Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November Updates

Okay, okay, okay. I fail Vegan MoFo to a ridiculous degree. I'm sorry. It's not for lack of news, food, or inspiration.

In October, I was in Colorado with my family. My 8 year old nephew, N, was scheduled to have some intense surgery. Basically, he has cerebral palsy, and his hamstrings are extremely tight. He's already undergone a few procedures to help him walk better, including botox and casting, and tendon lengthening. Up until now, he's used a wheel chair, a walker, AFOs, and molded-plastic and velco braces to get around, and he's done well for himself, but he has the bad habit of W sitting. W sitting is basically sitting on his knees with his feet and calves splayed out to either side of his body--which above, looks like a W. Sitting in this position has turned his hips out, and his knees in, so his doctors decided that this needed to be corrected immediately. When I first heard about the surgery, I was told he would undergo three separate procedures at once, his hips would be broken, they would realign his knees, and they would take the muscle from the back of one of his calves and move it to the front. Yikes! It all sounded like too much, and I know my mother, N's legal guardian, was overwhelmed. As luck would have it, I wasn't scheduled to teach in October, and so I would be able to spend nearly the whole month with my family, be there for the surgery, and also for Halloween and my father's birthday, while still making it back to Austin for the presidential election. Unfortunately, I did not really have the time, energy, or means to blog most of the time I was in Colorado, but I think this is a pretty damn good excuse.

The hospital stay was intense, but overall, the trip was great, and I feel so fortunate that I could take it. N ended up only requiring one surgery for the time being, but that--breaking his hips--necessitated an almost-full body cast, starting below his pecs and going all the way down to his ankles. His recovery time was also increased, although his hospital stay was cut down by a few days. N is still in his cast, but we be getting out of it just before Thanksgiving. He's uncomfortable, and grumpy to be so immobile, but as rascally as ever.

While in Denver, I managed to make it to my favorite restaurant a few times, as well as try some vegan ice creams that aren't available in Austin, and I'll review those in a later post. I also got a chance to hang out with H, and see her new house, and to catch up with a former roommate.

Just before my trip, I had been in contact with Addie Broyles, the food editor for our local newspaper. I ended up winning a small contest by talking about my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes, and she mentioned that she'd be interested in posting the recipe. Last week, she held a photo shoot for the food and the chefs, and I got to meet the creative and sweet Diann, who is also having a recipe published. I was ecstatic when I realized that Addie had picked two vegans for the feature, especially when I returned to Austin and found out she had interviewed my friends, students and coworkers at NE/ Casa de Luz for a feature about macrobiotics. I feel so grateful to live in a city where the major paper acknowledges vegans, and doesn't compartmentalize us. If you're an Austinite, pick up a copy of the Austin American Statesman on Monday, November 24 to see all the Thanksgiving side dishes. Also, if you're on Twitter, you can follow Addie, or join the Austin Food Bloggers group on Facebook (assuming you're in Austina and a blogger).

Last week I also notice that someone had scraped my entire blog and was using the posts for their gaming site to try and sell illegal WoW gold. They had also scraped a severely right wing racist blog, and I think the most offensive aspect of all was having my name (my posts were stolen word for word, with my name intact on the recipes) associated with that kind of vitriol. Thankfully, JD notified the fake blog's admin that they had violated copyright, and within minutes, all of my content was down.

It's been a crazy month, and things probably aren't going to slow down until after the new year.

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