Category Archives: Adventure

Band of Roommates

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So. In my long awaited return to blogging, I offer an amusing tale of triumph in the face of almost assured defeat.

To say the least of it, Dan, Robby and I had a roommate that none of us quite meshed with. It progressed in to full on dislike in the couple weeks prior to his departure, which culminated in a celebratory easter/the-jerk-roommate-is-gone dinner. The shadow had been lifted. Ding Dong… the witch was dead.

That’s what we thought, anyway.

Recently, Dan was going through his things, and happened to notice that a few bottles of his more expensive liquor, and a nice cocktail shaker that his sister had gifted him for his birthday had oddly gone missing.

Dan sends a friendly non threatening message to our ex roommate asking if he’d happened to have seen these things, or if he’d accidentally taken them in the maelstrom that is moving. Dan gets a response: “I don’t know. Will check when get home. Can’t stop by this week.”

Two days go by.

Dan sends another message, asking for a verdict. Had the guy seen the stuff? No answer.

Two more days go by. Still no answer.

Then, on the guy’s crappy band page… an ambiguous status update. A song lyric? An inside joke, perhaps? Openly mocking a man merely asking for his belongings back? You be the judge: “Gimme my alcohol back.”

At this point, Dan was at work, and I was alone at the apartment with my awesome roommates, Joe and Robby. We were all more or less agreed. The guy was being a jerk… and what’s worse, he was being a coward. Posting behind the semi anonymity of his band, and on a page that Dan never would have looked at was, in so many words, a verbal sucker punch.

I thought about responding in kind. After a few minutes of mulling over the contents of this response with my roommates, we decided that the best course of action would be to set our wrath aside and think. If I were to post something as scathingly angry as I felt, Dan’s things were all but lost to him.

We went a different route.

A few minutes of Robby’s amateur sleuthing, and we had an address.

There was no hesitation. It was either showing up at this guy’s doorstep, or accepting insult and injury… and defeat. Not tonight, my friends. Not. Tonight. From this day to the ending of the world, we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few… we band of brothers. For he who shall accompany me in the middle of the night to an ex roommate’s apartment to retrieve stolen goods, is truly my brother.

We pumped ourselves up on the way there by listening to “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk. We danced, we sang, we applauded ourselves on our overall cleverness… though victory had yet to be secured.

It wasn’t too long before the GPS alerted us to the fact that we had arrived at our destination 50 feet too late. This led to not a little confusion, and we parked in a nearby Wendy’s lot. We got out of the car. We walked across the street and began searching; Robby and I pulling our hoods up, Joe lamenting the fact that he didn’t have one. My heart was racing.

This was crazy. Even for me.

After a short search, we found the address. After a shorter search, we saw that his car was there – the best indication of said jerk ex roommate actually being home. I approached the apartment on my own. Robby and Joe stayed back. This was my fight. I called the guy. The phone was allowed two rings before being unceremoniously sent to voicemail. Even the dullest among us could infer that he had pointedly decided not to answer my call.

I texted. A warning shot, if you will.

I told him I was there. That I was just around to pick up Dan’s things, and that I would be on my way after that. Those of you familiar with iPhones will be also familiar with the fact that you can see if someone has read your text or not. He read it. He did not answer. Ten minutes went by, and he did not answer.

So, I let myself in to the apartment complex… and rang his doorbell.

His roommate answered.

“Hello?” He asked. There was no going back now. For better or for worse, this was the direction my night had irrevocably gone.

“Hi. Does ______ live here?” I responded.

“Yes. Who’s asking?” He didn’t seem to know of the silent war that raged.

“I’m Terin. I’m his ex roommate. Just came to pick up some of my boyfriend’s things.”

“Oh, okay.” He said kindly. No. He didn’t know. “Would you like to come in?”

No. The last thing I wanted was to be behind enemy lines with no line of sight to my friends – across the street, hidden in the shadows, their fists raised in quiet camaraderie.

“No, I’m good out here. Just passing through.”

He nodded. A moment later, my seemingly befuddled ex roommate was walking toward me. As though he didn’t know I had been there for quite some time, or what’s more… why.

“Hey.” He said uncertainly. A liar to the last.

“Hey, there. I just happened to be in the neighborhood. Just thought I’d make things easier for you and come by to get Dan’s things.”

He took an affected and untrusting step back.

“Okay, first of all… that’s really weird.” He said with the kind of indignation one could only muster as a last ditch effort to seem in the right. “I don’t like that at all.”

It was clearer to me then than it had been all night, or in the days leading up to this debacle. He was going to forgo being a gentleman in combat, forgo gracefully admitting to his own fault, and put on a show for me. He was playing the part of the confused victim, and painting me as the villain. As fate would have it, he cannot act. I can.

I smiled.

“Okay.” I said cheerfully. “Can I get Dan’s things back?”

He took a few more steps back.

“What was it again?” He asked, still affecting annoyance and indignation.

“A very expensive bottle of Grand Marnier, and a cocktail shaker that his sister had given to him.” I listed only two of the many things that were missing, because I had quickly surmised that choosing the most important of the lot and then cutting my losses was the best and surest course of action.

“Oh, okay.” He said with a roll of his eyes, and just before he was out of sight, “Pretty sure that shaker’s mine and a friend gave it to me, but whatever. I’m not going to argue.”

“Okay, great!” I responded sweetly.

This, and this only, was his admittance of fault. Making up a quick and half hearted story as to why he would have taken something that clearly did not belong to him, and then making it seem like he, again, was the victim by deciding to give it up. If he had, indeed, believed it to be his… he should have, and most certainly would have, fought for it. He gave it up, because he knew he was wrong.

A few moments later, he returned with Dan’s belongings.

“How did you find out where I lived?” He asked as he begrudgingly handed me over the prize.

“Robby saw a flyer for your housewarming party.” Was all I said.

He stood silent for a moment.

“… Okay.” He finally responded… put out, and defeated. I smiled again.

“Thanks, ______!” I exclaimed, and was off to join my brothers across the street. We cheered together as we raced toward the car.

We had won. The night was ours.

We returned home to Dan, showing him the fruits of our efforts. There were hugs and cheers aplenty… and then there was a subdued Denny’s celebration.

As I write this, me and my fellow veterans enjoy delicious cocktails… made all the more sweet by the fact that they were shaken in a newly retrieved cocktail shaker, and by its rightful owner.
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The One Where I Decide To Give Up Vegetarianism Forever…

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Oh, yes. You read the title right. Unless you didn’t… in which case, do that real quick and meet me back here.

Oh, yes. You read the title right.  I’m giving up vegetarianism forever.  With Thanksgiving having just passed and Christmas quickly approaching, a few things occur to me. One is that I just missed out on mostly everything on the dinner table on Thanksgiving. Again. Just like last year.  My aunt made some yams which smelled like what amazing might smell like if it had the inclination to smell like anything.  I was pretty excited about that until, of course, she poured an obscenely sized bag of mini marshmallows on top of them.  I watched as my beautiful orange dreams disappeared under a mountain of harsh white reality.

Now, if you’re not a vegetarian, you might not understand why those marshmallows had ruined my life.  It’s because they’re filled with animals.  Specifically, gelatin.  Gelatin, as we all know, is hydrolyzed animal collagen. Putting aside the food holidays for a moment, let’s consider ALL the other things that are rendered inedible to me because of that cheap and readily available product: gummy bears, gummy anything, starbursts, cheesecake, yogurt, pop tarts, jello (duh), and basically everything else ever made that I want to put in my mouth when I’m angry, PMSing, or sitting on the bed watching Boyfriend Scott play League of Legends when it’s cold and I want to cuddle the heat out of him.  Don’t get me wrong; I like watching him play, and if I was able to power down some pop tarts, maybe my body could manage the energy to make its own damn heat.

But that’s just gelatin. There are also the enzymes. Oh, the dreaded enzymes.

Now, I always knew cheese was not vegan. That only stands to reason seeing as how it is made with a substance that you have to coax out from a cow by rather unseemly means, but I didn’t know until two years ago that cheese was not even vegetarian.  You can credit a very special episode of Jeff Corwin’s “Extreme Cuisine”, wherein he was describing the ingredients of cheese, for my realization of this one.  I believe his exact words were “enzymes from the lining of a cow’s stomach”.  It makes sense, of course.  Enzymes catalyze chemical reactions, and in this case the product is cheese.  Which, thanks to Jeff “has no business being on the food channel” Corwin, I can no longer eat.  Milk bothers me enough as it is, but I’ve always been able to muscle through the knowledge of what it is and where it comes from.  As a vegetarian, however, I can’t actually go around consuming cow parts, no matter how small they may be.  That meant that cheese was out.  It’s only after you can’t eat cheese that you realize it’s in everything.  It’s in your bread, it’s in your crackers, it’s in chips, it’s in your toothpaste*, it’s in your dreams, and more importantly, it’s in your nightmares.  It’s everywhere, and once you know something, you can’t un-know it.

Enzymes showed up one  fateful day on my TV, and have haunted me from then on… because, as it turns out, they are also used in the production of countless other tasty things that I had to resign myself to an empty life without.

Until now. This Christmas, I am headed out of my little corner of the planet and off to Boyfriend Scott’s corner in Iowa, and I know everyone he’s ever met in his life is going to offer me food. The prospect of having to turn everything down, and worse – having to to explain to a brand new batch of people my vegetarianism, makes me sad and tired. I want to say, “yes!”. I’m eating pie and cookies, and I’m not asking what’s in them. By God, I’m eating everything.

Why, yes, Boyfriend Scott’s Mom, I would like a piece of that honey glazed meat-stuffed animal piece of art. What’s that, Boyfriend Scott? Would I like some of that macaroni and cheese? Yes, I would. Thank you for asking. Oh, hot chocolate with marshmallows? Of course!

And while I’m at it, I’m going to eat a cheeseburger, chilli fries, a burrito, a meat sandwich with EXTRA meat, every starburst on the face of this world (and other worlds if I can get my hands on them), teriyaki chicken bowls (SEVERAL BOWLS), a horse (I hear they’re good for when you’re hungry), and, I don’t know… some orange juice or something. BACON orange juice.  Then I’ll sit back and enjoy the inevitable psychological torment, the first time I’ve been full since I was a little girl, and Boyfriend Scott’s arms as he gently carries me off to the hospital.

Which is an interesting segue to the actual point of this blog post. I’m going to quickly debunk a common myth: that vegetarianism is always better for you. Vegetarianism is not necessarily a healthy choice for some people because most people don’t know how to be a vegetarian.  As I’ve exhibited rather theatrically above, it’s difficult to find things to eat. I was once told by a doctor that he considers vegetarianism an eating disorder, because it is about restriction to a certain extent. Either people will restrict too much, or they won’t be able to find ways to make up for the lack of protein, iron, vitamins, and various etceteras in their diet. It can be a little on the unsafe side.  I’ve been a vegetarian for decades (sounds so much more official than “20 years”), and I still suck at this sometimes. Boyfriend Scott routinely hides walnuts in my food to aid in the matter.

Sigh. Vegetarianism, you cruel and beautiful mistress. I owe it to you to keep trying.

Aw, you didn’t really think I was going to give up being a vegetarian, did you? Hell no. I’d have to change the name of my blog. I’m much too lazy for that.  I just like to fantasize about being a normal person sometimes.  Which brings me to the second point of this post… Meat eaters, go easy on your vegetarian friends during the holidays. Especially if they seem extra angry, because what you’re mistaking for grumpiness is actually just jealousy and hunger.  I’m just glad I won’t be home this year to be asked, yet again, if I want every meat product on the table by my father, and be forced to do that thing where I’m half playfully annoyed and half actually annoyed. Anyhow, if you want to be a vegetarian, do the research and be safe. Which hipster-vegans aren’t, because they’re still doing everything exactly wrong.  It’s definitely a healthy life style choice if you’re doing it right.

Or just eat meat like a normal person.

*There’s no cheese in toothpaste. As far as I know.

I Don’t Drink… Except When I Do

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There’s a thought that keeps cycling it’s way through my head today, Reader.  I have mentioned before that I have recently read the Scott Pilgrim books, and one thing that I noticed through out all of them, is that he’d always say, “I don’t drink”, but then you’d see him drinking.  It’s strange, though, because every time he said he didn’t drink – I forgot that he did drink.  How is this at all relevant to life? I don’t really think it is… except in that I am moderately hungover at the moment, but I don’t drink.  Except I guess I do.

But I don’t really.

I didn’t start off my day yesterday planning on getting drunk.  I didn’t even start off my day planning to drink.  There were plans of school and of running, and of meeting a friend up for lunch.  Well, by the time the “meeting up for lunch” portion of my afternoon came around, a few things had happened.  Firstly, school – a constant irritant and source of misery in my life – had gotten to me once again.  I now find myself wondering on a daily basis what the hell I’m doing.  I don’t want to be a psychologist, do I? I had bigger dreams than that, I think.  I don’t remember them now.  The Second did everything he could to stamp out any real aspirations I had for my future by trying to mold me to fit his. He wanted: Terin+degree=riches. I wanted: Terin+passion=happiness.  I still want that, but time’s ticking away… and I still find myself alone in cold classrooms, wondering if all this is for me.  I want to be educated.  I want to know things.  I want to know everything… but why does it have to be channeled in to a career?

Anyhow, yesterday was one of those days – and that was only the “firstly”.  I think I set up the “secondly” to be worse with that statement, but it’s not.  Secondly, it was so hot yesterday that I melted during my run.  I melted and was dead. Eventually a kind samaritan came along and funneled me in to an empty water bottle he happened to have with him, and sometime later I was alive again and taking a shower. Sometime even later than that, I was sitting in a booth across from my friend staring down at a menu of which nothing looked appealing.  Cue flashback to cold classrooms and textbooks.

“Friend,” I started.  She looked at me, bright blue eyes shining as always.  “Do you want to get a drink instead?”

The blonde’s eyes laughed even before she did, and the wide smile on her face said “Yes!” before she spoke the word herself.

Sometime after that (and, also, after buying a super cute pair of boots), Friend and I were sharing drinks and tales of woe.  Also tales of extreme hilarity.  It was around 5 by then, and I was gone.  I knew I was gone.  I know nothing of drinking etiquette, but apparently 5 in the evening is not the most classy time of the day to be drunk during, and I don’t think I scored myself any points with the other patrons at the restaurant.  I also didn’t care, Reader.  I was drunk.  Cue embarrassing and over affectionate text messaging to Boyfriend Scott.

Somehow, though, Friend and I found ourselves braving the Sepulveda Pass on our way to Boyfriend Scott’s apartment, forever miles away from where our initial adventure started, for dinner and more drinks.  Which, when we found ourselves there a million days later (more like an hour, probably), we had.  Boyfriend Scott made Friend and I some amaretto sours, and then we all headed out on an adventure down Ventura Blvd for some food.  I think someone just pointed somewhere random and said, “let’s eat there”.  So we did eat there.  “There” was a very pleasant vegan restaurant (which I’ll be writing a review for on Yelp sometime in the future), and “There” had some very delicious vegan wanton soup.  I was pleased, overall, with the state of my night.

Saying goodbye to Boyfriend Scott later was kind of hard which, even in my still semi-drunken haze, scared me a little.  However, he said something to Friend as I hugged him that pretty much sent any unhappy thought or feeling away from me…

“Thank you for bringing my Terin up to see me.”

The strange and awful headache I endured later, the weird stupor I’m experiencing now, the mild embarrassment at having been stupidly drunk? All worth it to hear him say that. I kind of love this guy.

But then, you probably already knew that.

Until next time.