A few words of advice

moth

Some­times I like to wan­der into dan­ger­ous ter­ri­tory. Like Red­dit. It reminds me of the Inter­net, before the world wide web. Back when it was bul­letin boards and Usenet groups. I can’t even say there were pic­tures at the time. I am that old.

Any­way, a user named “hour­sailor” said this [edited for space] in one of the forums:

I recently broke up with my SO and came out as gay after iden­ti­fy­ing as bi most of my life. And life just got a whole hell of a lot harder… Every girl I knew who even so much as kissed girls iden­ti­fied as bi, even if they never intended on hav­ing sex with one, let alone date one. It seems to be the in thing, to not be totally straight. The only mild annoy­ance was guy fetishiz­ing me.

Now… Sigh. The last few months have been rough as fuck. My dad has dis­owned me, even though we’re all each other has, and I may never get to speak to him again. I’ve been called dyke and spat on, for politely reject­ing a guy. I’ve been told that basi­cally I need to be raped so I can see the light because clearly I haven’t had the right dick.

I know that no mat­ter who I spend my life with now, we won’t be able to get legally mar­ried in my coun­try. I know that I’m offi­cially a sec­ond class cit­i­zen with­out equal rights. That no mat­ter how I have kids, there’ll be peo­ple crit­i­ciz­ing my fam­ily, and bul­ly­ing them… 

Am I just hav­ing an unusu­ally shitty expe­ri­ence being gay? Is it way eas­ier to be gay than bi in Amer­ica? I feel alone in this.”

Let’s just say I’m old enough to know what she’s talk­ing about. What she is expe­ri­enc­ing is not new, not at all. Check out this book, or this one, or this one. Here’s what I had to say to hour­sailor:

Old timer here. Been there, done that. My mother sug­gested elec­tro-shock ther­apy to “cure” me, been spit on, yelled at by ran­dom peo­ple, blah blah blah.

I don’t want to sound like a cliché, but it does get bet­ter. Just prob­a­bly not soon and prob­a­bly not where you are. And you have to work at it. There is a rea­son large cities have large and diverse LGBT com­mu­ni­ties — peo­ple move to where they are wel­comed and are more likely to find a part­ner and friends. I never thought I would see same sex mar­riage, but now it’s easy and even com­mon­place, and is spread­ing around the world.

The world is chang­ing, evolv­ing. It’s amaz­ing, actu­ally, and I never imag­ined any of it when I was 20. Not in my wildest dreams.

You will get stronger. The world will change. Your life will become awe­some if you work at it.

Super Cook Sunday – Dijon Roast Beef

organic potatoes

(Warning for all my veg/vegan friends — close up pic of medium-rare beef at the end)

By my own admis­sion, I am not a great cook. I am an aver­age cook, I think. I’m not sure, I don’t stand on street cor­ners sur­vey­ing peo­ple:

Me: Excuse me, am I a good cook?
Passerby: (walks past silently, look­ing the other way, ignor­ing every­thing any­one ever says. After all, this is the city)

I took an online test to deter­mine if I was a good cook. At the very start, before the Begin but­ton, it says: “This is about com­mon sense, peo­ple. No wasabi vina­grette on the sweet potato pie.”

Okay, num­ber one, what is wasabi vinai­grette? Num­ber two, they spelled vinai­grette wrong. So nyah. After my test, they advised me, not too unex­pect­edly, that I am aver­age. Hell, I still need to look up how long to cook hard boiled eggs. Every. Sin­gle. Time.

results
Wait, did that test just call me a turkey?!

I blame my mother who, I think, boiled every­thing – water in the pot, put the item in, turn up the heat, then once it boils, turn it down and sim­mer for 30 min­utes. Pota­toes? Boil ‘em. Peas? Boil ‘em. Corn? Boil ‘em? Meat? As a teenager, I real­ized that boil­ing pork chops was a big fail, but I never did any­thing about it except con­tinue to boil ‘em.

I went through a veg­e­tar­ian phase before I met Kelly, and the very first meal I ever made for her was the Enchanted Broc­coli For­est, from Molly Katsen’s cook­book of the same name. How did it turn out?

That was almost 30 years ago. Now, I don’t make broc­coli forests and I don’t usu­ally burn stuff. Usu­ally.

I really do cook and eat every­thing I list here. The pho­tos are mine, taken while cook­ing (per­haps unlike the “pri­vate chef” I found online, whose recipe for slow cooker chicken included only pho­tographs of chicken in a cast iron skil­let).

My goal is to eat a lit­tle health­ier, a lit­tle at a time. I have cut back on red meat, but you wouldn’t know that from this meal. It’s based on a recipe from Martha Stewart’s web­site. Served with organic mashed pota­toes and a bit of salad with a rasp­berry vinai­grette (Ha! Spelled it cor­rectly again!).

Ingredients:

  • 1 beef roast (already tied up when I bought it at the gro­cery store)
  • Salt and pep­per
  • 6 table­spoons unsalted but­ter, soft­ened (I nuked mine for 15 sec­onds)
  • 3 table­spoons Dijon mus­tard with seeds, it’s all I had

Directions:

  • Pre­heat oven to 425 degrees
  • Sea­son beef all over with salt and pep­per
  • Whisk together but­ter and mus­tard
  • Rub mix­ture all over the beef
  • Roast on a parch­ment-lined bak­ing sheet in the upper third of the oven until my instant-read ther­mome­ter read 140 degrees (for medium-rare), about 40 min­utes
  • Let rest for 15 min­utes before slic­ing.

Deli­cious!

roast

 

P.S. I no longer boiled pork chops…

These pet rocks are raised in miserable, overcrowded conditions

These pet rocks are raised in miserable, overcrowded conditions

These pet rocks are raised in mis­er­able, over­crowded con­di­tions

Hilar­i­ous! Thanks to red­dit user /u/moogmania, I am reminded of the pet rock I once owned. No goo­gly eyes, no mouths or other face parts — it was silly and funny and took imag­i­na­tion — or bore­dom. I’m not sure which. A pet rock just sat around, you maybe looked at it once or twice, but mostly you read the accom­pa­ny­ing book­let. The fad ended within 6 months, made the guy a mil­lion­aire, and it was worth the laugh.

Not my pet rock

Ice Quest: A Serial — Chapter 2

Again the first thing Tin­hara noticed upon wak­ing was the smell of the room, but this time it was heavy and musky, the smell of sex and sweat, and was far more pleas­ant than the grog­gery had been. She shiv­ered slightly and pulled her arm out from under­neath Qal­troq where it ended up after their hours of love mak­ing. She strug­gled to lace her clothes qui­etly, and snuck out from under the blan­ket. Retriev­ing her otuk, she slipped it on qui­etly, blew at the flame of the dying fire in the hopes of bring­ing it back to life, and crawled out of the ice house.

The sun was low in the sky, as it had been when she arrived, and she was grate­ful for the dim light. It made her eyes harder to see from a dis­tance, gave her anonymity from any vil­lager who might spy her. Women and chil­dren were about, but none turned her way. Qal­troq was truly a dis­dained woman, a woman whose exis­tence was now com­pletely ignored by peo­ple who had decided to band together for food and pro­tec­tion, to set­tle down on a land that forced any right-think­ing per­son to travel its plains. It was not like that two years ago, when Vel was alive and kick­ing.

As Tin­hara stepped toward her sled, one of Huel’s black eyes opened and his black nose popped out of the snow. Tin­hara ges­tured to him to stay asleep. “I am get­ting food and bones,” she told him softly. She had spent many years talk­ing to him as he was usu­ally her only com­pan­ion. She won­dered if he under­stood her, believed her when she told him why she was return­ing to Visby, why she had to flee the Guards of Gal­maq. She opened the caqun as a gen­tle breeze blew across her glove­less hands. The ghost of one of her miss­ing fin­gers tin­gled in the chilly air and she hur­ried to find the qamux. Just a few moments of expo­sure could freeze any body part off, caus­ing it to snap, if she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. She’d seen a man lose his penis that way.

Con­tinue read­ing “Ice Quest: A Ser­ial — Chap­ter 2”

April donation — Toronto Public Library

Sue at the Toronto Public Library's used bookstore
Sue at the Toronto Pub­lic Library’s used book­store

Each month we donate to some char­ity or fundraiser or another. Some­times it’s queer, some­times nature-based, some­times it’s just what­ever feels right. I mean, what’s wrong with donat­ing to an her­itage if you really want to, you know?

Although var­i­ous reli­gions poo-poo against announc­ing your dona­tions, I track the var­i­ous con­tri­bu­tions on the Les­bian­fun­world Pin­ter­est board for every­one to see. I am not telling you HOW much I donate, just WHERE I donate, in the hopes it might inspire, remind or even enter­tain (you have to check out the don­key!)

There is a poll open to vote on where you would like me to donate in May. But in April, I selected the Toronto Pub­lic Library. Long a haven for the weird and won­der­ful in both human and lit­er­ary form, the Library is our go-to for used books (both buy­ing and donat­ing), for research and because it’s just kind of awe­some.

 

Toronto Public Library donation page
Toronto Pub­lic Library dona­tion page

Prezi on Dionne Brand — By Megan Adame

Dionne Brand is a Black Cana­dian les­bian poet, nov­el­ist, pro­fes­sor, and essay­ist. She was Toronto’s third Poet Lau­re­ate from Sep­tem­ber 2009 to Novem­ber 2012. Her work explores themes of gen­der, race, sex­u­al­ity and fem­i­nism, white male dom­i­na­tion, injus­tices and moral hypocrisy. She has con­tributed to many antholo­gies oppos­ing the vio­lent killings of Black men and women, the mas­sacre of four­teen women in Mon­treal and racism and inequal­ity as expe­ri­enced by Abo­rig­i­nal women of Canada, par­tic­u­larly Helen Betty Osborne’s death in the Pas. Find out more about Brand in this Prezi pre­sen­ta­tion.