Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Sex and San Francisco

I am about to start writing a column for San Francisco magazine that will follow the romantic lives of 10-12 characters on an ongoing basis, and I am looking for people to be in it. They will represent a sexual spectrum of San Francisco. They could be gay, straight, bi, polyamorous, or polymorphously perverse. They could be married, single, or living in a “quad” with another couple. They could be looking for love in the online personals or striving to perfect their orgasm in weekly sex cult meetings. They could be a long-established couple looking to spice up their sex life with a course in Tantra, or they could be a teenager who has signed up to True Love Waits. I think of the column as “Sex and the City” meets "The Canterbury Tales".

Will you tell me your secrets or do you know anyone who will? (Please note that it’s more important for you to like telling stories about your sex/love life than for you to have wild adventures.) If you are interested, please email me:
One last thing: it is completely anonymous (only I know your identity). You get the exhibitionistic thrill of baring all--but without having to move to another city.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Selfless Sleuthing

Kids, unfortunately, require regular attention, and blogs are the same. So it was very wrong of me not to blog for a month. I admit that. But I expect to be forgiven every peccadillo when I explain the selfless endeavor on which I have now embarked.

Ever since I married a New Mexican salsa addict, who loves salsa the way I, an Englishwoman, love a cup of tea, I have been searching for the perfect salsa. Papalote’s, a little Mexican restaurant on 24th and Valencia, is famous for its salsa, which has an incomparable rich, deep tomato flavor. One online review opined, “Their salsa is like crack.” I now plan to unlock the secret of Papalote’s addictive salsa. I don’t want to diminish the profits of the Escobedo family, the owners of Papalote, so I have no plans to manufacture the salsa for sale, or even publish its secret on the Internet. I simply wish to delight Jordan and my friends with this piquant condiment.

Of course, the Escobedos have ignored requests for the recipe, which means I have to figure it out on my own. Happily, with the advance of modern technology, reverse-engineering recipes need no longer be a matter of trial and error: DNA analysis will unveil a dish’s ingredients. But although I hunted high and low on the Internet, I could not find a US lab that would analyze my salsa. Europe, it turns out, is far ahead of the US in food DNA analysis. I won’t go into the reasons here, but it’s to do with GMOs, BSE and foie gras.

After a little research, I located a French company called Gextrack that specializes in food analysis. They will tell you if there are traces of pig in your pudding, or whether that fillet of cod is really scrod. They are also experts in exposing fraudulent foie gras (contaminated with pork or chicken). But can they figure out the riddle of my relish? A fellow named Monsieur Robert has been kind enough to take an interest in my mission. This morning I sent him a detailed email asking him if Gextrack can identify the DNA of, say, a jalapeno. If so, I will immediately overnight several pounds of the enigmatic salsa to France, where I imagine men in white lab coats will pore over it as if it were semen from a crime scene.

If Monsieur Robert and his colleagues do uncover the ingredients of the sphinx-like salsa, the implications are revolutionary. In the future, no recipe will remain mysterious for long. There will be no more secret sauces, closely guarded through generations, and Colonel Sanders must finally reveal his blend of eleven herbs and spices.

I eagerly await my answer from Monsieur Robert. Although of course, even if his team can identify the salsa ingredients, I still have to figure out how they were cooked. I may have to divorce Jordan and marry one of the brothers Escobedo.