.J. Baer | December 17, 2018

VEGAN VLOG 24: Back with vegan cookbooks and Star Wars swag!

In which I test out my new webcam and talk briefly about the nifty vegan cookbooks I painstakingly selected from the local library. Whee!

As it turns out, watching dozens of documentaries about health can turn you into a lunatic. Who knew? They should really make a documentary about that.

So, as it turns out, working from home when it’s freezing cold outside is pretty nice. :D

Unfortunately, this pleasant new development also results in me not getting much in the way of exercise, so I’ve had to improvise. In my previous job, I was both incredibly stressed and receiving a crapton of exercise (lifting children, chasing children, chasing and lifting children at the same time, etc.), and this led me to achieve a quite low weight and the general wan look of someone dying of the plague. While I am pleased to no longer have the plague, it would be nice to achieve some sort of middle ground here, hence my **NEW HEALTH RESOLUTION** (TM).

Yes, friends, every day after my morning lessons, I have been…

WALKING AROUND THE COUCH.

While this may not sound like a revolutionary health resolution, given the shoebox-like size of my apartment and the eyelash-freezing temps outside, it’s turned out to be quite a good method of exercise. I downloaded a step counter app on my phone, and my general routine is to turn on a vegan documentary or health talk on YouTube and then walk around my apartment at varying speeds while the cats race around in front of me, confused but also at least getting their own exercise in the process.

It’s been going pretty well, and I managed to hit 10,000 steps both yesterday and the day before. I’ve also, as a result of all these documentaries, been reassessing the quality of the food I eat, and have been transitioning away from Junk Food Vegan to Hopefully A Bit Healthier Vegan. My diet wasn’t terrible to begin with, but I frequently overuse salt, oil, and sugar, and…yeahhh, I should probably not do that.

Cutting out/reducing sugar has been the hardest, so I’ve been making a lot of juices in my blender – water + fruit, essentially (this is what juice is, for those who were blissfully unaware of the process) – and experimenting with the use of dates to sweeten things, a practice made possible by the fact that Aldi now carries dates. :D

I’ve also been studying the absolute beginner basics of Chinese, because I’m teaching Chinese kids and it would be nice to have some vague sense of what they’re muttering to themselves during our lessons. Is it, “Teacher, you are the best ever and I love you dearly?” Further studies will reveal the truth, I assume.

I’m actually finding that Chinese isn’t as impossible as I initially thought, primarily because I’m starting out by learning the basic-basics: the four (technically five) tones, the general grammatical structure (which is quite similar to English, funnily enough), and the basic pronunciation rules. I still know barely anything at all, but what I am learning is actually making sense, and that’s something I didn’t expect.

So, yes. My free time these days is occupied by cooking, eating, watching documentaries, learning Chinese, and walking around my couch. Just your typical day in the life of a stay-at-home cat parent and ESL teacher. And, of course, I’ve allowed for a great deal of Cat Snuggle Time, because what is life without snuggles? Tis no life at all.

INTERLUDE! In which I demonstrate some truly awful Chinese and a brief whining tantrum in both Japanese and English.

Also, to give this the authentic feel of a Chinese film badly dubbed into English, I have arranged for my video editing program to randomly refuse to sync my lips to my words. So very much to enjoy in this video…!

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