I think this photo is Gollum-esque, no?

So I am going to come out of the fitness closet now… I may have mentioned my love for exercise in between ramblings about lube and quinoa, but I am not sure how much I have stressed the fact that I love it. I don’t like to mention this too much because it seems to twist panties left and right, like when I talk about genuinely loving vegetables… But whatever, haters gon’ hate, and I like to get sweaty in the name of fitness on the regular. Get out of me with your judgements.

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Yeah okay not really—we’re all going to die whether we pursue our passions or not. Tough nuggets. But it’s easy to get caught up in the rat race of bouncing from class to class, or from 9 to 5, or kids to soccer, or whatever stage of life you happen to be in. Time flies by so fast, one minute you’re upside down doing a keg stand at a white-trash themed rager and the next you’re sitting in your cubicle with a framed picture of your cat drinking one of those nasty Kombucha teas thinking, Where the F*ck Am I? And what does this all mean, and why does it matter? What did I contribute? It’s enough to make even the happiest of us feel a little bluesy on the days when we wonder what we are really accomplishing.

I remember when Steve Jobs died and my boss gathered us together to give us a speech about following your dreams—especially the ones that make you look batshit crazy. I don’t think we all need to up and quit our jobs to start knitting penis finger puppets to sell on Etsy (imagine what my Google search history looks like, people…) but,please, I beg you–if your work is not fulfilling then at least make sure you have a passion project. Give yourself a concrete goal and work toward it daily.

At the end of the week—scratch that—the end of the day, look back and ask yourself what you did that you are really, truly passionate about. This doesn’t always have to mean tackling your Big Passion Project (writing a novel, completing a marathon, or whatever) but can be as simple as cooking a meal with real food that nourishes your body, having a stimulating conversation about something that matters to you, or spending time with the people that are important. Fill your life with activity and people, not things, and I guarantee that you will feel a lot more fulfilled.

What are my passion projects? Well you’re reading one, right now…this is my hobby that pays in lube!

I also have a few more top secret projects up my nutty sleeves, and when I am not hunched over my computer working on one of my zillion writing projects, or knee deep in lube, I also love spending my hard-earned greenery on high quality food, live music, and travel. My most recent bizarro trip was to the Poconos to compete in a Tough Mudder with a handful of my closest friends, most of them who date back to (gasp!) high school. One of my team-mates broke his tail bone, and managed to finish the course anyways because he is BAD ASS all caps. Stay tuned for more about this adventure in the next week or so on XOJane.com. Oh and while you’re at it, read about how I love my boyfriend’s armpits.

America! Where we put ourselves in horribly strenuous situations "for fun"

America! Where we pay lots of money to roll in mud and hurdle over walls...

Now watch this inspiring video featuring my girl Kristin Lajeunesse, Founder of Will Travel for Vegan Food, who crashed on my couch a few months back during her epic journey! Kristin followed her passion out of a 9-5 and into a decked out vegan mobile that travels around the country. Hear her roar—try not to be distracted by how foxy she is.

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Oohrah! In honor of what could very well be my last day on earth (Tough Mudder tomorrow!!) I am giving you a nice little round-up of weird food/sex news from the week.

Robots: The gateway to ‘mind blowing’ sex?

An article on MSNBC showcases robot sex—remember when I wrote about Roxxxy, the True Companion bone-bot? This article features the robotic sex trend, highlighting Amsterdam’s vision of robots taking over its red light district, Fem Bot style, to pleasure the patrons. According to the article, sex robots can help end sex trafficking, the spread of STDs AND can teach us to be better lovers…I don’t think I agree on the latter. Well, guess I can cross Amsterdam off of my dream vaca list…clearly my destination vacation would have real, live prostitutes.

Cocaine and Chocolate, what’s the deal yo?

HuffPo published an article about the US government’s battle on peruvian drug culture, and how it is affecting the chocolate community. USAID has proposed a cocoa hybrid as alternative crop to coca (the key ingredient in cocain) and chocolate conassioers have their panties all in a twist, as it apparantly affects the flavor and quality of their chocolate.

“USAID says it has a foreign policy mandate to curb coca production by encouraging alternative cash crops, not to cater to gourmets. But it also says it may be open to commercializing native varieties in the future and it is sponsoring a contest to encourage farmers to cultivate more native coco,.” writes HuffPo’s Carolien Stauffer.

Voyeurism, Exposed

(image from HuffPo)

This terrific Mother Jones photo essay showcases voyeurism, and asks us what is just watching, and what is voyeurism? Where is the line? Excerpt alert:

In the age of Weinergate, we are all lookers and watchers. The following selection of images from Sandra Phillips’ book, Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance, and the Camera Since 1870, traces the fine line between the two. Covering spy and surveillance imagery, images of violence and sexuality, the rise of paparazzi, and our incurable boner for celebrity photos, Exposed‘s 249 images show how photography shapes not just what we see but how we look at it. Mark Murrmann

Jerking Off Dogs Is a Real Career (and Here You Were Doing It for Free)

As usual, Jezebel kills it with the above title. This article is about a woman who jerks off dogs for cash at purebred shows. Ohhhh, Jezebel. Je t’adore.

Ashley Madison Offers 1 Million for Tebow’s Virginity

"But I won't dooo that! NO I won't do that!"

Okay, not really. They offer 1 million to any woman who can prove she boned Tim Tebow, therefore blowing up his “but I’m a virgin I love jesus” devout Christian spotlight. The website—which provides a place for marrieds to have affairs—is clearly the epitome of class.

Fish Flavored Booze?

And now, just in time for a sloppy Friday night, The Worst Liquor Flavors of All Time.

Smoked salmon vodka for all you bagel n’ schmear lovin’ jews…(sorry dad! Let me rephrase that as people of jewish heritage…myself included…), Big Dill Pickle vodka, and Scorpion flavored vodka! Gross. My older brother once tried to bully my ex boyfriend into drinking some sake with a dead, preserved snake coiled up at the bottom of the bottle. Don’t you love family time?

And now, not food or sex but still interesting. Read this article on the significance of street art to urban culture…I don’t think this is exactly what they had in mind….

Cheers! Happy Friday, folks! Wish me luck on my Tough Mudder tomorrow. If I die, I leave my cat, Zucchini, to my ex boyfriend; my 1990s TV with its built in VHS player and all accompanying VHS tapes to my current boyfriend (YOU’RE WELCOME); and insist that my brother comes from Hawaii to dispose of my sex toys, because he once made me do the same for him in a weird scene that belonged in a Woody Allen movie.

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That's too much cash for a hipster...

Recently I got into a bit of a text-a-thon with my friend Tyler about money and dating, and how he can tell when he is into a girl by his willingness to pay. I always love to pick the brain of the opposite sex because, really, I don’t understand it! So, I found Tyler’s methods of figuring out how much he likes someone extremely interesting.

The conversation begins with money talk because I was trying to bully Tyler into joining my Tough Mudder team. He can’t join for political reasons. However, he was trying to blame it on money so he didn’t have to say “I can’t be on a Tough Mudder team with you and your new boyfriend because we met through your ex boyfriend who is my childhood best friend.” Don’t worry, Tyler, you don’t have to say it! I know. And now, so does everybody else. You’re welcome!

Anyway the money conversation segued to who pays for what in a relationship.

T: Girls shouldn’t pay for shit. Relationship money is a boy’s problem

Z: What? Really? You don’t think girls should pay for anything?

No I don’t believe that at all haha it’s just the stereotype.

No one believes that anymore I don’t think…

Well you obviously haven’t grown up in a conservative household

Well I haven’t dated a guy who felt that way since I was 17…(which ironically is around the same time he started having to use his own money, so really I was dating his mother.)

Lucky!

How is that lucky?

Oh, I thought we were gonna get into a big feminist thing.

No! I mean, I don’t ever expect anyone to pay for me, I’m a big girl with my own big girl money. I don’t mind paying for myself. But it’s always nice when they insist.

See, I pay for a lot of shit when I date a girl.

It’s always somewhat 50/50 with the people I date. Like maybe they pay for dinner, but I get it next time, or I pick up the bar tab, etc.

That usually starts happening for me late in the relationship. I can judge how I feel based on my willingness to pay. It’s an effective system.

Wow, that’s interesting. This is an interesting dating topic! May I publish this anonymously?

Yeah, Sexy Tofu it! And you don’t have to do it anonymously…link to my Twitter.

Any more ways you can tell if you’re into a girl?

Yeah, If I’m willing to accompany her on mundane errands.

What’s an example of a mundane errand?

Shopping, mainly for groceries. If I can get through a trip like it’s no big deal, I know I’m into her. If I have to leave 5 minutes in to go loom at car magazines, well the sun is beginning to set…

Will you watch her shitty TV shows?

Absolutely. Except Bad Girls Club. I can take Jersey Shore and Real Housewives, but not Bad Girls Club.

I don’t know any of those…I don’t watch TV (Oh gross I am such a snob…)

Well I don’t like them, but If I’m into her… you know…

Pffft, SURE you don’t like them! Follow Tyler on Twitter @Tyler_MaC, and tune in next week as I give him sage fashion advice. Poor thing…

Men, how do you know when you’re into someone? Ladies, how can you tell? I can always tell how much I like someone by how tempted I am to text them back while driving (don’t ever do this). Who pays for what in your relationship? I wanna know!

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...yeah

In an act of impulsivity, a few months back I signed up for the Tough Mudder competition, an insane series of endurance tests designed by the British Special Forces that run somewhere between 10 and 12 miles in length and feature 20-30 ridiculous obstacles along the way. The event, which you sign up for in teams, tests strength and endurance as well as grit and camaraderie. Many of the obstacles cannot be done without the help of your fellow mudders. Obstacles get a bit insane (crawling under live electric wires, anyone?). The event I signed up for is in April and I am currently “training”—how one trains to crawl under electric currents or swim through ice-water, I don’t know.

Tough Mudder events are held all over the country and while I am sure everyone who completes it feels like a bad ass ( I feel bad ass just for signing up…), at the end of the season the top 5 percent from all of the competitions are eligible to compete in the “World’s Toughest Mudder,” the winner of which is crowned the “Toughest Man or Woman on the Planet.”

When most people think of a ‘vegan’ they probably think of some skinny crunchy hemp-wearing hippie stretched out on a yoga mat or rolling in some dirt. Despite the fact that there are tons of super strong vegan athletes, that isn’t the image that comes to the minds of most when you mention that someone is vegan. So you can imagine how happy (and impressed) I was when I learned last week that the female winner of the 2011 World’s Toughest Mudder was not only a vegan, but a vegan in her early 40s. Juliana Sproles, a 43 year old vegan athlete sponsored by Boku foods, won the 24-hour challenge with two frost bitten toes. Way to break stereotypes, and be completely ninja, Sproles!

Sproles, looking like a warrior. No big deal.

The World’s Toughest Mudder is so intense you have to sign a death waiver, and while 800 (half-robot?) athletes started out, only 50 finished.

Watch this video clip taken with 4 hours left to the competition in which Sproles, who is nicknamed “The Shark,” talks about camaraderie and the spirit of Tough Mudder.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKXKXoFS2C0]

 I think this is a victory for vegans all over. Okay, gonna go stick utensils in electrical outlets in preparation. Or maybe just run and lift some weights. That could help, too.

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