Martha Stewart’s Nasty Food

Martha Stewart is in the news lately because she has been tweeting super-gross pictures of the nasty food she eats in restaurants I could never afford. Just when you thought the one percent ate better than the rest of us do, Martha goes out of our way to bust that myth. I swear it’s some kind of bass-ackwards public service campaign to try and prove even the poorest vegan eats better than a non-vegan.

I wasn’t going to post this here because I didn’t want to spoil your appetite for my Daily Vegan Lunches, but I just can’t help myself. I am a horror writer and I don’t just love grossing myself and others out, it is one of my favorite hobbies in this life.

Here are some of the horrific, crime-scene worthy photos Martha has taken of her “food” along with my interpretations as a lover of disgusting descriptive language. WARNING. Do not view the following photos if you have eaten or wish to eat within the next 8 hours!

Pic No. 1 Iceberg wedge

martha's iceberg lettuce bukkake

Three week old lettuce origami (as attempted by a three year old) with vomited-up bukkake a la mode.

Pic No. 2: Onion soup

martha food diarrhea

Pinched loaf cutlets with diarrhea coulis

Pic No. 3: Foie gras walnut brioche

martha's foie gras

Blood-lard casserole with demure cake of sculpted liposuction-bag creme

Pic No. 4: Hotate uni miso

martha's lard casserole

Toe-smegma soufflé with slow-cooked sewer carp

Pic No. 5: Pasta handkerchiefs

gross pasta barf

Harvested fresh direct to your plate from the diaper of an eighteen month old who found the stash of squash baby food

Pic No. 6 No description provided

martha's radioactive dinner

Meal recovered from alien spacecraft at Roswell and radioactively preserved until the year 2013

Pic No. 7: Watermelon and goat cheese

watermelon

Watermelon and comedone sculpture after “treatment” by artist Andres Serrano

Pic No 8: Homemade “Persian” meal

nasty martha stewart food

Various lifeforms found growing under the ocean near the Fukushima disaster site

Pic No. 9: matsutake mushroom soup

martha's disgusting food

Formaldehyde brain sausage slices with spinal cord jelly in pus broth

Pic No. 10: Bass from Grenouille restaurant, NY

martha stewart disgusting food

Seven-month old Chef Boyardee ravioli in mold reduction with steamed jumbo caterpillar larvae

Pic No. 10 Seaweed bone marrow

martha's wtf food

Rabid dog saliva foam with horked-up cream of mushroom soup and doll house furniture

Pic No. 11 ???

martha's tapeworm meal

Synchronized swimming tapeworms carpaccio

My first time eating natto!

I’m almost 40 years old and half-Japanese and I have never eaten natto, a.k.a. fermented soybeans, before today. I am adopted and grew up without knowing any Japanese people. I didn’t even know what natto was until I was in my twenties.

natto

I must have been feeling a little wild Thursday night (par-tay!!) because I bought a package of frozen natto from the Korean grocery store that carries a lot of Japanese food. Having no idea what to do with it or how to prepare it, I figured I would have to look it up on the internet in order to figure out what I was to do with the 3 packages in my frozen natto pack. Luckily for me, I got a hold of my wonderful friend Yoshie who personally showed me how to eat natto.

Yoshie grew up in Japan eating natto. She loves it! Now that I’ve tried it, I can say I’m not a huge fan. Natto is a little scary even though I grew up eating far grosser things like hot dogs and cream of chicken casserole, eww nasty.

Natto comes in a styrofoam package. There were several kinds in the freezer section.

natto package

Looks innocent enough. My natto was still frozen when I arrived at Yoshie’s, ha ha, oops. So it was not ready to eat. Yoshie had some defrosted natto in the fridge which is why I did not escape eating natto today.

Yoshie opens the package…

yoshie opens the natto

Hold me, I’m scared.

opening natto part 2

For one, natto smells bad, kind of like certain cheeses. I was never a fan of cheese smells. It is made of fermented soybeans. Supposedly it is very healthy because the fermentation helps your stomach to make good bacteria. Then there is the sticky texture. I was reminded of marshmallows, especially Rice Krispie treats (which are easily veganized, BTW) when you mix the marshmallow into the krispies and they stick together.

Here goes…

IMG_2739

Yeah, it’s definitely stinky and gooey/slimy.

Eating natto

We mixed in soy sauce, ponzu, and wasabi. It was still scary.  You have to swirl your chopsticks in the air to make the thready marshmallow strings detach.  Seriously.  I would have had no idea about this if it wasn’t for Yoshie.

natto up close with wasabi and soy sauce mixed in

Then Yoshie made me some sushi rice and nori wraps for the natto, which was really good.

IMG_2744

Now I was feeling like a totally spoiled princess because Yoshie not only showed me how to eat natto, she made me seaweed wraps for it and then proceeded to make me my vegan lunch of today, Natto Fried Rice.

The slimy/stinky thing went away as she stir fried the natto. I may not entirely care for plain natto but natto fried rice is absolutely delicious! Now I know what I will do with my remaining packages of natto… Boy, Yoshie is a great friend.  Thanks Yoshie!

IMG_2757

Happiness Confidential — Things you can do right this instant to be happy

Ten tips on achieving real, lasting happiness from a former major depressive

1. Develop a profound appreciation for small things
I would estimate that billions of us, not millions, take most of the good things in our lives for granted. It is human nature to focus upon and remember the negative. We’re built to harbor sorrows, which in effect have replaced danger, in our evolution. Provided you are not one of the billion people in our world who goes without clean water every day, when was the last time you appreciated it? How about that fresh fruit you obtained from the grocery store? Ever given a thought to how much easier life is for you every day than it was for someone born in 1700?  Yes, I am saying to truly relish that morning coffee that came to you from Sumatra and to luxuriate in the softness of carpeting under your feet in your warm house, even if it is old and stained.

2. Stop seeking immortality
Face it, you’re going to die. Perhaps you’ll go to heaven or hell; you might just blink out of existence. Start being cool with the possibilities that you won’t live forever, in name or in glory. If you never get famous, the world won’t care. If you do get famous, it will still eat you alive.  If you think having children will make you immortal, just don’t.

3. Get off of ALL drugs.
The term ‘medical doctor’ these days is synonymous with ‘licensed drug pusher’. Drugs are expected to do things they were never intended to do, for instance, constant doses of antibiotics are now used upon farm animals to get them to grow larger, even when the animals are not technically sick. Drug use is so rampant that traces of antidepressants can be found in public water supplies. Except in rare cases of schizophrenia, I do not believe that anyone can medicate himself out of depression. The only weapon “they” seem to have against depression is the serotonin reuptake inhibitor, which tampers with nerve endings to make them more sensitive to a certain chemical in our brain. The consequences of this tampering have largely not been studied, yet having been on them myself (and having known many people on them) I can say that human guinea pigs exhibit these changes while on SSRIs:

  •  inflated ego
  • out of control sex drive
  • bouts of extreme anger
  • antisocial or inappropriate behavior
  • weight gain
  • INCREASED suicidal tendencies

Even innocuous caffeine works horrors upon the human brain and body. In my case, caffeine is a crap shoot. Sometimes I feel a great sense of well-being or creativity while on it. Other times, I sweat profusely and have anxiety attacks.

Drugs are not entirely bad:for instance, surgical anasthesia or medical marijuana. Drugs are great: occasionally used as a last resort.

4. Go complex carbohydrate, whole foods vegan.
You knew I’d bring it back to veganism, right? I don’t see how a person who ingests suffering and death can expect something different for herself. Meat, dairy, and eggs are an addiction. Unless you break the physical and mental addiction irrevocably by excluding all sources of meat, dairy, and eggs from the diet, it is nearly impossible to completely heal from that addiction. Just as an alcoholic can’t go back to drinking a couple of shots with friends every weekend, a former animal foods addict should not expect to go back to dairy chocolate or a fried “free range” egg every now and then. No matter what the health benefits of eating a bunch of greens, fruits, and whole grains in the place of dead brown animal flesh and secretions are, the real benefit is knowing that you’ll never contribute again to the worst crimes a human can commit: the perpetration of an unjust war upon other species for no other reason save “they taste good”.

5. Stop caring so much about what others think of you.
Try this experiment: next time you’re in a crowded grocery store, do an Irish jig down the aisle. Make like you’re Michael Flatley doing a Riverdance. Can you do this without dying of embarrassment? I sure as hell can. I’ll sing “The Irish Washerwoman” at the top of my lungs while doing it too, and I’m not even certain I’m Irish. Because I truly no longer give a shit what anyone thinks of me. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to watch.

Michael Flatley, Irish dancer

Michael Flatley doesn’t care what you think

I hated myself as a shrinking violet, afraid of sticking out or heaven forbid, embarrassing myself. I always assumed people were thinking of me (first wrong assumption) and that what they were thinking was negative (second wrong assumption). Realizing that it wasn’t all about me was one of the most joyful and liberating things I have ever done with my life.

The secret of good performances, whether they be in social situations or more formal ones, like acting or singing, is the ability to get outside oneself.  The hallmark of a bad actor is a person who can never overcome his own self-centeredness enough to become the part he is trying to play.  Truly caring what others think of you is a form of unconscious enslavement — you’re always worried about their perceptions instead of doing what you know in your heart to be right.

6. Read for 20 minutes in sunlight every day.
This is one of those Stupid Human Tricks. We need the sun to produce vitamin D, which in turn affects calcium and magnesium absorption. Magnesium is a strong antidepressant — however, it does much, much more and has roles in everything from metabolism to heart health.

7. Stop dreading getting older.
Our retarded society thinks getting older and *gasp* losing one’s looks is a fate worse than death. Just because everyone is stupid where this is concerned does not mean you have to join them. I’d rather embrace being a 4’8 half-Okinawan crone than transform myself into a Madam-doll muppet freak with anime chipmunk cheek implants and an eye lift so tight I no longer can produce tears.

8. Make the best out of the stuff you have.
Get rid of the TV subscription and turn the TV off. Cancel magazine subscriptions except for Free Inquiry and VegNews. Don’t bother seeing or renting the latest movies. Not only will you save a ton of money, you’ll stop receiving messages of inadequacy as you elect to drop out of vicious consumer culture. If you think you need a new pair of shoes, try repairing the old ones instead.

9. Adopt a shelter pet.
Not only will you fight the evil puppy and kitty mills by adopting, you’ll rescue a being in need of love and care who probably would have been euthanized without your intervention. Life is sweeter shared with a shelter animal!

kiki and kim

Partners in crime with the best life ever!

10. Dismiss that which insults your soul.
There are no rules and there is no cosmic dictator in the sky waiting to punish or reward you after your physical death. You make your life what it is, therefore you can make it better. Push delete on toxic relationships, move where you want to live, and pursue the career you want even if it makes you poor. You don’t owe anyone anything (though conversely, they also don’t owe you anything) and that means you’re the grown up.  No amount of weird, compulsive thoughts will bring magic into your life — it’s like the old Sting tune, Everything You Do is Magic, so you should live the life you want to, with fulfilling people and a feeling of purpose.

Eerie photos

A strange shelf of clouds that looked like a mountain range. We don’t have mountains in sad, flat Illinois.


Downtown Chicago


The statue I walked by every day for 5000 years when I went to music school downtown.


Photo taken on the L train that had a creepy, nostalgic look.




The geese are having a convention under the tree.


Movie Review: Breaking Down Breaking Dawn

I finally saw Breaking Dawn.  Obviously, I’ve seen it very late in the game–it came out months ago.

The fact that I’m a vampire author needs to be put aside here.  The Twilight series, as much as it shares the vampire romance genre my book Forever Fifteen occupies, is as different from my book as night and day. Though they share certain ideas, my book has almost nothing in common with Twilight save the first books being set in high school, so let’s move on.

If I saw this thing on sale for $4.00 at Rampage, I still wouldn't buy it.

Breaking Dawn is, hands down, one of the worst films I have ever seen.  I have not and will not read the rest of the Twilight books, even though I own them.  I enjoyed the first book, but I found the reading of the second to be incredibly tedious and not worth my time.  I needn’t explain my philosophy that my life is too short for bad books.

CAUTION: SPOILERS

Breaking Dawn begins by falling flat.  In an obvious concession to the primarily female audience, the first minute of the film features Jacob tearing off his own shirt, as if the director was trying to throw us a bone because he knew how terrible the rest of the film would be.  Vampire Edward and human Bella are getting married, a plot point that cannot stand on its own if you haven’t seen the other movies.  A painful, drawn out ceremony has a constipated-looking bride looking nearly as pale and fragile as her milquetoast vampire fiancee.  Like many women of an older generation, I do not find Robert Pattinson attractive.  He has always appeared to me to have been hit in the face with a shovel.  The wedding is as dull as dishwater with Bella wearing a schizophrenic dress that is 19th century butt-cleavage couture from the back and Forever 21 super-sale rack from the front.  The whiny teenagers marry, with Jacob the Werewolf inserting some contrarian whining at the reception.

Off to the tragic honeymoon in Brazil.  The weird, no-questions-asked nature of Bella’s parental relationship is spotlighted when Bella refuses to tell her own father where she’ll be honeymooning with her new husband.  Daddy doesn’t know his little girl married a vampire to begin with, so it’s just another glaring hole in the plot to diminish our suspension of disbelief in the whole Twilight construct.  Once in Rio, there is an odd, 80’s music video scene of Brazilians dancing and making out in the street.

Shovel Face and Skeletora play chess. Riveting.

Finally, the scene that supposedly we’ve all been waiting for arrives.  Bella’s precious virginity, the object of grandiose, cultish suffering on the part of Edward and the entire Twilight audience, is finally about to make its final exit.  Bella freaks out, appears to be constipated, and brushes her teeth messily before meeting Edward in the ocean for a watery rendezvous.

After they do the deed, the hotel room is trashed and Bella’s got two bruises that could be hickeys.  Edward vows not to touch Bella again, even though they’re married.  Edward is unable to resist his wife and they do it again.

All seems normal until Bella realizes her period is late.  This is where we first encounter, face-on, the inherent colonial racism of Twilight.  Edward begs an Indian woman (assigned to clean the trashed honeymoon suite) to tell him what to expect when you’re an expecting vampire dad.  She knows because she’s Indian, right?  And Indians are ancient, right?  Honestly, I’m old enough to remember horrible commercials where laundry detergent was praised as an “Ancient Chinese Secret” by the Asian equivalent of Uncle Tom.  Those commercials have nothing on Twilight’s depictions of native peoples.  Also, another gaping plot hole presents itself.  Vampires who have existed for hundreds, if not thousands of years, have no answers as Bella calls the Cullen coven?  Never in the long existence of vamps has a vampire accidentally impregnated a human?  I find that hard to believe.

The most anorexic and pale Kristen Stewart ever, which is quite an accomplishment.

Anyway, Bella is with child and the predicament is HORRIFYING.   She goes home and pretends she’s in a spa in Switzerland to her credulous father and mother.  Meanwhile, she’s two weeks going on ten months pregnant.  The baby is eating her from the inside out.  Kristen Stewart, who already looks anorexic in her normal state, is CGI’d to look like an Auchwitz resident circa 1943.

There is no semblance of a plot in Breaking Dawn until the movie is past the hour mark, when Bella is actually pregnant.  I felt this was not a forgivable movie sin.  Jacob spends most of his time acting like a beta male to Edward’s non-alpha, running around with the motley collection of “Indian” werewolves.  Obviously in the minds of the Twilight casting department, Native peoples include anyone with dark skin and dark eyes, be they half-Asian, Hispanic, Brazilian, Israeli, etc.

MORE SPOILERS.  The movie becomes grotesque and cringeworthy, though slightly more exciting as it nears its finish.  The starvation CGI was good, but I’m not sure the same team worked on the werewolves.

Stay tuned for the next release of Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance.

As in past Twilight movies, the werewolves were very video-gameish.  Their movements were herky-jerky and overall too exaggerated and fast, about on the same par as the thrown together CGI of the Nature Channel.

Bella’s baby, Tresseme Hair Product I mean Renesmee, is a ridiculous giant-eyed CGI creature who fixes her eerie, enlarged cornea puppy-dog gaze on Jacob.

As a lame consolation prize for losing Bella, Jacob is bonded to his ex-girlfriend’s infant in a creepy montage tailor made for a breed of lonely bachelor who spends all his time surfing certain password protected virus-infested pay-per-view channels of the internet.

Speaking of profoundly disturbing aspects of BD, the soundtrack is klunky and jarring, featuring the whiniest indie bands of the Repetitive Jackhammer School of Musical Styling.

The first and second Twilight movies had quite a few redeeming qualities, in my opinion.  Watching the last two films brings to mind a fruit that is rotten and maggoty  in the center–there is little of value here and I wish the story could have been resolved in a better way, with better writing, a better director, and a better special effects team.

STAINED Movie Review

And you thought your ex-girlfriend was a messed up freak~

I recently rented Stained, a 2010 film written and directed by Karen Lam, through iTunes.

Main character Isabelle is a lovely, shy, intelligent woman who owns cool bookstore in the heart of the city. Isabelle has the sort of life that is the perfect setup for a romantic comedy: she’s got three cats, Jenny (Sonja Bennett) an overbearing childhood best friend/foster sister who is pregnant, and an ex-boyfriend she can’t forget despite her best efforts. Played by the luminously beautiful Tinsel Korey from the Twilight movies, Isabelle’s life seems quite enviable at first glance–hello, her legs are like a mile long!–as long as you don’t dig too deep.

Isabelle is a very high-functioning, gorgeous, Type A obsessive compulsive basketcase, tragically ridden with nervous tics and an inability to relax. The two young, hip employees of White Cat Books don’t quite latch on to their boss’s uptight, stoic approach to romance, which is basically to go without in favor of more agreeable feline companionship. Nevertheless, Isabelle agrees to go on a date with a hottie named Ralf when she gets set up on a date. Isabelle’s date with Ralf is beyond awkward, ending in an upturned tray of delicious butter tarts instead of a hook up.

Serving up butter tarts with a side of lonely sadness 😦



Every time Isabelle starts to have fun, she is haunted by flashbacks of her horrible childhood. Little by little, more detailed flashbacks reveal Isabelle’s childhood as tormented by bullies. Equally tormented is Isabelle’s home life. She is desperately impoverished and her prostitute mother turns to inviting johns into the home in order to make ends meet. At age ten, Isabelle walks in on her mother in flagrante delicto with a customer. Later on, Isabelle’s mom dies and the little girl goes to live with her friend, Jenny. Eventually, Isabelle moves on to the big city while Jenny stays put in the provinces, keeping in touch mainly via phone.

Jenny the pregnant friend doling out advice


Like a good depressive, Isabelle spends copious amounts of time daydreaming about her first love, emotionally abusive but hot James (Tim Fellingham) who was the first to rock Isabelle’s world as a teenager. One of my favorite parts of Stained is how the relationship with James is treated. No one can ever compare to James, however, any way we look at him, he’s a selfish prick. Fragile, damaged Isabelle cannot help herself; James is addictive like crack cocaine.

James played by Tim Fellingham


One day, James waltzes back into Isabelle’s life, magically popping up without explanation. Don’t get confused at this part of the movie, folks, just wait for it. Isabelle is over the moon with happiness. Yay! He came back! She’s getting a second chance with her true love! Sure, James is a bastard and she knows it but they reunite and all is extremely romantic for a while, despite the remote objections of Jennifer back in the sticks.

Soon enough, James shows his true asswipe colors and upon Jennifer’s phone advice, Isabelle breaks up with him and goes back to her cats. Things only get worse when the bookstore is broken into. From then on, the careful construct of Isabelle’s life comes undone because she’s fundamentally not a stable woman.

I won’t give any more away. It will suffice to say I enjoyed Stained. Stained is, in one word, unique. Though there is nothing out there exactly like Stained, though there are clear references to a 1965 Catherine Deneuve film, Repulsion, where a lovely, psychotic girl alternately fantasizes and dreads rape and leaves maggoty body parts laying around and in the fridge. In other words, exactly my kind of movie. Another all-time favorite film Stained has tinges of Takashi Miike’s Audition (subject of my Vegan Podcast and Potluck of Horror for October 2011). Stained shares Audition’s idea of a stunning, damaged femme fatale who lures in men without trying. Both Tinsel Korey and Sonja Bennett do a fabulous job depicting codependent friends, one pathetically needy and the other drawn like a moth to the flame. I did wish that when James and Isabelle reunited that he offered some more dialogue, like the typical slimy ex-boyfriend line “I’m staying at the no-tell motel, hint hint” just so we could love/hate him a little more. Isabelle turns out to be quite a terrible person by the conclusion of the film, though I can’t say I held out any hope for her after her epic mega-fail date with Ralf.