We’re gearing up for our trip to Virginia, to give two talks: Think Vegan: 10 Tips to Get You Started, and Fed Up? A New Way to Feed Your Body, Your Soul, and the World. #PRIVATE#We’ll be driving there, and sweet Rose will be coming along for the ride! We have been truly blown away by the organizer of this event, Justin Van Kleeck. He is not only said to put together phenomenal vegan events, and create incredible vegan delicacies with his company, Sunberry Baking Company, but he and I have just really clicked over email (don’t you love when that happens?), and I’m thrilled about getting to spend some time with him in person. I hope that some of you will be in the Staunton/Harrisonburg, VA area on September 17 and 18! Join us! If you’re not going to be around there, we have some other events coming up, too — including in NYC, Ithaca, and Albany.
Due to the fact that next week is going to be pretty much working from the road (makes me nostalgic for our cross-country trip last year!), we have been working our arses off this week, getting as much done in advance as possible. Monday and Tuesday of this week were both 17-hour-days for me, but I think it will pay off. We have really wonderful guest features coming up (as I mentioned to you last week), and this weekend on our podcast, we’re delighted to be welcoming Dr. T. Colin Campbell. I’m excited for you to hear how passionate he is on the interview. We wouldn’t let him get off the phone, by the way, so you’ll notice that this interview is a hair longer than usual!
A few people have recently emailed me asking me to write about what a typical day in Our Hen House looks like. I have been procrastinating talking about that, because I’m afraid it might translate as uninteresting (even though it’s anything but), mainly because so much of what we do is done in silence — writing and editing, editing and writing. Of course, the podcast recording is certainly not silent! Maybe I’m cheating by not giving you the exact play-by-play, but here are a few things I’ve been working on this week:
- We are rolling out a pretty exciting fundraiser soon, and there’s a lot to do to prepare for that. I am lucky to be working with a fundraising committee that is schooling me and inspiring me constantly (thanks, JL, Alison, and Liz!). I’ll give you a sneak peek into what I’m talking about next week. But because of this exciting opportunity, I have been communicating with amazing donors — via email and phone — as well as working with the fundraising committee to draft up multiple items and plans that we’ll use as we roll this out. I’m so excited to tell you about it.
- I was busy editing Dr. Campbell’s interview for this weekend. We had a bit of an audio issue, so I called for back up. Our (sometimes) audio engineer consultant, Eric Milano (who is Emmy nominated!) saved the day and made it sound pristine.
- I worked with Liz on figuring out some folks to invite onto the podcast in the coming weeks and months. She is reaching out to a bunch of really remarkable individuals.
- I have been assigning guest feature articles for our online magazine, and fielding questions about those.
- I’ve been working with Mariann and Cassandra on editing about a dozen pieces that have been handed into us recently. They are magnificent. (Editing takes a lot of time — wow!)
- I’ve been writing articles for the online magazine — frequently 4 to 5 in one week.
- I’ve been posting pieces to the backend of our website and queuing them up to go up throughout the next two weeks. (This is actually a lot more time-consuming than it sounds.)
- I’ve been working with Laurie, our Graphic Designer, to come up with a few new graphics for our website. Laurie is from Two Trick Pony, and her designs are awesome.
- I’ve been working with Ben, our Tech Guy, on ironing out some glitches with the website. (Thank god for tech people!)
- There’s a still top-secret project that I’ve been planning along with a documentarian, Seth. This involves some upcoming traveling and scheming. I promise to give you more details as soon possible. (EEEEEE!!!!)
- Speaking of videos, as we spoke about recently on the podcast, we have finished filming a Vegan Taste of Chinatown video (with Patrick Kwan), which is currently in post-production. Our video editor, Evan, met with me the other day so we could make the difficult decisions of what to cut. He also needed to film me doing an “outro,” so we did that, too. I think this video is going to be amazing. Can’t wait to show it to you!
- Ah yes, the podcast. Mariann and I try to record a different segment every day, and I try to edit that segment that day, too. When we lead the review (as we are doing this week), we also have to watch, read, or make the product we’re reviewing, and do research. (For this weekend’s podcast, Mariann does a brilliant job of reviewing The Weather Channel’s new series, Brink.)
- Speaking of reviews, I have been communicating with Darling Ari about some upcoming ones. We are interviewing him tomorrow night at 11 p.m. (damn that time difference!) for a review he’ll do on Episode 193.
- I’ve been working with the extremely patient Danielle on getting all of your thank you gifts out to you promptly! And I’ve been emailing those of you who have reached out to me with questions, comments, suggestions, or (yay!) donations! (I get a couple hundred emails a day!)
- I’ve been working with Mariann to practice our upcoming talks in Virginia. We’re excited!
- I have a few other writing projects going on right now aside from OHH — such as my Huffington Post column, and some other freelance projects I’m involved with. I don’t spend nearly enough time on these.
- I’m loving all of your submissions for This Animal On This Day (keep ’em coming!). Special shout-out to Beth Lily Redwood who so generously uploads such beautiful photographs so often! So I’ve been busy queuing them up on the website, and Danielle then tweets them out and informs you folks when your photos are being featured.
- Oh right — social media! I’m working hard to keep our Facebook and Twitter pages up to speed, and to respond to all of you who write in. (Unfortunately, I’ve let Instagram slip through the cracks a bit. I need to up my game there.)
- Mariann and I have been doing some radio shows (as the guests), which has been fun. We were just guests on The Dr. Don Show. I’ve also been responding to a few emails about future appearances, as well as future in-person talks and appearances.
- We have been so lucky to introduce a podcast transcription page, thanks to the amazing help of Amanda and Helen. After they work their tushes off on the transcription, Danielle does a final proofread, and I upload them to the server and post them. I’m so happy we can finally offer these to our readers and listeners!
I’m sure there is more, but you get the basic idea. I know it seems like a lot (and it is!), but I feel so extremely privileged to be able to do the work I do, and I love every second (well, most seconds).
Here’s what I’ve been doing on a personal level:
- Taking tap, as you know! I have class tonight, which is good, because I really need to get out of the house (we work from home — and it’s a tiny home at that).
- Running. I try to run every other day, though sometimes (as in last night) it gets too late, so I’ll just do a video instead. (Cassandra turned me on to Fitness Blender, which lets you choose the length and level of your class, and I really like the style of the presenters. Specifically, she got me into this 17-minute one, which will certainly make you sweat.)
- Visiting Grandma. We go once a week, and I talk to her every day. We’re heading there on the way to Virginia. She always asks for Rose, so we try to bring her with us whenever we can borrow a car, or use our ZipCar account. Grandma always saves a banana for sweet Rose.
- Juice-fasting. Oy.
- Dealing with the apartment. It’s on the market, so we have been decluttering like maniacs, as well as getting it ready for showings and open houses. We frequently have to leave the apartment for 15-20 minutes at a time — which, like I said before, is probably a good thing.
- Watching Extreme Weight Loss and Monk. Don’t judge.
- Going to Chinatown regularly to buy groceries, and to give Rose a nice, long outing.
- Budgeting. Oy again. (But thank you to everyone who heard us ramble about this on the podcast and has been providing such helpful feedback about how you budget!)
Here are things I’ve been neglecting:
- Many of my friendships. This makes me really sad.
- My shoulder. I hurt it about 6 weeks ago during a Kettlebell class, and I have little doubt that it’s going from bad to worse.
- My mother. I don’t call her enough. (Jewish guilt?)
- My apartment. It gets way too messy and dirty way too often.
- My personal writing projects (my boooook!).
- Responding to comments! Gotta get better at that…
- Emails. I do always respond, but (as you might have noticed), they are frequently short responses (even though my preference would be to make them long-winded).
- My state of mind. I realize I don’t take enough time off. I realize that’s bad.
OK, so now you know way too much about me! If you read this, well, thanks for caring!
And regardless, thanks for being amazing. You chickens seriously inspire me, all the time.