Saturday, May 19, 2007

Being Tagged Forces Me To Post Sooner!

It's Saturday & I have tons of paperwork to sort through, but I just got tagged
by Scottish Vegan to share seven random things about myself. Since I had planned to procrastinate on the paperwork anyway, here goes my seven:

1) At one point in my life, I thought that I might make mosaics for a living.

In the interim of taking a severance package from my corporate job and doing what I do now, I decided to go to Italy to take a mosaics class from the masters in Ravenna. I had always been fascinated by the intricacy & delicate details in mosaics and I had the opportunity to take some time off & pursue my interests. I started harbouring fantasies about coming back from Ravenna with a new career as a mosaics artist and blissfully making mosaics for a living. I had a wonderful trip with my friends, enjoyed the town , food & it's art throughly rich in byzantine history, but I absolutely detested making mosaics.

I was deathly afraid of getting glass/stone shards in my eyes as I used the small hammer & chisel to cut the smalti into tiny tiles. In the beginning, I had no control over the hammer & smashed a few expensive gold-leafed smalti. The cement & lime were caustic and the traditionally seriously strong glue made from rabbits smelled terribly. It was one of the most tedious things I have ever had to do and I couldn't believe that I paid money to do so.

2) I have seen first-hand how the super-rich live.

A model friend of mine's multi-bizillionaire boyfriend, who has now also become a friend, has flown us on his private jet down to his spectacular Palm Beach mansion filled with actual Picassos & all the Impressionists where we drank wine twenty to thirty years older than me. They invited us for some skiing in Aspen and took us out to the Caribbean onto his stupendously sumptuous yacht- our state room was so beautiful, there were photographs by Horst, a billion count Italian sheets, heated towel racks and a bedside computerized panel to control everything from the shades, to the lighting, to music, to drop-down tv screen & selection of movies...all on the water.

It's all so decadent, though certainly not so environmentally friendly. Fcat & I are thrilled to have been privy to such privilege, however, not to sound corny, but each time I have returned from one of those outrageous trips, I am always glad to come home to my little 465sq ft studio to see my most precious treasure, Booboo.

3) I don't have a driver's license because I do not drive.

Born & raised in New York City, I never needed to drive and consequently, never got my license. Subway, buses & my feet get me where I need to go along with the occasional taxi. Ah, so ahead of the pro-environment curve I was at the tender age of eighteen when I should have scheduled my driving test and never did.

4) I have been going to the same dentist since I was three years old.

5) Six years ago, I was a selfish meat eating, fur wearing, label whore.

Before turning vegetarian and way before going vegan, I was a diehard meat-eater. I liked my steak bloody and I relished my lamb chops. I also wore fur with impunity- telling all that I had no qualms nor guilt over the use of any animal. I exceled in the conspicuous consumption of luxury goods & designer labels. It was extremely important to be at the hot parties & the newest, latest & greatest restaurants.

Then two pivotal moments occurred: Booboo came into my life; she was my first companion animal and I read, " Fast Food Nation". Slowly but surely, the tide started to turn. Intially, I stopped eating meat because I was disgusted by what could possibly be in it. Eventually, as I grew to love Booboo- my synpases were on overdrive. I realized that all animals were sentient creatures. I saw a late night anti-fur commercial and I saw Booboo in that mink cage. I had an epiphany and my priorities began to change. The furs were sent off to Coats For Cubs and the cruelty-based designer shoes & bags will be sold on craigslist & ebay where hopefully the proceeds will provide me with a more compassionately chic & sustainable wardrobe.

6) I save orchids from the trash.

People throw out orchids after the flowers drop because they don't realize that orchids flower again or they just don't know how to care for them. I have rescued the saddest looking orchids with one wrinky leaf left and with time & patience, they can grow again. At one point, I was nursing so many sad orchids that Grandma & Fcat insisted that I get rid of them, I persisted. The way I see it, plants are living things and why should they be cast aside just because they no longer look pretty?

7) Four years ago, I started a dog sweater business called Booboo Buttercup.

Grandma & I designed & knitted dog sweaters. My original idea had been dog sweaters with matching people hats & scarves. We sold to a few small stores and got some great feedback, but then I got really busy with casting & production that I no longer had the time to go and hawk our wares to the stores. They were pretty damn cute though. We still have some sweaters left & a ton of yarn. Grandma wants me to sell them on Ebay.

We first tried the sweaters on Booboo because we didn't have a dog. Booboo was fine walking around for two seconds until she decided that she could no longer move with the dreaded thing on her- so she lay down and refused to move until it was taken off.

We have so much yarn left, but it's not vegan. I will knit what we have left as gifts and when all that yarn is finally used up, I look forward to buying vegan/organic yarns like hemp & corn.

Well there you have it, my post of random things about myself. Hmm, let's see who can I tag? I'm sure this has been going around, so excuse me if you've already done this or have neither the time nor the inclination to do so but I tag Vegan Noodle from Walking The Vegan Line and Megan the Vegan. Happy random tags!


anony-mouse said...


I can proudly say I knew all seven things about you...except the whole I'm going to be a mosaic artist, I knew you went and hated it, but I never thought you actually considered it as a living.

And um, I should definitely get credit for getting you to get Boo. Because you know, you weren't going to until I begged. :)

Getting glasses tomorrow and outlining the summer budget with Daddy, then will call you. ♥

b36Kitchen said...

i witnessed mosaic's being made in italy and purchased one last year while i was there..i too was afraid of getting stone shards in my eyes while i waited there for them to pack up my purchase i couldn't imagine actually sitting there and hammering away at stone all day. i think you made the right choice.


Vegan_Noodle said...

Very cool all those random things about you! I had the same dentist all my life too until I got to grad school and he told me I should probably find a dentist that didn't have kid sized chairs, disney movies played, and a treasure chest of toys for being good during a teeth cleaning (he is a pediatric dentist). I have hated all dentists I've had since then :-( I will start thinking about the 7 random things about myself and post soon... thanks for the tag!

Urban Vegan said...

Very cool VKO factoids. You are truly a creative, kind, compassionate person. I can relate to a lot of your story (except I don't know many uber-wealthy folks!) It's fun to get to know my blogger friends.

Funny, I have a freind who is also a ntaive NYer and also doesn't have her licesnse. In the city, you really don't need it. We have one car (Omni has to drive to work), but I only drive it about 2x a year b/c I walk/subway to work, too.

We have a pretty cool mosaic artist who is famous here in Philly. His name is Isaiah, and he has "mosaic-ed" many building walls here in the city--and he also did a huge kitchen island in the ad agency where I work.

You might find his story intersting....

Enjoy your Sunday...

scottishvegan said...

They were really interesting random facts! I don’t know anything about making mosaics, but can’t you wear goggles or something so that little bits don’t fly in to your eyes? I think if I’d been on that yacht I would constantly be walking around thinking “what a waste of money”…he he he! I only got my driver’s license when I moved to the US as I walked or took the bus/train at home (or had Wee G drive me around!), but it’s so much harder to do that in LA! I think it’s so cool that someone who loved meat so much and even wore fur (OMG!) has become vegan! Yay! I am curious, when you told people you had no qualms or guilt over the use of any animal, are you saying that you really did, but wouldn’t admit it then? The little doggy jumpers are so cute!

aTxVegn said...

I love to hear about how people came to veganism. Your facts about you are very interesting. I used to work in stained glass and got glass crumbs embedded all over me. I think you've found your try calling.

I meant to tell you how cute you and Booboo look in the post below.

bazu said...

I loved reading the 7 things about you- you are such an interesting and passionate person. I have to admit, my favorite part of all was the photo of poor BooBoo in that sweater, refusing to move! It is beyond percious. You are so right- I see the reasons for my ethical veganism reflected in my cats' faces every day.

springsandwells said...

I loved your 7 random things! very well done!

I love the mosaics in ravenna, but I've never tried making them. I also know just what you mean about the rabbit glue. We used that for our canvases when I studied painting in italy.

I love the tales of the super-rich lifestyles. amazing!

Most of all, I love the pictures of booboo dressed in dog sweaters. Did you advertise in Bark magazine? I think I remember your products.

:) amey

Neva Vegan said...

Cool facts. It's interesting to me that one animal Booboo made such a powerful change in your life possible.

Funny about people looking like their companion animals! Sometimes it happens but not always.

Kati said...

Oh my gosh - how cute is Booboo in that little sweater??

I too am a reformed carnivore - loved that steak...but now I can't even fathom what kind of mindset I was in back then. I feel much better on this side of the fence.

You have certainly led an interesting life - thanks for sharing!

vko said...

Hello all- I'm usually so bad with getting back on comments though I love love love to read all your comments...

anony-mouse: of course you get credit for convincing me to get Booboo, I will have to make that it's own post soon.

Jenna: glad that you witnessed the mosaic shards flying, definitely was not going to be good at it being scared!

Vegan Noodle: that's funny about your pediatric dentist. My dentist still tells me the story that he told me when I was three about monster cavities living in the cave of my mouth...every time.

UV: thanks for the link to the mosaic artist! I was going to tag you, but I figured you had already been tagged sometime ago.

Scottich Vegan: yes, there were goggles but they were rubbery plastic, hot & hard to see-thru and as for having no qualms about using animals, I really had not given animal suffering any thought- I had never had a pet when I was growing up & never really thought about them being scared & suffering. I was also saying it loudly so that I wouldn't have to give it any thought- to block it out any recognition of guilt.

Atxvgn- stained glass sounds like fun, repeat "sounds" like fun. thank you- I think Booboo always looks cute!

Bazu- Booboo was the funniest because she was totally fine ubtil she realized that the sweater was really on her. I wanted to tag you too but I thought you had done this awhile ago, no?

Amey- that's so cool that you studied painting in Italy! And I'm glad you like the dog sweaters- I never really go it together enough to advertise...maybe they stole my sweater design...hmmm...

Neva- it is funny isn't it? sometimes all it is one pivotal person or in my case, on e Booboo for the world to start changing...

Tamara said...

As for the vegan yarn, you might try - I know there is lots of cool yarn there and I would imagine some of it is vegan, although I haven't checked because I haven't had time to knit in ages! :-)

natalilly said...

I have 8 cats, and they each have the middle name "BooBoo", because that is invariously what they get called.

It was when the first two came into my life (Mama Kitty and her son, L'il Frito) that I turned to veganism for good...when I took L'il Frito to the vet to be neutered, I had to leave him overnight for the first time. It upset me so much; I was worried about him feeling lonely and/or abandoned. But it was when my then-boyfriend got on my case about it, told me to "lighten up" and "stop being so ridiculous", that produced the anger and fuel I needed to make a huge, enlightened change in my life. The next day, on researching the topic (sentient beings, animal emotions, etc.) I found John Robbin's Diet for a New America and began reading it immediately. I was already a vegetarian (for 11 years) and had gone vegan in the past for "health reasons", but within the first 10 pages of reading that book, I knew my life had changed drastically, and I became vegan again--for life--, this time by a force much more powerful than just the care of my own body!

So, to sum up, the carnivorous Booboos of the world are creating compassionate vegans everywhere!

(I have also considered making a living with mosaic art, but I have only gone so far as the library for books---->not to Italy for classes)

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