A Week in the Life: October 4, 2021

Did you know it’s Fat Bear Week? Alaska’s Katmai National Park puts together a bracket of fat bears every year for people to vote on. It’s a lot of fun to get excited about some incredibly fat bears. They’re living the dream. We’re at the end of the bracket now, but it’s not too late to vote.

In other exciting news, we are finally planning a trip to Iceland! I’ve been learning Icelandic for a few years, but wasn’t really ready to plan a vacation. However, I’ve been keeping my eye on these Icelandic knitting tours and we finally got one booked. We’re going on the autumn knitting retreat, which has some nature sightseeing and cool textile stuff. Kirk doesn’t knit, but he’s happy to go along for the ride. We’re going to do some more traditional sightseeing either before or after the knitting stuff (Kirk’s only requirement is that we see a glacier, so that seems doable). Let me know if you have any Iceland recommendations!

I’ve spent this week trying to take my doctor’s advice about TMJ and that’s kind of been a drag. However, it is hurting less so I guess this is my life now. I’ve been avoiding hard or crunchy foods, which means I’ve converted most of my snacks to things like a tortilla with hummus or more snacking cakes (“snack” is in the name of the book!). I am annoyed that salad is kind of hard to eat or at least more limited now, but Kirk suggested using the peeler shred carrots into not-very-crunchy strips, so I have that going for me. I’ve also been doing some face massage (thanks, people posting youtube videos) and bit of the old alternating ice pack/heating pad. I’m hoping I can get to a manageable pain level then start introducing some more excitement back into my diet but, for now, pain avoidance is king.


Here are some things I’ve recently read, watched, or bought.

Books and Other Words

My reading habits lately have been pretty erratic. Some days I’m tired from vision therapy exercises and don’t want to read. Others, the kitten is bouncing off the walls and it’s distracting. So I didn’t read any books this week, but I did try to read what turned out to be a really horrible book.

Content warning for the next paragraph: eating disorders.

I recently found out that there’s an eating disorder called binge eating disorder. A podcast I was listening to made an off-hand mention of it and I was like wait a minute, I do/have done those things. So I checked out a library book about it called The Binge Eating and Compulsive Overeating Workbook. It was pretty fucking bad and I tweeted some examples. Maybe a book about eating disorders shouldn’t start by suggesting you calculate your BMI and telling you that being fat is bad? It says that nutrition is confusing and that’s why people are fat. BUT you need to trust yourself. Telling people with eating disorders to trust themselves is crazy bad advice. It’s hard enough grappling with suddenly being like “oh, maybe I do have an eating disorder” and then to have a book be like “you’re confused and stupid, which is why you’re fat,” is not great. I have a lot of thoughts about this, like “why didn’t my doctor ask any follow-up questions when I gained weight instead of suggesting I ‘let myself go’ after getting married?” However, I think I will return to this topic in a future post. For now, just know that this book was trash.

Meanwhile, on the internet:

  • The Death of a Spectacle via Gay Mag. On being fat and exercising in public.
  • How am I supposed to work? via The Riveter. On the difficulty of being a single parent and trying to get kids to all the activities middle class kids are supposed to do. This spoke to me because one of the reasons I don’t want kids is it seems like you have to devote 10 years’ worth of afternoons to just driving your kids to shit. No thanks.
  • The ‘Great British Bake Off’ Hall of Fame via The Ringer. It’s time for another season of Bake Off! This article honors many of the contestants who have made the show a delight.
  • Zoolander at 20: How a post-9/11 flop became the comedy everyone’s still quoting via Esquire. First, I am still quoting Zoolander because it’s supremely quotable. Who among us hasn’t felt that they, too, were taking crazy pills? Second, I was unaware that this movie was a flop. I saw this movie in the theater when I was 17 and it felt like the funniest thing I’d ever seen.

TV and Music

We haven’t watched a lot of TV this week because our “smart” TV is being stupid. It doesn’t want to stay connected to the internet. We get about 10 minutes before a connection error happens. We’re pretty confident the internet isn’t the problem because we’re not having the same problem at our computers. I’ve tried a few fixes, but nothing has stuck yet.

That said, we did start watch the first episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks and it seems really funny. We also started Stargate: Atlantis (because 10 seasons of SG-1 wasn’t enough). Let’s hope we can figure out the connection problems soon so we can relax and watch things again.

Rampant Consumerism

a new desk chair, which Fritz the cat is inspecting
fancy new chair

I have been wanting to get a new desk chair and decided to go all in and get the best one out there. I am now the proud owner of a Herman Miller Aeron Chair, which, yes, does cost over $1,000. It doesn’t look that exciting but it’s surprisingly comfortable. At first I wasn’t totally sure about it, but I’m liking it more and more. My old chair was getting so beat up that it was uncomfortable to sit down and work, so this is a much-needed upgrade, especially ahead of starting the new job. It was delivered fully assembled. Apparently this is how it feels to be rich—you don’t have to assemble your own furniture!

Making Things and Doing stuff

There are some things I’ve made and stuff I’ve done.


I have been getting into a productive groove with my language studies. which is important since I’m taking the DELE exam in five weeks! I’ve been doing more practice tests, and it’s going pretty well. Yesterday, I did one of the reading tests and I got all the questions right for two (of the five) reading passages. This sounds minor, but it’s exciting for me. Icelandic is going pretty well too. I like working with my new tutor, and we’ve been covering a lot of grammar, which is helping me review and fill in more detail. We’ve also done some fun reading exercises.

Kitchen Witchery

We are still enjoying all the Snacking Cakes in this house. I tried the chocolate yogurt cake last week, which was great. I tried another vanilla cake variation this weekend, which called for adding malted milk powered, and that was really good too. Kirk has even said he likes these cakes a lot, and he is not a cake super fan like I am, so this is nice to hear. Last weekend I also made potato gnocchi from the Pasta Grannies cookbook. This was really good but the recipe was huge. I felt like I was rolling out gnocchi forever. The good news though is I have a bit of gnocchi in the freezer for later, so it all works out.

Cat Therapy

Finally, here are some cat photos for your nerves.