Today I learned from Michelle Delgado about Melitta Bentz, the inventor of the coffee filter: “Some articles describe Melitta as an ‘accidental engineer,’ but I don’t like that description. She didn’t stumble into her invention.”
That feel when after a long, perilous day hauling across town to visit your favorite breakfast place that’s closing, and to pick up tomorrow’s Thanksgiving dinner, and to be beaten down by public transit, you get home too exhausted to make lunch and then remember Kung Food up the street, realize you can afford to go, and sit drinking tea while awaiting the pea pod pork.
And then internet friends and strangers hit up my tip jar and I’m now good to go for being able to visit Byways Cafe next week (before picking up my Thanksgiving order from Elephant’s Deli), my first visit since they announced their depressingly-imminent closure.
Since my budget for the rest of the month is $7/day and I can’t go anywhere or do anything, I slept until 12:30pm. Since the local Safeway doesn’t sell the only oil that seems to not ruin my ceramic pans in anything but giant $14 jugs, I’ll be having a bowl of cereal. Since I don’t know what the dimensions of the original “meh.” t-shirt design were, I can’t work on the store and it’s been pulled entirely offline. Is there a reason I bothered to get up even at 12:30pm?
Need a lift? Here’s something you don’t see every day. The owner of a new chocolate shop has his storefront targeted by an art-activist pointing out colonialist implications of its branding. His response? “It’s not the community’s job to understand what my motivations are or the meaning this has for me,” he told the press. “It’s my job to care about the concerns of the community.” And he’s removed and is reworking his business’ branding.
Current status: consuming a quick-food bowl of chicken and rice despite the fact that ever since breakfast this morning I’ve felt all day like even just the mere thought of food was too much to bear. You know the burnout is heavy when eating seems too difficult.
For, I guess, psychological or cognitive capacity reasons, I don’t really cook anymore. Most of my meals depend on their instantness (e.g. Minute Rice) or their easy availability (e.g. store-bought clamshells of veggies or shredded chicken). Today’s flavor find: rice, tri-color bell peppers, canned corn, chili pepper shredded chicken, and sweet-and-sour sauce.
As the shit-streak of the fiftieth birthmonth winds down, existential rejection pursues right to the end. How good is the food at John Street Cafe, two blocks from my apartment? Enough that I had to ignore my usual redline of quitting a restaurant because they forgot to serve me. In my twenty years in Portland, I’ve quit three restaurants for that reason; they only get one strike. I had to hobble my way up to the back to confront the John Street staff about it, and then try to avoid having a complete sobbing breakdown back at my table. My fifty-first year is starting out terrific so far, picking up exactly where my fiftieth left off.
I find Mark Bessoudo’s argument that “a plant-based diet is anti-human: it is a denial of the fact that we are creatures embedded within a complex (and messy) social and environmental ecosystem” pretty weird, in that there are all sorts of ways in which humans are creatures embedded in a wider ecological and evolutionary system that we nonetheless eschew or resist as a “higher” animals. Which isn’t to say that I’ve an opinion one way or the other on whether or not a plant-based diet somehow is “higher” (and, full disclosure, I very much myself am an omnivore). It’s only to say that unlike many or most other animals, we are a creature capable of choice. Exercising that choice, then, in any regard or capacity, is very much, although this term is as dumb as the other, pro-human.
Why would anyone anticipate, covet, eat, or brag about anticipating, coveting, or eating candy corn, which is the dregs of the candy world, when the fields of the Earth contain so much delicious real corn, which is the candy of the vegetable world?