Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mish-mash

Rahmbo/Rahmulus pulls through.
So Chicago has a new mayor - unsurprisingly, it's Rahm Emanuel, the hard-hitting former Chief of Staff and our former congressman.  Surprisingly, he pulled off a majority win in a six-candidate field, and just stayed on course with his message, despite the distraction of the residency battle (which I believe was an unnecessary waste of time and someone else's money) and questions about whether he'd be "nice enough" to lead the city.  Well, frankly, I'd rather have a tough guy who can get things done, than a "nice" guy who can't.  It's the same kind of bullshit argument that we hear about "elite liberals" who aren't like the "rest of us."  Do I want someone who's smarter, tougher, faster and stronger than me in the role of mayor?  Hell, yes.  So I'm glad Rahm will be our new mayor.  Besides my agreement with much of his platform, he was also the only candidate I saw at my train station (and I shook his hand - which I admit felt physically weird because he's missing a chunk of his middle finger), and even when he was our congressman and would without a doubt be re-elected, he would still be out there greeting people. 

That's not to say I'm not disappointed by the lack of other viable candidates.  It was interesting to see Carol Moseley Braun basically self-implode (so much for the "consensus candidate," who now has no future prospects for any elected position based on her poor fourth-place showing) and her inability to appear anything but ingratiatingly smarmy, and Gery Chico, who, for all his business and politcal sense, just couldn't get a message that would resonate (even that sad attempt to label Emanuel as a "North Shore elite").  And Miguel del Valle, as nice and as ethical as the man may be, just didn't have enough name recognition.

So here's an early welcome to your new digs at City Hall, Mr. Emanuel.  And while I know there are tons of things that need to be done, one thing I'd love to see you do is get blue recycling bins in all wards.  Seriously, it's shameful that those bins are not ubiquitous throughout Chicago, especially when other cities are far more sophisticated at recycling all sorts of materials, including organic waste.

Baking
I'm not usually a fan of scones.  For the most part, I find them dry and crumbly, but that's probably because they've been sitting on a refrigerated shelf at Starbucks a snooty coffee store for far too long.  But, when we visited my family last year, my mom made a batch of buttermilk scones that were out of this world.  She sent me the recipe that languished in my in-box for several months, until last weekend (a long weekend) when I finally had a chance to make my own batch.  And they were so good that I promptly made a second batch the next day (and no, it wasn't because we ate the first batch...at least in its entirety).  I love cranberries, and had stocked up over the holidays to store in the freezer, so I tossed some in with the first batch; I used dried apricots and raisins for the second.

I also made a cake for my boss' birthday, and since she loves pineapple, I found what looked to be an easy recipe online and tried it out - to much success.  It didn't rise as high as I thought it would (the recipe called for baking soda, not baking powder, so maybe my baking soda isn't as fresh as it could be), but it may be that it was weighted down by the 20oz of crushed pineapple the recipe called for.  Still, topped with a cream cheese frosting, the cake went down the gullet well.  One of my colleagues, who apparently likes the consistency of carrot cake, but not carrot cake itself, said: "This is what carrot cake aspires to be."  I took it as a compliment.

And today, I made a two cheese breads (chunks of cheddar in a baking powder dough), a banana bread (I had some over-ripe bananas to use up), and a batch of red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, from a recipe that I got from People a high-class gourmet magazine.

Bertie and Lionel, and Nic and Jules (and Paul)
On the eve of the gay superbowl Oscars, I finally saw two of this year's Best Picture contenders: The King's Speech (in the theater) and The Kids Are All Right (on DVD).  (I have Toy Story 3 on DVD - just haven't had a chance to watch it yet, as I'm still getting through my umpteenth run of Buffy and Angel.)

I've never been one of those folks who has to see a movie when it first comes out.  In fact, the last movie I saw in a theater was Eat, Pray, Love - which was last summer.  I much rather prefer being able to watch at home, uninterrupted by the light that shone right on us every time someone opened the theater door yesterday, and being able to access snacks (and the bathroom) by just pressing pause.  Still, it was good to be out and about yesterday.

Colin Firth was excellent in The King's Speech, and I wouldn't be surprised if he wins the Oscar tonight - as widely predicted . While I'm sure it was dramatized, I enjoyed the unfolding of the friendship between the King and his speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush as Lionel), but also how down-to-earth the Queen appeared to be (for example, when meeting Lionel's wife for the first time). 

While The Kids was also good, I have some mixed feelings about it.  The performances were great, but I know that the movie has been picking up some flack - particularly from the lesbian community - over one of the lesbian moms (Jules) having an affair...with a man (Paul).  And I have to agree with said flack.  While I understand that - for some people - sexuality is fluid, or on a spectrum, as a gay man who has never been attracted to girly parts (nor ever will), I felt it gave the impression that if you can just find the "right" person, then you can easily change your orientation.  And for me, that ain't happening.  Well, mainly because I've already found the right person, but you already knew that.

That being said, I probably won't be watching the Oscars tonight, because I find award shows to be interminably and insufferably boring.  (Except the Kennedy Center Honors.  And my fantasy version of the Oscars where I win Best Screenplay.)

I think I just lost some gay street cred.

2 comments:

Dan said...

1. Re: "Do I want someone who's smarter, tougher, faster and stronger than me in the role of mayor? Hell, yes."

Lucky you don't live in Toronto. One of the most disappointing municipal elections. ever.

2. Emanuel is missing part of his middle finger? How on earth did he make it into politics? ;-)

3. Scones: if you took a photo and document the recipe, I'd love to showcase it at the H&H.

Hugs from the crew in Toronto

Christopher said...

1. Don't know what you thought of Smitherman, but I think it would have meant a lot for Toronto to have a gay mayor.
2. Apparently he cut his finger while working at a restaurant, then allowed it to get infected to the point that it had to be amputated. I know, it's ironic that it's the middle finger, which I'm sure doesn't quite have the same impact...but he makes up for it in f-bombs (at least by reputation).
3. I didn't take a photo for this round, but will the next.

Hugs right back at ya.