What a week! I celebrated my thirty-fifth birthday, received and rejected a job offer, and met a kitten that we might adopt!
May 11 was my birthday, which is something that gets a little less exciting every year (what’s great about 35? nothing in particular), but we tried to make a good time of it. We booked a night of Feast and Fiction at Capital Books on K, which was a lot of fun. They let you rent the bookstore for an evening. It’s not a restaurant, so they encourage you to bring your own dinner, but they do provide desserts. I really enjoyed taking my sweet-ass time browsing the store and buying all the books I wanted. It’s basically a perfect birthday for me.
As for the job offer: I applied to a job in a neighboring department once I heard my boss was retiring. They were super keen to have me, but I realized that throughout the process, the potential manager didn’t ask me anything about myself, what I want from the job, or where I am going with my career. I decided that was too much of a red flag for me. For now, I’m going to stay and see how things shake out with whatever new boss we get.
Here are some things I’ve recently read, watched, or bought.
Books and Other Words
I’ve been trying to pick up the pace on reading because my reading app is reminding me I am four books behind if I want to reach my goal of 100 books this year (which, honestly? kind of rude). I’m trying but I keep reading such long books, like The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab. This started a little slow for me and I admit I almost gave up on it, but I am really glad I didn’t. The story follows a woman, Addie, who makes a deal with a devil to live until she’s tired of living so she can avoid being married to a random man in her small French village. She gets what she wants but at the cost of anyone being able to remember who she is. This book is good and it ends with an emotional gut punch.
In less good books, I read Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam. I heard a lot of good reviews of this book, and it came in my Powell’s Indispensable subscription, so I was optimistic. Unfortunately, it’s kind of a weird book and nothing comes of the weirdness. The story centers on a family vacationing in an Airbnb, when the home’s owners show up fleeing some unnamed calamity. Most of the book is about these two groups of people navigating each other and their expectations. I thought this book would have some kind of wild ending like everyone turns into flamingos and returns to the woods (I know flamingos don’t live in the woods. Don’t @ me.), but no. It ends much like it started with a bunch of people being kind of insufferable.
Meanwhile, on the internet:
- Real-estate reckoning on ‘master bedrooms’ as a racist term took place after years of discussion—yet many home builders dropped the term years ago via MarketWatch. On the scale of “things that are racist,” referring to the biggest bedroom in the house as the “master bedroom” is not that serious, but I also see no reason to use a term that inherently invokes a power dynamic for a room where people sleep. The article makes a good point that this is kind of the least of anyone’s problems in terms of racism related to real estate, but we have to start somewhere.
- What’s in a Name via Science Mag. The English-speaking world’s style of having one last name is not as ubiquitous as we tend to assume. This is a perspective from a Latin American scientist grappling with how to best represent herself in her publications.
TV and Music
I’ve finally finished watching all five seasons of Orphan Black. I thought it was an inventive series and I was satisfied by the ending. The best part of that show is watching the main actress transform into all the different versions of herself. The power of hair and makeup is strong, but she’s also a very good actress for being able to differentiate all these people.
On the topic of TV, I am still making my way through the Golden Girls. I’ve just started season five and I am continually impressed by the issues the show takes on. I was surprised to see them address chronic fatigue syndrome and the difficulty of getting diagnosed with a newly identified condition. The show was ahead of its time.
Check out these books! Just look at all them books! These are the spoils from my private bookstore browsing. I realized once I’d collected them all from the shelves that it was too many books to buy at once but Kirk said it’s my birthday and he was buying! Get you a man or woman who will buy you all the books!
Making Things and Doing stuff
There are some things I’ve made and stuff I’ve done.
This week, both my dance classes are recording our performances for our digital recital. I have jazz tonight and ballet on Saturday. Because I’ve been watching RuPaul’s Drag Race for most of my adult life, I am applying the many critiques I’ve heard to ham it up and be emotionally present in a dance, not just go through the steps. The result is that I’m coming through a lot more extra than my classmates, but so be it! I’m having a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you once it’s available.
I also had fun making some food this week. I realized I had only used my bundt pan once so I set about rectifying that with this chocolate pistachio cake (and by bookmarking a bunch of recipes—more bundts coming soon!). Making the pistachio paste, specifically the peeling the pistachios part of the process, took a bit of doing, but otherwise this was a pretty simple cake. I love how the color came out. I did take the optional suggestion of adding a few drops of green food coloring. It’s the perfect pistachio color.
My Burlap and Barrel spice subscription included some recipes for Indian food so I tried those this week to put the new seasonings to work. I made two of them: a red lentil curry and a naan. I coated some of the naan with white poppy seeds, chili flakes, and parsley (substituted for the mint because that’s my preference) according to the recipe. I ran out of the seasoning mix pretty quick so went on making plain ones. They were all delicious so I’m not mad. The lentil curry came out delicious too. I’m looking forward to making and eating it again.
Yesterday, I wanted to make some bread so I tried out these cheese and onion swirl buns to pair with some tri tip. This week, I also tried a recipe I’ve had bookmarked for a while: chili colorado (the greatest recipe of all time). It came out delicious and I’m looking forward to making it again. Even though it was good, I think I can do a little better, especially after I realized there was a video of Rick Martinez making the recipe on Youtube. Now I know the secrets that weren’t written in the recipe.
Finally, here are some cat photos for your nerves. Huey has migrated to her new favorite spot in the house: on top of a cat bed I bought that no one has touched for two years. This is the first interest anyone has shown in it. It makes crinkly noise so it’s comically noisy when Huey settles in for a nap.
We also have a kitten alert! We are probably going to adopt this little kitten in the near future. One of my teammates if fostering a litter and I said I was interested but hesitant because I need someone who can get along with Huey. She recommended this little weirdo who isn’t really interested in playing with the other kittens in the litter and just wants to putter around and attack dust motes. He may be the perfect fit for us. We went to meet him (and his brothers) on Saturday. We’re waiting for him to be a little bigger and a little older before we can take him home, which will probably be a few weeks from now.