Thursday, August 16, 2012

Nancy Reagan made me a Stripper

“I want to be just like her when I grow up!” Was my thought about the girl with the punk rock fringe haircut sitting at the table in the front of the Assembly Room at Piney Branch Elementary School. She was brought in by the DARE program to give a talk about the dangers of Drugs and Alcohol and scare all of us 5th graders away from the idea of doing drugs. You know the program…it was the one that Nancy Reagan started in the 80s to keep kids from doing drugs. The one where they brought cops into the schools with trays full of drugs and showed us how they were ingested, what they did, and what they looked like…and even what household items that you can get high off of and why you shouldn’t do it. When all we heard was….”wow, you can get high off that?!”

My elementary school called an assembly this day, and we all groaned. Everyone hated assembly’s because it usually meant that we had to listen to some boring old person drone on about something so boring we couldn’t bear to keep our eyes open. Even though we hated them, there still was something exciting about getting to leave regular class for a bit though. This assembly was the same as all the rest. A woman was introduced to us, “This is Leslie, and she’s going to talk to you about her life.” I looked at the front of the cafeteria, which also doubled as the theater for school plays, so it had a large stage in the front with the kitchen in the back. Leslie was sitting at a table in front of the stage. On the table there were pamphlets for D.A.R.E. I knew at that moment we were going to have a lecture about drugs.

This one was a little different though, Leslie wasn’t an expert, or a cop, or a scientist… she was an actual ex-junkie. And she was there to tell us first hand how bad drugs are. She told us about how she started out just trying drugs occasionally and then…it lead to her running away from home, and fending for herself on the streets. To survive…she had to work as a stripper. (Cue the dramatic music). I stared at her, in awe. She was so beautiful, cool, and when she was 15 she was on her own and working at a strip club and trying lots of drugs.  I could tell that all the other kids in the room seemed either horrified at her story, or incredibly bored. I seemed to ignore the stories about her overdose and life on the streets, and all I heard is that she was a stripper…and she was beautiful! I couldn’t wait to be a punk like her, try drugs, and most of all to be a stripper.

My mind was obsessed with the idea for a long time. My Barbie’s were strippers for a least a month. But I kept my scandalous dream a secret. I didn’t even tell my best friend! I just waited. I knew the day would come, I just had to be patient.  

As an adult I think about this and think how strange. That a 10-year-old girl would have that kind of reaction to what was obviously a scary story. I just thought that stripping sounded amazing. And you forget when you’re all grown up, how mature you can think as a kid. I knew I couldn’t be a stripper at that moment because I was too young, I also knew that I couldn’t tell anyone. There’s no way that my parents would understand that their 10 year old daughter had dreams of being a stripper when she grew up. They would have brushed it off to some weird thing that their little girl said, or found it disturbing and I would have gotten a lecture about it. When in reality, I knew that someday I would be a stripper, and that there wouldn’t be anything wrong with that. I knew at 10 years old that you didn’t have to be a junkie to be a stripper.

This was the exact moment that I decided to be a stripper. And 20 years later, after spending countless years thinking about it and dreaming about it, when the time was right I did it. I just want to say, thanks to Nancy Reagan for making me the best stripper I could be! I owe it all to you.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Domestic Roots

My mother is a domestic hero. She cooked 3 meals a day for us, cleaned the house perfectly, played with us, encouraged creativity in us, and wouldn’t let us watch a lot of TV. We ate healthy whole meals that were always home cooked. All this with very little help from my father. That’s not to say that my dad was a dead beat, because he wasn’t at all. He just had no idea how to cook, or clean. He did the man stuff. He worked, made sure the yard and the house looked nice, took us all camping and taught me how to paint the house, fill up the car with gas, check the oil…. you know, man stuff. My family was pretty cookie-cutter when it came to gender roles. My Dad was well into his 60s when he learned how to run the DISHWASHER!

So, naturally I picked up both of those traits. I don’t think my mom would have wanted me to be a wife like her. She wanted me to be more independent and free spirited in a way that she never had the chance to be – although the fact that my mom has a recipe for pot brownies, and was the voice of “Miss Midnight” an erotic radio show that my parents did together in college, makes me think that she was way more free spirited than she thinks!

I wanted to be just like my mom…. and my dad. I wanted to be the housewife in the apron with the amazing recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie, but while the pie was cooking I wanted to be able to fix the car. I was on track for that but sadly I wasn’t allowed to take auto shop in high school like I wanted to. I’m still a little bitter about that, and don’t understand how the Pom Squad was ok, but auto shop was a no-no.

I always wanted to know how to cook. And every chance I had I would help my mom in the kitchen. She would let me add all the ingredients when baking, help her stir the pot, drop the dough in the oil when we made fresh doughnuts…I couldn’t get enough time in the kitchen!

I remember the first time I ever got to cook a meal. My mom had just returned home from the hospital and was home recovering in bed, unable to cook. My brother was in college and my Dad…well, he was less capable of cooking than his 8 year old daughter. I’m pretty sure I begged to do it too! I’m sure there was a little humoring the child going on too…but I didn’t care! I got to cook!

I went into the kitchen and looked around. My mom directed me in the right direction, “There’s chicken in the fridge…” I took the chicken, sliced it into uniform thin pieces. Chopped a few cloves of garlic. Took out the soy sauce, marinated the chicken in garlic and soy sauce. I guess I was making some sort of “Asian” meal. I heated up the pan and added the oil, then added the chicken pieces one by one. Dousing them a second time in soy sauce while they were cooking. I think I must have used at least a half a bottle of Soy Sauce on our chicken. I worked the chicken in pieces turning them over when they seemed cooked enough and transferred them to a plate when they were done.

I was beyond excited as I plated my first meal. Taking extra care to make sure that the meal looked pretty on the plate. I served my pitch black with soy sauce chicken with great pride! The soy sauce had completely permeated the chicken and it was black, not because I burned it, but with an ungodly amount of sodium. If you didn’t know what it was you would probably have taken one look at it and thought it was steak. I can’t remember what I made on the side. It must not have been an original recipe because I certainly would have remembered if it was. But that chicken…I really thought that I had created the greatest chicken recipe ever! And I ate it as if it was. I’m pretty sure my parents were humoring me as they ate theirs, reaching for a couple glasses of water I’m sure.

My mom put me in a cooking class after that.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Who needs the Shake Weight when you've got Mayo?

Mayonnaise: that deliciously decadent, creamy, fatty, condiment that we all love or love to hate. I for one LOVE mayo! If you’ve ever been out to lunch with me, you know how upset I get when the waiter forgets that my fries were specifically ordered with a side of mayo. How do you enjoy fries without mayo?? I really don’t know, and Ketchup?? Are you kidding me? As if there weren’t a million other things wrong with this country…we have to add Ketchup to the list! Come on…give me the mayo, and not that fake shit…I want the real stuff! Give me all the fat, all the egg, give me all of it. Hold the corn syrup and preservatives; I’m making it myself! And so should you! It’s so easy, and the pay off is HUGE!

So, here’s my entry about one of my favorite things in the world, which combines so many of my OTHER favorite things as well...

Get this…a condiment that makes fries way more delicious than they already are…and it comes with a WORKOUT too!! Holy shit. And hold up…the workout it gives you specifically targets an area that makes you better in bed? That's right…making mayo works out your wrist, which makes you better at giving that special man in your life a bangin’ hand job! Three amazing things in one…A workout, better sex, and something delicious! Ladies, let’s get to whippin’ up some mayo, shall we?

This will make a medium Jar of Mayo, which will keep for a good 2 weeks!

2 egg yolks at room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
dash of salt
dash of white pepper
2 cups oil (a mix of olive oil, walnut, peanut- peanut oil tends to be a bit strong, so be sure to mix it if choosing to use it.) Feel free to use just olive oil, it works great that way!

-Put all ingredients in a metal or glass bowl except the oil. Stir with a wire wisk.

-Then slowly add the oil one drop at a time. (yes, literally one drop at a time!)  Whisking the whole time, DO NOT STOP WHISKING! Keep adding the oil one drop at a time while whisking until the mayo starts to get thicker, and more “mayo-like”. Toward the end, you can add the oil a little faster, but be sure to continuously whisk- this is where the workout comes in!

Once the oil is all in you should have a nice thick consistency of mayo! And that’s it! See…it’s so easy! As long as you add your oil slowly, and never stop whisking you’ll be fine. If you do stop whisking, or add the oil too fast you risk your mayo separating, which you DON’T want!

Your Mayo will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge and trust me…it’ll be better than ANYTHING you’ll buy at the store. You’ll find that you never have to buy it again!