Friday, June 17, 2005

Do I Look Fat?

It’s a relief to be out of the restaurant business. I don’t miss the high blood pressure one bit. I’m still in the food business, it would be impossible for me to stay away from food for any length of time. Once a foodie, always a foodie. It’s hereditary I think, when my family sits down to eat together, our food is still warm on our plates when we begin to plan the next meal. It’s an Italian thing, dinner to Italians is like a sacrament, the moment the meal reaches the table, a silence descends and all conversation halts. For the first ten minutes of the meal, the only human sounds one can hear are basic guttural noises, like Uhmmmmm, and oohh, the clicking of forks on plates and sounds of contentment. Near the end of the meal, someone will speak, usually asking for more bread and olive oil, or maybe it’s me, eyeing a sibling’s plate where a couple of goat cheese ravioli remain untouched, ( it annoys me to see pasta uneaten) and the whole table will hear me say, “Hey! You gonna eat that or what?”

I get really South Side when I’m around my family.

Anyway, like I was saying, I’m out of the restaurant business, but not out of the food business. I work in a specialty food store, and all day I am surrounded by fabulous pastries, fresh seafood, imports of all kinds, things that you can’t find at the grocery store. I try to maintain a healthy weight, (by healthy I figure that it’s at least 10 pounds over what my doctor tells me I should weigh, cause who wants to be a skinny bitch? Skinny bitches are no fun to hang out with because no matter where you want to go for dinner, they always end up eating something sensible and they never want to order dessert, so there is no sharing of every exotic item on the dessert menu. No one likes to date a skinny bitch, because they are always wanting to do things like running, or rock climbing. You get halfway up the rock, and realize that on top of this uninteresting mountain, they don’t even have a 7-11, all that exertion and no food afterwards. And I’m telling you right now, no one wants to sleep with a skinny bitch, cause there’s nothing to hold onto, it’s like f-ing a broomstick, what fun is that?!!). It’s always a struggle for me to maintain my weight, since my work is food, a good part of my waking moments are spent buying, selling, and tasting food. I’m a pretty good sales person, when I am answering a question a customer has about oh say, White Chocolate Ganache with Pistachios and Raspberries, I get totally Italian about it, my eyes get big, my arms start to wave in the air, and the customer buys two of them. My store is full of people just like me, we love food, and we are enthusiastic about our work. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

My doctor doesn’t understand my love of food. She’s from some Southeast Asian country, where they don’t have any. She’s a great doctor, she give me good drugs weather I need them or not, but she is kind of bossy. She has a voice like Margaret Cho’s mother, and as soon as I weigh in and have my blood pressure taken, she’s in my face with Mrs Cho’s voice saying,


I don’t really think of myself as fat, but compared to her tiny frame, I guess I could be considered slightly overweight. My doctor is four feet tall and she weighs maybe 85 pounds. Jeez, I’m only a size ten, that’s not so bad. I mean, in the US, that’s considered average. I’m only considered fat in some third world country where the only thing to eat is rice and soybeans. Or in Paris, where the skinny bitches get to eat French pastry every day and not gain a pound. So what’s the problem? Doctor Cho is waiting for me to tell her what I’ve been eating, so I try to think about it.

Hmmnn…for breakfast, I had a pear and a cup of Wake the F UP coffee, but no half and half, and only a Sweet and Low. When I got to work, the Cheese Lady was all excited about the 6 year old Vermont Cheddar (she was waving her arms and jumping up and down), and she made me taste some, and I did, and it was fabulous, and then she encouraged me to have another taste, because it was really expensive, and she would not be giving it away again. So I ate a huge chunk, it was heavenly, and you really can’t tell from the first taste anyway, right? Then the Candy Lady cornered me wanting me to try the new chocolate from some micro chocolate producer in a tiny village in Switzerland. I tried to avoid it, but to avoid chocolate is just wrong, especially when the Candy Lady is waving it under your nose like some sweet smelling salts that will bring you back to life.

The chocolate was to die for.

I hid in the office for an hour, doing some payroll work, but soon had to intervene in a catering crisis. The kitchen had prepared a tray of sliced avocados way too early, and they were beginning to oxidize. The client was Mrs. Lascariest, who owns almost all of Mexico City, and a couple of good sized counties in Texas. If we sent the avocado tray to her house beginning to look brown, I would almost certainly have to spend at least an hour on the phone apologizing for the unforgivable mistake, and if I didn’t apologize just right, I would probably have to give her a huge discount just to get her off the phone. I decided that we needed new avocados, and we would leave the skin on, and garnish the hell out of the tray to make it look presentable. We did just that, but I was left with thirty pounds of avocados that were perfectly ripe, and just sitting there on the catering table, getting riper. I did what any foodie would do with ripe avocados, I made guacamole. I didn’t use a recipe, so I had to season it to taste. I didn’t get it quite right on the first try, I had to squeeze in a couple of limes and minced cilantro, but after several tastes, it turned out just right.

I went back in the office and I realized that I hadn’t eaten lunch! I wasn’t very hungry, so I ate a salad with blue cheese and Mandarin oranges with Citrus Vinaigrette. Very sensible. I went back to inputting payroll, but soon after I began, there was another crisis that needed my attention. The cooler in the bakery was running warm, and the pastry chef was worried about the quality of the Triple Chocolate Banana Tart. She brought a big slice with a spoon and set it right on my desk. I took a bite and thought it was just fine, but since I had taken a bite already, we couldn’t sell it, and I was forced to eat the whole thing!

Did I say that my job was tough?

My doctor was studying my face as I was thinking about the Triple Chocolate Banana Tart. I think my eyes got big, and I began to smile as if I were in a dream. She wrote furiously on her prescription pad and barked,

“No Chocolate! You too fat! You eat Chocolate, You DIE!”

Die? From Chocolate? Is that possible?

There are worse ways to go.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Camp Breeder

I was reading a post by my friend Happy yesterday (I have to refer to her as Happy, because we have two ME's in the group now) and was intrigued by the idea that a person could change sexual orientation through hard work and prayer. I decided to check out some of the advice offered by people who had already been through THE CHANGE. I mean why not, there are all sorts of benefits to being straight, and besides, I wouldn't have to endure those weekly phone calls from my mother. She calls me every Sunday to tell me that she is still praying for the salvation of my immortal soul. Sometimes she goes off on the "Gay Marriage Causes the Collapse of Society and Other Really Bad Things" spiel. I try not to let the conversation go on long enough to have to listen to how everything that is wrong in the world is somehow my fault, but how long can you talk about the weather? Maybe if I could figure out how to change my orientation, my mother would talk to me about furniture, or we could exchange recipes just like mothers and daughters do on TV.

I didn't tell my partner A. that I was thinking of going through THE CHANGE. I figured that it wouldn't work, and if it did, then couldn't I just change back? Maybe if I really turned into a straight gurl, then my mother would get off my back. A. might not even notice. I have had a lot of practice pretending to be straight, how hard could it be to pretend to be gay? If the straight thing was really hard to shake, I could always rent the Tomb Raider movies. Angelina Jolie in those action outfits is enough to make even Anne Coulter question her orientation. (Okay, I'm not suggesting that we let Anne into the Family, she would have to first go on a shopping spree and get rid of those black patent leather shoes!) It didn't seem like such a bad thing to be straight, and if being straight would get my mother to back off, it might even be worth it. I'm sure I could fix any problems with A, we've been together for thirteen years, through what seemed like insurmountable problems. Unlike my mother, I'm sure she would love me no matter what.

She does already. Good thing for me.

I clicked on some of Happy's links. The Dobson link was particularly informative. If you pay the $250 entrance fee, you get all of your questions answered. The most common questions were already answered free of charge. The first one was this:

1. Am I going to Hell?

Answer: Yes. Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200. One "Get Out of Hell Free" pass can be purchased by donating $5000 to Focus On The Family. If you buy two, you can skip all of mandatory prayer, and go straight to heaven.

2. Is sex with straight men really awful?

Answer: Yes, but it only lasts for 5 minutes, and afterwards he falls sound asleep so you can catch the Leno show.

3. What should I do about all of my tattoos?

Answer: Repent!

4. Will being straight totally suck?

Answer: Find out by attending our seminar Change NOW 2005. For the low price of $499.99 you can win a Bible!

I really wanted the answer to the last question, and wished that it were not so expensive. I had the money, but I didn't have a week off from work to go to the seminar. Salvation was really inconvenient. And wow, it was expensive! But prayer and meditation were free, so I decided to give it a whirl. I began by visualizing a hetero life. I saw myself in heels. I was wearing a neatly ironed pink suit. I looked…..different. My hair was pulled back in a braid, and not one hair was out of place. I was wearing eye make-up. My tattoos were covered by long sleeves and a turtleneck collar. I was saying something….

"You know, I just love being a Breeder. The kids are so much fun!"

"Children! The Lord's gift to women!" She was also wearing a pink suit, but she was tall and blond, and her ass was….nice.
I was never really attracted before to the spiritual type, but maybe I was missing something?

"Oh and look! There's your husband!" She gestured to a middle aged bald guy walking up to greet us. That was my husband? I was sure that the brochure had shown a picture of the straight men, and they were better looking. In the pictures, didn't they all have hair? Trailing behind my husband were three small children. They had finger paint all over their tiny little hands. They were carrying these hand painted Jesus pictures and they saw me and rushed over to meet me. "Mommy! Jesus Loves YOU!" They ran to meet me with dirty fingers and snotty noses. I looked over at the blond in pink. The words came out of my mouth before I could stop them.

"Hey. There's this seminar later tonight. It's called "How to Resist the Urge to Cut Your Hair. Are you going?"

She raised her eyebrows and said, "I wouldn't miss it. It's the best workshop in the Camp."

And then the kids jumped all over me, getting my perfect pink suit all gritty with paint and dirt. They were screaming crazy things like, " I want my blanky! I have to go potty! Why don't I have a pee-pee like daddy? I'm hungry! My tummy hurts." I kept repeating to my self, "There's no place like home, there's no place like home….."

When I woke up, A. was squinting at me. "You're talking in your sleep. Are you okay?" I was so happy to see her.

"I am now." I said.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Smelling Like A Rose

I’m having a weekend. I know it’s Thursday, and you can’t have a weekend in the middle of the week, but when you run a business that’s open seven days a week, you rarely get two days off in a row, so when you do, it’s like a mini vacation. There are some advantages to being off in the middle of the week. I can get in and out of the dry cleaners in less than ten minutes. There are not so many bicycles on the street. I’m all for sharing the road, but when some D-head on a bike pulls into the middle of the lane ahead of me going 5 mph, I feel like running his ass over. Buying shoes on a Wednesday is much easier than buying them on a Saturday. On Saturday there are at least 15 women in the shoe department waiting for the two salespeople that are willing to work weekends. You can see the sweat beads on their faces as they race to and from with stacks pf shoe boxes. When they stop momentarily at least ten women start shouting and waving, “I need this in a size seven! TAUPE or Charcoal Black!” The last time I shopped for shoes on a Saturday I was politely waiting my turn when some skinny bitch tried to shove in front of me. Unfortunately for the skinny bitch, I don’t move so easily. She tried a second time, and I gave her a Tank Gurl hip check that sent her all the way to the cash register. Hey, I’m a size ten; I don’t take any shit from size 4’s.

I should be in a better mood because of my weekend, but I’m not. The day started out just fine, I walked up to the Corner Bakery and bought a couple of newspapers and a large Americano and sat outside (where there were plenty of extra tables). I bought a New York Times, and The Guardian, because you can’t really trust the American News Media to give you the full story. The lead story today in both papers is of course the Tony Blair visit. What’s interesting about this visit is that it’s the first time that both of them publicly commented on the Downing Street Memo. Both declared the memo to be false, and of course we believe them.

End of story. Right?

Pretty much. You can bet your house that there won’t be any independent investigation. We know the facts. The facts haven’t changed since 2002, so we already know what happened. There’s nothing we can do about it. The time for acting was 2004, that time has passed. We can now enjoy the sight of victorious newly elected leaders of the free world tell bold faced lies to the rest of the world and there isn’t jack we can do about it. No Independent Counsel, no internal investigation that we can trust, no reason why we shouldn’t risk the lives of American service people just because we feel like it. For reasons unknown to even the parents and spouses of these dead Americans, we went to war. For reasons that have now been proven unfounded, our soldiers died. I wish that Tony Blair and George Bush would stand up like real leaders and tell the families of these fallen servicemen just why they have died.

Does it have three letters and begin with an O?

About me

I hate writing bios. Who cares if I like music and gardening? We're not going to date, we're just going to share ideas.

If you haven't figured out that I'm a little left of center, you will as soon as you read The Blue Voice. If I hadn't been born gay, I might have ended up just like any other American, by now I would have a few children, my main concern would be keeping them out of trouble, and worrying about how to afford their education. But my life has taken a different path, we are not all born activists, some of us would rather be peacemakers, but growing up gay in America sets you apart from the rest of the country, and even sometimes members of your own family. I have been through what every other member of my community has lived through, the Aids crisis of the 80's and 90's, the struggle for equal rights, the hatred and violence of my fellow citizens.

For the past several years I have put aside my work for the gay community, I feel that we have many issues that are more pressing. I'm already married, to my partner of 13 years, and it doesn't really matter to me what the state thinks about it, if they leave me to pursue my own happiness, then I don't really care what anyone thinks about it. I'm more concerned with the environmental threats to our planet. I live in Washington DC, and you only need to drive by the Capitol to know that something's wrong. We live behind cement barricades. Helicopters fly so low that it sounds as if they might land on the roof. Evacuations happen so often, no one takes them seriously anymore. We have decided that war is the only option, and having spread the seeds of war, we now wait behind steel and concrete for our offspring to come home.

Don't worry, I am packed and ready to fly when the s**t hits the fan.