If you got a copy of Derek & Ted’s COVID-19 QuaranZine, you may have been intrigued and then annoyed by “Here are the 19 recipes we loved the most” because you were holding a piece of paper that did not include links to the recipes. Turns out – LOL – the PDF didn’t have links either! So, here’s that list, with links and other fun details.
1. The new Android update – that Samsung took six months to push out to my phone – has a wonderful feature that times your use of an app and shuts it down when you’ve hit your preset limit. So, Twitter won’t work after 30 minutes, and Instagram kills itself after 45. I’ve many a productivity app that does similar things, and Android clearly ripped off the idea from them, but the Android version is seamless and oh-so useful. It even turns the app’s icon gray when you’re done with it for the day.
2. The morning after the Nevada debate was an meme embarrassment of riches, especially if you love Elizabeth Warren, who I love more than probably any politician I’ve ever heard of. But this particular one made me LOL for way too long. (If you need a full explanation, here’s the reference.)
3. My mentor/work BFF is so goddamn awesome. In all ways. Hearts forever.
4. Booster is a company that finds your car in a parking lot and fills it with gas, and UCI recently let them do their thing on campus. Their per gallon cost is 5-10% less than the gas stations near school. I imagine they’re going to jack up the costs after I become addicted to not going to the gas station on Jamboree, but until then, yay.
5. I seem to have finally figured out how to do an overhead squat correctly.
6. Travis Chi Wing Lau’s essay on racism and COVID-19 and how a tweet he wrote about racism and COVID-19 went, yeah, viral.
7. This recipe for mapo tofu is so much better than the one I’d been using before. Lordy, it was good.
8. Lianne La Havas’s new song “Bittersweet” is … wonderful.
9. A bunch of the students I wrote grad school recommendations for have been emailing me about their acceptances and scholarship and it’s so great.
10. It’s very hard to fill out this kind of list when something truly bad and very specific to my life has happened. My friend Kolbe suddenly died last week. We hadn’t hung out in a long time, but we’d been pretty close when he first moved to LA and I had just started teaching at UCI. He was a brilliant artist and hilarious and gave a shit about the world and was very fun. Something good is the memory of the day he took me to see the Björk VR show in 2017. It was amazing, and Kolbe and I had a blast. I am so fucking angry at the world for preventing people from having days like that with Kolbe, particularly preventing that from happening to his husband of only four months.
1. I just discovered that Jens Lekman and Annika Norlin released an album last year called Correspondence, and I listened to it last week on the way to work, and it’s all so quietly powerful in its seeming mundanity. I think my favorite song is “Forever Young, Forever Beautiful,” which has some classic Jens lyrics:
You should have seen him in his summer clothes
The short pants that gently exposed
His calves that spoke of hidden treasures
Golden ratios, unknown pleasures
2. I consolidated books and glassware so that I could empty, dismantle, and store one of my IKEA bookshelves, creating some space that I could fill with a little dining table. Now I can eat meals at a table, not on the sofa or at my desk. The first meal was steak, asparagus, and polenta on Valentine’s Day.
3. The next day, I accompanied my Valentine to Cal Arts to hear a Master’s student there play Derek’s composition “Savino,” a piece for solo marimba and tape, that latter of which is the recording of New York State Senator Diane J. Savino’s speech in support of marriage equality given on December 2, 2009. Like the speech, Derek’s composition is beautiful, but in a very different way as it intricately punctuated Savino’s humor, wisdom, and love. I don’t have video of the Cal Arts student’s performance, but here’s the percussionist who commissioned the composition Brandon Ilaw.
4. I made a chocolate soufflé on Saturday night, and I think it came out perfectly. I’ve made chocolate souffles before, but for some reason, this was the richest, fluffiest, and it didn’t collapse. I’m not exactly sure what I did right-er this time, but I think one thing was not over stirring the batter, which tends to screw up the egg whites. The recipe is Bittersweet Chocolate Soufflé by Melissa Clark from The New York Times.
5. This article in The New Yorker: Was Jeanne Calment the Oldest Person Who Ever Lived—or a Fraud? I love a good high-nerd yarn, and this one is full of lies and skepticism and competing methodologies and a crotchety old French lady.
6. I wish I could have photographed the facial expression of the flummoxed woman in my AIDS Fundamentals class when I mentioned that Iowa once sentenced an HIV-positive man to 25 years in jail for not telling his sexual partner his status — even though he wore a condom and had an undetectable viral load. I thought her head was going to explode she was so appalled. He was eventually exonerated and the law was changed, but it’s still hard to believe it happened in this century.
7. I can’t stop listening to the audiobooks for Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series – an urban fantasy with werewolves, vampires, fae, and so on set in Washington’s Tri-Cities. There are definitely some things I could do without, like the weirdly stereotyped gay divorce lawyer Kyle and the narrator’s camp voice for him, but my commute hasn’t sucked for a couple weeks because I’m entertained enough.
8. These shoes I got 60% off at the Reebok outlet at the Citadel. Derek called the color “electric salmon.”
9. I’ll be moderating a panel titled “Navigating Stigma and Addressing Peer Aggression, Harassment, Discrimination, and Exclusion for Queer- and Trans-Spectrum Students and Faculty” at the annual meeting of the Association of School and Programs in Public Health next month.
10. I stumbled onto the pilot of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist on Hulu; Zoey suddenly hears people’s inner monologues, but only as popular songs, and usually accompanied by dance routines. There’s a lot of stuff that I’m going to automatically love about it, in particular Jane Levy, Skyler Astin, Alex Newell, and lots of singing and dancing. But, omg, Peter Gallagher playing Zoey’s father, who is suffering from a degenerative neurological disease that has left him unable to speak, gets to do heartbreaking stuff like this.
UPDATE: My Golden Teddy Awards have nothing to do with the Golden Teddy Awards handed out by, ha, The Teddy Bear Review (a magazine that “embraces the joy of Teddy Bear and soft scultpure collecting”). Really. I didn’t know those awards existed until I saw people googling “Golden Teddy Bear Awards” on my site meter. And there was no reason why anyone would know about my awards in, say, Dunkirk.
It’s that time of year again! Yes, it’s late December, when critics, unions, and amorphous over-funded foundations hand out laurels to sometimes deserving people. And I’ve been meaning to do the same thing, but like so many “regular” features on this blog, it never got off the ground. And it probably won’t last beyond this year. But who cares? Awards are fun!
Here is the FAQ for the Golden Teddy Awards:
What is a Golden Teddy Award?
It is small bear item — figurine, stuffed animal, action figure, etc. — spray-painted gold (GOLD!) by me, Ted(dy) Gideonse. Said Golden Teddy will be given to the winner of a Golden Teddy Award by me, provided that the winner sends me a self-addressed, postage-affixed, padded box or envelope.
For what does one win a Golden Teddy Award?
Excellence in what?
What I deem to be excellent. This year, there will be Golden Teddys given in such things as Television (ex. Most Excellent Use of Audience Ignorance of the Geography of a Setting), Film (ex. Most Excellent Hairy Chest — Male), Music (ex. Most Excellent Use of Beyonce’s Voice As a Weapon of Terror), Books (Most Excellent Book I Finished), Blogging (Most Excellent Comment Involving Biblical References and Multiple Misspellings) and the Humanities. The last category is a catch-all, and it will collect such awards as Excellence in Bold-Faced Lying about the Gays, Excellence in Campaign Crying, and Excellence in Decorating a Home at which I Attended a Party.
Who decides the winners of the Golden Teddys?
I do. Duh.
What is your feeling about campaigning for an award?
I’m all for it. As the Supreme Court has said, money is speech. Feel free to send bribes, as well as suggestions for award categories. Also, liquor is accepted as long as it is top shelf.
When will you announce the winners of the Golden Teddys?
Here’s the schedule:
- Television — December 22
- Film — December 23
- Books — December 24 26
- Music — December 26 27
- Blogging — December 27 28
- Humanities — December 28 29
[UPDATE: Not to be confused with Joe Klein’s Teddy Awards, which are named after Teddy Roosevelt. Not me. So they suck. Hat tip, Mom.]