… International Bird Rescue
In 2006, I signed up to volunteer for this California-based group after reading about their efforts to save seabirds oiled as a result of a local spill. Though I had imagined the extent of my wildlife interaction would be feeding and cage cleaning, within weeks I had learned how to draw blood from a pelican and how tube feed a western grebe. Not exactly resume builders for an LGBT issues writer, but transformative experiences nonetheless.
International Bird Rescue, for which I am now proud to serve as a board member, co-managed oiled bird response operations during the 2010 Gulf oil spill and continues to work around the world on behalf of injured animals. bird-rescue.org
I am an unapologetic and obsessed fan of competitive figure skating. It’s often sartorially disastrous and choreographically ludicrous, which makes me love it even more. While filling the skates of now-retired legend Michelle Kwan is an impossible feat, Alissa Czisny, the reigning American champion, is a graceful, gentle revelation with a fierce Biellmann spin.
Tickets for the 2012 national championships in San Jose can be purchased here.
…Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha-Beta Daily Face Peel
The thought of a daily peel reminds me of Patsy Stone’s assertion that one must experience a “sulfuric-acid skin stripper” for the total beauty experience. Not the case with this treatment. It’s pricey, but worth it on days where I look, as Cintra Wilson once wrote lovingly of Courtney Love, “like the day-old rack at a Polish bakery.” dgskincare.com
…Public transit decorum
Unless you’re Marina Abromovic debuting a new piece at MoMA, fingernail clipping is not performance art to be shared with your fellow Metro riders.
Bulgogi drenched in sesame oil, cooked at your table, served with kim chi, daikon radish, and Korean potato salad: What’s not to love? Genwa is the best in Los Angeles, while suburban D.C. has Sorak Garden in Annandale. (Sadly, there’s nothing to write home about in Washington when it comes to the real deal.) Gift cards available for a loved one who has never tried dolsot bibimbap: Genwakoreanbbq.com
…Margaret Atwood on Twitter
She’s Canada’s greatest export and author of some of my favorite novels, including The Blind Assassin and The Handmaid’s Tale. Reading her Twitter feed is must. Even if you hate Twitter.
One of her recent books, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, is a fantastic read, if not the usual stocking stuffer fare.