Thursday, July 26, 2012

Drinks and Bound, With a Guest!

This week we are bringing in our good friend Audrey! She is a pretty cool person/poet, as you can see for yourself at her blog: She also has discerning alcohol taste, so I thought instead of making food we'd mix some drinks—impress your date by doing more than showing you know how to use a waiter's key!

This video is a little longer than the others, but I challenge you to edit three alcohol-fueled and digression-prone people down to five minutes and keep any fun and cohesiveness.

The drinks:

Dark and Stormy
1 shot rum (of the darker variety)
6 oz. ginger beer (Ginger ale is ok, but less gingery.)
dash of lime juice
serve over ice

There are fancy detailed recipes out there, but this quick-and-dirty method is plenty satisfying. 

Off-label penicillin:
2 oz whiskey or scotch
1.5 oz honey-ginger syrup
1.5 oz lemon juice
(Penicillins are typically topped off with Laphroig. If you’re on a budget, generic-brand meds should cure what ails you just as well.)

Make the honey-ginger syrup before you want to drink. Mix one part honey with less than one part water. Boil with sliced fresh ginger, and let it cool in some kind of jar-like apparatus. For the drink: put those things together. Shake with ice. Decant. Imbibe.

Title: Bound (1996)
Written and Directed by: Lana and Andy Wachowski

Hi! So I’m not Syd or Lorena, and I also made a drink, not dinner, but I hope that doesn’t make you less inclined to read my recap. I feel like I should post a disclaimer that I am anti-spoiler, and I feel bad about including any details in here. Maybe you should pause here and go watch the film, and then we can discuss it together. I'll wait here.

Ready? "Bound" is about two ladies. Corky, "a tough female ex con," is butch-esque, in that she has tats and fixes things. We open with Corky riding in an elevator. Violet, who we read as feminine, in that she is wearing lady clothes and sleeps with dudes, is also in the elevator. Violet elevator eyes Corky, then decides to seduce her. 

Corky fixes some things in the apartment next door to Violet. Violet seduces Corky by bringing by a cup of coffee and saying mad flirty things. When she decides that’s too subtle, she drops an earring down her sink to lure Corky over and tell her, "Hey, I'm seducing you."

Sexy time ensues. Turns out, Violet is only with her mob boyfriend Caesar because that’s how she makes her money. She's into ladies. She thinks Corky should help her steal $2 million from the mob. Violence ensues. 

OK, that's enough plot. "Bound" is cinematically beautiful; there are some fantastic scenes contrasting patches of vivid color against a relatively grayscale everything else. There’s some excellent acting bits, even though most of the dudes are a bunch of stereotypical mob characters. 

I think the most interesting part of the conversation Syd, Lorena, and I had, though, was about whether "Bound" is a queer movie. There isn’t a ton of dialogue around what the relationship means, or consideration of what their place is within society. On the one hand, you miss out on typically lesbian movie dialogue, but I enjoy that the couple is actually queer (as opposed to one lesbian + straight girl with crush).  Also, during sexy time, there’s an extended shot of Violet topping Corky, and I love that subversion of expectations, that the film queers the idea of butch/femme and the viewer’s expectation that Corky will do the seducing and give pleasure. I actually enjoy that the film isn’t about coming out or dealing with lesbian couple as lesbian couple -- they just get to be characters caught up in an action film who happen to be queer, instead of having to be characters placed in the film as queer. 

All that said, though, I think my major critique of “Bound” is that Violet and Corky both feel underdeveloped, and you don’t get a strong sense of why their relationship works, other than the sexy time. It feels like we get rushed into all of the action and suspense, at the expense of richer character development.

Overall Rating:
Lorena & Audrey: 7 out of 10 shots.
Syd: 6.5 shots

Queer Rating:
Audrey: 7* shots
Lorena: 8 shots
Syd: 5 shots

Hope you'll enjoy or have enjoyed this classic. How queer do you think it is? Does Violet's voice sound like a higher-pitched version of Batman to you? Make your opinion known in the comments!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mini Cherry Pie and (original) D.E.B.S.

So it's another busy week—my first week of classes and I am volunteering with Outfest (woo!), and Lorena has the GRE—so we're going to go with another condensed post. Lucky for me actually, since with no video you don't get to see how I awkwardly dyed the side of my face when I re-did my hair. 

I couldn't decide on a simple recipe to share so instead I am going to link you to Fresh Cherry Hand Pies as explained by Dessert for Two. That whole site is probably relevant to your dinner-date interests since we don't do desserts but a thoughtful something-sweet can definitely improve your score for the evening. (or even help you score. Hah, ok let's agree to forget that I said that.)

Well hopefully you're doing productive things with your week too. Next week we will try to do our boozy guest post for reals, until then (and always), stay gold!


"Why don't you want me to meet your friends... Are you ashamed of me?"
Before becoming one of my favorite lesbian oriented movies of all time, D.E.B.S was a delightful 10 minute short. DEBS are an elite group of female super spies/crime fighters. Their arch nemesis, Lucy in the Sky, is constantly kidnapping a particular squad's leader, Amy. We come to find that the two have a much more complicated relationship than that of everyday villain and hero...
You can watch DEBS the short film by clicking here
(The feature film is also hilarious and easily found on the internets)

Cool things to note:
Tammy Lynn Michaels. 
Jill Ritchie, the wonderful actress who plays Janet, is kept on for the feature length version.
Both the short (2003) and the feature film (2004) were written and directed by Angela Robinson (The L Word, GirlTrash!)
Jordana Brewster (Fast and the Furious) plays Lucy in the feature.

The characters are wonderfully written, the plot is absolutely silly/amazing, and if you don't love it... then I don't want to be your friend.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Amazing Teriyaki Meatballs and Weekend

Guysss, we reached 1,000 pageviews! I don't know about you, but I think that's pretty exciting. 

This week might be my favorite so far; excellent movie and deliiiicious dinner. Both being rather straightforward, so on to how you can recreate the fun: 

So the story of this recipe starts last winter when a friend showed me a little Japanese food place in New York where you just order skewers of things. I ordered some teriyaki meatballs that turned out to be dipped in magic, and so the mission to recreate the sauce began. There were many enjoyable iterations, but not until a few weeks ago did we discover that the secret ingredient is mirin—so don't leave it out! It is a sweet cooking sake that you can probably procure somewhere with international goods or at a Japanese grocery store.  After you find the ingredients this recipe is plenty easy and crazy tasty, definitely appropriate for wowing others. (I should note, this is not your gooey sweet teriyaki sauce, this is flavor I cannot even describe.) 

Bring ⅔ cup mirin to boil in a saucepan/small pot and simmer for 5 minutes.

Reduce heat and add:
               1 cup soy sauce (or tamari, for the gluten-free)
               4 ½ tsp. rice vinegar
               1 tsp sesame oil
               ⅓ cup white sugar (honey or maple syrup have also proven delicious)
               4 cloves of garlic, minced (give or take, your call)
               1 tbs. minced fresh ginger (I only had powdered on hand and it was fine)
               Dash of red pepper flakes and black pepper (to taste)
(initial recipe from allrecipes)

Now that you've got that, I suggest pouring it over some ground meat (we went with turkey) and letting it marinate for about half an hour. Then fry it up! You kind of want to squeeze the extra sauce out of the balls when you make them so they firm up.* Serve along side rice and broccoli for full dinner effect. 

*ugh, meat. Don't forget to wash it before you start. And freeze leftovers. Since I went vegan before I really started cooking I never learned how to deal with meat and sometimes I forget these things.

Weekend (2011)
Written and directed by Andrew Haigh

I was hesitant about this movie at first because the trailer made me think "too boy-centric and seemingly boring," but after I watched it I was blown away because it is just a REALLY good movie.

True to the title, the movie takes place over a weekend in Nottingham, England. After a night hanging out with his straight friends, Russell ventures off to a gay club to find some company. He meets Glen, and what starts off as a potential one night stand becomes something a lot more meaningful.

The two have this wonderful balance. Glen, the outspoken artist who doesn't "do boyfriends," is radical and constantly challenging social conventions. Russell, who is kind of awkward and shy, seems to be weighed down by his internalized homophobia, but has his own introspective views on life, happiness, and sexuality.

If you're hard of hearing or have trouble understanding accents, I suggest putting on some subtitles because the conversations are the best part of this movie. We found ourselves nodding and knowingly glancing at each other throughout. I actually teared up quite a bit with my hand clenched over my heart.

Overall rating
Syd: 8/10 teriyaki meatballs
Lore: 7/10 teriyaki meatballs

Queer rating
Unanimously 10 out of 10 teriyaki meat balls.
There is a part where Glen is talking about straight people not seeing gay things because "it's not their world, they'll go see murders, pictures of refugees, but gay sex? Fuck off." And it's so true! Make your straight friends watch this with you to questions their inherited story lines. 

I tried reviewing this the best that I could without giving too much away. If you're into discussion and/or talking about norms and queerness, watch the movie and let us know what you think!