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Matthew Breen: I Advocate...

Matthew Breen: I Advocate...

...Outfest Legacy Project
I've been involved with Outfest, L.A.'s gay and lesbian film festival, for many years, but only recently have I gotten involved with the Legacy Project. Legacy, a collaboration with the UCLA Film and Television Archive, raises money to preserve and repair classic queer films in dire straits. I cannot state how important it is for us to tell our own stories and record our own histories -- yet many of the films in which we did so are crumbing into dust. Some of these queer celluloid classics, including Desert Hearts, Edge of Seventeen, Wild Reeds, and Saturday Night at the Baths, have been acquired by the archive and tucked away in climate control to preserve forever. Other films, including the oldest known gay film, Different From the Others (1919, Germany), are being painstakingly restored.

...Massage from Burke Williams
It's not my only indulgence -- I never took vows -- but it's a favorite. I try to go once a month or so (not me in the photo). I spend far too much time at a desk, getting tense and worked up, so an artfully placed elbow in my lower back is the occasional godsend.

...Coffee Breaks for the Brain
I'm online most of every day (when I'm not in meetings). These are some of the sites I go to when I need a mental breather.

Very Mary Kate. Ridiculously funny spoof by Elaine Carroll of the life and university education of a diminutive, pill-popping billionaire named Mary Kate Olsen. It doesn't hurt that her bodyguard is smoking hot. Episode "Presentation 3" on her NYU class presentation on Potato Famine (she'd never seen a carb) includes a list of Mary Kate's favorite smoothies ("for when you're woozies"), including Paxilemonade, Klonopineapple, Zoloft and a little bit of water, and peach surprise. The surprise is more meds.

Science Daily. If there's a supernova, a black hole, or space-time continuum action going on, I'm all over it.

On the Media. This is a Saturday morning indulgence, and if the weather is good, I'm listening to's Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone as I shop for veggies at the farmer's market. The show, from WNYC in New York City, examines the media, what it's covering and what it's omitting, and the words and terminology media outlets use and how they affect our understanding of the news. Plus it's wry and silly and helps me put the vast array of news media in context.

Savage Lovecast. It's Dan Savage at his unbleeped best, mixing frank sex advice with digs at crazy right-wingers.

...Mac' n Cheeza
It's not health food. This gay-owned-and-operated, make-it-yourself macaroni and cheese shop in downtown Los Angeles lets you pick the veggies, meat to go inside (and real or soy cheese; and real or gluten-free noodles), and then they run it under a broiler until it's bubbling. My fave? The Baby Mac with collard greens and hot links. Don't look for a Diet Coke here, either. All the sodas are natural, made with cane sugar.

An old favorite in West Hollywood is reborn! The revolving door, the thumping music, the ridiculous videos (please get the Charlie's Angels on the chain gang episode), it's all back after a gorgeous face-lift. Who cares that it'll be the hottest spot for a good long time, and I'll have trouble elbowing my way to the bar through throngs of handsome guys? It's my new/old neighborhood bar.

...Level Naturals
Good soap is worth it, especially the Cedar soap, the Active soap -- and so is a ton of Level's other stuff, like the candles, Body Butter, and the Body Polish. And the Bath and Shower Bombs! Drop this fizzy dumpling in the bottom of your shower, and the menthol, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil aromas will transport you away. The products are vegan (even the Eagle-bar leather-scented soap), cruelty-free, packaged in recycled paper, etc. So it's a guilt-free extravagance.

...Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve
Makes awesome Mahanttans. One of my favorite cocktails -- and it's one of the oldest cocktails around. If you order one in a bar or lounge and the bartender pulls down an old, dusty vermouth bottle, change your order. Vermouth goes bad like wine, so buy it only in small bottles you're likely to use up. By the way, the bitters aren't optional.


2 oz. Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve
1 oz. sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
1 maraschino cherry or twist

Stirred (not shaken) with ice and strained into martini glass, then add the cherry (or twist a lemon peel over the glass and discard).
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Matthew Breen