It has been a busy weekend! Despite telling myself I would ease back into vaccinated life, I did perhaps too many things this weekend. I don’t regret it, but I am very tired.
My friends Kira and Debra made a stop at our house on Saturday as part of a road trip and it was great to see them. I have exactly two friends from college, one from my short time at BYU and one from the University of Washington—Kira is the latter. We don’t talk that often but we have the kind of relationship where we can always pick up where we left off. I made food (Deborah wanted to be on my “cooking show” aka me making new things and posting about it on Instagram) and we caught up on the latest episode of Drag Race. Kira also made some decorating suggestions for my house, like considering a giant tiger statue for the bathroom (we had to reassure Kirk that this was a joke).
Here are some things I’ve recently read, watched, or bought.
Books and Other Words
This week I read A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. My reading-tracking app keeps reporting that I’m behind on reading if I want to meet my goal of 100 books this year (I’ve read 35 books, but I’m 5 books behind). Instead of heeding it, I decided I read a 600-page novel written by a historian. Smart. I thought this was going to be a book about witches, but it’s actually a witch-vampire romance. It’s good and it firmly held my interest, but I must warn you that, if you’re here for witchcraft, it might not be the ideal read. It’s also a slow novel with a lot of detail that you would expect from an author who’s an academic, but I like it. I’m already two-thirds through the second (of three) book in the series.
Meanwhile, on the internet:
- 2020 was the year of lost friendships via Harper’s Bazaar. This was surreal to read because I did lose a friendship last year, not due to illness but an inability (or perhaps, unwillingness) to communicate in the way a pandemic demands.
- The Anxiety of Influencers: Educating the TikTok Generation via Harper’s Magazine. This is a long, interesting read. The author briefly embeds himself in a “content house” where a handful of young people live and create content for TikTok. I liked this article because it avoids being an invective against kids these days (which it could easily be).
- Turns out it’s pretty good: Enemies via The Cut. On the trill of having a nemesis.
TV and Music
I can’t stop listening to 10 Years by Daði Freyr. This is an Icelandic band and they were this year’s Eurovision entry for Iceland!
I’ve been wanting to try Seed + Mill’s halva for a while now and I finally did! I’d been saving this treat for the summer since I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about it melting during shipment (because halva is made from ground sesame seeds). It’s so good. I’m looking forward to using the tahini too.
Making Things and Doing stuff
This week I took on a number of annoying tasks like rolling over my 401k (the hardest task known to adulthood!). I tried to do this a few weeks ago, but the old bank didn’t send the right form to the new bank, so the new bank sent the check to me instead with a note saying that the old bank fucked it up. Fortunately it only took one more annoying phone call to sort it out. I shouted at the automated phone tree only once.
I also saw the audiologist this week in my ongoing quest to apparently see every doctor in Sacramento. After my trip to the doctor about a month ago when I couldn’t hear anything, I got referred to the audiologist. My hearing is mostly okay now (thanks, allergy medicine), but the hearing in my right ear is still consistently worse than my left. As far as I know, it’s always been that way, but the audiologist said she wants to see me again in six weeks and, if nothing has changed, send me to the ear/nose/throat doctor to figure out what might be wrong. The last month has been a study in realizing that I don’t have to accept weird body things just because I’m used to them.
I had quite an active weekend starting with ballet class on Saturday morning. We filmed the last bit of our performance, which I am happy to announce we now have a date for. There will be a youtube stream at 4 p.m. Pacific time on June 12. Mark your calendars!
After ballet I went to Strongman Saturdays, a gym gathering to work on various strongman competition-style lifts. I was worried I wouldn’t be strong anymore after a year and a half of pandemic sloth. I was pleasantly surprised and highly relieved to learn that I’m still decently strong. I was able to lift a 115-pound log over my head, and I flipped a huge tire! I’m not ready to go back to a regular gym yet, but I think I am going to keep going to these Saturday sessions since it’s a small group and they set up outside in the parking lot.
Finally, I went roller skating on Sunday night! We went to the adult skate session at the Rink to celebrate a teammate’s birthday. It was fun and I got to drink an Icee, but today I’m feeling pretty beat.
I put together a bit of a feast for Kira and Debra on Saturday and tried a few more recipes from Classic Indian Cooking. We had fried cauliflower, shahi sabz biriyani (a braised vegetable korma baked over rice), kali dal (buttered black beans) and naan (bread). Everything was good and I especially liked the braised vegetable dish. The bean dish I didn’t love as much as everyone else, perhaps because I learned halfway through cooking that I used the wrong kind of black beans and was convinced it came out wrong, but it was still quite good. I successfully fried cauliflower even though frying food usually scares me a little. I really am having fun learning to cook Indian food and it is, of course, great to feed my friends.
At my friend Mandy’s request, this week I made another bundt cake but with chocolate chips and walnuts inside. I based it on this King Arthur recipe, then added the fun stuff. It was delicious but a little less aesthetically pleasing than I would have liked since all the chocolate and nuts sank to the bottom (I know it looks like the top but you flip the bundt cake over after baking). Fortunately, I’m not on the Great British Bake Off so I don’t have to be ashamed of this cake. I can focus on celebrating its tastiness instead.
I have some sad news to report about Sebastian. We knew he had cerebellar hypoplasia, but now he is also having frequent seizures, with three in the last week. He’s still living with his foster family for now (we hadn’t brought him home yet). We are hoping the seizures stop as he gets a little bigger. If not, we may not be adopting him because we’re not sure we can care for him adequately. I’m really sad about it because I already feel attached, but I’m holding out hope.
Finally, here is a cat photo—and a dog photo—for your nerves. Kira carries Poppy Marie around like a baby kangaroo most of the time and it’s the greatest.