I’ve been stress baking again. Well, I never really stopped, but between the holidays and, you know, the thing, I’ve revved up production. Check this shit out:
Before the new variant properly kicked off, Stella and I went to see House of Gucci because that seemed like a good idea at the time. See pre-Y2K Italy and a series of increasingly elaborate wigs the way they were intended to be seen, on the big screen!
Frankly, I would’ve been fine with this movie being in 3D so I could’ve gotten the full effect of Lady Gaga not just chewing the scenery but ripping it to shreds and spitting it in the faces of lesser actors. She is glorious. The movie, not as much. But if you enjoy Italian villas and silk scarves and rich people skiing, watch it immediately.
At one point during a Christmas scene, I noticed a panetonne in the background and nudged Stella to say, “I made that!” and then later, when I attempted to summarize the movie for A and my parents, this was the only thing I could think of to say: “There was a panetonne in the movie and I know how to bake that.”
“. . . Isn’t there also a murder?” said my mom.
“Oh RIGHT. Lady Gaga has her husband murdered but weirdly they kind of rushed that part so they could spend more time with Jared Leto, who is pointless.”
“She murders him because he’s gay, right?” said my mom.
“Oh no,” I said. “You’re thinking of Versace. This is a different person.”
“Wait, Lady Gaga’s husband isn’t gay?” said my dad.
“He is not gay but he did get murdered,” I said. “And he was a Gucci. Hence . . . House of Gucci.”
“Ohhh,” said my parents.
We did a small casual Christmas because variant or not, we are “Spend the holidays in pajama pants” people. My sister wanted to make fudge so I found a recipe that involved marshmallows and crushed peppermint because if there’s one thing a pandemic Christmas needs, it’s more sugar.
My parents’ dog was kind enough to clean up the peppermint crumbs that got on the floor.
And then because I had even more nervous energy that needed to be absorbed by my rapidly degrading mixer, I made my first pavlova! Pavlovas are actually super easy if you have strong arms and/or have ingested a ton of caffeine. I actually don’t remember baking it, it may have just shown up in my kitchen fully prepared by elves.
Over dinner on Christmas Eve, I told my parents about this Judy Garland podcast I enjoyed and my dad’s first response was, “Speaking of gay, I just watched this clip of the Village People on Facebook and they were so good, you can’t help smiling! Who would’ve thought a song about the YMCA could be so catchy!”
And then of COURSE my fellow queer lady and smartest person I know, A, just HAD to say, “There’s nothing gay about the YMCA, it’s just a place to exercise!”
So I had to inform her, in front of my aging parents, “Actually, the YMCA was a big hook-up spot back in the day. That’s what the song is really about.”
“What?” said A, with big innocent Disney princess eyes.
She has multiple advanced degrees, I just want to say.
Then my MOM said, “You know, like the bathhouses?” as I shoved more cookies into my mouth.