Last night, I looked through a catalog of action movies, and I noticed something interesting. There must have been a couple hundred movies listed, and in that, I found four where there was a heroine instead of a hero. Including Barbarella.
You see, I was trying to come up with how many movies I knew of about spies, in particular, which starred women, rather than men. I had tried to list them earlier in the day and had about for titles, out of the hundreds of spy movies out there– and I don’t mean spy movies with women in them. Shit, that’s almost all of them. I mean spy movies with a female headliner.
I remember, of course, the TV classic remake, Avengers, but Emma Peel is part of a duo with John Steed. There was Mr. And Mrs. Smith, but again, Angelina headlined with Brad. The French La Femme Nikita and Brigit Fonda’s remake from the early 90s, about a woman shanghaied into working as a spy against her will. Feds was about two women, but they were federal, not international (and technically, they were just students, not actual agents). And, of course, there’s always my girl, Black Widow… Oh, wait.
Where the hell are my lady spies?!?! Continue reading A Spy Like Me
Over the weekend, Honey and I went to a backyard barbeque, hosted by our friend, Belle. There were hot dogs and hamburgers available for pretty much every diet I can think of. We had our choice of all-beef, pork, turkey or tofu/veggie burgers or hotdogs with three different kinds of buns—including gluten free ones for me. (I was so touched to be remembered.) Even though no one asked it of the guests, I had decided to bring baked beans, because what is a Southern (California) barbeque without baked beans? When I went to make them, though, I had a decision to make: do I include bacon or no?
I know, I know. Everyone eats bacon right now. But that’s not really true, is it? For instance, people who keep Kosher—actual Kosher, as opposed to “Bacon counts as Kosher”—don’t. Nor do vegetarians or vegans. Nor do people who are watching their cholesterol or their salt. The question that faced me was “how inclusive do I want these beans to be?” How many people or groups do I want to tell that their presence is not important to me? How many people should know that I have no interest in breaking bread with them? Continue reading “Everybody Eats” Baked Beans
The other day, I realized with a start that I was ready to start interacting with hoomans again. You see, I have been avoiding leaving the house pretty much since January. At first I thought it was just because I needed to recover from a very busy, albeit wonderful, December. But then the feeling never ended. In fact, it got worse! I didn’t want to leave the house. I barely saw my friends. I didn’t even want to leave the house to go get food, unless it was to bring it back to the house to eat. And I certainly didn’t want to go shopping, no matter how threadbare my work clothes were getting. Amazon Prime was my friend, and Netflix my companion. I had retired from the human race.
And then I started getting angry all the time. And then I started getting mean all the time.
And then I realized, I need a vacation. Not like, “Oh, gee, I should go somewhere.” More like, “I had better take some freaking time off NOW, before I commit some unspeakable acts– you know, the kinds that are illegal, immoral, or the greatest American sin of all: fattening.” (That last bit had actually already started happening, now that I think about it.) Continue reading When I really, really wanted the thing.
Shortly after we moved to our current neighborhood, a lot of stressful changes started hitting me, one after the other. I mean, there were obvious ones: moving—and not just moving, but moving in with my then-boyfriend, Honey, and then the two of us establishing a home together in a neighborhood that was new to both of us. The day Honey and I each turned in our keys to our old apartments, I got laid off from my boring-but-well-paying job. In addition, I started noticing some pretty severe health issues that cropped up fairly suddenly, which ultimately led me to the gluten-free diet I’ll now be on for the rest of my life. This lead me to deeply challenge my identity as a Pretty Good Baker. And eventually I got a new job temping for a woman who made it her life’s ambition to tear me apart, piece by piece, but we needed the money to pay the rent on the apartment we had JUST signed a lease on. In short, 2013 was a challenging year for me.
Right after I landed that new job, I met one of my neighbors for the first time. She lives on the same block as us, so it’s pretty hard to avoid her space. She is one of the most caustic people I have ever had the misfortune to meet. That first time I met her, her opening words to me were so venomous and her attitude so devoid of any sort of humanity, I felt like I had been physically attacked, which is a pretty strong greeting for someone you’ve never met before. Her behavior was such a shock—how can any human being act that way toward a total stranger?!?!—that it literally ruined my whole day. I spent the whole time wondering “How dare she!” and “Why would she?” and “Who seriously worries about getting their lawn dirty? How does she deal with feral cats and raccoons, who relieve themselves wherever they damn well please? And why doesn’t she put up a stupid sign if it’s that important to her?” Continue reading Dangers untold and hardships unnumbered
I have been obsessed with pie, lately. Also, cherries. (It was cherry season last week.)
The pie thing is fairly obvious. I mean, c’mon. Pie. In addition, though, I have been listening to back-episodes of KCRW’s Good Food, and the host, Evan Kleiman, is obsessed with pie. So, I’ve been having her in my ear, talking about a LOT of pie. On top of that, two of my favorite diners carry all sorts of yummy pie. The only kind they don’t carry is gluten-free. So I’ve known for a while that I need to learn, once and for all, how to make a damn pie crust, especially since all the pre-made gf pie crusts I could find were only sold during the holiday season.
I did what I always do when I’m learning how to do something that intimidates me. I pulled out the training wheels. In this case, that meant buying a piecrust in a box. Well, a bag, really. Bob’s Red Mill to the rescue! In addition, I did a lot of research on what makes a good pie crust, and what to do and what not to do when working with it. It turns out, a lot of the Not To Dos are related to not activating the gluten in the flour, so I felt I was already ahead of the game.
Continue reading My, Oh My! Cherry Pie