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iOS engineer, writer, and general glossophile. she/her.
Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

In the days of lore and legend that precede my employment, Medium operated under the decentralized organizational philosophy of holocracy. Though leadership has long since shifted to a more hierarchical structure, vestiges of holocracy lurk in unexpected places.

i recently wrote about realizing that my pando-fueled efficiency kick isn’t as rosy as i’d reckoned. my best efforts to streamline everything cropped up in my cooking: i’ve shied away from serendipity and sought out simplicity and the same old. i off-roaded my livelihood straight into a lackluster rut.

some takes on pandemic takeout

the pandemic changed how i dine out. forgive me for such a trite opener: it’s concise and true. as my increasingly vaccinated milieu threatens to burst my (physical, social, emotional) quarantine bubble, my overstimulated mind has turned to restaurants as The Thing To Talk About with friends i haven’t seen in months and don’t quite remember how to interact with.

  • what’s the first restaurant you’d like to return to for outdoor/indoor dining?
  • which gustatory experiences have you missed most? (don’t worry, i’d never pull out “gustatory” on a friend.)
  • are you over the weekly expenditures mandated by…

on food, memory, and ghost stories (kind of)

i’ve been feeling quite fond of my cache of nut butters lately, both pantry-placed and memory-moored.

dinner on the anniversary of shelter-in-place day one

to purchase unripe plantains is to make an investment in my future. wrap them up in a paper bag, squirrel them away in a kitchen corner, and wait... a few days? a week? two? who knows! but the anticipation of their black-speckled ripeness foretells a favorable meal.

a surprisingly good and filling post-run breakfast (vegan)

yesterday, i blended frozen açai packets (plastic discarded) with a cloyingly overripe banana and left some rolled oats and dark chocolate granola to soak in that mixture overnight in the fridge. after a hearty foam roll (optional), i beelined to the kitchen where i topped my jar of açai-ified oats and granola with crumbled cashews, banana slices, two dollops of (kinda mediocre) tahini, and the salty/seedy leftovers of my coarse-grained attempt at nik sharma’s gunpowder nut masala. i mixed all ingredients together to eat and would describe the overall taste as bittersweet with a hint of umami and salt — a delectable combination — and texture as appropriately chonky.

it feels apt to christen this new blog with a post about its namesake dish.

  • it requires little to no advance planning. (caveat: this is not intended to be a relatable statement!) i purchase kale, spinach, chard, arugula, or some other leaf at least once a week. i either buy english muffins or make bread — a crusty boule, my dad’s midwestern…

The pandemic changed how I read. Fiction has always been my wheelhouse; not so in 2020. Of the 48 total books I read, 24 — half! — were nonfiction. (The rest: 23 fiction books, 1 collection of poetry.)

Welcome to my second-annual book brain-dump! Last year, I once again refused to set an “I-must-read-X-books-in-a-year” goal. That tactic works for some, but I fear it would turn one of my favorite solo activities into a source of anxiety. I still managed to read a whole lotta books: 48 to be exact.

Even though I refused to set an integral reading goal in 2018, I somehow ended up reading 46 books — that’s six more than in 2017, when I felt a bit rushed to reach the 40-book goal that I had set. I’ve pulled out eight books to recommend from my complete list of 2018 reads.

Full-Length Novels

Mid-March marked the five-year anniversary of my acquaintance with Kurt Vonnegut — one of my most beloved authors— so I read three books by him in 2018. I may have found a new favorite in Sirens of Titan, an intergalactic parable about the meaning of…

Alaina Kafkes

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