A Week in the Life: July 25, 2021

This week was tiring. Now that I’ve got a name and a reason for my eye/headache/dizziness troubles (binocular vision dysfunction, if you missed it previously), I’ve been keenly aware of my head hurting and my eyes getting tired. I think I’ve had a headache in the background for a long time now and just tuned it out because what else can you do. I’m looking forward to my follow-up with the optometrist tomorrow. I’m supposed to get the results of my evaluation and order fancy prism glasses.

I’m also tired of looking for a new job. I’d be so happy if I never had to apply for a job again. I’ve applied for some interesting ones, like a technical writer for the Wikimedia Foundation, and some that don’t seem that thrilling but that’s okay. I had an interview for a really good gig a couple of weeks ago, but ultimately didn’t get the job, although the manager offered to take me as a freelancer. Trading full-time work for freelance doesn’t seem great though. It would be easy to get a new job if I wanted to be a proposal manager—I get recruiters emailing me proposal manager jobs several times a week. I’m not currently a proposal manger (though I work on proposals) and I don’t want to be one. I really want to get more into technical writing, which is stuff like documentation, writing instructions, that kind of thing. There are a lot of jobs out there, but so many of them are for intangible “cloud solutions” or for “defense” contractors, which I am obviously not interested in. The good (and bad?) news is that my new boss has basically been ignoring me all month. In one of our first meetings with her, she said that she thought everyone on our team could edit, as if anyone can do my job, which I consider to be pretty rude (and which kicked off the current job search). She has since not interacted with me at all, which is super weird behavior for management. In any case, I’m still employed and the job search continues.


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

Books and Other Words

I was excited to read an advance copy of Monica Byrne’s new novel The Actual Star. I’ve been a Patron of hers for years since reading her first novel, The Girl in the Road, which deeply resonated with me. Bryne is always telling her Patreon supporters that we make it possible to do what she does, so she wanted to let us read the advance copies of the new book. To share it as widely as possible, each person mails it to the next one on the list after reading. This generosity mirrors the ethos of the La Viaja religion in the novel. The Actual Star takes place in three timelines set in 1012, 2012, and 3012. By 3012, after the world has been, frankly, beat to shit by global warming and the dominant religion is La Viaja, in which followers wander the globe, embracing everyone they meet as family, never settling down or hoarding resources. Viajeras search for Xibalba (the Mayan underwold), in honor of Saint Leah, who was spirited away to Xibalba while exploring a sacred cave in Belize in 2012 and whose ideas are the foundation of La Viaja. Each timeline focuses on characters at an inflection point when the world is changing and how the characters accept or reject that change. I liked this book a lot and I really enjoy Bryne’s ability to imagine the kind of future that we might have.

Finna by Nino Cirpri was a short, fun read. It focuses on two minimum-wage workers in a version of Ikea who have to hope through parallel universes to find a customer who goes missing from their store. It highlights relationships, anxiety, and the shittiness of capitalism through adventure.

TV and Music

This might be hard to believe, but I watched two whole movies this week! It’s not as exciting as it sounds because both movies were just okay. I watched Rough Night, mostly because I love Kate McKinnon (and Ilana Glazer), in which a bachelorette party goes terribly awry when they accidentally kill a man. I accidentally did a Scarlet Johansson double feature since she’s the bachelorette in Rough Night and the main character in Black Widow, which we watched last night. Black Widow was passably entertaining, it wasn’t as bad as I expected. It is, however, completely inexplicable that Marvel released it now when it seems to take place in the middle of all the other Marvel movies. The plot seems to take a ham-fisted “the villain was patriarchy all along!” stance, which is cool but hollow considering Black Widow has been in every Marvel movie but just now got her own stand-alone entry into the canon.

Rampant Consumerism

five bags of about 12 toy mice each
a wealth of toy mice

Fritz is obsessed with these toy mice that have something inside that make a rattling noise. So when I ordered some cat supplies this week I thought, I’ll buy a few packets since the mice disappear quickly (where they go remains a mystery). I thought I was buying packets of three mice. Kirk opened the package and was like “wow you really stocked up.” I won’t say mistakes were made, but this was a lot more mice than I intended to buy. I think we’re now set for life on rattle-mice. I’m tempted to throw them all at once in a bacchanal of toy mice, but I guess I’m going to pace myself.

Making Things and Doing stuff

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

Moving It

I went to a roller dance class this week, which was fun and different! I don’t usually love skating at the rink because I’m like, well, I’m going in a circle, what now. I’m hoping roller dance skills will make it a little more interesting next time I go skating. It was fun to learn some basics and I was surprised (but maybe shouldn’t have been) to learn that some of the moves are based on non-roller dance moves. I was amused because one of the moves we learned was called a “six step,” which is something I just learned in my jazz dance class a few weeks ago.

In my actual dance class, my ballet teacher has decided it’s time to introduce some harder moves. Class has really kicked my ass the last few weeks but in a good way. I’ve been taking ballet class for a year now and I am pleased with how much I’ve enjoyed it. It’s good to know there’s still a lot more to learn and a lot of room to improve.

Kitchen Witchery

I tried making pasta again last Sunday because I’ve decided this is the season of learning how to make good pasta. The pasta came out better than I expected considering it got all sticky after running it through the roller. I thought it would come out in a big clump when I cooked it. Fortunately, cooking the noodles actually separated them. Sure, there were still a lot of irregularly shaped ones, but it was fine for eating. I used the noodles for this lemony pasta with cauliflower and bacon, which was really good.

Cat Therapy

Finally, here are some cat photos for your nerves. Fritz is currently obsessed with sitting in the windows in our bedroom, to the point that he felt the need to take his revenge (as I see it) by peeing on the bed after I closed them one morning when he was still trying to observe the outdoors. I was pretty aggravated since he hadn’t peed on the bed since we go the new bedding. He’s been surprisingly aggressive about peeing for a neutered kitten. If anyone has advice for how to encourage him not to be an asshole, I’d love to hear it.