The worst thing about graduate school is that it makes you hate reading, which sucks because loving reading is one of the reasons I went to graduate school in the first place. 75% of my work is just reading stuff, so equating "pleasure" or "leisure" or "fun" with reading has really been destroyed. Still, I'm teaching Some We Love this semester and it has been pretty fun. My students don't really get it, but constantly grappling with ethical, moral and philosophical animal-related conundrums has been a really fun scholarly exercise for me. I'm sort of a vegetarian again (I make exceptions for ethically sourced meats, Great Meals and bacon) and sometimes I look my dog in the eyes and say "Do you really love me?" My current favorite ethical conundrum: Would it be considered ethical/moral to use the skins from the invasive nonnative pythons currently destroying the Everglades to make luxury goods such as shoes and purses? Also, when I can work it in, I've been slowly enjoying The Secret Life of the Lonely Doll. It's the biography of Dare Wright, the woman who wrote The Lonely Doll, and it is creepy as all get out.
A months ago I was grocery shopping and there was the cutest little bunch of teeny little asparagus (asparagi?) so I bought it even though I never cook with asparagus. It went into a lot of breakfasts, including the open face sandwich above (Neufchâtel cheese on toast with bacon, red bell pepper and asparagus) and this ridiculously rich eggs Benedict concoction with a goat cheese and bell pepper based "Hollandaise." I've also made a lot of asparagus pastas and lentil and asparagus tacos. I like eating it and it's been fun to experiment with my cooking, but asparagus is notorious for its lingering effects and it feels like I'm just eating fancy celery sometimes. Like, is it even good for me? What vitamins are in asparagus? What does asparagus even do?
Last November when my Sephora points and birthday gift and the Friends and Family sale all coincided, I bought a cheap handheld face brush (above) to pad my cart so I could get a free mascara or something dumb. After I started using it I saw an improvement in my skin and I especially enjoyed using the pink side which is made of that funky wiggly stuff that came on tongue rings girls liked to buy from Hot Topic in the early 2000's. For Christmas I got a Clarisonic Mia and my face brush game got serious. When I am using my Mia 2x a day (morning and evening) my skin is clear, smooth, glowy and my fine lines are finer. I was really hesitant to get one of these because so many health + beauty recommendations are super subjective or blown out of proportion, but this thing did not disappoint. I do think that a nicer handheld brush with natural fibers and a little more diligence on my part would have provided similar results, but I am lazy and I do like a timer.
I'd been wanting to try integrating coconut oil into my skincare routine for a while, but coconut oil can be heck of expensive. While on vacation I found a huge jar of organic cold pressed coconut oil in a Costco for $16 and snatched that thing up. It's been 4 months of regular use and I've barely used 25% of the jar. Also, my skin, which is often irritated from dryness and cat allergies, has definitely improved with regular use. It's not enough alone for winter, but it's a good base and will be plenty of moisture come summer. I also have been giving a little to my dog for his dry skin and nails and he loves it. I wipe a quarter-sized amount on a bone or directly onto his nails and he's happy to lick it off. I guess I could also eat it, but I don't cook with a lot of oil and I don't bake so it just hasn't come up. My favorite thing to do is do a facial massage with it after a shower or before bed. It removes any leftover eye makeup and is just a nice way to relax. I'll leave it on for a while, maybe 5 or 10 minutes, and then remove the excess with some witch hazel on a cotton pad. My face is so smooth and soft and glowy afterward, I can't even handle it.
I've been watching Cheers on Netflix and I don't have a ton to say about it except that it has been okay. It's fine. It has been fine. It's very 80's and I'm almost on season 9 and the theme song still isn't old. I don't know. I have to finish it, and I love Kirstie Alley (and I always have, in everything she's ever done), but it's just fine. The only reason I'm even telling you about this is because it has just been a part of my life for the last month and I can't not tell you about it. I think about Cheers all the time, but nothing about that thinking is interesting. It's just there.
Blizzard Gigi just wrecked my town and gave me and my husband a 4-day weekend. Everyone's pretty pissed because it's April and we just got a foot of snow dumped on us, but I will take a 4 day weekend any way I can get it.
I've been pretty into writing poems lately. I'm doing them for a class, but I forgot how fun it is. I've been writing them about interesting ladies like Marjorie Cameron, Dare Wright and Simone Melchior. I've also been enjoying writing in a "journal" which is mostly just me writing down things I remembered and taking notes from the Wikipedia pages for eels (which are fish! Did you know eels were fish?! I thought they were their own thing!), snails and ants and whatever other random stuff I feel like learning about. It's kind of just a really chill, no pressure way to blow off steam and be creative/"scholarly" outside of school. You can check out some of the pages on my Instagram, which is private, but Internet strangers are welcome!
This rug, which looks amazing next to my terracotta dresser and cost me $12. I'm just really into rugs. So are my pets.