I have been working so many 50 hour weeks lately, and my brain is so consistently asdfpgouh;rk that I don’t even know what day it is anymore.

Pretty sure it’s not Tuesday, though. Anyway.


This is my hometown. My boyfriend and I were there to see my parents over the weekend. Suffice it to say, it is precisely the opposite of New York City, especially New York City in the ’70s. BUT I’ve been reading a lot about NYC lately, specifically about the Factory and glam rock. (My Amazon order today included a biography of Edie Sedgwick.) There’s been a lot of Velvet Underground in my house, and a lot of Stooges.

Last summer when I went to the Bowie tribute concert someone played “White Light White Heat” and I was kind of confused until about halfway through, because I was pretty sure that wasn’t a Bowie song. It was not, originally. It was another thing he stole from the Velvet Underground, which sounds very pejorative, but I don’t mean it that way, because, you know, David Bowie makes no false decisions.

The original is awesome. The cover is equally awesome. And you need more Ziggy in your day.


Salmon chili

I don’t think I’ve ever made white chili before. I guess I still haven’t. The co-op was out of the eggplant called for in the Passionate Vegetarian recipe I was attempting to make, so I invented this instead. To call it by its color would make it seem like an entirely different dish than it was: peach chili, or salmon chili. It included neither of those things.

Chili isn't a photogenic food.

Chili isn’t a photogenic food.

However, it turned out to be pretty awesome, and so I’m going to post my first, tremendously unscientific, recipe.

Salmon (The Color, Not the Fish) Chili

Adapted from Passionate Vegetarian

For about 5 minutes, sauté in a tablespoon of oil until slightly brown:

  • 2 onions, chopped

Then add:

  • 2 tablespoons of garlic, minced (you could use less, but I’m not sure why you’d want to)
  • 3 poblano peppers, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped

Sauté this all together for 3 more minutes, or until the peppers start to soften. Then add:

  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano

And cook for another minute.

Dump in some navy beans. I had some in the freezer that I’d cooked before; you could use 2 cans, drained and rinsed. Also add a can of vegetable broth. I didn’t have that, so I put in 2 cups of water and a vegetable bouillon cube. Bring to a boil to let the beans soften up a little, then lower the heat and let it simmer.

Scoop 3-4 ladlefuls of this mixture into a blender (or a food processor, if you’re fancy.) Add a can of diced tomatoes—I used a can of Muir Glen that was fire-roasted with chipotles. I also had half a tomato in the fridge that wasn’t going to last much longer, so I chopped that up, too. I also threw in a little more garlic, because garlic is the best. Puree that, and add it back to your bean pot. Then add:

  • A can of hominy (mine was a big one, like 25 ounces)
  • 1 package of soy chorizo (I used Tofurky brand)

I let the mixture simmer about 10 minutes. Just before you serve it, grate in some Monterey Jack. I used a chunk from the co-op that I think was about 1/3 pound—I wish I could remember who made it, because it was fantastic, but the wrapper is now buried in the trash under some cauliflower that went bad, so just use whatever Jack you’ve got around. Pepper Jack would, of course, be boss.

I think you’re supposed to let chili sit for as long as you can before you eat it, so the flavors can marry. I lasted about 15 minutes. If you were contemplating using it as a dip for some Frontera tortilla chips, I endorse your plan.


Gah, I’d gotten so consistent. It’s been a punishing week.

I was thinking about how, in the fall, I really love lady singers. I’m not sure if this is a new phenomenon. Maybe it’s not a phenomenon at all and I was just really feeling it for a day and then extrapolated it.

Then I started thinking about Mirah.

I was introduced to Mirah about 10 years ago, when somebody put “Cold Cold Water” on a mix CD. I was hooked. I love her resonant voice, and how well she uses orchestration, and how she writes some dirrrrty lyrics. (Around 10 years ago I also listened to a lot of Princess Superstar.) Also she has a voice that’s easy for me to sing along with, which always makes me happy.

“What happened to Mirah?” I thought as I sat at home, eating a soba noodle bowl that I haven’t convinced myself to eat much of since. What happened is that she released a new album last spring. Presumably she toured and I missed it. I’ve only downloaded one of the new songs so far, “Goat Shepherd,” which I picked because: goats.

YouTube doesn’t have a lot of Mirah, and not this song. This one is a Mirah song, and Thao from the Get-Down Stay-Down is in on it. It’s at Thao’s house, and she has a picture of Ron Swanson on one of her shelves (you can see it at the very beginning of the clip) and it made me multiply my Thao fandom x100.

Sammich I Ammich

The weather did not cooperate, and I had a lovely clear fall night for grilled cheese sandwiches and board games (and too much wine.) At least it was crisp–three weeks ago the weather in Minneapolis found out what the date was and got all “Oh, it’s fall? Let’s do this” and it’s been puffy vest-wearingly chilly since.

As such, it was a good night for grilled cheeses, tomato soup that I fucked up but was still edible (I woke up in the middle of the night and thought, “Shit! I forgot to add water! No wonder it was so pasty!) and broccoli salad that went over quite well.

And pineapple upside down cake, which I'd always been scared to make, but is really easy and looks like the 1970s in a good way.

And pineapple upside down cake, which I’d always been scared to make, but is really easy and looks like the 1970s in a good way.

We played The World Needs a Jetpack Unicorn (which it obviously does) and I kicked ass because I am a wonderful bullshitter. If you like games like Balderdash, this one is for you.

Having a night of “grown up fun” that devolves into drinking way too much wine and remembering your age when you’re inexplicably hung over the next day? 5 songs for your playlist:

1. “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings,” Father John Misty (weather be damned)

2. “Spanish Bombs,” the Clash

3. “Chips Ahoy!” the Hold Steady (“a song about a boy, a girl, and a horse,” is how Craig Finn introduced it last month)

4. “3, 6, 9,” Cat Power (an apropos song if there ever was one)

5. “Carpetbaggers,” Jenny Lewis


It’s Tuesday and this week is already taking forever.

Maybe because I’m looking forward to Friday. People quitting is a pretty common occurrence at my job, but it’s still always disappointing when a friend does. Friday night I’ll be having the latest entry in my “former colleague” column over for dinner and board games. I’m forecasting a rainy, chilly fall night–for absolutely no reason, but I feel like that would be a really nice night. Some friends, some booze…yeah, some rain would feel nice. I’ve cooked up a vibe on my playlist that would befit that.

A couple of months ago my boyfriend and I learned that Aubrey Plaza starred in the video for Father John Misty’s song “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings.” My reaction was, “I don’t know what I just saw but I’m terrified of it.” Ben’s was “I want to see everything that director has ever done.” But I do love the song, and it will be perfect for a hopefully-rainy-Friday-with-friends.

September (October) gurls, vol. 2: an assortment of others

I had to buy wrist warmers the other day, so I guess fall is here. Today I’m celebrating that by wearing a hoodie and puffy vest and listening to Miley Cyrus. I love seasons. Here are a few other things that happened in September. It involved a lot of food.

These were entitled "the best fucking donuts ever" to celebrate P.O.S.'s show and they involved a side of gravy. So yeah, an appropriate name.

These were entitled “the best fucking donuts ever” to celebrate P.O.S.’s show and they involved a side of gravy. So yeah, an appropriate name.

Hey, remember that time I saw the Replacements? And Paul Westerberg made fun of the Saints jersey he got and said he bet Bob Dylan didn't have to wear one? And they played "Kiss Me on the Bus?" That was awesome.

Hey, remember that time I saw the Replacements? And Paul Westerberg made fun of the Saints jersey he got and said he bet Bob Dylan didn’t have to wear one? And they played “Kiss Me on the Bus?” That was awesome.

Vegan roasted butternut alfredo + roasted apple-beet salad: fall even when it's 80 degrees like when I made it

Vegan roasted butternut alfredo + roasted apple-beet salad: fall even when it’s 80 degrees like when I made it

There’s more to life than [nonfiction] books…

I’m now TWO MONTHS behind on book check-ins. So let’s start slow, with the nonfiction I read last month, because I decided for no reason that August was Novel Month.

I love Mike Doughty, but was mostly too young to ever get into Soul Coughing, though I got into their jazzy weirdness later. The Book of Drugs made me feel bad about that. If Mike Doughty’s memoir is to be believed, that band is full of awful people. Jeff Buckley is kind of a jerk, too. Also, heroin is still bad.

My best friend is a fluent French speaker, and spent almost a year in France. After I read Provence 1970 I texted to see what Provence was like. I was kind of hoping that it was overhyped. Unfortunately, she says it is not. This book made me want to go to France BAD, but I might need a time machine, too.

Dearie, because Julia Child continues to be one of my heroes. She supported Planned Parenthood on top of it all! I own a Julia Child cookbook now. I can cook kidneys whenever I feel like it.

I plucked The Floating Brothel from my best friend’s bathroom floor. Her husband wasn’t too sad to part with it. And rightly so. This book isn’t bad (it’s about a ship full of female convicts being transported from England to Australia in the late 18th century) but the title is definitely the most interesting part.

Dry just wants to remind you that Augusten Burroughs had a super fucked-up childhood, and inform you that he is an alcoholic, too. This sounds dismissive, but it ‘s interesting in a trainwreck way. Also, Augusten knows how to throw a good relapse. Good meaning “making for interesting reading,” that is.

I bought In My Skin for a former student who did something awesome for me. I have an unfortunate (?) tendency to read any book before I give it to someone, and consequently it’s still sitting on my bedroom floor. I did the same with this one, even though, why? I’d never heard of Brittney Griner, even though she purportedly is the world’s most famous female basketball player. Sports memoir = talent + hardship. Hopefully it’s going to go to a more appreciative home.

My best friend and I are both adamant that Nine Parts of Desire should be way more famous. Personally, I’m not sure if it isn’t because it’s pre-9/11, and/or because it’s about women. Also, it’s not a terribly flattering portrait of Islam. But it’s very thought-provoking, in a way I’m led to believe Ayan Hirsi Ali is.

Let’s all have marriages like Mariane and Daniel Pearl, although let’s have them end differently. I saw the film version of A Mighty Heart a long time ago–I think in China–and would like to rewatch it now that I’ve read the book. It’s fast-paced like a thriller, but also has a really beautiful love story. And you’ll cry A LOT.