Drawing Power—If your daily commute—or the driver of your getaway car— takes you east on H Street from downtown Sacramento, you’re in for a rare visual treat. As you approach 15th Street, a series of five gorgeous posters in light boxes advertise the Sacramento Theatre Company’s 2008–09 season. (Full disclosure: I became president of STC’s board of trustees this past July 1, despite my best efforts to organize a last-minute coup d’ état.) Each amusing and distinctive drawing was created by Neil Lofquist, husband of Jennifer Crnik, STC’s nonstop, frighteningly energetic coordinator of events and group sales. Lofquist, who’s 27, holds a bachelor’s in fine arts with an emphasis on illustration from Cal State Fullerton, a campus at which I once worked on a master’s degree I didn’t complete and taught communication courses I didn’t understand. Lofquist does his original drawings on a computer tablet using an implement that he says “looks just like a pencil. I mean, it even has an electronic eraser on the other end.” I ask why he prefers doing art in this manner rather than using paint, colored pencils or, my medium of choice, half-chewed crayons. “Because this way,” he says, “I can let my imagination run free and not get myself or my clothes dirty. If I get a phone call in the middle of working, I don’t have to shower before picking up the receiver.” Lofquist and Crnik married this past April 26. “We met at my cousin’s wedding in Las Vegas,” he says, “and the weird part was that Jenn had been one of my cousin’s best friends since they were in, like, nursery school.” I ask him why that qualifies as weird. “Because,” he says, “I was always close to my cousin and somehow had never met Jenn in all those years.” Maybe his cousin was a distant one.
How’s Bayou?—I wrote some months ago about Formaggio, the then-new, somewhat Italian restaurant at the Marriott hotel in Rancho Cordova. It now has a new chef de cuisine, Russell Johnigan, a New Orleans native who grew up cooking for his mother, brothers and sisters. If Johnigan looks familiar to you, perhaps you ran into him when he was chef/partner at Il Fornaio in downtown Sacramento about 10 years ago. And, lest you think his origins mean that all he cooks is Cajun or Creole, here’s a helpful culinary hint: When they serve blackened food in an Italian restaurant, it’s usually by accident.
At the Very Lease—I recently spotted a sign for apartments on Fair Oaks Boulevard, just west of Howe, that made this amazing offer: “Rent Today! Free 42-Inch Flat-Screen TV Included!” In smaller type was this disclaimer: “Restrictions Apply.” I had to wonder what those restrictions might be. Here’s a brief but helpful list of possibilities: (1) You may not turn on the TV; (2) You may turn on the TV but only watch C-Span.
Epic Contortions—This gag is strictly for the literati (principally, people who don’t refer to book-lending places as “lieberries.” As you know, it should be spelled “liberries”). I’ve lately seen a number of signs in my neighborhood for Grendahl Construction, which does a lot of remodeling jobs. Love the name. I’m wondering if the company installs Beowulf windows. Please turn your papers in and leave quietly.
Ed Goldman’s Fear of Frying: Understandable Recipes for the Cookbook-Challenged is online at sacmag.com/FearofFrying. Two new recipes are offered every week.