no-alcohol.jpgNo one ever assumes you eat Brussels sprouts. No one brings you to their living room, presents two plates of Brussels sprouts, and sits grinning, waiting for you to go to town. No one orders a round of Brussels sprouts for the table. No one asks you out with, “let’s get Brussels sprouts.” And no one nods knowingly when you’re a shambles Sunday morning from Brussels sprouts gas.

Now, it happens, I do, in fact, love Brussels sprouts. It also happens that I do not drink alcohol. And yet, everyone I meet makes the assumption that I do, until told otherwise. Drinker until proven abstinent. This bothers me.

I quit drinking in April 2009, because I didn’t like how entwined my dating and drinking lives had become. I decided the only way to fully render them apart would be to quit drinking completely, until I found myself in a relationship, procured sans-drink, at which point I would re-evaluate.

The bad news is I’m still waiting on that relationship.

Read more ...

From the NY Times

roastedradish.jpgOf all the things you can do with a radish — slice it into salads, chop it into salsa, shred it into slaw or, better, top it with a thick layer of sweet butter and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt — the last thing I’d thought to do was cook it.

But last spring I started noticing roasted radishes sprouting up on menus all over New York City. Even the fancy takeout shop near my house was offering them every now and again. Clearly, there was a reason to cook a radish, and I wanted in.

So I gave it a try, roasting a bunch of halved radishes in a hot oven with plenty of butter and lemon juice.

One mouthful, and I immediately got the appeal. Instead of spicy, crisp and crunchy, these radishes were sweet, succulent and mellow, vaguely like turnips but with a softer bite.

I continued to cook radishes all season long, pan roasting them instead of oven roasting when the weather became too hot. I usually ate them for lunch sprinkled with feta cheese and herbs, or sometimes left them naked but for extra sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Read article...

weddinginvite.jpgI am at That Age. The age when once every couple of weeks, you check your post mail and instead of a bill (yes, I still use the United States Postal Service to pay my bills) or the 1,000th solicitation from Doctors Without Borders you've received that week, you have a real letter. Or, at least what looks like a letter - it's got a handwritten, maybe even calligraphied address and a return label with the name of your friend or... wait... the name of the parents of your friend...

I am at The Wedding Invitation Age.

Full disclosure, I'm actually a little behind the times. I'm among that "Creative Class" where people are either too poor, too career-focused, too gay, or too anti-establishment to marry in the "typical" mid-20s. But, at 30, I have finally arrived.

Read more ...

Hubbard Glacier AlaskaAn open letter to President Barack Obama:

Dear Mr. President,

As a woman who worked very hard to make sure your last opponents were not elected -- walking door to door in the snow on your behalf, registering more than a thousand Alaskans to vote, exposing Palin in the national media, etc. -- I feel obligated to write you about a few of my concerns.

Your secretary of the interior, Ken Salazar, recently told reporters asking about Shell's recent drilling permits and Alaska's Arctic, "I believe there's not going to be an oil spill."

Sir, he just wrote the headline for the first oil spill under arctic ice.

"I believe" is not good policy. I believe that unicorn fur is the most absorbent clean-up product.

The Coast Guard, on the other hand, has held to its reality-based position that it doesn't have the assets necessary to cover a spill in the Arctic. The Coasties will have to pull resources from drug enforcement and fishing fleet security to boost safety in our most northern ocean. The Kodiak Coast Guard base is closer to Seattle than it is to the Chukchi and Beaufort seas -- 700 miles closer. Last winter we had to rely on a Russian icebreaker to deliver fuel to ice-bound Nome.

Trusting and believing is great in church, but when it comes to oil exploration and development, we have to do better.

Read more ...

donnasummfeatDonna Summer emerged in 1975 and dance music has never been the same! Summer co-wrote and recorded a demo version of "Love to Love You Baby." Producers liked Summer's demo so much that they released an unprecedented 17 minute long version. The song featured Summer's tantalizingly soft vocals and sensual sound so suggestive that many radio stations initially refused to play the song. The path-breaking disco track became an overnight sensation, skyrocketing to No. 2 on the U.S. singles chart.  

I was shocked to hear May 17th that Donna Summer had passed away. Donna Summer was just 63 and still breaking records for her phenomenal singing as well as her art work. She blamed her lung cancer on the pollution in New York City following 9/11. Her music brought so much joy to me and others of my generation.

Like many great Black singers, Summer began singing in Church at the age of ten. To everyone's surprise, the voice that bellowed out of Donna's tiny body that Sunday morning was overwhelmingly powerful and beautiful.

In 1967, Summer auditioned for and was cast in a production of Hair scheduled to run in Munich. Summer learned to speak fluent German within a few months, and remained in Munich, marrying German singer Helmuth Sommer in 1974 and giving birth to the first of her three daughters.

"Love To Love You Baby" paved the way for such international hits as "MacArthur Park," "Bad Girls," "Hot Stuff," "Dim All The Lights," "On The Radio," and "Enough Is Enough," as well as the Grammy and Academy award winning theme song "Last Dance," from the film "Thank God It's Friday," which remains a milestone in Donna's career.

Read more ...