Monday, April 30, 2012


Every now and then I foray back into the dark and cobwebbed cave that is Myspace. Don't ask me why; my fingers simply tap on my trackpad a few times and I log on. Had I not chosen the same password for the majority of my online accounts, I would no longer be able to access it. But lord knows I could never remember more than one password, so I can quite easily look back into the most profound conversations of my high school years (this is both sarcastic and sincere).

I used to have conversations—or, perhaps more appropriately, 'convos'—via Myspace messaging obsessively. Seing "Re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re:" and so on in my inbox was not uncommon. (Around 2009 they finally got a clue and stopped adding an extra 're:' for each reply). I loved having long, deep, sometimes dramatic and spiteful, sometimes loving and smart interactions with my closest friends—as well as current and past love interests.

I'm mostly embarrassed. Honestly. I chose to guilt people, to fight against their feelings, to stay angry and drudge up old feelings, using them as weapons against others and myself. As much as I thought I was mature, I wasn't. Not really. I wanted to be right, I wanted others to understand me. Don't we all? I didn't allow myself to just accept what other people felt and appreciate that they were feeling at all. I succumbed to the manipulation of significant others and refused to let friends help me... see the light, in a sense. To understand that I was being treated poorly.

All that said, reading back through those long paragraphs, I am sort of amazed by how much I was thinking and feeling. What was going through my mind and how deep everything ran within me. I wasn't afraid to feel, to love, to question. Maybe I went about it in the wrong way sometimes, but I was learning and finding my way through adolescence, which, upon reflection, was even more trying than I initially thought. (In some ways. In other ways, it was a cake walk and holy shit sometimes I wish my problems now were that simple and insulated. But come back in ten years and I'll be saying the same thing about this time in my life. So it goes).

I'm happy that I can look back on those words and know that I've grown and changed so much since then. It's comforting that I know I would never utter some of those words. Also scary that I did. But thankfully, I had some good, less dramatic qualities that kept people around, and I'm so very grateful that they could see past the crazy shit and appreciate me for what I was striving to become.

I'm not there yet, but I think I'm well on my way, and I can only appreciate the reminders of how far I've come.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Vegan Week

Well. I've been a vegan since last Monday. Today is the FINAL day. I wish I could continue, but it just can't happen right now. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with the elimination of dairy products, but I have not felt so hot this week. Fatigued and also straight up sickly from the allergies. My stuffy nose has woken me up the past three nights. Even if it didn't play a part in the downturn of my health, this diet hasn't made me feel any better, and so I'm not going to continue. For now.

That said, I would like to commit to going vegan one day a week. I really believe it makes a huge impact environmentally, on the part of the animals, and on our health, as well. When I live in my TH next spring, I'll have a kitchen and will be able to do a lot of vegetarian/vegan experimenting. On the meal plan, times are rough. Being a vegan pretty much means eating the same thing repeatedly. And even if these things are healthy, it's important to have a varied diet. I just don't feel I can do that in the cafeteria. But next spring, watch out, because I will be cooking up a storm.

I think one day I'll try going vegan permanently. But I would do a slow phase out of dairy products so it wouldn't be a shock to my system. I mean, if you've eaten something all your life, it makes sense that the body would freak out if you immediately said 'No more!'

And it hasn't been terrible this week. I mean, yes, I'm pretty fucking astounded that I've gone a whole week without cheese. (Last week without bread and this week without cheese? I've lost my identity). But I've still been able to make healthy and relatively delicious dining choices. And I've done my best to not eat peanut butter at every meal.

Also... I don't know. I feel like breaking my veganism or vegetarianism every once in a while—and I'm talking pretty rarely—wouldn't be the worst thing. I sort of feel like a bad person for saying that, but I don't think it has to be a strict, forever thing. With every day that I refrain from eating meat (or dairy) I feel like I'm doing a good thing for the earth, the animals, and myself. And so I think if there are a handful of days out of 365 that I break it, it's not the absolute worst thing. I don't crave meat, though. I think the only time I would eat meat is if I was in another country and it was a delicacy, something the country was known for. Even then, though, I'm not sure. I haven't encountered that situation yet.
But my beloved cheese! If I had to forever swear off baked brie or bagels with cream cheese or quesadillas... I don't know what I would do. It's selfish. It is. And maybe one day my opinions will change. But at least I'm aware. I'm aware of the realities and so I make better choices with more frequency.

Here's my dream (and it's one that I never thought would be my dream and probably still isn't because I'm totally idealizing it and neglecting to think about all the nasty stuff): Live on a farm. A big, open farm of my own with cows for milk and chickens for eggs and someone that can make cheese for me (is that possible? just like, one person to make me cheese?). Perhaps in my retirement years. It's going on the bucket list.

I don't know. It's hard. It's hard to do the right thing, especially when you can't see the immediate results of your decisions. It's faith, though. It's believing in something even when you can't always see it. It's knowing what is right despite what anyone says. And no, I can't be totally sure that vegetarian/vegan is the way to be. But I know there's evidence out there, and I take comfort in the fact that there are no living things on my plate.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

We Need Sunshine

Allergy meds. A blessing and a curse. I am virtually symptom-free, though a heaping tablespoon of fatigue has been added to the mix.

I was completely out for three hours yesterday. Today, I fought to keep my eyes open... in jazz class.

I guess I'm still getting used to them since I've never had to take allergy medication before. These damn (ex-)arboretums. So many trees, so much pollen, sneezes galore!

I had to do it, though. As my mom says, "There is a place for drugs." That place is here. Performing outside while wicking away snot and neurotically itching my eyes? I think not. So I walked to Rite Aid with Dan and bought the generic brand of Zyrtec. About 30 seconds after walking out, I realized it wasn't non-drowsy. Oh well. I can fight through it.

Speaking of performance, our show is NEXT WEEK. How the hell did that happen? The forecast is anything but comforting: rain until Wednesday. If it's wet outside, we have to perform in our rain space, the Aula. Which...ugh, is NOT a theatrical space but we would make it work. If any show can, it's Hair. BUT let's pray that the sun will be shining all week! 'Let the sunshine in,' as they say. ooooh puns.

There are 5 cookies sitting on my dresser. 5 Nilda's cookies that I cannot eat because I went vegan for the week. They're taunting me. I get so hungry at night. Being a vegan is not my favorite at Vassar. It's not hard, per se, but the options are fairly limited. A lot of the fun is sucked out of eating, especially if you go so far as eliminating bread made with milk, etc. I think veganism can be incredibly diverse and delicious... if you have a kitchen and a book full of recipes. I do not, so I think that life change will have to wait.

Again with the fatigue! I am so beyond tired. I guess I get a pass since it's almost 1am, but honestly, that used to be early for me. No longer! Allergy meds=real human bedtime? I guess that's not so bad.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Project 365 #... until April 17

Listen. I missed a few days. But I threw in some extra photos that kind of go with the general theme of VC/my life right now. SO IT'S FINE.

Day 91 3.31.12
Our performance space for HAIR. Literally the most beautiful.

Day 92 4.1.12
It's spring APRIL FOOLS. 
VC can't decide.

 Day 93 4.2.12
My personal model Tim. At Long Day's strike in the back of a van.

Day 94 4.3.12
Just barely the 3rd. Midnight bday celebration for this lovely face.

Day 95 4.4.12
Megan's first day.
Hi yes this is a video still

Day 96 4.5.12
Oops also a video still.
Last day before passover! Eating all the bread.

Day 97 4.6.12
Early bday celebration for Isaac at hair bonding.

Day 98 4.7.12
Our view laying down on the library lawn.

Day 99. 4.8.12
Central Park with Megan and Daniel. Wonderful, wonderful day. Loved having Megan here.

Day 100!! 4.9.12
Shitty that day 100 is a video still BUT a still very exemplary of my day.
Watched the finale of PLL. I was so jumpy the whole time. IT WAS AMAZING.

Day 101 4.10.12
Jazz professor brings dog to class.
I fall in love.
Day 102 4.11.12
I got instagram. This is the first picture I messed with, pre-messing.
I can't import the instagram photos from my phone! Still figuring it all out.

Day 103 4.12.12

Sorry this is so gross. Funny food casualty on the way to Acrop.

Day 104 4.13.12
Yes, I went to a sex lecture. It was great.

Day 105 4.14.12
Breaking Passover at Bacio's.

Day 106 4.15.12
Shivani (fellow Hair cast member) performing at SASAFest. 
We got out of our sitz probe just in time to watch her perform!

Day 107 4.16.12
Vassar positivity in front of the DC.

Day 108 4.17.12
Coffee in econ. Absolute necessity.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Why am I getting tired so early? Seriously it's 10:30 and my eyes are closing. I guess it speaks to this insane week. I've been sleep deprived for a long time. Should I just cut my losses and sleep now? I feel like yes because I'll get some quality sleep and probably wake up a bit earlier. I don't see myself doing any work right now. Thank goodness it's Friday.

Ah, to go to bed before midnight every night...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

It's Approaching

Apart from the pictures I took in the city with Megan, I haven't taken a picture for my 365 in a few days. At least I don't think. The one good thing about this is that I can take a still from my daily vlog, so I don't have to miss a day, though it will be far from a great photo (that isn't the point of 365, is it?)

The days are speeding by; somehow there are only two and a half weeks of class left, which seems pretty close to impossible considering how much I have to do. I'm doubly excited and saddened by the approach of the end of the year. I've never had a busier semester, and I just wish to feel like I'm on top of things again, which I don't anticipate happening until my Econ final is over on May 11. All of my blog posts have centered around my busy stress lately, but it's not as depressing as it may seem; just a good outlet for me to write things down so I have fewer thoughts racing around in my brain. I know it all has started to sound the same, though, so my apologies to anyone reading.

I had an extreme realization that I'm halfway through my time at Vassar, and, if I go abroad, I've already completed more semesters than I'll have left when I get back. I'm not ready for that! It goes so so quickly, and while we're always looking forward to our next break, I think we forget how truly lucky we are to be here. How special this place is. I'm afraid I'll graduate not feeling like I got enough time here. But I know if I do feel that, I'll probably also feel that I've spent too much time here... everything will balance out and it will all be okay. It's just crazy to think that I graduate in 2 years—the same amount of time it has been since I graduated high school.

We think we have all the time in the world, but we don't. And that's okay, if we're making the most of it. We'll have enough if we're taking advantage of every day. The question is, what does that really mean?

I'll do my very best to enjoy these last four weeks: in my bedroom, in Main, as a sophomore, less than halfway through my college career, as far away from adulthood as I'll ever be, and the youngest I'll ever be.

I'll be, and I won't wish to be anywhere else.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Slacker Alert

I was on point for January and February, but March slowed me down a little bit, and April is straight crazy. I don't think it's humanly possible to post every day now, with only three weeks of classes left and hardly any time to breathe. Whatever, whatever. I told myself this wouldn't take priority over school; I think I can survive missing a post here and there.

Megan has been here since Wednesday, which I have really enjoyed. It has gone by really quickly; she's leaving Tuesday! I feel like she just got here. Today we went into the city around 8:30, met up with Dan in Times Square and took the 4:50 train back to Poughkeepsie. We walked all over, which was awesome, but it definitely took a toll on our poor feet. I hadn't been to Central Park in over a year, so it was really nice to go back and spend some more time there. The day was sunny and windy; overall quite beautiful. A lovely day for the Easter 'parade' that happens in the city around St. Patrick's Cathedral. The ridiculous  hats and outfits and performers were certainly a sight to see. I feel like things go crazy in New York no matter what the holiday. Always a reason to celebrate! I can't complain; I'm always a proponent of good cheer. Well... almost always.

I've been having {and finally attending} Hair rehearsal a lot more often, and it has really wormed its way into my heart. I feel so attached to it and so in love with the show and these people. We had cast bonding on Friday which ultimately resulted in an impromptu a cappella sing-along in our performance space (which is outside in the orchard. so cool). This show really makes me want to go back in time, just to feel and capture the energy and passion and love. The fear and the fearlessness. It's all pretty incredible.

School is still happening but I'm feeling more and more hopeless. I just feel perpetually behind because there is always something new to accomplish. I never have it all done. This week will be especially brutal with a midterm, a quiz, two acting performances and the first of two Open Houses on Tuesday for which I have to give a bunch of tours.

Oh, and it's Passover so I'm not eating bread. Vegetarian + Passover = difficult.
But if I can slather cream cheese or hummus on matzah, I think I'll survive.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Here's what I posted on Side B for Thursday! I'll probably be absent from my personal blog on most Wednesdays now that I write a weekly column for Side B!

Last night I had a dream that I ate a chicken nugget. I was a vegetarian in my dream, too, but I was hungry and it was easy and I thought "It's just a chicken nugget." It tasted disgusting. I ran outside and spit out the masticated bits of 'meat,' bent at the waist over a railing. I woke up with that same bad taste in my mouth.

In a way, this dream exemplifies how I feel about food since I quit eating meat back in November. The ignorance is gone from my dining experience. It is simultaneously liberating and imprisoning, but ultimately, I feel, one of the best decisions I've made. Gone are the days of ignoring the idea of meat as an animal so I can enjoy my food, or blindly grabbing whatever cafeteria option seems most convenient, delicious, and filling.

Food is thought, now. Food is entirely conscious. I know what I'm putting into my body and I want to feel good about it. I don't want to have to pretend that I'm not eating a once-living being, from an industry that is, on the whole, harming our environment immensely and practicing blasé cruelty. I don't want to pretend that all meat is created equal, that it can't harm my health as well. I had never pretended in other areas of my health and life, so why here? Why did I make an exception for meat?

I guess it was partly cultural. Meat is a staple. Having meat in a home used to be a special occasion for many families; it still is for some, but most households eat meat at least a few times a week.  Holidays are built around food—meat, specifically. Turkey for Thanksgiving, ham for Christmas, hot dogs and burgers on the Fourth of July. There's also gefilte fish for those of us in the Jewish faith (but actually no, because there has not and will not ever be a Passover seder during which I ingest gefilte fish). Meat pervades our society; it is seen as a necessity for most meals and the main source of our protein. I'm generalizing a bit, yes, but I feel it is the overarching thought of food in America: we need meat.

It's incredibly easy to be ignorant of the issues. Last spring, Jonathan Safran Foer, the author of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, came to speak at my college. It was and still is my favorite book, so I couldn't wait to hear him talk about his experience with it. He did, and then some. But then the conversation shifted to center on his nonfiction book, Eating Animals, in which he documents his foray into the world of both factory and small farm meat, and chronicling the journey leading to his ultimate commitment to vegetarianism. At the time, I only payed half attention to the questions about this book. I didn't know anything about it and I certainly wasn't interested in becoming a vegetarian. I wanted to remain unaware of the issues, because I didn't want to change my lifestyle.

Fast forward one year later, and that book sits on my shelf, read thoroughly and a permanent addition to my personal library.

So what changed?

For the first couple months of this school year, the thought of eliminating meat in my diet started flitting around my brain now and again. I wanted to know more, but wasn't sure where to start or if I cared enough. Then one day, at a drama rehearsal, I got into a lengthy conversation with a friend of mine, who is a vegan. She informed me mostly of the environmental impacts of factory farms and the meat industry. I was shocked and disturbed and sad, and it clicked. I started to eat meat with less frequency and did a little bit of my own research online, wondering if I could really do this.

The last meat I ate was turkey. The deli meat, processed kind, with cheddar and mustard on ciabatta bread. It was the Monday after Thanksgiving, and yes, I ate my fair share of turkey then, too. I just... stopped, without a definite decision that it was going to be that day. I didn't feel like I could continue to eat meat and also stay true to myself and the type of life I wanted to lead. I just could not ignore the consequences anymore.

Since I became a vegetarian, I feel so much better, both physically and mentally. Knowing, of course, that vegetarianism is only healthy if you commit to it being so, I am conscious when I walk into the cafeteria or a restaurant. I pick more healthful options, aware that I have to get enough of all the good stuff without choosing the easy way out. And because I no longer choose ignorance in regards to meat, I can take action against the ignorance in other aspects of my life.

Though it's far from difficult to accomodate this lifestyle at Vassar, it can be nearly impossible at restaurants. You never notice that every sandwich on the menu starts with the word 'chicken' until you don't eat it anymore. It's also more pressure when I go to the homes of others. I don't want to be the difficult one, but it's too important for me to make exceptions every time I'm not in my own space.
That said, I'm still working out the kinks. I'm not a vegan, and haven't researched it enough to know if it really is the right choice. I have an intense love affair with cheese, so that would be a process, though I could see it happening at some point in the future. I'm also a big lover of travel, and am currently unsure if I would keep up the strict vegetarianism in foreign countries. I mean, the culture! But I haven't faced it yet. We'll see. I'm absolutely not perfect, but I'm still in the young stages of this decision, and I'm constantly reading and learning.

I'm not here to judge or preach, just to share. For some, meat would be incredibly difficult to give up. For me, it wasn't. And I am all the better for it. It worked. For me. What I am passionate about, though, is the education. I spent many cognizant years actively turning a blind eye to the seedy meat industry, the suffering of animals, and the detrimental effect meat could have on my health. I think everyone should, at the very least, know what's going into their body and how it got to their plate.
I cannot see a time in the future that I won't consider myself a vegetarian. If I get to study abroad in Russia next semester, I might choose to sample some cultural delights, but I won't completely give up the lifestyle I've spent many months cultivating and adjusting to. It's a responsibility I've taken upon myself, and I'm finally at peace with my food.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Open Letter

Dearest Sarah,

Never again in your life should you think about pulling two all nighters just a week apart from each other.
That was a most ridiculous decision and one you could well have easily prevented had you just buckled down a bit earlier and used your precious free time more wisely.
I know you enjoyed that three hour nap today, but it caused you to miss some stuff, and did not make you any less tired.
Please, please, for me. Stop purposely shooting yourself in the foot. When you make your own bed, you have to lay in it, so let's try to wash our sheets and take our time making it look pretty from now on, eh?
I still love you, but for God's sake, you must sleep more. If only for your skin and your schoolwork.

All my love and devotion,

Monday, April 2, 2012

Proejct 365 #9

So I took the weekend off from blogging. As per usual when the boyfriend is here.
Pictures from the past ten days (totally slacked on these too)

3.21.12 Day 81
Messing with the settings on my camera. Loving my sunglasses too much to take them off.

3.22.12 Day 82
Playing with my wardrobe. Hadn't worn this shirt in years.
Warm weather is my friend.

3.23.12 Day 83
Another fun wardrobe day. Same shorts, totally different look.

3.24.12 Day 84
Measure for Measure cast party, finally. 
Had some interesting conversations.

3.25.12 Day 85
Tech tech tech. Bagel with cucumbers and cream cheese was AMAZING.

3.26.12 Day 86
Actually obsessed with Madie's face here. Vassar being beautiful.

3.27.12 Day 87
Result of my all-nighter. Watching the sun rise. Perfection.

3.28.12 Day 88
Hungry, Sarah? Everything vegetarian in the dc was eaten this night. 

3.29.12 Day 89
We have so many daffodils and they are incredibly gorgeous.

3.30.12 Day 90
What my nights looked like in the sound booth. Watching PLL and waiting for cues.