There’s actually more tryptophan in this…

Pretend Thanksgiving dinner

My belated and fake all-vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner: A Tofurky “roast” with a paprika baste on a bed of homemade rosemary stuffing surrounded by roast potato slices.

Nearly two hours of baking later, I had something akin to a turkey dinner in a pot. The Tofurky — a ball of tofu with a wild rice stuffing of its own — was not bad though still a poor substitute for an actual turkey. And my homemade stuffing crushed the baked-in variety.

But, surprisingly, soy has a substantially higher concentration of tryptophan per gram. This may be why I am rather sleepy at the moment.

Nonetheless, like a real Thanksgiving turkey, there will be plenty of leftovers.

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It’s festival season!

Now I just need a puzzled monkey

Per tradition, I have today, the day after Thanksgiving, decorated a nifty little tree in my apartment, hung some bits of garland and turned on some holiday tunes.

Festival season — the Dussehra to New Year’s Eve blitz — has been underway for a while. I’m celebrating Diwali late with lights and Christmas early with my Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla), also known as the Monkey Puzzle tree.

No more cut trees, as beautiful and mulch-compostable as they are. I went with a live evergreen that I picked at a local nursery. It’s already nearly five-feet tall and if properly treated for the next several years it will continue to grow even indoors. This is a more grown-up version of the same tree I had in India for a few seasons.

As I type this, I’m already basking in warm, holiday glow.

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Jadoo tree

Behatar sath sath hei, na?

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Open letter to [school of your choice] president

I wrote and sent roughly this same letter to the president of American University this week. Fill in the blanks and send one on yourself.

President [so-and-so]:

The campus has been crawling with prospective students this fall. Many a day, I watch tour guides roving from building to building with hordes of high schoolers and parents in tow. I overhear all the usual chatter about history, scholarship and community — in short why they ought to attend [school of your choice].

As well we should tout what we have to offer. I just hope that maybe, when the conversation turns to our school’s principles, values and efforts toward justice and sustainability, the university might consider a new talking point. It would be great if we could tell prospects, “And because we value everyone on this planet — including all those unable to access the privileges of [relevant institution], we divested our financial portfolio from fossil fuels.”

I’m guessing this isn’t the first time you’ve heard of this concept — fossil fuel divestment — and if you’re well versed, then you can feel free to

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