I have more or less recovered from our vacation, I think, so let’s do a roundup.
I touched on this in my vacation travelogue, but I’ll elaborate a bit more here: During the Seattle leg of our trip, my sister Ingrid and I visited Durandy’s acclaimed Duran Duran archive. Durandy was a gracious host, and the trip was a heck of a lot of fun. As of this month, he’s got a brand-new book out, The Music Between Us: Concert Ads of Duran Duran, which is available from Amazon; if you’re looking to purchase it, you may want to go ahead and contact Durandy directly through his website, because I’m sure he’d be more than happy to personally inscribe it for you. Pictured above is an earlier edition of this book, which Durandy sent to me back in January—he’d had a few copies printed up early to present directly to the band members during their tour late last year, and in a very cool move, he passed an extra one along to me after he first contacted me about Duranalyzing his first book. I don’t know how much the copy I have differs from the finalized version, but it is, of course, totally awesome; I love and treasure it. It’s filled with glossy full-color photos of Duran Duran concert posters, from their early days in Birmingham all the way through the Paper Gods tour.
Anyway, Durandy’s archive has all kinds of cool stuff, as you'd expect. Only Durandy has vintage Power Station-branded hot sauce:
So, hey: I have all kinds of ideas buzzing around in my head for more tales from my Wrong City/Demon City universe, which is a faintly supernatural demon-run version of Los Angeles. Problem is, interest in those two books has stalled—I sold zero copies of either last week—so I’m not feeling too sanguine about the chances of more stories along these lines taking off. They’re good books, and I feel very strongly there’s an untapped audience for them out there. Therefore, I have a proposition for all of you: Between now and the end of September, read Wrong City and leave a review on Amazon (the Kindle ebook is $2.99; trade paperback is $11.00, but if cash is tight, you can download it for free in various electronic formats here), then leave a comment on this post directing me to your review. I’ll enter you in a giveaway for a trade paperback copy of Demon City plus some tangentially-related swag (to be determined, but it’ll probably be a bunch of cool Korean snacks, because that’s how I roll). Even if you don’t win the swag, you’ll have my eternal gratitude for helping me out in this.
Looking forward to the end of summer so I can start using the oven again. I’m getting a little weary of salads. No fantastic new recipes to report this week—I had a tube of prepared polenta on hand, so I sliced it into coins, basted them in olive oil, and popped them on the Panini grill until they were a toasty brown. Then I arranged them on a microwave-safe plate, topped them with refried black beans and shredded cheese, and nuked them a bit. Served it with salsa—hey, polenta nachos! They were all right. Nothing I would rush to make again. As it turns out, nachos made with polenta are several steps inferior to nachos made with tortilla chips. Probably should’ve been obvious.
We kind of drank our way across Washington state (see the aforementioned travelogue), so we’ve cut out alcohol until the start of fall to give our livers/bank accounts a shot at recovery. Therefore, I have no cocktail recipes this week. I mentioned in my travelogue about a delicious, refreshing lemon-basil cider we’d had in Spokane. I did some hunting, and it’s this: One Tree Hard Cider. It was really good! Neither of us are huge on ciders—they tend to be either too sticky-sweet or too off-puttingly sour for us—but this one hit that perfect flavor balance. It’s not available on the East Coast, but if they ship to New York, we’re picking up a case in the fall as soon as our booze ban is lifted. They also have a huckleberry cider, which sounds phenomenal.
You remember how last year I wrote an analysis of Mr. T’s bizarrely awesome direct-to-video special Be Somebody… Or Be Somebody’s Fool? Check it out if you missed it, because Mr. T is all kinds of wonderful, and his special is pretty much the best thing ever. Anyway, my sister tipped me off to a Key & Peele sketch from 2013 in which they do a loving, pitch-perfect homage to the special. This is amazing:
A friend emailed me earlier this week, very concerned I might not have climbed aboard the Stranger Things train. He’d noticed I hadn’t mentioned anything about it here, and he thought (correctly) it was exactly the sort of thing I’d gravitate toward. I was quick to reassure him: Oh, yeah, we’re all about Stranger Things in our apartment. We binged on it and loved every minute.
I’m going to end this with two videos of the week, featuring a pair of fabulous eighties women singing about their crappy boyfriends. First up is Frida’s “Something Going On”:
And then we’ve got Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself For Loving You”:
Be well, everyone.