A Student's Death
Online readers comment on "Tobi Oyedeji's After-Prom Accident: Sleep Deprivation Can Be as Bad as Drinking for Teens," Hair Balls blog, by Richard Connelly, May 17:
All-ages problem: Sleep deprivation is not just a problem on prom night or with teens. I worked overnights through college after being in class all day. Driving home at 6 a.m. was sometimes scary. I was lucky and didn't have an accident. One of my co-workers fell asleep on the freeway, totaled his truck and was in the hospital for a week. It's our nature to push ourselves, but that's not always the right call.
Wow: So a kid doesn't do drugs or drink (apparently), and blame still needs to be placed somewhere. Oh! The school! They didn't provide naptime and NoDoz for kids leaving at 6 a.m.!
Responsibility goes to the teens and their parents. I'm not saying this isn't a horrible tragedy, only that everyone needs to stop blaming everything on everybody else...or trying to find fault.
It is an eye-opener, and hopefully that gives reason and closure to his death. Take care of yourself — even with sleep.
Bad judgment: It was a school-sponsored event, so they need to take responsibility for it. As a parent myself, I would never allow my child to stay out until 6 a.m. There is a lot of pressure on the parents and students to stay out the whole time to be with their friends. What parent wants to give a curfew earlier than the party ends? The school should never have allowed it.
Texting-related? My concern is that I heard on the news that he texted his dad right before the accident...Hopefully the texting did not cause the accident with his being so sleepy and all.
Veg Out West
Online readers respond to "Vegan Surprise," by Katharine Shilcutt, May 13:
Fans of the Hut: We're west Houston residents and huge Loving Hut fans. The spring rolls are ridiculous, and the faux shrimp (which I never in my life thought I'd be addicted to) are worth the trip alone. Try the pho as well. I get that it's a holy war with some folks (and man do I love me some pho — veggie or no), but it is damn good.
The bread used to be much, much better and was baked locally until a few months ago. One of the gals behind the counter told us they discovered that the bakery wasn't keeping completely vegan, so they had to revert back to their current in-house bakery. Shame, it was really great and now is...rather meh.
Cuisine for all: I've eaten at Loving Hut many times, always ordering something different. The food is fantastic, and the portions are large. If it were closer to my office, I would probably stop by there every night on my way home. I think if some non-vegans tried the food without knowing it was vegan, they would never guess. They'd be too busy enjoying every bite.
I also think it is a little ridiculous to think that people who live in west Houston won't go to this restaurant. There are people all over Houston, from many different ethnicities, who want to live and eat in a manner that doesn't cause pain and suffering to other beings, yet want to eat delicious food. Loving Hut is the perfect place for this. The only downside I see is that Loving Hut's building sits back a block or so from Westheimer, so it isn't seen from there like some of the other restaurants in the area.
Good job! Now, this is what I call a great food article. Very informative and readable.
Right, Jay: It's informative to read that the soy protein looks "like something that was scraped out of a uterus" since we're all so familiar with that.
Big movement: It's nice that the author is bringing awareness to vegan venues, but I have to question where she gathered her facts. First of all, the restaurant has always been busy when we've dined there, and there is plenty of variety. They often offer special dishes (not always on the menu, but posted at the counter). Second, as for vegetarians and vegans being "few and far between," the author seems to be unaware of the multiple vegan and vegetarian meet-ups in the Houston area, as well as the "Vegan Society of PEACE" organization (700-plus members) that has been active since 2004.
Houston is also home to a vegan radio show on KPFT, as well as many other veg restaurants like Pepper Tree, Quan Yin, Udipi, Bhojan, The Vegan Cafe, Pat Greer's Raw Kitchen and a soon-to-be-open Hare Krishna restaurant. Vegan caterers and bakers like Radical Eats, Sinfull Bakery, Kind Heart and more are popping up all over the Houston/Katy/Clear Lake area due to an increased awareness and demand for vegan fare (which doesn't use any eggs for "binding").
I don't believe that veg restaurants have to be inside the Loop 610 area to stay in business. With the general public becoming more aware of issues concerning animal slaughter, environmental concerns, and health and nutrition, we will naturally see an increase in veg establishments in surrounding parts of Houston. In fact, a veg restaurant just opened up in Katy last November and is doing quite well. I've also heard of a new vegan cafe opening up in Spring. Just some "food for thought."
Misinformation: I am not a fan of supporting any religious group, cult or mainstream. I am certainly not a fan of fake "meat." For vegetarian food, I stick with tried and true Indian vegetarian food at several excellent Houston restaurants or just cook my own. My quibble with this article is misinformation. This happens every time a review by Shilcutt pops up. "Egg-free" bread? Really? Is it also made in Taiwan at the Supreme Leader's crib? I'm asking because proper banh mi bread, just like a proper baguette, has no "binder" and no eggs. Loving Hut can buy delicious local "egg-free" banh mi bread anywhere in the city. I guess that would not support the Supreme Leader's lifestyle, though. Would it?
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A humanitarian: I would eat at the Loving Hut more often if it wasn't a 120-mile round trip for me. The people who work there are such sweet and kind people that it is a pleasure to eat there. Eastern ideas and language can seem strange to Westerners, but should be investigated a little more rather than criticized without understanding. From what I understand, the title Supreme Master means spiritual teacher, much as the Dalai Lama does. SUMA Ching Hai is a great humanitarian and generously helps when a serious disaster strikes. There is a Vegan World Radio show on KPFT 90.1 on Wednesdays from 10 to 11 p.m.
Not the 'burbs: Loving Hut is not in the outlying suburbs. Outlying suburbs are Katy, Sugar Land and The Woodlands. West Houston is just that. West. I will admit that there are people here who might protest like your father, but there are many who live and eat in west Houston who enjoy the vast variety of dining adventures. And we don't feel obligated to go inside the Loop to find great restaurants, but we do, because we are not afraid of venturing outside of our neighborhood.