Welcome to Vegflix & Chill, the whole plant based cookbook, for the avid fad dieter/ healthier conscious, and self proclaimed movie buff. For all you multiple screen millennial that need a little help in the kitchen, oh boy do I got some cool recipes with just the right amount of passive aggressiveness that reminds you of your nostalgic 90’s upbringing, You, and I are going to take back the kitchen for all those times we got shamed for trying to make something without your mama’s blessing. IE: was anyone else’s ass chased out of the kitchen?Not just me, okay then let's get cookin!
So I am sure you’re not asking yourself this but, why go Vegan? I mean really what's the point? Now we could get into an unethical debate on how the American agriculture treats it’s livestock, and such but I am gonna keep things simple, c'mon this is the first time I have really done something like this, why spoil things, right? I went vegan, mostly plant based, because I was looking to prove to others that not only can plants be tasty, but you have got to be a complete psychopath for eating all those cute animals, unlike you I don’t aspire to be A Bateman of any sorts. But I will flash some sweet new business cards that I just got shamelessly. I got a weird thing for business cards.
So let's just get to it, why did I stop eating meat? I stopped eating meat officially when I was about 15, from then on anytime my family ate burgers I had myself a big ol mushroom cap It wasn’t really discussed openly in my family, rarely anything is. My mom was a hella boss tho she tried super hard when I was a vegetarian, I still ate cheese and ice cream back then, don’t put me on the scarecrow cross for it. I feel like being vegan was something that you progress naturally to. Think of it as a level up. In the days before all these awesome new veggies, and impossible burger options, I was tripping on shrooms since circa 2000 whatever the heck. But boiling down to it I stopped eating meat primarily because I probably watched one too many documentaries on the meat packing, and grain industry, and I was like NOPE! Never again. A big Ol’ N- O- P-E. Plus my family got a dog, and from then on I named every inanimate object ever since. This girl didn’t have a prayer.
Another question I usually get is, why do people sometimes cheat on their vegan diets? I am not really too sure, because maybe we are human, people make mistakes, and sometimes ya want some ice cream other times ya wants cheese. As for me I am notorious, freakin known to go on a cake binge here or there. Most CAKE AINT VEGAN! If you can’t find a vegan substitute for something don’t freak out, just chill. While it’s okay to not always have all substitutes be vegan just try to be more aware of everything you’re putting into your body. 1 egg won’t kill you, but eating red meat every day, c’mon now this isn’t the 1950’s darlin!
But Ash, why movies? Movies offer me a great form of escapism and I'll be the first to admit that not only do I speak with a steady slur of pop culture movie references to break the silence, but I am also that weird ass person that goes to that B or Z rated movie by herself. As long as there are pretzel bites, bitch i'll watch anything. The more weird and obscure the movie or the reference the better!
So yeah plants and movies, so go cook something up and then plant yourself on the couch, go zone out and feel like a human again.
And I am going to try and keep any and all introductions short, I hate, hate, hate when you can’t find the recipe and the food blogger just goes on about their dead dog, the importance of beekeeping, and why only psychopaths keep an army of bees at their disposal, or their ex husband’s weird animal husbandry fetish.
So...... Let's get cookin’
Until Next time,
Ash Wednesday! A Spiraling Time: I know I am hy-stair-ical..... okay no more stair puns!
Written By: Ash Catcher
This past weekend, I ventured off to New York again! I decided to check out The Ossining Castle, an abandoned estate once belonging to David Abercrombie, and his partner Ezra Fitch. This 25 room Medieval Style home was something to see for sure! If those names sound semi familiar congrats you were probably one of those snotty teenagers that insisted on fast fashion, and an ode to expensive/ cheaply made clothes, made from children all around the world. With their exclusive stores, and oddly dim lighting, the obnoxiously loud music made me both hate, and become oddly ready to embrace mid 2000’s clothing trends, by hopping on that "Hot Topic” Man the mall really screwed me as a teenager. . I am not even going to touch on the perfume air that was circulated through all those stores either. I am happy to report the remaining part of their home had no traces of such a smell. Good thing too.
There was however a SHIT ton of other people, including a badass lady with a drone. I got to see most of the place, it has not been properly maintained, apparently the property has been on the market since 2017. Now I am trying to do what I do, snap a few pictures, make polite conversation with passing explorers, etch but there just seems like an awful amount of debris for this place to have been “abandoned” so I had a thought: this castle is smack dab in a neighborhood. Conveniently placed near Sleepy Hollow, and Briarcliff Manor, both places known for some spooky activity. What if this place just kinda ended up here as a mistake? Nothing seemed particularly strange about this place. What seemed strange to me was that…..
Every window was smashed through I couldn’t even get a decent shot of a room without there being someone in it, or some sort of odd item dragged into a corner. i did not move anything, I am not here to deface anything, just observe. Certainly this would either mean there is a person who frequents this property often, and "stages" pictures, or there is a heck a lot of foot traffic coming in and out of this house. On what was almost 50 acres, now stands at less than 2.5 the surrounding houses seem to mask this decaying building that I had to drive past it twice until I could see a bit of it from the road. Priced at 3.2 million it is technically for sale, but best of luck trying to preserve this piece of history.
10/10 for all the spiral staircases. These were terrifying to go up and down on! I think I counted over 10, too! I am so glad i went here during the Spring and not in Winter.
Overall this was an interesting, sort of quick hit on my way home sort of adventure. Much needed in terms of keeping up with my weekly “Ash” like activities. I need to be going to more places this summer, if anyone has any suggestions I am always looking for new places to hit up and explore. I am not sure what the easiest way that would be, send me a pigeon.
See ya next Wednesday!
Ash Wednesday! Addiction
Addiction is like addition.
I did not ask for your dependency to add over time, yet here we are.
You’re like something a bit extra.
I did not know I needed you until I didn't want to live without you.
Or is that couldn’t. Yea no…
You crept up out of me.
I didn't see it until recently.
You found me when I was a bundle of nerves.
And that's when I knew I was going to be in trouble.
Addiction steals some of the most beautiful souls I have known.
But let it get bad again, and it can leave you so empty, borderline soulless.
Fondly depended on, but if you can get a handle on it- rather than just getting another handle of it
As you say: “More power to you."
I cannot. I know myself, and I am telling you that is something I cannot control. Flat out.
And I think you struggle with it too. It's a we thing.
I just have better things to do than escape reality all the time.
But I think you have a bit more to go.
The compulsion is there.
The damage too, it's a-lot to repair.
It's hard to quit something you can't see.
But you can feel it taking hold of you once again.
This Addiction’s jurisdiction is no longer welcomed.
If you feel like you’re gonna cave, just have some watermelon.
I used lemons, they’re super sour to some.
Either way you can use almost anything to feel numb.
The encryption of your DNA some say.
Recover isn’t speedy, but it can be underway.
It takes a lot of patience, and self love.
All you need is to hit the bottom, no more kid gloves.
I've been reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. I found it wedged between a duplicate copy of some Christopher Hart cartoon guide and another Ultimate Guide to Drawing Stuff and Things. It's kind of like a self-help book for creative folk.
In the first few chapters, The Artist's Way introduces the concept of the shadow artist. Shadow artists don't have a badass origin story about being born in a pit of darkness, fulfilling some kind of prophecy, or anything like that. It's kind of a sad one, actually.
You're seven years old. You like to write. Maybe you draw too. You spend hours in your room with a pack of printer paper and colored pencils, pinning your designs to your walls. You write plays you make your siblings perform with you in your living room. You explore all the things that make you wonder. Your parents, your teachers, and all the well wishers cheer you on. Long story short, you create a ton of stuff all the time and you love every second of it.
Fast forward you're in high school. You've got a part-time job because your parents want you to learn some kind of responsibility or how to manage money. Now you just doodle for fun during your lunch break. Instead of writing stories, you're prepping for your SATs and ACTs. You're corralled into an AP Physics course and told it'll boost your class rank—so you take it instead of an art class. Then comes the college applications and career fairs. This is where it gets real. You want to be a painter or a poet or a playwright, but the same people who were once rooting for you are now telling you these things won't pay the bills. (Most have good intentions though). You take a second look at those printer paper drawings, and now they don't look as good as you thought. So you take their advice and put your passions on the back burner. You get the picture.
Shadow artists are basically people who grew up to love to create but walked way for one reason or another. Their parents told them they wouldn't make a living as a playwright. They didn't think they were good enough and that their form sucked. They thought they weren't true artists/creative folk. They hang around other creative people so that they can vicariously live out their dreams through other artists instead of claiming their own “birthright” as a creative person. And you can bet they beat themselves up about it. They're essentially caught between the dream to act and the fear of failing.
Sometimes to ensure some shred of success, a shadow artist pursues a “shadow career,” or a job similar to what he/she wants to do. So instead of being a fiction writer, you're a journalist. Instead of being a director, you're a film critic—and so on.
The other ugly part of being a shadow artist is when you believe you can't be “great” without giving up something else you really, really wanted. That author of that book I keep mentioning says, “In other words, if being an artist seems too good to be true to you, you will devise a price tag for it that strikes you as unpayable.” So, the price of being a talented comic artist means you'll die alone. If you want to be an incredible novelist you have to develop a dependency on alcohol and cigarettes. In your mind, you can't have it all.
I'm saying all this because I'm a recovering shadow artist. (At LSB we don't really like to talk about ourselves on here, but sometimes it just helps to use ourselves as examples.)
I grew up with a passion for drawing. I spent hours in the basement of my old house just drawing and hanging my pictures up on the wood-paneled walls with my mom's hospital tape. As I got older my sister and I started writing short stories back and forth (most of which were Spider-Man themed), and people said I had a knack for storytelling. I skipped AP classes and took art classes instead. At some point, someone said I can't make a living as an artist. I know this person genuinely meant well—most people who say this do. But eventually I started having these crazy thoughts about not being good enough and how all my ideas sucked. So what did I do? I walked away. Instead of being a fiction writer I majored in journalism (because those things are similar, right?). I reduced my art to being a hobby I did on weekends (until I became so self conscious I quit art entirely). Trying to write a story became an excruciating endeavor. This led to an on-and-off relationship with writing for a few years.
Getting back into it isn't easy. In my experience the best place to start is to take yourself seriously. You're an artist. You're a writer. You're a whatever-the-heck-you-want-to-be.
And it's okay to feel like you suck or are out of practice at first. Julia Cameron says, “By being willing to be a bad artist, you have the chance to BE an artist, and perhaps, over time, a good one.” Anne Lammott says something similar in her essay, “Shitty First Drafts.”
Ramble, mess up, get lost in it. You'll be busting your ass learning how to play again, and it'll be hard work.
You owe it to yourself to at least try.
Ash Wednesday! Pen Pals
I have a friend in California, he sends me postcards.
A super funny guy, and I can tell was never a lifeguard.
There are all kinds of places I still want to see.
But for now I have to settle for PA, crackers, and brie.
I am going out there, out west I mean.
I am SO tired of snow, and the East Coast Scene.
So off to Cali, I will eventually go.
Time for something new, time to grow.
Surfing, and hiking sound like just the thing.
Change my name officially, get another nose ring?
All sorts of opportunities out in the west.
Something different, a change in scenery, a whole new quest.
It's going to happen, eventually.
Gonna cost an arm and a leg to relocate, consequently.
California, yes I am dying to go back to you.
The only things I'll miss on the East Coast are the moos.
I have a friend in Cali, I hope he stays.
Or at least until his lease is up, I think it's May.
Sending postcards has been super neat.
We're both Russians, and love beets!
Sending me cards from my favorite places.
Joshua Tree, Sequoia, he covers all the basics.
West Coast here I come.
Just have to work a little bit harder and increase that income.