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I was listening to NPR yesterday, and was witness to yet another of the endless attempts by homophobic, power hungry, politicizing bigots to take civil rights away from people. This time it was a discussion of the upcoming political tempest in a teapot - since gay marriage worked so great for Republicans in 2004, they're going to take aim at gay adoption in 2006. Despite the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of children currently adopted by gay singles and couples, there are 16 or so states working towards legislation to ban gay adoption; legislation that will no doubt be ready to bring out the "religious whackjob" (as they are called by Tom DeLay's staff) voting contingent in November.

What I really hate most is that any time I hear one of these "debates" no one ever confronts the anti-gay/lesbian speaker for exercising a moral prejudice against people they've never met. They never start with questioning their base assumptions - why are you assuming a negative environment for children cared for by gay/lesbian parents? Why do you implicitly suggest that homosexual is equivalent to over-sexed? And I'm always pissed off when they discuss "gay lifestyle" and "sexual choice" as if sexual preference were something you could just suddenly decide on the spot and change.

How many gay/lesbian people do you actually know? If gays and lesbians aren't entitled to the same rights as everyone else, what is it about them that makes them so different? What's the difference between discriminating against someone based on skin color, religion, or sexual preference? At what point in your life did you "choose" to be straight? Can you choose not to be straight?

These are the questions that bigots need to be confronted with. I really don't think it's that hard to show someone they're being a bigot - it's just that people are rarely confronted with the truth of their bigotry, under the guise of "everyone's entitled to an opinion." I couldn't agree less! The long and short of it is: bigots aren't entitled to be bigots, and misinformed people are not entitled to being misinformed.
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And so, the tri-state birthday tour is complete. Three birthdays in 30 hours across 300+ miles, two of which were 30th birthday parties.

The milk bar was fun, I got to meet several of my sisters' NYC friends, and they're a really cool bunch. The bar had these milkshake drinks that had a few shots of booze in them - extraordinarily tasty, and horrifically bad for me. My sister-in-law got hammered, and I stupidly left my debit card at the bar (thanks to my sis for getting that back for me after my parents and I had left the city).

Stayed overnight in Connecticut with the folks, and then got to help them clean out their garage some more by taking some lawn chairs, a cube fridge, an ice cream maker, and a couple of other miscellaneous items back to Worcester with me. I then cleaned up around the house for a couple hours, and set out for Christina and Jim's chorale concert at the Holliston congregational church. The chorale rocked the house, even though the orchestra was a little flaky. Recordings should be available soon...

There was an after concert party a couple of houses away where we had cake for Christina (carvel ice cream cake!) and good gravy, was it ever an awesome party. HUGE spread of scrumptious food, beautiful house, very nice people. I'm actually considering joining the New England Chorale now just so I can go to the rockin' parties.

Around 11:30pm, I got a text message from Justin responding to my "happy birthday" text message of several hours before (brak: txt msgs r GR8 buD!). I slogged my way back to Worcester and ended up hanging out at his place until around 3am or so, delivering good humor and foot massages to the masses.

Tonight - Bijou-y goodness!
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Who would like to come with me to my sister in law's 30th birthday party in NYC? They're having it at the Korova Milk Bar. It'll be on Friday, March 28th. I'm not sure if I'll be staying overnight or not...

Also, it can stop snowing any time now.
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I went down to visit my folks in Newport, Rhode Island this past weekend; they were on a weekend getaway at a condo on Thames Street with my godparents Marc and Joyce. My dad turned 50 on 1/30, so I went down to spend some birthday time with him and hang out with all of them.

My folks brought back a bunch of goodies for me from their most recent Hawaiian excursion. They got me a bottle of Roy Yamaguchi's own sake - the super high quality stuff that you serve chilled. So now I have to have a sushi or Japanese food party of some sort so I can drink this wonderful stuff! They also brought me back a musubi maker; musubis are these "sushi sandwich" kind of things - they consist of nori (seaweed), rice, and SPAM and sometimes other ingredients (whatever leftovers you have around that'll fit in a sandwich). The musubi maker is the perfect shape to fit a slice of SPAM. Musubis are especially good if you use spicy SPAM... it's lots of fun to go to local church fairs and stuff in the towns on the islands because they have all kinds of great food like this for sale.

So anyway, about the title... My parents got the condo for the whole week, but they only stayed there this past weekend. I have access to the condo until Friday morning, and I could go overnight on Wednesday or Thursday night if anyone would be interested in taking a quick trip down and hanging out on the island. It's only a little over an hour away from Worcester! The place doesn't have an oven, but it's essentially a two bedroom apartment with a big jacuzzi tub and washer/dryer. There are some great restaurants open down there now, and all the stores are pretty much open too.


Oh, and...

Dec. 27th, 2002 10:26 pm
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Hot water is coming on Monday. Running water should be coming tomorrow. Parents might be coming on Sunday. New computer is coming some time next week. A new year is coming. I should be making my final moving arrangements for Monday, as long as there is hot water and a working toilet.

Things seem to be doing the opposite of falling apart. For a change.

I would like to announce that there will be a housewarming in January. More details on this later, but it will be a combination housewarming / super bowl party, so it will be taking place on the day of January 26th, 2003. Save the date if you want to come!
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This holiday week was pretty memorable - I actually went to three Thanksgiving celebrations over the course of seven days.

First up was the Sunday D&D session, where my housemate prepared the meal for the gaming group that comes to their house on a biweekly basis. She made turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, dinner rolls, and canned cranberry sauce. The stuffing was a modified version of the Caprio family stuffing recipe that I had at all my childhood Thanksgiving dinners. It was a good repast, and it was fun having a meal with all those folks (even though the nine of us were just kind of standing around in the kitchen). Apple pie and pumpkin pie for dessert.

Second was the journey to Connecticut and Thanksgiving, Caprio style. My mom and dad made dinner for us and my paternal grandmother and maternal great-grandmother. A small dinner, since my sisters went to Indiana to visit in-laws for the holiday. Mom did a great job with the stuffing - she went with the traditional recipe using Arnold's cornbread stuffing, thyme, sage, and browned hamburger instead of sausage. The first course, naturally, was homemade manicotti... man, I love those. They come out so thick and tasty... I'd never order manicotti, even in the best Italian restaurant, because I know my folks make it better. Mom also made my Aunt Millie's stuffed yams (a recipe I have to add to the online archive) and they came out deliciously. Oh, and lest I forget - the stuffed artichokes?? Man, those rocked. So we had manicotti, stuffed artichokes, stuffing, stuffed yams, turkey & gravy, canned cranberry sauce, and dinner rolls and italian bread. Homemade cheesecake for dessert. Phew!

Last, but not even remotely least, Saturday night's dinner and holiday crafts party at lionlady's! What an awesome awesome time we had - fourteen of us, I think. lionlady and buddhagrrl were the cooks (with help from lionlady's sister), and they prepared an incredible, amazing meal. The turkey and gravy were completely phenomenal, with stuffing prepared inside and outside of the turkey (everyone ate the stuffing that was inside, of course).

I can never stay out of the kitchen, so I made my own contribution by preparing the mashed potatoes. They were a hit - but all I really did was salt and pepper the potatoes (always season!) and add ten tablespoons of butter, three quarters of a cup of milk, and a whole lot of mashing action. There were easily four quarts of mashed potatoes for fourteen people, but they got reduced to about a cup or two, even with all that other food! *proud*

Third Thanksgiving was composed of turkey and gravy, stuffing, candied yams, mashed potatoes, steamed kale with garlic, and asparagus (but no cranberry sauce this time! oh well). Apple, blueberry, and pumpkin pie for dessert.

I'm going to have to be real good with my caloric intake this week. :)

Unrelated side note: I'm still not moved into my new apartment in Worcester yet. The heating oil company is giving the landlord a hard time, they apparently missed three appointments with him all last week. Hopefully they'll pick up the ball and set things up Monday or Tuesday... as soon as that's all set, I'll have heat and hot water. Next step will be updating my bedroom!
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Tonight, I am attempting to make another one of my family recipes - stuffed tomatoes. I haven't had these in years. As of right now, they're still baking in the oven, and I can see a trail of steam billowing up from the oven door. Those of you I will see in New Hampshire tomorrow will be treated to these delightfully savory morsels.

I grew up with my paternal grandfather and grandmother; I lived with them from about age 8 to age 17 (counting up to when my grandfather died). My grandparents spent nearly every day of those nine years cooking, and I got to watch their preparations and consume their products. They would always go to the store and buy massive quantities of food. Whatever was on sale - frozen OJ, tomato products, vegetables, and so forth - and they would stock up their standing freezer and pantry with, literally, a ton of food. They would prepare large batches of sauces, lasagnas, parmaigians, and all kinds of other stuff and stick it in the deep freeze to pull out and use at their leisure.

Summers were especially busy times for food preparation; and since I was home from school, I could hang around and watch more. Whenever chicken or eggplants were on sale, my grandfather would buy pounds and pounds of them and spend the day making cutlets... breading the patties and frying them over low, slow heat all day long. Whenever tomatoes were on sale, or coming from the garden, he would make pickled tomatoes and stuffed tomatoes.

I have such amazing fondness for these times, and I strongly associate my youth with the particular foods that my grandparents prepared in the summertime and at holidays. It's been somewhat depressing over the last couple of years that I haven't been able to have meat pies and stuffed tomatoes and meatballs and cutlets and apizza a carne like my grandfather used to make... my grandmother doesn't cook any more, and my parents like to do their own things and try new stuff all the time. So I've been coercing recipes out of my grandmother and parents, and I've been making a little online collection of them (if you want the URL, you'll have to ask me!). I figure if nobody else is going to make this stuff, I'm going to figure out how to make it and do it myself, damn it!

The meat pies were a raging success, and were damn close to how I remember them. The stuffed tomato recipe still needs a little work (I actually changed it slightly to suit my own tastes a little more), but I guessed pretty well at how much of each of the ingredients I needed. I'm also going to have to put some notes in there about not overfilling the cookie sheets, as things tend to move around and squish together a bit as they cook down.

I can't wait to try one of these bad boys out for breakfast tomorrow!
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Good breakfast. Good visit with great-grandma. Good visit with uncle, aunt, and cousins. Good restful afternoon. Good pizza for dinner, good cake. Good swim in pool, and good stew in jacuzzi...

Good, good day.
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Guess I've been a bit lax with my journal keeping, hm?

I'm so awful at everyday writing. I keep thinking that there aren't enough mundane things happening to me to keep up anyone's interest level.

Recent goods:
Massage. I heart julz. Sushi! Housemates on vacation - late night company and getting to do some cooking of my own. Made some very yummy pizza. Making strides with my writing; I actually have a paying gig! And of course I sent in my one page entry to the WotC fantasy setting proposal contest... cross your fingers for me.

Recent bads:
Work related stress, not much new there. General malaise, punctuated by shouting. I'm not a shouter, but I shout back when shouted at, damn it! And at what point did I end up becoming my mom's only friend and confidante? It's amazing how roles reverse as you get older... I'm not sure I want to be the parent though. They aren't children for crying out loud, they just like to act like it sometimes. :-P
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Got a massage today at a spa one town over. It was soooo good. I haven't gotten one in quite a long time, and I've been so stressed out recently that I really, really needed it. The therapist was excellent, it was one of the best massages I've ever had. I came out of the spa so relaxed I was in an almost dreamlike state. You get this great out-of-body type feeling when all your muscles have been rubbed and you've oxygenated yourself like crazy.

And of course, for karmic balance purposes, I had to have a downer to complement the highlight of the day. Had a brief phone conversation with my mom, and she got on the topic of dating (as is wont to happen) and I really wanted to not talk about it, but my parents insist on trying really hard to "help me out" in this area. Which only manages to depress me more, of course. Feh.
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My first entry! Woo!

So, let's see - yesterday I went down to Rhode Island for a first birthday party. My friend Chris and his wife Becky threw a little shindig for their son David. He is the most serious baby I've ever met, but he is truly adorable; a chip off the old block.

I got him the best present: a hammer-the-balls-in-the-thing toy. David wouldn't let go of the hammer, it was the cutest thing ever. He didn't quite get the concept of "hammering", but he certainly knew how to scratch the top of his head with it. A born tool-user if I ever saw one.

It was a BBQ, and Chris requested that I bring some of my dad's and my own world famous homemade sausage (well okay, it's not world famous, but it's good stuff). I cooked a pound each of our kalhua with cherries flavor and our mandarin orange with curacao and triplesec. Yum yum yum. I love barbecuing. Cookouts make this my favorite time of year...


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