1. home stretch
Two months left in 2021, oh my god! October picked the fuck up. I’m working a full-time job for the first time in my life, and it’s been an adjustment in many varied ways. School and part-time jobs in the past have trained me into a mindset of “work hard during work hours”, but now that my work hours are 9-5 I feel like I should be non-stop working from 9-5. Which is insane, obviously, and tiring as hell when I don’t have built-in breaks courtesy of a syllabus and ebbs and flows because the instructor needs time to grade. I’ve also been frustrated by certain things I’m experiencing as a junior-level employee, and even more frustrated by my apparent lack of options in changing those things. I’ve had many days which were “wake up > work > nap > go to the gym > eat dinner > watch TV > go to bed”, which feels like the most depressing vision of adult life I had as a kid. Meanwhile, my relationships are continuing to struggle through, so those are all some things which have been weighing heavy this month.
But here are some other things I’m trying to remember too: My cat is playful and fluffy and let me cut all her nails this morning (she usually only lets me get a paw at a time, so it can be a multi-day affair). I’m learning interesting things at work, meeting some really cool people, and I’m really proud of myself for putting myself out there. I’m really proud of myself for feeling less self-conscious about myself in general. I’ve been doing a great job not working more than I have to, clocking off at the end of the day and not checking Slack or my work email. Boundaries, I’m doin’ it! I learned how to squat and chest press with the barbell. The leaves are turning golden and red, and I get to walk outside and breathe in the crisp after-rain air and look at them. I have people in my life who I care about and who care about me. Red (Taylor’s Version) is coming out soon. Hope springs eternal, even when I have to pull my goddamn teeth out to spring it.
Baby Foot: Remember when this was, like, a Big Viral Deal? Well, I’m some years late, but I’m here! My boyfriend got me this, and I’ve pretty much just kept it in the bathroom drawer ever since, saving it for some mystery special occasion. Well, the day came when I decided that I should do something nice and fun for no reason except that I want nice and fun things. Basically, there’s a pair of plastic boots filled with an exfoliating gel. You put them on and let them sit for an hour, and then you take them off, wash your feet, and soon your feet will start to peel, eventually becoming baby soft. To start, the boots are hilariously shaped. They look like a cartoon character’s socks, or perhaps someone making human socks who has never actually seen human feet before. The tape doesn’t do anything to hold them up, so I put some socks on over the top of the plastic boots to keep them in place. I’m about a week into peeling, and it says it can last another week longer, so I’m not sure if my baby feet have yet to be revealed or if this is it. If this is it, I’m a little disappointed, because the sections of my feet which have peeled off don’t feel that much softer than they used to. My feet are definitely soft, but I guess I was expecting them to feel incredibly and madly soft. The peeling is immensely satisfying, I’ll give it that. I don’t think it’s gross, but I can see how you would — shedding dead skin off my feet in peeling layers like some kind of snake is really cool and weird to me. 3 out of 5. Fun and funny, but a little lacking in the results department.
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell: To cleanse my reading palate after The Beautiful and Damned, I chose what I thought would be an easy and engaging read. This delivered. I’ve never read a Malcolm Gladwell book before, but I could tell while reading that he was a New Yorker writer. He does what good article writers do, weaving together facts and insights into an easily digestible narrative, and I happily lapped it all up. Blink is about the power of ‘thin-slicing’, the idea that in a short amount of time with a small amount of information, you can reach stunningly accurate conclusions. It’s an idea that’s counter-intuitive, since you would think that the more information and the more research, the better insights are produced. I found the sections on relationships and facial expressions most interesting, as I had heard parts of those research and people before (like, “smile, it’ll make you feel happy!”), so I appreciated learning the whole thing. 4 out of 5.
Brené Brown: The Call to Courage: (All B’s this month! Completely unintentional and rather meaningless, but rather fun all the same, no?) I have a book of Brené’s, I follow her vaguely, and I’ve heard a lot about her just because I spend a lot of time online reading about mental health stuff, but this is the first time I’ve sat down with her. Man, OK, I think she’s worth the hype. It really got me. Brené talks about vulnerability, how it takes courage to tap into it, and how it’s the root of love, belonging, and joy, which are all fundamental to human experience and having a good time in this life. I’ll be thinking about how to hold onto gratitude, stop dress-rehearsing disaster, and choose joy for the hell of it for a while. And my boyfriend and I have started using “the story I’m telling myself” during arguments as well. 5 out of 5.
3. reading list
- Who Gets to Blend In, Who Gets to Break The Rules? by Virginia Sole-Smith for her newsletter, Burnt Toast
- John Mulaney and the Great Celebrity-Sympathy Overcorrection by Lili Loofbourow for Slate
- Squid Game & The Rise Of Anti-Capitalist Entertainment by Laura Pitcher for Refinery29
A Video of Celebrities Singing “Imagine” So Bad It Can Bring Us All Together in Hatred by Heather Schwedel for Slate
Why TikTok Is So Obsessed With Labeling Everything a Trauma Response by Shannon Palus for Slate
Teen Girls Are Developing Tics. Doctors Say TikTok Could Be a Factor. by Julie Jargon for The Wall Street Journal
Jesy Nelson will dispose of her Black costume when it no longer serves her by Mikki Kendall for The Guardian
26 Orange and Black Nail Designs You Can Wear All Season by Maya Allen for Byrdie
The World May Be Ending But at Least We Have Lee Pace by Matt Miller for Esquire
Colour Analysis Part I: Finding your Type by Anuschka Rees
We Can Thank Joe Biden For Pete Wentz and Fall Out Boy by Joseph Longo for Mel Magazine
How to Prevent and Remove Pilling from Lululemon Leggings by Schimiggy Reviews
Episode 456 – Full Spectrum from 99% Invisible
You Need A Hobby. Here’s How To Find One from NPR’s Life Kit
- Scott’s Cheap Flights: You sign up for an airport, and they send you great flight deals out of it.
- Asian American Justice + Innovation Lab: Community racial justice incubator. Found via a friend sharing on Instagram.
I watched a video of Chriselle Lim, an influencer, getting microbladed and was then entranced by Hera’s Instagram. I really appreciate how there are so many example photos on East Asian people – I always struggle with that when I look for haircut photos and things like that, but the secret is probably going somewhere like Ktown in LA and not the predominantly white small city I currently live in.
I mean, oh my god, the literal shoe brand of my dreams. Really rate all of the loafers/oxfords going on here, and I feel like it’s quite hard to find monkstrap shoes for women. These are exorbitantly priced for me (the shoes pictured, the Mr. York Monkstrap, are $525), but I’m going to put this here to remember for when I hopefully have enough disposable income and lack of impulse purchases to get a pair. I have and will continue to scroll on their Instagram for days.
A genius bag! A little sling zip bag in the back and a pocket for your water bottle in the front. It seems like it would really only fit their water bottle, but
These rings!! Agh! Overglow Edit is a nail artist I follow on IG, and she came out with a gorgeous jewelry collaboration with Local Eclectic.
I don’t have an Apple Watch and don’t want to get one, but these bands are so cool looking! I think these are the first Apple Watch band which I’ve seen where they genuinely look good, not just “the best you can manage with a black chunk on your wrist”.
Marketed as ‘skincare for your scalp’
5. camera roll
OK! I leave you with a Hannibal meme – I’m halfway through the last season 😥