Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Write to Marry Day

When Squirrel and I were planning our wedding one of the things that really bothered me was the fact that we could. Get married, that is. Purely because we're straight.

I looked through our guest list and realized we had a number of friends coming who were gay - several of them long-term couples. It felt so ugly and discriminatory, and even though I knew our friends probably wouldn't feel this way, to me it felt like we were throwing our heterosexual privilege in their faces.

I wanted to make a big statement, like having someone read the text of the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. Preferably my flamboyant friend Pancake. In drag.

Squirrel, being much more understated and less willing to piss off our fundamental Christian relatives, wanted something a little more subtle. In the end, we compromised, and to this day I still regret the watered-down wording we chose.

So here's what I wish we would have said. It's beautiful, and spells out exactly why marriage is not a privilege but a right.

Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society. For those who choose to marry, and for their children, marriage provides an abundance of legal, financial, and social benefits. In return it imposes weighty legal, financial, and social obligations. Without question, civil marriage enhances the welfare of the community. It is a social institution of the highest importance. It is central to the way the Commonwealth identifies individuals, provides for the orderly distribution of property, ensures that children and adults are cared for and supported whenever possible from private rather than public funds, and tracks important epidemiological and demographic data. Marriage also bestows enormous private and social advantages on those who choose to marry. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life's momentous acts of self-definition. It is undoubtedly for these concrete reasons, as well as for its intimately personal significance, that civil marriage has long been termed a civil right.

I am so thankful that California has made a similar decision, and I urge everyone to vote No on Proposition 8 and affirm the dignity and equality of all Californians.

Oh, and for those who are still using the "but they've got civil unions" argument? Although it probably won't be the last time anyone says this to you, it should be:

Separate is not fucking equal.

H/T to Joe for the heads-up about Write to Marry Day.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Morning Confession

I can make a tender almond butter cake from scratch to serve 100 people, fill it with creamy lemon mousse and fresh raspberries, ice it with white chocolate buttercream then cover it with hand-molded white chocolate seashells,

but I can't fry a damn egg to save my soul.

It's very sad.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Absolute Best Time to get your Saturday Night....

is definitely not on the beach in Dubai.

Thank god Baker's Beach is still safe.

Bomp Chicka Bow Wow...Chicka Bomp Chicka Bow Bow...

Mmmmmm hmmmmmm.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Plan B pumpkin bread

The sun streaming through the bedroom window woke me up yesterday morning, and the first thing I could think of - after becoming sufficiently caffeinated - was that it looked like a great day to take a long walk. I put on my shoes and full of early weekend energy, started to open the front door to burst forth into the world. Just at that moment a huge gust of wind blew the door so hard that it tore from my hand and hit me smack in the middle of the head. Obviously the world wasn't ready for my bursting.

So off I went to rub my head, feel sorry for myself and start on plan B, a little fall baking. I love this recipe. It's really easy, really good and tastes just like autumn.

Pumpkin Bread

The Ingredients:

Place two cups of pumpkin (either canned or cooked), 3/4 cup water, 4 eggs and 1 cup of melted butter in a big bowl. Yes, I said one cup, also known as 2 sticks, of butter. This is important. Humboldt winters can be cold and harsh. You may need a little extra meat on your bones just to make it through. Just trying to be helpful.

Stir this with a big spoon until it looks like this:

Then in another bowl place 3 2/3 cups flour, 2 1/4 cups sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. nutmeg, 2 tsp. cinnamon and 2 tsp. baking soda.

Stir this up, add it to the wet ingredients and stir them together until the mixture is well blended.

Then you have a decision to make: to add or not to add. Some people like nuts in their pumpkin bread, and others like raisins. Some people like both, and some people like nothing at all. I prefer chocolate chips. You might think this is an odd combination, but it's one of those things that sounds strange and maybe even distasteful at first, but is in reality most delightful in the mouth - much like apple pie with cheddar cheese, Jones green apple soda and oral sex.

I'm also one of those rare women who prefers milk chocolate to dark, especially in pumpkin bread. Add the ingredient of your choosing, stir it up well and place it into your greased and floured pans. I like to use this all-in-one butter/flour baking spray because I'm lazy.

This recipe makes two large loaves of bread. I made one large loaf and four small ones this time because I wanted to give some away.

Bake at 325 degrees for about an hour - maybe a little longer. Most recipes tell you to bake quick breads, cakes and the like at 350 and take them out when an inserted knife comes out clean. This makes things too dry for me. I like my baked goods moist and gooey and decadent and salacious, so I bake them a little lower and take them out when the knife still has a few crumbs clinging to it.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Google's been spying in my Outbox

Every once in awhile I get a little tipsy. Alright, sometimes I get a lot tipsy. Okay, sometimes I get totally plastered.

At any rate, this state of mind often makes me think I'm incredibly smart, witty and insightful and should share my rare talents with the world. If you are my friend, my lover, my ex-lover, my boss, my neighbor, my cousin, my co-worker or that guy I thought sounded straight in the "ABBA Love" Yahoo chat room, you know what I'm talking about.

The next morning while perusing my email, I sometimes find that perhaps I shouldn't have gone ahead and hit the Send button.

Now Google has the solution for this temporary affliction. It's called Mail Goggles. That's right, it's like a breathalyzer for your computer only instead of breathing into a machine, Mail Goggles makes you solve a series of math problems before allowing you to send any email. It only works at certain times which are pre-set for late nights on the weekend, but you can set it for self-monitoring too - like if you're prone to a Sunday brunch of bloody marys at The Alibi.

Considering I can barely do basic math sober, this service could most likely save me from potential disaster, or at the very least major embarrassment, but it certainly would make life a lot less interesting.

Thank god they haven't invented Phone Goggles.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Wren's Debate Party

My friend Wren throws a great party, and Wednesday's little debate get-together was no exception.

She had beautiful floral decorations on the table.

The rooms in her house were glowing with candlelight, and she brought out one of her most prized home decor accessories, dressed up for the occasion. We called her Sarahquin.

Of course, the most important thing was the food. We were all asked to contribute by bringing some sort of food or drink item from Alaska - open to interpretation. This was a rather spontaneous party, so I just didn't have time to make the Baked Alaska I really wanted to bring for dessert. I decided on bear claws instead.

There was also wild salmon dip,

several things that needed to be killed in order to eat them,

as well as chocolate moose cake.

As the wine flowed, the food disappeared, and the wine flowed some more, Sarahquin mysteriously began to participate in the debate herself. Her best answer:

"Darfur? Well, gosh, I know I'm not going to be very popular with some people for saying this, but in Alaska we have to wear fur sometimes. It's really cold, doggoneit."

Then she winked, and we hugged her and told her it would all be okay.

Thanks for the party, Wren. Good times, good times.