A Gift from the Chef

July 10, 2010

So, due in no small part to my general wussiness about camping in 100+ degree weather in Alabama, we decided instead to stop in Atlanta. Specifically, I said, “Hey, want to go find Kevin [Gillespie, of Top Chef season 6 finalist fame]’s restaurant in Atlanta?”

I would like full credit for what turned out to be a really good idea. [Warning: food porn ahead!]

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May 28, 2010

There’s an interesting post over at Feministing on a scene from a recent episode of Glee, wherein a (straight) dad takes his girlfriend’s (straight) son to task over the teen’s use of “faggy.” I haven’t seen the episode yet (I haven’t been watching it live due to the timeslot conflict with Lost until recently, so I’m several episodes behind) and I have pretty conflicted feelings about Glee on the whole, but I’m intrigued by the discussion at Feministing about the context of the scene. While I was mulling it over, I came across this comment:

I was annoyed with the parenting that led up to this moment. What the hell kind of parent rooms two teenagers of sexually active age together, when you know that one of them could be attracted to the other? You wouldn’t ask an unrelated teenage boy and girl to room together, surely it’s a bad idea to ask unrelated gay teens of the same gender to do so. It’s just asking for trouble of some kind.

A couple of things strike me when I read this comment. First, apparently it’s only an issue when unrelated boys and girls (or pairs of any gender when one is gay) room together. And secondly, you should always err on the side of caution when one teen could be attracted to the other?

Maybe this just strikes a nerve with me because all too familiar with the perception that queer teens are sexual predators.

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You’ll need a parent to sign this.

January 19, 2009

After doing a little reading on Star Trek and teh Gay (two of my favorite things), I’ve been thinking a lot about how some of my favorite shows stack up in terms of queer representation.

But then I thought, why stop there?

Thus, I present to you, in no particular order, a report card on issues of sexuality, gender and race for some of my favorite shows.

[Spoiler warning: if you’re not up to date on these series, I might be revealing plot info you didn’t want revealed. You’ve been warned.]

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The Superb Owl

February 4, 2008

The handy thing about not really being a sports fan is that you can watch A Very Important Game and not be very fazed by the outcome. That said, Tom Brady is a schmuck.

Also, the ads were a little disappointing this year. Regardless, here are my votes, in no particular order.

1. Grossest: The etrade ad with the spitup. I found both ads mildly amusing but also kind of disconcerting.

2. Most offensive: That weird adgenie or whoever they are animated ad with the pandas. Seriously, who let that ad go to air? Everyone watching in my room was more than a little stunned.

3. Best use of an animal costume: Viewer-submitted Doritos ad. I didn’t really like watching the poor guy get beaten up, but I really appreciated the mouse busting through the wall.

4. Best overall: The Bridgestone screaming squirrel. (The deer and the woman were also fantastic, but I think the squirrel should really get the props here.)

Budweiser had a fine showing, but not their best work; the firebreathing was much better than the flying, but I’ve liked some of their regular spots a lot better. And what was up with all the super boring car commercials?

A note to my regular readers, all two of you: I’m going to start posting regularly for my young adult literature class. No doubt my commentary will veer into the queer and feminist and snarky realms nonetheless, but the subject matter is going to start out in the realm of teen fiction. Shweet.

Quick hit: first three movies

January 8, 2008

I’m in San Diego for most of this week, which means massive amounts of movie and television watching with my aunt. We tried to see three yesterday but the paper lied to us about the time the first one was playing, so we had to be satisfied with just two.

The Golden Compass: I liked it. I don’t know what my brother’s problem is. I mean, yes, there’s a fairly key plot point left out from the beginning, which may make the other two a little tricky. But given the box office response to the first, it’s entirely possible there won’t be more movies. I’m also confused by the fact that the credits list this film as being based upon the book Northern Lights, rather than the book The Golden Compass. (Is it me?) I expected the book to get movie-friendly-ized, as so often happens, but to base it on a different book? That so closely resembles that other book? Wicked confused.

The Kite Runner: Very close to the book, which is fantastic. Generally well-done and sad and beautiful. Also if you’re one of those people who forgets books after you read them (aside from a vague sense of this was a good book) you should wait a bit after reading it to see this movie. Then the ending will be a surprise, as it was to me. (I’m one of those people, for the record.)

The Savages: Quite good. Depressing, which shouldn’t be surprising if you read anything about the movie. And if you have a loved one suffering from dementia this might be a little tough to watch in parts. But it also has funny moments, and touching moments, and they don’t kill the dog. I’m sorry if that’s a spoiler for anyone, but I personally feel that movies (coughIAmLegendcough) should come with some kind of a warning if they’re going to kill off a dog. I just can’t handle that shit.

I’ve also been watching the triumphant return of American Gladiators to television. You laugh, but I friggin love this show. I loved it growing up and I love it now. I think my favorite gladiator is Hellga, but she mostly gets to stand around and be the big last person on the Gauntlet. Titan is a close second just because he has that weird Ken doll head. But the real question: how many of the gladiators are gay? I think Crush totally might be. Also Titan. Did I not mention the weird Ken doll head?

The view on transgender kids

December 6, 2007

Hat tip to Queer Today for posting this. I see it’s also among the most viewed videos on YouTube today, though naturally I wouldn’t recommend reading the comments. (Not the worst I’ve seen, but YouTube comments are always far from enlightened.)

It’s pretty cool to hear the oldest woman on the show acknowledge that trans youth usually know from a very young age that there’s something different about them, and I appreciate guest host Melina Kanakaredes being very diplomatic in asserting that kids should all have the chance to play and explore without being labeled or told what they’re doing is wrong. Naturally I’m not a big fan of Sherri Shepherd’s position (“Not in my house and not until you’re 18”) but at least she’s being consistent–no sex under her roof for unmarried couples, gay or straight, and absolutely no crossdressing. Thanks, Sherri. Glad you could clear that up for us.

(Footnote: could someone in the know tell me what’s up with using the asterisk with the word trans? I’ve seen it on a couple of blogs now, and it confuses me. I’m a big fan of Whipping Girl and try to use pronouns and adjectives the way they’re used by people I know and love… help me out, folks!)

And the winner is…

February 26, 2007

After having successfully watched the Academy Awards from start to finish for the first time in my life, I would like to offer up my own personal awards.

Best facial expression on camera: Steve Carell, after being listed by Ellen as an example of the diverse crowd in attendance. (Other nominations in the category: Meryl Streep, when her co-stars from The Devil Wears Prada joked about forgetting to bring her latte; Al Gore, for having one.)

Most wooden presentation by a smokin’ hot actress: Maggie Gyllenhaal, who actually only recapped her presentation of the tech awards from the previous night, and badly.

Guy we’d most like to shut up: Tom Hanks. ‘Nuff said.

Presenter standing most awkwardly to the side during an acceptance speech: Clint Eastwood. Though, in his defense, for some reason he was translating. Still, he probably didn’t need to be standing that close.

Audience member least able to look like she understood Italian: Kate Winslet.

Ugliest dress to feature a bow that looked like a shoulder growth: That one Nicole Kidman was wearing.