Friday, January 29, 2010

INTERVIEW: TED DANSON IN FEB. GQ


From this month's magazine: short story in which I have lunch with the excellent and charming Mr. Danson at the Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan and we talk about saving the oceans and loony magazine editors and, among other things, the point of everything.

Some bits that didn't make it into the story but I like:

ON TRYING:
"By the way I don’t believe that we are going to save the planet. I just believe it’s a great game to play while you’re here. Once you figure out we’re all going to die anyway then it’s not about saving the planet its about how you engage the problems while you’re here, the grace with which you lead your life."

ON LARRY DAVID:
"The worst thing about Larry David’s successs is that it’s given him this right to walk around being Larry David. He gets to be totally self-centered and make people laugh at the same time. The rest of us would get clobbered. But my wife Mary told Larry if I ever she a real real big serious problem in life he'd be one of first people she'd come to. And he got tears in his eyes, it meant that much to him. He has a huge heart, a big big old heart."

ON HODGMAN (?!):
"He’s incredibly bright—and quite the actor."

ON THE CLINTONS:
"He loves to laugh. They both do. I don’t know that they run around looking for the silliness in life. They find life and all of its complexities fascinating and want to make things better where as I may be looking for the drum beat or the banana peel. They enjoy other people hugely. He would know everything about you by the end of the this conversation and remember it and glean something from it. They both have scary brains and huge hearts."

ON THE OKAYNESS OF NOT ALWAYS BEING OKAY:
"I'm a happy guy. I have some sadness but sadness ain’t bad. Sadness can be sweet. Sadness has something to do with being real."


(Above: 9.84 and 2.10. Wonder what became of the guy who wrote "Denim Updated"?)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

FEB. BON APPETIT: TOFU IN KYOTO


Tofu! Tofu? I know what you're thinking. But trust me: Fresh tofu in Japan is an altogether different species than the bland water-logged loaves we get here. There are regional varieties all over Japan but Kyoto is the acknowledged center of tofu making, tofu culture and general tofu obsessing. Check out my story in this month's Bon Appetit, in which I run around the city, learn from artisinal tofu producers how they turn soaked beans into delicate blocks or fried sheets, visit an ancient yuba (tofu skin) maker, eat boiled yudofu in a centuries old ryokan and tofu donuts in the street and a lot of other things along the way. Jeff Lipsky's pictures in the print magazine are beautiful; I'll post a scan when I get a copy. For now here's a link to the online version.

(Above: with Genichi Morii, tofu maker at the famous shop Morika, which, as you know, uses calcium sulfate rather than standard magnesium chloride as a coagulant).

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HELLO AGAIN


How've you been, imaginary readers? Happy (still mostly) new year. Sorry for doing nothing here for a while. That's over now.
Above: Groggy + sunny, the island of Madeira, Portugal, first day of January 2010.