Sunday, March 29, 2020

A puzzle a day keeps the doctor away.

Pic of the week 


For months I've been meaning to put together a little plant stand for these guys.  This is not what my original idea/plan was, but I actually like this version better. I think they turned out rull cute. 


Quote of the week

"I think this is at least two months, and be prepared for longer."
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti on the lock-down in our fair city.  We're apparently on lock-down until at least May.  So.

What's going on?

Lots of cookies.  Lots of walks.  Lots of puzzling.  Lots of movie parties with friends.

Just finding fun things to keep me occupied during the day, ya know?

I went to a farmer's market that is still open as a way for people to get food and a way for small farmers and vendors to stay in business.  And while I am all about supporting local businesses at the moment there were too many people there and most people were not doing much to try and keep 6 ft apart.  So, I think that's my last trip to the ol' farmer's market for the time being.  I think I'll be sticking to local ethnic and neighborhood markets for food.  I've also been doing a produce delivery service for a couple of years and I think that should keep me just fine.

They closed the beaches and parks in LA this week.  Those will remain closed until further notice.  That means no more running the stairs for me - which is a bummer.  Luckily the bike path by my house is still open, though who knows how long it'll stay that way.

What I'm watching



Gotta love a British period drama.  And looking at Richard Armitage for 4 hours straight isn't the worst.  Farrah and I played a game of monopoly while watching this.  I destroyed her - mostly because she landed on "Go to Jail" about 12 times, no exaggeration.

What I'm puzzling

This is harder than it looks.  It's really fun though! Goodwill for the win!

What I'm cooking


Jack's Cookie Num Nums.  Pixar put this recipe on their official Instagram Account, so I thought I'd try it out.  Apparently they have an in-house pastry chef. They turned out pretty good.  I kind of want to try them again and see if I can make them even better, but I'm not disappointed.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Love in the time of Corona

Pic of the week 


This is a screenshot of the LA freeways during the typical morning rush hour on Tuesday.  LA freeways NEVER look like this.  Typically they'd be a solid web of red.  It's a brave new world, my friends.

Quote of the week

"The world is coming to an end; I started a puzzle."
- Me.  Nothin' but the truth around here.  I also finished that puzzle. So.

What's going on?

Howdy everyone!  How's everyone doing?  This was our first full week of the global pandemic and boy what a ride.  Story Pirates is working on some digital offerings and video shows for schools is part of that.  So I had a couple of rehearsals this week to stage some new stories, which were then passed on to the folks in NY to film and put together.  It's an interesting time and I think we're in a great place to offer some cool things to families and schools.  In fact, I think we're going to make some big announcements this week about everything we've got going on, but if you want a little sneak peak, you can head over to https://www.storypirates.com/creatorclub to see what we've got cookin' up.

It seems every educational company in the world is offering their services for free at the moment - and not just for kids - which is GREAT!  I got 3 free months of guitar lessons from Fender, 1 month of free access to the Great Course Plus, Beach Body has all of their workouts free for two weeks, not to mention all of the content available on Instagram and YouTube (at-home workouts, free lessons in cooking, music, art, etc.)  AND there are tons of apps popping up to help stay connected.  Netflix Party has been fun this week - though spotty in its effectiveness.  I've also used Kastapp for a movie party or two.  Anything I missed that I should check out?  I know there are several gaming websites helping people come together as well.

Is it just me or do sirens sound especially ominous in this social environment?

What a truly unprecedented time we're all living in.  Can't wait to get back to a time when I can just hug the crap out of everyone.

What I'm downloading

  


What I'm watching


Movie party with some friends this weekend watching this ol' gem.  A bit dated, but still a fun watch.

What I'm listening to

The advice of medical and scientific professionals to stay home.
Also, the latest episode of The Happiness Lab titled "Coronavirus BONUS: Coach Yourself Through A Crisis."  Good information for dealing with the overwhelming amount of info coming at us on a daily basis.

What I'm cooking


Eggs en cocotte.  Discovered this gem at an Irish-themed pub at Disney Springs in Florida.  So so good.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

And so it begins

Pic of the week 


Along with the apocalypse, we've had quite a bit of rain this week, and there's a hike to a waterfall close by that is quite lovely after some rain. I haven't been there in a while, so I decided to get out and make it happen.  The trail was muddy, the people were few, the hike was perfect.

Quote of the week

"It's been like this all day."
-Guy working the cash register at Whole Foods on Friday when I stopped in to grab some lunch.  He said the lines of people shopping were pretty constant.  That particular store wasn't actually too bad on Friday afternoon.  Went to the Trader Joe's by my house later that night for some cheese and the place was cleaned out.  The entire freezer aisle was empty (except for the desserts).  Nary a canned good or loaf of bread to be found.  There was, however, plenty of ice cream and wine.  So. People are going bonkers.

What's going on?

That is the question.  Hope everyone is staying safe and clean.  Here are two things I found to be informative and helpful:

This rather long Facebook post goes into some of the math behind what's coming and reasons we should all be taking steps now to help slow to roll of the virus rather than continuing with business as usual.

This article from the Washington Post has some handy simulations of different scenarios and advocates again for social distancing.

So what I'm saying is yes, this is a big deal, and yes we should be hunkering down so it doesn't become a catastrophic deal.  Also, consider donating to food banks, buying gift cards from local mom and pop restaurants, checking in on the families of healthcare workers, tipping generously, buying pizza for the staff of the grocery store, etc. etc. etc.  There are lots of people out there with a "me first" attitude in this situation, let's spread a little more love and generosity.

Other than the slow decline of civilization as we know it, it was actually a pretty normal week.  I did a bunch of work as a standardized patient this week helping doctors learn how to gain consent for a blood transfusion. I did a little bit of tutoring, a little bit of Kidville, and a whole lot of reading.

I also started practicing the guitar.  I'd like to be semi-proficient at guitar, but just haven't had the motivation to really pick it up.  Somehow this keto kick I've been on, and the requisite discipline to stay at it has bled over into other areas of my life - which is awesome!  So I'm not doing a ton of practicing, but a little bit every day.  And it's already made a difference!  I'm excited to keep going.

Speaking of keto, as of today I have officially completed one month and the results are in - literally nothing has changed.  *sigh*  I had some high hopes, but I think my body is just very resistant to change.  So.  I had a goal of doing keto for a full 6 weeks.  I'm gonna keep it up for another two weeks - should be fine food-wise for the next week at least, who knows what the following week will bring what with grocery stores being emptied as soon as they're stocked, but I'm going to do my best - and then see where we're at.  I have some fitness goals I'd like to reach, but it's looking like there may be zero quick-fix elements to this.  Just a few months of discipline and hard work.  But I think I'm ready for it.

What I'm reading

So many things about the importance of social distancing to flatten the curve of COVID-19 spread.  Seriously everyone, stay home.

And also this:


Fascinating look at the secondhand industry - the global view, the impacts, the stats.  Another one to make you go, "Huh.  Maybe I probably don't need so much of the stuff."  Or at the very least, it might make you think about the longer picture of the stuff you do buy.  Also, I learned where the word "shoddy" comes from.  Turns out it's a kind of recycled wool fabric.  

What I'm watching



This was very good. I love the direction Disney and Pixar are both taking in terms of highlighting the role of love in more than just a romantic way, and showing the impact that all kinds of relationships can have in positive ways.

What I'm listening to

This cool website where you can pick a country and a decade and it will play music that you were likely to hear on the radio at the time.

What I'm cooking


Zuppa Toscana.  Don't let the "keto" part turn you off.  This soup was delicious.  Perfect for the cool, rainy weather we've been having.  A couple of modifications due to low supplies at the grocery store and vegetables I happened to have on hand:
Instead of Italian sausage, I used some breakfast sausages.  I used some cubed squash instead of radishes and shaved Brussels sprouts instead of kale.  It was a hearty, creamy, delicious bowl of warmth.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Rough waters ahead.

Pic of the week 


So this picture doesn't really do it justice because you really just get a bunch of trail and sky, but that's the deal with the panoramic setting.  Anyway, this is the view from a local hiking spot.  The real view is more of that kind of thin strip in the middle - which is the city and the ocean.  It's been a while since I've been hiking and I had some time yesterday, so I went.  It was great!  I want to start going more.  There are some great hikes around here and it always feels so refreshing to be outside.

Quote of the week

"J/K".  More of a paraphrase than a quote, but that's essentially the sentiment felt by the LGBT+ Mormon community at BYU and elsewhere as The Church™ clarified its position on the honor code update, once again causing a lot of pain and signaling that church is not the safest place for those in this community.  Want to clarify that I have a lot of respect for The Church™ as an organization and know plenty of people who find great value in being a part of it.  But I think a church run primarily by octogenarian white men - inspired though they may be - is gonna make some mistakes.  And I think, generally speaking, the way they approach and interact with the LGBT+ community leaves room for improvement.  Especially at an institution of higher learning that is supposed to prepare its members to enter a larger society prepared to interact in healthy and appropriate ways with that larger society.  Like it or not, doctrines aside, homophobia has no place in the larger society.

What's going on?

Ya know, with Coronavirus, and Climate Change, and the very real possibility of another 4 years with a misogynistic criminal (And that's really not even liberal hyperbole.  He's a demonstrated misogynist and criminal.in the White House all looming darkly on the horizon, it's been a bit of a heavy week for yours truly.  Oddly enough, this all seemed to coalesce when I was hiking - which is generally a time when I clear my head.  Probably listening to too many podcasts.  Also, saw a post on the ol' FB (which I really should spend less time on) that Utah passed abortion bans, but rejected free lunch for pre-schoolers, so how about that for standing on moral high ground.  Reminds me of when the good Members™ of Draper rejected a shelter for women and children because, "Not in my backyard!"  I think maybe we have forgotten in our individualistic society the importance of the community, and that the community doesn't just mean the other white people in your same tax bracket.

Sorry to get so political on y'all this week, there's just a lot going on and it's been on my mind.  Facebook really is heating up with political content - which I try to avoid because it raises my blood pressure - but the few very conservative people I actually follow keep posting things that are shocking to me - not because they are surprising, but because they seem to exist in a reality with which I am not familiar.  But I guess that's how it goes.

Other than the weight of partisanship, it's been a VERY chill week.  I had a followup with my doctor and it seems my cholesterol is a tad high.  And this was from blood work they did the day I started keto, so I wasn't even doing a high-fat thing at that moment.  My doc all but recommended I go vegan - which I thought was interesting for a health-care professional.  I do miss eating a more plant-based diet. I guess once keto's over I'll need to keep a better eye on what I'm eating - which I've known for some time, I just have a really hard time saying no to dessert.  More black bean brownies and less buttercream frosting.

What I'm reading

Just want to give a second plug to my book from a couple of weeks ago - Destiny Disrupted.  I finished it this week and it was such a fascinating look at the world.  I think it's always helpful to look at things from different perspectives and going through world history from a Muslim perspective was so interesting.  I think it'd be very helpful to a lot of people to see that perspective.  So.  If you're a reader, HIGHLY recommend a look. And if you're not a reader, HIGHLY recommend the audio book.

This week I also read:

Great (and quick!) little read about the author's journey of a year of no shopping.  Meaning no buying things she didn't actually need.  I think it's good to think about that every once in a while.  We all have too much stuff so it's probably good to ask "What do I really need?" Ya know?

What I'm watching


Finally got around to watching this and it was really cute!

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Resistance is Futile - unless you get there early enough.

Pic of the week 


My dear friends Tara and Mariah came to town for a mom getaway and I fully crashed the party.  We had a blast.  I love these two humans the most.  Also, finding keto-friendly food at Disneyland - not that hard.  Avoiding eating all the treats at Disneyland, especially with your best treat friends - very very hard.

Quote of the week

"Wahoo!!!" - everyone at approximately 9:00:30 in the morning when they were rewarded for their diligence with a boarding group for Rise of the Resistance. It was funny to hear.  (Also, we definitely got a boarding group - 45.)

What's going on?

And just like that, February is over.  Saw this today, and it made me laugh:


What a year it's been already.
Is everyone gearing up and ready for the primary on Tuesday?  I know for many of you it's a foregone conclusion as the Republican candidate is essentially already decided (Heaven help us all).  But for those of us on the right side of history 😜, we've got quite a competition happening.  I'm interested to see how things shake down after Super Tuesday - especially now that ol' Mayor Pete has dropped out of the race.  Lots of love coming to everyone from your favorite left-leaning, feminist, gay artist. (That's me!)

In other news, I went down to Disneyland once a week in February!  It was bonkers!  And so much fun.  The new Star Wars ride is one of the coolest rides I've ever been on and I'm excited to go back!  Also, I just love being there.

What I'm reading

I realize the recent changes to BYU's honor code may not be on everyone's radar, but there's been celebration and pearl-clutching in equal measure.  The changes affect my people, so I've been keeping a casual eye on the happenings.  I thought this was a really interesting take on it, and he shares some thoughts I've been having for quite some time.  It seems that in the church, and especially in the culture of the church, the important things often get pushed to the back-burner because they're not visible.  I hope we can all bring them to the forefront a little more.    

What I'm watching


This one was hard to watch.  Beautifully done piece of cinema, though.
I don't generally follow awards season stuff because I think it's all a bit of a joke, however, now that I've seen it, I don't understand why the lead actor wasn't nominated for anything.  He was incredible.  

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Keto-licious

Pic of the week 



Yup.  Phin got a flat.  Luckily it was basically just at a stop light and then it felt weird when I started driving again rather than blowing out going high speed around a turn - which is something that terrifies me.  After waiting for a two truck, getting him into the shop and getting a Lyft home, it ended up being a 3-hour endeavor.  BUT Phin is back in fighting shape.  Though who knows for how long.  My mechanic said he thinks Phin may not be long for this world and that I just to pay especially careful attention to oil levels.  When I bought Phin, they said scooters usually last about 40,000 miles and he's at about 62,000, so I think that's pretty good.  My mechanic said he wants to keep Phin on the road as long as possible and he'll do what he can.  So we'll see.

Quote of the week

"I was going to say the Coronavirus"
- A kid at a Story Pirates show letting us know what he thought the pineapple named Pineapple should have been afraid of instead of people.

What's going on?

What a week!

I went to the doctor on Monday since I now have insurance and an annual checkup is free.  I'm in pretty good health, so there wasn't much to talk about.  He did a little blood work and I'm going back in a couple of weeks to talk all of that over with him.

I talked to a guy about a potential new job this week.  I know.  I already have plenty, but this is basically an extension of my job as a Standardized Patient, it's just with a different company because it's more invasive stuff - testicular exams and rectal exams and the like.  And I'm all, "Whatever!  It pays so well!" So that'll probably be happening.

Big news this week - I started the Keto diet.  I've been thinking about it for a while, but decided to finally take the plunge.  I'm not generally very good at following through on stuff like this, but I've actually stuck to it this week!  And it's not so bad.  I mean, the diet is basically eat a bunch of meat and cheese and cream and butter, so it's comfort food city.  And there are so many keto-friendly treat recipes out there that though it's not quite like having a warm, gooey, chocolate chip cookie, it's close enough that I can do this diet for a couple of months.  I'll let you know how it goes!

What I'm cookin'

Even though I think the name of this website is problematic, this Instant Pot chicken tikka masala was so good.  If you don't have an instant pot, that's okay.  You can just do it in a slow cooker.

What I'm listening to

I thought this episode of Hidden Brain was interesting.  It talks about the idea that the people who are more "political" often treat it as more of a hobby than actually being involved in political change.  Get out there and vote, y'all!

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Falling in love with love

Pics of the week 


Happy Valentine's Day!


Got health insurance (finally bit the bullet) and went in to have my foot looked at.  Doc said there are no fractures, and that it's probably just due to my posterior tibial tendon (which runs kind of right behind and under the inside ankle bone) getting tired while training and then because it hadn't fully recovered when I ran the race, my foot took a lot of the stress, so I just need to rest up and take it easy for 3-4 weeks and I should be right as rain.  I'm a little bummed because I genuinely enjoy getting out for a jog, but doctor's orders are doctor's orders.


Some friends and I got up at the crack of dawn to make it down to Disneyland for the new Star Wars ride: Rise of the Resistance.  Because it's new and fancy they're operating it with boarding groups, so you have to get a spot in a boarding group or you don't get to ride the ride.  Most days the boarding groups open right when the park opens and are gone by about one minute later, so you gotta be quick.  But we got a group and got on the ride.  This picture is really only about 10% of the way into the ride and already we were floored.  This is seriously one of the coolest rides I've ever been on. I can't wait to go again. (Also!  Look for that handsome guy in the maroon jacket in a new comedy on NBC coming soon!  I have famous friends!)

What's going on?

I was ostensibly recovering from a cold this week.  I really only started feeling human again on Thursday.  It was a brutal one.  Despite that, it was a very full week.  Disneyland (I know, but I did Disneyland BEFORE the doctor told me to take it easy.), Valentine's Day, doctor's appointments, Story Pirates trainings, two plays (saw What the Constitution Means to Me, and honestly, if you ever get the chance, you should ABSOLUTELY go see it.), and lots and lots of soup.

What I'm reading


Recommended by my good friend Tara and I'm loving it so far.  It goes through a very cursory timeline of the founding of Islam in one chapter, and the parallels to Mormonism are fascinating. 

What I'm watching


This show was fine. It's a fashion design competition show.  I think Tan France is a better fashion consultant than host, but it was still some fun, mindless TV to watch while doing taxes with a cold.  

What I'm puzzling


Sunday, February 9, 2020

New Titles!

Pic of the week 


I ran a half marathon!  I was unsure if I was going to make it because one's 30s can be rough, but I did it!  That guy in the blue is my friend Duke who trained and ran with me.  Luckily he stayed with me the whole time, which was great because if he hadn't I probably would have walked the last 3 miles or so.  Nothing has ever tasted as good as the fruit cup I ate right after crossing the finish line (and regaining my balance). My official finishing time was 2:01:37.  And I'm pretty thrilled with that.  My foot/ankle have been bugging me all week, but I also just got health insurance this week so I'm headed to the doctor soon to get that looked at.

What's going on?

Just life and stuff, ya know?  I've missed a couple of weeks this year on this old blog and so this numbering system, I think, has run its course.  I'm just going to start giving these posts regular ol' titles. 

The day after my half-marathon I went to Disneyland with a friend.  I couldn't put a lot of weight on my foot and didn't think it'd be wise to hobble around Disneyland for a whole day, so I rented a wheelchair and it was honestly the best.  It doesn't really do much for you at California Adventure because all of their ride lines are wheelchair accessible, but at Disneyland it's great.  We were able to get on a ton of rides and really just had an awesome time all day.  ALSO - hot tip:  The Smuggler's Run (Millennium Falcon ride) line is wheelchair accessible, but the single-rider line is not!  Since there were only two of us that day we decided to just do single rider and they sent us through the fastpass line instead. It was great!  We also got preferential seating for World of Color and didn't even need a fastpass for it!  What a day.

The rest of this week I've been down with a cold.  Blurgh.  But I'm taking it extra easy this weekend and trying to fight it off the best I can. 

Not much else to report, honestly.  Story Pirates shows, and tutoring, and Kidville.  All the usual suspects. 

What I'm reading


A cute fictionalized book based on the true story of a gorilla who lived alone in a mall (meaning his enclosure was in a mall and he was the only gorilla) for 27 years. 

What I'm watching


This is on Netflix and is so funny.  I don't remember there being any language in this one, but maybe Google it just to be sure.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Vol. 2 Issue 43

Pic of the week 


It's happening.

What's going on?

Training them new baby Story Pirates, y'all!!!  They're culminating show is TONIGHT and I am stoked.  1 - Because this day is honestly like Christmas for me. It's my favorite night of the year.  2 - Because this time, I was in charge!  Like, I trained the new people (though it might be more accurate to say I oversaw the training of the new people), and put together the set list for their show, and it feels very rewarding!

Also got in some Disney time this week.  I randomly had a day where nothing got scheduled and the crowd trackers said it was supposed to be pretty dead, so I decided to go!  It was a little busier than I was expecting, but still not bad.  I spent too much on merchandise I don't need, ate too many treats, and probably spent too much time on my ankle (more on that in a sec), but it was fun!  A couple of friends came down to meet me and we had a delightful time.

So, I'm training for this half marathon, right?  Turns out something is out of whack with my right leg.  My hamstring feels super tight, and my knee has been bugging me.  I got a miracle of a knee band for when I run, but then my ankle started bugging me and it seems I've developed a bit of an overuse injury.  My race is next weekend, so I'm going to try my best to take it easy for the next little while and see if I can't get that ol' ankle in shape for the big race.  But it looks like I might just head down to Huntington Beach to pick up my t-shirt and cheer on my friend.  Fingers crossed I'm able to race as well!

What I'm reading


This is the 3rd book in the Scythe series and it's such a fascinating world.  Highly recommend this series.  Just read a brief synopsis so you know what you're getting into before you dive in.

What I'm listening to

NPR's Life Kit podcast. Practical advice for all kinds of things! This week I learned how to remove some stains and also some tips for reducing food waste!  Not every episode is applicable to everyone, but there's definitely something in there for everyone.  Check it out!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Vol. 2 Issue 42

Pic of the week 


Performed at Sketchfest in San Francisco this week with Patton Oswalt!  It was so fun!!!

Quote of the week

"And the winner of best kids and family podcast is...Story Pirates!" 
-Presenter at the iHeartRadio podcast awards.  I went to the awards show as the representative this year and accepted the award with my friend Mike.  It was fun!  And cool!  And now we have an award!  Check out our podcast!

What's going on?

What.  A.  Week!  I have been neck-deep in Story Pirates this week.  Had a bunch of training sessions with the new crew of pirates, a couple of rehearsals for a show this weekend, the podcast awards ceremony and performed in San Francisco at Sketchfest.  It was a whirlwind week, but so much fun!  I also managed to sneak in a couple of tutoring students, a movie, and some naps cuz I'm still kind of fighting a cold. 

ALSO!  It seems I have developed a bit of a repetitive stress/overuse injury in my ankle from the race training.  So as much as possible I've been trying to stay off my foot and give it some rest so that when I have to race in two weeks it's in tip-top shape.

What I'm watching


Honestly, I thought this was lovely. Go see it and bring tissues.

What I'm listening to

This fun new station I discovered on Spotify.  It's so peppy and lively!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Vol. 2 Issue 41

Pic of the week 


There is a magical place here in LA called Wi Spa.  It's a Korean spa.  I've known about it for years and have had several friends recommend it highly, but didn't end up going until this week.  Y'all.  I think I'm gonna go there AT LEAST once a month from here until the day I die.  That place is a dream.  Saunas, hot tubs, cold tubs, steam rooms, a rooftop patio, a sleeping room.  It's $30 to enter and you can stay for 24 hours!  They also have skincare treatments, massages, scrubs and the like, but that stuff costs extra and is a bit expensive.  I spent four hours there and felt SO refreshed afterward.  This a picture of my lunch.  A little miso soup and a smoothie.  It was perfect.  

What's going on?

We're back in the swing of life!  I honestly love my day to day.  It's always different and always an adventure.  This week included tutoring, Story Pirates training, hanging with friends, a trip to Disneyland, the Wi Spa, and a whole lot of napping.

I've come down with a cold again.  I can't tell if it's a new cold, or if the cold I started getting at Christmas just faded into the background for a couple of weeks.  Either way, I'm ready to not be sick.  I've got too much to do. I did still manage to run 11 miles yesterday, and honestly felt pretty good.  I was obviously tired at the end of it, but not yearning for death. I think it helped that I did a run on the beach at sunset.  The beach is always a fun place to run because A - it's gorgeous, B - it's almost completely flat (I run on the boardwalk/bike path), and C - it's FILLED with the weirdest people.  I love it.  My ankle is bugging me today, but hopefully it'll be feeling better by tomorrow cuz I gotta jump back in those running shoes!

And after writing all of that positive, uplifting stuff, I remembered that I saw this meme on Facebook this week that was pretty upsetting and was posted by a member of the church.  It was blatantly racist, Islamophobic, and laughably untrue.  At least it would be laughable if it wasn't so upsetting.  That same person has posted a few things that border on hate speech and I find it so saddening that someone who claims to be a follower of Christ could spread such hateful things.  Y'all.  We're all children of God.  With rare exceptions we're all trying to do the best we can with what we've got.  People who practice Islam are - just like Christians - in the VAST majority of cases, peaceful, loving, compassionate people trying to make the world a better place.  To imply otherwise is inhumane and the opposite of how a follower of Christ should behave.

Rant over.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Vol 2. Issue 40

Pic of the week 



This is a wish tree we encountered on New Year's Eve while wandering around the Venice Canals. (Yep.  Venice, CA has canals too.  They're adorable.).  It was lovely to read through people's wishes for everything from a Barbie Dreamhouse to world peace.

Quote of the week

"Happy New Year!"
-Everyone

What's going on?

New year, new me!  Just kidding.  Same old me.  And that's okay!  No big plans for the year, honestly.  I'm cutting out sugar, and for the most part dairy and refined grains for January cuz I need a bit of a nutritional jump-start.  Also trying to drink more water cuz kidney stones apparently run in the family and that's not a life I'm excited to live.

It's been a very chill holiday season - lots of napping and movies and friends and too much food. Just the way I like it.  But I'm ready and excited to jump back into life.

Training for the new Story Pirates started this week and Yours Truly was in charge of it!  First time.  It's been a blast.

I got an Instant Pot for Christmas!  I used it for the first time to make some soup.  Here's the deal - Instant Pots are pretty cool, but they're not as instant as they make you believe.  Still, they are pretty easy and help make the cooking more efficient, so I'm all for that.

What I'm reading


This is the second book I'm reading from a list I stumbled on titled "10 Books About Race To Read Instead Of Asking A Person Of Color To Explain Things To You."  (So You Want to Talk About Race was the first) I think it's important to understand perspectives different from your own and see and understand that the world can look very different to different people.  Understanding, celebrating, and cultivating diversity are big parts of what I do in all of my work.  I make lots of mistakes, but I'm trying to do better.  I urge you to do the same!  Warning for those who care - there is some language in this one.

What I'm watching


It feels like these movies are always controversial, but I really enjoyed it.  It wasn't perfect, but I thought it did a pretty good job wrapping up the whole saga.  I think Star Wars is too much of a cash cow for them to be done with Star Wars movies, but it appears this is at least the end of this particular storyline, and I thought it was a great end.

What I'm listening to


Season two is out, y'all.  Google it, find it, get it, live it.  I think EVERYONE needs to listen to this podcast, but especially everyone in Utah.  Season 1 breaks down the deal behind MLM businesses and how they're basically a racket.  Don't get sucked in.  Season two is out and going in a slightly different direction, but I am here for it.