Monthly Archives: January 2012

How Not to End Valentine’s Day Alone: A Public Service Announcement

Attention all butches and straight guys!  This is a public service announcement for Valentine’s Day. What’s that, you say?  It’s over two weeks away?  More than 14 days?  No need to worry about that yet. You have plenty of time. WRONG!

Please allow me to give you some advice. Let me offer some tidbits I have learned while loving a femme. You need to get ready. NOW. Not 14 days from now, because your girl will know. How will she know?  I don’t know, but trust me they ALWAYS know. And you will feel the full wrath of your girl if you do not prepare.

Do not tell me that she is the kind of woman who doesn’t care about Valentine’s Day. It is simply not true. I know, I know; you may have heard one of these things coming from her lips:

1. I don’t care about Valentine’s Day

2. I don’t need anything special

3. I don’t want you to go to any trouble

4. I don’t want you to spend too much money

5. It’s just a stupid Hallmark holiday

6. Flowers are a waste of money; they just die

7. I don’t need any more jewelry

8. Who needs chocolate and teddy bears

WARNING! These are lies. All lies. Every single one of them. Do not believe her!  Why does she say these things if she doesn’t mean them?  Well, apart from her being a woman, you mean?  I don’t know. Why do women say most of what they say?  It could be that she is trying to convince herself of any one of these statements. Perhaps she knows from past experience that you will let her down and she is preparing herself to lessen the blow when another Valentine’s Day comes and goes and she is left with a meaningless card and a lame little teddy bear from 7-11. Whatever the reason, ignore her.

Hopefully, I have convinced you that you must do something – that you must decide on a plan of action and put it in play now.  If so, you may be thinking, “ButchonTap, what should I do?”  Let me tell you, my friend.  The bad news is that there is not one size that fits all women.  The good news is there are lots of great options and they can be divided into 7 easy-to-understand categories. Fit it into one of these, and you will be golden. Note that only a couple are expensive; at least four of these can be affordable, so not being loaded is no excuse to neglect your honey on Valentine’s Day.  Unless you want to be neglected, that is.

1. Thoughtful. Think mushy. Put together a collage of ticket stubs from shows you’ve been to together, throw in a matchbook from a place you ate at that she loved. What’s that you say?  It looks like crap?  Doesn’t matter. Gather a bunch of papers and little mementos from your life together this past year, glue it on construction paper around a picture of the two of you and she will positively swoon.  You’ll see.

2.  Hard. Intricate or detailed works, too. Create a scavenger hunt to take her to all of your favorite couple’s spots around town.  Recreate the first date you had. Take her to the same restaurant with the same walk on the beach.  Or, order in the same food, and rent the movie you saw on that first date or the day you asked her to marry you.  Take the time to set the table.  It is crazy how much women love a set table.  If you drop a few candy hearts or flower petals on the table, watch out!  Find that special kind of cookie/champagne/cheese/liverwurst (if she loves it, who cares what it is?) that you had on your honeymoon/first date/trip to Sweden, and order it online. You need time for this to be delivered. This will tell her: a) you pay attention enough to know she likes ____, b) you took the time to order it especially for her, and c) you love her enough to plan ahead. Yes, planning = love.  Do not try to make too much sense out of it, just trust me.

3. Expensive.  Buy her something amazing – something she wants. Diamonds.  Silver.  Pearls.  Think Nicole Kidman from Moulin Rouge and you will be on the right track.  Please, please, please do NOT buy her expensive lingerie from La Perla – unless she has asked for this. That gift, though expensive, is for you. How happy would you be, butches and straight guys, if your girl gave you a present and you opened it to find sexy lingerie that she would wear for you?  Right?  So that’s not your gift to her.  Think jewelry, a trip somewhere, perfume, shoes, a nice bag – all good choices.  Clothes: do not buy clothes. Unless she tells you EXACTLY what to get, you run the risk of buying something she hates, or buying her the wrong size. You really cannot win here.  Too small?  “What the hell makes you think I can fit into that? If you’re looking for a woman this skinny, why are you with me?”  Too big? “Just exactly how fat do you think I am?”  Or for either, the worst is, “You don’t know me at all!”  No, no clothes.

4. Flashy or Showy.  This is where flowers fall – at least if you have them sent to her work.  Remember that one of the best things about Valentine’s Day is being able to show off your butch or guy.  Flowers at work say to all of her coworkers, “I have someone who loves me enough to send me flowers.”  Translation, my butch is better than yours.  Send a giant bouquet of flowers to her office so she can show you off.  Roses are great if she likes them, but they are really expensive this time of year, so if she loves another flower, send those.  It will look creative and save you some cash.  Do not leave the card up to the college kid at the flower shop.  Put something on there that will make her smile or show her you love her.  Don’t worry about the college kid writing it down.  He isn’t trying to keep your woman happy, so who cares what he thinks?

5. The Event.  Drinks.  Dinner.  A club (even dancing, gasp!).  A movie, museum, or exhibit that she has been looking forward to seeing.  Note that you can earn extra points and make her feel extra special by doing something that you do not want to do.  Think indie film, chick flick, an exhibit on purses throughout the ages, a flower show … you get the idea.  Or, by getting you into somewhere that is difficult – the “it” restaurant or club.  Plan ahead and get a table.  Remember, planning = love.

6. Manual Labor.  Yes, that’s right.  Along the lines of “The Event” category, do some things for her that you hate to do.  Do the dishes, put away the laundry, clean the house – all before she gets home from work.  Tell her that you are taking her car that morning and go have it serviced and detailed for her.  There are probably a slew of things that your woman would be ecstatic about if you did them for her.  This does not mean that you can do something dude-like that you should already have been doing and call it a Valentine’s Day present.  Do not  unload the dishwasher or clear the table, or for guys, put down the toilet seat, and announce that as your gift.  Poof! Now you’re single.

7. Pampering.  Think manicures, pedicures and massages.  Give her a gift certificate to the spa for the day.  Or… paint her toenails yourself.  I promise that if you rub her feet and then do this for her, she will melt.  Also, a massage is fool-proof.  Tell her that her gift is a massage, and that you do not expect one in return.  Then go all out.  Light candles, turn on music, and give the massage.  Extra touches are key.  Remember, she needs to feel special.  The harder it is for you and the more awkward that you feel doing it, the better!

So pick one of these 7 categories – at least one. More than one is platinum. You have to make her feel special. Girls need to know that you thought hard, planned carefully, or spent a lot of time or money on them.  No matter which of the above options you choose, you MUST write a card. Do not rely on the pre-printed text alone, even if you think it says exactly what you want to say, only better than you would say it. Sure, the card itself is important, so choose wisely. Stick with romantic or cute – make sure it’s not for your grandmother.  But add your own spin to it.  Love her eyes? Great, tell her.  Love her body?  Only tell her that if you add stuff about her heart and mind, too.  She doesn’t think purely physical, so neither should you.

Ignore me at your peril. Butches and straight guys:  take care of your woman if you want her, and therefore you, to be happy.  She might want totally different things than you do, but that’s part of why you love her.  A card and little teddy bear from 7-11 says exactly what you do not want to say — I did not have time/love you enough/care enough to do something special for you.  Get your act together and show her how much you love her!  And, if your woman sent you this post, you better take note, get busy and use this as a checklist.

Me? I made dinner reservations at our favorite restaurant two weeks ago. The other stuff I have to keep quiet because she reads this 🙂

Prove how butch you are by showing her how much you love her.  Want to make sure that you do not end up alone on Valentine’s Day?  It’s up to you.

Be butch.

Where’s The Beef?

Today, as we sat at the Loving Hut for lunch, it occurred to me just how far I have fallen from my former self.

I grew up as a meat eater – a meat lover, really.  Beef, mashed potatoes, and corn was a typical meal.  Or, ham, mashed potatoes, and corn.  Or, pork chops, mashed potatoes, and corn … and apple sauce.  There was always a big helping of meat on my plate, and I loved it.  Ribs? Forget about it.  I kept loving meat as the main staple of my diet until I started paying attention to my health and fitness.  Interestingly, when I started paying attention, I started losing weight and getting more fit.  At this point in my life, I am about seventy pounds below my meat-loving-max.  Not since college have I been this healthy.  I also happen to eat a lot less meat.  Certainly, there is less red meat.  I also do not think of mashed potatoes and corn as rounding out a balanced meal.  I now know that corn is a starch, not a vegetable.  Same with peas.  All those lies we were told as kids!

Now it is all about the whole grains (quinoa, couscous, brown rice) and green vegetables (broccoli, beans, brussels sprouts, asparagus).  Too bad that the stuff that is the best for you does not taste nearly as good as the stuff that is so tasty!  I cannot seem to stomach kale or collard greens.  Yuck.  Yummy potatoes are out.  Tomatoes sit on my plate instead of hash browns or English muffins (unless it is an Ezekiel sprouted whole grain muffin – so healthy they must be kept in the fridge).  So, where is the meat?  All red-blooded American butches love meat, right?

What got me started thinking about this?  Like I said, we had lunch today at the Loving Hut.  I looked down at my plate of brown rice and ginger tofu – yes, tofu – and thought, I am a lot different.  I eat weird, hippie-like food… and I love it.  Giant salads are awesome.  Even better, of course, with steak or chicken.  But I do not have to have meat to survive or to be butch.  How liberating!

Maybe this is one of the ways that butches have an advantage over our straight brethren.  Guys feel like wimps if they have a salad; they must eat a Flintstone-sized plate of meat to maintain their manliness.  Sorry about that, guys.

I do not see myself ever becoming a vegetarian, but I can choose to eat less meat, to make healthier choices without feeling like it challenges my butchness.  Long live the butch with a healthy diet.

Oh, and the ginger tofu is delicious, by the way.

Be butch.

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better


Today’s musing starts at the gym.  This afternoon I worked out next to Gerald McCoy, a defensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  This guy gives new meaning to the word “huge.”  He goes 6’4” and 295 pounds according to the NFL stat page.  I didn’t see any fat on him; how can you weigh that much in pure muscle?!?  Anyway, he is huge.  [Note: for any Bucs fans, he was very nice and was working his ass off.  Even this Saints’ fanatic could appreciate that.]  Would you be surprised if I confessed that I worked out harder today than on some days?  That I pushed myself more than I did yesterday?  Was McCoy’s strength and testosterone contagious?  I don’t think so.

More likely, I felt a need to be strong in the face of his strength.  To look strong.  To make a good showing.  Do I think that I am as strong as McCoy?  Not a chance in hell; it is never going to happen.  Do I think that McCoy would look over at me and think, “Now THAT is a strong woman?”  Nope, but imagine how cool.  “Check out the woman with the Mohawk.  She is a MACHINE!”  Nice fantasy.  But, I do want to make a good showing.  I do not want to be slacking off.  Right?  So, I am ok with him being miles stronger, faster, and bigger than I am.  Probably everyone reading this can agree with that statement.

But what about my girl?

Ahhh, there we go.  I don’t know about you, but my femme is stronger than I am.  It is important to point out here that she is 5’ and I am 6.’  She is petite and I am not.  I am a ton bigger, and yet… she lifts more than I do – always, it is not a fluke.  My only hope is if leverage or height is at play – then I am “stronger.”  That does not really count though, does it?  The worst is when we work out with a trainer.  On more than one occasion the trainer has sent us over to grab weights.  It goes like this.  To my fiancé, “Grab a kettle bell, 20kg.”  To me, “You grab a 16kg.”  Argh.

She also happens to be faster.  Anyone who knows me will tell you that this part does not say much.  I am as slow as molasses on a cold day.  When I run, I tend to go up and down as if I am trying to get out of a hole, instead of going forward. My parents used to cringe when I got a hit in softball (which was often – puffing chest out) and had to run the bases.  “Run Forrest!”  You would think that I would have gotten faster, if nothing else, to save my family from embarrassment.  But I never did.  My daughter beat me in a foot race several years ago (she is only 8 now).  Alas, speed is not my thing.  So who cares about the speed anyway? But the strength?  Does it bother me as a butch that my fiancé is stronger than I am?

The honest answer is … not always, but sometimes.  Why?  Well, I think it is because I want to be the big, strong one – the protector.  I want to make her feel safe and cared for.  I am the one who will chase away the dinosaur, right?  I could never be with a woman taller than I am, for similar reasons.  I love how small she is.  That being said, I like her to be strong, capable, self-confident, and all of those well-balanced things.  I want a woman who is sure of herself, hard to push around, able to handle things in the moment.  You know?

Brief musical interlude:

All the women who are independent
Throw your hands up at me
All the honey’s who makin’ money
Throw your hands up at me

It is sexy to know that she can take care of herself.  I love seeing her lift so much more than people would expect her to.  Sometimes I just wish I could lift a tiny bit more.

If I were king of the world and could make wishes come true, it would go like this.  She would stay strong, freakishly strong as she is, and would be respected as such by all whom she meets – including big strong football players like Gerald McCoy.  I would magically become stronger than she is, not overwhelmingly so, but stronger.  Does that make me a Neanderthal?  You tell me.  Butches, are you comfortable with your woman being stronger?  Fess up.

So, can I do anything she can do – better?  Of course not.  I am butch enough to admit it. Yes. Are you?

Be butch.

Femme Gyver

Today we stopped at a fancy yoga boutique so that my fiancé could get a bag for the gym.  There is this one lovely bag that is pewter with lots of pockets (I am told) that she really wants.  It even comes with a secret brownie recipe tucked into one of those pockets. The bag she has now, a nice little Under Armor number, does not work for her because there are no pockets.  I will probably be the new owner of this bag once a suitable replacement is found.  That’s fine by me because I like it, although it is small and my large gym shoes take up most of the bag.  But I digress.  Apparently, it is no good to have everything just thrown into the center of the bag – like I do with my own gym bag.

I ended up getting a cool pair of yoga pants (men’s, obv) and as we checked out, I saw something odd.   Next to the counter was a bowl of black circle stringy things held together by something that I think might be called a scrunchy.  I picked up the spaghetti-like mess of rings and wondered aloud, “What is this?”  The lady helping me checkout answered, “Those are hair ties.  We use them as zipper pulls on all of our jackets and they double as emergency hair ties!”  She was very excited to explain this to me.  Can you hear the inflection of her voice and the requisite head tilt?  Really?  What kind of emergency?  I imagined a female fire fighter about to rush into a burning building who might need to pull her hair back.  “Honey, look at this odd thing,” I said to my fiancé as I held out the black octopus of beauty utility.  “You mean the hair ties?” she responded immediately.  She doesn’t even use hair ties, and still she knew exactly what they were.

Sometimes, it really seems like we are from different planets.  Or, I guess I should say me and the rest of the non-butch women in the world.  Do you all get taught these things in school?  Does someone pull you aside at a young age and explain the world of hair ties and how they might be used during a hair emergency?  Oh, and Splenda packets.

I was driving her car to work the other day and looked down to see a package of Splenda in the center console with a perfect set of lips on it.  At first, I thought she had kissed this packet of Splenda to send me a little love note.  But then, I saw that there was a second packet with the same set of lips on it.  At this point, I realized that the sexy packet was not a special message – symbolic of the sweetness of our love – but rather a lipstick blotting tool.   She does not use Splenda anymore, so I can only assume that she is using found objects (vestiges of our old Splenda days in the glove box) to handle beauty emergencies like blotting – like the zipper pull hair ties.  So inventive.

She is the MacGyver of femmes!  She has found that the all-powerful Splenda is two things:  by day, an innocent coffee additive, by night the secret to beautiful lips bearing the perfect amount of lipstick.  According to her, women are one simple blot away from looking like whores.  Whatever you say, honey.

Be butch.

Tie One On

As many good butches, I love ties. Bow ties, long ties, skinny ties, fat ties – I love them all.  For a butch, a tie is a major fashion statement. It dresses an outfit up.  It makes an outfit cool.  It can add a bit of uber-geek nerdiness to an urban sheik outfit – for the perfect balance.  I just love the look.  Put a bow tie on with jeans, a cardigan, and dress shoes – watch out.  Add a skinny tie to slacks, a vest, and big boots.  See what happens.  It is about making a strong statement. Yes, I am a woman.  Yes, I am wearing a tie.  And?

By the way, while I have your attention, please think patterns and colors.  Plain ties are very rarely the right choice for me.   Possibly, for you either.  I like to wear bold dress shirts.  Lots of colors and patterns.  If a shirt is a solid color (like my favorite Thomas Pink shirt that is actually just pink), it still has texture.  There is nothing working if you have on a plain, flat white oxford and a plain black tie.  A plain black tie needs a tuxedo jacket and a traditional, ribbed tux shirt.  A white oxford or dress shirt, on the other hand, is game on.  You can do anything with a white dress shirt.  Put it with a blazer.  Put it with a sweater vest.  Put it with a cardigan or shawl collar sweater.  Put it with a suit vest.  If you are skinny enough, pair it with a thin shirt.  Almost anything covering your legs will do – as long as the tie compliments or ties together the shirt and the blazer, sweater vest, cardigan, suit vest, or thin shirt.

Come on, butches!  This is your chance!  Grab it.  Your femmes want you to, I promise.  I am so tired of seeing sloppy or lazy butches out there.  Now, I am not talking about at the grocery store or in a doctor’s waiting room. Be comfortable, fair enough. But out to dinner?  At a show, concert, or a movie?  At a club?  REPRESENT.  Does it not turn you on when your femme has on sexy panties that match her bra?  When she wears make up? Heels?  Do you want to see her in sweats and a t-shirt out and about?

I have thought about this and I think the problem is that as butches we are “other.”  Many of us have not yet found our niche – come into our own.  Where do we fit in?  What is our fahion?  Until you accept that you do to have to shop in the ladies’ section, you might be uncomfortabe.  Trust me.  I know.  My fiance and friends could show you pictures of me then and now and you would be shocked.  Is that the same person?  The answer is quite frankly, no, it is not the same person.  In the old pictures, I had not yet appreciated that I was a butch.  I was wearing all women’s clothes.  Can you imagine?!?  I cannot remember the last item of clothing I bought that was women’s (other than my sports bras).  So, what will it take for you to find your style and, maybe, just maybe, sport a dashing tie?

Head over to Nordstrom’s men’s section where they will treat you well as a butch.  Want to ease into it?  Go to Banana and get yourself a nice dress shirt and a tie.  Have the cute sales lady help you pick it out. Then, see how you feel when you wear it.  If you feel comfortable, you will have found your butch style and you will be hooked!

But, say you trust me and take that shopping trip.  Say you are brave enough to buy that tie.  WHO WILL TIE IT FOR YOU?  This is a real problem.  Unless you grew up with brothers (which I did not), or your girl knows how to tie a bow tie (mine does not), or you worked your way through school in a men’s clothing store (strike 3 for me), you do not know shit about tying a tie – straight or bow.  Ugh.

My dad did not teach me how to tie a tie when I was little.  It is not his fault.  I was wearing dresses then – don’t think about that too long.  How could he have known that I would need to know how to tie a tie?  It would be so different if I could go back now and have my dad teach me all of the things that he would have taught me if I was a boy.  But, alas, it is too late for me to have the proper upbringing in all things butch.  I , probably like you, am left to educate, myself in this world.  So that leads us to the sales lady or guy at Nordstrom (they will send you home with a perfectly tied tie and a book on how to do it), or the internet.  I cannot tell you how many times I have been getting ready and tying my bow tie has been a 10-minute ordeal.  I used to always turn to my smartphone for a how-to diagram or video, and only then was I able to get it tied.  The good news is that, inexplicably, recently, I have nailed the bow tie.  The secret or hidden loop in the back is easily in my radar and I can tie the perfect bow tie in seconds.  Huzzah!  My fiance finds this very sexy, by the way, so there should be some incentive for you to try it.

Find your style, butches. It is not in the ladies’ section. Embrace your hotness. Don a bow tie. See what happens.

Be butch.

A 5 year old’s view of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

I had one of those super great parent moments today. When you are just bursting with pride over something your kid says or does, you know?  Only this was way cooler than my kid using a complete sentence, saying please, or sharing a toy (these are great, too, of course).  I wanted to talk to my kids about MLK Jr. Day today.  They had the day off school, so of course they think that is wonderful.  My fiance had the day off, too, so I thought I would join them all.  We took a family hike and it seemed like the right time to have a talk about the reason for the day and to see if they had a basic understanding of what we are remembering. I knew that my 8 year old had a good grasp of the meaning of today, but had no idea where my 5 year old would be on this.

Even though our family is white and we certainly benefit from all that being white means, they also have moms and no dad.  Being part of a lesbian family (two of them to be exact) has given them a taste of being “other,” “less than,” or, at best “different,” which I know will only get worse as they get older.   It certainly does not compare to the unfairness and discrimination that black people have historically faced.  It does help them to understand hatred and blind unfairness, though. After all, my kids watched the state of California vote away their mom’s right to marry their stepmom, whom they love and adore almost as much as I do.  Try answering this question from your little one, “Mommy, why do those people in that church over there hate us?  They don’t even know us.”

So, on our hike, I asked my 5 year old son if he knew why today was special. He said that it was Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.  Good start, I thought.  What was special about him, I asked.  “He tried to change the laws to help black people.  He wanted blacks and whites to be able to go to the same school, and to be able to drink out of the same water fountains, and for blacks to be able to sit in the front of the bus or the back.”  Even better.  And you know that he was killed, assasinated? Do you know why?  “He was killed because people didn’t like what he had to say.” Wow.  My fiance and I looked at each other – a little stunned that he said it so simply, so clearly.

Martin Luther King Jr. was killed because some people did not like what he had to say.  A 5 year old understands it. Do you care if you share a water fountain with anyone who is black?  He looks at me like I have got crawdads crawling out of my ears, “No.” Of course not, mom, he is saying, and runs off to look at a pile of leaves.  A 5 year old, people.  Just saying.

Equality is butch.  Be butch.

Wait for it …

I would like to talk about a serious problem. Something so rampant and disturbing that there should be a slew of 501c3 organizations dedicated to eradicating it. Maybe even a telethon. Waiting for my femme to get ready.

I feel like I spend half my life waiting for her to be ready. Ok, that’s an exaggeration. It’s probably only a quarter of my life. But still.

Let me paint the picture for you. We are going out for the evening, meeting some friends for cocktails, say, at 8:00. (Don’t laugh, we are old and can’t be going out at 10!) Both of us are in the bedroom/bathroom getting ready. If we do that at the same time, I will be ready in about half the time as my femme. Then, it’s time for me to wait. And wait, and wait.

Over the years I have developed several strategies for dealing with this excess time spent waiting. Of course, the most ideal result would be to speed her up. So, I have tried offering any assistance that I could to help – getting clothes out, running to the car for makeup, fishing a bra out of the laundry, packing up the car – anything that might reduce her prep time. All to no avail. It is not that she does not appreciate it, she does. I think the bottom line though is that she needs 45 minutes to an hour to get ready no matter what. This is true whether we are getting ready for a black tie affair or a quick trip to Starbucks. Really. 45 minutes to an hour. What takes so long? She is already gorgeous. Hair, face, clothes. Always.

Why doesn’t it take longer to do the black tie “evening glamour” make up and dressing than it does the “every day” Starbucks prep? It’s an enigma. Anyway, she does not appreciate being rushed. “Are you rushing me?” I am asked when I innocently offer to do something for her during her prep routine. “No, no, honey, of course not.” Right.

Another strategy is to just wait. I give her a head start. During this period, I take the time to catch up on Facebook, read a magazine, or just guy out (“guy out:” the state of being in personal bliss by not thinking of anyone or anything, being unresponsive to questions, or having a slightly dopey look on one’s face). When she starts putting on her make up, after her hair is done, I get in the shower. Somehow, though, this still does not do it. Again, what takes so long?

I should note, by the way, that this has – on occasion – back fired. As hard as it is to imagine, once or twice, she has been ready before me when I take this approach. Perish the thought! Oh, and does she ever relish in this. “I’d just like to point out that I am ready…before you.” Ugh.

She says that it’s part of being a girl. She is right and that’s probably why I do not get it. Any other butches out there tired of waiting for your femmes? Any guys out there tired of waiting for your girls? Is it just our lot in life to wait? Well, so be it.

Be butch.

Stone Butch Beer: A trip to Stone Brewery

My work day ended yesterday with a trip to Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – a kind of Mecca for beer lovers, butch and otherwise.  The reason was bad, a farewell for a laid off colleague, but he was in good spirits and the beer was very good.  Stone is a big, gorgeous facility. Lots of rocks and open beams. It is huge with lots of gardens and pathways. These are useless, of course, for the drinker.  Unless you need a breather or want to wander off with your femme for a little break.  Getting drunk means less cool beers to try, so timing and spacing are important. It also makes you much better company to keep your cool. There is nothing butch about getting hammered.   So, on to the beer I tried yesterday.

First, I had to go for one of their own: Ruination IPA Double Dry Hopped.  This is a long way of saying “yum.”  I only rated this beer a 3 out of 5 on Untappd, but it was pleasing, nonetheless.  Brown and very hoppy, it has a fairly high alcohol content at 7.7%, so be aware.

Next, I went for a sip of a colleague’s xxx Black Double IPA from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.  This was as dark as…midnight, and very rich (8.5% BAC).  If you like Guinness, you will love this one. It was delicious. Also 3 out of 5.  This brings me to my most important beer drinking tip – sips and tasters.  Sips are what you take (or steal) from friends, colleagues, and drinking buddies. Tasters are small 1 to 2 ounce pours of a beer you order, sometimes free, and sometimes not.  Either one results in you getting to try a new beer without all of the alcohol or caloric content of ordering your own.  I suppose you could order a beer and then not drink it, but is that not akin to alcohol abuse?  No, sips and tasters are definitely the way to expand your beer repertoire safely and affordably.

The third beer I tried was Damnation from Russian River Brewing Company. Several of my friends have suggested this one to me, and now I can suggest it, too. This is a Belgian Strong Pale Ale with a 7.75% BAC. Though I rated this the same as the first two (3/5), this was my favorite of the evening at Stone. Untappd says this one has “extraordinary aromas of banana and pear with mouth filling flavors of sweet malt and earthy hops. The lingering finish is dry and slightly bitter but very, very smooth.” Now, if I had tried thousands of beers, I might have been able to describe Damnation that way, but I haven’t…so I say “Ditto.” This one is great, plus it has a great name.

Fourth was a sip. I bought the next round, and so of course I got to taste the Arrogant Bastard Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels by Stone. This is like Stone’s well known Arrogant Bastard (another great name), but stronger and smoother. I gave this one 4/5, but I liked Damnation better? Well, I had a whole pint of Damnation and only a sip of this one, so the Damnation stands out more. A good beer in the hand is better than a great beer in one’s memory.

Fifth, came a mistake appropriately named “Twerp” by Pizza Port. This was awful. I would give it 0/5, but alas, I gave it 1/5 because 0 is not an option on Untappd. This really was awful – flat, bitter, and watery. I have no idea why anyone would order this. The Bud Light Lime my fiancé had tonight tasted better (don’t judge me!).

After these 5, it was time to head off to Whole Foods to shop with my femme. We had a little dinner before shopping and I tried another new beer – Velvet Merlin by Firestone Walker Brewing Company. Yuck. This one gets a 2 out of 5. I almost didn’t finish this one because I didn’t care for it, but then, that would not be very butch, would it?

The next cool thing about Whole Foods is that you can walk around the store with a beer. Did you know that?!? So, I grabbed a Blanche de Chambly from Unibroue. I know! What a great name for a brewery! It calls to mind strong German women who coach gymnastics. But the beer is not like a strong German woman, it is more like a spicy femme, one that you want to treat well so that you can see her over and over again even though she has very expensive tastes. Ha! The only issue was that it was a little hard to finish the whole thing (22 ounces) before checking out. There are worse problems…

Try the beer. Be butch.

Behind Enemy Lines: The Ladies Room

So, I just made it out of the ladies’ room unscathed.  This is a daily stress for me.  Allow me to explain.

For a butch, using a public restroom is one of the worst things. I don’t present as a typical woman right? And, I certainly am no lady. This makes a trip into the ladies’ room a lot like a trip across enemy lines. I try to get in, take care of business, wash my hands, and get out as fast as possible – without getting shot.  Speed is key because it reduces the amount of time in “enemy territory” and lessens the likelihood that a woman will stare at me in shock, appalled that she might be in the men’s room.   Forget taking the time to check my hair or put on Chapstick. There is no time for lounging in the ladies lounge.

I have had all manner of reactions over the years.  Sideways glances.  Mild discerning looks.  Gasps of shock.  Accusations like: “You are in the wrong restroom,” “Oh dear, the men’s room is over there,” and the kicker, “Mommy, why is that man in the girls’ room?”

I’ve had women stop in their tracks as they walk in the restroom, back up, open the door, and look at the sign. Then, once they are sure they are in the right place, resume staring at me.  How fun is that!  I have to take a pee, but I have to run the gauntlet, bear down, grit my teeth, and get through it as fast as possible. It sucks to feel like I have to apologize for peeing.

Over the years, I’ve developed quite a few strategies for minimizing the damage:

1)  The most obvious is to hold it. Not good for your bladder or ability to concentrate, but very successful… Unless of course, you wet yourself.

2)  Next, there is the femme escort.  I’m not sure why this works. I guess women have less concern about me if I am with another woman. She would not walk me into the wrong restroom, after all. The downside to this, however, is that it’s worse for me if my escort experiences it with me. So, less chance of an incident, but the incident hurts more if witnessed by someone I care about.

3)  Sing or talk on the way in and while washing my hands.   My voice gives me away as a woman. It also disarms women in the restroom.  They might think I am odd, but at least I am an odd woman!

4)  Confront the rudeness. This is tough to pull off well. I have done this, but I tend to get more upset. It goes like this… “What are you staring at?  I am a grown woman.  Don’t you think I know which restroom to use?”   I suppose this can be educational, but it’s exhausting. I just want to pee!

Let me know if you have any other strategies.  Be nice to a butch walking into the restroom. Oh, and more unisex or family restrooms would be awesome – in case any architects are reading this. (Ha!)

Be butch.

I am a butch.

I am a butch. This blog is about what I think.

If you do not know what butch means, you are probably on the wrong blog. In the interests of inclusion, though, I can tell you that “butch” means a lesbian that is big, strong, tough, more macho, less girly. Of course, there are no hard and fast rules – which will be an ongoing theme in my blog (and hopefully, in the comments), but those are the basics. A butch will most likely not wear makeup. A butch is often referred to as “sir” by someone who is not paying attention.

What else? I am, after all, not just a butch. I am single and the happy mother of two. I am also a lover of, in no particular order, femmes, beer, bow ties, breasts, kayaking, movies, hiking, bookstores, travel, dogs, high heels, geocaching, polar bears, the gym, music, lingerie, gadgets, and more. By day, I am an intrepid corporate entertainment lawyer. Although I try hard not to be labeled as such – sporting a bleached Mohawk, for example. Think more entertainment and less corporate. By night, bring it all on!

In my blog, I will talk about things from a butch perspective, but this is not just for butches. We all love our femmes. Please do not let me offend femmes! If you like what you read here, I hope you will comment and let me know what you think. If you do not like what you read, well, what the hell do I care? Start your own blog.

Be butch.


Be Butch.


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