Thursday, July 02, 2020

state of the Heckasac

What the world really doesn't need right now is....a new Heckasac post! But yet here it is.

"Quar" as I mostly call lockdown, shelter-in-place, what have you has so many different phases, right? It's always changing, yet always flat and dull. I won't say boring, because I have Criterion channel, a sourdough starter (thanks EL), a fun husband, and a lifetime of books, so I'm not "bored' but life is just flat and kinda drab.

I won't go through all the phases (a few: joking about gaining quar. weight, flour shortage/baking, backlash against joking about gaining weight) ok of course it's me so I would list the food ones.

Here's the phase I'm in now:

1 book club started (reading My Brilliant Friend), waiting for my books about racism to come in so I can start 2 more. Of the two I am looking to start, one is with friends (The New Jim Crow) and one is at work (re-reading White Fragility), since my work needs it!

Making sourdough on the regular. Ok, twice, but the second time the flavor was on point.

Starting a secret political activism project, not ready to share yet, hope I can keep up momentum on it

Bought a Dyson (one of the cheaper ones)

Running 4 times a week (3 miles each) and doing yoga or barre in my bedroom the other days

Still can't get a handle on my chaotic movie watching, which is upsetting to me. I want to find a way to stick to a theme, it's just to all over the place. Watching I Will Destroy You and tripping on it, on Season 6 of The Sopranos with Smiller and loving it more than ever. It will be a trip when we finally finish the show, it's going to feel like really turning a quar corner

Thinking about food writing a lot. I have made many mistakes and I'm learning. The latest thing is Peter Meehan stepping down at LA Times yesterday. I truly never got him. I always think about being so annoyed at how macho the first Lucky Peach was that I threw it away, and then people I knew later were able to sell their copy for a hundred bucks.

This year I've been doing more writing than ever, thanks mostly to a good editor hookup at The Bee. Writing about The Last Supper Society is one of the most rewarding things I've written in my career as far as feedback, so that's going well. With no social life, writing deadlines don't bring on dread like they used to, so I enjoy writing more. Plus, now I do The Cook In every Friday and that's been really fun and delicious.

With no 'rona, I would have been heading to Tampa for work soon, and then from there I was going to fly to Havana. If Cuba didn't work out I was going to go to Miama and the Keys. Those were my last travel plans for the year, besides a vague plan to go to Malaysia by myself in the fall. The lack of travel plans is the major contributor to the flatness of life for me.

So that's the state of Heckasac on July 2nd.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

comedy article

I wrote a thing for the Bee on local comedy doin's

I think I've already written more this year than I did all of last year. It's so different taking on deadlines now because there's no social life for them to conflict with. It makes the writing more enjoyable.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

cry of the day

This article on directors' memories of the Cannes film festival made me cry. Just this morning I was thinking I miss movies so bad! I think going to a movie will be an early post shelter in place activity for me, as long as the theaters put precautions in place. I'll do that before I'll eat sit down in a restaurant I'm pretty sure.

The lone exception in that article is the Wes Anderson part, which is lame and should have been cut out.

There are so many directors and movies mentioned that I haven't watched! My favorite is the quote from Hirokazu Kore-eda:

Because I experienced firsthand the vast reach of cinema and the abundance of its history. And then, once I accepted my own minuscule presence and my immaturity as a director, I experienced joy. The awareness that although I was but a single drop of water, I was flowing with the bountiful river of cinema. 

He directed Shoplifters, which I have wanted to watch. Why the fuck does pasting change the font sometimes, does anyone EVER want that to happen?@? Too lazy to fix.

Everyone is talking about this Robert Pattinson profile, I have to read it!

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Sopranos and trips not taken

Smiller and I watched the season finale in season 4 (Whitecaps) of the Sopranos last night. WOW. The acting was so visceral and upsetting. I just checked, and Gandolfini and Falco both won Emmys for it, which was their right! Falco won the Golden Globe that season 2. Their marriage-ending fights in that episode made a Marriage Story look like the weak sauce it was. There's so many little touches like how Carmela shakes from nerves or even how she squints at the light when she's sick in the first part. One of my favorite episodes.

So my memory (no plot spoilers) is that season 5 and 6 are not that great? I think there's even a chance there are some episodes I never saw. Can't remember. I am glad I have more episodes to watch though.

We were supposed to be heading for London from SMF around midnight tonight. We had a decent red-eye with a one hour layover in Newark, and then would arrive in London on Friday night. We were hoping to be early enough and not too tired to get to our hotel in Islington and then grab a pint and fish and chips. It was going to be perfect to overcome jetlag because we left at night and arrived at night. I had a reservation at Ottolenghi Islington I think Saturday? And I was casting around for places for us to get a Sunday roast. And I had made a map in Google maps of other places to eat and go. Last time we were in London I was loving hanging out near the canals and checking out the barges people live and recreate on and also going to open air markets and sampling the food. And I saw so much cool art last time - the Christo in Hyde park and Toma Abts at the Serpentine.

Oh yeah, and because I was loving the London parks last time, and because of this New Yorker article about cold water swimming, I was planning on swimming in the Hampstead Heath pond, which has a men's and women's area.

Monday, May 04, 2020

dream job

I've never really had a "dream job". When I was a kid I told people I wanted to be a dentist because I knew I wasn't a hard enough worker to be a doctor and dentist sounded impressive. But I never took the slightest action to pursue that.

When I started college at Sac State I wanted to be a therapist and was a Psychology major. I still kind of wish I had stuck with that, as I probably would have been in practice for over ten years now and would be pretty established and settled probably.

But I veered off into being interested in the brain, and for a brief time (couple years) I guess my "dream job" became neuroscience researcher. I def. daydreamed about being all celebrated and garnering awards, etc. That led me into the lab and eventually into a job at UCD where I still am. But again, my realizing how hard I would have to work made me drop that. At least I know myself!

Writing about food has never really been a dream job, because I know doing it full time would ruin it. I mean maybe if I could take a time machine back to the 80s, which in retrospect was the heyday of food writing (on into the 90s), sure. But the field was small back then and I probably couldn't have cut it anyway.

Which leads me to my true dream job, which would also necessitate a time machine: working for Springbok puzzles in the 70s and 80s. If you have ever read the back of one of their puzzle boxes you know that there was some crazy creativity and wackiness going on there. And probably some recreational drugs as well. I picture pitch meetings for new puzzles, and I want to be in those meetings. So maybe my title would be creative director? Or just writer. Middle class jobs were a thing then so imagine this work allowing me to be financially secure enough to buy a ranch house, maybe with a conversation pit.

Although, looking at the Springbok history page, I see that it was founded in 63, but then sold to Hallmark by 67. Hallmark would probably suck to work for. So is my dream job even more specific than I thought? Is my dream job, being Katie Lewin and founding Springbok? What did she do after she sold it?

Wow, there is a jigsaw wiki!

Thursday, April 30, 2020


Slept on this when it came out, great article on butch lesbians (in the Times, it's SFW). Very entertaining 15 minute film along with it and I almost teared up a little to see Jenny Shimizu. I think it was the nostalgia of the CK One ad. I can't believe I wore that stuff!

My no-knead bread is looking really good today. Fingers crossed. I did add just a teeny bit of extra yeast. It still has to do the second rise for about an hour, and then cooking in the cast iron. It's the Jim Lahey recipe.

I really do see a pattern for myself with the beginning of the week being very rough with SUPER high anxiety and then mellowing out towards the end and then a long, boring but relaxing weekend.

Friday, April 24, 2020

new article up!

I wrote a thing for the Bee on what William Rolle is up to, and it has recipes, including for his famous salad dressing, which is super simple. I was so relieved to find out he is stoked.

I also wrote letters to the Cafe Marika peeps and June. June didn't answer, but Eva from Cafe Marika answered, but too late.