This has been another exciting week of human maintenance—I saw both my dentist and my optometrist. I went to the optometrist to get assessed for binocular vision disorder, which I wrote about two weeks ago. It was good to get assessed but it left me feeling not great. The point of the test is for the doctor to see your eyes not working together, which tired me out and made me feel a little sick. The good news is that my doctor is referring me to a specialist who can do a more thorough assessment and recommend the right type of lenses or therapies. In the meantime, my optometrist recommended I use a pair of “computer” glasses she prescribed me a few years ago. These alleviate some of the strain for near-field vision, which is good. But I think using them, or perhaps switching glasses throughout the day, is making me nauseous. I can’t win.
Here are some things I’ve recently read, watched, or bought.
Books and Other Words
The Galaxy, and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers is one of the books I bought at Capital Books last week during my private browsing session. It’s the fourth book in the Wayfairers series, which I love, as previously mentioned. Each book in the series focuses on a different set of characters (with some cross over from other books). The Galaxy, and the Ground Within is a story about three guests stranded at a guest house on what’s essentially a truck stop of a planet during a disaster. I loved this book, as I did the previous ones, for its complex aliens and alien cultures, and its willingness to imagine a future where all different types of people respect each other’s differences. Okay, that makes it sound like a boring novel, but it’s actually a good story with conflict and everything set in that optimistic framework.
TV and Music
In anticipation of my ballet recital (which we are all taking very seriously despite being a casual, beginner class), I watched the 2011 recording of Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it and while I still love how lush and gothic and dramatic it is, I had not previously considered how rapey the story is. Christine can “choose” between an incel who terrorizes her workplace or a rich guy who doesn’t even believe her when she tells him about the Phantom. Yikes, that’s not romance. It’s yet another entry in the “why are men” canon.
I bought some fabric with plans to make myself a casual summer dress. We’ll see how that goes (I realized I have never actually made a dress, but that didn’t occur to me until after I bought everything and I remain undaunted). It’s summer and I want to be an adorable watermelon so I bought these cute watermelon rind and watermelon guts prints. I’m very tired of not being able to find things I want to wear in sizes I can wear so I think the only choice is to level up my sewing.
Making Things and Doing stuff
There are some things I’ve made and stuff I’ve done.
I’m excited to report that I’ve booked a lesson with a new Icelandic teacher. I found her on a site called Verbalplanet. I hadn’t heard of this tutoring platform before, but I was searching for teachers and it came up. She has a lot of good reviews and sounds like someone I will like, so I’m optimistic. I’m also really happy to be continuing with Icelandic. I’ve put enough time into it at this point that I don’t want to give up, but also not enough time that I can continue unsupervised. My first class is on June 6!
Both my jazz and ballet classes recorded performances last week. I’m still not sure when they will be available to watch, but I’m told there is a video editor involved to assemble the best footage from our multiple takes. It’s a little funny recording a performance. If it were live, it would be easier to say “well, we did our best” and forget about it. But I’ve found myself mulling over the mistakes a bit more (not too much, don’t worry) since it was recorded. Regardless, I had a lot of fun recording and getting dressed up. It was especially fun to be as melodramatic as possible for our Phantom-themed ballet performance.
I tried making brioche for the first time! It was so good! If you load a bread dough full of butter, it’s going to be good regardless, but I was happy with how it turned out. I mostly ate it plain but I did convert about half the loaf into French toast this weekend, which was definitely the right choice.
I tried some new Indian recipes from the Classic Indian Cooking book. I made dum aloo (potatoes in spicy yogurt sauce), masala dal (spice- and herb-laced split peas), and chapati (a thin whole-wheat bread). This was fun to make. I am still learning the Indian style of cooking, so I spend most of the process questioning whether the food is going to be good or just be a weird blob at the end. Somehow, everything comes together and is delicious! I wasn’t sure about the masala dal because the cooking method is very simple but it was good. The potatoes were tasty too and I liked scooping it all up with the bread.
I made another bundt cake this week because I’ve decided it’s bundt season (mark your calendars! lol). This time we had a coconut and cardamom cake, which was very tasty. I’ve gotten a request to make a chocolate chip bundt cake next, so next week I’ll have another cake to show you.
Finally, here are some cat photos for your nerves. We visited our soon-to-be-adopted kitten at their foster family’s house on Saturday and hung out for a while so he could start getting used to us. The kitten, who we’re naming Sebastian, went to the vet last week because he sometimes shakes. The vet says this may be from a mild form of cerebellar hypoplasia. We are a little worried but he already seemed less shaky when we saw him this week and it sounds like something cats adapt to as they grow. Regardless, he is very cute and seems like a cuddly cat so I’m looking forward to bringing him home.