I think I’m actually gonna post this on New York Magazine’s site (regarding a short food diary I did for them):
Hi. My name is Ted Leo. I am less than two months away from being 40 years old. I went vegetarian in 1988 and vegan in 1998. I am a pretty accomplished cook, and I generally treat my body well.
I was approached (again: I was approached – I did not go seeking this forum) by New York magazine to participate in this ongoing series by cataloguing my food and beverage intake from July 9 to July 14, inclusive. Knowing full well what a topsy-turvy few days this would be for me, I agreed to do it, thinking it might actually be interesting (not “BORING!!!!!!!,” DNICHE on 7/16/2010 at 12:31pm) to see just how crappy my eating was going to be, and thinking that, for those unfamiliar with the rigors, schedules, and limitations of touring the way that I do, this particular weekend, would offer an extreme example.
I rushed from Rhode Island to New Jersey on Thursday, July 8th, to take part in the wake and funeral ceremonies of my last grandparent. I woke on Friday morning and rushed to Manhattan to do a photo shoot for the Voice, then rushed back in time to shower, change, and make it to the afternoon wake service. I only had time for coffee. In between the afternoon and evening wake services, I rushed to Newark airport to pick up my sister and her family, who had flown in from overseas. By the time I got back to the house with them, I only had time for the one piece of pizza before the evening wake services. By the time I got back from that (and please understand that as the oldest child in my family, I was not just there to hob nob with relatives, but was required to be active in making sure that things went smoothly and others had what they needed, making it just a little bit harder to nourish myself during this time) I wasn’t really all that hungry, so I had a few drinks and went to bed.
The next day, I went to the funeral in the morning, before which, I wasn’t hungry, and then rushed straight from the cemetery, back to the airport to fly to Columbus, Oh., where I was meeting the rest of my band to perform that night. As I said, I ate a pretty decent veggie burger made with some actually wholesome ingredients in the evening. I guess I shouldn’t have been as honest as I was about the extra drinking, but I thought you might find it a little bit funny – sorry!
The next day, in Louisville, shocked me – it wasn’t for lack of trying that I didn’t have a decent meal that night, and on the way out in the morning (FLOURESCENTGREY on 7/20/2010 at 4:12pm), there happened to be a Whole Foods right next to the juncture of two highways we needed to travel on, so it was the convenient choice, and needing to leave before 10 AM, it seemed like the safest choice for being open.
As I mentioned, if you actually read the article, as soon as I got home, I made myself a pretty decent meal that involved more than just throwing some pasta in some boiling water.
It was a crazy weekend – that was the point – the point was not “Hey – look at me – I’m an idiot who doesn’t eat well and drinks too much!” The point was, “Well, these are the days you gave me, these are the days you get – sometimes we all go off the rails on our regimens a bit – here’s what one of those times looks like for me.”
I hope that some of this clarification allows you to look a little more kindly on my poor poor lost vegan soul.
I am, for the time being, once again at your anonymous mercy.
Now here’s where I bite back:
1. In general, you’ve got to be some kind of idiot to not understand that I wasn’t happy or proud of this diet over these few days, and though I was looking at it with humor, I was actually well aware of and calling attention to the crappiness of it, partly to make a point of what an anomalous horror show it was.
2. Again – it was 5 days – 5 weird stressful demanding days. Don’t extrapolate to make it seem like this is my life – I was explicit with a couple of caveats to that effect in the article itself.
3. To the people trying to school me on the proper etiquette for receiving communion at MY family’s funeral mass, HOW DARE YOU? Do not presume to tell me how I should engage with my history and family and culture and customs. In the moment, I took the symbol of “communion” at its face value, and I joined my family community, and partook in the ritual with them. If that bothers you, it’s your problem.
4. To KAFKASK – you’re right – I didn’t use the best words in describing my feelings on religion and my complete lack of belief, but where do you find the “better-than-thou attitude?” Seriously – where? It’s how I feel. I’d think the very fact that I chose to engage in the communion ritual with my family might go some way to dispelling that ridiculous bit of self-serving defensiveness of yours, if the complete lack of evidence for your assessment of me hadn’t already. And apparently it hadn’t, as your acolyte, ANNANIKITA, felt compelled to agree with you… TWICE!
5. To THEGREEKONE – we can meet if you want, and then you can do what you apparently have to do: “hurt me….badly.” You and your friend NYMONEY are real tough guys on the internet.
One thing I am sorry for is assuming that people wouldn’t resort to knee-jerk reactions to the word “vegan,” because let’s be honest – that’s what this is about. If Jamie Oliver or some fantabulous CSA admin or field to table advocate had had a weekend as rough as mine, I now have to assume that a lot of people here would be falling all over themselves to laugh at the alcohol he or she consumed and commiserate with him or her on what a crappy weekend of food he or she had.
xo – Ted Leo
Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I probably won’t respond.