This week felt like it went fast. I didn’t know what I was going to write about until I looked at my photos from the week and had my memory jogged. I spent a lot of the week laughing at memes about the boat stuck in the Suez Canal in between being stuck in some very long work meetings.
Here are some things I’ve recently read, watched, or bought.
Books and Other Words
I’ve been trying to keep my pace of reading two books per week so I read 100 this year. The last couple weeks have stymied me a little because I’ve not been totally in love with what I’m reading. It’s fine, but nothing motivates me to read like being obsessed with a story.
Enter the novel Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton. This book is essentially the story of how a zombie apocalypse affects the animal kingdom. The protagonist, a domesticated crow affectionately named Shit Turd (S. T. for short), loves humans and the things they make, like Cheetos. S. T. can’t stand the fact that they are gone. He, along with his former human’s dog, Dennis, go on a quest to liberate the pets trapped inside human houses. It’s a fun concept but I was not super excited about the book overall. I did like that it was set in Seattle and I could really picture a lot of the places the author described. Still, the book is not really for me and that is okay.
Meanwhile, on the internet:
- The impact of inheritance via Vox. This was interesting because I’m always hearing about inheritance from my mom and grandma (hi, mom and grandma). I hadn’t thought about the angle of inheritance offering a generational wealth transfer before.
- Social, not just biological factors, key in increased knee injuries among girls and woman via University of Manitoba News. As someone who plays a sport where women often fuck up their knees, I found this relevant.
- A few thoughts about the big boat via Intelligencer. I’m completely fucking obsessed with this big, stupid boat blocking the Suez Canal. Like most people, I am horrified and amused—laugh/cry, the emotion defining our present era—to see the economy disrupted by one ridiculous vessel and I’m reveling in the collective experience of watching it and laughing about it.
- Yes, people are writing horny fanfic about the Suez Canal and the Ever Given via Jezebel. My favorite is the one that describes the boat as a “fuckboi.”
Allow me to share some boat memes for posterity.
TV and Music
I watched a ridiculous, delightful movie this week called Extra Ordinary. I’m not going to try to describe it but it’s absurd, there are ghosts, satanic rituals, and driving instructor who can communicate with the spirits (but would rather not). It’s really funny and it was totally what I needed.
In the last year of baking everything all the time, I have acquired a lot more ingredients. I bought some new containers for my pantry so all the different flours could have a home and not get lost. This year (and counting) of being at home has led to a lot of little improvements and organizational purchases to make at-home life more pleasant. It’s easy to ignore things when you’re not in the house all the time. but it feels more important under the circumstances. As much as I hate the pandemic, I have appreciated the opportunity to refine my living space.
Making Things and Doing stuff
Kirk was ready to start planting new vegetables for the season. My parsley and cilantro plants went absolutely nuts since we planted them in the bed and not a pot, producing a lot more herb that I can use. I decided to have a go at drying them out. I’ve currently got a bunch (several bunches, I suppose) hanging to dry in the garage. They are supposed to dry out somewhere dark, so I figured the garage was the best spot. I just hung them up on Friday so I don’t know how successful this is yet.
Yesterday, Kirk installed a drip sprinkler system in the garden. It is pretty cool and not something I would have ever thought to do. I’m looking forward to seeing how that works.
I’ve been working on my Spanish, as it feels I always am, but I’m stuck in a cycle where my productivity with it ebbs and flows. This is partly related to how busy work is and how much energy remains to me but also just my moods and what I care to do. Unfortunately, languages are the kind of thing that really benefit from regular focus. If I stop studying for a couple of weeks, it seems like it takes two more weeks to work back up to whatever I was doing and by then I am tired again. I’m not sure what to do about this.
It occurred to me this week that I had talked a big game some months ago about getting into some volunteer translation work and it never went anywhere. I did a couple of small tasks but nothing really panned out. I’m wondering if I can find a better way into this or if I just need to know the right people. I wish I didn’t have to work for a living and could just learn stuff and translate for free.
I didn’t do that much in the kitchen this week, outside of reorganizing my pantry. I did, however, make this handsome loaf to accompany some stew. I am working on scoring loaves more beautifully and this one turned out nice. I also made another batch of madeleines! I used this recipe as a starting point and adjusted it to make them almond and poppy seed flavored. I substituted half of the vanilla for almond extract and tossed in maybe a third of a cup of slivered almonds and a tablespoon of poppy seed. I’ve been wanting to start experimenting more with baking but it seems somewhat daunting. Madeleines are small and the batch isn’t that big so I feel like even if something comes out not great, it’s no big deal. Fortunately, these came out great so I am a winner today.
Finally, here are some cat photos for your nerves.