Special Interests – 19 April

Connecting

Since switching over to 51Fifteen here, I’m heartened by people connecting with me through comments and emails and various DMs with stories of surviving the pandemic, job and career challenges, life stuff. I just want to say, thank you for connecting (and often reconnecting!)!

I’m a writer who thrives on answering questions and researching to inform responses to tougher, meatier topics; if there’s something that’s gnawing at you from what you’re reading here and you want to know more, please ask!

Cooking

I don’t have much kitchen at the JawnXotic Funkatorium, but I make do.

Over the last few weeks, I was able to bust out a really great Arroz Con Pollo with my tiny insta-pot. This recipe will get you mostly there, but I substituted beer for the wine/broth with water to make up the amount of liquid needed (using bullion)…. this is how my grandma cooked arroz con pollo and if High Life was good enough for her (and she never drank beer), it’s certainly always good enough for me.

2024.04 – Arroz Con Pollo

I picked up a fermenting kit and have been fermenting broccoli rabe (rapini?) like kimchee. While I don’t like cabbage, I love rabe, and unlike Philly, Chicago doesn’t put rabe on anything… so the only sandwiches I can get rabe on are the ones I make. I just figured maybe if I ferment it, it might kick the flavor profile a notch funkier while also expand its uses to pork tacos and ramen… or connecting that jawn with a Vienna polish sausage (with some hot honey chili crisp).

Speaking of which, I spent a Sunday at my folks’ place, finally using the brand new smoker I got for my birthday from my former partner’s (mfp‘s) mom… right before things went down. Anyhoo… I’ve been craving some smoked pork for aforementioned tacos and ramen. I used the aforementioned insta-pot to pressure cook the smoked pork butt bone into a delicious tonkotsu I prepared with marinated eggs.

2024.04 – Tonkotsu Al Fresco

Reading

It’s Autism Awareness month, and if you’re somewhere on the spectrum and find it difficult to connect (and stay connected) with others, we’re often counseled that it’s not our fault, we’re not doing anything wrong, relationships are a two-way street.Well, there’s some science behind that and it’s worth us all at least acknowledging our biases if we can’t, or won’t, do something about them. https://www.nature.com/articles/srep40700

This post dares to challenge prioritization and time management concepts out the window. I’ve largely adopted this approach for quite a few years but never considered how clutch it is to how I’m able to JFDI — how does doing what I need make time for everything else? https://everythingchanges.us/blog/energy-makes-time

Shows

Since January I’ve been to some pretty great shows by a wide range of artists. Just this week I saw Caroline Rose playing a kinda surprise second show at the Empty Bottle. February, I caught Militarie Gunn & Spiritual Cramp at First Unitarian for a basement BYOB show on Valentine’s Day — one of those decisions I made that informed me I was in a good headspace for what was going on then. Heh… I saw Rival Schools just a few nights before I moved my things in what was probably the most surreal concert experience I’ve had.

Yup life’s been rolling loud, hard and often fast but I *am* having a lot of fun. Each of these shows was special because of how good the artist was and the people I enjoyed them with.

Connecting back to giving myself some distractions, I went on a two-week Industrial music bender that included a visit to the Post-Punk & Industrial Music Museum!

Just me and Martin Atkins from Pigface, you know, shooting the shit

Anyway, In the span of two days, I saw Gary Numan open for Ministry, with KMFDM the following night!

Gary Numan
Ministry
KMFDM

The next week, I caught Danny Brown, and then PixelGrip opened for HEALTH

Danny Brown
HEALTH
Pixel Grip