Some Words About Jesse’s Girl, Anthony Bourdain and Mussels

Photo Credit: @HannahBusing at Unsplash

It’s been a while! I have two new essays this month that I wanted to share: one serious tribute to Anthony Bourdain and a humor piece that addresses the excessive number of guys named Jesse in early 80s songs.

“Exercising Mussel Memories” is about the deep connection between certain foods and memory. The literary magazine Barrelhouse chose to include it as part of tribute series to Bourdain, a beloved chef, author, traveler, and television personality.

Here’s the back-story: While I appreciate a good meal I’m no foodie; no one would hire me as a restaurant reviewer. Writing about a particular meal, though, that I can do. Maybe because there’s so much tied up in the most memorable meals — the food, the setting, the company, the context. Which is why if I’m ever going to get teary over a plate of food, it’s mussels.

Switching gears, I wrote a 1980s inspired humor piece called “Jesse Offers Rick Springfield Belated Birthday Greetings and Some Grievances.” It’s running over at Little Old Lady Comedy which just seemed like the perfect fit.

I was inspired to write this when I told our Alexa to play an 80s station and I noticed a pattern: every third song seemed to include a Jesse. This one will make NO sense to those of you who didn’t listen to Rick Springfield, Carly Simon or Journey back in the day. For those who did (I see you on that dance floor, Jesse’s Girl fans!), I think you might enjoy this one.

Here are links to the stories:

Exercising Mussel Memories” — Barrelhouse

Jesse Offers Rick Springfield Belated Birthday Greetings and Some Grievances” — Little Old Lady Comedy

Thanks for reading!


P.S. I tried to find a picture of Rick Springfield eating mussels because I thought that would be thematically perfect but alas, only found pictures of Rick’s muscles. Just wasn’t the same.

2 thoughts on “Some Words About Jesse’s Girl, Anthony Bourdain and Mussels

  1. Aviva Goldfarb says:

    Thanks for sharing these, Kristin–I need to know where you like to get good mussels around here, I’ve been craving them lately. Love your essay about the mussels memories, I could practically picture the scene and taste those garlicky mussels!

    1. Kristin O'Keefe says:

      Thank you! In MD, I really like the mussels at Black Market (Garrett Park) and Republic (Takoma Park). And want to get back to NYC–my sister-in-law told me that we the restaurant is still there! The name is Little Bee, but in French: Petite Abeille. Although maybe I should let that one linger as a perfect memory… we’ll see.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *