Monthly Archives: April 2013

Serving up some blog realness

As I’ve intimated before, I have a thing for drag queens.  Aside from the fact that there are so many fricken amazing performers in the scene, I think some of it stems from the fact that I have some insecurity about my own femininity.  In high school, I was told that I walked like a guy and that when I wore a skirt, I walked like a guy in a kilt.  I actually was really proud of that (which might partly have been due to my obsession with Braveheart at the time).  I’ve been told that I could be more “refined.”  I don’t really know how to put on make-up.  I certainly can’t dress myself — pretty much everything I own is in a solid color because I can’t be trusted with patterns.  I have a mouth like a sailor.  I just played Snoopy in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” for God’s sakes.

(Which was awesome, by the way.)

After years of internalizing and being washed in all these messages, I developed this brassy, kiss-my-ass persona that I’m not entirely sure is my true nature.  But it became a character that I could pull out when the party got too quiet or boring, or when a dramatic retelling of what happened at the taqueria was needed.  I’m kinda known and loved for that.

I guess you could argue that since I have been living as this person, then that person is probably who I am.  Nature vs. nurture and all that.  Sometimes I wonder if the softer, more delicate parts of my personality are completely unbelievable because of this.

So anyway, because of all that crap, I am totally fascinated by drag queens — men who are able to embody what it means to be a woman.  The process of becoming the essence of woman, however that queen defines it, entrances me.  Maybe because it’s something I don’t feel I could ever be.

Last year when I went to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch live, I was in the second row.  During the final song, Hedwig (played by Jerick Hoffer) came off stage and started touching the hands of audience members.  I reached out my hands over the front row of people, but she passed me.  I felt such shame and embarrassment that I had even wanted to be a part of that moment.  I still get a sick feeling in my stomach just thinking about it.  I’ve actually never been to a drag show — I’m too shy.  I’d feel like an impostor.

But that night, just as my throat clenched, Hedwig noticed she had missed me.  She returned and clasped my hands and our eyes met and I wish I were a better writer so I could explain how much it meant to me — me, this unglamorous, awkward-in-her-own-skin dork who could never be half the woman this man in drag is — to be validated.  Understood.  Just for a moment.

So needless to say when I found out that Jerick Hoffer as Seattle’s drag superstar chanteuse Jinkx Monsoon was competing in RuPaul’s Drag Race, I immediately became obsessed with the show.  To perhaps an unhealthy level, I admit ;)  In between episodes of the current season, I have watched seasons 2, 3, and 4 in their entirety (including the behind-the-scenes Untucked episodes).  The only reason why I haven’t watched season 1 is because it is apparently unavailable on all of the internet.

I don’t really watch reality TV.  Even my short-lived interest in Honey Boo Boo faded after about five minutes.  But I love Drag Race.  Basically, I wish I were a man (not for the first time) so that I could be a drag queen.

All the episodes from this season are streaming free on Logotv.com (link above) and I highly recommend it.  They do a really good job of picking a wide variety of contestants and the challenges are usually pretty interesting.  The editing has concocted plenty of juicy gossip and cats fights, which is all very entertaining.  I can see how some queens are edited to be this or that, but for the most part I think that you really see who these people are, whether you (or they) like it or not.  RuPaul is a wonderful hostess — out of drag, he acts as a fairy dragmother, giving hints and kind, but firm suggestions in the workroom.  At the judges table, Ru, always glammed to perfection, is a little more sassy, but still classy.  It’s a nice yin and yang, actually.  The other judges, Michelle Visage and Santino Rice, can be overly harsh, but I don’t really have a problem with that.  That’s obviously what they were brought in to do.
Okay, so now I wanna dish, so if you haven’t caught up, hurry up and do so and then come back and chat!  Also, check out Chad Sell’s awesome cartoons of the contestants, you can buy prints, too!

***Spoilers below!!***

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Thank you, Slivovitz

It turns out I have unwittingly gained a corporate sponsor!  Say hello to the Blog Face of the International Slivovtiz Tasters Association!

CRW_3727

All hail Slivovitz Blogger
The Classy Dame!

I’m sort of kidding.

Through the magic of the internet, I have discovered that my humble little musings have been linked on the Slivovitz Tasting Festival page.  Because, obviously.

http://www.slivovitz.us/festivals/slivovitz-royalty.html

I had no idea what Slivovitz was or that there was an international plum brandy festival or that it has crowned what looks like an underage drinker to be its Festival Queen, but there you have it folks.  Please enjoy the tale of Slivovitz Royalty and Lineage at the above link.  It involves ax battles!

I’m not kidding.

So for those of you who are here because of Slivovitz, a toast to you!  Hopefully you will be as happy reading my posts as you are swilling brandy.  I am honored to be a part of the royal enterauge and I do enjoy a nice brandy from time to time.

Speaking of, if Queen Lisa is reading this, I will humbly accept Slivovitz samples and review them positively, regardless of personal feelings, on this site.

I leave you, dear readers, with the first rule of becoming a Slivovitz Queen:

“The Queen shall be a maiden pure, able to handle an ax, and of good character. She is selected by the previous Queens. (This allows them to graciously accept gifts while considering their decision.) In the likely event that we can’t find an ax swinging maiden pure, then whatever.”

Jeeves, I will commence ax-swinging practice after tennis.

Simple and delicious quiche

Alright, a few weeks ago, I made a pair of quiches.  I was originally going to document the process as I did with M Fox’s birthday cake and the chicken stock.  But I didn’t.  I didn’t even take a photo of the finished product.  Because I’m a bad photo blogger.

Despite my failings, this recipe is a knock-out.  But don’t take my word for it!

10 out of 10 prospectors say this quiche is delicious

Because I am nothing if not magnanimous, I decided not to deprive you of the recipe because it is scrumptious!  The gruyere melts into the egg custard like a dream — very creamy, but not overwhelming.  I’ve never added vegetables to this recipe, so I don’t know what would happen if you did, but the reason why I like this quiche is because it is very simple and very satisfying.  I’ve made it plenty of times without the bacon (I don’t obsess over bacon like everyone else. . . I mean . . it’s good, but I dunno. . . relax) and it’s just as tasty, says I.

So if you are willing to trust an internet stranger with no photo proof that this quiche is delicious, then you’ve come to the right place!

A Quiche for All Seasons

Custard: Ingredients

8oz bacon, cut in pieces (you can use whatever kind of bacon you want, or none :))
2 large eggs + 2 lg yolks
1c whole milk
1c heavy cream
.5tsp salt
.5tsp white pepper (ground)
pinch nutmeg
4oz gruyere, grated (~ 1 cup. . . or as much as you can stand)

In terms of crust, use whatever crust recipe you like best!  Or just buy a frozen crust if you’re not in the mood to be fancy :)

Heat oven to 375; partially bake pie shell until golden brown.  Remove
the shell but do not turn off oven.

Meanwhile, fry the bacon until crisp and browned and put it on paper
towel or whatever to drain it.

Whisk all except cheese in a bowl.

Spread the cheese and bacon over the bottom and set the shell in the
oven rack. Pour the custard in (should come up to 1/2in below the rim, but sometimes it comes pretty near the top.  This is fine, just make sure that it’s cooked before you take it out).

Bake until light golden brown (knife blade inserted 1in from the edge
comes out clean, center feels set like gelatin) — 25 to 35 mins.

So yes, that is my go-to quiche recipe.  Without photos.  I guess you’ll just have to use your imagination.  Or bake the quiche and then send me photos — I’ll put ’em up :)

More Mia

Continued from last month’s project, here are two more snippets from Mia, Descendent of Monsters.  I should figure out a way to number these so it will be easier in the future to start from the beginning. . .

Also a BIG thanks to my Facebook weapons nerd friends!  I think once you read this, you’ll know which weapon I needed help finding ;)

Also also, yes, I realize that I refer to my husband as M Fox and the name of this character is Mia Fox.  I have a thing for foxes and apparently no imagination, okay?  Sue me. ;)

~~~

An Old Dog

After decades of mercenary work, Colin Skydance earned a reputation as the best, and his other titles included unapologetic scoundrel and great lover of women.  Colin was fortunate enough to have been hired by the winning side of the Horde War, but those in the know were very much aware that it could have gone either way.

After retiring, Colin had settled in a remote wooded area in a self-made cabin.  One storming night, just as he was musing how the sound of rain was preferable to the usual silence, he heard a knock at the front door.  His daughter was visiting her brother up north, but even if she was in town, she would never knock.  Intrigued, Colin slid aside a small panel next to the door, undetectable from the outside, and appraised the visitor.

Drenched with rain, chest heaving.  Tired, but excellent posture — a warrior.   Shorter and younger than himself, long black hair tied back, robes.  Thick blade tied to his waist.  A Nishen warrior.  Colin threw open the door.

“Well come in, come in, don’t be shy,” he said cheerily. “Just because you’ve been sent to kill me doesn’t mean all civility should be thrown out the window.”

The visitor stood awkwardly in the door frame for a moment, taking in the legendary mercenary.  Colin had managed to keep a full head of curls, now the color of steel.  Thick black eyebrows brooded over his light blue eyes, striking even in the dark and the rain.  He still had the body of an agent, lean and tight.  Colin made a grand sweeping gesture toward the hearth and the visitor entered, taking care to wipe his flat shoes on the “Grandpa’s House” doormat.

It was a solitary man’s cabin.  There was one large room with a rug and some seating, a simple stove, open shelving.  Lamps still running on oil hung off sconces on the walls, the sticky smell mingling with the scent of burning wood. Above, a dark loft with a wooden ladder.

“You can sit if you like, though considering your damp state, I’d prefer you stand.  Oh, and not on the rug.”

“This is very hard for me to say,” said the visitor, his voice husky, on the brink of becoming hoarse.

“I can imagine.  Who sent you?”

“No one sent me.”

“Revenge, then?”  Colin meandered to his liquor cabinet and thoughtfully selected a bottle and a glass.  “I suppose I’ve killed someone important to you.  I am very sorry for that.  Whiskey?”

“No. You haven’t killed anyone I know or care about.  I’m here because of your daughter.”

Colin’s face remained impassive as he steadily poured himself another drink.  “Elin can take care of herself.  Go after her if you wish.”

“You misunderstand.  She saved my life.”

A smirk tugged at Colin’s cheek and he raised his glass, careful not to show his relief.  “That’s my girl.”

“She said I should pay my debt to you.”  The visitor unsheathed his sword, made of black metal with a divot down the center, painted red.  He held it flat in front of him and knelt before Colin.

The old mercenary slowly finished his second drink, his blood warming.  Upon his last swallow, he hurled the tumbler at the visitor’s head and kicked the offered sword into his own hand.  The visitor caught the glass and back flipped into a fighting stance.

Colin’s voice was smooth and low.  “You know who I am, what I’ve done, and what I can do to you, yet you knock on my front door with little to no proof of what you claim.  That’s pretty damn remarkable, if you ask me.”

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An appointment with Dr. Humor

I am terrible at hospitals.  I hate them.  I recognize they are necessary in a modern society, but I hate them.  The smell of over-sanitation makes me nervous as hell.  What are they trying to cover up?  Blood, poop, and bodily fluids.  That doesn’t make me feel better.

However I just got back from the most awkward and kinda funny doctor’s appointments I’ve ever had.

I’ve been feeling exhausted and achy lately for no good reason — I mean, let’s be real, now that I’m a freelance Classy Dame, my daily exertion is pretty low so I have no good excuse for feeling like an old lady.  Concerned for my health (and tired of hearing me complain), my husband urged me to see a doctor.  Could be nothing, could be something, better safe, blah blah blah.

So I get in there and I get the pre-interview with the nurse.  I never understood this.  The nurse comes in and asks you all these questions about why you made an appointment, assesses whether or not making shit up, looks over your paperwork that you just filled out ten minutes earlier describing in detail your current situation, your past situations, your past lives, your mother’s last pap smear, and what your dad had for breakfast three years ago on a Sunday in June, and s/he seems to be writing it all down.

But then s/he leaves, the doctor comes in and you have to go over everything again.  I don’t get it.  If there’s a doctor out there that can explain, I’d love to hear about it. (kinda)

Anyway, I pass the first round of interviews and before leaving, the nurse tells me to get naked and put on one of those stupid robes (but, you know, in a professional way).  At least it’s cloth and not paper, I hate the paper kind.

I do so, wait in the barely heated waiting room for 15 minutes staring out the window and then the doctor comes in.  She’s dressed in a pair of jeans and a nice shirt, young, hip, attractive. She looks at me sitting in my hospital robe and furrows her brow with a smirk.

“You know you could have kept your clothes on.”

Look, lady, I’m in a hospital.  I’m just doing what I’m told.  That’s my job as the patient, yes?  I didn’t say that, I said something charming like “Well, now that we’re better acquainted, haha” or whatever.  After a laugh about my totally unnecessary nudity, she goes to sit down on the little stool in front of the computer.

The stool flies out from under her and she does one of those cartoon scrambles to keep from falling on her ass.  I guess the floor was too slippery.  I’m not even joking.  I’m tearing up with laughter right now just thinking about it as I write it.  If I were the sound editor in this movie, I would have used one of these.

It takes a few moments for both of us regain our composure because neither of us want to acknowledge that we have now both done something really stupid in front of one another and that this was supposed to be some serious professional relationship about my health.

Since I mostly look pretty much okay, she suggested that we do some blood tests.  Now, if there’s anything I hate more than hospitals, it’s needles.  I’m that wuss that cries when getting blood drawn.  I’m the grown-up whinging while they use the little antiseptic swab.  I’m the one who has to pretend to blow bubbles (like how you calm a six-year-old) while the needle is jabbed into my tender flesh.  So when the doctor said I’d probably have to get “labs done,” I was upset.

But in keeping with the theme of inappropriate hilarity, it somehow wasn’t so bad.  Mostly because the lab tech, a short, soft-spoken bald man, calmly mocked me through the whole thing.  I held out my arm dutifully, aware that I was basically sitting in the hallway off the waiting area with a curtain around me — ie, the little old ladies, sick people, and children would be able to hear me wail.  I scrunched my face and turned away, ready to martyr myself for medical science.

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Seriously, you stupid jerks: A rant with cursing

I realize that there are some people out there who weren’t raised by two actors.  I realize that there are people out there who don’t regularly go to theatre.  I realize there are people out there who think that theatre is a dying art form and OMG did you see what Kim Kardashian did?!?!

But I believe that everyone can find a play or a musical that moves and inspires them.  I invite everyone and anyone to anoint themselves in the majesty and inimitable magic that is live theatre.

That all being said, I feel like there is a very basic level of human decency that has somehow gotten lost.  Old people will blame the young people.  Young people will blame the decaying establishment.  Arty people will blame the unwashed masses.  I don’t really care whose fault it is.  The Classy Dame is about to help y’all out in a big way.  Ready?  Here goes.

I was recently in a one-act that went on to a regional theatre festival.  For months, we worked very hard on this show — The Long Christmas Dinner by Thornton Wilder, for those interested.  It’s basically  a time lapse of 90 years of Christmas dinners for an American family.  People were children, got married, grew old, and then finally passed on all on stage.  We went through several on-stage, on-the-sly costume changes as different fashions and eras came and went.  It was a lot of fun to choreograph, but still a lot of work.

Before going to the festival, we put the show up for one weekend so that we could get a feel for the audience’s reaction before performing it before the judges. We invited our friends and family to come see it, the community supported us in the local paper, it was all very nice, lovey dovey, supporty-worty and all that stuff.

During the 45 minute show, two cellphones went off AND some idiot was taking photos with their camera phone.

Look.

We’re all very impressed at how much the internet and the outside world is DYING to hear from you on a constant basis.

Seriously.  Good for you.  I sometimes go days without anyone giving a shit what I have to say so, really, that’s truly impressive.

But let me keep it simple.  SHUT OFF YOUR DAMN PHONE.

And if you are so moved by what’s happening on stage that you simply must Instagram it, could you please wait until after the show and then clamor outside my dressing room with flowers and/or bribes of sexual favors like how it’s SUPPOSED to be?!

I mean for God’s sake, does this really still need to be explained?

Even for movie theatres, which aren’t as sacred to me as a regular theatre (though I do have friends who would vehemently disagree), I still think this is relevant advice.  I have sat through rated R film where people bring in infants.  Most notably? Cabin in the Woods.  YEAH.  I’ve been in movie theatres where people spend the film texting or even do that ridiculous thing of ANSWERING THEIR PHONE in order to say in a sotto voice, “Yeah, I’m in a movie, what’s up?”  Sadly, I’m almost surprised when stupid shit like that doesn’t happen.  And while the other movie-goers are going to be annoyed, at least George Clooney isn’t going to have to pause awkwardly because he was previously competing with your stupid sailor shanty ringtone.

But in LIVE THEATRE, the thing is, the thing is, folks, it’s LIVE.  And the actors can see you.  And hear you.

And I’m not saying that actors are always riveting or that the script is always good or that the music is always on key or the lights are going to go up at the right time (incidentally, none of those things apply to the show *I* was in, because we were fricken awesome), but there are human beings on stage who have created something for you. And you, theoretically, have willingly come and paid to see it.  So don’t you think you owe your fellow human beings taking part in one of humanity’s oldest art forms the simple courtesy of turning off your damn phone?!

Also, 1995 wants its ringtone back.

I swear I’m still here

Sorry dear readers, I swear I haven’t forgotten you!  I’m playing Snoopy in a local production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and we’re nearing opening so any non-dog related activity has ground to a halt.  I do have another Mia post coming up soon, I’m going to do a quiche-making ride-along, and I also have been wanting an opportunity to gush about my new favorite thing in the WHOLE WORLD.  (Hint: Start your engines. . .)

In the meantime, here is a pre-production photo of me as Snoopy, chasing the Red Baron.  Enjoy :)

Someday, someday I'll get you, Red Baron!

Someday, someday I’ll get you, Red Baron!