Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New(s) Diet

A little less than a year ago, I (mostly) relinquished cable. I found that I was spending too much time with Housewives, Millionaires, Psychics and the like. I downsized to channels 1-30, which still includes my all time fav station UCTV. One result of this cable downsize has been a noticeable absence of news stations. Back in the cable days, I would have immediately turned to CNN after a tragedy like the recent tornadoes in OK, burning horrific images into my brain and crying myself to sleep. The 24-hour news cycle is not a good match for an anxious person, and I didn't even realize this until I no longer had access to it. Sure, I want to stay informed, but I don't need alarmist newscasters and repeated traumatic images produced as a slick news show to get there. These days I turn to the radio, usually NPR, to consume journalistic stories. A byproduct of this news diet is that I actually feel lighter - emotionally, spiritually, etc. Another is that I'm reading more than ever. Cable, along with its enormous bill, is simply no longer for me. I don't miss the Housewives as much as I thought I might, and I can get DVD's or stream the shows that I do miss (Mad Men, Homeland). This is a much easier diet than I anticipated!

Friday, May 10, 2013


Man, life has been busy lately.

The highlight of this week was a reading at the wonderful Book Soup.

I met my friend Lisa Harper in grad school. No sooner did we meet than we were impulsively road tripping up to Reno at 10pm one night with two other grad school pals. I think it took me a week to recover from that one.

Lisa was always a foodie, even before that term became hip. She would regale us with tales from her Princeton eating club - an idea very foreign to me, but intriguing nonetheless.

Our friendship continued long after our sun-soaked days in Davis. On a trip to visit me in L.A. she even met her husband (on the dance floor of The Derby).

A few years ago when Lisa asked me to contribute an essay on food to an anthology she was co-editing with Caroline Grant I couldn't help but laugh. She was the foodie, not me. But actually, at that time I had made strides in my culinary life - and it was thanks to an unlikely mentor: Rachael Ray. Eventually, I wrote my essay, and eventually they sold their book, and earlier in the week we had a reading of the book with all the L.A. contributers.

Little known fact: Zombie expert Max Brooks has an incredible green thumb. Upon hearing this, Lisa suggested he might have a good essay to contribute to the book, and she was right. Max joined in on the reading that night.

From left to right: Lisa Harper, Caroline Grant, Max Brooks, Melissa Clark, Dani Klein Modiset, Stacie Stukin and Lisa McNamara.

I am so proud to be part of this amazing book, and especially proud of my friend Lisa for seeing it through. You can purchase it here. 

On another note, I am booked for my summer plans. I head to Portugal very soon for a 3-week artist residency, and later in the summer I'm off to Montreal to celebrate a milestone birthday for my dad!