Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Today's fortune: February 9, 2011

Today's fortune: Your flamboyant personality will soon bring you to a new hobby.

My brother sure had fun with this fortune today. He sent me 10 e-mails - ten - with suggestions about what my flamboyant hobby could be. "You would make a great flamenco dancer" is the only one I care to share here. I'll let you use your imagination on the other nine.

The definition of flamboyant is "elaborate or extravagant; florid; showy; rich or brilliant in color; resplendent; exuberant or ostentatious." But most people have come to associate the word with an over-the-top, flashy, often homosexual lifestyle.

There is a difference, though. I know plenty of people who are gay and not flamboyant, and I know plenty of people who are flamboyant without being gay. And there's nothing wrong with either. The civil rights movement of my generation, I believe, is the right of all people, gay or straight, to live their lives however they like, and to marry whomever they choose to marry. Gay people are oppressed in this country by being denied the right to wed someone of the same gender. And while their oppression may not grab as many headlines as racism, it still exists, and it is no less important an issue.

I believe all of that to the core of my soul. However, I just don't happen to be gay myself. Or flamboyant, for that matter.

But I decided to try my best. After reading the fortune this morning, I put on my most colorful shirt and sashayed my way to work.

I was having difficulty thinking about how to express my flamboyance, when my friend Katie turned up at my desk with a great idea. She asked if I knew how to cook. I said I did, but I don't practice often enough. Together we came up with the idea that I should make Valentine's Day dinner for Jamie, and I should cook something I've never made before. So tonight I asked Jamie for a suggestion of a dish she enjoys at a restaurant, but has been too intimidated to try at home.

The answer: a stuffed artichoke.

Jamie has an emotional connection to stuffed artichokes. We always order one at Garozzo's, our favorite Italian restaurant, because Jamie was taken there as a child by a family friend, and she has fond memories of those trips - and of the artichokes. I've taken quite a liking to them myself.

But making one seems intimidating as hell. I'll probably try to mitigate the damages by whipping up some kind of pasta dish, too, in case the artichoke is an utter disaster.

Perhaps this experiment will open up my horizons in the kitchen. Before long, maybe I'll be making much more flamboyant dishes and building a hobby. After all, Jamie also said she wants to try homemade baklava.

I'd better start with an artichoke.

If anybody has a good stuffed artichoke recipe, feel free to post it in the comments. Otherwise, I may have to resort to a recipe I have for bacon-wrapped watermelon rind.


  1. Interesting that your fortune brought to mind gay rights. That was the first thing that came to my mind as well. And you wrote of your generation's civil rights struggle being gay rights.

    My generation's civil rights struggle was that of African Americans struggling to finally get a fair shake 100 years after slavery ended. And in the late 60's and the 70's Black Pride became a symbol of gains made and the distance yet to go to achieve equality. A part of that pride included dressing flamboyantly.

    There are many of us, black and white, who look at photos of ourselves in the 70's, the flamboyantly ugly garb we wore, and we just shake our heads, thankful those fads died a quick death.

  2. I want to know your brother's other suggestions...

  3. I have had much teasing over my unusual appetizer, so I take no offense, nor am I surprised. I will say, however, that I have not had even one person resist 2nds and usually 3rd & 4ths , having once tasted. :)
    It's one of those "sounds really strange" but tastes really really good! Unless you dislike sweet, that is. ;)
    Meanwhile, I will find you a tasty stuffed artichoke. I like to cook and have many books. Although you can save time and money looking it up online. :[ Not the same as a good book, but ...

  4. Thanks for being a good sport, Layne. It actually does sound like one of those things that's so off-beat and weird, it might be good. MIGHT.

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