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The Food Party!

By Laura Stec

E-mail Laura Stec

About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Done with Gender

Uploaded: Oct 20, 2019

In the news and the neighborhood, I keep hearing about kids changing their gender, and keep wondering why. Nature makes mistakes now and again to be sure, but it seems more like a popular trend.

Then last weekend happened.

I was at a local watering hole Sunday when a guy asks me to dance. I wasn’t looking to dance, but said sure. The meeting was uneventful - we boogied only a minute before the song ended, thank yous exchanged, and we turned away.

About a half hour later I leave, walking around the building to my car in the back lot, parked very close to a big, black SUV. I turn around to squeeze in, when I see my dance partner coming straight at me, already between the two cars. Face scrunches with rebuff, talk to the hand, and I block by opening the car door. I slip inside - he bellows, “I have no one to talk to,” and while backing up he sweetens the deal with, “I’m single!”

On the drive home, inner-writer kicks in. Who the hell does this guy think he is, and more importantly, who does he think I am? He shouldn’t have tracked me to my car, or caught me between two cars, but what really stood out were his words. One might imagine, “Excuse me, may I ask you a question, or “Excuse me, you are a good dancer,” but no! Mr. Dark Moves pulls out something about himself, with the gall to assume I would care one iota about the emotional well being of a person who just stalked me and blocked me.

I guess it’s all the same. The emotional immaturity that allowed that man to corner me in the dark is the same emotional cluelessness that allowed him to respond vocally only about himself. Both support the idea that he didn’t understand my personal boundaries, which certainly weren’t as important as his needs.

I also wondered what he thought as he walked away? Was he feeling dumb for being an idiot? Or was it more along the lines of, “Bee-ach, she didn’t do what she was supposed to.”

Do you think Dark Moves would have ever chased a guy to his car in search of a supportive ear? I doubt it. Subconsciously he assumed a women should naturally care, rather than naturally slug him in the kisser.

Then I thought about the kids again - so much more aware than we ever were about themselves and the environment around them. Maybe a group revelation is at hand; our children don’t want society assuming anything about who they are. The planet is moving forward and so are they - thinking beyond girl and boy – toward whole person-hood with nuanced diversity. Feeling the weight, but refusing to be labeled into, or limited by gender expectation and expression, they rebel to become the opposite, or both.

So now I’m musing the logic; no plans to change my sex, but I might be done with gender. It seems to get in the way, and the older we get, the more similar we become anyways. I’ll hold the door open, or cry, or pay for you, or nurture, if I feel like it, or not, and please do the same, not because of gender, but despite it. Who knows? We might become more authentic, free spirits, and have more fulfilling relationships as people, rather than just as man or woman. Body parts aside, what if gender is more the societal expectations we've absorbed for years and now blindly project, without cogitation, onto ourselves and others?

But hey, is there a Food Party! in all the promulgation? Guess it’s time for this new “they” to put up their least expected, manliest recipe, which would mean beef and grilling to me, mixed with a side of conjecture.

Beef and Mushroom Skewers
a client favorite, delicious and fast

1 # beef round or chuck
1/3 cup olive oil
¼ cup soy sauce or coconut aminos
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon mushroom powder*
1 T Dijon
1 T Worcestershire
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ts each salt and freshly ground pepper
12 mushroom caps, brushed to clean
red onion

Cut beef into one-inch cubes and put in a bowl. Mix olive oil – pepper and pour over beef. Let marinate an hour, or refrigerate overnight.
Cut onion in 1-inch slices and skewer, alternating with mushrooms and beef cubes.

Heat your BBQ and grill 8 – 10 minutes, turning and basting as they cook.

* Mushroom powder offers umami, or the savory taste we get from the non-essential amino acid, glutamic acid. It is found in foods like beef, parmesan cheese, tomato, sea vegetables, peppers, soy sauce and mushrooms. Umami begets umami, so build flavor by combining foods that have glutamic acid. Find bottled umami at Trader Joes in the spice aisle, or grind up dried mushrooms in a Vitamix for less sodium than the bottled version.


photo from the web

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Comments

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Female Reader, a resident of another community,
on Oct 20, 2019 at 10:01 am

Oh my gosh, Mr. Dark Moves!! How uncomfortable. Those are not good types. Trying to pull you in that way. What a line. Then at the same time, I would feel for them. But normal people do not say that at first. They go about it by learning to respect boundaries.

That guy would give me the creeps and leave a spider web feeling on me. Ugh!!! Thanks for sharing that story. We all have been through this. But that was a new line!!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Differnet, a resident of Woodside: Woodside Heights,
on Oct 20, 2019 at 8:22 pm

Well that's not what I expected to read tonight.


 +   13 people like this
Posted by MV Teen, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Oct 21, 2019 at 10:03 am

I appreciate the insights that this blog make about being a women in todays society, however the connection between this and trans kids seems degrading for each issue. Yes, gender makes everyone's (especially women and other oppressed groups) life more difficult, but for me and many other "kids who have changed our gender", the issue is much more complex than described.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Sometimes, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Oct 21, 2019 at 4:22 pm

Sometimes guys are painfully unaware and socially awkward. He may have been summoning up the courage for a while before asking you to dance then you said yes(OMG! Now What!) So he spends the rest of the time trying to figure out how to approach you further. Failing at this once more and angry at himself for his almost paralyzing shyness, he sees you leaving and he puts his foot down. "I have to talk to her before she leaves" so he does so in his clueless and now scary way. As you leave he sees his last chance and emotions pour out "I have no one to talk to".

It reminds me of the scene in Fargo when Marge's old school friend breaks down in the diner after a failed "move" on her: "Oh Marge, <weeping> I'm so lonely!"

Of course, this day and age you MUST assume the person is dangerous, and I'm glad you did, but when thinking about it later, it's more likely that it was just another pathetic attempt at "Trying" from a guy with no clue or social abilities.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde,
on Oct 22, 2019 at 3:10 am

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by MV Teen #2, a resident of another community,
on Oct 22, 2019 at 6:52 am

I changed gender and this is interesting. I'm done feeling degraded, now I am empowered! We must know each other.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: other,
on Oct 22, 2019 at 7:11 am

Wow what are the chances of teens reading my column? That's amazing! I feel honored thanks!


 +   3 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Oct 23, 2019 at 9:22 pm

> The planet is moving forward and so are they - thinking beyond girl and boy " toward whole person-hood with nuanced diversity.

One certainly hopes so. Darwin discovered evolution, but I think someone still needs to define and name the force that tends to resist and prevent evolution. We desperately need to study it since our world is in the grips of it.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Rick Moen, a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights,
on Oct 27, 2019 at 10:18 pm

Ms. Stec, thank you.

Far too many people batting for the XY team, even those of good will, have absolutely no idea what infuriating nonsense their female friends, co-workers, and relatives have to put up with. It's past time that this sort of abuse got put into the ashcan of history along with other formerly acceptable practices like 'one for the road'. It'll happen sooner if we're all aware and all try to help.

But I'm definitely going to try that delicious-sounding recipe -- as soon as we have breathable air, again.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Oct 28, 2019 at 5:22 pm

So, yet another SJW feels the need to virtue signal at us.

Can we get back to the actual topic of food now?


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Hahaha, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Nov 4, 2019 at 11:54 am

Looks like this struck a bit close to home if you're in the angry old man demographic. He even used one of their trigger phrases! LOL!


 +   2 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Dec 8, 2019 at 6:33 pm

> So, yet another SJW feels the need to virtue signal at us.

This kind of nasty comment is meant as an insult, so why it is not deleted.
Do we see so much right-wing hate speech or provocations that we are
just bored by it and accept it.

Hundreds of thousands maybe millions of these insults go out every day
and like the little micro-plastics that fill the ocean, what is the toxic effect
of this kind of "acceptable bullying" at a time when we say we are concerned
with bullying.

PAO is so quick to censor people, or edit their posts, except when they are
insults aimed at something these posters think is Left wing.

Not to mention that the whole idea of civility or common decency is gone,
even ridiculed. Where does PAO think this is going to take us?


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Meh, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Dec 9, 2019 at 11:26 am

Just a troll. The internet is full of them. The angrier the wing-nut is, the more likely they are to troll and provoke. The rest of the world is in conflict with how he thinks so he lashes out in frustration.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Dec 10, 2019 at 12:10 pm

USA is a registered user.

@CrescentParkAnon, well yes, I guess that is an insult. You win that point. The assertion that PAO is favoring the Right on censorship is a bit odd though.

Anyway, the original question/assertion/insult is legit. Can we get through the day without the obsessive need to pull some *-ism into discussions? I mean seriously, we are talking about food in here, the most basic connection among all living things. You eat food. I eat food. Can we just talk about food, nutrition, what to eat, where to eat?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Dec 10, 2019 at 12:24 pm

> Can we get through the day without the obsessive need to pull some *-ism into discussions?

It's called freedom of speech. The problem many have is that they extend it to the freedom to hate, insult, ridicule and to make a whole discussion of forum unpleasant and turn people away simply because some people cannot summon the brainpower or patience to actually contribute to a discussion by expressing an actual idea.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Dec 10, 2019 at 12:53 pm

USA is a registered user.

It's called freedom. With freedom, people make decisions and say things we do not like. It beats the alternative.

The problem in recent years (before and during Trump) is that people have been labeling any idea or person that they do not like with some *-ism. Racism seems to be the favorite label followed by sexism used by people who cannot form a cogent argument.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Dec 10, 2019 at 12:55 pm

USA is a registered user.

@Hahaha, I prefer the label - grumpy old man.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Dec 10, 2019 at 4:55 pm

Discussion and debate should be done understanding that not all will agree. However, when discussing with someone of a different opinion it is all too often becoming angry name calling. I can disagree with someone, but still respect their opinion and still respect them as a person. In fact, I quite like disagreement because I may learn something from the discussion. To be honest, wouldn't it be boring if we all agreed with everything?

Saying this, I don't like name calling or even everything being brought back to politics. I don't like it being assumed that because I think one way on one topic it automatically means I think (blank) on something else. Can't we all understand that life is better when we all think for ourselves rather than think what is trending?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Dec 11, 2019 at 7:22 am

OK, you guys brought me out of semi-retirement. Time to start Food Partying! again?

When I first started blogging, comments like "SJW feels the need to virtue signal at us" might have bothered me, but now after 6 years, that's tame! It didn't bother me, certainly not enough to remove (FYI both the blogger and the publisher have the ability to take down comments if need be. I lean not to, unless they really cross a line, or are a repeating effort to distract from the actual topic).

I would remind USA there is a recipe attached with this column, so we ARE still talking about food. Actually many Food Parties! have been, and will continue to be, current events interpreted with a food perspective, so if you are reading me, and thank you for that, you have to expect it. I didn't censor you, don't censor me.

But a reminder to those who add comments - insults, or just plain ol' negativity is so easy. It's the default for many, and personally, not a turn on. Interestingly, it's so normal now, the haters are starting to lose their power. Moving forward, if you really want to say something with impact, I encourage you to write in a positive way.

Say something uplifting.

That's the Food Party! we all hunger for.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Dec 11, 2019 at 1:56 pm

USA is a registered user.

Nobody is censoring anyone here. I am just asking to get through one fricken day without someone getting triggered and ranting about some perceived slight. (Yes, I do see the irony of rants about rants.)

There is a time and place for everything. A gender rant tiggered by a run of the mill bar creeper doesn't need to be in the food column of the local paper.

OK, back to food and positive forward progress. I tell you what, if you are taking a few months off, I will knock out a few paragraphs on a food topic and submit to PAO. Deal?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Suggestion, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Dec 12, 2019 at 11:05 am

Try to get through your day without coming to the comments section and you'll have your wish.
Controlling others will never work. You're only in control of yourself and you're only to blame if you keep coming to the places where you're triggered by people ranting.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Dec 12, 2019 at 12:33 pm

Nice try, sticks and stones but words will never hurt me ... but it's not about how you personally feel ... or it shouldn't be. These kinds of comments merely lead to more and worse and insult those who are earnestly care and work for social justice, making the term meaningless or a negative, like socialism.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Dec 12, 2019 at 12:44 pm

Funny how the people who make freedom to be AHs always hide behind the flag. It's like using the flag as toilet paper, definitely not in the spirit of the Constitution. I am all for real freedom of speech ... then say something, because name calling is just an emotional outburst of hate or bullying.

> It's called freedom. With freedom, people make decisions and say things we do not like.

You're confused, that is not freedom. Do we see pejoratives and swearing in the writings of our real freedom makers, the Founding Fathers. Where in the Declaration of Independence, or the Constitution or Bill Of Rights all these insults and obscenities. Where in the writings of Thomas Paine are all the out of control emotion and hate?

Yeah, to make these stupid comments by pretend patriots. It is not called freedom to say things in a private forum that insult other people, or dumb down and destroy or hijack a conversation.

Not to mention these kinds of comments are always done by both sides, but mostly in the PAO only the Liberal ones get deleted, so if you want to be live up to your duty as an impartial responsible blogger get rid of nasty comments that go nowhere and mean nothing.

It is normalized because people do nothing, and they get a lot of reaction and attention ... so keep it up until you are regretful that you lost real freedom of speech in America because the trolls are all bickering so loud and fast there is no room for your voice.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Dec 12, 2019 at 12:50 pm

> Try to get through your day without coming to the comments section and you'll have your wish.
Controlling others will never work. You're only in control of yourself and you're only to blame if you keep coming to the places where you're triggered by people ranting.

Another mode of trolling ... the overly positive mushy meaningless nonsense. Who is advocating controlling others. Who is controlling others? Do you leave dog poop on the sidewalk because you don't want to control the dog or the owner? That my dear troll friend is a meaningless but positive sounding non-statement.

Avoiding coming to the comments section is exactly what a lot of people do. Have you ever told someone you comment online and watched their eyebrows flip? Most people find these forums unpleasant and unproductive, and your kind of broken thinking is why. In the macro-view it is a democracy destroyer ... and these are just little chips that people who are not so perceptive miss.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Dec 12, 2019 at 12:57 pm

> Discussion and debate should be done understanding that not all will agree.

Who are you talking about/to? I am sure you know this, I am not expecting or desiring all people to agree. That has nothing to do with the issue or comment. If we all agreed there would be not need to talk about it. I guess you just see an easy way to get a cheap shot in and sound positive at the same time? Well, at least you did it without insults.

> Can't we all understand that life is better when we all think for ourselves rather than think what is trending?

???? You can say that without responding to my comment to which it is irrelevant.

It also sets up the expectation that people should not say anything, or show they care. Don't aspire to anything higher than your herd allows. Progress in democracy means we push higher, not lower, and when we were not pushing the lower has dragged us down to this.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Dec 12, 2019 at 8:16 pm

@CP Anon.

See we disagree, but we can agree on one thing, it is better to disagree without insults.

There is light at the end of the tunnel!


 +   2 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Dec 13, 2019 at 9:26 am

> insults, or just plain ol' negativity is so easy.

Negativity is not the same as insult. For example is I said you are
obviously not a deep thinker, it's different from calling you an ugly
name or insulting you or others. Not that I would say that of course! ;-)

Your points are all about you, and nothing about your responsibility
to run and moderate a blog. Awfully self-centered of you.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by QuestionEverything, a resident of another community,
on Dec 13, 2019 at 6:15 pm

> I can disagree with someone, but still respect their opinion and still respect them as a person.

What if they disagree with you that murder should be legal .... can you still respect that? In my opinion, some opinions cannot be respected, and cannot be tolerated.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: other,
on Dec 15, 2019 at 1:11 pm

USA - I encourage you to check out the top of the blogs - there is a spot to click that says "Interested in being a blogger?" But if you just want to submit a piece for The Food Party! - sure! Please email me directly from the blog.


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