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Glee Interviews: Finn Hudson Dishes to Equal4All!

In Art, Being Gay, Celebrity Interviews, Clothing, Gay Celebrity on May 4, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Cory Monteith of Glee (a.k.a Finn Hudson) took time out of his busy schedule to talk to Equal4All. Monteith plays a character who struggles with who he is, even though he used to rule the school in his jock ways with a gorgeous blond bombshell by his side. Check out what the handsome, fresh actor had to say!

Equal4All: As per your appearance on The View several months ago, you were telling your fans that you auditioned for Glee by playing percussion on Tupperware with pencils. Can you tell us why that was so important in order to get the part of Finn Hudson?

Cory Monteith: The director and producer always told me that I stuck out in their minds BECAUSE I did do that instead of singing for my first audition. Personally, I think that setting yourself apart from other people in auditions or anything really will help you stick out in people’s minds.

E4A: Your character has some underlying issues going on, and one of them is not feeling completely satisfied with who you are. Can you please tell us how you draw out emotion week to week and portray such a complex being?

CM: When I play Finn, I really like to get into his head; I try and feel how he would feel. Like any human, I have had times when I’ve felt like I wasn’t enough, and I wasn’t 100% satisfied with who I am. I just try and tap into Finn’s mind, and my mind, and I guess it works.

E4A: Two words: Kurt Hummel. Tell us how you feel about having a fellow male be completely head over heels for your character?

CM: Honestly, it doesn’t affect me. One thing I love though is that Finn has NO idea. Kurt puts himself out there, and has told Finn how he feels but Finn just doesn’t pay attention.

E4A: Quick, on your toes … Finn Hudson ACTUALLY got a girl pregnant … what would he do?

CM: If Finn actually got a girl pregnant, I think he would just keep doing what he was doing when he thought he had gotten Quinn pregnant – always be there for her, and hold her hand through the way. Finn is just a caring guy, and you really see that when he thinks he is the father.

E4A: Please give advice to anyone who may be struggling with who they truly are:

CM: Always, no matter what, be true to yourself … no matter who that is. You are you for a reason. And never think that you’re not good enough, because if you do then other people may just start thinking that … and who knows, they may even tell you someday.

E4A: Can you offer any juicy gossip about your fellow cast mates?

CM: Ooh, juicy gossip? Well, you guys should know that we all hate each other! Just joking! Honestly, we are like one big happy family; it’s kinda sick actually. The whole cast and crew gets along great.

There ya have it, folks … words straight from Cory Monteith’s mouth to your screen (well, Monteith’s hands to your screen, but whatever)! After the second Glee interview, I’m really starting to think that the cast is made-up of a bunch of sweethearts!

Disclaimer: The above answers may or not be those of the actor Cory Monteith of Glee. It sure as hell sounds like it could be him, don’t you think? Social networking sites have a funny way of taking part in guerilla marketing tactics…

-Joseph Federico

Sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Glee Interviews: Rachel Berry’s Coffee Talk

In Art, Being Gay, Celebrity Interviews, Clubs, concerts, Hollywood, Literature, Music on May 3, 2010 at 4:28 am

When I was a senior in high school, I admittedly opted to take an independent study class – that class was choir. Back then, there were no shows on television such as Glee that my fellow students and I could turn to for support and encouragement. With that being said, that’s why Equal4All did some digging and asked Lea Michele (aka Rachel Berry) to talk to you lovely Gleeks about her roots, how she relates to her character, and then some.

Equal4All: You had your start in Les Misérables; how do you feel that experience has prepared you for playing the role of Rachel Berry?

Lea Michele: Yes, Les Mis was my start. I think by doing this, it helped me get used to performing in front of crowds. My mom used to tell me, “No matter what, do your thing and don’t let ANYONE get you down.” So I generally follow that motto.

E4A: What top qualities of your Glee character can you most identify with?

LM: Hmm, leadership and the controlling factor. That’s pretty much me.

E4A: Rachel Berry has two gay dads and mentions it every chance she gets; how do you feel putting something like that out there with no apologies or regrets is perceived by the fans of the show?

LM: I’m 100% for Gay Rights and such. That’s their decision, and I have NO problem with it.

E4A: When I was in high school, choir wasn’t the most popular extra curricular activity on the list. How do you think Glee is changing the face of high school choirs in this country?

LM: Glee is letting people know that it’s okay to be who you are. Shine and be yourself – don’t change for anyone.

E4A: Please give advice to anyone who may be struggling with who they truly are:

LM: Be yourself! Don’t go around trying to be other people – be the real you. If someone doesn’t accept you for that, then they’re pretty stupid.

E4A: Can you offer fans any juicy details about the upcoming episodes of Glee?

LM: Hmm, well in the next episode airing May 4th in the United States it’s all chaotic! We’re doing a super cool Gaga episode … be sure to tune in!

Isn’t Rachel Berry (I mean Lea Michele) such a doll? I really hope I get a chance to meet her someday … or if not, I guess watching Glee Tuesday nights will have to suffice; I better get my singing voice ready!

If you had the chance, what Glee character or actor/tress would you like to interview? Comments are encouraged below!

Disclaimer: The above answers may or not be those of the actress Lea Michele of Glee. It sure as hell sounds like it could be her, don’t you think? Social networking sites have a funny way of taking part in guerilla marketing tactics…

-Joseph Federico

Source 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Nutrition: You are what you Eat and Finding the Inner you through Food

In Being Gay, recipes, reviews on February 12, 2010 at 7:32 pm

 

You are what you eat. This notion has been around for many decades; yet as people we have not grabbed hold of this idea and carry it out in our lives. Quite literally, this quote means that what you put in your body will directly or indirectly affect your being. From a less literal state, you are what you eat is describing the effect of the quality of food we eat on our mental and physical health.

In 1923, the Bridgeport Telegraph produced an article titled “United Meet Markets,” written by Dr. Victor Hugo Lindlahr. This article is the first instance of the line “you are what you eat,” in modern times. “Ninety per cent of the diseases known to man are caused by cheap foodstuffs. You are what you eat.”  The fact that this information was available and mainstream over 80 years ago is mind-blowing. People knew the harm of consuming lower quality foods, yet convenience fueled the rise of frozen meals and fast food in the American diet. I strongly believe that this quote is so much more than 5 simple words strung together.

Obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are at their highest rates ever and are among of the leading causes of death for Americans.  So here’s the deal, let’s stop this food epidemic before it can possibly get any worse. Let’s go back to our roots and eat homegrown food using simple techniques and conditioning our palates and our bodies.

Change all starts with you. Reading into what you eat at this point in your life will help you realize who you are. If you can appreciate the quality of food that you put into your body, you will be appreciating your body and ultimately be able to respect yourself more.

Balancing your life will be the key to success in leading a new healthy lifestyle. Dieting is the enemy. There is a reason why dieting contains the word DIE: depriving your body and mind will only set yourself up for failure. The key to a new healthy lifestyle is understanding your limitations and how food reacts with your body.  If you need to lose weight, you need to start with realistic weight loss goals. Depending on your weight and the amount of exercise you are willing to do, you should plan on a 1-2 pound weight loss per week.

If you are going to take this thought seriously, you need to sit down and examine what you eat and how you exercise. Are you eating nutritionally rounded meals? Are you exercising at least 30 minutes a day? Are you performing the right routines? Sitting down, making a list, and organizing will definitely help you in the long run. If you can wrap your mind around the idea of changing your diet and fitting a workout routine into your weekly schedule, you will be able to realize your goal and be more likely to stick to it. Take it one day at a time, and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish!

Find the inner you through food. Whether you have a passion for cooking or for eating, loving food is in our nature. What we need to learn is to respect the food we eat – not move towards fast or convenient but for health conscious and delicious. YES! Healthy food can be delicious. Stepping outside the box and trying different foods will greatly help you with your healthy lifestyle upgrade. Try healthy takes on classic dishes. Expand your shopping list! Go to the local market and pick out several fruits and vegetables you have never eaten or that you would never purchase.

Next go an aisle over and pick up a package of lean meat such as pork or chicken. Now continue on through the market and pick out some starches: brown rice, pearl barley, and quinoa are some great examples of whole grain alternatives to your normal starch accompaniments. With a little patience and a positive attitude you can make changes in your lifestyle that will greatly affect your overall quality of life.

Food for thought:

  • Evaluate your diet! Get a journal: write daily entries about what you are eating, and you will be able to recognize what needs to change and what you can improve upon. Forcing yourself to write everything down will keep you accountable for your own actions, and if you aren’t eating well, you’ll have no one else to blame but yourself.
  • Calculating your caloric intake. It only takes a small amount of time, and it’s crucial to changing your eating habits. If you can figure out the amount of calories you should be eating daily, you can learn to change these numbers to work for the amount of exercise you are doing and the amount of weight you want to lose.

  • Proper hydration! Properly hydrating you body is a very important step to personal nutrition.  You should be drinking 64 ounces of water a day. This seems like a lot, but it’s only 8 glasses a day! Spacing the consumption throughout the day will help with sticking to it.

Be conscious of what you are doing to your body!

Easy Healthy Recipes…

Here are some really simple, but healthy recipes. Using flavorful ingredients will keep things interesting while still eating well.

Pan-seared Chicken Breast with Pico De Gallo and Red Rice

Spiced Chicken:

4 boneless chicken breast
1 ½  T cumin
2 T chili powder
1 T cayenne
2 T olive oil

  1. Measure out your spices and cover your chicken breasts with them. Massage the spices into the meat with a T of salt and ½ t of pepper. Heat a sauté pan and add 1 T of oil to the pan. Once the pan is very hot, add your chicken breasts and sear them on both sides. Move them to the oven to finish either on a sheet pan or in your sauté pan if it is oven-safe.

Pico De Gallo:

1 ea white onion
6 ea plum tomatoes
1 ea jalapeno
2 cloves garlic
1 lime, juiced
2 T cilantro, chopped finely

  1. Small dice your onion and tomatoes. Mince your jalapeno and your garlic cloves.  Juice your lime and finely chop your cilantro. Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine.

Red Rice:

2 cups brown rice
1 chipotle, minced
1 onion, minced
5 cups chicken stock

  1. Mince your onion and add it to a saucepot with 1 T of oil. Cook until translucent. Add your rice and let it parch in the oil. After about a minute add your minced chipotle and your stock. Next add 2 T of salt. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes.
  •  This recipe is great because it’s high on flavor but is also balanced with a protein, whole grain, and vegetable component.

 Vegetable Curry with Quinoa and Cacik

Cacik:

1 cup Greek yogurt
1 lemon, juiced
1 T olive oil
1 small cucumber, seeded
1 clove garlic
1 T cumin
1 T salt
½ T pepper

  1. Take your cucumber and seed it, next small dice it. Mince your garlic and add all ingredients to a bowl. Stir thoroughly to combine. Serve on the side as a cooling accompaniment.

Vegetable Curry:

1 large eggplant
1 red bell pepper
2 yellow onions
6 cloves garlic
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
2 cubenelle peppers
2 T tomato paste
4 T Garam Masala, good quality or prepared yourself
2 T olive oil

  1. Dice the eggplant, peppers, squash, and onions and mince the garlic. Sauté the onion, peppers, and garlic till tender. Remove and set aside. Turn heat to high and brown eggplant and squash. Stir quickly as not to burn.  Add tomato paste and stir around to combine, add garam masala and all vegetables back to pot and turn to low. Add a ½ cup of water and stir to combine, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Finish with salt and pepper.

Quinoa:

2 cups quinoa
1 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
4 cups vegetable stock

  1. Mince your onion and garlic and add it to a saucepot with 1 T of oil. Cook for 2 minutes on low heat. Add your vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Once at a rapid boil add your quinoa. Once the liquid comes back to a boil, turn it down to a simmer and let it cook for about 15 minutes. Check the quinoa closer to the end of it’s cooking time, if it needs to go longer let it. Once it’s finished cooking it should be tender and springy. Fluff with a fork and serve like rice.
  2. Serve your vegetable curry on top of your quinoa with your cacik on the side. This dish is impressive and simple. Filled with vegetables, whole grains, and healthy bacteria from the yogurt; this dish is also very healthy.

Hopefully I have been able to inspire you to move towards a healthy lifestyle. If you have any questions about what you should or shouldn’t be doing, email me at Equal4allchef@yahoo.com! I’d love to answer your questions.

-Sean Gallagher

Photo Source 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Coming Out at Thanksgiving

In Being Gay, Dating, Gay Weddings, holidays, Relationships, religions, sex on November 25, 2009 at 5:45 pm

The decision to come out is an important part of any gay man’s life. It’s the chance to finally let the people you love see you for who you are. With Thanksgiving fast approaching, you might start thinking that there is no better time to come out and finally be yourself. Equal4All sat down with two gay men as they shared their views about coming out on a holiday.

“Holidays are very family oriented and I get that it’s a comforting time,” said Jon McPhee, 22, but he doesn’t believe that you have to come out on a holiday. “You should find comfort in coming out anytime of the year, you shouldn’t have to fall back on a holiday. But if that’s what it takes for you to come out, more power to you,” he said.

McPhee, who came out earlier this year, also mentions that the relationship that you have with your family is a huge factor in the coming out process. “Ultimately, it’s your own decision when you want to come out, but I just hope that the reason why people come out on holidays aren’t so they can fall back on it because they fear the outcome. It’s always sad when you hear that someone’s coming out process is a trying experience rather than a positive one.”

Colin Sullivan, 22, had similar feelings about coming out on a holiday. He came out to parents earlier this year and said that he may come out to his sister during the upcoming Thanksgiving. But he too, is unsure if coming out on the holiday is the right way to do it. “I don’t think I could do the ‘tell one, tell all’ type of thing. I wouldn’t want such an important part of my life being associated with the holiday,” he said.

“It’s really just such an important time for a gay man, so when you’re ready to tell people, you should regardless of the circumstances, but just try and be aware of what the reactions might be,” Sullivan said.

Though Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the ideal time to come out for a lot of men, for some, it is. “If you want it to be out there quickly, then jump into the deep end and do it, It’s different for everyone; all I know is that I wouldn’t be comfortable doing it that way,” Sullivan said.

So, if you are planning on coming out this Thanksgiving, just make sure you do it on your own terms and that you’re ready for anything thrown back your way. Sullivan said, “Just be strong, be prepared for any reaction possible … but no matter what they say, or how they react, everything gets better with time.”

What are your thoughts on coming out at Thanksgiving? Please share your ideas below!

-Lindsay Dahlstrom

Photo Source 1, 2, 3

Host a Healthy Halloween Party

In Gay Business, holidays, Night Out, recipes on October 23, 2009 at 7:43 pm

halloween party

Fall is by far one of my favorite times of the year. The temperature is growing cooler and the leaves are changing to the most beautiful shades of orange and red. For me, fall means pumpkins, butternut squash, hearty stews and deliciously tender braised meats. What’s not to love? This time of year also means entertaining, parties, and of course Halloween. All the heavy, hearty foods that we eat around this time add up and put on the pounds. Halloween is the worst culprit, binging on all sorts of unhealthy foods that leave our body screaming for help! This year when you throw your Halloween party, lighten it up with fresh flavors and spice; use creative techniques and flavors that ignite the senses without all the extra fat and empty calories … create an impressive menu for a killer party!

Healthy Snacks:

Snacking is one of the biggest culprits of seasonal weight gain. When throwing your Halloween party, keep your guests’ appetite at bay by providing them with healthy options.

Exchange your greasy chips and fatty dips with a heart healthy garbanzo bean dip and pita chips.

When throwing your party, it’s up to you whether you want to buy your hummus or make it yourself. If you choose make it yourself, you can flavor it any way you want and control the amount of fat and salt within it. To make it yourself, follow this simple recipe for a delicious and smooth dip.

hummus

Sun Dried Tomato Hummus

1 (16 ounce) can chickpea, drained and rinsed
2 T tahini
¼ cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
½ lemon, juiced
1 T salt
½ t black pepper
1 (5 ounce) jar of sun dried tomatoes

1. Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor. Pulse ingredients until roughly chopped.

2. Next, keep pulsing and stream oil in until smooth and there are no big chunks of garlic or sun dried tomatoes.

3. Serve your hummus with pita, or toast them in the oven for a few minutes and serve it with pita chips!

Another snack that you can put out to thrill your guests are some spiced nuts! Again, you can either buy them or make them yourself. If you decide to make them, since they are so easy to do, you’ll appreciate the final product.

spiced nuts

Spiced Nuts

1 (8 ounce) bag walnuts
1 (8 ounce) bag peanuts
1 (8 ounce) bag cashews
2 T cayenne pepper
2 T cumin
2 T chili powder
4 T brown sugar
¼ cup salt
1 T black pepper
1 T oil

1. Toast all nuts on a sheet pan in the oven at 350° for about 5 minutes, until fragrant and light brown.

2. Combine spices and brown sugar together in a large bowl. Once the nuts are nicely toasted, combine oil and hot nuts in the large bowl with the spice rub. Toss until nicely coated.

3. Transfer the nuts back to the sheet pan and bake them 3-5 minutes until the spices adhere and the sugar melts. When the nuts are finished, take them out, let them cool, and enjoy!

Note: These nuts are irresistible and spicy! They will awaken your guests’ taste buds and keep the party going. Nuts are full of protein, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids, which will fight off heart disease, cancer, and help you build muscle!

Beverages:

Snacking aside, at some point your guests are going to need a meal and something to drink. Traditional “punch” that is served at parties is made up of several kinds of juices and sodas that contain high fructose corn syrup, artificial coloring, and lots of sugar. So let’s replace the sugary drink with a fruity, fizzy, and light alternative that will refresh and not weigh you down!

pomegranate fizz

Pomegranate Fizz

1 bottle Champagne/sparkling wine
1 liter pomegranate juice
4 mint leaves
1 orange, zest and juice

1. Combine the orange zest and juices in a large container with the mint leaves and add the pomegranate juice.

2. Right before serving, add your sparkling wine or champagne.

Note: Pomegranates are filled with antioxidants and are one of the foods that you should be consuming on a regular basis. With this drink you can change it up any way you like. You could use a not-from-concentrate juice that you prefer, or you could try a distilled spirit like vodka or gin. The combinations are endless! If you decide to go with a lighter drink, you’ll be able to drink more and not worry about feeling bloated!

Main Courses:

Now for the meal! I believe when hosting a casual party where you are going to have a large number of guests to entertain, that you shouldn’t have to serve plated meals. The answer to this is called Family Style. Large plates or pots, filled with a good amount of food, where your guests can serve themselves. This allows them to choose what they want to eat and how much of it!

To start off the meal, use a fresh, palate-cleansing salad. A bright and delicious salad will awaken the taste buds and have your guests salivating for the main course!

Fennel, Orange, and Arugula Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Fennel, Orange, and Arugula Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette

1 Fennel Bulb, cored and sliced paper thin
4 Oranges, Zested, Segmented
2 Bags cleaned Arugula
½ Cup Dried Cranberries
½ Cup Toasted Sunflower/Pumpkin Seeds

Vinaigrette

4 Ruby Red Grapefruits
2 T Whole Grain Mustard
1 T Salt
½ t Black Pepper
¼ Cup Olive Oil

1. To start, place your sunflower seeds on a sheet pan and put them in a 350° oven for 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned. While that is going, you can start slicing your fennel.

2. Take your fennel bulb and trim the top green stems off … you won’t need them. Next cut the rough bottom of the fennel bulb off. Take your knife and cut the bulb in half lengthwise. When you cut it open you will see that there is a core on the inside, almost in the shape of a triangle. Carefully take your knife and remove it, it’s much too tough to eat. Now that your fennel bulb is ready, take your knife and slice it paper thin, or as thin as you can. Put aside and start with your oranges.

3. Using a micro plane or zester, zest all your oranges, making sure not to get any of the bitter pith underneath. When finished, take your zest and put half in a bowl for the dressing and half in a large bowl for the salad. Next you want to segment your oranges. Take your knife and cut the top and bottom off of the orange. Then use your knife to carefully cut down the sides, leaving you with all the segments of the orange attached without any skin. Now take your knife and a make a cut on each side of the segment releasing it. Take all your segments and put them in the bowl with the orange zest and fennel.

4. Now that everything is ready, it’s time to make your vinaigrette. Slice your grapefruits in half and juice them into a bowl. Add your orange zest, mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk it together, and then start adding your olive oil, streaming it in and whisking at the same time to make an emulsion. The mustard will help to bind it together. Your salad is done. You can place the fennel, orange, and cranberries on the lettuce in a bowl in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve, toss it with the vinaigrette and top with the toasted sunflower seeds. You really can get all these ingredients ready the night before and assemble when you’re about to eat.

Note: This salad is extremely simple and very impressive! Your guests will be in awe at the combinations you’ve put together. The fennel when sliced raw has a fresh anise flavor and a voracious crunch to it. Paired with the citrus from the orange and the peppery arugula, it’s sure to make for one lovely bite.

This salad is also very light and acidic; to balance, you need a dish that’s a little heartier. Around this time of year we want something comforting to eat, which usually relates to weight gain. I’ve found that you can make comfort food in healthy ways, by using leaner meats and tons of vegetables, and in this case, beans.

white chicken chili

White Bean Chicken Chili

2 T Olive Oil
4 Pounds Ground Chicken
2 Yellow Onions, small dice
2 Green Bell Peppers, small dice
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, small dice
1 Red Bell Pepper, small dice
1 Jalapeño, minced
8 cloves Garlic, smashed
4 T Tomato Paste
1 Large can Whole Tomatoes
2 Cups Chicken Stock
2 Cans Cannellini Beans
1 T Cumin
1 T Cayenne
1 T Chili Powder

Garnish Tray

Chopped cilantro
Lime wedges
Pico di gallo
Shredded Cheddar

1. To start this hearty chili, dice all your veggies and sweat them in a large pot with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and when they are translucent, remove and set aside.

2. Turn the heat to high and add your ground chicken. Leave the chicken in the pot for a minute or two to let it brown a little before stirring around and breaking it up. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat and cook it uniformly.

3. Next add your tomato paste and stir it in to combine and let it brown a little. Add your spices and vegetables that were set aside. Stir to combine and then add your canned tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer for an hour and a half. Finish with garnishes.

4. Serve your chili right out of the pot you cooked it or in a large dish. Put all your garnishes in separate dishes. Have your guests ladle it into bowls and garnish it themselves. This will provide interaction and whimsy to your meal.

Note: This chili is full of flavor and is comforting. Don’t worry about this dish being heavy, it’s a warming and healthy dish that will delight you with flavor and not increase your waist size.

Desserts:

Time for candy! Halloween is by far the time of year when we consume the most candy. Although it is not healthy, you have to be able to celebrate and have you what you love! The key is to eat what you love in moderation.

One type of candy that actually has some health benefits is dark chocolate. Yes chocolate can be good for you! I used to work for Godiva and I have a great passion for chocolate.

A simple candy that you can make to impress your friends is a chocolate bark. Using a dark chocolate you can actually make a dessert that is good for you! Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and can help relieve stress and balance your hormones. Antioxidants, as we know, fight off nasty free radicals, which enter our bodies on a daily basis. By eating foods that contain antioxidants, we help to fight off disease causing pollutants in the body. Add a few foods high in antioxidants into your regular diet and you will be doing your body good!

chocolate bark

Dark Chocolate Bark with toasted pistachios and dried cherries

1 pound dark chocolate
1 cup pistachios, toasted and chopped roughly
1 cup dried cherries, chopped roughly

Note: Buy good dark chocolate when making this recipe. If the chocolate comes in a block, chop it up. If it is in chip form, leave it the way it is.

1. Place ¾ of the chocolate in a metal bowl and place it on a saucepot filled a fourth of the way with water. Bring the water to a boil and turn it off.

2. Stir the chocolate so it doesn’t burn and it melts evenly. When the chocolate is melted completely, take it off the heat and stir in the remaining non-melted chocolate. This is called tempering, and will give the chocolate a nice shine and make sure it sets correctly. The chocolate should be about 84 degrees to set perfectly and be shiny.

3. Spread the chocolate out onto a clean, greased sheet pan or one lined with parchment paper. While the chocolate is still warm, sprinkle the dried cherries and chopped, toasted pistachios evenly over the chocolate. Let the chocolate cool for at least an hour to harden completely.

4. When the chocolate is done you can break it into various size pieces and serve it to your guests.

Note: You’ll want to make a ton of this bark because it will be gobbled up in no time; it’s delicious!

Making candies seem to be really challenging but they are in fact really easy and rewarding. This recipe is simple and comes out perfect every time! You can swap out ingredients to make it your own, like using toasted pumpkin seeds and golden raisins. The possibilities are endless!

Now that you have some ideas on what to do for your Halloween bash, go out there and throw a crazy party! Your friends will be talking about it for years, and for all the right reasons! When you learn how to entertain healthily, you’ll find that you will want to entertain more frequently because you won’t be worried about eating “guilty” foods and your friends will sure appreciate the delicious food.

Stick to a few simple rules and you’re in the clear:

- Remove your junk food from the equation and replace it with simple, high protein snacks!
– Add antioxidants into your life and fight those nasty free radicals!
– Don’t deprive yourself of the food you love; eat with moderation!

Now that you have a simple game plan, make this Halloween your own personal start to a healthy living!

-Sean Gallagher

Photo Source 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

A Chat with Greenview Marketing!

In Being Gay, Gay Business, Gay NYC, NYC on October 16, 2009 at 7:40 pm

ecofriendly

Equal4all had a great opportunity to catch-up with Bryan Ruiz, manager of all design, web, and marketing efforts for Greenview Marketing. Mr. Ruiz and his business partner, Joe Lontos, have a keen eye for “going green,” and share thoughts on tricks of the trade; they even tell us their plans for the future and what it’s like overall being eco-friendly!

Equal4all: How did you begin to build the foundation of your business with the idea of being “green” and how do you express that through your work?

Bryan Ruiz: I started to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle when I was in college. I began reading more and more about the environment and its future in regards to depleting resources and the change in climate over time. I took a step back and realized changes I needed to make to “do my part.” I began to recycle, walk more (which was easy in a college town), take public transportation and be more conservative in my home life such as shorter showers and turning the lights off when I leave a room.

My work has been no different. I have researched many ways that I could preserve resources without compromising the quality of my design and work. Some of these things include using less colors and full bleeds when I design. This helps conserve ink and paper. I al use an eco-friendly web hosting company which has all of its servers powered by windmills.

E4A: In what ways do you stress living an eco-friendly lifestyle outside of Greenview Marketing?

BR: I still follow the same everyday tactics like I have above but also added new methods to my lifestyle such as bringing shopping’s bags to the grocery store and using eco-friendly light bulbs in my apartment. My main goal is to continue routine activities that are eco-friendly but are not necessarily more work. It’s a matter of being mindful of what  you’re doing.

E4A: Have you found a connection between being “green” and catering to gay clientele?

BR: The main connection for me is that I have both qualities. But overall I would have to say that the gay population is always open to change. Being a part of the gay population, I also know that many of us are innovators and early adopters in the market and are the first to test out new products, tactics and ways. That’s the main correlation I have found which can simply be put as a high level of excitement to know only work with another gay man but that there is more to offer on top of that.

E4A: Give us some tips on how to lead eco-friendly lives without completely changing them!

BR: There are some easy tactics that one can follow that wouldn’t make your life any harder. The first is to keep reusable bags handy at home and/or at work; you can use those when you go grocery shopping or when you grab lunch at work. Another tip is if your next light bulb burns out, try buying eco-friendly ones that use less energy and are not that much more expensive.

E4A: Besides being gay yourself, what do you find interesting about the gay community from a business perspective?

BR: I think it’s great to be a part of such a unified community. I have found that the gay community supports each other and will always go the extra mile to help out another member in the community.

E4A: Where do you and your partner see your business 5 years from now? How about 10?

BR: In five years, I hope to have this company triple in size. Right now, my partner and I are the only ones representing this company. In five years it would be great to be able to employ others and work as a team to effectively execute award-winning advertising and public relation strategies and to also keep an eco-friendly train of thought as well. In ten years, I would say the same thing … only BIGGER!

E4A: When you guys have down time, do you still act in a “green” manner?

BR: I always act in a “green” manner because it has become so routine for me. I don’t see it as an annoying process but as a day-to-day process that I am used to.

-Interview conducted by Matt Scotto, edited by J. Federico

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Top to Bottom

In Art, Being Gay, Clothing, Clubs, Gay Celebrity, Gay NYC, Music, Night Out, NYC, sex on August 25, 2009 at 2:29 am

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Currently rocking: Kraftwerk’s “The Man Machine;” “Robots” is currently playing!

Okay so I feel great blogging away!! It’s so far a sort of stream of consciousness but that’s how I converse; I don’t want to sit and plan what is appropriate for me to say! I much prefer to chat with all you sexy people in a natural, candid way!

I am going to segway from my beauty blog about feeling sexy to actual SEX and relationships – from tops to bottoms and those who are versatile … back to butch, femmes, and Andros! MORE and MORE labels to pigeonhole ourselves further into little cubby holes so we can literally SHOP for an “IDEAL” partner – or more truthfully, an “IDEAL” compliment to our outward appearances in society’s grip.

Yes much of it may be preferential, but these labels can sometimes serve as a mask. Why can’t we all just be the beautiful individuals Mother Nature intended us to be?!! Guys look at me: I am 5’11, 155lbs., skinny, white, artsy – and they assume so much without knowing me. Assumptions are: You are a total “femme bottom” that loves to be bossed around. My outgoing enthusiastic attitude also makes me seem “gullible,” I’ve discovered … how wrong is that?!!

In relationships, I tend to be the “MAN” – the one that “wears the pants.” But if we’re both boys, then we both wear pants – and girls wear pants too! I’m confused ALREADY with antiquated gender jargon!! Isn’t it interesting that all this terminology harkens back to the 1950’s standard of men’s and women’s role in society? Antiquated much?!

I prefer to top. I’ve tried bottoming many times and it hasn’t (in the past) been fulfilling to me. THAT does NOT mean I rule it out for all eternity. I think the ideal relationship for me is one where there is an ebb and flow … versatility, if you will. I just haven’t met the right guy for that yet!

If you want to feel the meaning of label constriction and have a good laugh, read Keith Swain’s “book” Dynamic Duo. Never before have I seen someone simplify the complexities of the human condition so ignorantly. One of my back-up dancers gave me this book; he is one of the sweetest guys I have ever had the pleasure of knowing but he is totally indoctrinated into this “SYSTEM” for finding your mate! There is no ONE way to find love or happiness!! LIFE doesn’t have a handbook, so open your mind and take an adventure!!

I outwardly proclaim NOT having a specific type (looks-wise). Some friends say I like pretty boys, tortured artsy boys, White, Latin, black, or even Asian (now I’m beginning to sound like a Missy Elliot song!). I like it all, but it really depends on chemistry, energy, and dynamics of the individual! Many of the men I’ve been in serious relationships with have been physically shorter than I am, about the same build, and with personalities slightly more BETA. I think personal motivation and a killer work ethic is pretty sexy.

My friends always say I’m the “Butchest gay guy” they know … which means what exactly?! I don’t have a typical butch build, but I’m just a “regular guy” personality wise? HUH? I’m flummoxed.  I’m just myself – a dude – a dude who is a musician and gay. I’m an old-fashioned romantic when it comes to courting. I like to buy my guy flowers, pay for dinners when I can (keep in mind: I am a full-time INDIE ARTIST! HAHA) i.e. do the typical “male” role things in the relationship. But this is also because I’m a Libra and love beauty in all its incarnations … even gesture! Does this mean that I don’t adore the reciprocity of such behavior? Of course not! I appreciate thoughtfulness and effort too!! There is nothing more appealing to me than a man who allows himself to be soft, feminine, and most importantly, receptive to another man’s energy.

So much of the gay community’s energy IS this “TAKE IT BITCH!” attitude! I truly believe this is subconscious misogyny … or conscious!! There is so much beauty and power in surrender, opening your mind and heart enough TO accept another man.

It was very amusing to me to read these match.com, OkCupid.com, and all the other dating site profiles out there on the web. I’ve tried the online-dating thing and it just wasn’t for me – meaning I never found a LTR. However, I did find some great sex … still fantasize about this one guy – sexy psycho; I threw his phone out a window! LOL, anyway… All the dates I’ve been on from Okcupid.com that claimed desire of a LTR, I had sex with after maybe 3 dates (granted these are THE FEW I didn’t get up and walk out on the first date!!) Match.com: 1 guy , first date = sex – this guy was looking for a “HUSBAND.” LOL – keep in mind I expressed interest in meeting guys for short-term dating, long-term dating, and sex … no ambiguity, no grey areas.

There will be a profile of a seemingly great guy. He is super cute, interesting, multi-faceted, seemingly very educated, and then at the end of his post it will say: MASCULINE ONLY. NO QUEENS PLEASE. U MUST WORK OUT 6X A WEEK. WTF?!!! Men come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and dispositions; what is so wrong with an effeminate male? I love a queen in my man – it’s exciting, dynamic and multi-dimensional. We are oppressed enough as it is. Now I KNOW a great deal of attraction is personal preference. For Example, I typical enjoy darker features – Mediterranean or Latin. I’m not too into blonde-hair, blue-eyes TYPICALLY. However, I have fallen for one or two blondies that caught my attention with another more attractive quality to me! So I can’t say that I rule any one physical “TYPE” of guy out! I like a good adventure!! I’ve dated tall, short, large, small, geeky, preppy, angsty, prissy, trans, and bi just to name a few!!

But what I DO NOT understand is this whole “I want a straight/straight acting guy” fantasy?!! I don’t want a straight man! I want a gay man! I love my gays!! I want someone I can embrace and kiss their face off in public anytime I want – or screw on the street in the middle of the west village on a Friday night at 9pm!! HAHA – get the condoms and the Boy Butter (best lube ever!!) THIS is why so many men are single. BECAUSE they are so close-minded and see other gays who are more comfortable with themselves and are intimidated.

I’ve read several essays about gender identity and the gay men’s disdain for other gay men’s effeminate natures. Some people suggest that this not self-hatred or homophobia, but rather misogyny – A total disregard for all things FEMININE. This is SO sad, especially for our community. One of the things that has made homosexuals sacred in certain cultures, for example Native American traditions, is that we had BOTH energies – two souls!!  We need to get back to this!! Peace, Love, and Happiness!!

-Charlie Demos

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Charlie is a fantabulous pop singer who will be guest-blogging for Equal4all for the next several weeks.

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Equal4all Giveaway: What Has Been Your MOST Memorable Spring Fling to date?

In Being Gay, Clothing, Gay Business, Ginch Gonch, Giveaways, Night Out on March 31, 2009 at 11:39 pm

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Equal4all is teaming up with Ginch Gonch to bring you, our adoring readers, another giveaway!

Want to show off what your mama gave ya or just simply boost your self-esteem?

Here’s what you gotta do …

Answer the following question:

What has been your MOST memorable spring fling to date?

Rules/Regs:

We are not talking about your hottest hook-up (entries that are sexual in nature will be disqualified immediately!). Tell us about your guilty pleasure with a television show, favorite food, and everything in between. Please keep entries between 150-200 words. Most importantly, be CREATIVE; the most creative and humorous entries will be chosen.

You have ONE month to enter this contest – ONE entry per person. Anyone who does not follow official game rules will be disqualified.

Winners will be chosen and notified upon the completion of this contest via email (April 30, 2009). Please provide your contact e-mail address upon entering this contest.

10 lucky winners will receive a pair of Ginch Gonch underwear (New from Ginch Gonch – Pretty in Pink Easter Collection) – 3 additional winners will receive honorable mention in Equal4all’s giveaway follow-up!

Sound simple enough?

Good luck!

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About Pretty in Pink (courtesy of Project Publicity):

Ginch Gonch, the unapologetically sassy underwear and lounge-wear company, is putting the ‘hip’ in hippity hoppity this Easter with the launch of its limited-edition Pretty in Pink collection, featuring pink hotdogs, stars and a pink version of its popular argyle brief. Touted as “the sexiest undies you will barely wear”, the Pretty in Pink collection will be available in major department stores, select independent retailers and online at GinchGonch.com beginning April 3rd, 2009 – in time for Easter.

Made from a breathable, body-conforming stretch fabric (95% cotton/5% Lycra), the pastel Pretty in Pink briefs are available in wieners, multiple stars, and argyle. The signature 1 1/4 inch microfiber elastic logo waistband with matching stitched trim, gives the collection a stylish, tailored look.

The Pretty in Pink collection will also be available as long johns.

Equal4all generally will collect your personal information directly from you. We may collect personal information about you when you contact us via telephone, fax and e-mail correspondence, or when you contact us in person. Equal4all will not sell your personal information to any third party, as we respect your privacy and the privacy of others. Your personal information will only be used by Equal4all.

Miami Circa 1996 and Beyond: A Portrait of Dan Renzi

In Being Gay, Dating, Gay Celebrity, Gay Weddings, Night Out, Relationships, television on February 19, 2009 at 11:56 pm

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When we last saw this Real Worlder (The Real World: Miami, 1996), he got offered a modeling job in fabu Italy and had to leave his then love behind. We remember this guy doing everything from going on photo shoots to starring in cat-fights with his then roommates – yes, we’re talking about openly gay Dan Renzi. Since the show aired in the mid-90s, Mr. Renzi has grown-up quite a bit – he’s hosted house tours of upcoming Real World humble abodes, participated in numerous MTV challenges, and has made quite a name for himself in the world of journalism – just to name a few things. Mr. Renzi is quite an inspiration … but don’t take our word for it…

 

.Dan, it seems like eons ago, but how did it feel leaving your new boyfriend at the time behind and trekking off to another country to pursue your modeling career?

 

DR: It was very sad, mainly because I didn’t want to go to Milan. The whole scenario of jetting off to Italy to become a fashion model – blah blah blah … my agent set it up and I really wasn’t asked. But if had I backed out, I would’ve looked like a wimp with the TV cameras filming everything, so I got on the plane. I was only there for about a month and I barely got any work.

 

That being said, I am VERY glad I went. It was a great learning experience … and while I was there, I signed up with a U.S. agent who was in Milan scouting, and I ended up going to New York and booking shows for Fashion Week (Hugo Boss, Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger). From there I went to Paris, and things worked out well. I worked off-and-on for several years, during breaks in school, or whatever.

 

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.Give us some dirt on one of your former Real World cast-mates:

 

DR: I don’t have any.  Joe (Patane) is my Facebook friend; the rest of them, I have no idea.  I didn’t go to the last reunion, as they wanted everyone to do the show for no pay.  (?!?) But I heard through the grapevine that everyone is doing well, which is nice.

 

.On the contrary, who was the absolute yin to your yang in the Miami house?

 

DR: I got along with the crew better than my roommates, but that was largely my own doing, I was obnoxious. I wouldn’t have talked to me either.

 

.We’ve been following your career since the mid-90s; how did you get interested in pursuing such endeavors like working for South Florida Blade?

 

DR: I was always interested in writing – even on The Real World, I worked for Ocean Drive Magazine – a fact that true reality-TV aficionados may remember. Most notably, I wrote for the New York Post, but their politics bothered me so I quit.

 

When I moved to Miami Beach again in 2005, I was picked up by the New Times (weekly paper) as a nightlife writer.  From there, I started doing odd jobs for the Blade, and now … here I am.

 

.Can you give us a glimpse as to what a typical day is in the life of Dan Renzi:

 

DR: Wake-up; trip over the cat; feed cat; skip breakfast; drive to work; sit with tense shoulders for 8-10 hours while performing top-secret journalism-type duties; drive home; go for a slow but determined jog on the beach while watching the cruise ships head out to sea; go to a restaurant/club/store opening somewhere because free champagne and hors d’oeuvres is cheaper than buying dinner; then go home; sleep; repeat…

 

.We also hear that you’re a public speaker- what’s that like? What is the most important speech you have given throughout the years?

 

DR: I work with an agency called Wolfman Productions, which specializes in lectures for the college/university market. I have tried to add up my past speaking jobs – I’d say I’ve done about 100? The two programs I present are about “coming out issues,” and HIV education (I was an HIV counselor). I’ve been doing it for about 10 years now, and I still get a kick out of flying to some remote college town and meeting the people. You’d be surprised at who you meet out there.

 

.What’s your take on gay marriage? How has Prop 8 affected you? Is marriage in your future?

 

DR: Well … it’s a tough call. Some people say “civil unions” on a national level would be exactly the same as a marriage, just called something different on paper to appease people uncomfortable with the idea. I tend to agree with that line of thinking; unfortunately, we have proven that the U.S. is not good with “separate but equal” policies, and the “separate” group usually ends up getting screwed. So legal recognition needs to be all the way.

 

But settling for civil unions first could be a great step in the right direction, and I say we take it and be happy for now. It’s not set in stone; we can always make changes again in the future, and go to calling it “marriage” if necessary. Baby steps- take baby steps and ease into it.

This policy worked well in Connecticut, where marriage is fully legalized – stepping up from civil unions. But California? They went all the way from the start; people freaked out, and now they have a mess called Proposition 8 on their hands. I am unnerved by the idea that it is now in the hands of a mere seven people on the California Supreme Court.

 

As for me, yes I want to get married. I want kids very badly – I want a huge brood of adopted kids. But it is tough – my boyfriend is from another country and his visa will soon expire. We have tried every other option for him to get residency in the U.S., to no avail. Our time is running out. Ironically, because gay marriage is not legal, his only option at this point would be to enter a sham marriage with a woman (who he would have to pay about $10,000). Gay people do it in Miami ALL THE TIME. So much for the sanctity of marriage! This is why I think people who are against gay marriage are just utterly ignorant; they have no idea of the ramifications of what they are talking about.

 

.What can we expect from you in the future?

 

DR: I never settle on future plans. All my greatest successes have been spontaneously generated.

 

.Please give advice to someone who may be struggling with who they truly are:

 

DR: Keep your mouth shut until you leave your parent’s house, and you can, if necessary, survive on your own. But other than that, you would be shocked if you found out just how little people actually care about you, gay or straight or whatever. Go ahead and just be gay and get over it, and move on. Almost no one is paying attention to you either way. There are 6 billion people on the planet, why worry about the ones who don’t like you?

 

Quick, on your toes…

 

Blue or red?

 

Cerulean

 

The ocean or a lake?

 

I live mere blocks from the ocean, but I definitely prefer swimming in lakes – in the forest if possible. I guess it’s a product of my childhood in Colorado.

 

Cook or take-out?

 

Take-out. Although I come from a long line of cooks (mom is a pro) and I am pretty good, I prefer baking. But the gas for my stove/oven is not turned on, mainly because I never ever use it. Everything I cook is accomplished with a pancake griddle. I want to write a “single guy’s” cookbook, all about how much you can accomplish with a cheap electric griddle and a little ingenuity. But yeah, take-out is so much easier.

 

Blonds or brunettes?

 

Beauty comes from within.

 

What kind of car do you drive?

 

The 2000 Toyota Celica I won on the Real World/Road Rules Extreme Challenge.  Amazing car.  Please buy one for yourself.

 

Favorite candy bar?

 

Do Reese’s peanut butter cups count?  They’re not a “bar.”

 

Favorite website?

 

elysesewell.livejournal.com

 

If you would like to follow Mr. Renzi’s personal blog, please click here. If you would like to follow Mr. Renzi’s writing at the South Florida Blade, click here.

 

Interview conducted and written by J. Federico


Please click here for an interview with Ryan Kehoe – OR click here for an interview with Norm Korpi.

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