Thursday, December 04, 2014

What's in a name?

So, as mentioned in my last post, I recently got married, and I decided to take my husband's last name. Really, anyone who reads this blog already knows all of that information. Sorry, but you can't have the last 30 seconds of your life back.

It was sort of a no-brainer for me (which, if you know the last name of my high school longterm boyfriend, is a funny thing to say) for a couple of reasons: 1) his last name is totally inoffensive, solid, and sounds fine with my first name (even comes from the same ethnic background) and 2) I figured it would/will make it easier when we have kids, all one last name, etc. I just didn't put that much thought into it, which is funny because when I was younger (as in, elementary school) I would always say that there was NO CHANCE I'd take ANY man's name! I was who I was and that was the end of the story! Plus, I loved my alliterative name. So when did that suddenly change? Or is that exactly WHY it happened - because when I married my husband all my blustering and passionate assertions regarding what I would or would not do went out the window?

Anyway, changing your name is a bitch, regardless of the reason you're doing it. I expected that. But what I didn't expect was the amount of sadness I'd feel as I moved through the process. I feel like I'm losing a big part of myself, which is so strange to me. I even changed my middle name to be my maiden name so that it wouldn't be gone forever. My dad was the only son in his family and my brother is the only son in ours, meaning that if my brother doesn't have kids (and, for the next generation, a boy), our last name is donezo (as far as our branch of the family tree goes, at least). There are plenty of other Barrys out there in the world. So it was important to me that it continue on in some way, even if just in my middle name. I do plan on sneaking it into at least one of my children's middle names though (starting that campaign now).

One would think that it doesn't really matter, but it does (which became news to me when I considered HOW exactly I would change my name). I felt strongly about my name. I loved the way it sounded. People frequently called me by my first and last name, which, in the case of Bridgets everywhere, is normally LARGELY unnecessary (unless you're my friend Katie in whose case 95% of your friends are named Bridget, Brigid, or some variation thereof). So I always felt like Bridget Barry was just who I was.

So now that I'm not, what does that mean? How much does it truly matter? What's in a name? It absolutely breaks my heart that to the US Government, this Bridget Barry has ceased to exist. Knowing that I'll be a parent in coming years and the amount of thought I have ALREADY given to my future children's names and how they sound with our last name, it breaks my heart to think about my parents when they named me. They gave me the name Bridget Barry, never thinking to themselves "Oh it doesn't really matter because she'll change her last name partway through her life anyway." So in a way, changing my last name felt like a betrayal of them. Like I was saying I didn't want to be part of their family anymore.

My brain hasn't caught up with my credit cards and social security number. When people ask what the name on the reservation is I still say "Barry" (and sometimes it actually is). I have yet to introduce myself with my new last name. I wonder how long it'll take for it to flow off my tongue? Don't even get me started on my signature.

This post is largely an exercise in navel-gazing but still...I guess I just wanted to see if anyone else felt the same way when they changed their last name? Did you feel like a small part of you was dying, like you were suddenly cut off from an old friend? Like it was cold outside and you forgot your jacket? It's so melancholy! And I'm being much more dramatic than is strictly necessary, but hey. I had a great name. My mom couldn't wait to get rid of her maiden name because it was awful to spell (which is why it is such a great Security Question answer). That wasn't the case for me.

A few of my girlfriends got married pretty quickly after college and it takes me a second now to remember their maiden last names - not long, but it takes a beat. Their married names are just who they are now in my brain, and I wonder how long it'll take for them to feel the same way about mine? Or if it will be harder given the previously mentioned alliteration?

It's just so strange how this feels like a loss rather than a gain. I didn't gain a new last name, I lost my old one. So here's to Barry. You were great and you served me well. Thank you.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Well, a lot has happened in the year +  since I last posted. I didn't mean to abandon my blog. It wasn't a "conscious uncoupling" (looking at you, gwynnie). It just sort of got buried in the inbox of my life.

Last January I got engaged to the man who is now my husband (Jeremy). I wish I had been blogging throughout our entire engagement so that I could look back now and (hopefully) laugh at all of the things I stressed about through the wedding planning process, but alas, I did not. Probably because I was too busy being stressed about the wedding planning process.

So here I am, newly wed, full of things I want to record lest I forget no particular order:
  • People get really excited when you decide to get married. I found that to be really strange. Was I simply unaware of the level of support/cheerleading that existed for our relationship? Was everyone secretly talking to one another about how we were the best couple ever and should definitely get married, just waiting for us to reveal that we were going to do so? That's what one would think, based on how excited people were. Which is definitely nice, just a little surprising I guess. I don't really expect people to be terribly excited by any of my major life decisions. Maybe they just wanted cake...?
  • To anyone planning a wedding, or any large event, or really, anyone living life: It's embarrassing to even type this because it's been said so many times before. But maybe me saying it one more time is the thing that will finally get through to you (because it never got through to me): The things you worry about are not going to happen. Or, if they do, you really aren't going to care about them, and the obsessive worrying you did before is really not going to have prepared you one bit. The things that you did NOT worry about, though, those are probably going to happen. So you think to yourself, ok, then I'll just worry about EVERYTHING...but what's the point? Just let go. In my experience, anxiety is like an octopus. First of all, it's just gross. But second, it has a bunch of different legs coming at you from different angles trying to restrict you and hold you down. Or maybe anxiety is like quicksand. I don't know, stick with me here. The point is that whatever anxiety is, I have found that if I just stop fighting it, it gets bored and lets me go. Don't engage with it. Let it bore you. Let it try mutating into anything it can to try to scare you and get you involved again. But try not to engage. I figured it out - anxiety is a Boggart (if you don't know what that is, you haven't read Harry Potter and you probably shouldn't be reading this blog anyway). It'll transform into whatever it thinks will scare you the if you can just laugh at it, it'll go away. Sometimes I think to myself, "Well done, anxiety! You really put a lot of work into that one!" and it seems to make whatever it is less scary.
  • Do not attend your own cocktail hour at your wedding. You want to, I know. I know! I hear you! I hear you, but (and I wish this weren't true), you are going to regret it. I wish someone other than my mom had said this to me because let's be real, the last person you listen to when you're a bride and they're disagreeing with you is your mother. Your wedding day is like trying to take a sip from a firehose. You want to speak to everyone, you want to absorb all of the generous, ridiculous love that your friends and family are sending your way, but frankly, it's just impossible. If you're like me and my new husband (introverts), you frankly will not have the capacity to absorb even half of it. Be aware of yourself, know yourself, and be gentle with yourself. If you can't take 130 people wanting to talk to you at once, don't attend your cocktail hour. Reserve that time for the bridal party, or even for just you and your new spouse. Cram appetizers into your face, drink drinks. Revel and breathe in the fact that you are now husband and wife.
  • As level headed as you try to be, you're going to have some completely irrational bridal moments. Just accept it as truth. This is not because you're crazy, because all women are hysterical, or because you are somehow incapable of being the calm, cool, collected bride you want to be. It's because of the firehose. That much love coming your way at once is overwhelming. You want to live up to it, be worthy of it. But just accept that you will probably trip a couple of times - whether literally (over your own dress) or figuratively (I did both).
  • Everyone is going to step on your dress, all day. Literally all day. All over your dress. At least once, you will hear a huge "RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIP" and you will die inside just a little bit. Especially because it was the groom who did it (looking at you, Patterson).
  • People will be late. It doesn't really matter. Even the groom and groomsmen to the rehearsal. Still mad about it! But I'll stop. Eventually. Because it really didn't matter.
  • Your emotions will be so heightened that you will turn from serene love to absolute rage back to serene love at the flip of a switch. And that switch will be flipped a few times that day, or over that weekend. I guess, at the very least, it's a time of strong, intensely felt emotion. Is that a good spin to put on it? Maybe?
  • You'll feel as if no one understands. You're being a jerk, everyone understands.
  • You'll be a jerk. Or at least, you'll feel like a jerk. This will bother you for a while afterwards, but again, you're lucky, because everyone understands. At least, that's what you tell yourself.
  • You will remember almost nothing from your wedding day. Your wedding weekend, even. But, if you're like me, you'll be lucky, and you'll remember how happily and proudly you said your vows. And you'll remember how confident you felt in doing so.
  • You'll remember the first look in a way that makes you think you'll always remember the first look. You finally get to see your fiance (for a couple more hours) on the most important day of your lives so far, and he looks handsome, and you look beautiful, and you'll both start SOBBING before you even have a chance to look at each other properly because it's HERE and everything that you've been planning for months, for years even, has led to this one moment.
  • You will not get to spend even a fraction of the amount of time you want to spend with each person with them. Nothing will feel adequate - not if you're like me, and you want to express your love through truly being present with that person.
  • You will feel sad that you did not marry every single person there (funny, I know, but hear me out) had this ceremony to tell your fiance/spouse how much they mean to you publicly in front of all your friends and family. But you'll want a ceremony for each person there, to tell them how much you love and cherish each and every one of them. You hope that they know that you would definitely hold a ceremony to publicly vow to be there for them, for better or for worse.
  • You hope your bridal party knows that you chose them for reasons coming from your past, but also for reasons you anticipate in your future. You chose them because when you look back on your wedding day, you can't imagine not thinking about them as part of it. You stand up there giving your spouse your whole heart, and so you need your whole heart with you. You bring your bridal party up there with you because of the parts of your heart that live with them.  
  • Afterwards, you'll feel more exhausted (emotionally and physically) than anything you've ever experienced. Even if you've run a marathon or been through something traumatic. This was simultaneously the best and most challenging weekend of my life so far.

And you know what? It's just the beginning. I've said a bunch of times, I don't know how anyone gets married because the process of planning a wedding is SO HARD. So I don't understand how anyone makes it through that. But then, if you make it to the wedding, shouldn't you stay married forever, because you withstood the planning and didn't murder each other? We'll see, I guess. The divorce rate in this country disagrees wholeheartedly. I feel confident, though, because I love my husband, and not in a "you're my price charming" way. I love him in a "you clean up dog vomit at 3 am so I can keep sleeping" way.  I love him in a "I am actually not going to mention the fact that you left our brand new, wedding gift silverware sitting with a coffee stain on it on the kitchen counter literally directly on top of the dishwasher and next to the sink" (not going to mention it to him, I mean. He doesn't read my blog). Life is going to blow, and it's going to be awesome. Probably simultaneously. Life is going to be like trying to take a sip from a firehose, and I love him in a way where I want him to hold the firehose.

Friday, September 06, 2013

You can call me Queen B

and baby I'll rule, let me live that fantasy...

newest jam. can we talk about how she's 16 years old? 13 years younger than I currently am? I can't.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Sneaky vegan.

I just sat here eating my vegan sandwich and staring at that Chris Farley GIF for legit like 5 minutes before I opened a new post.

Clearly, I've been lazy about blogging this week, and I doubt you want to read a post encapsulating all of the meals I've eaten since Monday, so I'll try to hit the high notes.

I'm much better at vegan cooking now. I'd actually say this has made me better at cooking in general. I've tried new flavors and techniques that I otherwise probably wouldn't have.

I am still having Diet Coke cravings here and there, but I try to remind myself that it never really makes me feel better after I've had it, so I try to stay away.

I am having cheese cravings seriously pretty much every minute that I'm awake, and probably most minutes that I'm asleep too. Cheese is amazing. Vegan cheese is the worst. I am seriously considering throwing this vegan thing overboard and having pizza for dinner tonight.

This whole thing has really made me think about the role that food plays in my life. I am the first person to proclaim the wonders of sharing a good meal with friends, but then I remember the times that I've used food to comfort or reward myself, and it makes me kind of sad. Haven't I evolved beyond that point? Or matured beyond that point? What is it about our society that says: "You're good. To show you how good you are, you get to eat this cookie." Think about those messages. Why can't we communicate how much we value one another in other ways? I value you and your health, here's a beet. High five. Or, how about, I value you, let's spend some quality time together. I dunno. I know that someday I'll have kids and I'll shove a fistful of oreos into their mouths just to have silence for the amount of time it takes for them to chew and swallow, but I hope that I also communicate my approval and appreciation in other ways too.

Oh, and the title of this post - this week someone asked how the veganism was going and I said that I was being a "sneaky vegan." What I mean by that is that I've been eating a lot of processed soy and a lot of things that I shouldn't be eating only because they're vegan - for instance, a vegan cookie is still a cookie. Eating 5 vegan cookies may be better than eating 5 regular cookies, but it's still eating 5 cookies. I committed to this diet with the intention of focusing on whole foods and plants and I haven't really been doing so great at that. There are a million documentaries about how veganism is great for you, but I'd be interested to hear how veganism affects your body if you're NOT following a whole foods/plant based diet. What if all you eat is tofu and veganaise and fakon (fake bacon)?  Does anyone know where I can find information on that?

I'm back to juicing. I really do feel good after drinking juice in the morning.

That's all I've got for you today. OK BYE! Have a good weekend. 

Monday, March 04, 2013


That is how I feel right now re: veganism and blogging. More specifically the blogging than the veganism.

It's been 14 days since my first day of veganism. I'd say overall I still feel better than I did before trying veganism. My skin is in total breakout mode right now though, which sucks, and I'm having regular headaches. Apparently both are symptoms of detoxification of your system. So just gotta press on to get to the other side.

breakfast: bread + peanut butter. again. didn't have veggies to juice.
lunch: convinced a vendor to bring me a salad from Croutons (spinach + berries again).
dinner: ordered thai delivery. tried a new place. we liked it! victory! had drunken noodles with tofu and some corn fritters that were probably not vegan but LAY OFF ME I'M STARVING. (chris farley anyone?)

I seriously think of the above from SNL at least like 3x/week. I love Adam Sandler's face in that gif.

breakfast: vegan pancakes using this recipe from Marcus Samuelsson (delish! - but the recipe doesn't make much, so definitely double the recipe). We didn't have maple syrup (whoops) so we made do with jelly and peanut butter for our pancakes. You can taste the banana flavor, but I think I may have liked them more than regular pancakes because I didn't have a huge crash/food coma afterwards. Definitely worth a shot.

lunch: bean burger from Evolution in San Diego. That's right. We have vegan fast food restaurants here. Welcome to California. We had just taken the doggies to the park to run around before we left for the evening but it was SO HOT that none of them wanted to run. They all just wanted to stand in the shade and hide from other dogs slash the sun. So that was a bust.

dinner: Totally non-vegan. We drove up to Long Beach to see my Aunt TC, Uncle Bill, and cousins Therese and Billy (among other people) and ate at an Italian restaurant. Could we have eaten vegan dishes or made dishes vegan off their menu? Probably. But I didn't even feel like worrying about it. I want this diet choice to be a plus in my life, not some huge inconvenience when I'm trying to enjoy time with family. So I had linguine carbonara and Jeremy had penne with meatballs. And then, on the drive home, I stopped to get gas annnnnnd a Cadbury Egg because I NEEDED IT AND LAY OFF ME I'M STARVING. I figured I'd already eaten non-vegan once that night so the ship had sailed.

I got a caffeine free Diet Coke on the drive up and I didn't even finish it. I didn't even HALF finish it. I dunno. It's just sort of lost its appeal. It's a sad day.

breakfast: I don't even remember. I think I ate a spoonful of peanut butter.

lunch: leftover thai food from friday night.

dinner: salad that I made up (what? I'm a vegan chef now, don't worry about it). I went to Sprouts yesterday for the weekly grocery shop and the green beans were calling to me...they just looked so good. So I bought 'em. If a veggie calls to me, I'll buy it. If an aisle full of chocolate calls to me, I try not to buy it, but I still end up buying two dark chocolate bars, one with raspberries and one with orange (THEY WERE ON SALE). So anyway, I blanched the green beans then shocked them in an ice bath to stop the cooking so they were still green and crunchy. Then I toasted a handful of cashews on the stove, and added grape tomatoes, half an avocado, carrot shavings, baby arugula and spring mix, and some frozen corn that I'd roasted under the broiler until it was browning up a bit (in a good way, haha). I made a dressing from olive oil, the juice of 1 lime, dijon mustard (2-3 tablespoons) and red wine vinegar. Then I added salt + pepper. It was really good! Way better than I expected it would turn out.

Then after dinner I ate 4 vegan cookies (2 oatmeal raisin, 2 chocolate chip with walnuts which are the bomb) and finally caught up on the last few episodes of Dexter from this last season.

That show. Is so. Good.

Today I've eaten fruit. I am so lazy today. I had plenty of veggies to juice for breakfast but just did not feel like it. So I ate a banana instead. And for lunch, I brought some strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries and I'm just sort of nibbling them as I get hungry. I dunno. I'm uninspired. Sooooo yay.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The ball is finally rolling

I'm really getting used to this vegan thing - but the challenges of being vegan are still present - I'll get to that in a minute.

Last night I got home and made Vegan Tofu Tostadas from Two Peas and their Pod (link in recipe name) -- this blog is LEGIT. And the tostadas were even more legit. Vegan or not, these things are delicious.

Jeremy isn't the biggest fan of tofu - which is understandable. A lot of people don't enjoy the texture. I personally really like it and find it strangely comforting, so I didn't have a problem with the amount of tofu in the recipe, but I knew Jerms might not enjoy it quite so much. Then I remembered that we had Field Roast Mexican Chipotle vegan grain sausages in the fridge (Thanks, Whole Foods), so I chopped one of those up and threw it in the pan to saute with the veggies and tofu. I love Morningstar "Chicken" patties and black bean/veggie burgers, etc, but I think this is the most I have ever enjoyed veggie/grain based "meat" products. It was REALLY tasty. So if you see Field Roast at your store, I recommend you try some (again, vegan or not)!

I'm not a huge fan of "cooking spray" so I used olive oil on the corn tortillas rather than cooking spray, but I think next time I'd do as I was told - the oil completely soaked the tortillas and made them tough. I definitely used too much. Still tasty, though. I think I would also add black beans just because I pretty much add black beans to everything I can. Oh, and we'd run out of chili powder the night before, so I just used taco seasoning instead. Because really, what isn't better with taco seasoning?

We finished them off with chipotle flavored Tabasco sauce and they were delish. I highly recommend this recipe to anyone who is willing to try it! Here's the final product:

I finished off the night by finishing off the peanut butter cookie I'd picked up at Robek's during lunch the other day. I threw all the cookies in the freezer, which I love...frozen treats = more time to savor them :)

This morning the fridge was still devoid of cucumbers (I told it to grow some overnight but it clearly did not listen) so I went back to the sprouted grain bread with Trader Joe's salted crunchy peanut butter - which is really good, I feel the need to repeat that.

On to the challenges of being vegan -- whenever we have a meeting here that lasts through lunch with a vendor who is visiting from out of town, they will order lunch into the office and have it delivered and set up outside our meeting. So, that was the situation today, and they ordered from a place called Champagne Bakery that is just obscenely good in an entirely non-vegan way. Their cookies are works of art, and we all know how much I appreciate a good cookie. And their sandwiches are served on these baguettes that are so inappropriately good. Anyway, I'm obviously unnecessarily torturing myself/you right now. So I get out of my meeting to get lunch and I'm all excited, thinking that obviously they'll have some sort of vegetarian sandwich There were none. Or if there were, they were gone before I got there. And in all likelihood, if the sandwich wasn't centered around meat, it would have been centered around cheese, which I can't eat either. So I move down the line and luckily, there was a green salad that had no dairy (plus a vinaigrette option) and a large, fresh, delicious fruit salad. So I loaded my plate with greens and fruit and grabbed a bottle of water. Diet Coke, while vegan, is also something I'm staying away from at the moment, so just had to turn around and walk the other way, in the opposite direction of those lovely lovely cookies and pastries that were sitting at the end of the line. It's like the cookies and the Diet Coke were grouping themselves together to call out to me like, look, your one stop shop for not making good choices for yourself anymore. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that eating cookies and drinking Diet Coke are INHERENTLY bad choices. I could never say that and still be who I am. But for me, right now, I feel like it's a better choice to steer clear of them and load up on more fruit and veggies. So yeah. Sometimes, being a vegan straight up blows.

Not sure what's for dinner tonight. Jeremy has had a couple of friends unexpectedly drop into town so I think he'll be going out to dinner with them. Which means I'll probably make the "buffalo" cauliflower dish I've had my eye on that Jeremy was not thrilled about trying. Or maybe chili leftovers. Or maybe this is boring for other people to read. But I definitely see another vegan cookie in my near near future...

Hope everyone's having a great week and is ready for Friday and the weekend! :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Day I'm tired of's Wednesday.

Yesterday ended on a high note, vegan-wise. The chili (you can find the recipe here) was really tasty. Jeremy added more of the spices than the recipe called for, due to the fact that we'd heard it was bland. I topped mine with some nutritional yeast (which is inactive yeast flakes that have a nutty/cheesy/salty taste to them and are actually quite nutritious) which tasted good. We also cut up an avocado and shared that to top our chili. Overall, I'd say the recipe was really good, but I'd add more quinoa next time to increase the body of the chili.Also, the prep time that is called for in the recipe (10 minutes) is only applicable to Iron Chefs. I cannot chop that many vegetables in that much time. It probably took me 30 minutes of chopping to get everything ready, and then I had my super helpful sous chef opening cans, rinsing beans, and measuring spices on the side. So - allow yourself a bit more time, and make the quinoa ahead of time as well.

(While I'm at are the black bean quinoa burgers we made the other night).

THENNNNNNN after dinner we watched Pitch Perfect which arrived on Blu Ray from amazon yesterday (I loved it so I bought it for keeps). Have you seen that movie? If you haven't, please do so immediately. It's actually hilarious, and the songs are awesome. AND, for my fellow wahoos, the Hullabahoos are in the movie! I actually shushed Jeremy really aggressively at the point that they said "From the University of Virginia, the Hullabahoos!" and he may have gotten mad for a few minutes...haha. During Pitch Perfect, we enjoyed our vegan Red Velvet cupcakes from Sprinkles...they were SO GOOD! Honestly, they may have  been better than traditional Sprinkles Red Velvet cupcakes. They use coconut oil (which you can taste) and a tofu based frosting (can't taste that) and the cake is super moist. Yum! I'll definitely be buying those in the future.

Last night before bed I decided to give chamomile tea a shot at relaxing me and making me sleep well, and it actually did help I think. I felt relaxed before bed and slept relatively better than I have been sleeping generally. So that's a win.

This morning I was not feeling like juicing (also didn't have any cucumbers left) so I had a piece of my sprouted grain bread with Trader Joe's salted crunchy peanut butter for breakfast (their natural PB is better than Whole Foods, IMO). The lovely people from Kong brought  lunch for us today and I ordered a sandwich with roasted red peppers, hummus, arugula, tomatoes, and cucumbers. It was delish! I think the amount of oil in the bread really helped, but it was a welcome break from my spinach salad doldrums.

Speaking of which, Molly Laufer shared this blog with me as another resource for vegan recipes, as well as sending me an email full of her favorite vegan recipes that I could make! How awesome is that? Thanks again Smolls! :)

So, lessons learned so far:
  • Being vegan requires a lot of forethought 
  • Being vegan is a lot easier with support from your friends :) 
 As of now, I still say that I'm "trying" veganism instead of self-identifying as vegan. I'm not sure I'll ever truly be vegan...but probably more likely Vegan with Benefits as Sarah says. 

A special HELLO to Molly and Annie Vaughn who are likely reading this together around 3 am ;-)