Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Personal Coffee Cake & Transit

Helloooooo, friends!
We've missed you. Have you missed us? Well, you may or may not have noticed that there was no post last week. It's really all my fault, I was completely distracted with life things and work and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Seriously though, what an amazing television series. If you haven't watched it, please do. It's on netflix.

This was supposed to be posted last week as a mini post since it was a busy week, but instead it's being posted today. We have a short short followed by a short recipe. Next week we will have a whole, real post with a vlog and everything!

Written & Directed by Kerry Wheldon (2004)

I feel like we've all had these moments, gay or straight, bus or somewhere else. You see someone, they see you, you look away... and then you wonder if they're looking at you in the same way you're looking at them or if they're just looking at you because you looked at them and they think you're weird! It's funny. It's frustrating!
I think that being queer, I often get stuck on the part where only a tiny percent of the population is also queer, hence this person probably is not and I'm creeping her out now.

Regardless, I think this experience resonates with us all. I like the end where she just laughs at herself.
Next time someone on the bus smiles at you, talk to them. For me. And may the odds be ever in your favor... yeah, I did that. -Lore

I finished my first (real) semester of art school guysss*! Though as T.S. Eliot said, it ended with a whimper rather than a bang: I turned in three portfolios and caught a cold. While I was wallowing in this cold and watching Community however, I made this awesome personal coffee cake!
You just microwave it! I found this recipe when I didn't have a microwave and I was kind of bummed out, so I sympathize if you are going to have to pass this one up. Everyone else though, get in on it. It is made with things you probably already have and is delicious. Make it for a snack. For dessert. For breakfast for that cute girl you brought home. So versatile. I almost wonder if I could make one that was just half crumb topping. Mmmm. 

Have a good rest-of-the-week! I am taking a 29 hour train ride up to Portland and it is going to be SO MUCH FUN. (Actually I am thinking there will either be cool encounters or tiring stranger danger. We will see!) -syd

*Next goal, live in a place longer than a year, and don't change schools/majors.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Cold Soba with Peanut Sauce and Facing Mirrors

Oh you're back for more? Well good, 'cus we've got some.

So Lorena's computer crashed and we lost a lot of our witty banter and cooking instruction, but don't worry, we filled the vlog time with something equally entertaining:

There was a lot more to the 5 am sing-a-long, but you'd have to get drunk and kick it with us to really get the full experience. A working knowledge of 90s hits or Tegan and Sara is a must.

It has been hot hot hot in L.A. so I was really not interested in eating a particularly hot meal, luckily I thought of cold soba noodles! The peanut sauce is of the spicy variety and not of the creamy, made-with-coconut-milk variety. This recipe is from Vegan With A Vengeance, my first cookbook from my angry high school days. Cookbooks are good for browsing in a way that looking at internet recipes is frequently not, and as long as you are not a crazy carnivore I definitely recommend it.

For the sauce you will need:
2 tsp peanut oil (I used sesame oil, you could probably get away with vegetable oil)
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tb minced ginger
1 cup water
2 tb soy sauce
1 tsp coriander*
⅔ cup peanut butter
2 tb maple syrup
3 tb rice vinegar
2 tsp Asian chile sauce (or hot sauce of some form)

Sauté the garlic and ginger in the oil. Add everything up to the peanut butter and bring to a boil. Add the peanut butter and everything else, mix, then turn off heat and set aside.

This sauce works well for a 10 oz. package of noodles, but that is about 4 servings so you could make less and save some sauce. The recipe actually calls for udon, but I was feeling more soba-y. Cook the noodles, then drain and run cold water over them. Or you could have made the noodles previously and put them in the fridge. When serving you want them quite cold, the sauce to be at room temperature, and the seitan still warm. Remember to put a little oil on them before draining since when they get cold they will want to form a solid lump.

Slice up your seitan (or meat thing) and sauté it in peanut sauce with garlic and ginger, maybe some soy sauce. I threw in a little pepper too, you do you. Put it on your noodles and add the sauce. It is recommended that you sprinkle something on top like julienned cucumber or mung beans. We did chives and red pepper. Eat!

*Spices are perhaps another one of my personal causes: buy them, learn to use them, they are worth it. I was not stoked to only find $4 coriander, but it'll last and that means it's good. Why do things taste so good when you go out to eat? Spices man. If you ever see me just throw together breakfast potatoes I'll use at least three, not including salt if I'm doing savory.

Facing Mirrors (2011)
Directed by Negar Azarbayjani

So we went to see this movie at the Downtown Independent, where we were told a neat story of how the DVD copy of the film was secretly transported all over the place before making it to Outfest, since the movie has been banned in Iran. Very cool.

This is an Iranian film, following two assigned female people, Rana and Adineh (prefereably known as Eddie). Both characters have to transgress gender norms put in place by society and their families in order to survive in their own ways.

Rana's husband is currently in jail, so to make ends meet she is secretly driving around his car as a taxi service (although she only takes women). Eddie is planning to escape from Iran to avoid being forced to marry a man (his father's way of "fixing" his trans problems) and to continue his transition in Germany. The two meet by chance when Rana picks him up after he was almost assaulted by two men on the side of the road. She initially reads him as a woman and becomes very uncomfortable and surprised when Eddie tells her about being trans. Although Rana reacts very negatively towards Eddie at first, we see how the two characters progress throughout the movie in getting to truly know and understand each other. Eddie also seems to have a lot of disposable income and a backpack that fits lots of changes of clothes.

It was really cool to see this issue discussed in a setting different than what we know in our day to day. Different cultures have such different history and language regarding queer issues and people, that even having a conversation about sex and gender can become so different whether you're in the US, or Iran, or South America... etc. It's interesting and can spark a lot of conversation. Ahem... if you'd like to have that conversation.

Queer Rating:
Syd: 3/4th bowl of soba. (Maybe more, not sure.)
Lorena: 5/6th bowl
Audrey: 4/5ths of a bowl

Overall Rating:
Syd: 3/4ths of a bowl
Lorena & Audrey: 7/10ths

Thanks for joining!
Love, Lorena.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Queer Sounds For Getting Down (Or For Life In General)

I had a witty opener all lined up, but then my cat did a flip while chasing a dustball and I completely lost my train of thought. Sorry, I'm sure you know how these pet things are. Or maybe you don't. It's ok, we can't all grow up to be cat ladies.*

Anyway, Lorena has a bug of some sort and I do not want to get that** so this week we are separately sharing some queer music videos with you instead! Maybe you can rock out to them while you cook up your own creation or use them as mood music or something. It is entirely your call, I just wanted a title that rhymed.

Avicii - Silhouettes
So depending where you hang out on the internet you may have heard about this, but just incase I thought I'd share. While neither the song nor artist are particularly queer, the video focuses on the transition of a trans woman. Aside the swift and unsubtle cucumber chop, I think it is a pretty well done video that doesn't sensationalize it or anything. It is not positing that to be a woman you need "the surgery," or that you need to be femme, that is just this particular character's life. Illustrating just changing pronouns or a less "traditional" journey would be tricky. Maybe they didn't even change pronouns! The point is just that they have moved into a new life adventure and are not looking back, and that Avicii, a comparatively mainstream artist, chose to illustrate that this way is kind of nice. But maybe you think otherwise? Holla.

Avicii - Silhouettes from House of Radon on Vimeo.

L.P. - Stupid Song
Aight, less chatter this time since L.P. can pretty much speak for herself. Androgynous queerio that can play the ukelele and whistle something fierce. I can't actually decide if I like her voice, but she seems way cool regardless. I really wanted to embed this video, but I can't, but you should watch it too. She's also done some good covers.

Bonus: Sam Sparrow's Black and Gold has been my latest guilty pleasure earworm, and he is a gay boy. Also, this Kaki King cover of LoveStoned. Also also Le1f, because he is proud to be a gay rapper, but yo, gay rap is not a genre.

So, that is what I am bringing to the musical potluck. What are you bringing? That's right, comment. I'm starting to feel like an angsty teen with a shitty xanga or something.    -Syd

*As people have pointed out, and I agree, I am actually already a grouchy old man. In the body of an artsy-grunge boi.
**Kind of kidding, but a chicken noodle soup dinner and a sickly video didn't sound like a good crowd-pleaser.

I have indeed fallen ill... I tried to ward the sickness off with lots of vitamin C pills and echinacea, but I suppose the road trip to San Fran didn't help much and may have even countered the effects of the aforementioned...
I have queer musical videos for you as well. My theme is silly pop.

Valeria (ft. Aria)  - Girl I told Ya
This song is very silly. This video is very silly. It is all just VERY silly. My friend Sarah and I discovered it a while back and I still think it's absolutely hilarious. I'm 99.9% sure this artist is actually straight and I don't really know what the reasoning behind this video was, but I totally dig the Victorian theme and video gaming going on here... amongst other things. Yeah, hate all you want, I think it's sexy:

Before Katy Perry's song about kissing a girl, but not actually kissing a girl for real, made it big, there was another artist who came out with a song of the same title. The video is also very silly, but I have a deep appreciation of what it was for the mainstream in the 90s and how progressive it actually continues to be today.
This is also one of the first songs I learned to cover and I enjoy it so very much.
I Kissed a Girl - Jill Sobule

Great! Hope you guys enjoyed, let us know what you think. 
We'll be back next week with a sweet video of US reviewing a movie and eating some food.