Interview: Vegan Leah Patriarco Gets the Peanut Butter Panicks

leahderbyMost of the interviews at Weird! Why Aren’t You Vegan? are with people who are unique and different (read: not vegan). This has the normal people (read: vegans) feeling a little left out. So, to appease the masses, we now – once a month – feature a regular old, nothin’ special, run-of-the-mill vegan. This month, we meet Leah Patriarco.

I met Leah at a vegan meetup in Saint Louis. Yawn. We ate vegan food and talked about being vegan. Totally ordinary. It was at an Ethiopian restaurant called Meskerem. I’m dying from boredom… Okay, nope. I can’t even pretend that Ethiopian food is anything but amazing and exciting and delicious. Go get some and bring it back to your house. I’ll wait.

Okay, back to the introduction. Through no fault of her own, Leah sometimes makes people uncomfortable. I’ve felt it. Maybe you’ve felt it. She’s perfectly friendly and, aside from having a congenital condition known as “Daria Face,” Leah is really approachable and easy to talk to. The problem some people seem to have – myself included at times – is that Leah walks the talk. She cares about the world’s issues, she talks about them, and (here’s where we slackers start feeling judged) she does something about them. She is vegan. She rides her bike most places. She speaks up (and writes up) about race issues. She gives talks about street harassment. She attends anti-war and anti-violence protests. She hosts potlucks and makes weirdo non-vegans feel welcome. The list goes on. Leah is an incredibly inspiring and active person, and the only reason you (we) ever feel judged is because by being so active, she serves as a metaphorical mirror to show us all the things we aren’t doing for the world. To summarize, shame on you for not being Leah. But seriously, the vegan thing is totally uninteresting. Like, who isn’t vegan these days?

Meet Leah Patriarco.
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Interview: Vote to Repeal Aurora’s Pit Bull Ban and Nancy Tranzow Vows to Go Vegan

Nancy says, "Vote yes on 2D or else."

Nancy says, “Vote yes on 2D or else.”

Okay, maybe that is a lie that I just made up. But hey, maybe I just gave Nancy an idea. An idea that will shore up support for pit bulls in Aurora. If she loves pit bulls (and public safety), I think Nancy would do everything possible to make sure this ban on pit bulls gets repealed. Everything possible. Nancy. Do it.

I’ll let you know if it works. Anyway, what you should know right now, is that Nancy Tranzow is an incredible person. She has fought and continues to fight against all kinds of -isms. She works hard every day on behalf of the people and the dogs who need advocates the most. Also, she’s dang funny.

Meet Nancy Tranzow.
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Interview: Non-Vegan Eric Pueblo Eats Paleo and Makes Cave Drawings

pabloI met today’s interviewee in high school in good ole’ southern Illinois. To answer your first question, yes, we did drink alcohol while parked on dirt roads named after our friends’ great grandparents. To answer your second question, yes, we did use the restroom in fields surrounded by corn crops. And to answer your question, mom, yes, I am quite proud of myself.

Anyway, Eric is known for his unique and intimidating sense of humor and his complete inability to say “no” to dares. But he should also be known for being incredibly smart, kind, helpful and open. If you can see past sarcasm, those traits should be clear to you.

Also, Eric sometimes goes by Chris now, but I chose to ignore that. You’ll learn more in the interview, so read it now!

Meet Eric Pueblo.
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Interview: Non-vegan Jim Gaffney Refuses Satan and Seitan

jimgaffJim Gaffney is an improviser and stand-up comic in Denver. His intelligence and timing make him a joy to watch on stage, a joy to talk to in non-spotlight settings too, and a weird, weird interviewee. Basically, for the whole interview, I felt like someone who was on the outside of what I thought were inside jokes. Jim Gaffney’s intelligence and dry humor have really brought me down a peg or two, and I might have to reconsider interviewing smart people from now. Oh, but wait! Mr. Gaffney did say one unintelligent thing: he’s not vegan!

Meet Jim Gaffney. Continue reading

Interview: Cheri Davidson and Her Incestuous Cats

cheriWhen I first became a student of improv, one of my first teachers was Cheri Davidson. She was very motivating and encouraging, and she was always nice to me despite my annoying impulse to yuk it up while she was trying to be serious (thank goodness I don’t do that anymore, eh?). In addition to being a great improv teacher and doer, Cheri is one of the most interesting and surprising people I know. She raises money for charity, she plays music, she sings, she goes to school and she does exotic karate-esque activities I don’t even know the name of. Also, she’s probably going to punch me for calling the thing “karate-esque,” because it’s probably not like karate at all. Wax on, wax off.

Meet Cheri Davidson. Continue reading

Interview: Jaysen Cryer Trained His Cat Not to Follow Instructions

jaysenJaysen Cryer is a talented actor and improviser. Jaysen Cryer lives his life the way he wants. Jaysen Cryer came to the U.S. with only the shirt on his back. I mean, he had a bunch of other belongings, but the only thing on his back was his shirt. He’s funny, super smart, thoughtful and thought-full, and he has a British accent, ladies.
Note: Please read in British accent, ladies (and gentlemen).

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Interview: Erin Brogan Ruins Our Dreams About Keeping Fish

brogsIn my first and only sketch show in Denver, I met some really talented people. I also met Erin Brogan. Buuuurn. But seriously. Erin, known to most as Brogan, wrote a number of sketches in the show, and I was seriously impressed by her work. Funny, relevant, well structured, great details. It was a puh-leasure to say out loud the words she put on paper. My favorite of all was a sketch she wrote in which Lil’ John was my neighbor, and he was playing his music too loud. We kept asking him to please turn it down, and he kept responding with, “Turn down for what?!” Amazing. I thought when I interviewed Brogan about her non-veganism, she’d respond with, “Go vegan for what?!” But she didn’t. Because she had way funnier answers.

Meet Brogan! Continue reading