Making Schools Work

Making Schools Work, William G. Ouchi I’ve read Making Schools Work before, but as I began applying to graduate school, it became relevant for me to re-read. I’m interested in how to more effectively design and operate successful schools, and this book offers a very readable, well-researched, and passionate introduction to these questions. Dr. Ouchi, … Continue reading Making Schools Work

A feast!

I’ve been in Hawaii for less than a day (spent yesterday flying, which is why this post is late), and thanks to the miracle of the family-style plate lunch dinner, already have eaten kalbi, Korean chicken, tonkatsu, plus some teriyaki beef and shrimp. Oh man. I can’t wait for all the local style ono kine … Continue reading A feast!

Read me a dream

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Haruki Murakami Things I think Haruki Murakami likes: Food, record players, women’s ears, and melancholic, yet matter-of-fact, meditations on loneliness and fate. I went into this novel mistakenly believing it to be a collection of short stories, which only heightened my disorientation as Murakami chapter-hopped between his … Continue reading Read me a dream

A love song to airplane food and swamps

Airports and swamps are misunderstood.

Yes, airplane travel stresses me out. My brain insists that forgetting to pack a third sports bra or a glue stick will ruin me, despite the existence of laundry machines and shops. I worry about arriving early, security lines, flight times, etc. Then there’s neck cricks, dehydration, and not being able to be upside down for several consecutive hours.

But there’s one shining beacon of air travel: airplane food. Really. When I was a kid – one who secretly longed for forbidden Lunchables – I loved getting a tray with weird compartmentalization and plastic film. Even though the food didn’t taste great, it was exciting to see how much time I could spend investigating each item and savoring its alien microwaved aftertaste. Then I’d squirrel away the jelly packets, salt and pepper, wet naps, and plastic utensils, a habit I maintain to this day.

Now that airplanes don’t serve free meals, I refuse to spend $11 for a cardboardy sandwich that doesn’t even come in compartments. I’m an adult now, which means I get to make my own multi-part meals in boxes, dag-nabbit. And it’s a fun challenge to make it tidy, portable, and substantial enough to be breakfast, lunch, and snack. Here’s what I ate on my flight home today:


  • Pink Lady apple slices. This barrel-shaped, sweet-tart variety has crisp, acidic flesh; great with cheese.
  • Baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, and bell pepper slices. Crisp, watery vegetables take a long time to eat and help me stay hydrated.
  • Hard boiled egg with sriracha. If you cover an egg with at least two inches of water in a pot, heat to boiling, then turn it off and let it sit 10 minutes, it’ll be perfect.
  • Lean roast beef, thinly sliced and tenderized overnight in a bath of my roommate’s mother’s renowned tomato relish.
  • Whole wheat Triscuit-type crackers (so superior to Wheat Thins)
  • Reduced fat cheddar snack stick
  • Attempt at a healthful chocolate chip cookie, made with almonds, whole wheat flour, and various fruit purees. Vegan, and pretty tasty at that.

Swamps, I think, are also misunderstood. They’re dark and dangerous – but as Karen Russell will show you in her outstanding novel, Swamplandia!, there’s magic in them too. Read on for the review!

Swamplandia!, Karen Russell

***WARNING: Contains minor spoilers***

Continue reading “A love song to airplane food and swamps”