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Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


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   vegan Japanese in Stone Ridge
Tuesday, October 20 2009
I had another afternoon shift to pull down at Eastern Correctional Facility today, so I carpooled down there with Gretchen and Jed (the guy I work with in the lab). Jed had set up everything, having called in the "gate clearance" (as it's called) permitting me into the facility. But when we got to the prison, the guard at the front didn't have anything about me on her computer or in her paperwork, and (furthermore) all the people with authority to deal with the situation were gone, off at some self-congratulatory banquet luncheon. So we ended up sitting there for over an hour waiting for the relevant deputy to return and fix the problem, one that had come from her failure to complete her end of the gate clearance. This deputy lingered for a time among the smokers out front before coming in, requiring the front gate guard to go out and fetch her. She gave us a sheepish look as she realized the gravity of her error, though for Jed that wasn't enough. Still, despite the fact that our two hour module had been reduced to something more like a half hour, we managed to get some good work done in there. I made some substantial improvements to the computer lab's web server, which provides a tiny little non-world-wide web for the prisoners to explore and consult for research materials.
On the way back north, the three of us decided to take a shortcut on Lucas Avenue over to High Falls to have lupper at a new deli called The New York Shop. As Jed had promised, there were plenty of vegan options. I went for a curried soup and a completely vegan BLT, both of which were surprisingly delicious. While we were eating, Jenny and Doug from the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary walked in. This was a little like being struck by lightning in that Doug and Jenny almost never leave their compound, and when they do they are unlikely to venture so far from the greater Woodstock area. Indeed, Doug said this was the first time he'd ever walked around in High Falls. So they sat down with us and poor Jed was subjected to multi-prong vegan evangelism. He'd ordered a vegetarian tamale, but it had real cheese on it. Still, he didn't really seem to mind.
Eventually Jenny and Doug walked down to High Falls' actual falls, which are on Rondout Creek. (I've never seen them.) Gretchen and I returned Jed to his truck at Jack and Luna's in Stone Ridge and then went to Momiji, the new Japanese restaurant in Stone Ridge to rendezvous with Jenny and Doug for further adventures. While waiting for them, we walked on a nature trail behind a hippie private elementary school that looked to have been converted from a compound of old fashioned farm buildings. There were a lot of Black Walnut trees along the trail, though we're at the northeast limit of that species' range. As for the weather, it was a good bit warmer than it had been for over a week, and I was comfortable in a short sleeved shirt. (Another indication of the weather: there had been zillions of Lady Beetles plaguing the guards down at the prison.)
Because it's in downtown Stone Ridge, which aspires to be an older-money version of Woodstock, Momiji should be an expensive restaurant. But it's not. It looks a wee bit cheap on the inside (there is exposed fiberglass insulation under the hydronic radiators), and unless you speak an East Asian language, you can expect mild language difficulties when placing an order. If those two things could be corrected, Momiji could hike its prices. In the meantime, though, the vegan sushi options seemed to please Jenny and Doug (Gretchen and I were just there for drinks). But then the last sushi roll arrived and it looked to have not only egg, but also fake crab made from fish. The waitress insisted it was vegan but (as the token non-total-vegan) I sampled the supposed vegan crab and it seemed pretty clear to me that it was fish. Oh well, such things happen.
During the course of a fun conversation about neighborhood micropolitics, the phrase "vegan Las Vegas" came up, and Jenny sang it out to the tune of "Viva Las Vegas."

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