City Council early voting results in

The early voting results from today’s election are in:

District A
Helena Brown: 56%
Brenda Stardig: 44%

District B
Alvin Byrd: 52%
Jerry Davis: 48%

Place 2:
Kristi Thibaut 64%
Andrew Burks 36%

Place 5
Jack Christie  52%
Jo Jones  48%

Historically right-wing voters tend to vote early and the left-wing tends to vote on the day of the elections. Expect Christie’s lead in place 5 to decrease as the night goes on.

—  admin

Master of HIS domain

Ben Starr, the recently out Dallas cheftestant on Fox’s ‘MasterChef,’ camps it up on Gordon Ramsay’s cooking competition series

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor
jones@dallasvoice.com

…………………….

MASTERCHEF
Airs Tuesdays on Fox (Ch. 4) at 8 p.m.

…………………….

When Lewisville-based travel writer Ben Starr auditioned for Fox’s MasterChef, he doubted they’d be interested in his style of home cooking. But not only did he make the cut, he’s been one of the more memorable cheftestants — just this week, he had the judge’s favorite dish.

The series is only halfway through, but for Starr, it’s already made a huge difference in his life: It forced him to come out to his parents just last month. We talked to him about the experience and his favorite meals.

…………………….

You’ve been struggling since you wowed the judges at your audition. The audition kinda set me up to expect that I would do well in the competition, but we spun pretty quickly into an emphasis on gourmet cuisine, which is not my thing at all. My street tacos were a little bit spiffy, and I am extremely well traveled, but I tend to eat peasant food even when I travel. I was seeing all these people around me making restaurant quality cuisine and trying to compete on their level. Nice to make a good ol’ catfish in a skillet.

What was the hardest challenge for you? The biggest challenge has definitely been psychological. I’m competitive by nature and I want to feel like I’m competition, but I was surrounded by chefs that were a little more connected to the Food Network that I am. They’d use words like umami [a Japanese word for a savory flavor] and I had to go look it up. There was a common lexicon among the contestants about what these famous chefs I’ve never heard of are doing in their restaurants. I felt like an idiot stumbling around in the dark. That started to leak into my cooking and I began to question, “Is this sophisticated enough? Is this even sophisticated?” The episode this week was a turning point. I felt like for the first time I’m back in my own element.

You certainly have made an impression with your outfits. I don’t wear those hats at home, though I do wear an apron, just for practicality. But [the show] has started this storytelling legacy — people expect me to wear them when they come over. My mom made me the pumpkin hat and apron. Actually, she made me five or six pairs to wear. That’s why you always see a different one on me each episode. I was going through them.

Was wearing them part of a conscious effort to stand during the auditions? I am fairly myself, though I had to set myself apart that wasn’t just about food. I needed to be someone [the judges] remember when they go home at night. That’s why I talked about my rural upbringing, because I thought it would generate a memory.

Had you watched the show before? Did you know what to expect? I don’t watch much TV, but this is not my first time being on TV, which is ironic because I abhor reality television —it brings out the worst in our culture. But I did Rachael Ray’s So You Think You Can Cook in 2007. The audience there was much more caring and nurturing than the machine on MasterChef, but I was a little bit prepared for the frank judgment.

I did not watch the first season of MasterChef, but my friend Karen Rutherford said, “I’ll never speak to you again if you don’t audition [for season 2].” So I watched them all on Hulu. I just sweated my way through them. I knew how intense and stressful it is to cook on TV, and saw how brutal Joe Bastianich and Gordon Ramsay were with the contestants. I thought: Screw this. Then a few weeks passed and the terror faded [and I went through the lengthy audition process]. It was a lot of work — the most difficult full-time job I’ve ever had that doesn’t pay.

What’s your favorite kind of cuisine? While my DNA wants to say Mexican food — I had it in the womb six times a week — I am most intrigued by Thai food. It is so complex, yet so much of it is cooked on the street in a tiny little cart. From the richest to the poorest, everybody eats on the street.

How about a favorite meal? One of the most memorable meals I’ve ever had was in Egypt on New Year’s Eve in 2001. I spent it on Mount Sinai and hiked eight miles back down to the car for the drive back to our resort. [The driver] fell asleep at the wheel and we plummeted into a canyon. Eventually a camel train of Bedouins came by the bottom of this canyon. They took us onto the camels and rode four or five miles to their camp. All the women came out, killed a goat and started cooking while the men tried to pull our car out of the canyon.

It was a humble meal — just a goat stew and some flat bread — but the flavors were really intense and felt they came right out of the desert. I could not even communicate with these people who live in abject poverty, but still they were willing to kill one of their last goats and throw a big feast for us because it’s in their nature to be hospitable. I realized it was important to me to use food to nurture people in my life — I could never be a chef and be in the back. I need to be with the people. My partner is one of the main reasons I cook — we’ve been together eight years and I want to marry him one day.

Did you plan to be “the gay guy” on the show? When I was on [Rachael Ray] it was not addressed and I didn’t talk about it openly. At that point my family didn’t know I was gay — in fact, I didn’t come out to my parents until about five weeks ago. They were totally shell-shocked — they didn’t have a clue.

Maybe mom should have guessed since she made you all those hats. Ha! Maybe.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 8, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Sue Ellen’s Date Our Gay tonight

Lookin’ for love in all the wrong places

Gay men don’t expect much to find a date at a lesbian club, but tonight that changes. The crew of Sue Ellen’s is auctioning off their one gay member for a date and a good cause. Don’t let the rain get you down, you might end up with a date.

DEETS: Sue Ellen’s, 3014 Throckmorton St. 9 p.m. PartyAtTheBlock.com.

 

—  Rich Lopez

Expect Senate vote on Defense Authorization at around noon tomorrow

The Senate’s orders for Thursday:

∙The Senate will convene at 9:30am and proceed to consideration of the motion to proceed to the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act of 2010 (S.3992), with ten minutes reserved for Senator Durbin, and the remaining time until 11:00am equally divided and controlled between the two Leaders, or their designees.

∙At 11:00am, the Senate will proceed to a series of up to three roll call votes on the following:

o The motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act of 2010 (S.3992).

o The motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (H.R.847).

o Reconsideration of the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 (S.3454).

The key players have until noon tomorrow to figure out how to make this work. I just hope everyone is operating in good faith — and I do worry whether Mitch McConnell is even going to let Susan Collins cut a deal. He runs a tight ship.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

White House has no contigency plan for DADT: ‘we expect the Senate to act’

Yeah, this strategy hasn’t worked all that well so far:

A White House spokesperson told The Advocate Wednesday evening that administration officials “expect the Senate to act” on repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” when they return from the midterm recess for the final days of the 111th Congress.

The statement, which placed the responsibility for repeal squarely on Senate leadership, was a follow up to a question asked earlier this week about whether the White House was making any “contingency plans” in the event that Congress fails to pass the National Defense Authorization Act to which the repeal measure is attached.

The White House acts as if the President has no role in passing legislation. And, on the Defense Authorization bill containing the DADT language, the President played no role. He didn’t call one Senator.

Not sure how why they’d expect things to be different in the lame duck session — after Dems. suffer electoral losses.

Here’s the full statement:

The President has repeatedly said he wants a lasting and durable solution to DADT, and he continues to believe that the Senate should follow the bipartisan action in the House to repeal the statute. The White House continues to work with the Congressional leadership on a host of issues that need to be addressed when they come back into session, including passage of the National Defense Authorization Act. We are not commenting on contingencies if the Senate does not act because we expect the Senate to act – it is the right and fair thing to do and it is in the national security interest of the country for it to get done.

I would like someone at the White House to define the term “continues to work” — because, from every indication, there hasn’t been any real work.

Someone at the White House should be thinking about contingencies to end DADT discharges. In the State of the Union, Obama said he would end DADT this year. Jim Messina said the same thing a couple weeks ago. This statement from Shin Inouye doesn’t inspire much confidence.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

LCR’s proposed injunction on DADT will ‘cover all military installations’ — expect Obama admin. to object

Karen Ocamb has done consistently excellent work covering the Log Cabin Republican’s lawsuit against DADT. She reminds us that, per the Judge’s instructions, the lawyers for LCR will be submitting their proposed injunction language today:

Meanwhile, in the other major development on the DADT front – District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips, who ruled on Sept. 9 that the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy is unconstitutional, gave both sides a deadline of between Thursday and next Thursday, Sept. 23 to submit briefs on the permanent injunction against enforcing DADT.

Dan Woods, (pictured) the straight Republican the lawyer in the Log Cabin case, told me:

“As per the judge’s order, we plan to submit tomorrow (early afternoon) a proposed permanent injunction that would prevent any further application of DADT. The government then has a week to object to our proposal. The judge would then be expected to sign either our proposed injunction or a modified version of what we submit.

Our proposed injunction would cover all military installations, wherever located. We expect the government to object to this and try to limit it to California but feel we are on solid ground.

Once the judge signs the injunction, the government is free to appeal. I have no idea whether it will. If it does, it will also move for an order staying the injunction pending the appeal. We will vigorously oppose any such motion.”

Mike Signorile interviewed Woods on his show last week. He posted the audio. From Mike:

[Woods'] comments and observations are very important and under why the Obama administration must not appeal the case if the president truly believes the ban should end. And we should not accept the Department of Justice appealing the case. There simply is no reason to do so. This ruling would effectively end the ban across the country if it is allowed to stand. The judge ruled DADT unconstitutional and granted a request for an injunction to halt the discharges nationwide. Woods has until the end of the week to draw up the language of the injunction, and then the administration has seven days to respond. But, as Woods describes it, the only Department of Justice response that will change anything regarding her ruling would be an appeal. The judge is set to halt the discharges unless she is stopped by an appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals:




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

And Your Boycott of Target Can Remain Forever: Don’t Expect Them to Donate Any Money to Pro-LGBT Candidates

Does it show the weakness of the Human Rights Campaign, or the institutional anti-gay sentiment in Target's executive suite that the company has refused to "right the wrong" of donating 0,000 in cash and services to MN Forward to help elect bigoted Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer?

CONTINUED »


Permalink | Post a comment | Add to del.icio.us


Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Queerty

—  John Wright