Weekly Recap

July 19, 2020

I don't think I did most of what I set out to do this week, but I had a good time and read a lot of books and cooked a lot of food.

Conversations

After a week of tons of meetings, things felt more fluid with fewer meetings. I had three more infrastructure-y conversations, and I'm pretty sure I'm more interested in infra that enables a specific end user case (not infra for the sake of infra).

I went to Ethan and Julie's Zoom vows and ring exchange! I finally got to catch up with Nikki. When we were both in SF we had dinner every Tuesday, but when she moved this fell by the wayside. We didn't manage to pick it up right away during quarantine, either, but now we're back to a standard weekly meeting. The highlight was remembering the grilled cheese wok fire of 2010 and realizing my cooking has come pretty far since then.

Cooking

On Monday we made lemon goop with salmon. Tuesday was Tom's family recipe for potato pancakes and pork tenderloin. Wednesday was tofu with snap peas. Thursday for lunch we had a goat cheese potato tart, and for dinner we made my mom's potsticker recipe with a garlic-shallot green bean. Saturday we made meyer lemon chicken (with a mix of lemon and orange instead of meyer lemons). Saturday night we managed to forage a Chicken of the Woods Mushroom!

Remarkable, Kindle, Clubhouse

I caved and got a Remarkable this week. I'd long admired Lee and Vivek's, and I figured now would be a good time to spend more time doing "analog" writing that I might want to access later. So far, I love it. Remarkable :: Notebook, Kindle :: Book. I'm planning to upgrade to a Remarkable 2 and give this one to Tom in October. The rest of my family was also excited about it.

On the flip side, I don't get clubhouse yet, probably because I haven't really tried. 1) The onboarding (lots of suggestions of who to follow) in retrospect seems too aggressive. I was getting so many pushes about conversations that I had to turn off notifications, which means I now get 0. It seems to try to trigger FOMO. 2) The lack of awareness of what's going to happen once I join a conversation is weird to me. On Twitter and other written networks, you can get the norm first. Not so, here. Seems to reward a sense of confidence. 3) Aspirationally, I want it to be like an emphemeral real-time podcast. Maybe that's how I should think about it, and see if anyone else wants to join a room.

Reading

I want a better tool for tracking books still. I started writing some notes about what I'd want. In the meantime, this week I read 8 books, in some semblance of an order, though they're all so different than I'm not sure "ranking" is truly appropriate:

  • The Wretched of the Earth (Frantz Fanon) - This one came on the recommendation of Adam. A long dive into the history of Algeria and colonialism, but still relevant for modern times. As someone who doesn't read very many history books, I enjoyed the psychological perspective that this one was written from.
  • Children's Bible (Lydia Millet) - Literally all Maris has to do is tweet, or reply to another tweet, or put a book in a podcast and I will read it. This one is no different. If you think I have good taste in books, you actually think Maris does.
  • These Ghosts are Family (Maisy Card) - One of the few books I've read where the initial summary doesn't really convey the book. This was a wide ranging family history, to the point where I had trouble remembering the family tree and how everyone was related. Even without that, a lot of the points and emotions hit home.
  • Death in Her Hands (Otessa Moshfegh) - Similar "??? what is going on in this person's head" vibes as in My Year of Rest and Relaxation. Gets very Dark towards the end.
  • Exciting Times (Naoise Dolan) - If you're in hot pursuit of the next "Normal People" this was one that's been recommended a lot. It's enjoyable, but not Normal People. I didn't like the banker (shocking).
  • Sex and Vanity (Kevin Kwan) - The followup from the author of Crazy Rich Asians. I read this back to back with Exciting Times and really enjoyed the HK overlap, especially around LKF. I would have missed an error that was noted in a footnote if I hadn't just read exciting times.
  • A Silenced Voice (Ingrid and Joachim Wall) - Less true crime, and more impact of true crime. Was really interested to get a look at a journalism career path and what can go into those first ten years.
  • One to Watch (Kate Stayman - London) - A plus-sized blogger goes on the bachelorette. Trolls follow, as expected. It's a fine book, but if this is your genre I'd recommend Big Summer first.

Random:

I can watch romcoms again! After a couple years of not being able to stomach them at all, I'm able to enjoy it. This week I watched Palm Springs and The Boy Downstairs (but honestly I always just see Zosia Mamet as Shoshanna). I'm still watching The Bold Type. My mom and I are watching I'll Be Gone in the Dark. Played hours of pinochele and Hunt a Killer. Added Google analytics back into Gatsby for this site. Figured out some CSS tweaks.