If you’re in the Bay Area, check out Activist Imagination. That clever Donna Ozawa is 1 of 3 artists showing new work. I forgot to say before, it was her idea to use “Indigo Schmindigo” as my new blog title. Go Donna!

I’m finally feeling better. About fucking time. It really is a wonderful thing to sleep through the night without waking up to cough!

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I have put myself under lockdown. Quarantine. Whatever it takes. I am not leaving the fucking house until & unless I feel well enough to go swimming. I’ve had it with these ridiculous relapses.

However, as a result, I am stircrazy enough to come in here & wanna mess with my blog. For one thing, I’ve had to admit that I blog about salad other things much more than I blog about Chinese restaurants; hence the desire to change ye olde blog title into something totally open-ended.

As for Indigo Schmindigo? That actually came from a long fight I had with a certain dental insurance company (let’s just call them Schmelta Schmental) a few years back, in which they refused to get my name right—& if the name doesn’t match up, well then they can’t pay for shit, of course. We went back & forth about 5 or 6 times while they scrambled & rescrambled my name into every possible permutation (Indigo Somindigo, Som Indigo, Indigo Chihlien, &c.) except the right one, until finally they sent me a postcard saying, per your request we have corrected your name to: INDIGO SCHMINDIGO. Remember, this is a true story. I called my dentist’s office in a fit. The insurance wrangler there could not believe it either, but she agreed that this was more than I should have to handle on my own, so intervened on my behalf & got it all worked out. I don’t know what she had to do, but I surely had new respect for her after that. She still likes to call me Indigo Schmindigo, which is fine with me as long as I’m not catching no grief from no insurance smartasses.

So I don’t know if you’d file this under reappropriation or making lemonade out of lemons or what, but at the very least I hope it’ll keep me (& you too) from taking my blog—& myself—too seriously. Not that there was any real danger of that, heh.

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I just heard the first robin singing! In fact, as I type he’s still going at it, loud & clear from the tippy top of our neighbors’ tree. Dude, isn’t it a little early for that? Don’t stop though; it’s cheering me up on this gray rainy day after 3 weeks(!) of stupid sickness. May many fine robin lasses come & reward you for your effort.

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I must be feeling better if I’m back on the salad thing. At some point in this illness we had run out of food (not surprising for 2 whole freakin’ weeks) & I ventured out to the Bowl to stock up. They were having a major clearance on mâche, a good-size box of the stuff for under $2. I’d never seen it so cheap, so I nabbed a box & brought it home. I don’t really know mâche; it’s one of those foodie lettuces that always seems unreasonably pricey—even for me & my spendy, nothing-but-the-best salad ways—so I’ve only eaten it in restaurants.

First, I tried it with some slices of blood orange & bits of Iberico cheese, dressed with a simple shallot & sherry vinaigrette. This was just okay & felt kind of funny in my mouth. I don’t know how to describe it; it wasn’t astringent like spinach can sometimes be. The best I can do is to say it was strangely mealy for a fresh green leaf. Maybe it had to do with being sick & my mouth was the problem, not the mâche? Or maybe there was a reason it was on sale? But it looked fresh enough.

Okay then, the next evening, mâche take 2: I decided to apply the wilted spinach salad approach, plus throw some sweet, heavy things at it. I also hedged a little by using half mâche & half baby spinach. I sliced 5 or 6 mini chicken apple sausages, a like number of Deglet Noor dates, & an Empire apple, & sauteed them in olive oil until they cooked together: the sausage browned, the dates got nice & gooey, & the apples softened almost to mush. Added some pine nuts, & then spooned the same shallot-sherry vinaigrette over it all. This smelled really delicious, & I thought for sure it would work. I poured this hot cooked stuff over the mâche & spinach leaves, tossed it & ate it.

Hmm… much better, but it still needed something else. Something pungent & zippy. Maybe a fresh herb like marjoram? If I were really 100% well, I probably woulda tried harder, & figured it out.

Lemon zest? I don’t know why I didn’t think of it…

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Still coughing. Still dragging around the house with no energy.

I wish I could just pop up & be well again!

Oh, to be the picture of robust health, sigh…

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Southern California folks: One Way or Another is opening at JANM this weekend, & will be on view till 4 May. I was gonna go down there for the opening, but if you can believe it I am still sick (almost 2 weeks now, wah!), so I’m staying home & keeping my coughs to myself.

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Happy Year of the Rat!

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Aww… look how cute! Typographically correct cupcakes. Scary thing is, I was going to claim that I’m not enough of a type geek to be able to ID the face, but I did have my suspicions, & then… then I turned out to be right. That’s not the same as knowing though. Is it?

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I’m cheating. That up there is yesterday’s date. The 3rd Annual Brigid in Cyberspace Silent Poetry Reading was yesterday, but I spent all of yesterday in bed, no exaggeration. I seem to have been struck with a flu-within-a-cold, because yesterday felt like a whole different type of bludgeoned misery than the painful throat of earlier this week. Anyway, through the indulgence of Blogger I shall date this post with the proper Brigid date, even though it’s a big fat lie because I’m posting a day later.

This poem is from the tantalizing Kim Vaeth, who published one beautiful collection & then disappeared into other activities that are even more obscure than poetry, like musical scores that get performed only rarely, & always in faraway places.

Pencil and Blue Crayon

Let the last drawing I make with pencil and blue crayon be of you in the bath.

Let the weather be fine in February and August.

Let all of us belong to the sunlit now and move from surprise to surprise.

Let the yellow dining rooms where we drink wine have red tablecloths and balconies.

Let all I cannot say open me in your arms.

Let me sit in an old beachchair touching the green present.

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Hey, look what I found! House numbers meet the Evil Chinky Font! Or, perhaps more accurately, house numbers sprang from an ECF. Truly I never would have figured this out on my own, because as the designers point out, the house numbers have “gradually softened” to the point that they don’t seem to resemble any ECF at all, but inhabit their own house number world. My pal the Triathlete has been obsessed with house numbers lately, so I’ve been looking at them more, & wondering where the hell they came from, because they are so typographically odd. Mystery solved, & who ever woulda guessed the answer would strike so close to home?

I can’t help but draw a parallel between the house numbers &—wait for it—“American Chinese” food (aw, you saw that one coming). They both started out as weird misinterpretations of something Chinese, then evolved into their whole own reality, becoming ubiquitous & integral staples of American culture. Arguably the house numbers travelled much farther than the food; the numbers started as racist caricatures (not designed by Chinese typographers, we can safely assume) & are now no longer recognizably Asian in any way at all, racist or otherwise, whereas the food started through gradual adaptations by Chinese cooks themselves trying to figure out what white people wanted to eat, & can still be described the same way.

I love smart type designers. I love them even more when they explain things so clearly.

In cold news, today my throat was still sore enough that an apple was too hard & lumpy to swallow comfortably, but I did have enough energy to make applesauce, which felt quite soothing, both to make & to eat.

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