About

Just me sipping coffee

I’m on Facebook; see my profile here.

Follow me on Twitter.

Also see My Crusade.

Hi, my name is Mike. I’m married to J and we have two girls: 10-year-old Chloe and 5-year-old Ainsley. We have a dog, Sammie; a female cat, Kitty; and a male poly-dactyl cat, Trouble. J works a traditional outside-the-home job and I’ve been working from home (no daycare, yeah!) for almost five years. We live in Edwardsville, IL, which is 15 miles from downtown St. Louis (go Cubs!).

Okay, the header text: A guide to life (if you’re a neurotic, liberal, health-obsessed, social-phobic vegan). What’s that all about? Let’s start at “vegan” and end on “A guide to life.”

Vegan

Elsewhere I will eventually post something about WHY we’re into this lifestyle, but here’s a quick summary. I don’t eat meat, dairy, honey, or eggs and try to avoid all other animal products like leather, wool, silk, etc. The three main reasons (not in order of importance) are: 1) to reduce environmental destruction 2) it’s a healthier way to live and 3) to reduce animal suffering.Β  I’ve been a vegetarian for about five years and a vegan for three. J has been an almost-vegetarian for five years (she ate fish) and a vegan for, I think, two years. Chloe has been a vegetarian on-and-off for four years. Ainsley would be a vegetarian weren’t for her insistence on eating “Club on flat bread” sandwiches at Subway.

Social phobic

For those in the know, social anxiety disorder will seriously f*!^ up your s*!t. Some people are scared of heights. I’m not. Some people are scared of spiders. I will lick a hairy (non-poisonous) spider if you ask me to. Some people are scared of the number 13. I love the number 13; I will write it on my face. I would trade all three of these phobias and twenty more for the one I have. I’m scared of other people, but in weird ways. I like going to movies by myself, even in a packed theater. I like riding my bike in heavy traffic. I like sitting by myself in libraries, bookstores, coffee shops, etc., but if you’re an acquaintance from my past, I’ll probably hide under a table to keep you from seeing me. If you’re a stranger and you strike up a conversation with me, I’m super pleasant and all smiley, but inside the anxiety is churning and soon I’ll be gone. I don’t like phones; I don’t call people just to chat–if at all. Before cell phones and caller-id, the sound of a ringing phone sent me into a panic. If you want to torture me, force me to go to a wedding, funeral, work picnic or family reunion.

Health-Obsessed

You are what you eat. It’s a boring cliche, but it’s also true. That’s why I have almost eliminated junk food from my diet. I eat fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. I say “almost” because I do struggle with impulseΒ  or emotional eating from time to time. I will have to delve deeper into this later. BV, or before vegan, I would regularly over-indulge on junk, so I credit that transition for lowering my cholesterol to around 150

I exercise 5 to 6 days a week. If you count bicycling as exercise (I think of it more as transportation), I get some exercise every day of the week. My routine usually involves jogging and weight lifting.

Liberal

No comment, yet. For now an excerpt from a Dave Barry column: “Do we truly believe that ALL red-state residents are ignorant racist fascist knuckle-dragging NASCAR-obsessed cousin-marrying roadkill-eating tobacco-juice-dribbling gun-fondling religious fanatic rednecks; or that ALL blue-state residents are godless unpatriotic pierced-nose Volvo-driving France-loving left-wing communist latte-sucking tofu-chomping holistic-wacko neurotic vegan weenie perverts?”

Neurotic

From Wikipedia: “According to Dr. George Boeree, effects of neurosis can involve: anxiety, sadness or depression, anger, irritability, mental confusion, low sense of self-worth, etc., behavioral symptoms such as phobic avoidance, vigilance, impulsive and compulsive acts, lethargy, etc., cognitive problems such as unpleasant or disturbing thoughts, repetition of thoughts and obsession, habitual fantasizing, negativity and cynicism, etc. Interpersonally, neurosis involves dependency, aggressiveness, perfectionism, schizoid isolation, socio-culturally inappropriate behaviors, etc.”

Well, doesn’t this include every goddamn person on the planet?

A guide to life

I’m obviously being ironic here. I will try not to come across like my way of living is superior to yours. We need all kinds of people or this place would blow, right? I respect your right to eat whatever you want. I respect your right to drive a Hummer. I respect your right to shoot guns and to admire Sarah Palin.

Other Sh@*

Before my first post is, er, posted, in my mind, this blog will be concerned with finding the best way to life. Philosophers have been mulling this over for two thousand-some years. Again, I don’t think MY way is the BEST way or the way YOU should live. That’s for you to figure out. What I thought ten years ago, is nothing like what I think in now or what I will think in 2020. It’s all about growth. Learning leads to an expansion of how we see the world.

On one level this space is meant to keep me honest. I am living a life that many consider odd (one half of the title meaning). The more I learn about how the world and my body works, the more that has fallen away. The life I have crafted does not allow zoning out in front of a television. It doesn’t allow consumption of animal products. It keeps me out of an automobile and on a bicycle or bus. It keeps me consuming natural, whole foods (like a banana instead of banana bread, an apple instead of apple pie, or a smoothie instead of ice cream). It keeps me exercising, practicing yoga, meditating. It keeps me reading, learning, thinking, writing.

I guess it all means that I try to treat the earth, its inhabitants (human and otherwise) and myself with supreme respect. Is that really so odd? Like everyone else, I’m flawed (oh so flawed!), and I will be making fun of myself often.

Be well.

20 Responses to “About”

  1. Jeremy July 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    Just wanted to say… Stumbled across your site… Great sh@* and really enjoyd reading your posts – If you get five, check out my stuff (not obligatory I must add) http://jeremylebor.wordpress.com

    I write about wussy stuff, such as love and life! – Although it is not considered to be all ‘macho’ for a man to show emotion (or cry at movies!) I do believe it shows a mans strength not weakness to be able to express themselves… and no, I am not gay! – Anyway, I will be checking out your site regularly!

  2. Maha July 31, 2010 at 3:24 am #

    Love your blog πŸ™‚

  3. lookingforsomethingtofind July 31, 2010 at 4:59 am #

    I hate using the phone, I hate making appointments for that reason, same thing with acquaintance, the thing is I put out allot of effort to hide it, I’m a closet introvert lol. Anyways found your blog on freshly pressed, what’s funny is I am a former liberal (turned libertarian), former vegan, and starting to be a health nut again. Grew up in a whole grain house hold, I rebelled by eating red meat, and processed grains, that one was not one of my better ideas.

  4. Elizabeth July 31, 2010 at 8:00 am #

    I saw your post on Freshly Pressed and delved a little deeper when reading your content on your site! It’s a fresh of breath air and I really admire you for sticking to your guns (not literally!! ) and for being brutally honest.
    I share a lot of the same ideas that you do and it’s important to inform other idiots who otherwise have no clue and who think that Sarah Palin having her own show would be a good idea! Of course, not to mention being President!

  5. Joe July 31, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    Okay, maybe you can answer this for me. A vegan question. I get it that factory farming is horrible, and that avoiding meat and animal products will help (eventually) eliminate that. But what’s wrong with honey? It’s relatively easy to get it from local, small-time beekeepers – but what are they doing that is anything akin to factory farming? And isn’t raw, natural honey the healthiest (organic?) sweetener you can get?

    Just curious – I’ve never seen honey on “the list” of foods to avoid (although I’ll admit I haven’t been a student of vegan ways).

  6. teapotchronicles July 31, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    I have to admit, I love a person who can be steadfast in his beliefs, and still admit that they are only his beliefs. I think I’m going to enjoy this adventure… πŸ™‚

  7. Zainab Khawaja August 1, 2010 at 6:38 am #

    I absolutely adore your blog. Your lifestyle is completely different from mine. Its fascinating to read how you portray yourself so confidently as someone that so many people would find so different. i find that inspiring.
    if you have time, do check out my blog.
    πŸ™‚

  8. tmso August 1, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

    Vegans rule!! Great site. Bookmarked. Glad I found it. Thanks for writing it.

  9. lauriesterbens August 1, 2010 at 4:49 pm #

    Love your blog. I’ll be back. πŸ™‚
    Laurie Sterbens (semi-neurotic, politically unpredictable, health-obsessed, shamefully carnivorous, socially outgoing)

  10. Sandra Santos August 2, 2010 at 3:44 am #

    Fine blog. Fine to find a father sharing his view of live with the world. Keep on writing! πŸ˜‰

  11. Barbara August 2, 2010 at 7:54 am #

    Like others, I was lucky to stumble upon your site. Love it! Especially “If you want to torture me, force me to go to a wedding, funeral, work picnic or family reunion.” I avoid reunions, funerals and most work events on the regular.

  12. nursewrachette August 22, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    Dear friend, as I have said previously, you make me laugh and thats the best medicine.

  13. ReadersHeaven September 21, 2010 at 12:44 am #

    Hi, nice to meet you !

  14. Redneckprincess January 28, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    You make me laugh, sweet πŸ™‚ Look forward to future blogs!!

  15. linda January 28, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    Very admirable. I have been mostly vegetarian for many years. I find it difficult to give up chicken. And why are there not any vegetarian fast food places?! I hate to cook. No really hate to cook. I looooooooooove apple pie 😦 and I would really like to have a hummer, what a bummer. I’m sure that will never happen. But I agree with most of what you are saying. It’s easier for some people to live your way than others. Any effort is better than none. So I do what I can.

    My son does the same thing in stores when he sees people he used to know. What the heck? I do not understand that.

    Love your sense of humor, I have faved you.

  16. thesecretgirlforever January 28, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    im a vegetarian. i know many people who are vegan. it sounds very hard. :]

  17. StuckOutsideTheBox January 28, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    I love your blog. I am also a social phobic almost but not quite vegan. And judging by wikipedia’s definition, I’m also neurotic! And maybe health obsessed too, which kind of goes with the vegan thing. πŸ™‚

  18. One Change At A Time January 29, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    You’re AWESOME! I am working toward veganism. Right now, I am a proud veggie! oh! and I loved your post on the no coats on the toilet floor! LOL!!! I also use paper towel to open the restroom door on my way out… I thought I was the only one! Keep sharing your thoughts!

  19. thereadingdate January 30, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    Just found your blog on FP. Nice to find another vegan here! And I’m nodding in agreement to the social events you like to avoid – I also hate the phone.
    Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

  20. savedmylifetoday December 28, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

    Go generic comment go! So…I threw you into my Versatile Blogger ‘award’. In other words, I like(a lot) what I read here, and I think other people will too. Smile or ignore this!

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