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Milk and The Butch Cookbook
Milk and The Butch Cookbook
by Mercy Moosemuzzle - SGN Contributing Writer

Since Mercy is new to the Bunkhouse-Ovation family, she was pleasantly surprised that 12-year-old Equality invited her to join them for part of the present opening. Equality had brought Mercy a Barbie doll, demonstrating her sense of humor. Cuteness helped Mercy cut Barbie's hair short and goth up her Ariel costume. She is hoping to borrow some of Ken's clothes to complete the effect. Mercy and Cuteness met a few others for a delicious breakfast out tradition, Christmas morning, which allowed them to catch up with some long time friends, in spite of the snow and ice. Mercy got compliments on her cranberry bread, proving she isn't too butch to bake.

They went on to see the movie Milk. They both liked Dustin Lance Black's script a lot. Mercy was impressed with Van Sant's direction in terms of providing a total sense of the time the movie was set in. Cuteness found the film a bit restrained compared to Van Sant's other films. They both thought Sean Penn's acting wonderful and the heat of his relationship with Scott Smith (played well by Josh Brolin) satisfying. Assuming Penn is straight, playing the role so thoroughly is a gift to the Gay community. Mercy and Cuteness agree with others that Penn deserves an Oscar for his performance.

One complaint a number of Lesbians have is how few women are included in the movie. Dykes, who were a major part of the movement portrayed there, are strangely only represented by one gutsy character, Anne Kronenberg, played delightfully by Alison Pil. The protest scenes should have included some women.

Demonstrations at the opening of Milk brought public attention to the fact that Cinemark CEO Alan Stock donated $9,999 to the Yes on 8 campaign. Fortunately, there aren't any Cinemark theaters in Seattle. Mercy urges you to avoid them, when traveling.

Mercy has three favorite Lesbian books she read this year. One is Norah Vincent's Self-Made Man. Vincent disguised herself as a man for a period of a year, joining a bowling team, taking a job as a salesman, and spending time in a monastery. Mercy was impressed with a surprise that came to Vincent, when she joined a men's group. The author complimented an attractive man in her group, saying she wouldn't mind living in his body. Vincent was surprised to find out that the man felt exploited by the fact that all women seemed to see about him was his appearance.

The second favorite book is My One Night Stand with Cancer, by Tania Katan. This memoir about Katan's experience with breast cancer is surprisingly funny - the author skewers doctors, family and lover relationships with élan. Two women who have had breast cancer told Mercy they broke out laughing at this book.

The third is The Butch Cook Book, edited by Lee Lynch, Sue Hardesty and Nel Ward. With this book, the editors challenge the stereotype that butches don't cook. With the recipes they include stories and butch culture that Mercy found delightful.

Mercy also has three favorite movies this year. The first one is For My Wife. David Rothmiller's direction put the film together beautifully. It follows Charlene Strong's response to having been denied access to her dying partner in the hospital. She lobbied for Washington's Domestic Partnership law. One of the most moving scenes is Governor Chris Gregoire signing that law and acknowledging Charlene's loss.

The second movie is Affinity. Like Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith, this movie is an adaptation of a Sarah Waters novel about Lesbians in Victorian England. It follows a rich woman, Margaret Prior (played with depth by Anna Madeley) in her relationship with a prisoner, Selina Dawes (spookily beautiful Zoe Tapper). The story takes a surprising twist Mercy thinks you will enjoy. You can rent it on Netflix, if you didn't see it at the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.

The third one is When I Knew, directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato. This documentary asked a fun variety of people when they first knew they were Gay or Lesbian. The tales the interviewees tell are captivating. The photography is warm.

Mercy is looking forward to the Metropolitan Opera's encore broadcast of Thais, January 7, since she missed the simulcast, because of weather.
 

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