First thing’s first: I’ve moved from Tinyletter to Substack like an adult finally (after months of hemming and hawing, it took literally five minutes, so shoutout to the newish kid on the block and apologies to my former employer), so please let me know if you notice anything weird about the newsletter.
With that out of the way: things here are going Not Great, as has been the case. I called a friend the other night to tell him about a Work Thing and he was appropriately sympathetic, as is his way, and at the end he asked what things were going well, and I truly didn’t have anything to say. Pandemic, gallbladder removal, breakup, layoffs, subsequent “the ones who remain in Omelas” scramble at work to deal with the layoffs, big ol’ ramp-up on the depresh. I moved to a bargain-basement phone carrier for $15 a month and made a key lime pie, so, that’s been a real highlight. I took an ill-advised 4-6pm nap today and that’s left me sweaty and gross and disoriented, but in a way that’s almost refreshingly reminiscent of the Beforetimes, which is pleasant on its own.
But not everything is awful. I’ve started watching Dark, which is basically “what if Black Zone, but German and with time travel?” and it’s great fun. Everyone has dramatic flat teutonic faces and keeps getting lost in the 80s and everyone is sort of pleasantly attractive, which is how you know it’s European with an American production company rather than full “these people are theater actors” BBC energy. I bought my cat a big tunnel for him to crawl around in, and he doesn’t understand it at all, but he’ll sit halfway inside it and not move, which is honestly much funnier than if he just ran through it like a normal goddamn cat. My neighborfriend and I went on a walk up to my old apartment yesterday to stare at the architecturally significant house where a famous murder may ahve happened (it’s since been purchased and turned into a “weed salon”) and got to stop and point out apartments whose fronts or trees we like, which is essentially I think what friendship is in the time of corona.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of radical acceptance lately, which is a phrase that immediately causes my childish ass to mutter “this is some Brené Brown horseshit” but a) Brené Brown is fine, probably b) the idea of accepting the world as it is rather than longing for it to be something else is one of the few reasonable responses to the world being On Fire All The Time. Thinking about how I wish I could be with my friends or on vacation or in a dive bar will only make me miserable and prevents me from focusing on what I can do within the constraints that we have (reorganize my house, see my friends outside, focus on ways to reduce my household budget so when this is over I’m in an okay financial place). Thinking about it of course doesn’t make it any easier. but I’ve got literally nothing to do right now but try to build mental muscles, so, it’s a hobby. If it doesn’t work out I’ll take up watercolors again or train the cat to use the toilet as a litterbox.
Shit to read
If you read one thing this week, make it this Patricia Lockwood piece on coronavirus madness. Truly great from start to finish.
I enjoyed this piece on queer identity from a woman I saw perform in Fun Home.
A poem that made me cry.
Quibi meta-content is the best content.
QAnon is Slenderman for boomers. Sorry but also you know it’s true.
Inspiring takedown of an ex-husband’s thinly-veiled portrait of his first marriage by the first ex-wife in question.
Who wants to talk about Alison Roman and this Eater piece with me like five weeks after it makes sense to.
Dollar Stores are fucked up.
The SF portion of my industry is run by truly the stupidest goddamn people.
Shit to eat
Remember that you can pay someone to bring you deli meat and cheese from outside of your house. Have them do that. (Turkey breast and provolone or mortadella and colby, or some other combo, they’re all good except ham which is bad.)
Order a baguette, if you don’t have one, and a spread if one isn’t in your house, and an avocado.
When all of these have arrived, cut off a sandwich’s worth of baguette. Put the rest in the freezer so it doesn’t become stale.
Slice the baguette hunk in half, and use your bread knife to hollow out most of the actual bread. Put that bread in tupperware and freeze it for next time you refuse to buy panko.
Toast your hollowed-out bread shell.
When it is toasted, pull it out. Cover one of the hollowed-out parts with your spread. If you have access to a Trader Joe’s, it should be their red pepper and eggplant spread, which is the best. If you have access only to my liquor store, it should be the artichoke spread they’ve started stocking. If you have access to neither, let your heart guide you.
Slice up half of the avocado, and stack in on top of the spread.
Then meat, more than you’d think, placed in wadded-up crumples, rather than flat. The editors of the Cooking Site We’re All Not Using Right Now taught you that.
Three big deli rounds of cheese on top of that.
And then the rest of the bread.
Put it in foil and wrap it up tight around the sandwich and at each end. It’ll be like a real big sandwich burrito.
If you have time, put something heavy on it for a while so that you have a pleasantly smooshed sandwich. You won’t, though, and that’s okay. Eat the sandwich on the couch, pulling off the foil as you go. It will still be good.
Shit to watch
I rewatched “Music Everywhere” earlier this week and I had forgotten how good it is. Just fucking wheeze-laughed. Jake Gyllenhal is a beautiful former theatre kid in the Jon Hamm mold and both of them have been so much more fun since we let them just be fucking freaks whenever they wandered into projects.
Shit to buy
I know it’s from the Bad Site but I will say that I bought this massage scarf and it’s phenomenal.
Someone buy me this robe.
Like I’m not going to pay $800 for this giant box of all the foods but also man what a fun thing. (I might buy the yassa and maffe sauces, though, because fuck making them from scratch, but I love maffe.)