The big news this week is that I got my first dose of the covid vaccine! On Monday, California started allowing people with risk factors for covid to get vaccinated, which means I was able to get mine! I was up early on Monday and found an appointment at Walgreens the next day. It took my health insurance company until Thursday to notify me that I was eligible to be vaccinated. Too slow! In a stroke of luck, Kirk also got vaccinated this week We are on our way to being a fully vaccinated household and this is exciting.
I got the pfizer shot and didn’t feel any adverse effects except for being a little tired. I was surprised that my arm didn’t even hurt. I’ll be curious to see how bad the second dose hits me.
Here are some things I’ve recently read, watched, or bought.
Books and Other Words
This week I read The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang. This is a military fantasy set in a country that resembles China. I liked it because it gave us fantasy from a different perspective (compared to most European-inspired sword and sorcery stuff). The magic is based on channeling the power of gods. It’s a very intense story and I’m looking forward to reading the next two books.
Meanwhile, on the internet:
- How to plan your future if you don’t plan on having kids via Rewire. I’m definitely going to come back to this piece as I start planning my future. It’s nice to see a frank discussion of this for childfree people like me.
- The wild, sublime body via The Yale Review. A wonderful meditation on dealing with body image.
- Why did women stop dominating the beer industry? via Smithsonian Magazine. I’m mostly sharing this because I was delighted to learn the origin of the pointy hats we now associated with witches. The women wore big hats so people could find them in the market!
- E-mail is making us miserable via The New Yorker. Scientists have confirmed what I have long known: email physically stresses us. Neat.
TV and Music
I watched a movie called Unicorn Store and it brought me joy. Brie Larson plays an artist who loves rainbows and glitter. She gets kicked out of art school for not being the right kind of serious and moves back in with her parents. The movie is about trying to fit in as an adult and about being yourself. It was joyful and fun to watch.
I bought this delightful whisk that is also like a scraper. I haven’t had a chance to use it yet, but it’s a genius concept. Now I can use just one utensil for a lot of things instead of two.
Making Things and Doing stuff
Here are some things I made and stuff I did.
Getting my first covid vaccine has been like magic for me in terms of motivation for physical activity (and a little bit for everything). I haven’t wanted to exercise much in this pandemic year because it’s not as fun at home and it’s hard for me to want to if I’m not working towards anything. Soon I’ll be able to go outside and do things again so it’s much easier to want to move around. I’ve been trying to do mini workouts, like three sets of ten squats and as many rows, for example, to start getting my groove back. I’ve also been trying to stretch more since I have my dance performance coming up. I know I’m not back to “normal” and that’s fine but it feels really good to want to care about things again.
Last month, I sent “mystery ingredients” to my cookbook club for a bit of fun. One of them was wild Icelandic kelp. I don’t normally cook with kelp, but I had a decent amount left over so I have been finding ways to use it. I tried dusting a couple of pretzels with it and it was fine but the flavors didn’t really mesh. Next, I tried furikake chex mix. This is so good and so much better than I expected it to be. It’s a combination of cereals, chips, and pretzels coated in a sweet syrup and mixed with some seaweed and sesame seeds. It’s addictive. It’s also a huge recipe. I had to get out my roasting pan to bake it and it still wasn’t big enough—I had another casserole dish full of it. It seemed like a crazy large amount but I want to eat it all so maybe it’s right after all.
I tried a second round of madeleines with this chocolate madeleines recipe because I want to make sure I’m using that silly, single-use pan I bought. They came out quite good, but I think I like the non-chocolate kind better despite the fact that I really enjoy chocolate. The recipe instructed me to butter the pan and dust it with cocoa powder, then freeze it before baking. I don’t think this improved the cookies. I did all that for the first batch of cookies (shown in the top of the photo), but for the second (bottom of the photo), I just buttered the pan and that resulted in prettier cookies. Now I know.
Because I can’t go a week without making some kind of bread, this week I mad german-style pretzels. Pretzels always seem like a great idea until I’m halfway through rolling out my dough and my arms start to hurt. These were really good pretzels though. It was worth the pain. I was also able to put the malt powder I bought for bagels to use in a another recipe. I’m forever trying to use all the weird ingredients I buy for just one recipe.
Finally, here are some cat photos for your nerves.