This week has felt like a decade. Between the midterm elections (I worked election night in the newsroom), yet another mass shooting, RBG breaking some ribs and near-continuous attacks on the free press, I’ve been high-key anxious all week.
There’s been some light, though: I finally got to write and publish a story about a question that’s been bugging me for ages, and got two cakes out of it, to boot. Alas, the photos accompanying the story are the last taken by my beloved camera before its internal sensors shattered. Besides work, I’ve been trying to stay afloat and manage my anxiety by staying off social media as much as possible, cooking at home and keeping things tidy (my favorite form of procrastination).
Cleaning out my fridge last week, I realized how much stuff we still had. I hate waste, so instead of ordering take out, I put together a big ol’ salad. Just as well, since I’ve been trying to work out more and curb my junk eating (hi, Halloween), but damn, do I hate salad. Salad is just not interesting to me, though I do love vegetables. It’s a paradox. Here, I roasted off some sweet potatoes in smoky gochujang, and tossed them with creamy Bulgarian feta, quick pickled shallots, pomegranate seeds and arugula. The still-warm potatoes lightly wilted the greens and melted the cheese, which made for a great balance in texture. When salad can be this laissez-faire, I’m all in.
It’s been fall for a minute, my favorite season. While a weekend getaway to Indiana two weekends ago provided a little bit of leaf-peeping, it wasn’t enough — I’ve been taking a lot of walks in the brisk, cold air to get my fill before winter comes. The below playlist is my attempt to capture the feeling.
I’m closing in on my Goodreads challenge of 50 books this year. Right now, I’m at 33, with some lessons learned along the way. Mainly, I’ve come to terms with putting down books that I’m just not getting into. Case in point, I got 60 pages into a memoir before I realized I was just not jiving with the author’s story. On the other hand, I tore through Dietland, which follows Plum Kettle as she confronts her fatness and society’s demons. An exploration of fatness (and shame culture), Dietland is also a revenge fantasy of women tearing down the patriarchy with disregard to the rules men have arbitrarily created. Highly recommend. PS: The Hoopla app is wonderful — sign in with your library card (you have one, right?) and you can download a ton of ebooks and comics, which is how I was turned on to Dietland in the first place.
With my anxiety on high, I’ve stopped listening to a number of daily news podcasts — I can’t subject myself to the deluge of information any more. The world sucks, I get it! Stepping back, even in this small way, is self-care. That said, if we’ve spoken about podcasts at all in the last year, I’ll have definitely recommended Thirst Aid Kit to you. Hosted by Bim Adewunmi and Nichole Perkins and now celebrating one year of lusting out loud, it’s a show that unapologetically explores desire and pop culture. Raucous, hilarious and so, so smart, Bim and Nichole explore the body of work (and bodies of werq) of celebrities, and how thirst can be so much more than just a pretty face — though obviously that’s a draw.