A Week in the Life: January 10, 2020

This week has been difficult for no tangible reason. I don’t know if it was hormones or what, but it felt like I had a mini-bout of depression for most of the week. I was tired and didn’t feel like doing anything. I was upset and having imposter feelings about work. I do have anxiety and I have dealt with depression in the past, but usually I’m good about talking myself down from these kinds of moods. Plus, I am medicated, which helps. I am, however, feeling better today. I can’t say what the turning point was for sure, but I had a giant plate of nachos last night and felt a lot better after. Better living through Mexican food? (note: this is not to say that anyone with depression just needs to eat. This is my sense of humor; why cry when you can laugh?).

Consuming

Here are some things I read, watched, or bought this week.

Reading

Here’s some of the good stuff I read on the internet this week. Although by good I don’t mean “feel good” because these are all real downers, but they are interesting and important.

  • What our weighted blankets tell us about our late-capitalism angst via Forge. Weighted blankets seem to help people sleep, but is selling them just commodifying sleep?
  • Meet the CEOs cashing in on Trump’s aggression against Iran via CounterPunch. A reminder to us all that Trump isn’t starting wars just for fun, but also for profit. Eat the rich.
  • The Dark Side of Good News via Dame Magazine. Author Brooke Binkowski advances the argument that “heartwarming” stories of children raising money to pay of classmates’ lunch debt (sidebar: why the fuck does “lunch debt” exist?), or people fundraising for each other’s medical care are not just cute human interest stores, rather they distract us from the underlying issues and structural problems that cause people to go bankrupt over medical care in the first place.
  • ‘Like sending bees to war’: The deadly truth behind your almond-milk obsession via The Guardian. Another entry under “wow, capitalism just sucks.” Something like one-third of the bees employed to pollinate California’s almond orchards die in the process because the environment is so toxic to them. It’s an example of why there’s no ethical consumption under capitalism, even a morally “better” choice, like eschewing cow milk for almond “milk,” means you’re taking part in a system that’s not healthy for human workers, bees, or probably those of us drinking almond milk.

Watching

I’ve been watching season two of Killing Eve and really loving it. Watching Sandrah Oh’s character become more of a sociopath is fascinating and I love Jodie Comer, who plays Villanelle, particularly for her language skills and ability to do good accents. We also watched The Disaster Artist last weekend, which is about the movie The Room, widely considered to be one of the worst movies ever. It was absurd and hilarious and, perhaps predictably, left us with more questions than answers.

Consuming

a regular backpack, but bright orange
Swiss Gear “pumpkin” backpack

Kirk and I have been talking about making some basic emergency kits, so we ordered a pair of bright orange backpacks to build our kits with. I have a hard time with emergency preparedness stuff because it makes me feel like a nutjob. Obviously there’s plenty in the world now to suggest that having an emergency kit is smart planning, but it takes me back to days of Mormonism and church leaders encouraging everyone to have a year’s supply of food storage and do other wild “end of days” prep. I know that’s not what I’m doing, but somehow I’m having a hard time shaking that feeling. Hopefully with time it will leave me alone.

Making Things and Doing Stuff

Thanks to feeling out of sorts, I didn’t do a whole lot this week. We’re getting back into normal routines and I spent most of the week wanting to nap.

Knitting and Crafts

This week I’ve knit the better part of a sock. I started out with a different pattern last week, decided it wasn’t working, and started this version instead. I wasn’t sure that the grey yarn on the cuff and heel were going to match the main yarn that well, but now that I’ve got it knit up, it’s working better than anticipated. Hopefully by this time next week I’ll be well into this sock’s partner.

a sock, knit to slightly past the heel
sock in progress

Language Learning

I did the listening portion of a DELE practice this exam this week and did … surprisingly well. It’s not that I doubt myself, but I am a realist and these tests are meant to be tricky. Hopefully this is a sign that my skills are improving and not that I just got a lucky test that made sense to me.

I’ve also confirmed that my Icelandic teacher is on maternity leave now. I’m faced with the challenge of maintaining some Icelandic without direction and with the pressure of Spanish. So far I’ve been fitting in around 20 minutes of flashcards a day, which is pretty good. I’m thinking I can expand it to watching videos or something just to keep what skills I have.

Strongs

This week is the beginning of my new cycle of workouts and Prime has us working on jumping. A jumping-focused workout is not something I would choose for myself because I’m heavy and jumping is a high-effort proposition. However, so far it’s been pretty good. Hard, but good. I do feel a little stupid doing lots of weird jumps in the gym, but I always feel kind of stupid in the gym and maybe gyms exist to make us feel stupid anyway (thank you for coming to my TED Talk)? I did every workout in the last cycle and was proud of that, but this week I’ve already skipped one, which I am also okay with. Gotta do what feels right for the body and today that’s an epsom salt bath instead of a trip to the gym.

Kitchen Witchery

I didn’t to much in the kitchen this week other than put together some chili and cornbread for dinner. We’ve been eating a lot of leftovers and I haven’t wanted to do a whole lot. Although I did finally manage to make a decent bowl of oatmeal, which is a great accomplishment. I followed the instructions from The Kitchn, and added some cinnamon, honey, and pecans, which turned out quite tasty.

Finally, here is a cat photos for your nerves.

Viola from above
Viola, on guard

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