She makes me cry.

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American Dream

I’m taking an English class that focuses on the American Dream, and it is really surprising to me the amount of people who think that the Dream is dead. And I guess it depends on what you think the Dream is.
If you think the dream is:

  • wealth
  • success
  • a nice home
  • a fancy car
  • etc

then yeah, I can see how someone might think that these things are unattainable for the average person today. The occurrence of these things in a family has certainly been dropping. Yes, education will put you in debt. No, your hard work might not make you rich. The thing is, I think that the basic idea of the American Dream is happiness.

The American Dream doesn’t guarantee your success is whatever you do, but rather it guarantees that you have the freedom to pursue success (if that is what makes you happy). The American Dream is the ability to pursue happiness, no matter what that may be. If you want to be a historian who specializes in some super obscure area, great. A doctor? A blogger? Maybe a street musician who works at a coffee shop for your whole life? Maybe all of them! The point is, you can do these things if you want to.

People move here from other countries because they don’t get that choice. They don’t get a chance to do what they want to. They have to do what their parents say, or what the government says, or what is available. In America we can do whatever the hell we want with our lives. We can be happy as individuals. That’s the American Dream. That’s the reason why I’m glad I live here.

I’ve recently renewed my job search (gotta save money for Portland!) and it is proving to be extremely difficult, stressful, and unfruitful. It has made me think a lot about employment in general and how fucked up it is that in order to survive we need to be employed. In order to SURVIVE. Not to go out for lunch, not to have a car, not to have a nice house, not to go on vacation, but to survive. I don’t need a job to survive right now because I have a roof over my head and someone who feeds me, but the majority of people do. Food isn’t free, water isn’t free, shelter isn’t free. Aren’t these our basic rights as a human? Shouldn’t we be allowed these at the least? What about those things that society deems necessary for a person to be an acceptable prisoner? Showers, clean clothes, shoes, don’t forget to smell nice…

Employment is slavery. People are chained to their jobs, kept in line by the threat of losing their basic rights on some employer’s whim. 

Employment is slavery and it consumes every waking (and sometimes dreaming) second of our lives.

Employment is slavery because having a job is no longer a freedom. It is a necessity. 

Portland

I’m moving to Portland this summer with a friend. 
With nothing but a suitcase, my guitar, and a little bit of cash I am leaving all of my family and starting my own life. 

I realize that this is going to be the hardest experience of my life. I realize that it’s pretty reckless and crazy. I think this is the best and possibly the only way for me to break out of the path I’m on right now. The path that I have been told is “right” my whole life. Going to college for years, having a career and a financially comfortable life just doesn’t sound appealing to me. 

Ever since I was old enough to start making plans for my future I have struggled with depression and a sense of hopelessness about it. The ideas I had for my future never made me feel fully content or excited. I’ve tried countless times to make the college/career path appealing to myself. Told myself I’d major in philosophy, maybe Scandinavian studies, become a naturopathic doctor, or maybe just spend my whole life studying music. But in the past couple months I have realized that no matter how obscure, inspirational or fun these fields may be, I don’t want to study them. I don’t want to spend half of the best years of my life in a classroom. I don’t want an important or well paying job that I’m just okay with. 

What I want from life is happiness. What I want is to look back on every year and say “yeah, that might have been really hard, back I am happy as fuck.” I don’t want to turn 40 and ask myself what I have done with my life. I don’t want what-if’s. I don’t want regrets. 

I’m moving to Portland this summer with almost nothing to force myself to live life. To say fuck society’s standards and to have a shitty job, a shitty apartment, to be utterly happy. To spend every one of my days doing things I enjoy; to play music on the street, meet new friends, to make art and make love and make my life beautiful.

This might seem like a childish plan to some people, and who knows? Maybe one day I will “grow up” and be “responsible”, but in the meantime, I’m going to live my dreams. 

But first, I need to save up some money and finish this year of school. 
Also, any tips would be appreciated. 🙂

Rainy days

It’s been raining all day today, and I absolutely love it. The rain inspires me, calms me down, and boosts my creativity. Have you even paid attention to how when you’re driving in the rain, every drop on your windshield glows with the light from taillights and streetlamps and store front signs? It’s really beautiful…

Anyways, along with a GIANT, and I’m talking biggest-bowl-in-my-house giant, salad, I made some rice and beans today. I had some avocado, cilantro and tomato that was going to go bad, and while I could have made guacamole with that, I didn’t want to end up gorging on tortilla chips to (inevitably) finish off the whole batch. So I just threw it all in a pan with some olive oil, seitan, and corn and voila!

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Serve with hot sauce, sriracha is my favorite 🙂

Lazy day vegan food

Today the rain ruined my picnic ideas so I made blue snickerdoodles with my little brother instead. I added nutmeg to the cinnamon and sugar topping and it tasted even better. I’m in love with nutmeg though, on everything. 😛 I don’t have a picture but take my advice and don’t try to turn your cookies blue. It wasn’t a very appealing color. Maybe I’ll do pink next time.

I was craving something warm so I made half of a spaghetti squash. I just cut it in half, plopped it face down on an oiled cookie sheet, and baked it at 350 until it was soft. Then I sprinkled cinnamon on top and ate it right out of the skin with a spoon! 

I also made some cheesy pasta with whole grain angel hair, follow your heart vegan mozzarella and nutritional yeast. 


Mix it up with some plain, unsweetened soy milk or almond milk and it tastes like heaven 🙂 You can also add Earth Balance to make it creamier and use different flavors of cheese.

Vegan peanut stirfry

This is one of my favorite dinners because it is super fast, easy, and delicious.

What you’ll need (for 1):
– 1/2 cup seitan (I made my own from this recipe)
– 1.5 cups Veggies (zucchini, carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, etc.)
– 1 small onion, chopped
– 2 cloves garlic
-Peanut sauce (I used this kind)
– 3tbls Sesame oil (or whatever kind you have)

Heat your pan (high heat), add a 1 tbls oil and fry the seitan until it’s crispy on the outside. Take out of pan and set aside. Reduce heat to medium high and add rest of oil. Saute your onions for about 2 minutes, more if you like them fully cooked. Add your other veggies and garlic and fry for a minute or so, and then add 1/4 cup water (or seitan broth if you have it) to steam and cook the veggies. If the water evaporates  before your veggies are cooked how you like, add more a little at a time. When your veggies are cooked to your liking and all the water is evaporated, put the seitan back in and add in as much peanut sauce as you like! Serve over rice. 🙂