It seems lately that I’ve found a lot of good reasons to not cook – or, if I do cook, to not cook anything new or anything that requires more than a passing thought. I’m a big champion of scrambled eggs for dinner, as you likely know, and a seven-minute egg on anything that holds still, and I could eat Ed Fretwell Soup for an entire week of every month. I am currently in a very pleasant rut of all of the above, plus whatever-is-in-the-fridge-cut-up-and-dunked-in-vinaigrette and a decent amount of pizza from my own establishments, because what is the point of having restaurants if you can’t eat in them, right? Someday I will cook something new and write about it. But not today.
1. I am delighted, thrilled, everything and beyond, to announce that I will be teaching a week-long writing workshop at the Sitka Arts and Science Festival this July, in beautiful Sitka, Alaska. My workshop is on the craft of memoir, with an emphasis on place, and it’s from July 16 to 23rd. The festival is “for older teens and adults interested in exploring the intersection of art and science” and “brings together the brightest minds in art and science for exciting conversations, excursions, and workshops,” to quote liberally from its website, and one of my fellow faculty members is the artist Nikki McClure(!), whose work I have seen everywhere for years(!), but whom I’ve never met. It’s going to be a famous week. Scholarships are available, and you can register right this way. Please join us.
2. Tim Mazurek, I love you.
3. I am infinitely more comfortable in front of a microphone than in front of a camera, but Ashley talked me into doing a Facebook Live thing with her last week, and it was a really good time. We talked about motherhood and everyday cooking, and let me tell you, Ashley is a real wizard at bean doctoring. You can find our conversation on the Not Without Salt Facebook page.
4. My friend Cristina Victor is an artist, performer, and force of nature, as well as the bold hand behind the mural in the back hallway of Dino’s. Right now, she’s hard at work on raising funds for a new project, a collaboration with immigrant students in Oakland, CA, to produce a series of flags to be displayed along Telegraph Avenue. The project has received a matching grant, but in order to secure the funding, it has to raise $3600 in the next six weeks. If you’re so inclined, learn more about the project here.
5. How To Be A Better Ally: An Open Letter To White Folks.
6. Something I think about often and work hard to put into practice as we parent June: Nine Body Positive Terms You Need To Teach Your Daughter.
7. A Conversation with Whales. The photo gives me goosebumps. (Found via my friend John Speranza, who finds everything good.)
8. Also thanks to John: the not-at-all-new but totally perfect spoof “An Oral History Of Radiohead’s ‘OK Computer.’” When OK Computer came out, I was in my freshman year of college, and one of my roommates, Maggie, came home with it on CD. I remember the first time she played it. Maggie was infinitely cooler than I was, and slightly terrifying, and I probably would have tried to like any music she played, but I didn’t need any reason to love OK Computer. It blew my head off. It was sexy and weirdly, wonderfully wrenching. I decided immediately that I wanted to lose my virginity while listening to the song “Let Down,” because it was so poignant, dawwwwww, and so pretty. It was only much later that I realized that losing one’s virginity to a song called “Let Down” would be (tragi-)comedic gold. Possibly the best joke of my life, and I didn’t even notice. I’m slow on the uptake.
Have a great weekend, everybody.
Last night I got to spend some time with my friend Sam. We hadn’t hung out, just the two of us, for a while – maybe not since June was born, if I really think about it. Sometime in the next month, Sam will become a dad. We’ve somehow been friends for nearly a decade. When I got into his car last night, he had R.E.M.’s Out of Time in the CD player. “Texarkana” was on. We got stuck in traffic, because it was rush hour in Seattle, but it was okay, because we were talking about being kids listening to R.E.M., Automatic for the People especially, and all the Big Feelings we were just starting to know then, feelings set…Read more
A month of summer gone already! I don’t want to think about it. I rediscovered my Fuji Instax over the weekend and have been firing off shots like I were made of money. That’s another thing I’ve decided not to think about. I want June to have photo albums from her childhood – proper, three-dimensional albums! With the requisite wonky Polaroids! Like the olden days! Next up: suspenders and a paper route! – so I’m not allowed to fuss over the cost of film or the stupid, stupid, stupid flash that goes off whether I want it or not. Babies: they get your priorities straight. I appreciate that. Though I wouldn’t mind sleeping past 6:30 again someday. It seems like…Read more
I am writing to you, once again, from my friend Ben’s dining room. When I was here last August, writing my brains out, I had a hunch that a return visit might be helpful before my manuscript deadline. Turns out, that was correct. In Ohio, there are no Brandons to distract me, no Delanceys to worry about, no Jacks or Alices to bark suddenly at absolutely nothing and, boom, scare the organs out of my body. In Ohio, there is just a Ben and his nearly empty house, and a twin bed under the eaves with my name on it, next to a window onto which the previous tenant’s child stuck two butterfly decals. My first day in town turned out…Read more