Bad news first. Tonight's Chow Hall Eats was something that only an awful cook with a very low bar (it me!) could like. Total fail that I wouldn't serve to anyone. Except me. I liked it. That which comes off my stove top and doesn't kill me only makes me...daydream about opening a restaurant.

Now the good news for the 10 people who read these silly posts. There is -6.742% chance that I will ever open a restaurant. I can only envision one possible route in this universe or the multi-verse that sees me opening a restaurant: I somehow become the Jeff Bezos of the world's last remaining Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) in a Blade Runner meets The Walking Dead world. I am so lacking in creativity that I would name it MaREy's Fine Foods. I'd charge you extra for the little Tabasco containers. (I loved the Tabasco containers in MREs. I was fond of MREs. Except for the Chicken a la King - I threw up. I think most people who've eaten a broad spectrum of MREs have at least one that didn't work.)

So what was the meal? I've been craving anchovies, so when I saw a packet on sale the other night I snatched them up. Got some orecchiette going, waited a bit, chopped up a sad looking jalapeno, chucked it into a skillet (not THE skillet), watched it get a little sadder, added some garlic, and then chucked in the anchovies. I just make this shit up, all of it. Hard to believe, I know. I have no idea what to look for when heating jalapenos, garlic, and anchovies. It worked for me, but I think if Mark Bittman walked in he'd have dropped some F-bombs. A lot of F-bombs.

Man, that sad jalapeno got to me. Runny nose, sneezing. I love hot, spicy foods. They don't think too highly of me, but that's ok.

We had a bad day in Washington with respect to COVID case numbers. Looks like a 4th wave is trying to break through. Really frustrating, for a lot of reasons, but partly because this amateur blogger who knows nothing about epidemiology suspects it reflects our earlier successes. We have a lot of people who didn't get it in 2020, and the virus is exploiting that combo of variants, easing restrictions, and fatigue. (Again, I haven't got a science or medical background. Just trying to make sense of what's going on around me, and I'm also very grateful for the way Seattle approached this pandemic.)

Governor Inslee mentioned that we might have to tighten up again. I respect him for saying that, and for basing it on metrics, but I'm not sure there's room in the tank for a roll back. I read that the next phase assessment is in early May. I was walking around Capitol Hill tonight, and the restaurants were packed. One gets the sense that most people are at the fingers crossed phase - let's hope the vaccines trump the variants.

Speaking of restaurants, Capitol Hill got a little good news - the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog reported that Chef Shota Nakajima's Taku is set to open, and that it had a pop-up tonight. I walked by at about 1900, and it was sold out. Congratulations, Taku.

Taku Shota Nakajima Capitol Hill Seattle April 2021
Chef Shota Nakajima's Taku had a pre-opening pop-up on 23 April 2021. It sold out. Congratulations, Taku. Nice to get some good news. Capitol Hill, Seattle, 23 April 2021. (I read about the pop-up in the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog, which is a great resource for local journalism.)

Still here? I thought I had a few other things to write about, but now I can only think of one. FEDEX is fast and efficient, but dang, their mailing process is revealing. Remember that speeding ticket I got? Well, turns out just looking forlornly at the ticket doesn't count as paying the ticket. Time to mail it in. The post office was about to close, so I went to FEDEX.

Me: Here's the envelope, but I don't see an address label anywhere.
FEDEX (with lots of customers): Oh don't you worry, I can handle all of that. Lewis Country District Court? So that's where we're sending it today? Sounds good. Now I just need your name, address, and phone number.
Me (internal voice): Oh great.

Twenty years ago that might have bothered me. Oh no, everyone in Kinko's (remember, 20 years ago) thinks I'm a criminal! Doesn't bother me now. Still, I'd have preferred not having to blurt out all my personal info, not that that really matters. Entertainment Tonight's paparazzi aren't lurking in bushes or FEDEXes to get dirt on me.

The folks at the Broadway FEDEX are nice, so I told them about the speeding ticket. My mischievous side wanted to tell them that I just wanted to add a colorful mural to Inslee's mansion in Olympia. That shouldn't be a crime. It's art.