and sometimes i eat like a queen
There are a few things I miss about Oregon — the milder summers, the ability to see the bands I love in venues of far less than 1000, the coast, certain people, the smell of blackberries by the side of the road — but when I moved back to New York, I realized, with only a moderate degree of surprise, that I would miss being an Oregon foodie.
Foodie is a terrible word, though, so maybe what I should say is that I miss being an Oregon eater, a person who had learned to take advantage of so many things. Part of this process was just being there as an adult; I grew up loving nothing more than a low pasta bowl piled with brown rice, broccoli, and my mom’s cheddar cheese sauce, so becoming a grown-up, with grown-up tastes, made it a new place entirely. I had a salmon phase (punctuated, terribly, by the dyed-pink grocery store salmon that kept my ex and I awake all night, wired and dreaming strangely), and a sun-dried tomato phase, and my housemates had a long rosemary phase; the herb grows everywhere and you can put it on anything, provided you make certain choices.
And then I learned to cook, which is Different Story #1, though I should mention that one of the most useful things I have ever learned is the best way to dice an onion.
And then I made friends with a couple who really knew how to cook, which is Different Story #2, though I should mention that the first time Jenaya fed me foie gras, she wouldn’t tell me what it was until I tasted it, and I am still grateful to her for undermining my expectations and assumptions so effectively.
And then I learned how to eat in restaurants, which is Different Story #3, but this is an anecdote about that. I learned, like you learn most things, through a process of trial and error — one aided by my father, who is a very good eater, and by just being in Eugene long enough to make friends who knew things. They knew people; they were bartenders, cooks, wine merchants, cheese sellers, food writers. They made the small town cozy instead of constricting.
Once, I went to a supper club and ate deep-fried sorrel, which was eye-opening.
Then the hosts of that supper club opened a restaurant, which is Different Story #3: How Much I Love Belly (though I should mention that I have never liked ribs, excepting the time that a plate of them appeared at my elbow at Belly, like hearty, meaty magic).
But the point of this story is, or was meant to be, how much I love eating just the right thing. All of these stories I’m not telling added up to this story, which is the one I want to tell when I come home from a dinner where I ordered a side of brussels sprouts and a plate of burrata.
These are things I’ve never learned to cook. I haven’t made cheese yet, and roasted sprouts — theoretically the simplest thing in the world — I can do, though every time I laugh and think about how much I once hated them. But these were better, the platonic ideal of tiny, tender, bright green sprouts, with bread crumbs to soak up the oil and just a little bit of cheese to tie the bowl together.
But burrata! I like telling the stories that come with food more than I like talking about the actual food, but when I want burrata, it’s like a magic spell, a curse of dissatisfaction that only it can break. I tasted burrata for the first time last year; I spent years not knowing that this magical concoction, this middle ground between ricotta and fresh mozzarella, even existed. I have always been “good” and ordered it to share, but today I cut two small slices off for S. and ate the rest — alternating bites with the salty, bright frisee and shaved asparagus salad — for myself.
I missed Belly. I missed dinner in the backyard on Charnelton Street and I missed the perfect “snacky dinners” concocted out of sliced meats and perfect cheeses. I missed Market of Choice and the never-fully-appreciated ease of buying wine, good cheese, non-factory-farmed-meats, and local veggies all in one go. I’ve been reading The American Way of Eating and thinking about “foodie” culture and class and availability and snobbery and what it means when we spend our disposable income the way we do.
Mostly, though, I thought about complexity and simplicity and the way those two things can meet so neatly in one white, tender, salty dollop of cheese.
Dear Diary, today I got two bottles of mustard and a pair of earrings in the mail. My friends are awesome.
when Buffy, Angel, and Game of Thrones happen on the same Night
- not to be terrible, but she's got Khaleesi boobs.
- this episode would not work ten years later. everyone would just be on twitter, going, "LOL can't talk #yolo"
- that's what happens every time there's a crisis in Sunnydale -- there are hobo fires.
- these are the skirts of impending lesbianism.
- "can't talk, pretending to know how to read." "psssst, Angel, it's upside down."
- take the milk of the puppy, dude! (sic)
- (also the phrase "orgasm friends" was used a lot)
asking for reasons, honest.
Is there such a thing as, well, basically the equivalent of Fifty Shades of Grey (in terms of origin-as-fanfic, not smut levels) for Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire?
For all the women I have loved who were dragged through the mud
I’ve read a lot of great essays about how fandom is female-majority and creates a female gaze and a safe space for women and etc. But spend five minutes in fandom and you’ll have an unsettling question.
Why does a female-majority, feminist culture hate female characters so much?
It’s not a question of if it happens. You know it does. You can go into any fandom and see it. Some fandoms are worse than others, but it’s always there. Scroll down the Tumblr tag for any show, movie, book, comic, whatever, and you’ll see nothing but love for the men, and a lot of unjustified hate for the women, maybe with a few defenders here and there insisting on their love for the women in the face of all that hate.
To be clear, we’re not talking about female villains. Male villains get just as much hate. It’s fine if you hate Bellatrix Lestrange or Dolores Umbridge, you’re supposed to. (I personally stan for Bella, but I realize that wasn’t the authorial intent.) This is about people hating Hermione, Ginny and Luna, but loving Harry, Ron and Neville. This is about how ambiguous male antiheroes, like Snape, Zuko, or pretty much any male vampire protagonist can get away with walking that fine line between good and evil and not only remain sympathetic, but be even more beloved for how ~tortured~ he is, but when a female character is morally gray that bitch has to die.
So you can’t tell me it’s okay that you hate Sansa because you also hate Joffrey and he’s a dude. They’re not comparable. It isn’t even comparable if you pick a female antihero. Let’s do this apples to apples, here.
We all know that fandom does this. We all know that it’s fucked up and symptomatic of internalized sexism. What’s really fucking weird about it, though, is that the women doing this hating often aren’t ignorant. These are feminists. These are women who can go on meta-analyses of the writing. Some will hide behind pseudo-feminist reasons for their hate—oh, it’s the writing, we just aren’t given strong female characters! (I saw this used for the women of AtLA: Katara, Toph, Azula, et al. This was about when I just backed away slowly because I know a lost cause when I see it.) I’ve seen women who denied being sexist, but couldn’t name a single female character they liked. And it’s always that the female characters aren’t good enough, even when they obviously have a double standard, and they’re measuring women on an impossible scale full of contradictions and no-win binds, while the men are just embraced and loved pretty much for existing.
The reaction nearly every time one of these women is called out is not to say, “Huh, you may have a point, I should examine the way I judge and process women’s actions more closely,” but an insistence of their feminism, followed by a more detailed description of why that particular woman is terrible and she hates her, as if the whole point were not that fandom is already oversaturated with that kind of hate, and as if the person doing the calling out were not already 110% done with that bullshit.
Particularly telling is that male-dominated corners of fandom do not have this problem. They fetishize, they objectify, they ignore. They don’t hate like this.
We know it happens. What I want to know is WHY.
Theories follow below the cut.
I would like to quote and applaud this entire post, actually, but here’s a gem:
“Women can make mistakes, sure. But they have to pay for it more severely than men do. They have to be well and truly sorry and be stripped of all their power. They have to cram in that humble pie till they burst. If a woman who has made a mistake isn’t completely repentant and has anything left, women will say she didn’t learn anything at all.
Obviously this rule doesn’t hold for men, who can get away with literal murder by making a sad face about it and showing that it hurt them too.”
This fine piece of writing starts with the term “crazy batshit broad” and ends with “Suck it, bitch.”
Also note that when Howey says that a writer has a career ahead of him, it’s a fact, but when the woman at WorldCon says it, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.
It must be hard to hear the same things over and over about self-publishing, and I know how it must grind your patience down. But there’s a way to complain that doesn’t involve this highly suspect, sexist language.