Burritos, Nachos, Hiking and McDonalds at the Ballet?

I gave tofu another try today via a Boloco’s Classic burrito and again it let me down.  I really dislike the texture of tofu, it just tastes like non-descript mush.  No thanks.  I’ll save that food group for when I’m as old as my 89 year old landlords and don’t have any other choice but to gum down my food.  Perhaps by then I’ll have dentures made of titanium or we’ll have tissue engineered real teeth for replacements.  But I digress.  The moral of the story is that I’d rather have just rice, beans and veggies, I’ll be skipping to tofu for the next 64-ish years.

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Boloco I love you but me and tofu don't get along. Blah.

Moving on from burritos at lunch to McDonald’s at the Boston Ballet.  What?!?! No worries, it wasn’t me eating the Big Mac.  Here’s the story:  For Christmas I took Sarah to the Boston Ballet’s performance of the Nutcracker.  We went last year too and while I’m not the biggest ballet fan in the world, I was still very impressed with the level of performance and the raw athleticism.  Anyway, we dressed up, had a glass of wine and headed to the theater.  We crossed the street dodging and weaving  limo’s, porsches, and the like.  I always feel kind of out of place at functions like these, maybe it’s my Maine roots coming back up, but things like this (and money like this) didn’t exist where I grew up so it’s takes some getting used to.  However, now that I have some disposable income and can go to the ballet for the Nutcracker, it’s kind of a cool experience (expanding my horizons, yada yada).

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I got a stern talking-to by the usher for taking this photo, apparently it's against the rules, my bad.

Anyway, we sit down in our seats next to a mother and daughter who it turns out are both scarfing down Big Macs from McDonalds.  We didn’t really know what to think.  Is this funny?  Is this sad?  Is this against the rules?  I think the answer to all of them was yes.  After a closer look we realized that their purses were stuffed with fries, additional burgers and fountain sodas.  How they managed to sneak in fountain sodas without spilling them all over the place is beyond me, but they looked like pros so I’m sure they had a system down.  After we got the giggles out we talked about it for a bit.  It was interesting how weird it seemed that we associated McDonalds with lower income families, yet these people were clearly pretty well off because our tickets weren’t exactly cheap.  So why did they opt for fast food?  Because it was fast?  It definitely wasn’t becuse it was cheap because I’m sure they definitely could have afforded a nice meal at a ritzy Back Bay restaurant but instead they opted for the $5 supersized McDonald’s meal, bizarre.  Is this what convenience in America has come to?  You’ll spend triple-digit dollars on a couple of ballet tickets but $5 on processed fast food?  I don’t get it.

The next day my company had our annual Christmas party.  It was great that we didn’t have to work for 2 hours on a Friday afternoon but all in all it was a huge fail.  We had to pay $10 to attend our own company’s party, wtf?  Also, there was a TON of food but not much in the way of vegetarian options.  There were a lot of ham and turkey sandwiches but nothing veggie.  So I grabbed some broccoli, tomatoes, mozzarella sticks, strawberries, a beer, and like 5 chocolate chip cookies and called it good.  I had skipped lunch thinking that my $10 would pay for my food but what you see in the picture below represents a $15 meal, pretty weak.

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My work's xmas party neglected the vegetarians at the company. Not a single sandwhich was meat-less but there were some veggies and mozzarella sticks. Also, Yuengling in Massachusetts? Does Sam Adams know about this?!

Over the weekend Sarah and I went hiking to break in our new mountaineering boots.  We  wandered into the Franconia Range, not summiting any mountains but it was good enough just to get outside.  I don’t ever eat meat on hiking trips so being vegetarian hasn’t really affected my weekend adventures.  Meat doesn’t keep well on the trail anyway (unless it’s salami in the winter with a block of cheese, Mmmmm delicious).

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On the Liberty Springs trail scarfing down a PB&J as we get smoked by a group of 4 New Hampshire old-timers. These guys are beasts so I'm ok that we got left in the dust (or snow?).

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This is a signature of mine, PB&J with cereal in the middle, it gives it a bit of extra crunch to make things more interesting. This time it was Honey Bunches of Oats. Honey Nut Cheerios works well too. What doesn't work in between is tea, coffee grinds, pasta, or graham crackers. Don't ask, hiking in college was an experimental time for me.

It’s more or less a ritual to make nachos with cheese and black beans after a hike in the White Mountains.  So Sarah and I polished off almost this entire pan of nachos.  In the past we’ve put hamburg or shredded meat on top but generally it’s pretty simple, just chips, cheese, black beans, and salsa.

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Aside from poutine, this is the best post-winter-hike snack on the planet.

Anyway, it’s been interesting trying to figure out what areas of my life are affected by going vegetarian and it’s turned out to be very few things.  Breakfast is largely the same, snacks are the same, hiking food is the same, it’s just that I’ve had to be more creative with my lunches and dinners.  I’ve also started to realize how to be a vegetarian is to be a minority.  I felt left out that our Christmas party didn’t really have a vegetarian option (besides a veggie platter).  I find myself saying, “Nah, I can’t eat that because I’m vegetarian” more often and I generally get weird looks or raised eyebrows, or the “he’s too good for meat?” look.  I don’t know if that’s what people are really thinking but that’s what it feels like.

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