Lesbians, Vegetarians, Atheists, and Feminists. If you're not scared off by now, stay and read a few more things I have to say.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Be Thankful For Not Being A Turkey

While I understand that messages like these are usually just more controversial and off putting than they are able to change hearts and minds, I still think it's good that at least someone is talking about the national torture, slaughter, and consumption of turkeys day.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I chose to be gay.

I did.

I'm sexually attracted to men. I can have emotional and romantic connections with them. I can, quite easily, pretend to be heterosexual.

Despite that, I chose to be a lesbian.

Now, I know that for most of those lgbtqqia-identifiers that they don't feel like there was choice in the matter; that they were born gay or lesbian. And, just like that, just how they were born with a specific orientation, I was born bisexual. I always remember being attracted to both genders. I never chose to begin liking men or begin liking women - it's just always been that way.

And, for those of us who chose to have a same sex partner, I think we're kind of the dirty gay secret. It's an inconvenient part of the narrative. We're supposed to concentrate on genetics, on pointing to all the animals who were gay, and all the gays through history. It doesn't sit well with gay advocacy groups to have members stand up and say "I'm a lesbian, I chose to be, and so what?" The idea is we need to prove it's not a choice, so we can be accepted.

Which means that our thinking is: If it was a choice, wouldn't we choose to be straight?

Our own narrative oppresses us. Why are we putting forth the idea that of course we wouldn't want to choose to be a lesbian? Why do we assume that everyone knows that it is bad and wrong to be gay?

It's okay to chose to be gay. It's okay to chose not to be gay. It's okay to chose to be a boy or a girl, or chose to identify as Italian or Namibian. And if there didn't seem to be a choice in these traits, that's okay, too.

For me, I decided to be a lesbian, and I love it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Today!!! The Steelers vs. The Patriots

I think this sums up my sentiments nicely.

But, additionally, given what we now know about Traumatic Brain Injury, I think it is irresponsible to have your children play football. (I suppose grown men, however, can go brain injure themselves all they want, if they so desire.)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Most Porn

I hate how porn makes me a hypocrite - I can enjoy many types of porn, but I also know that this triple venn diagram is all sorts of truthful.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tea Party Movement, You're Not Cool, Yet

Driving back from one of the groups I co-facilitate, I found out that the pick-up truck in front of me had political opinions. That car noted that it was a right wing conservative, called people socialist bastards, and also was plastered with the declaration "I was anti-Obama before it was cool." Now, what trucks have against Obama, especially given that he helped the bailout of the auto industry, is beyond me. But what really struck me about this is that there is some sort of belief that it is now "cool" to be anti-Obama.

Is there some sort of weird swing in 'coolness'? Are ignorant, uneducated racists somehow the new trend setters? Will fashion become all about bedazzled flag pins? Are musicians going to start rapping about socialist agendas? Will adolescent boys start brushing up on their birther rhetoric in order to win some young girls heart? Are anti-Obama tattoos going to start showing up on the ankles or lower backs of co-eds?

Tea Party Movement, you may be a lot of things, but I don't think you've quite gotten around to mastering "cool."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Good Without God

The moral? Morality without a god is just as possible as immorality with a god. Good works are not the sole property of the religious. And Pat Roberson is a douche.


Photographer Carl Warner has decided to combine the childhood art of playing with your food, photography, and photoshop to create quaint and edible landscapes.

Apparently, I am the last person to find out about these super cool creations, as he began to make this type of artwork a few years ago.

But, maybe you're even further behind in that tiny niche of food art then I am, and these will be brand new and fascinating for you.

The only thing that would make his artwork cooler is if he only used vegetarian and organic ingredients. (He does just this opposite in a few pictures: making landscapes primarily consisting of deli meats.)

The other downside to this medium? It makes you wonder about the opulence and excess of those of us who live in the Western hemisphere. Is it really fair to be using food as art when there are people who are malnourished? (And, yes, this applies to you, preschoolers, and your macaroni art. Don't think you get let off the hook.)

However, if you're not concerned about the moral implications, you could go and check out more of his work on his website, if you feel so inclined.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

AMC's The Walking Dead

Main character, Rick Grimes, inside an abandoned hospital.

Many have lamented the downfall of dramas made
for television. And, it's true, reality television programming seems to have eaten away at the creativity of many of the networks. But there are still some quality shows being produced. Showtime has Dexter, of course, which is beautifully filmed and superbly acted. And I'd argue that Dexter is the best thing on TV at the moment.

But, maybe, Dexter might have some competition. Released this past Sunday night, another haunting yet gorgeous drama, The Walking Dead, is now carving out a place for itself in the category of deadly dramas.

This first episode is not full of shocking novelties; a man awakens from a coma, in a hospital, and slowly comes to realize that while he was asleep, the world was overcome by zombies. Sound familiar? You're probably remembering 28 Days Later. But also like 28 Days Later, The Walking Dead tries to supply you with characters that you care about. The horror genre often has trouble with this, and while I am not yet completely invested in the characters, I can certainly see promise. And, this is a television series; there is time to become invested and to develop it beyond scare-tactics and gruesome scenes.

Don't worry, though. This isn't all drama. There is plenty that is dark and terrifying. Zombies, with their frightening stagger, litter the screen. And the piles of bodies, scarred and wasted away, almost seem benign in comparison.

Zombies having a bloody delicious snack during Episode 1 of the The Walking Dead.

Overall, the premiere was quite satisfying, and I believe it's worth taking a time out from Next B Celebrity Make Out to give this show a try.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Teenage Pregnancy - Is Poverty to Blame?

The CDC has released its newest compiled data regarding teenage pregnancy. And, to plug my tiny little state, I'll proudly boast that NH has the lowest rates of teenagers becoming mothers, with our stats at only 19 teen moms per 1,000 teenagers.

But, no one cares about who is doing well in this regard. The focus is now on who has the highest rates. And, why, unsurprisingly, it is the southern United States.

I'm guessing you're expecting me to blame this on abstinence-only education. And while I would love to, and I think abstinence-only education is a horrible policy, I don't think it is the main cause of this trend. My guess, instead, is that this is due to the pervasive poverty in the South. Generation after generation where options are few and a sense of hopelessness regarding the future is commonplace, there are no reasons to delay pregnancy.

Education regarding sex and contraceptives is lacking, certainly, but, what would make an even bigger difference is education, period. Further education, more options, and more hope. I think that is the cure to teenage pregnancy.* But, this would mean investing more money - more government money - into education programs at all levels. And, it would not be an immediate pay-off. And, hell, it might not work at all...but, we'd be increasing the access to education for those who have fewer options and smaller incomes, and, that's never a bad thing, right?

*Well, and, perhaps, an elimination of teen dating violence and the scary norm of sexual assaults of teenage girls. But, for now, we'll assume that most of the sex teenagers are having is 'consensual' (although, that is up for debate).

Stonewall Kitchen

Like most people, I've been trying to become more of a localivore.

For years, now, I've been enjoying local produce from farms where the food is grown usually only a mile or two from my doorstep. But, sometimes, you need something a little bit more decadent than corn and green beans.

So, I was pretty thrilled when my trip to Portsmouth (while I was sick, yes) this weekend included a stop at a Stonewall Kitchen store. They've been in existence for about twenty years now and they are a lot more than just jam (although, those are pretty amazing).

While I was there, I picked up some of the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Sauce
...and, yes, it is freaking good as it sounds. You'll want to eat it with a spoon, but, to be dignified instead, use it drizzled on some green apples or dip in a pretzel or two.

My girlfriend, who is more interested in the spicy and salty flavors, fell in love with the Raspberry Salsa. It was a touch too spicy for me, but I have a 'delicate' palate.

So, here I am, without getting any free giveaways or making a commission, promoting their products. If you live in New England, make a trip to one of their stores. If you live outside the area, you could go ahead and order some products online, but it might make sense to find something as equally delicious in your own backyard (although, if no one makes Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Sauce in your neighborhood, I'd forgive you for breaking down and having it shipped - it truly is too good to pass up.)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sick & Busy & Quick Interesting News Roundup

So, I've been non-stop busy...and then, when I finally got a chance to rest, I got sick. Isn't that the way it goes?

There have been lots of things that I've been wanting to blog about, though.

1) NH made national news! But, it is because one of our largest newspapers, out of our biggest cities, refuses to publish engagement and wedding announcements for same-sex couples. And, then, The Union Leader claims that this is not because it is "anti-gay." Which begs the question, can you be pro-gay but anti-same sex marriage? I would say no.

2) Juan Willians was fired from NPR. And, now, the question becomes, can you be fired for being intolerant? NPR is arguing yes, but conservatives, in an ironic twist, are on the side of free speech. I initially sided with my beloved NPR, but, the more I consider, the less sure I become. Certainly, if Juan Williams was voicing his opinion of being pro-choice or pro-same-sex marriage, I would not want him fired for expressing those opinions. So, can a journalist not express opinions, or can they not express intolerant opinions? The jury is still out - and NPR's funding is hopefully not in danger.

3) Sanity was restored, for a day. And, if anything, it produced some signs and poked fun at the ludicrousness of the tea party movement. But, will it encourage all of those people to not be apathetic about voting and keep liberals in political offices? Who knows.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"Speaking the truth about homosexual behavior is not bullying"

Also, apparently, I need to start recruiting more lesbians. I don't think I've gotten nearly enough people to switch teams. I'm so bad at this whole 'gay agenda' thing.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sweet and Spicy Ginger Cookies

Do you even know how good ginger snaps are?

Not those gross hard things they sell in the store. Ones that are soft, spicy, and warm. Those that beg for a tall glass of milk to accompany them. Cookies that taste exactly like the bright, beautiful, crisp fall days outside. They make you want to put on a sweater, carve a pumpkin, and begin your Christmas shopping list.

1 cup all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups white wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup dark molasses
white granulated sugar for rolling

Start with that whole combining all the dry ingredients thing.

Cream the butter and sugar. Mmmm, brown sugar. So delicious. And then whip in the egg and molasses. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together. Now, chill for at least two hours.

Once thoroughly chilled, you're going to roll the dough into small balls. These are then rolled in the granulated sugar and pressed down slightly. Finally, place them on a baking sheet and cook for approximately 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Let's Raise the Age of Adulthood to 21

I was seventeen when the first pornographic image of me was taken. The man who took the photos was twice my age. We were dating. I wouldn't say at the time that there was coercion, but looking back, there certainly was a teenage willingness-to-please and an older man's knowledge and advantage.

From that time on, it slowly became fairly normal to be photographed nude or during sex. And, by nineteen, I was the one suggesting we upload the images on to the internet. They were featured on some amateur porn sites, and, for a while, we contemplated the idea of creating a pay-site. (I was too busy with school work

I stopped creating new images at twenty two.

It's been two and a half years. My pictures are still out there, somewhere, in cyber space, if you look for them. But, more pictures are being uploaded every day. Since mine were nothing special, I think they are lost in the crowd. And, I am very comforted by that.

But, what it makes me think is that an eighteen year old is not old enough to give knowing consent. At eighteen, we make decisions that we are held legally responsible for, but without the development and knowledge to fully comprehend the decisions we are making. I know what you're thinking, that I'm just advocating for the shirking of responsibility. It's not true. I just think that teenagers need to have different consequences than adults; ones that are less punitive and more educational. In my case, there was no punishment, my delinquency was legal. But, maybe I just lucked out.

I'd propose we raise the age of 'adulthood' to twenty one. That's it. No great fix. But, it'd be something, anyhow.

Monday, October 11, 2010

National Coming Out Day

My own coming out story is not full of drama, and I think, frankly, it was a relief to my family. I had gone from one emotionally abusive relationship with a man to a polygamous relationship that was emotionally, physically, and sexually abusive. So, just being in a monogamous relationship with a woman almost seemed safe to my family, I think. And fortunately my girlfriend, that cute little shinobi wan kenobi, is amazingly kind and sensitive. So, my initial coming out story was, relatively, easy.

But, oftentimes, in our heteronormative culture, it seems like every day is coming out day. It seems there is always the re-explaining of the 'no, I don't have a boyfriend, I have a girlfriend,' to acquaintances, friends, more distant relatives. So, here's to a day when we won't need coming out days - when it will be assumed that you grow up and love who you love, marry who you marry, and it's all just considered normal. In the future, I'll wish you a Happy We're All Equal Day. :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Chance to Breathe

Breathing - relaxing - feels so, so, so nice. I'm on a four-day weekend. And while I spent the first day sick, and we've had company yesterday and today, it still just feels amazing. No 3:30am sexual assault hospital calls for me. Is this how most people feel day-to-day when they aren't always talking about domestic violence, sexual assaults, and stalking? Probably.

I love my job. But, I really, really need these breathers.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Perfect Wedding Location

Three Year Olds "Making Up" Sexual Assaults

Yeah, that's what I have to listen to when I attend Case Review once a month.

Let me give you some context. Case Review brings together county attorneys, police detectives, child protective workers, victim/witness advocates, forensic interviewers, licensed mental health counselors, and forensic pediatricians. Oh, yeah, and me. This team discusses the ongoing juvenile sexual assault cases for the region. Updates are given, the team considers various aspects of the cases, and, ideally, it is ensured that the victims and their families are given as much support as possible.

Generally, this is a positive thing.

The problems arise every month, however, typically out of the mouths of police officers (but, occasionally from child protective workers or county attorneys). Well, they are problems to me, at least, but seem not to be problems to most of the other members of the team.

See, a child discloses first to someone - a parent, a teacher, a counselor. Then, they're interviewed by a forensic interviewer. If this second disclosure occurs, it tends to be taken seriously and some good follow-up work is done. Sometimes, however, during the follow-up work, the police will interview the alleged perpetrator. And, occasionally, for whatever reason, the alleged perp. will give off a "not a pedophile" vibe and/or won't 'crack' under interrogation. If this occurs, the police will often begin to question the integrity of the victim and/or the victim's parents.

In yesterday's case, this means stating that a three year old who is stating that she was digitally sodomized by her father, was probably lying.

Now, I come at cases from a different viewpoint. I believe victims. Period. That is what I am paid for. However, I don't just believe victims because I am told I am supposed to. I believe them because I sit with them and listen to them cry "Why did this happen to us? Is my child ever going to be okay again?". I am asked their questions "How could he do that to my baby? Why didn't I know sooner?" I hear their anger "He betrayed my trust. He hurt my child. This was not supposed to happen." I know in my soul that this is not a matter of a family on a vendetta or a child with an active imagination. All the other signs are there; all the symptoms. The child awakes in the middle of the night screaming for her father to get off of her. This is not fiction: this is reality.

But I am not the police. If that alleged perp. seems credible, if that child doesn't seem like exactly the 'best' victim you could find, the case gets closed. The alleged perp. can continue to find other children to harm. The girl can know that her speaking out results in nothing. The family can feel let down by the system and jaded. And, most likely, visitation will have to continue. The sexual abuse will continue. She was a liar when she was three, so when she tells again at six, at eight, at fourteen...there is less of a chance she will be believed. The courts will tell her mother to stop being so vindictive - that there was no evidence that her daughter was sexually abused - why would she try to keep a child away from her father.

And then, forty years from now, maybe she'll join a different support group I co-facilitate. Not the one for children who have been sexually abused. The one for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The one where their pain stems more from being not heard, from being quieted, from being ignored, than from the sexual violence perpetrated against them. The one where we'll bring in pumpkins at the end of the month to carve, in an attempt to give them back part of their childhood.

It breaks my heart that we err on the side of perps. It breaks my heart that I know of sexual abuse being perpetrated - probably right at this moment - and I can do nothing about it. That is why this job burns people up. We get to see this first hand, case after case. I get to meet them when they are three, and again, each year after that.

They're not making it up. Please believe me that they aren't. This is my prayer to a god who doesn't exist.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Acceptance of Same-Sex Marriage

Gay marriage is slowly becoming more and more accepted, according to the Pew Research Center. The question is; does this represent attitudes changing or does it represent older members of society dying off and the younger generation's liberalism?

I'm really hoping that some of it, at least, includes changes in attitudes: I'd like to believe that people are willing to examine the evidence, notice that gay people are neither evil nor are they causing the downfall of the 'traditional' family, and then alter their beliefs.

Sesame Seed Balls

These may not look like much, but these are heaven's balls. (Which are only 600 times better then male testicles, I swear. These aren't salty or sweaty; only sweet and delicious.)
You haven't heard of them before? Well, that's 'cause you probably have never had one of the best brunches ever: dim sum. Don't get me wrong, our Western breakfasts are awesome, and I am planning a crepe blog post soon (have patience, mon petit chou), but you never really get anything umami out of our Western brunches.

Sesame Seed Balls are served at dim sum, but, fortunately, can also be found at Chinese bakeries even until the afternoon (although, they were probably made in the morning, so they're less fresh later on in the day). But, what's great about them aside having the delightful sesame flavor plus the sweetness of lotus nut paste? Well, there's many things, but the next most important one is that they're vegan. Yes, that's right: tasty, delicious, and animal-product free.

So, even though I have yet to make this recipe at home myself, here it is for you. (If you don't want to make a batch at home, either, hit up Chinatown and just enjoy. In Boston, they're only $.60 a piece. The best sixty cents you'll have ever spent.)
1 1/2 cups glutinous rice flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
lotus nut paste
1/2 cup sesame seeds
a bowl of cold water
oil for frying

The bulk of the ball is just the glutinous rice flour, brown sugar and boiling water. Those three ingredients are combined and kneaded until they form a dough. A teaspoon of the lotus nut paste is put inside a well created in each pinched off piece of dough, and then the balls are cinched shut. Next, they're dunked in cold water and rolled in sesame seeds. Finally, they're fried in oil to give them their golden color. For details and more on the recipe see Hell Yeah It's Vegan!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Gliese 581g

Who knew astronomers actually did something?

Ones who work for Carnegie Institute in Washington and the University of California at Santa Cruz do, at least. After eleven years, they found a planet that could, potentially, be inhabitable to life. It has the right temperature conditions, the potential for having liquid water, and an atmosphere that may be able to support life. (It's also not known if there is oxygen, but even if there isn't, some bacteria don't need it anyhow.)

According to Steven Vogt, co-discover, he believes that there is a "100% chance" of life existing on Gliese 581g.

So, if we found Earth 2.0, what does this mean for the various religions? How do you mesh the concept of life on another planet with current religious viewpoints? It will be interesting to see the reaction (or, maybe, the reaction will just be the standard response: see my previous post for the formula).

How would it change your world view if 'aliens' became scientific fact?

Science v. The Church

From SMBC.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

When will it be 1964, again?

Dan Savage, columnist for The Stranger, has created a viral video entitled It Gets Better, in response to the recent rash of suicides by LGBTQ youth.

It's a good video. It's touching; it's inspiring; it's honest; it contains personal stories. And as for myself and my girlfriend, I can certainly say life has indeed gotten much better since middle and high school. And, for most teenagers, LGBTQ or not, life is probably significantly better after high school.

But, is society getting better? It would be easy to say yes. There are more openly gay people, in my home state we can get legally married, there are some anti-discrimination laws on the books, and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is something that quickly is looking like it will be a thing of the past.

But, then, I hesitate. I live in New England. Things are better...here. Things are better...among young people. Things are better...when you're talking to liberals. But, once I try to un-insulate myself, travel down south, speak to those who are religiously conservative, talk to the over forty or over fifty crowd, things don't seem much better.

Actually, they seem kinda worse. The openly gay hate is not just accepted; it's celebrated. With each step forward toward equality, civil liberties, and social acceptance that the LGBTQ community takes, the louder and the angrier the conservative right be
comes. If you were living within a deeply religious community forty years ago, would it have been easier, day-to-day to be gay? While you felt the need to closet your identity, would you not have had to stomach weekly prayers led against homosexuals?

But, to steal more analogies from the struggles of the African American community, I feel like we are now facing our own version of the KKK. It is our 1920s - and we are free, but not equal. We are accepted by more, but the radical groups are only angrier and more determined. We have our own Jim Crow Laws; DOMA, DADT. There are businesses that want to turn us away, not cater our weddings. There are churches who don't want us inside. And there are some of us who 'pass,' who pretend we are straight in order to gain more opportunities and advancement.

I'm looking forward to our Civil Rights Act, to our 1964.

(Note: In no way do I want to belittle the struggles of the African American community, nor do I wish to say that we have suffered in exactly similar ways, or have exactly similar histories. It has been historically difficult to be gay, but we have not suffered the atrocities of forced servitude and bondage. Please understand that I find ALL people deserving of basic human rights and of dignity. We turn toward the African American Civil Rights Movement for leadership and guidance. Thank you for standing up, demanding to be heard and counted and making it easier for the rest of us to do the same.)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Apple Oat Scones

Here in New England, summer has been creeping away, leaving us fully in the throes of Fall. The trees are yellowing to red. The world smells like hay. And the apples are crisp, tart, and plentiful.

Using apples from our local farm, I recently made some scrumptious Apple Oat Scones (recipe courtesy of the Wakefield Inn).

2 Cups Flour
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Oats
1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
1 Apple
1 Egg
1 Cup Heavy Cream

Now, this is a devastatingly easy recipe. And when they are warm out of the oven - tender with subtle, delicious flavors - it will taste like you spent much longer than the half hour it takes to make these scones.

After sifting together the dry ingredients, you add a peeled, cored, and diced apple to the mixture. The egg and cream are combined separately and then folded in to the dry ingredients (in as few strokes as possible).

After generously flouring a flat surface, the dough is separated in half, formed into (approximately 6 inch diameter) circles, and then cut into wedges of four or six.

The scone wedges should now be placed onto a baking stone or a metal sheet lined with parchment paper and placed into an oven preheated to 400 degrees. These scones only bake for 12-15 minutes and are a beautiful golden brown color when finished.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

In Which I Make the Case for Not Having Friends

There are many reasons not to have friends. Most of them have to do with you, yourself, being too much of a sociopath or too socially awkward to successfully engage in relationships. But, there are legitimate reasons for 'normal' people to avoid friendships. And, here, I will make the case (in a numbered and organized format).

1) You'll only ever have to move your own shit. You don't buy 600 pound couches or 12 foot long aquariums, but your friends do. And, eventually, they'll move somewhere with it. They're too cheap, or you're too helpful, whatever the case, you'll end up moving it. And hernias can last a lifetime, unlike most friendships.

2) If you're up at 3 am, it's because your own relative died. Eventually, if you are friends with someone for long enough, they are going to assume that you will support them at any time of day or night. And be it a drunk dial or a true crisis, your iphone/blackberry/rotary phone is going to start chiming at an ungodly hour at some point. Do you have many friends? This could be come a common, maybe even nightly, phenomena. And chronic sleeplessness can lead to accidents, a lowered immune system, and even death.

3) You can give yourself advice, and take it or leave it. Friends, once they have known you long enough, are bound to develop opinions about your life. It might be about your clothing choices, your relationship choices, or what body part to pierce next (belly button piercing for everyone!). And while at first it may be fun to have these 'suggestions,' you will soon be feeling pressure from your friends to make decisions that they feel are best for you. Your independence will be deeply compromised. And was our nation not built on freedom from tyranny?

There you have it.

Friendship: The Downfall of (Wo)Man.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Golden Delicious Circles of Crunchy Wonder

First things first, get yourself some onions. Mine are Vidalias and from our local farm (where I was formerly employed - fun fact).

Slice onions and break apart the circles.

Next step, apply beer liberally to a bowl. If you're making these at the end of the summer season, it's best to use the left over beer that people brought to barbecues or picnics. No one is going to drink this beer, (It's Pabst Blue Ribbon, isn't it? It's okay, I'm not judging your redneck friends.) and beer doesn't get better with age.

Add flour and cayenne.

As always, salt and pepper. (Preferably in 1970s shakers like mine, if possible.)

Whisk this all up into a nice foamy, delicious looking batter. Dredge the onions in it. Make sure to flip them over and get both sides coated well. For extra crunch and texture, you can sprinkle them with panko or even add it into the batter.

Oh, did I mention that while you were doing this, you should be heating up some oil? Yeah, that would've been smart. It doesn't really matter what kind you use, and I always just buy buckets of extra virgin olive oil and put that in everything (even baked goods - you'd be surprised, it works).

Unless you have a deep frier, this oil you should've been heating will be in a regular skillet, about an inch deep. And this oil needs to be HOT. Like "don't let your small children anywhere near the kitchen" hot. You should feel comfortable that it would give you third degree burns if someone poured it on you from a castle wall. So, in conclusion, nice and hot.

Time to fry the onions. They'll take a few minutes. Leave them in until they're golden.

Allow them some time to cool before eating.

C'est fini.

2 Large Vidalia Onions
1-1/2 Bottles of Beer
1 Cup of Flour
Panko (if desired)

*None of the measurements are exact. Go with what tastes right/looks right to you. Try it out a few times, tweak it, change it up, make it even better, and then post a blog about it. I dare you.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

And, honestly, most people don't think your penis is as awesome as you do.

This has appeared in a number of other blogs, but, it is good enough that I believe it is worth repeating.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Danger of Not Questioning Why

As an occupation, I am a child advocate. My primary role is to provide support, information, and referrals to childhood victims of sexual abuse and their non-offending caregivers. One of the questions I am asked most frequently by my clients is "why?"

Why? Why did they choose me and my family? Why does he do that? Why didn't I notice? Why didn't she tell me sooner?

There are many painful questions that they have. Unfortunately, most of them will never be answered satisfactorily.

But, what interests me is that the questioning often comes after the disclosure, not before. Now, I do not want this to be construed as victim-blaming, but I am often astonished that there are all these 'red flag' behaviors concerning an individual that they know, but no one, at the time, prior to the assaults, questions why someone would be spending so much time with their child, buying them elaborate gifts, offering free babysitting, etc.

I understand, obviously, that I know the warning signs, while many others have never been educated in them, but even if you had no knowledge around childhood sexual abuse, if you did have practice with analyzing the events of your life and critically considering the motivations and thoughts of others, you might have been led to question why.

It is not the families faults for not questioning. They should be able to live in a world where one must not be on guard for potential trust violations by close friends and family members.

However, this does reconfirm my belief that teaching those analytical skills applies to so many areas of life, and that those who were never taught how to think critically are at a disadvantage. So, I feel it is my job not only to educate families as to what signs to watch out for, but how to think about their lives and the people in them in an even more mindful way.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Welcome to the Internets.

Yes, I'm welcoming myself.

And, no, I'm not new to "the internets," however, I am new to blogging.

Before you cross yourself or do a little circle-circle-dot-dot, I promise that despite my 'newbness' this is not going to be a blog about cute pictures of my children (I don't have any), cute pictures of animals (cute with chris already does that), or cute pictures of hot chicks (see: the rest of the internet for all your pornography needs).

So, Astasia, if those are three things you are not posting about, what are three things you probably will post about? (Good question, self.)

And the answer is:

1) Lesbianism (it's hawt and lovely)
2) Vegetarianism (it's moral and delicious)
3) Feminism (it's equal and necessary)

Depending upon your views, now actually may be the more appropriate time to appeal to your lord or administer a cootie shot. But, if you're somewhat liberal minded, interested in a recipe, a rant, or maybe something scandalous, then, welcome. To the internets, and to my blog. It's nice to have you here.