June has been a crazy, chaotic month around here, and it absolutely flew by. Our puppies each gained about 20 lbs, I’ve been ramping up my freelance writing, one of my best friends is about to get married, and, last but not least, it’s Pride! Time to break down the best parts of the first month of summer.
Best Thing I Read
The Handmaid’s Tale
As part of The Book Fairies organization, Emma Watson passed out copies of Margaret Atwood’s revered speculative fiction novel around Paris this month. The Handmaid’s Tale has resurfaced in a big way recently not just because of the Hulu adaptation, but because of the terrifying relevance regarding the subject matter. The suffocation of the patriarchy is touched on in a way that presents a dystopian America that could be possible if our country veered in a specific direction. Scarily enough, we don’t seem to be that far off these days. Take a look at this excerpt:
“I guess that’s how they were able to do it, in the way that they did, all at once, without anyone knowing beforehand. If there had still been portable money, it would have been more difficult. It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time (…) Newspapers were censored and some were closed down, for security reasons they said.”
Best Thing I Watched
To celebrate Pride this month, my wife and I spent some time reading, listening, and watching any and everything LGBTQ related. I had never seen Milk, as I have a problem with avoiding biopics when I know the ending is devastating, so she convinced me to give it a watch. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the story, Harvey Milk was the first openly gay person to be elected into public office in California. He served on the city’s Board of Supervisors for a short period of time before being shot in cold blood in his office by his colleague Dan White, who grew angry and bitter as Harvey’s agenda of acceptance gained momentum while White’s conservative Christian politics lost a bit of steam in San Francisco.
One of Harvey Milk’s biggest platforms was the encouragement of gay people to come out of the closet, because it’s more difficult to oppress a community when you know someone you love is part of it. When Milk began received push back in the form of death threats, he famously said, “If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door.”
Best Thing I Did
Attended Pittsburgh Pride
I couldn’t overcome my crowd anxiety quite enough to attend the parade, but my wife and I, along with one of our best friends, ventured downtown for the post-parade Pride festivities. This was the first time I had ever been part of an LGBTQ community even (aside from a vigil for the victims of the Pulse massacre), and I’ve never seen such love and positivity just radiate from a group of people. It’s magical, and I recommend everyone to put yourself in the presence of Pride every year. In the current climate in our country where all marginalized groups have begun to fear for the redaction of the rights that so many fought for, it’s a breath of fresh air to witness how many allies we really do have in this world. Shout out to McDonald’s for their rainbow fries!
Best Thing I Ate
Blackened Chicken Pasta at Demo’s Restaurant
I’m still recovering and rehydrating after a long weekend celebrating the upcoming nuptials of one of my best friends, Kristen, in Nashville. This was my first time in the country music capital, but the city’s reputation for incredible food was hyped to a fever pitch before we left. On our second night we dine at the Italian restaurant Demo’s, and my food fantasies haven’t been the same since. The bachelorette advised me to order the blackened chicken pasta, so of course I complied, I don’t know what they put in the sauce for this dish, but I’m fairly certain it’s some sort of creamy, chicken crack. Go to Nashville and order it right now. You can thank me later.
So what about you? What were the best things you did, ate, saw, watched, heard, read this month? It can be anything! Let me know in the comments 🙂