French Fries & Cinnamon Rolls

French fries and cinnamon rolls have one thing in common, besides deliciousness: both have a shelf life of about fifteen minutes. You can reheat them if you like, but they’ll never recapture the glory that they had when they were fresh out of the oven (or oil.) Cookies and brownies last a little longer. They’re best right after cooking (or before, really), but they still taste all right for at least a couple of days after. French fries and cinnamon rolls are the only two foods I know of that just can’t be reheated.

I find the increasing sexualization of men in our culture quite amusing. (There’s a food double entendre in here somewhere.) The Internet, I learn, is abuzz with pictures of divers in their skimpy Speedos and swimmers in those ugly compression shorts. Not surprisingly, some douchebags are complaining, saying that they logged onto [insert website here] to read fart jokes or the news, not see close-ups of male genitalia. Pointing out the hypocrisy of whining about scantily clad men when we are bombarded with images of scantily clad women day in and day out always brings one response: more people are bugged by naked men than naked women, so we should go with the consensus. First of all, I’m not sure that more people like to ogle women, but more importantly, the douchebags, in this case, do have a point. Feminists, generally, do not complain as loudly when confronted with the objectification of women than male shitheads do when confronted with the objectification of men. It isn’t because they aren’t vocal–on the contrary, the feminists I know are very vocal–but because they actually want to appeal to people’s better judgment. Douchebags don’t care about that; they just figure that if they yell loudly enough about how totally gay it is that someone dared to, I don’t know, include a gay side character in a video game, people will acquiesce to their demands. Problem is, they have a point. I’m all for diversity, but if I, as a businessman, found that my efforts to make sure gay men and women felt included in whatever I was doing was hurting my bottom line, I’d change my policies. Can you really blame me?

There is a room in the student housing building that I live in where I spend much of my time. It’s air-conditioned, which is nice, but also very pretty and relaxing. Everybody needs their safe space. The trick is becoming comfortable enough outside of that space that returning to it feels less like a retreat than a vacation. I can lie on my bed listening to classic rock all day, but when I’m done, there will still be work to do and people who expect me to return their messages. I try not to get too hung up on that. No matter what, I insist that it is they who must work for my approval and not the other way around. The nice part is that the more I accomplish, the harder it is to turn back the clock. When my fifth grade teacher warned us that sixth grade would be completely different, I worried. Now, when a project leader implies that I’m not pulling my weight, I laugh. I’ve heard this song before. And even if I’m not meeting expectations, I’m not sorry. I have enough on my hands just carrying my own anxieties around. I don’t have the energy to reassure people who are projecting their own insecurities onto me.

I don’t like confrontation very much, so I’ll shift to something a little bit lighter: fashion. I don’t give a shit about it, so there’s no way I can get all that worked up when discussing it. Some people do care about fashion. I believe they are known as “girls”. I kid, I kid. Not all women care about their appearance. In fact, I think it’s sad that more men don’t put work into their appearance. It would be nice to see men having to work as hard to impress others as women often do.

It takes time to tease out the subtleties of one’s own imagination. I’m still getting it down. If much of my writing reads like a stream of consciousness, it’s because I don’t know where the fuck I’m going. I do believe I’m going somewhere, though. The world only spins forward, as Tony Kushner once wrote.

One thing that I’ve been looking forward to since moving to New York is experiencing a snowy winter for the first time in years. Ever since my family relocated to California from Michigan when I was seven, I’ve regretted not being able to have snowball fights, admire freshly fallen snow, and sit by the fire with a hot cup of cocoa. It’s doubtful that where I’m living then will have a fireplace, but you get the idea.

Completely random: musical theater fans, I think Rent is due for a reappraisal. It’s corny and overlong, sure, but I don’t think it deserves all of the slagging it gets. For one thing, it’s sincere, and for another, it doesn’t really matter to me whether or not the art the characters create is any good, so long as the emotions ring true. Whatever else I can say about that show, it means what it says. Give it another chance.

That’s pretty much all for today. Remember the simple joys, folks. They’ll keep you going when all else fails.


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