Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat

I'm a Halloween curmudgeon, a grouchy candy eater; I would choose the basement and a darkened porch if left alone. But Nan, on the other hand, welcomes the trick or treaters, the cute kids in their costumes only desiring a bit of candy for their treat. It's not the act of giving out candy or the chit chat with the neighbors that disturbs me yearly on this night; it's the unpredictable interruption into my evening. Seriously, if Trick or Treat could simply be scheduled, this is what I'd like to see:
  • 5:45-6:00 Infants with their parents
  • 6:15-6:45 Children accompanied by adults
  • 7:00-7:15 Random children alone or in groups, adults not necessarily present
  • 7:15 Porch lights out throughout the neighborhood. 
And then, I could celebrate in the neighborhood chit chat, rather than sitting in a room shut off from the festivities (with the dog of course), missing that I wasn't at the door when Nan met some new neighbors a block down, out for the evening, introducing themselves to anyone with a porch light on. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hello Fall--Butternut Squash Risotto

A hot steamy bowl of butternut squash risotto is one oozing mouthful of fall goodness. Topped with a bit of fresh pepper, the dish seriously melts away any chill of the evening. Hints of the pinot gris wine, vegetable stock, and freshly grated parmesan all combine into a delicious accompaniment to the fresh butternut squash (that always screams fall) and arborio rice.

I used Martha's recipe, omitting the fresh sage (sadly none to be found in my fridge or wilting garden) and substituting freshly ground pepper for  garnish. I also probably used 1.5 times the amount of the butternut squash.

Seriously yum.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Call Me Ally

301 pledges signed. This was more than double what we expected last week. After years and years of having to lead the charge for GLBT related issues on campus, I find myself lucky this semester to have a group of energized students who took charge and organized an ally pledge signing to support GLSEN's Ally Week activities.

Usually on campus, the Queers & Allies group set up tables outside the cafeteria and watch people avoid us as they walk with their eyes entranced by the nothingness of the opposite wall simply so they don't make eye contact with the happy queers. This week, though, people came in numbers to the table, signing pledges to be voices against gay bullying.

More support became apparent on Spirit Day, October 20th, when people sported purple shirts, purple ribbons, purple anything to call attention to the recent suicides of LGBT youth. Colleagues stopped me in the hallway, pointing out the purple they donned; some others emailed me to describe their outfit, telling me they had looked for me so I could see their purple. These displays bring some hope after weeks of reading one news story after another about another queer youth committing suicide, after reading more constipation from the Obama camp regarding DADT, and after years of feeling like if I don't fight for some change on campus, nobody will.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

On my 51st year

When I turned 50 last year, I thought I might have all these milestones to achieve. Prior to the big 5-0, I came up with a ridiculous list that included 50 in all the entries:
  • Post a blog entry daily for 50 consecutive days
  • Write 50 thangs (poems, essays, stories) within the year
  • Practice banjo for 50 days in the year
  • Exercise 50 minutes a day several times a week
  • Eat out at 50 different restaurants
And probably many more along the same vein of ridiculousness. The year passed, as most other years, fulfilling nothing on the imaginary list (although perhaps the restaurants, but I wasn't keeping track).

Now in my 51st year, I look back and see that I did accomplish some things that I wished to get back on track. It seems that with each year that passes, I moan about my lack of writing, my inability to set a priority to make my creativity happen; I obsess about not getting into a regular exercise regime so I can feel better about my body; and I ponder undertaking some major cleaning/sorting projects in the house (e.g. the garage, the kitchen cabinets, my bookshelf).
  • I kickstarted my writing. Over the summer I took a digital story workshop and created a digital story, and I wrote and revised some poetry, sharing it with a colleague for some informal feedback.
  • This fall, I have carried over the writing from the summer, taking a travel writing class with Nan from Shari Caudron: finishing brief 250-500 word pieces, sharing writing in class as a student, and analyzing travel essays that veered away from some traditional travel essays. Enjoyed the class so much, that I am strongly considering taking an essay writing class this spring.
  • I started this blog, inspired to continue my writing with a bit of regularity (no prunes necessary)
  • Over the summer, with plenty of time, I got back into an exercise regime that helped me feel healthy and fit. Whether I was biking 20 miles, taking Sasha for long walks, or hiking, I didn't obsess so much about an ideal weight and look.
  • This fall, I still struggle to regain that regular exercise habit since that is the first thing that falls when my schedule gets busy. I have managed to take a yoga class most weeks, and I am feeling more and more drawn back to the gym to get back into an exercise schedule.
It seems that if I don't consciously set goals, they are somehow implicitly there, nestled in the back of my psyche. Banjo--it's your turn next.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

National Coming Out Day

National Coming Out Day is all about telling stories, recognizing the different moments of being out, celebrating our individuality loud and proud. Each year, I'm reminded how crucial it is to be out, to say to the world that being queer is not a less than, not an other, not a choice. Yesterday, at our Queers and Allies (our campus equivalent of a GSA) meeting, we went around the room telling coming out stories, sharing struggles and celebrations. What struck me most was how raw some of the stories were for people telling them, the struggle and pain still very much a part of their present. And this rawness reminded me how crucial it was to be out, since our stories helped empower each other, helped remind each other that even though our stories are different, the awkwardness, the search, the recognition, and the deep sigh of relief are something that resonates through all our experiences.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Feeding Technorati

This blog is simply for the purpose of having Technorati recognize the blog post.
On other random notes, today I learned:
  • sustainability is too easily interchanged with the concept of environmentalism, rather than embracing aspects of economics, social justice, and enviromentalism
  • it's easier to explain aspects and practices of agricultural sustainability rather than defining the broad concept
  • attending a conference downtown that is not directly related to my discipline felt like a school field trip to a really cool intellectual site
  • that I only have to be on campus two days this week (due to the conference)
  • Jax has a fantabulous happy hour with delicious calamari and poke, perfectly accompanied by a margarita

Sunday, October 10, 2010

CSA Adventures: Quinoa Salad

It's the season when the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) pickups become a dizzying melange of vegetables, when kale is aplenty, and when I am reminded that freshness is ticking against the length of the days. Yesterday, my refrigerator left little peeking room around piles of vegetables, and so, an intervention was needed to clear out space. The huge alien shaped kohlrabi threatened to permanently move into the fruit drawer (the veggie drawer was already overcrowded) and the daikon radishes appeared to be sporting odd growths in need of a trim. On a whim, I decided to toss the kohlrabi (peeled and diced of course), along with the daikon radish (also peeled but sliced) with some oil and salt into the oven (425 degrees) for about 45 minutes. Once that was finished, I set about assembling a salad like casserole of vegetables. And thus, this quinoa salad was born.

1/2 cup quinoa (mix of cream-colored and red)
1 bunch of greens (I used a mixture of curly kale and Lacinto kale)
1 carrot sliced
1 kohlrabi, peeled, diced and roasted
1 daikon radish, sliced and roasted
1 cooked beet (I prefer mine roasted)
3-4 cloves of garlic
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/s cup chopped cilantro
2-4 oz. goat cheese
1/2 lime
olive oil

Cook the quinoa. Let cool to room temperature.

Add the greens, garlic, and onion to 1-2 tbs olive oil and saute until softened but still slightly crisp (should not be a pile of mush). Add the slices of carrots and saute for 1-2 minutes (the carrots should still have a crunch to them).

Toss the quinoa with the cooked greens and the rest of the vegetables and herbs. Mix together, add the goat cheese (as much as your taste buds prefer), salt to taste, 1 tsp of olive oil, and the juice of 1/2 lime.

You now have a salad with hints of summer and a definite dose of fall.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

There's a new blog in town

Adios You've been a kind friend since October 2004, always there, always ready, always accepting. I know that I, on the other hand, have not been as faithful, sometimes not communicating for months at a time. Circumstances spoke and with the closing of blog-city, I had to look for a new home, and here it is. I have decided to abandon the midgebop label for the blog, feeling like I should clearly own my name and attach it to my writing (no more stealth).

And this is not an obituary for a blog, nor even a farewell party. It is more of a celebration for a revitalized new blog that reflects my new engagement with writing. While the past years seem to have been exclusively devoted to writing and revising Sourceplay, my text with Liz Kleinfeld, I have been recapturing my creative spirit and need to write (hopefully future entries to come detailing some of those recent writing inspirations).

 When first setting up this blog, I pondered reshaping the blog, giving it a specific angle rather its former self made up of academic musings, food obsessions, film reviews, travel bits, and random thoughts. But that is me, and so with a renewed partnership with my writing, more to come.