Today is May Day, which also makes it International Workers’ Day, so I encourage you not to cross the picket line as essential workers strike for better benefits and protection while their employing corporations reap in record profits during this crisis.
May Day is also a festival of spring, so enjoy flowers and spring cakes and little makeshift maypoles if you’d like.
We are also kicking off Asian Pacific American Heritage Month today. I’ll try to find some good reading for next Friday but in the meantime, try to consume something made by an Asian Pacific American this weekend. You don’t have to go watch Crazy Rich Asians but there are a lot of other good options, one of which I mention down below. You can also watch a Youtube video, read a book, read an article even. And of course, continue considering supporting Asian-American-owned businesses.
“Lockdown Productivity: Spaceship You” – CGP Grey
CGP Grey has long been one of my favorite Youtube creators, and this has become one of my favorites of his videos. He reframes our quarantine in a creative way – you are isolated in a spaceship above Earth, and before you can return to Earth, your mission is to return to Earth better than you left. It’s really worth a watch and can be really motivating if you’ve been starting to feel burned out and finding quarantine to be pointless and draining. He focuses on how important it is to maintain your physical and mental health, and the importance of having dedicated physical spaces to do so. Read More »
This week felt a bit shorter, to me, or like it went a bit faster. On the one hand, it’s a bit of a relief that I don’t feel like these weeks are a torturous slog but on the other hand, I don’t think it’s necessarily a good thing that my hours and days are just melting into one another. I think a big part of why my week seems to have sped past me is that, instead of finishing work and settling into existential dread for several hours before I fall asleep, I’ve been squeezing in 2 workouts a day during the work week because I am trying to take advantage of the free classes that have been made available to me on top of doing my 14-day challenge. Going from 0 workouts a month to 2 a day has been, uh, HARD, even with me maybe half-effort-ing some of them so that put together I have one whole efforted workout, but I’m glad I’ve survived so far, although I don’t know that I’ll survive any longer.
Without further ado, some of my favorite things from this past week:Read More »
Has anyone else been struggling a bit this week? I’ve seen this sentiment on social media that this week in particular has been more difficult for a lot of people, whether in their work lives or their personal lives. Personally, I’ve been feeling it a lot at work, vacillating between period of virtually zero productivity and periods of highly rare focus but getting blocked by something or other.Read More »
I first read this piece last week while I was completely overwhelmed with quarantine and caring for my husband. While it has been great that people are finding ways to cope and even thrive during shelter-in-place (Instagram Live workouts! sourdough starters! Zoom happy hours!), I was really struggling and doing much less than I ordinarily do with my time at home, even before my husband got sick.
Even though this whipped coffee beverage has gone beyond viral, just a month ago, as an Internet trend, it was still localized primarily in South Korea. (Dalgona is the name of a Korean street candy that the whipped concoction closely resembles.) However, an artist I follow — Dami Lee — posted this video, and it looked so achievable that I was inspired to immediately try making my own.
“But Starr, you don’t even drink coffee?”, some of you may be wondering.
This is very true. BUT even I had some instant coffee packets that I’ve pocketed from hotel stays abroad, and they came in very handy for this.
A post shared by Jenn Starr (@everythingineverfedyou) on
Here was my first attempt from literally a day after Dami Lee posted her video. (Oh, by the way, I have a kind of foodstagram on the side that I run with a friend?) It was delicious and, yes, very caffeinated. I have a low tolerance for caffeine so this is a lot for a non-coffee drinker but it’s still really pleasant! I’ve since purchased instant coffee expressly for the purpose of making more whipped coffee but will probably go with decaf in the future.
Rainych’s cover of “Say So”
Indonesian singer Rainych recorded this cover of Doja Cat’s hit song “Say So” in Japanese and, to be honest, I like it better than the original. I regularly vibe to her viral cover, which Doja Cat saw and loved, and hope it opens the doors for cool things in the future!
Zefrank made a short and silly video that brought me some needed smiles. I thought maybe it could do the same for you.
Headspace is a popular meditation app that has guided meditations for different situations, like helping you sleep or managing anxiety. They have responded to the coronavirus pandemic by adding additional resources like their “Weathering the Storm” series and giving healthcare providers free access to their premium app.
New York state is currently the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, with my home of New York City having one of the highest confirmed case counts per capita in the world. So, Headspace has put together a page of resources for New Yorkers to take advantage of, with free guided meditations, sleep sounds, and even meditations for kids. This has been a nice reprieve.
Ideal Asian Breakfasts
I was recommended these videos by Party Kitchen, and they are on the same chill frequency as my Calm Foods video playlist, which I love. I love all breakfast food, and Asian breakfasts are especially comforting to me. I hope they bring you some comfort, too, and maybe inspire a breakfast for you to come.
I didn’t mean for this Friday Favorites to be so video-oriented, it’s almost another video playlist. It’s not on the list up there but today Instagram allowed users to access Direct Messages from the web app, which is great because I really have been cherishing the ability to DM people, especially now, but I hate spending so much time sucked into my phone.
We had a sudden drop in temperatures, from mid-60s to mid-30s, here in the DC area. And really, what satisfies you like a hot noodle soup? Specifically, I start to get very consistent cravings for pho, ramen, and jjampong.
I also love going home to my parents’ house and eating bone soup with some rice noodles in them. (You know those big pork bones that you can just slurp the marrow out of? Yah, those are the ones.) There are so many comforting feelings that come with hot noodle soups: the smell coming up with steam, the first sensation as you take your first slurp of hot soup, the feeling as the hot soup goes down into your belly.
If you eat with me in the colder months and ask me what we should eat, there is a good chance I will suggest some form of hot noodle soup. I haven’t been able to have too many this week, but with another brutal winter up ahead, you can be sure I’ll have plenty.
Some of you may remember that I had a brief obsession with makeup tutorials a few years back. I never used any of them, but I felt like I was theoretically armed with the ability to create these stunning makeup looks. (I’m not.)
These days, I spend a lot more time watching cooking videos. Again, I’m not actually applying the stuff I’m watching, really, but I feel like I can apply this theory later on. This has been a lot more productive for me, as I do cook but I don’t wear makeup. Usually, I’ll end up watching Sorted Food or Gordon Ramsay. (I guess I just like watching British guys cook food? The accent makes it more compelling.)
Here’s one of my favorites by Sorted:
Warning: This chocolate cake looks sinfully good. You probably will drool watching.
And here’s the iconic video from Gordon Ramsay:
If you aren’t making eggs like this, apparently we’re wrong. Very wrong.
Big Hero 6 Easter Egg
I won’t spoil it for you, but, this is a Marvel film. And if you know Marvel movies, then you know Stan Lee shows up in [nearly] all of them in some way or another. (Since he didn’t have a hand in the Guardians of the Galaxy, he is not in that movie and likely will not be in any future GotG movies.)
So, with Marvel’s first animated feature, we do have a Stan Lee cameo! You might miss it for just a moment in the middle of the movie, but if you stick around after the credits, it’s a confirmed Generalissimo appearance.
I don’t know why, but I put off buying new jasmine tea for a while. Partially because I already have tea, partially because I could’ve sworn I had some at my parents’ house, partially because I’m lazy.
Finally got myself one of those yellow tins of looseleaf tea and I am so glad I finally did. Jasmine is maybe my favorite variety of tea because of the fragrance. (I love the smell of jasmine.) Drank maybe too many cups today but that’s all right, I have a bathroom, it’s all good.
National Museum of Natural History
After 8 years of living in Maryland, I haven’t been to a Smithsonian museum since the 3rd grade, when I lived in New Jersey. So, for Veteran’s Day/our anniversary, Ben and I went to the natural history museum. It was SO nice! Even though the dinosaur exhibit was closed for renovations, which really disappointed Ben. BUT BUT BUT the live butterfly room is free entry on Tuesdays and I got to just be enchanted by all these fluttering little butterflies. It’s so great, I love museums and the Smithsonians are cream of the crop. AND THEY’RE FREE.
Spending Time with Ben
This week had both our anniversary and Ben’s birthday, so I got to spend a lot of time with him and give him gifts! I feel like we got to spend some really quality time together and I am just really grateful to have him in my life. Spending time with my better half always makes me happy!
What have you been liking lately?
What do you crave in the cold months?
Any fun weekend plans?