Posted in Features, Travel on 05/19/2013 01:34 pm by Catherine
For PARADE Magazine, I put together a quiz about plane travel. Unfortunately, my statistics on animal strikes (frequent; not just birds but turtles) and ridiculous stories about safety announcements (Virgin America had to put a bull into its safety video instead of a dog over concern that people would think dogs need to wear seat belts*) did not make it in. But nonetheless!
*and what? Bulls don’t?
Posted in Features, Food, Writing on 05/19/2013 01:29 pm by Catherine
For O Magazine, a story about a dinner party at Michael Pollan’s Berkeley home, in honor of his newest book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation.
Posted in Essays, Favorites, Features, Health, Writing on 04/10/2013 10:09 am by Catherine
Flywheel, in case you do not keep up with the stationary biking/clubbing scene in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Florida, Atlanta, North Carolina, Texas, or—now—Philadelphia, is a descendant of SoulCycle, another New York-based spinning cult. By “spinning,” I mean a fitness class where you ride on a stationary bike in a dark room, sprinting up imaginary hills to a soundtrack of Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj. And by cult, I mean, well, cult. In my one and only SoulCycle class (a single class in Manhattan costs $34), I watched a group of ponytailed, aggressively fit women—many in makeup, at least one carrying a gold-embossed SoulCycle gym bag—line up on the sidewalk on Manhattan’s Upper East Side outside what used to be a bodega-sized store called Champagne Video. Their $34 did not buy them a locker room, or even a shower. It was good only for 45 minutes in a small room that was packed so tightly with bikes that it was difficult to maneuver between them, and a sound system so loud that I took them up on the complimentary earplugs. “Change Your Body, Take Your Journey, Find Your Soul,” read the manifesto on the wall
For Slate, I reveal my competitive streak. Did I mention that I won?
Posted in Essays, Favorites, Features, Food, Writing on 02/27/2013 11:37 am by Catherine
They arrived early on a Tuesday morning in a cardboard box. “1000 Red Worms,” read the label in large letters printed beneath the USPS tracking number. Return address: Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm. My mailman handed the package to me with no emotion, but I was excited. Inside were the catalysts for my latest experiment: vermicomposting. Or, to be less Latinate about it, composting with worms.
For Slate Magazine, I write about the 10,000 or so red wigglers currently residing in my kitchen.
Posted in Features, Writing on 07/22/2012 11:42 am by Catherine
For Parade Magazine, I get my first double cover ever. (I prefer the dog.) Ever wonder whether dogs are really colorblind? Or whether pets have a sense of time? In the words of Marcel the Shell, read on!
Posted in Essays, Features on 07/22/2012 11:37 am by Catherine
If you asked me to describe my typical Tuesday night, it would not include singing a parody version of “La Bamba” in front of a group of adults, in Spanish, while wearing a sombrero. But then, there were many experiences during my recent week at camp that were not exactly typical. I don’t often, for example, take a yoga class in Spanish, or make pizza over an Argentinean grill, or spend every night watching a live version of Maria La Del Barrio, a spoof telenovela (soap opera) put on by my counselors.
I loved camp as a kid, so much that I even worked as a camp counselor during high-school summers. (I remember thinking that the $50-a-week position might be the most fun job I’d ever have.) But I’d assumed that—much like three-month-long summer vacations and being able to exist on $50 a week- my days as a camper were over. Turns out, I was wrong.
I just did a story for Parade Magazine about going to the Concordia Language Villages’ Spanish program in Bemidji, Minnesota. Oh, to be eating tapas. . . .
Posted in Essays, Favorites, Features, Travel, Writing on 09/18/2011 03:35 am by Catherine
It was Friday night in Shinjuku, a Tokyo neighborhood famous for neon signs, subterranean shopping malls, and rent-by-the-hour lodgings known as love hotels. In crowded bars, people tipped back beers and sang karaoke. Young men with black jackets and gelled hair stood on street corners, offering menus of available escorts to passersby. In the midst of the action was a store window, covered except for a narrow strip of glass. If you were to have stopped and looked through it, you would have seen something strange: my legs, submerged to the ankles, with 600 flesh-eating fish feasting on my feet.
This is the story of how I got there.
I recently had the amazing opportunity to write a story for O, The Oprah Magazine about taking a trip in which I based all of my decisions, from what I saw to where I slept, on the recommendations of strangers. It’s out in the June issue, along with this slide show.
Posted in Essays, Favorites, Features, Food, Writing on 09/02/2011 08:30 am by Catherine
In a piece for Slate, I wrote about the time when my husband and I ate a rabbit we found in the middle of the road. I was not anticipating that they would illustrate it.
It really was a good-looking rabbit. Shiny coat, sleek body, glassy eyes—only its mangled back leg hinted at its violent cause of death. My husband Peter and I had come across this rabbit on a trip to a bird sanctuary in Gridley, Calif. It was lying in the middle of a narrow country road, stretched stiffly across the pavement; Peter swerved slightly to avoid its body.
“That was a pretty rabbit,” he said, guiding the car back into the correct lane.
I agreed. We continued down the road in silence. Then, several hundred meters later, Peter spoke again.
“Should we go back and pick it up?”
He was suggesting that we take the rabbit home and eat it. Yes, I’m aware that this sounds crazy. And no, I’m not a back-to-the-land hippie: I grew up in Manhattan, where eating something off the street will likely result in an untimely death. But we were living in Oakland, Calif., dangerously close to Berkeley—the epicenter of the organic food movement, where the words local andsustainable are prized more than Michelin stars. This rabbit was wild, grass-fed, and presumably antibiotic- and artificial hormone-free. Except for the car that had hit it, no food miles had been accrued delivering it to us. So why not bring it home for dinner?
This is the best headline ever.
Posted in Diabetes, Essays, Favorites, Features, Food, Health, The Reluctant Diabetic, Writing on 08/30/2011 09:24 am by Catherine
Before I received the diagnosis that I had Type 1 diabetes, I saw food as food, and ate it as such — simply, casually, with no real thought attached.
The winter of my senior year of college, after a bad cold and a painful breakup, I began eating more — not to cope, but to feel full. I was hungry, always hungry. Hungry and thirsty and tired, piling my tray in the dining hall with pasta, cheese, dessert, getting up in the middle of the night to slurp water from my dorm’s bathroom faucet.
I gorged myself and yet my pants were looser, my arms thinner, my stomach flatter. One afternoon I threw it all up, convinced I had food poisoning. My stomach eventually settled but my mind did not. The world swirled. I couldn’t stand without stumbling. On February 17th, 2001, I entered the hospital, and since that day, food has never been the same.
Tara Parker-Pope at the New York Times recently published an essay of mine in the Well blog called “Thinking About Diabetes With Every Bite.” about my experience living with Type 1 diabetes. Not only was I thrilled to have such a personal piece placed in the Times, but I’ve been incredibly touched by the wonderful feedback I’ve gotten from other people with Type 1 (and Type 2). It’s inspired me to keep writing about diabetes — if you want to read more, check out my Reluctant Diabetic blog over at the diabetes website, A Sweet Life.