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20 April 2013

On Work


They don't pay me to think anymore, so I tend to think hard anyway. When I'm speeding home from closing shift, downing 800 mL to 1 L of water in order to rehydrate while blasting Rage Against the Machine, my mind runs in high gear. It's time to write.

It's difficult to be consistent in other areas of life when one's job is inconsistent. Let us begin with this premise. Being a cashier and having a standing sedentary job is no more healthy than being a desk jockey with a sitting sedentary job. The inconsistent hours, workload, and cast of characters is beginning to wear on me. When a job begins to impact my health negatively, in preventable ways, then it's time to go. This is a job, not my career.



Here's another level of my job dissatisfaction: cashiers in a grocery store are nonessential. First, let us begin with the cashier part of this thesis. Now we are replaced by machines in many stores with self-check. One person can monitor many machines. The matrix is arriving. Humans can at least respond to more varied questions and issues in more varied ways than machines, so far.

Second, grocery stores are nonessential. WHAT?! Yes, I am that much of a radical vegan anarchist tree-hugger to make that claim. Globalisation of our food supply has created demand for products that are not always appropriate to one's time and space. Of course having certain people specialise in land cultivation leaves others free for mind cultivation, and I am not judging the rightness or wrongness of this arrangement. On a personal level, having recently helped plant a garden, in cultivating the land, I am cultivating the mind. I would much rather be creating products of use rather than be complicit in a system that consumes enormous resources in order to create a place to purchase food in a top-down manner (the company sets the price in €£¥$; no bartering skills or goods for stuff), in an unnatural, climate-controlled setting, and that squeezes the workers in order to turn a profit.

There's not much of a way to avoid capitalism in its entirety in twenty-first century America. The very iPad and Internet infrastructure I am using to criticise the system are products of said system. I sit here in Nike combat pants and other friable fibre clothing that are products of said system. I was returning home from closing shift last weekend and blasting Rage Against the Machine's "Know Your Enemy." Yeah, I do, actually. It's that which is against my values. It's the machine. Footnote here that enemy is a conventional reality designation with no meaning in ultimate reality; therefore, I will not cling to an "us against them" mentality.

What can I do? Uno, find a new job that involves mission-critical work and is a little smaller in scale. Dos, shop local. Know your producer. Tres, reduce, reuse, recycle. Cuatro, create less demand. Query whether you really need certain modern conveniences.

I'm VGF and have to be a master of deconstructing and rebuilding, currently on a tight budget. Let's take apart this Food Lion back-of-the-bag recipe.

It turned out too sweet for my taste because I used VGF pumpkin pie filling. Never again. Processed food is too rich for my blood, and I ended up chucking most of this because it sat so heavily in my stomach. See? Factory food doesn’t fit in my life. My suggestions are in the recipe below for making this less-sugary. Use unsweetened pure pumpkin puree and unsweetened nondairy yoghurt.



Butterscotch Cream Cheeze Bars
Modified from “Butterscotch Cream Cheese Bars” from the back of a bag of Food Lion brand butterscotch chips (which are so chemicalised they are VGF)

1 11-ounce package butterscotch chips
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup coconut oil, room temperature
2 cups oatcake crumbs (I used two 8.8-ounce boxes of Nairn’s oatcakes, which may not actually be GF, and could also be the reason for the dessert’s heaviness; use whatever graham cracker type crumbs you have around, or make a oat-date-nut crust http://www.gothicgranola.com/2012/03/circular.html)

6 ounces non-dairy yoghurt (I used Whole Soy’s plain, which is ridiculously sweet for plain yoghurt at 12 grams of sugar per serving—this is not healthy for b-fast hence why it is in dessert)
1 cup cashews, soaked overnight
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons arrowroot
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves

1 cup pecans

Place oatcake crumbs in a large bowl. Line a 11*7-inch casserole with parchment and grease the parchment with a little coconut oil. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the coconut oil, butterscotch chips, and pumpkin until melted and combined. Pour over the crust crumbs and mix to combine. Press 2/3 of the crust mixture into the bottom of the pan.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a blender or food processor, combine the yoghurt, pumpkin, cashews, arrowroot, vanilla, and vanilla until smooth. Pour on top of the crust in the pan. Crush the pecans lightly with your hands and mix into the remaining crust mixture. Crumble the pecan mixture over the top of the pumpkin filling. Bake for 35 minutes or until the filling looks dry around the edges and is mostly set when gently jiggled.  Cool in the pan completely before slicing. For best results, refrigerate overnight before serving.



Oh, and when did my politics become so radical? It wasn't because of Princelton since that institution pumps out sheep for Wall Street and Capitol Hill like you wouldn't believe. It literally comes from what I eat, which is not the mainstream SAD (Standard American Diet). What you eat creates your body creates your thoughts. Want to think differently? Eat differently.

The core [values] of my being suffers from stress right now. This manifests as belly fat.

My voice is not coming from the body I want to be in.

I am changing this. I am letting go of that which does not serve me while creating that which does.