Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Carbfest 08

It's that time of year again. Turkey time.

I am not one for most great American holidays. I'd rather spend the 4th of July in another country. And Thanksgiving, as a homage to the founders of this country pisses me off. Yeah you wanna celebrate the coming together of Natives and Europeans you fuckers, kiss my ass.

Except, every single holiday I had with my family as a child was horrible. My mother would turn what was supposed to be a happy gathering into a nightmare of pain for me. There was never a Christmas or Thanksgiving where I didn't end up in tears, hiding in my bedroom and wishing I was dead. We won't even go into how many years my birthday was either flat out forgotten or just plain ignored (I made myself a hot dog bun with grape jelly on it and a candle one year, just cause I knew I wasn't getting cake).

When I became an adult, I tried to remedy that. First I started by hiding at a friend's house. But a few years ago, right before I stopped speaking to my mother, I decided that I was going to make my own Thanksgiving. NO ONE was going to cry or feel the need to hide in their room. I have dinner late enough that friends who have family in town can eat their family meals at 2 or 3 or 5 and still make it to my civilized dinner time of 8. There would be booze and music and fabulous food and it would be a party. Because the one thing I am most thankful for in the world are the awesome friends I have that almost make up for my orphan status and I want them to have damn good time.

Then I met Ruth. We bonded over a college government class with THE MOST AWESOME INSTRUCTOR EVER! She has all these food allergies that make it impossible to cook for her (impossible- hah!) and at the time had a vegan hubby. So we have done Thanksgiving together for the last 4 years and I managed to learn how to make a giant dinner that the meat eaters, the vegans, the veggies, the celiacs, and anyone else who just can't eat things because they will die can enjoy.

I love the challenge. I love that these people who spend so much of their lives trying to work around what everyone else is eating can just come into my house and know that they are safe. And then they can get to the real reason I cook, the ego stroking ohing and ahing and "Oh MY God this is the best thing I ever put in my mouth" sounds.

Carbfest (as Thanksgiving is called in my house) is a party. Someone once described it as the most beautiful, tasty food ever served by barefoot bohemians. I think that does it. I stress about the day. It's expensive. It's a lot of hard work. I worry every year that no one will show up (shhhh- I am not admitting to momentary bouts of self doubt). But no one has ever cried, or felt left out, or been treated unkindly during my holiday fete. That is miles away from my childhood.

So tomorrow I will be cooking up dinner for 15ish people, with more people coming for dessert and drinks after. Ruth and I are now roomies, so this is the first year that we will be cooking the whole thing together. She's working the grill to make some damn fine roast veggies, Bernard is making oysters rockafeller, and I got a 22 pound turkey waiting to be soaked in a liter of wine.

No one will fight, no one will cry, no one will have to hide (unless they are just too drunk to deal with the barefoot bohemians). And when my kid grows up, family-ish holidays won't be something to fear, but something fun and awesome to look forward to.


A fantastic yet possibly true story

So I was sleeping last night with the puppy hogging the entire fucking bed. But wevs, I was asleep.

And then I wasn't asleep. Because the power kept going on and of and on and off and every time it did either, my cell phone would beep at me (it was plugged into the wall and charging). So I am woken up by my phone beeping and the most bizarre scratching, rubbing, chewing, noisy movement coming from the attic space behind my closet.

So I laid there for many many hours. At first I was convinced that there is a squatter living in our attic. But the more I listened, the more I became sure of what the noise was.

My friends, there is a masturbating bear living in my attic, and every time he rubs one out he messes with the electrical lines. If you heard this noise, you would say "ahhh it does sound exactly like a masturbating bear".

The Puppy and Bernardo both seem to think it's either rats or raccoons. Rats are easy enough to deal with, raccoons are another matter. These are urban raccoons, they come packing heat. The Puppy (since he owes me big time for opening his mouth and saying some incredibly stupid shit yesterday) has agreed to go into the attic tonight and take on the bear/raccoon/rat problem.

Wish him luck. I think a masturbating bear would be alot easier to deal with than a ghetto raccoon with a handgun.

PUMAs and Prop 8- a study in similarities

So it seems I am not making a clear point when it comes to the black vote and prop 8, so I thought I would use an example we are ALL familiar with.

Imagine that you have a group of liberals who want people to vote a certain way on something. These liberals are the top of the privilege heap, white, educated, decidedly not poor or struggling. And they figure that with a few threats and comparisons they make their point perfectly clearly- voting the way I want you to is in your best interest, so you better do it.

Except, for a certain proportion of the population, that message doesn't ring true. For many of us, it wasn't good enough that Obama was better than McCain (marginally) on abortion when he was more than willing to use misogyny as a campaign tactic. For African Americans, perhaps the comparison to interracial marriage and equal rights wasn't strong enough to overcome the pull of their churches and long held belief systems (that in fact have a very pragmatic reason for existing when you consider eugenics and slavery, etc).

For those of us who didn't vote for Obama, the Roe V Wade arguments and the "stupid bitches don't know what's good for them" talk didn't make us MORE likely to vote for Obama. Quite the contrary. So perhaps painting the entire black population of California as bigoted idiots who need to be schooled on human rights isn't the best way to get them to come around to gay marriage.

We were all asked "What would it take for you to vote for Obama?" But we haven't asked the black community what they need to comfortable with gay marriage. Do they need more liberal pastors, do they need more guarantees that their bodies and their children's bodies will be safe from harm so that they don't have to worry about attempts to wipe out their population (and we have tried to wipe them out, see crack, the fact that black women lose custody of their children to the foster system more often than white women, the schools to prison pipelines in black neighborhoods, the lack of living wage employment for black men).

Perhaps once we start addressing the black community as a whole, they will not feel so threatened by a part. Perhaps if Obama had addressed women as more than wombs with claws and crying streaks, we would have voted for him.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008