Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dinner! and also gay/lesbian actors

As you may know, we bought a side of grass-fed beef from Vermont Natural Beef this year.  We ordered it in early summer and picked it up in November.  No, we didn't get a whole, unbutchered side of cow. Instead we got 3 boxes full of more than 200 pounds of frozen beef, butchered to our specifications. A good portion of this was ground hamburger, just because that's what you get from a side of beef even when you get lots of steaks and roasts.  You can only make so many meat loaves, pots of chili and hamburgers, so I'm experimenting with other recipes using ground beef that I might not have otherwise made.  Tonight we had a quite delicious shepherd's pie.

But what I am really excited about it making all the variations of these homemade hamburger helper recipes I found.

But enough about food. My brother was visiting recently and casually mentioned that he was at a vaguely popular actor's house for a party and how Neil Patrick Harris and his husband were there with their twins and how cute the vaguely popular actor and his husband and their kids are.  And I sat up and said, "Wait what? Vaguely Popular Actor is gay?" I may not be the most in-the-know person in the world. I don't read Perez Hilton or gay gossip stuff. But I do read the Advocate on occasion and do enjoy the entertainment news.  I didn't recall having seen Vaguely Popular Actor in there as an out actor.  I confirmed on the Advocate that anytime Vaguely Popular Actor is mentioned, it was just as "Name."  The Advocate always prefaces the name of a gay/lesbian actor as "out actor Name."  But apparently it's a known thing in Hollywood that Vaguely Popular Actor is gay.  And I even found some unconfirmed instances of this on some gay gossip blogs.

So what's the big deal?  I understand that people want to keep their personal lives private.  I get it. I do. And I understand that gay/lesbian actors fear being stereotyped and not having the opportunity to do as many roles.  But don't straight actors play gay all the time? They're not stereotyped as only playing straight characters. The more mainstream gay/lesbian actors that come out, the less of a big deal it would be.

I'm not saying they have to welcome cameras into their homes 24/7 and tell me about their 2-year old's cute habits and the way they don't always agree with their same-gender spouse.  Some heterosexual celebrities seem to like that type of thing but there are plenty of heterosexual actors about whose families I know very little.  Why can't a random news article say "Vaguely Popular Actor and his husband so-and-so went to such-and-such event tonight"? Or whatever. The same way it would say the same about Jessica Alba and Cash Warren.

When I was just figuring out my own sexual orientation I was very interested in knowing which actors were gay or lesbian.  Especially the female actors on whom I had crushes, of course. :) Funny enough, many of them did turn out to be gay.  It was a way to see that it was a "normal" thing and that I wan't the only one (well, I knew I wasn't the only one, I went to Vassar, but still). It could be that seeing more actors out in Hollywood might make things a little easier for teenagers who are trying to figure things out when they feel like they're the only gay person in their school/town/wherever.  That's exactly why Zachary Quinto came out. And I was really excited about that. He's an actor who has played very non-gay roles.  Well, I guess it depends what type of a Star Trek fan you are ....

It kinda goes back to that whole thing I wrote about before about how gay/lesbian people should just be a non-issue.  I have challenged my brother to make a children's show some day where one of the characters just happens to have two moms or two dads and IT'S NOT TALKED ABOUT.  It doesn't have to all have an agenda! I don't care if Vaguely Popular Actor never marches in a gay pride parade. I don't need him to be preaching about how being gay is normal or whatever. I just want to know that he's in a committed same-sex relationship, raising children together. Grr.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Those New Year's resolutions

I have never really done New Year's resolutions. Well sure, I've told myself things like "I'm going to get in shape this year" or "I'm going to eat better this year" but I never actually held myself accountable or followed through with them.

This year I have one that I intend to actually follow through on.  My goal is to start getting ready for bed by 10pm every night.  Yeah, I'm already not quite there tonight since it's 10:40pm as I start writing this, but I have actually been doing a pretty good job the last two weeks.  It's harder for me to start getting ready at 10 when Jen isn't home (she's at work until about midnight Wed-Fri) even if she's not going to bed when I am.  Part of the reason is that I always seem to be trying to get one last thing done before I go up to bed.  One last load of laundry folded, one last sink of dishes done, one last room reorganized beginning at 10:30 (yeah, one day at 10:30pm I decided it would be a good time to start reorganizing Nate's toys in the family room...)

Before we had a child I was actually much better at getting to bed around 10, Jen can vouch for me, sometimes even earlier!  And on the weekends I regularly slept past 8:30 or 9. I've always slept in a lot.  I was never an early riser.  All that changes when you have kids. :) And they don't realize they're supposed to sleep in on the weekends.  Luckily for us, (most of the time) Nate has woken up around (or even later than) 7am.  He went through a period of waking up earlier and earlier but we got a toddler clock and now we're back to normal.

In addition to causing you to wake up earlier, kids also take up more of your waking hours.  Today, for example, Nate and watched Toy Story 3 together after dinner and then read some books before bedtime.  That's time I could have spent doing laundry, or dishes, or researching new curtains online, or writing my blog. Things I now do once he's in bed for the most part -- he is definitely old enough that he doesn't need constant supervision, but he frequently wants us to spend time with him, and I am happy to do so. He's cuddly. :) Of course, he also really likes to help these days.  Yesterday he spontaneously came up to me and said "We have to do laundry, come with me." He likes helping me sort the laundry and then pouring the soap in and pushing the buttons.

So what I end up doing on nights Jen isn't here is that I do all the housework after Nate goes to bed and I try to get it all done in addition to frequently having to do an hour or so of work from home. I had regularly been going to bed after 11pm, and not infrequently enough after midnight.

I don't mind doing laundry. I don't mind folding laundry. But folding laundry takes time so I tend to put it off. And off. And off. But I still do loads of laundry. So I end up with 5 or 6 loads that I then decide I'm going to fold all at once. It takes a little while.  So in addition to getting ready for bed at 10 each night, I'm also trying to do one load of laundry per day. One load washed and one load folded (though not necessarily the same one).  I did alright on that last week.  This week my brother was visiting so I didn't really get too much done.

So now that is all going to change! 30 days to make something a habit?  I'm hoping that getting to bed at a regular time each night will help me not be tired as much during the day, give me more energy to get things done and also more patience.  When I'm tired I get snippy.  It's going to take some work. Because this doesn't mean I can slack on the stuff I need to do.  But I think I can make it happen.

I will let you know how I do.  30 days to make it a habit...