Susie Bright: This date, from Henry David Thoreau's journal

December 17, 1851

"The pitch pine woods on the right of the Corner road. A piercing cold afternoon, wading in the snow. R. Rice was going to Sudbury to put his bees into the cellar for fear they would freeze. He had a small hive; not enough to keep each other warm. The pitch pines hold the snow well. It lies now in balls on their plumes and in streaks on their branches, their low branches rising at a small angle and meeting each other. A certain dim religious light comes through this roof of pine leaves and snow. It is a somber twilight, yet in some places the sun streams in, producing the strongest contrasts of light and shade."

Each day of the year Kris Holmes publishes an entry from one of Thoreau's journals, dating from 1837 to 1861.

Photo: Uqbar-is-back

(Susie Bright is a guest blogger) Read the rest

The Sweet Delirium of the Perfect Eggnog

Every year, I do it right.

Sure, I dabble in the supermarket eggnogs, the rice and soy variations- I appreciate every earnest effort.

But the ne plus ultra of nogging ecstasy can only be found in a homemade recipe. It is another level of nog-osphere. It is the difference between twilight and Aurora Borealis.

I found the eggnog to die for [Painted sideboob jpeg ahoy, just so you know. – Joel] in one of my first cooking books when I was sixteen: Anna Thomas's "The Vegetarian Epicure."  After my first taste, I couldn't be satisified with the "Elmer's Glue" of commercial varieties.

In the beginning, I was a little shakey on how to separate an egg. But after cracking twelve beauties- more, actually, 'cause a couple landed on the floor- I was expert. The yolk and powdered-sugar slurry are then put into the fridge overnight-  the next day you add the whites and fresh cream.

 Yes, it takes a night and a  day to make The Nog of the Stars- are you ready to make the commitment?

Homemade eggnog consists of very few ingredients- and the closer you get to the hen and the cow, the more mind-boggling the results. Fresh whipping cream, raw milk, free range yolksters... that's the ticket!

My yuletide parties became famous for homemade noggin'. Guests arrive early, because the sweet nectar disappears fast. The psychoactive pungeance of fresh-grated nutmeg makes us all a little more giddy. Do you prefer virgin, or spiked?  I can make your eyes roll back in your head, either way. Read the rest

Stay Close to Daddy and Stay Away From the Octopus Man!

Peggy Munson is the author of "Fairgrounds," a short story in my new Erotic Treasury.

Peggy's story is about a group of young perverts who work at the circus. Their world is informed by lifelong genderfuck and the profound physical disabilities of a couple of the main characters:

"This is not one of those postmodern Canadian sideshows," [Daddy Billy] warned, "with adorable, tumbling twins. The inbreeding here makes them ugly and mean. So stay close to Daddy and stay away from the octopus man."

SB: Have you ever won an award for any of your talents?

PM: I almost won the Lambda Literary Awards in Lesbian Debut Fiction -- but was disqualified in the finals because my work was "too straight."

I also won the spelling bee in elementary school, ultimately choking on the word "gangrene" at regionals.

SB: Tell me how you would cast the film version of your story... just for fun!

PM: Lead Girl: Chloe Sevigny

Daddy Billy - I would do a cattle call for a gruff no-name butch stud

Octopus Man - William H. Macy

Octopus Man's Girlfriend - Kathy Bates, wearing something spandex-y from Target

Octopus Boi - Rufus Wainwright playing a disabled tranny boi

Random Carnies - Other Wainwrights

SB: Your story has apparently became a big deal on a locked bulletin board for amputee fetishists... have you been able to find out what they're saying?

PM: As far as I could tell, amputee fetishists were doing untoward things with prosthetics while rolling around on a giant Braille scroll of my story -- or something like that. Read the rest

The Return of the Nutcracker Princess

The impact of Gus Van Sant's biopic, Milk, inspires many viewers to ask, "What Would Harvey Do, Now?"

Proposition 8's rotten victory took the stuffing out of a lot of us.

I know exactly what Harvey would've done this past weekend -- he would have been with me, and hundreds of others, pirouetting our asses off to The Dance-Along Nutcracker, performed each year by the band which was founded in 1978  to celebrate Milk's inauguration:  The Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band.

Every December, the band takes over the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, opens the doors to all ages and species -- there were a couple tutu-ed puppies this year -- and plays the Tchaikovsky classic, while the audience leaps, skips, and crawls their way through "Arabian Coffee," "Chinese Tea," and the Russian Trepak. (Bring ibuprofen for the intermission).

Photos to make you squeal: here

I especially like the sequence where a pack of four-year-old girls ambushed me with their Magic Wands.

When I was a little wanna-be ballerina, I could barely remain still at sit-down Nutcracker events; I ached to waltz with the other Flowers. In the 1960s, the kids in my parish would run around with fake swords and wild scarves as we recreated the whole shebang to the scratchy amplification of the nuns' beat-up record player. I think I peed in my pants one time -- please don't tell the Nutcracker Prince!

The Freedom Band's version is far better, with more room to take a flying leap, and an incredibly patient orchestra who play the entire show in costume while scores of little children sit at their feet with mouths hanging open. Read the rest