COVID-19 Journal: Day 310

I have made a delicious 24 hour salt-and-pepper dry-brined expensive spatchcocked roast chicken. I've had one drumstick and thigh in some fried rice and now the whole house smells like it and even though it's delicious I feel like it's everywhere. I thought I'd valiantly do the make your roast chicken stretch the week and now I'm like ugh. Once I finish writing to you I'll go and deal with it. The dry brine is great. You just cover the bird with salt and pepper (and other stuff if you want but I just used S&P as a baseline first go) and then put it in the fridge for 1 hour or 24 hours. (See NY Times Cooking.) Now everything is chicken-y, but luckily my favourite sandwich is just plain chicken. So there'll be a lot of that.

As I mentioned I've begun a creative writing course, and actually, I think blogging this journal for 310 days has made me quite muscly in terms of writing what just happened in roll-y sentences with the occasional picture punctuation and probably incorrect ellipses and semicolons; It's Week 2. I'm not yet able to switch quickly into actual fiction where I just go wild. I hope that'll pop out within the six weeks. I guess I could take more. Interesting how I'm so used to my submarine and this unreality that my imagination is a bit stunted. Or so I believe...

Media I've been consuming:

  1. Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Transition Memo to Incoming Biden Administration - 2021.01.21 - OK yes I skimmed it but even that's interesting. Then I had a chat with a friend who doesn't like EFF's libertarian approach and directed me to
  2. Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace by John Perry Barlow - 1996 - The speech delivered at Davos, to launch EFF, which my friend referenced and dismissed as OTT privileged

    one moment. i'm going to deal with the chicken

    there i was getting slightly grossed out as i pulled the meat off the bones with my bare hands but i still managed to eat a wing and put the bones in a saucepan for tomorrow. it's extra salty but i love that because my favourite flavour is salt

    i was talking to myself in there drafting this

    and yes, the author comes from a privileged position and the Grateful Dead, but I don't necessarily agree that a writer being privileged should necessarily mean you disregard what they write but my friend had a good retort which was if the thing written doesn't regard you in any way you're well within your rights to discard it and then I felt excitement about almost every contract i've signed that uses the male pronoun but excuses itself for that and indeed claims it to mean everyone explicitly but can fuck off. I also thought i'd better learn a bit about British socialism because I'm guessing that's more the public good-ish one and not the scary Lenin-y one and then you read the socialism Wikipedia page and realise you're an ignoramus? So then I read
  3. The Soul of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde - 1891 - it's dated, certainly, but also interesting to read one of Wilde's essays where I've previously read stories and Ballad of Reading Gaol etc. I liked his outline of the Individualist, an artist who lives for themselves but in a good way. Creating and thinking and living to their own beat. Obviously a privileged position also, if you are not simply your labour. I remember enjoying reading Marxist feminism at uni, so maybe I'll pick that up *cough* 30 years after the fact and see where it's arrived at now.
  4. Fauci on What Working for Trump Was Really Like - 2021.01.24 - it must be a great excitement and rush to finally be released to do the good work you've known was needed for months if not years, especially if you've been an adviser to eight Presidents and you simply couldn't believe that last one because SERIOUSLY

    “Well, it’s not that bad, right?” And I would say, “Yes, it is that bad.” It was almost a reflex response, trying to coax you to minimize it. Not saying, “I want you to minimize it,” but, “Oh, really, was it that bad?”

  5. Hungry by Grace Dent - 2021 - In case you don't know it, Dent is a food writer and critic and this is her memoir. She's so refreshing when judging on cooking shows, and she's busty and ballsy all at once. She's from Manchester so her memoir as I listen to her read it to me is doubly enjoyable, for the history and her voice. I'm still trying to learn the accent differences between a Mancunian and a Liverpudlian and god forbid I get that wrong to one or t'other.
  6. Enter with care. Oprah Interviews a Woman with 92 Personalities | The Oprah Winfrey Show | Oprah Winfrey Network - 1990 - Actually very tough to watch program about a very abused person. Oprah is a huge star because she's brilliant and kind and good at interviewing people and talking about really hard stuff, like how this woman has split her terror and trauma across different "troops" that live inside her mind.
  7. Fran Lebowitz Collection on Letterman, 1980-2010 - I've seen the Pretend It's A City show by Martin Scorsese about Fran Lebowitz which I enjoyed, and was reminded of raconteur means. She and Letterman have a good rapor, and she's eloquent which is in my Top 3 favourite traits.
  8. I did try to watch the first episode of Blake's 7 because a) I loved it when I was a kid, and b) FFS just give me a project to defeat? but the acting in Ep. 1 was terrible and I don't know if I can do it. I did really enjoy the nostalgia of the opening credits and the soldiers' uniforms and a few other things my brain recalled from when I was a wee lassie and getting square eyes because I used to watch ALL THE TELLY (and still do). Have you watched everything yet? 

But, what do you care about my media consumption? It's not like you haven't consumed plenty of your own and more. I can't wait to consume food on someone else's plates at a restaurant I love with you or someone like you across from me. Maybe a table of twelve or eighteen. Maybe La Grande Bouffe but not to the death. Maybe Babette's Feast after she escapes the abstemious sisters. Maybe Big Night with the smoking and music and too many glasses. Maybe Eat Drink Man Woman with tables heaving with sharing delights and all of us knocking elbows with greasy lips and smiles. But not Jiro Dreams of Sushi yet because that's too fucking refined and that's not what I'll be wanting right now or but maybe I would because it would obvs be amaze.

I always feel slightly embarrassed for spatchcocked chicken