Graffiti Jules – Rolling into San Francisco for Sunday brunch on my 47th birthday, I felt particularly welcome.
Admiring the big round letters, I couldn't help but think of the notebook covers I filled with that same scribble – big loopy J and swirling S – the name I swiped at 17 from a character in the first R-Rated movie I ever saw. A name that is now as much mine as the one my mother gave me, but also – clearly – belongs to someone else. Perhaps the graffiti Jules is a love letter, scattered about the city in bits and pieces, or an artist glorying in the name they've chosen to wear as I once did. But on this day, I perfer to imagine it as a celebratory welcome from the only city I have ever loved. Thank you San Francisco, for the graffiti Jules and everything else you've ever given me.
Just a quick note to let you know that I joined The Mister and his guest Mandy of Little Geek Lost for Geekishnatural – an episode of the Geekishcast Podcast focused on Seasons 1-5 of the CW's Supernatural – a show that won a ton of hearts when it learned to laugh at itself.
We talk about Dean Girls, angels and deamons, Uncle Bobby and the Meta Episodes that we love. Check out the podcast if you're into that kind of thing.
Nothing to say today, so here's a picture of my lunch.
IN BAGEL NEWS: Yesterday was another baking marathon, producing 40+ bagels, half of which went to the office for noshing while the rest headed to the freezer after the prettiest ones were subjected to bright lights and the scrutiny of the camera. I'm looking forward to the end of this project and getting back to real work, but I worry that my incessant recipe tinkering might turn this into the Winchester Mystery House of cookbooks.
For instance, here's a late entry to the table – the Roasted Gilroy Garlic bagel, which celebrates Central Valley agriculture and Gilroy, California, the "Garlic Capital of the World". Two full heads of garlic go into these babies and the result is a seriously garlicky but super mellow roasted flavor.
I'd been working on a ginger-flavored bagel for months. The sixth (and best) version was meh – decidedly underwhelming – but I was committed. Meanwhile, there were whispers and grumbles among the tast-testers at the lack of garlicky bagels in the warm paper bags before them.
Anybody can make a garlic bagel, I told them, but ginger, now there's something interesting. Intellectually, perhaps. But the tastebuds were crying out for more. And oh, how we found it.
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We came into the industrial part of downtown MoTown at dusk last night. At Ninth and G Street, we noticed a haphazardly parked SUV between two buildings, its driver's door flung wide and a shadowy couple nearby. With our windows rolled up, we couldn't hear what was going on, but I saw the boy grab her with both hands and then fling her away. Hearts pound. Adrenaline rushes. Then just as foreceful as he shoved her, he yanked her towards him again. In an instant, she spun away and kicked out her foot just so. Only then did it occur to me that this shadowy pair were dancing. Like really good swing dancing. And somehow it felt like catching sight of a falling star; this young couple dancing in perfect communion in the dusky shadows of an empty lot near Ninth and G Street. What I mean to say is that I felt blessed.