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The BeanScene: Turkey Day Drama!

Up Front

Somebody wise once said that art imitates life, and all I have to say to that is, “Amen, sistah friend.”

There’s a reason that the "crazy family dinner scene" is a well-known film and literary trope. Nothing says fight quite like a bunch of people brought together by blood instead of commonality. Throw something like "Uncle Frank is wine-drunk and just called Aunt Jean an Orca" in the mix, and PRESTO! We have Thanksgiving!

I try to make light of most everything because, well, we only have one life and I refuse to spend mine upset over trivial things I have no control over. Especially when it comes to other people. However, in a dinner setting with an awkward mix of people, this can get a little tricky.

I’ll use myself as an example. When I get together with my immediate family whom I see more often, we’re all peaches 'n cream together. But throw the extended, sister-in-law’s mom’s brother’s wife’s family in there, and suddenly, I become horrible at small talk.

I don’t mean any ill will of course, but in my head I’m thinking, "I don’t know you! Who are you people?!"

And since my version of small talk consists of nothing more than weather/Chargers/what you do for a living ("Oh, isn’t that nice?"), that gets boring and conversations go kaput pretty quickly. It can be difficult to get to know someone you only see once or twice a year. Next thing I know, I’m running to my sister-in-law’s dad for the wine stash.

That "stranger-danger" anxiety can be made even worse when you’re LGBT.

My immediate family all knows I’m gay and they are supportive in one way or another. But these other guys? The ones that live in the backwoods of Ramona and/or up on Palomar Mountain? What about them? I know for a fact that a few are quite conservative, to the point where they have left family gatherings once an LGBT family member showed up.

That was years ago, when I was younger and hadn’t figured out my own sexuality, quite yet. Now that I have, it happens that I rarely see those parts of my family. Maybe they decided that they didn’t want to deal with that awkward situation. I’ll probably never know for sure.

We can be quick to sometimes jump to just dealing with it. They’re family. It’s only once a year. Just suck it up, play nice and go back to living your life the next day. I debate with my mom about this topic on a regular basis, actually.

Should you make it a point to spend time with people that, under any other circumstances, you would never associate with, simply on the basis that they’re blood?

My natural inclination is to say no. Why would I go out of my way to engage someone who actively and vehemently does not accept something intrinsic to who I am? It’d be like if one of my uncles refused to sit next to me because I’m left-handed and eat with the devil’s hand. Ok, that’s a stretch, but you get my point.

Ultimately, the whole stinkin’ point of Thanksgiving is just that. To give thanks for the people who put up with you!

Personally, 2010 was a truly horrible year for me, across the board. I had a quarter-century, “What am I doing with my life??” crisis, I gained weight, my career dreams tanked, my relationship tanked. This year put everything into perspective. And lucky little ol’ me, I’ve been blessed with friends and family who love me and show it. Their presence is a constant reminder of just how fortunate I am.

I have several little mantras I like to live by, so in honor of Thanksgiving I’ll share one: You are blessed to be a blessing.

To give yourself and your energies to people in the world without expectation or acknowledgement ... I don’t think there’s any greater gift.

It’s why my sister-in-law’s mom cooks everything for us every year, and it’s why I’m giving a shout out to all the amazing people in my life right now. Or she could just be a crackhead for cooking. Seriously, she’ll make about four different desserts from scratch for a party of 8 or 10. But I prefer the notion that it’s a selfless endeavor. Now gimme a slice of that rustic apple pie, Julie.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

The Weekly To-Do

Well, today is Thanksgiving. So, chances are, you’re with friends and family livin’ it up with some turkey (ok, ok veggie lesbian horde—tofurkey/lentil loaf nonsense works too) and mashed potatoes somewhere. But before you get drunk and sleepy on tryptophan, check out a few things going on this holiday weekend.

I will be a working stiff on Friday, but if you are one of the lucky ones to have Friday off as well, I suggest you check out the (Junky) Christmas Show at Zjhunk Metal Art in Escondido. They create really fun metal sculptures. Forget the lawn gnomes! Buy your mom a giant metal spider for her garden and support local artisans!

Friday night, you might have had your fill with family and are looking to unwind. Check out local crooner and The Voice finalist Beverly McClellan at Anthology at 9:30pm. She made it to the final four on the reality TV show; now check her out in person!

On Saturday morning, thank your lucky stars you live in one of the best cities in America by helping to clean up the beach and keep her lookin’ fierce. San Diego Coast Keeper is hosting an Ocean Beach Jetty Clean Up from 9 am to 11 am. Have fun playin’ in the surf and sun and get that shoreline looking spiffy again.

Sunday Funday! CityBeat recently bestowed South Park Abbey with its award for “Best wings, hands down.” This Sunday night, go try some for yourself and enjoy Football and Karaoke Night. That combo is so strange, it has to be good. Like bacon and chocolate.

On Tuesday, El Dorado is hosting its Second Annual Bartender’s Challenge. Eight bartenders from notoriously finicky craft cocktail bars will battle it out, Iron Chef-style, for the title of top mixologist.

And as always, check out Ruby Tuesdays at Ruby Room presented by Tori Roze. This week features local artists Hussy and Lo Salis.

Speaking of Miss Tori Roze, her super funky awesome band Tori Roze and The Hot Mess will be playing at Bar Pink on Wednesday, November 30. This one is a free show and you’ll seriously be missing out if you don’t go check them out. I'll be featuring her next week, so keep a look out for that!

The Venue Menu

Peruse this list at your leisure—These are the hottest lesbian nights around town.

Thursdays - Repent at Rich’s Nightclub.

Fridays – Soul Kiss at The Flame.

Saturdays – Femme Fatale at Numbers.

Sundays – Ladies Night at Bourbon Street.

All Day, Every Day – Check out the action at Gossip Grill.