“I have respect for all people and all peoples’ stories” – Anderson Cooper.
Today I joined the audience at Anderson Live. Because my (ahem) schedule is somewhat flexible and I’m on the Anderson Live email list, I was able to attend at the last minute when the show’s audience coordinator sent an email begging for seat fillers. I like Anderson. He seems like a good guy. I’ve been to his show before and he’s approachable, interested and interesting and holds true to his statement of respecting people and their stories…no matter how bizarre those stories may be.
Today’s show was no exception. And the bizarre started from the get go. Anderson’s co-host was Howie Mandel – very funny guy, right? Right, but widely known for his intense germaphobia. So intense that when the production team set the desk with notes and drinks for Anderson and Howie, Howie’s water was unassembled. An Anderson logo Tervis tumbler was shrouded in a sterile plastic bag and next to it sat an unopened bottle of water. The Tervis tumbler and bottled water stayed undisturbed until Anderson hazed Howie about the hermetically sealed bag. Howie did at that point remove the plastic bag but never touched or opened the water. He even joked that he couldn’t be sure who had handled the sterile plastic bag…too risky. Too much at stake.
In addition to attending the show, filling a seat, I volunteered to sit in the ‘Tweet Seats’ and tweet about the show while it was happening. There were about 10 of us there – designated ‘TweetSeat Tweeters’ and our tweets were scrolled on a screen during the show. The question wasn’t: how many tweets would a seat tweeter tweet if a seat tweeter could tweet tweets – But more of how do you tweet respecting all people and their stories when the stories were what they were today???
I tweeted a lot. Probably too many tweets for my follower. Yes, that’s right, I have a follower not a following. I’m working on the latter.
Anyway, Anderson’s first guest was the ‘Worst Mom in America‘ – a New York City mom who believes in free-range parenting – the opposite of today’s helicopter parenting. If the helicopter moms in the audience had decided to leap up in outrage, there would have been a lot I could have said. I could have mentioned that I find this helicopter-momming a bit too much. I would have mentioned that from the time my siblings and I were very young (maybe 8 or 10) my mother opened the front door at 8 in the morning and said; ‘Don’t come home until dinner’. This was par for our neighborhood…it was also, in the wake of the Etan Patz disappearance.
But the moms in the audience were surprisingly open to a happy medium between the helicopter hover and completely free-range parenting.
Ultimately, the free-range mom wasn’t half as difficult to tweet about as the second guest: a man who believes that a hair loss prevention drug caused him to be transgender.
Uhmmmm, OK. A veritable conundrum for the generally opinionated food/story/blogger/tweeter who doesn’t want to alienate her follower or the lovely team at Anderson Live.
As the interview started, ‘Mandy’ as she is known now, explained that she had even developed transgender and ‘physical feminization’ from hair loss prevention drugs. She bought these drugs online…from India…on the Internet.
There were so many groups to offend and I didn’t want to offend anyone – not transgender people, balding people, people from India, pharmacists.
I took a page out of Anderson’s book and tried to respect all people and all peoples’ stories. I tried to consider what was at stake: losing my follower? Alienating friends? Letting the Anderson Live team down? Regardless, I think I went pretty safe and hope I did ok.
With any decision, there’s always something at stake…And, at the risk of offending vegetarians, vegans and raw food eaters alike, I made this good, quick, easy and affordable skirt steak the other night.
Marinated Skirt Steak (serves 4)
1. In a small bowl, mix together:
- 1 TBSP of brown sugar
- The leaves from 4 sprigs of lemon thyme
- 1 clove of garlic, smashed
- 1 TSP Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up Salt
- 1/2 TSP of pepper
- 2 TBSP Olive Oil
The mix should be a thick but not a totally pasty consistency.
2. Rub onto 1 1/2 – 2lbs of Skirt Steak. You can use flank steak, hanger steak or skirt steak.
3. Cover the meat and refrigerate any where from 2 hours to overnight
4. About :30 minutes before cooking, temporate the steak: to Temporate is to remove the steak from the fridge and bring it to room temperature.
5. Heat a non-stick grill pan on medium/high heat and spray lightly with Olive Oil spray.
6. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side. The meat will smoke up – so, apartment dwellers, open a window and door to keep your smoke alarms from going off!
7. Remove from the grill pan, place on a cutting board and cover loosely with tin foil. Allow the meat to rest for :10minutes. This is a truly important step to ensure that the meat will be juicy. So plan for it.
8. Slice thinly against the grain and serve
I served this the other night with a side of Lemon Marscapone Gnocchi and Garlic Bread.
I enjoyed being one of the Tweeters in the Anderson Live Tweet Seats today – even when I had to hold my hands (that’s like biting your lip for a Tweeter/Blogger) a bit during hair loss transgender guest’s story.
Remembering what Anderson said about respecting all people and their stories helped me to select my words carefully and to consider what might truly be at stake.