Brini Maxwell: Drag Queen of Domesticity

I wish I’d thought of that little tag line, but I didn’t.

Sometimes, I think I spend far too much time sitting in front of my computer. Instead of doing something beneficial to myself, like exercising or cleaning my refrigerator, I troll sites like neatorama and I’ve wasted hours online staring at folks making shadow puppets, shuddering over videos of people with unspeakable deformities, and chiding myself for trying to understand someone as crazy as that former Mouseketeer, Brittany Spears. You never saw Annette getting into that kind of trouble. No way.

Fortunately, there is an occasional payoff to my time investment. Enter Brini Maxwell.

I have no idea how she got onto my computer screen, but I am very glad she did. Full of chat, recipes and household tips, Maxwell calls upon the spirits of domestic icons past like Donna Reed and Florence Henderson yet manages to steer clear of mere caricature. As graceful as Dina Merrill (whose delicious strawberry pancakes seem like a slap in the face to her Post cereal heiress mother) and more helpful than Josephine the Plumber, I think she defies comparison, which might suit Maxwell just fine, especially when the occasional attempt has been made to label her the “new” Martha Stewart. As she told The Advocate in 2004:

“I don’t consider myself the next Martha Stewart, I consider myself the next Sue Ann Nivens! I just think it’s like comparing apples and oranges. We talk to different types of people–my audience tends to be very urban, and I think that Martha’s audience is more suburban.”

I don’t see how anyone with such an impressive collection of vintage cookware (not to mention her inexhaustible wardrobe) could be accused of being a “new” anything. And anyone who uses Sue Ann Nivens as a role model is aces in my book.

Here’s a teaser for the episode Meatloaf a la Janet Leigh…

Swedish meatballs, deviled eggs and bridge sandwiches? You’ll find out how to make them along with advice on how to maximize your urban living (and entertaining) potential– on a budget. It’s a “how to” show delivered by a “can do” gal– fortunately one with more than a teaspoon of wit and a hell of a lot of style. I can’t wait to try out her recipe for Crown Roast of Cheese.

Brini Maxwell (created by actor Ben Sander, by the way) has been wildly popular for years in New York– I’ve never claimed cutting edge. I just feel that, given the appalling social skills I’ve witnessed among certain communities in this city, San Francisco needs a good dose of her– like, immediately. Think of this as a public service announcement.

I just subscribed to her NPR video podcast, so I won’t miss a thing. I suggest some of you do, too. And I mean now. You know who you are.

Now why didn’t you think of that?

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One Response to Brini Maxwell: Drag Queen of Domesticity

  1. Maggie says:

    I watched Brini’s show on the Style network a few years back and loved it. The best one was her “green” episode where she goes to the recycling plant. Thanks for the NPR tip!

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