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Showing posts from August, 2009

the real reason gay marriage should be legalized

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Given the name of this blog, I’d be remiss not to mention my new love: the Breadman Ultimate Bread Machine recently re-gifted to us by AK’s sister Lori. I’ve wanted a bread machine since my friend Amy got one in high school and began cranking out loaf after loaf of mouthwatering fresh bread. (Amy was always an experimental cook. I swear that I once ate pizza with applesauce in lieu of marinara at her house. But usually the results were good.) Never having assembled a wedding registry, I never had occasion to ask myself, Beyond matching table settings for 12, a Dutch oven, a popcorn popper, a gravy boat, pilsner glasses and sushi knives, what space-taking thingamabob do I need for my kitchen? If I had, though, the answer would have been a resounding, “Bread machine!” And now we have one! On long-term loan, at least, until Lori has a bigger kitchen. So far I’ve made two loaves, mostly to prove to myself that I would and could actually use it. (AK may have displayed mild skepticism

circa 1970

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I never saw many pictures of my mom in her twenties. She always implied that it was because she spent them being enormously fat and hence camera-shy. This picture I just stole from my cousin’s Facebook page (thanks, Maria!) would imply she (on the left) was in fact quite cute. I should have known she exaggerated. It’s like how for years my sister and I thought dry cleaning cost twenty or thirty bucks a pop because whenever our mom came across a “dry clean only” label while shopping, she dropped that item like it had bitten her. Even if it was a $2 skirt at Goodwill. Imagine our surprise when we discovered, well into adulthood, that dry cleaning usually runs in the low single digits. But what are moms for if not to skew your worldview? Above all, my mom was a fan of letting us form our own via literary exploration. I just listened to a story on This American Life about the Harlem Children’s Zone , which encourages parents in low-income areas to read to their kids. Apparently that giv

climbing the fish ladder

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If you know my complicated history with baking , you know it probably wasn’t a good idea to make muffins the night before my Seattle reading. I heard that Michelle Tea sometimes hands out cookies to people who ask questions at her readings, and Andrea Seigel once performed a sort of hip hop/cheerleading dance at a reading I went to. And I would be quite happy to be either of them when I grow up. But coming from me, baking for my attendees might be more like value-subtracted than -added. Still, there is a crucial muffin-related chapter in the second part of the book . So I compromised and made banana muffins from a Trader Joe’s mix. But I added dried cherries because I can’t resist bedazzling my recipes a little. They turned out pretty good, as did the reading, which was small but mighty. When you realize how hard it is to get strangers to show up for a reading by a relatively unknown author, you become that much more appreciative of your friends. And your girlfriend’s friends . And

cops and coyotes

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I’m trying to practice for my reading Tuesday night at Elliott Bay Book Co. in Seattle (see below), but for a while the helicopters were making it a little loud. Now things are quiet, but there are five cop cars parked on our block, and our upstairs neighbor reported that some of the cops had taken off on foot. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Hard to know. There were some noises earlier that, in retrospect, were not firecrackers. “I guess it’s never firecrackers, is it?” AK sighed. Friday night brought a different batch of noises: yipping and yowling from the weedy hill at the top of the street. AK got out of her car and saw a coyote on the sidewalk. The common thread between Friday and tonight is that both times we rounded up the cats VERY QUICKLY. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you live in the middle of an urban turf war or a rural one. Avenues vs. um, another HP gang, or coyotes vs. cats. You want to root for everyone. We all need to eat, right? But ultimately I root for Tea

for the trans octopus in all of us

Fun video, courtesy of The Bilerico Project.

in which i hate on families, but in a loving way

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I logged in to blog about how Terry’s interview with me is now up at The Bilerico Project . She asked great questions and wrote up a really impressive article despite being overloaded with work after a week at some sort of yoga-teacher boot camp. She’s a true pro. But instead I find myself wanting to blog about two groups of people who annoy me: 1) Gangs of seven-year-old girls. They hang out in front of Baskin-Robbins, high on lime daiquiri sorbet, squealing and making plans for Opposite Day. If one of them gets hold of a cell phone, watch out. They will fucking text “I hate you” to their own mothers. Then they’ll scream, “It was a prank ! It was a prank !” 2) A particular strain of stay-at-home mom on Facebook. I know I’m treading on dangerous territory by saying this, and maybe it’s because my biological clock is juuuust beginning to tick (though not enough to want to spend more than twenty seconds with a seven-year-old), but I feel like Facebook is a year-round, 24-hours-a-day

vamos a la playa*, y al bilerico project tambien

Whenever Prince throws a post up on Bamboo Nation saying, “Check out my guest post on The Bilerico Project today,” I’m always kind of envious. He is a blog playa . (I put that in italics for emphasis, but now it looks like I’m trying to say “beach” in Spanish. My point is that Prince is a promiscuous blogger, okay?) My guest blogging cherry was initially popped by Tracy of Kaply, Inc. , but a one-night-stand around the holidays does not a playa make. So I was happy when Prince hit up the editor of The Bilerico Project, a roundup of queer news and opinion, to let Terry Wolverton and I interview each other about being gay writers of different generations. My interview with her is up now; hers with me runs tomorrow. I’m curious whether you folks think there is a gay generation gap. Or perhaps many. Or maybe there are plenty of gay gaps (does that sound dirty? I thought I’d abandoned my sluttiness metaphor), but they’re not primarily along generational lines. Please discuss amongst yo

this post is supposedly about baseball, but mostly it’s about clothes

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AK stalks Craigslist the way I stalk DSW.com , so last night we had field-level Dodger tickets for the price of nosebleeds (and I wore great shoes: silver-and-gray Converse with little splashes of orange that matched my nail polish). I learned a few important things: 1) On the field level—which probably has a more official name—there are nice bathrooms, and they sell Wetzel’s Pretzels instead of generic brand soft pretzels that aren’t so soft anymore. 2) Sitting next to fans of the visiting team who have strong lungs is not all that fun. One of them made his own blue T-shirt that said “Mannyroids,” which, for people who know as much about baseball as I do, alludes to Manny Ramirez, who was suspended for taking performance-enhancing drugs but is now back. Normally I don’t think of zillionaire athletes who cheat to get ahead as underdogs, but after a while I started to feel sorry for the guy. Not that sorry, but a little. Partly because there’s a whole culture and industry pressurin

what i read in july

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The Labrys Reunion by Terry Wolverton : From the vantage point of a couple of decades later, it's easy to see how an idealistic educational institute/think tank/summer camp for feminists might spark some, well, drama. But for the women who gathered at Labrys in the '70s, hopes and stakes were high. When the murder of one of their daughters prompts the reunion of the title, they gather as a much warier bunch--not just of each other, but of the murdered girl's Gen X friends, a mix of apparent slackers, confusing gender-benders and loose cannons. As always, Wolverton's writing is compelling and surefooted, which helped me distinguish between the many characters and interpretations of feminism that populate this novel. Ultimately, I was most moved by protagonist Gwen's realization that feminism's imperfection is a product of its success: "She had continued to see this movement as an elaborate drama in which the women of the world were happily and purposefully

bloggers at brand

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If the Americana at Brand ’s location weren’t built into its name (“Where is it?” “At Brand”), it would be very easy to forget you weren’t at The Grove at Third. I don’t know if they were designed by the same person (though I bet Scott does—more on him soon), but if not, I’m willing to bet the designers dated for a long time. And on their dates, they discussed how cool it would be to build a big outdoor mall that tries to pass as a town square and features a big fountain, a trolley and an Anthropologie store. I visited the Americana for the first time Sunday for a SoCal blogger meet-up organized by Prince Gomolvilas of Bamboo Nation . It wasn’t quite on the scale of TequilaCon , but at $4.70 for delicious almond-fig gelato at Caffe Primo plus a couple of bucks for gas, it was cheaper. I arrived a little nervous: Some of these people would know me only through my blog, meaning one of two outcomes could occur: 1) They would leave thinking, Wow, she’s way funnier and more interesting