everything, all the time.

The latest crackpot theory around the office is that maybe because I didn't have antibiotics in January for my tooth, that infection just set up shop somewhere else and that's why I've been feeling crappier than usual for 5 months. Makes quite a bit of sense, and what a relief it would be if it was a sensible infection rather than just an overall "sorry your body is fucked now" chronic inflammation situation. 

In any event, it's a good excuse to make a concerted effort to eat smarter, I've been talking about it for months, after having survived the Pandemic Quesadilla Diet. 


journaling chronic inflammation.

Welp, I got something I want to keep track of and this somehow seems like the best place to do it. Just keep doing what you were doing, don't mind me. 

Basically: I've been feeling pretty crappy for three or four months, maybe five. I mean of course longer, years, but really, it's been just one shitty and unignorable thing after another this year. It started with an infected tooth in December/January (root canal, no antibiotics), then for the last two months my shoulder has been kind of frozen, like please don't ask me to reach for that glass frozen. I had some kind of non-COVID illness about 6 weeks ago, I took two COVID tests during it, both negative. And now this week I ended up with paronychia (infected fingernail), which was bad enough to require antibiotics.

I just got some bloodwork done, because I felt shitty, and because I wanted to see if my 16 months of no alcohol had had any effects. I'll go into that in a post or two. 

Anyway, I had my first 3 doses of antibiotics, beginning yesterday afternoon, and after an initial knockout/headache/supersleepy several hours, today I wake up feeling better than I have in a while. Interesting especially because it's so noticeable. 

Anyway, more to follow. 




Mkay, good enough to make a note about. I think I've attempted the concept of "Japanese risotto" a number of times in my life (a number like "5") and the results have never really grabbed me authoritatively by the shoulders and demanded that I immediately add he/she/it to the list of go-to risottos (sage/saffron, cauliflower/pangrattato, probably something else). 

But this is kind of worth doing, simply for it's vegan-ness and Asian-ness.  It may be a triumph of technique over taste: due to a broken oven door I've started making risotto "the real way" on top of the stove, and I have to say the difference is pronounced. Marked. 

So basically: you marinate some mushrooms for 30 minutes in something like an octo vin. While that's marinating you make this foolproof Korean spinachsigeumchi-namul. Then cook the mushrooms heavy pan style for 6 or 8 minutes (heavy pan style = in a dry skillet with another heavy skillet on top of them to press the water out). Set the mushrooms aside and toss them with the zest and juice of a lemon. Then make this risotto, throw the mushrooms in for a minute when the rice is just past al dente, serve with the spinach on top or on the side.

Make the risotto = the same old risotto proportions: 1 onion; 1 cup rice; 1 cup sake (ok this is doubled); 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger; 1 liter bouillon (I used porcini).

Saute onion in butter or oil (I used walnut oil); add rice, cook/stir for 5 min; add sake, let rice soak it up; add ginger; start adding broth 1 ladle at a time and letting it get soaked up before adding another, do this for 20-25 minutes until rice is just past al dente, then throw lemon mushrooms in to warm, etc. This could really do with something a little crunchy on top, like furikake or that poke sprinkle business from the AH. Maybe pine nuts would be nice. 


octo vin. 

2 tbsp finely chopped garlic 
2 tbsp finely chopped peeled ginger
1 fresh red chile, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup rice or brown rice vinegar
1/4 cup light soy sauce
2 tbsp neutral oil
1/4 tsp Asian (toasted) sesame oil
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
Freshly ground black pepper



a small victory.

This was something I wrote on Instagram that I will put here also in an attempt to remind me that I can also just write without a 2,200 character limit.


Loath to do this here (also loath to begin any sentence with “loath”) but there is supposed to be a public component so here it is. It’s hardly controversial to declare that the last 365 days have been generally unprecedented in our lifetimes. It might be slightly more controversial to declare (possibly hyperbolically) that the value of modern hyperbolic language has kind of been exhausted, that we’re so far off the scale of normality in 2021 that there’s barely any point in exaggerating for effect anymore, because hey, whatever it is, THIS COULD BE THE YEAR, you never know. So i am not exaggerating when i say that I never ever fucking imagined that one day I’d be declaring, in “public”, with a nebulous mix of pride and embarrassment, that I haven’t had any alcohol in 370 days. And that it would be 100% true. And that it would be accompanied by such a pure, non-rationalized feeling of liberation and relief. I never believed that “sober people” were ACTUALLY happy about not drinking, I thought for sure it was something they had to desperately brainwash themselves into believing. It feels wrong to say I hope I never become the non-drinker that always turned me off of non-drinkers, but it’s true, I do hope that. And I know I’m also fucking that up with this post. But I will squirt out one more cliche and cheesy thing before mercifully stopping and never posting about this shit ever again: if you are tired of your relationship with alcohol and want to change it; if it is making you more miserable than carefree: once you stop for a while, at least months, for me it was certainly more than 3 months but who really knows, there is a switch that will eventually flip where the genuine relief of not being dominated by alcohol and the genuine dread of falling back into that increasingly relentless and horrifying cycle are more powerful than any anxiety you might have or imagine having over the grim-sounding “life without alcohol”. And when it happens, this switch will feel natural and normal and unforced, unexaggerated for effect. Do it now while there are no social events to struggle through.




1 cup masa
1/4 tsp salt
pinch ground cumin
pinch ground chile of your choice
1 tbsp room temp butter

3 tsp ancho chile paste
1 tsp BBQ sauce
2/3 cup warm water

1) black beans + green salsa + cotija cheese + squirt of lime + cilantro
2) poblanos + provolone + cotija cheese + mushrooms + lime + basil 

Stir dry ingredients together. 
Incorporate butter. 
Add ancho and BBQ sauce. 
Gradually add warm water with one hand while kneading with the other. 

Roll into tennis ball size. 
Make dimple for beans or poblanos, fill, cover seam. 
Flatten between two pieces of baking paper. 
Toast in a skillet for 3 minutes a side. 
These can hang out like this until: 
Fry in butter or oil, 2 minutes a side. 
Top. Serve. 

Makes 3 decent sized huaraches. 



9.33 months.


7.5 months bitches.

 But in actuality I'm not even counting anymore, it's just happening. I am thinking about coming back here to write! Let's see.