Sunday, November 29, 2020

Cherry pie is delicious. Apple pies are too.

Pic of the Week


Yes, we had 11 pies and one pumpkin roll for 16 people at Thanksgiving.  That's how we do.  From top going down: blueberry, apple, cherry, chocolate (made with vanilla ice cream), homemade pumpkin, chocolate (made with fudge tracks ice cream), banana cream, Costco pumpkin, two lemons, banoffee, pumpkin roll. (Also, the title of this week's post is a mnemonic device for remembering the formulas for the circumference and area of a circle - circumference is pi times diameter: C=πd , area is pi times radius squared: A=πr^2.)

What's going on?

Thanksgiving!  Honestly?  LOTS to be grateful for despite the state of the world.  I have a roof over my head with roommates I love.  I have plenty to eat, plenty to wear, a solid network of friends, work I enjoy, and free time for naps and TV shows.  It seems that everyone always has uses for more - more money, more time, more stuff - but I've got it pretty good.

I did a little tutoring at the beginning of the week, got another COVID test, and then headed out to Utah for Thanksgiving - against the advice of...basically everyone.  BUT I was taking precautions to minimize risk before leaving, while in Utah, and after getting back to LA.  Minimal social contact, masks, hand-washing, etc.  I've got a COVID test planned for tomorrow and planning to get another one in a week. Minimizing risk, folks. 

It was really nice to spend some time with family, eat way too much rich food, get some family photos taken, play games, watch movies, fall more in love with my nieces and nephews, and generally have a wonderful holiday. 

OH!  ALSO! I flew in to Salt Lake's beautiful brand new airport, and let me tell you, it was not designed with people in mind.  It took a FULL 10 minutes just to walk from my arrival gate to the front door.  That's probably a half a mile. And the signage was not the most helpful. Maybe they just haven't totally finished yet?  But if they have, just say a little prayer that whenever you fly out of SLC, you don't get stuck at a gate in the B concourse.  And today, on top of the hike just to get to the gate, they had to shuttle us on a bus to then get to the plane, and once we were on the plane, we had to taxi to yet another location to get the wings and tale defrosted before we could leave.  It was quite the journey. 

Finally, it's been a light week on the entertainment front.  Haven't started any new shows, podcasts, books, movies, recipes, or puzzles.  So, in lieu of the weekly recommendations, enjoy these photos of the cattle we ran into on the way to Fish Lake for family photos. 







Sunday, November 22, 2020

The in of doors

Pic of the Week


Went paddle boarding again, but this time on the open ocean!  First time out in the wild.  It was great. Took a little getting used to as the open ocean is definitely different from paddling around the marina, and I got the tiniest bit seasick, but it was also so much fun!  Can't wait to get back out there.

What's going on?

Honestly?  Not much.  With the election over and lock downs being reinforced, there's really not a whole lot happening.  I had a bit of a COVID scare early in the week.  Not really a scare, just had the tiniest sore throat, but got tested and it came back negative.  I never ended up developing a cold or anything, so I'm not entirely sure what was going on, but everything seems to be fine.  Outside of my normal tutoring schedule, I just spent a lot of time watching TV or baking this week.  I even learned how to make ganache - which was MUCH easier than I expected!
   
I also got in a hike this week.  The view was quite spectacular.  This picture doesn't really do it justice.  This particular hike is in the mountains along the coast and if it's cloudy - like it was the other day - you actually end up hiking up above the cloud line, so where you see those clouds, you'd normally see the ocean.  On the hike I also saw a fox, and a family of quails!  


What I'm watching

I've watched A LOT of TV this week.  Trollhunters, The Queen's Gambit, The Mandalorian, Great British Bake Off, The Crown, The Undoing, Scientology and the Aftermath...and honestly, it's all great!  It's kept me sane for a few days.  I'm going to try and watch less this coming week because my brain just needs a break, but it was nice to have plenty to indulge in while trying to stay away from people.

Who I'm following

Jessica Yellin - Former chief White House correspondent for CNN.  "News not Noise" is her deal.  Great info on politics.

Kinggutterbaby - Infectious disease specialist laying down the facts on COVID.  Also has a pet axolotl.  

What I'm cooking


Butter tarts!  No reason in particular.  I probably heard about them on a podcast or something.  They were good.  :)

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Lunch will be provided

Pic of the Week


Went for a hike this week to a favorite little waterfall of mine.  There are two waterfalls on this hike, and I'd only ever hiked to the lower falls.  It's a really breezy hike, and the lower falls are usually lovely.  This week they were super dried up.  There was still water coming down, but the stream and pool that are usually there were almost gone.  I also decided to hike up to the upper falls this time.  It's a bit of a steep scramble, but still doable.  And once you get to the top, you can actually climb up into the waterfall.  It's pretty cool.

What's going on?

Hope everyone is staying safe during this new spike in the pandemic. Keep wearing your masks, limiting exposure, washing your hands.  We'll get through this. 

I had a pretty busy week out here.  Lots of work this week - which is great! This weekend I helped proctor the national chiropractic board exams.  Pretty boring job, but made some good money for two day's work.  

I woke up the other night in the middle of the night because the lower left side of my back was hurting.  In my half asleep stupor, I was like, "...is that my kidney?  Do I have a kidney stone?!"  But I think it was just that I'm in my late 30s now and sometimes when parts of my body are in one position too long they get stiff and then when I move, it hurts.  How fun.  

Anyway, that's about it for this week.  Just living that ordinary life.  Work, groceries, laundry, TV.  How are all of you?
   
What I'm watching


New Season of Britain's greatest export.  It continues to be delightful, heartwarming, and delicious.

What I'm listening to

Reply All episode Happiness Calcluator vs. Alex Goldman.  It talks about something called the hedonometer that measures happiness levels in the English-speaking world using the language of twitter.  It's interesting to see different places where happiness spikes and dips.  They started measuring in 2008.  The biggest spikes are always on Christmas Day.  Take a look at it!  

What I'm puzzling


White Mountain does it again!  Excited to do this one.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

*insert gigantic sigh of relief*

Pic of the Week


It will come as no surprise to any of you that I am ELATED about this news.  And regardless of who you voted for you or how you feel about this outcome, I think it says something that this news caused joyous celebration in the streets literally the world over.

Quote of the Week

"Donald Trump is a manifestation of the ugliness that's in us." 
All of us.  

What's going on?

I think I may owe some of you a bit of an apology.  I got a little fiery in last week's post and it was brought to my attention that I was being a bit of a jerk.  I try very hard to operate in my life from a place of empathy, but I still get sucked into that ugliness on occasion too. So I'd like to start off by saying I'm sorry if anything I've said in the realm of politics has made you feel unfairly judged.  I truly am.  I know that my family and friends are good people trying their best to follow their conscience and live their values.  I've put some thought into what I said and honestly, I stand by the sentiment.  However, I think I could have been a little more empathetic in how I expressed myself.  And even though the election is over and the president has been chosen and so the point is a little moot, let me try to do that now.  

The system of values and beliefs that I have and operate from, which are largely based on a Christian upbringing, are completely and utterly incompatible with a vote for Donald Trump.  My spiritual/religious/moral framework does not allow me to vote for someone like him. If you chose to vote for him, you have certainly done that based on the beliefs and values that you have and operate from.  We both have valid reasons to act the way we have based on our understanding of the world.  When I say that if you voted for Donald Trump, I don't trust anything you have to say about Jesus, what I mean is that whatever system of values you hold as a Christian that allowed you to vote for Donald Trump is not a system of values that I am the least bit interested in.  And to be fair, you probably aren't much interested in a system of values based in Christianity that allow me to be a pro-choice feminist who thinks the prison system is obsolete and that socialism kinda gets a bad rap.

There's a lot more I could say on this subject, and I'm happy to have a conversation with you about it, I'd genuinely be interested to hear how your understanding of your moral principles shapes your thoughts on politics and politicians, so feel free to reach out and let's talk.  But for now let me just say that I'm sorry.  In my opinion, Donald Trump has sown enough division and hatred over the last 4 years, I'm not going to allow him to destroy the relationships I value as well.

Anyway, it was an anxiety-filled week this week.  High-stakes election, record numbers of COVID cases, just lots going on.  I was glad to end the week on a note of joy.
   

Also this very cute movie on Netflix.  Worth a watch, methinks:

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Eating my feelings til Tuesday.

Pic of the Week


Spending a little time out on the water.  There's a yacht in the marina that I've passed a couple of times that has a full-on garage on board.  You can't see it in this picture, obviously, but it's about two feet to my left here.  It's bonkers.  There's another giant mega-yacht called the Double Down that's hanging out down there.  I looked it up and you can rent for a week for a cool $415,000.  So.

What's going on?

Y'all, I am READY for this election to be over. I realize we may not know the final result of the presidential race for weeks, but man I want it to be done and over with. Interesting fact - nearly 2/3 of the total number of people who voted in 2016 have already voted in this election.  And Texas and Hawaii have already both surpassed their 2016 voter turnout numbers.  Bananas!  Hope you all have voted.  And I hope you voted in the best interests of the most marginalized among us.  

How was everyone's Halloween?  We didn't get up to much around here.  I didn't dress up cuz I had nowhere to go.  My roommates and I got massages yesterday - with COVID protocols being observed by one and all - and my guy DESTROYED me.  For rulls.  I learned that my version of hell is a never-ending, deep-tissue neck massage.  It was painful, but I kind of figured if he was feeling stuff that needed to be worked out, I'd suffer through it.  But when he was done I kind of felt like I needed a relaxing massage to recover from my massage.  We then came home, ordered Indian food, watched The Witches (the new one again, my roommates hadn't seen it) and went to bed.  It was a cozy little holiday celebration.

It seems the pandemic is now fully out of control (despite the White House's claims that it's over).  Not that it was ever in control, but it's decidedly getting worse.  And probably won't get any better as winter approaches.  Hope we're all prepared to hunker down.

Daylight savings is gone!!!  I had a moment tonight where I thought, "It feels so late!" and then looked at my clock and it was 5:30.  

Anyway, hope everyone is staying safe and healthy and happy and all that jazz.  

What I'm watching


This revamp is honestly very fun.  And bonus - I know a guy who wrote on it!  He's a Story Pirate friend of mine.  :)
What I'm reading

Just a heads up that it's political, so.

A Letter to Trump-supporting Latter-Day Saints from a conservative Republican guy.  


Y'all know where I stand on the president.  I can maybe understand how people who lean conservative could vote for him, but to my dying day I will never understand how a member of The Church™ specifically, and a follower of Christ more generally could possibly vote for, let alone support and celebrate him when he embodies none of the things followers of Christ are taught to seek out. And frankly, at this point, if you are voting for him, I don't know that I would trust anything you have to say about Jesus.

*steps down off of high horse*

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Halloween goats to the rescue

Pic of the Week


Look.  At.  These.  Goats!

What's going on?

Spent most of the week in Portland!  It's always so fun to get up there and visit the ol' Woodside clan.  Goats and puzzles and plenty of time to lounge and read and recoup.  Uncle Dan tried to recruit me to work on the goat farm, and honestly I don't hate the idea...

I also got to hang out with a good friend of mine for a day. We had a blast eating too many pastries, watching movies and TV, and enjoying to cool weather.  Lots of laughs and carbs and Australian accents.  

Traveling wasn't too bad.  Everything felt relatively safe and clean.  Alaska Airlines doesn't allow anyone to fly who isn't wearing a mask, which was nice.  

Not much else going on around these parts.  Welcoming the cooler weather, tutoring the children, getting into the spirit of the season with all things pumpkin. 

What I'm watching


This was pretty good!  In a lot of ways it's just a classic remake of the original, but with some fun updates.  There are even some clever nods to the original.  I enjoyed it. 

What I'm puzzling


Monster Banquet from the Vermont Christmas Puzzle Company. 550 pieces.  Aunt Sibby is also a puzzler extraordinaire, so we worked on this one while I was in town.  

Sunday, October 18, 2020

It's a bug's life.

Pic of the Week




Just some friends I found around the house this week.  Top picture is a redback jumping spider who was chilling on my scooter yesterday morning.  He was a big guy, but they're harmless.  That caterpillar is a young tomato hornworm.  He - along with 6 of his friends - was chillin' on my tomato plant.  They've been wreaking some havoc there, so I had to forcibly remove them.  I'd like to give my little plant a chance to produce some actual tomatoes *fingers crossed*.  I also saw a smaller jumping spider chowing on a smaller caterpillar at the park earlier in the week too.  The circle of life.

What's going on?

Welp, I somehow managed to lose my other wireless earbud.  They lasted two months. This is why I bought the cheap ones.  *sigh*

Y'all, the season is upon us!  We're more than halfway through October and I carved my first jack-o-lantern in...a couple of years, I think.  It was fun!  And I think he turned out real cute:


Exciting events from this week:

I bought a paddle board!  I've rented a paddle board a few times, and every time I think, "I really enjoy this.  I should get myself a paddle board."  So I did.  Found a relatively inexpensive one from Costco and went for it.  I took it out for a spin on Friday and it was a dream.  I'm so happy about it.  :)

I signed up to start working the Democratic Voter Information hotline.  It's a hotline that's just there to provide information about where/when/how to vote. I worked one very slow shift, so I haven't really been able to answer any voter questions yet, but it still feels good to be participating in the democratic process in a helpful way. 

What I'm watching


I binged this show in 2 days.  It's so good.  Just a heads up that there's some language, but the show is so full of goodness, and kindess, and forgiveness, and it's so uplifting and heartwarming and just GOOD.  The world needs more shows like this.  If you have access to Apple TV, watch it.