My secondary career in baking

Some people know me only from my articles, essays, and book, but I’m still enjoying small crumbs of notoriety for  the official Banana Slug cookie I developed for UC Santa Cruz, pictured below. When I say “developed,” I am speaking only of the cookie’s shape and design, not the ingredients, the frosting or anything else. I had no say in the butter content, amount of sugar, etc. I developed the Banana Slug cookie cutter by buying a very cheap cat-shaped cookie cutter and hitting it with a hammer until it looked more or less like the Slug mascot of UCSC. Then I sent specifications and the cookie cutter to The Buttery bake shop, telling them where to place the eyes, the smiley mouth, and so on.                                           You are probably…

A Golem in Manhattan

Congratulations to my friend Helene Wecker on the publication (today!) of her first novel, The Golem and the Jinni. I just recorded a detailed Q and A with Helene, who told me all about the development, writing process and research that led to this marvelous new book. Look for that this summer (I will share the venue as soon as I have the specifics.)

Coming soon: intensive memoir workshop with author Micah Perks at UC Santa Cruz

Methods and Materials: Memoir is an intensive, advanced creative writing course in memoir writing. For students in the creative writing concentration or by permission of instructor. June 24-July 5, no class July 4, 1-5 each day, five credits. Sign up begins April 15 through UCSC summer session office. Email Micah Perks, for more info. Micah Perks is the author of a novel, short stories, and the memoir, Pagan Time, which is available in paperback, ebook and audio from Her personal essays have appeared and are forthcoming on The Rumpus, an online arts and culture magazine.

Mollusk melt: introducing the world’s first Banana Slug/Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Get a load of this! Kirstin Guinn, my co-worker here at UCSC, has designed what must be the first Banana Slug/Grilled Cheese Sandwich. No actual slugs were harmed in the making of this gooey concoction, but I’m proud to say that Kirstin used my home-made banana slug cookie cutter to stamp out these two slug sandwiches, which are lying right beside each other on the orange plate. You’ll notice that the slug in the foreground has capers for eyes, a bread body, and pepper-jack cheese dripping out of his midsection. Anyways, I asked Kirstin just now: what possessed you to make this particular sandwich? “One of the things I do as a social media manager is find weird holidays and then figure out how to celebrate them online, usually with photos as that makes everything more compelling,” she explained. “When I found out from a fellow social media manager that…

UC Santa Cruz’s boogie-woogie sea lion dances to Earth, Wind & Fire, and the Backstreet Boys

Normally I don’t upload videos but I made an exception for this one.         Next week: see what happens when they cue up a Slayer CD! Just kidding. Speaking of ‘just kidding,” this video was released on April Fool’s Day, but I can assure you that it’s real.