ROCK PAPER RADIO is a dispatch for misfits & unlikely optimists by your favorite hapa haole, beet-pickling, public radio nerd. It’s a weekly email newsletter that shares three curiosities every Thursday - something to hold on to (that’s the ‘rock’), something to read (that’s the ‘paper‘), and something to listen to (you guessed it, that’s the ‘radio’). Themes include but are not limited to: rebel violinists, immortal jellyfish, revolution. Thanks for subscribing and spreading the word.
SOMETHING TO READ
I like fancy things sometimes, like this truffle oil hot sauce and the very fluffy socks decorated with hockey sticks that I picked up at a Canadian drug store, but I draw the line at choosing restaurants based on a star rating determined by the same people who make tires (for real though).
Unfortunately for writer Geraldine DeRuiter, she learned the hard way that 200 Euros per person and one Michelin star at a resturant in Italy named—wait for it—Bros, does not a perfect meal make. Lucky for us though, she wrote about her 27-course adventure in doll-sized bites on her blog The Everywhereist and it is amazing. Behold: Bros., Lecce: We Eat at The Worst Michelin Starred Restaurant, Ever.
Oh, and the photos are unbelievable. As in, you literally will not believe that DeRuiter and her crew were served spoonfuls of citrus foam in plaster molds of the chef’s mouth and that the end result looks kind of, well, spicy. Buon appetito!
SOMETHING TO LISTEN TO
This excellent 45-minute episode of 99% Invisible on romance novels and their covers exploded my brain. I don’t know who I thought was reading and writing these books before listening to The Cinch, but in case you also haven’t been keeping up with this exploding industry, know this: apparently it’s not just Blanche from The Golden Girls who is devouring paperbacks featuring pecs with luscious locks on the cover.
This episode is everything that’s spectacular about 99%. There’s a problematic history. There’s design secrets only insiders know about (spoiler: go for the titles with green covers for an out-of-this-world treat). There’s a well connected community of super enthusiasts hiding in plain sight. There’s surprising characters like Beverly Jenkins who’s a historian who made history herself when her romance novel was the first to feature a Black couple on the cover, giving Fabio and his buxom blonde sidekicks a run for their money. I will never look at the books in the grocery store the same way again.
SOMETHING TO HOLD ON TO
NPR host Sam Sanders of It’s Been a Minute received an email recently from a listener who does not appreciate the way Sanders shows his guests he’s engaged in their conversation. The emailer also, astonishingly, accused Sanders of having some personal digestive issues.
Sanders’ sharp, hilarious, and educational response spoke right to my Hawaii-born Chinese heart. In my family, if someone’s listening to your story in silence, that’s a sign you’ve put them to sleep. You can find the full exchange in all of its glory here.
HAPPY WINTER RIDING
That’s a wrap on issue 62, friends. Thanks for reading, listening, holding on.
If you too have been riding your bike around in the cold while waxing nostalgic about that fleeting moment last summer when we were all vaxxed up and fully unaware that we were only experiencing the pandemic pause, have hope. We’re less than two weeks away from the shortest day of the year. Light is on its way.
See you next Thursday.