The last few months I have been homebodying it up; reading, knitting, trying to watch a movie but usually giving it up to read or knit some more, instead. Which is not to say that my social calendar is generally quite busy– it is certainly not–but it does seem to be filling up at an even slower pace than usual.
I did attend a small but lovely Death Over Brunch (our Sunday morning, chilaquile–centric riff on Death Over Dinner) in January–and hopefully in the forthcoming months we will be expanding this concept to a more public venue and opening up the events to a larger guest list! Stay tuned for details.
In February I got a thing removed from my face! I had it checked out last year and they told me it was seborrheic keratosis, which is basically just a harmless barnacle, and that I shouldn’t worry about it. Well, I wasn’t worried, per se, but it sure was ugly, so a year later, I made an appointment to get it removed. If you’re curious, insurance did not cover this procedure; it cost me $125 (I think they gave me some kind of discount because I was paying out of pocket.) They squirted the area with liquid nitrogen, which stung a little, and throbbed gently for about 20 minutes after. After a week or so, the little booger started to come loose from my face, and since I couldn’t resist fiddling with it, I peeled it off. I probably should have given it another day to come off on its own, but I don’t think it made too much of a difference. Now the area beneath is a little pink, but even that is starting to fade. I was beginning to feel very self conscious about the spot, and you know, I’ve got a handful of things that already make me insecure, so if I could fix one of them relatively cheaply and safely–why not?
In the meantime, allow me to share with you some of my recent Favorite Things.
Featured in the top photo are a ridiculous pair of light-up, cat-eared headphones. They are the best purchase I have ever made. Just look at them. They’re awesome. I will assume this is self-explanatory and move on.
Bamboo Japanese ear cleaning picks. These particular ones don’t get great reviews, all sorts of complaints of them breaking off and getting lodged in the ear canal, but come on people–a little finesse, please! I can’t feel sorry for those yahoos, jamming bamboo sticks in their ears, willy-nilly and then injuring themselves. I’m actually the worst at everything, and that’s never happened to me, so I’m not sure what’s wrong with these folks. I was obsessed with the practice after reading this a few years ago. (Despite the fact that the article basically says not to do it.)
Our new squatty potty stool! I don’t think I even need this, but I figure even if you’re fairly regular, you can always improve on things. I like to keep my guts and related business happy, and, well, I had some amazon credit. There’s also a white, plastic version (I got the more expensive luxury bamboo model) but either way it gives a sort of geriatric impression…which isn’t really the sort of bathroom decor I was looking for, but, oh well. If you’re not grossed out by such things, give this review a read over at gizmodo; the comments are particularly enlightening.
Laniege Lip Mask I have a dreadful habit of brutalizing my lips when I get stressed or anxious or nervous. I don’t just nibble at them in a manner that suggests shades of sexy, virginal innocence, in the way that the heroine of a bafflingly popular “erotic” novel might do–no, I gnaw and rip and tear at the skin on my lips, as if my teeth are vultures picking apart a carcass on the side of a busy highway in the afternoon sun. I am often left with craters and crevasses on my lips, unsightly pits and splits marring my poor, mangled mouth. I tried the lip mask from Laniege, on a whim–it’s a berry-scented gloop that you glop on your lips overnight–and you know, it does actually help quite a bit. My lips really never heal completely from the abuses that I subject them to, but in the few weeks I have been using this, I think it’s as close as I am going to get. They really do look almost normal now, and without trying to sound overly dramatic, I started noticing results almost overnight! Make of that what you will. (Another nervous habit I have is scratching a phantom itch, usually located in the ankle region. I will scratch and scratch until my ankles are raw and bloody. These wounds, too, take ages to heal.)
Lastly, I have become obsessed with mukbang spoons. They are not called this, of course. They are just wooden spoons, used for eating. I see them used all the time in mukbang videos (here’s an example of Keemi using them to eat kimchi mac and cheese. Also if you are unfamiliar with the concept of mukbang, read this.). But there’s always something so enchanting to me about eating with comically oversized utensils, so I certainly had to have a set for myself. I used it to eat my favorite breakfast yesterday–leftover rice, heated up and mixed with a little soy sauce and butter, served with a yolky fried egg on top, and generously dusted with furikake. I’m pretty sure that eaten with a large wooden spoon, it was at least 25% more delicious. Tiny spoons also make food tastier! I use these to eat yogurt with…and I hate yogurt! It becomes at least palatable with fairy spoons, I swear.
Books: As with the beginning of every year, it dawns on me that I actually own a library card, and thus I begin availing myself of the local branch’s offerings until about April or so, when I fall off the wagon and start up again with the buying of more books that I do not need. This sofa’s scattering of titles is the result of several trips to the library over the course of about a week and a half, and among these pictured I can heartily recommend Roxane Gay’s Difficult Women (I will probably recommend everything she’s ever written, forever), Abigale Hall by Lauren Forry, and The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Not pictured, but still recommended: Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Strange Case Of The Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss. Pictured, and only one chapter in, but I’m going to recommend it anyway because it’s already amazingly compelling: Pachinko by Mei Jin Lee.
I suppose I have watched some movies recently, and some of them have been marvelous, but no doubt they are things everyone’s already seen, so I am not sure they are worth mentioning. If you’re on the fence about The Shape Of Water, drop everything and marvel at it. If you’re feeling the same way about Annihilation, I would suggest investing the time in reading the books, instead. Black Panther’s excellence was unparalleled, and I think I enjoyed it more then even Wonder Woman–and Wonder Woman was a movie I had been waiting my whole life to see. I finally got around to seeing IT (meh), The Beguiled (I enjoyed the book more), Alien Covenant (I wish they’d left out the crew and the aliens and just made the David & Walter movie instead) and The Dark Tower (was it me, or did that feel like a YA film?)
As far as streaming movies I watched Marjorie Prime, which was sort of like a Lifetime version of a Black Mirror episode…and you know what? I enjoyed it much more than any Black Mirror episode. On netflix I barrelled through Peaky Blinders in a matter of days and it was every bit as amazing as everyone says it is, so I am sorry I waited so long to get around to it. I also watched The Ritual, which was pretty freaky, the monster was particularly unsettling, and I think I might have liked it even better than the book.
What have you been reading? Watching? What sort of weirdness have you been buying from amazon in the middle of the night? Fill me in!