On Moving Forward, Making Friends, and Finding Myself

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

I've been thinking a lot about the last post I ever wrote on my old Xanga site. Remember Xanga? Man, I loved that place. I wrote there all throughout college.

My last post was on July 4, 2007, just over a month before my graduation from Kent State University. The day after commencement, my mom, aunt, & I loaded up two cars with all my belongings & drove me to Washington, D.C., where just two days later, I started my first post-college job as a legislative assistant at a Jewish nonprofit. I expected to work there for a year & move home, but instead... well, I never left.

Until now. 

Oh, the Places You Won't Go: 12 Places I've Eaten Amid the Pandemic

Monday, April 12, 2021

Things are starting to feel a little bit more normal here, especially after Mike & I both recovered from COVID. With antibodies coursing through our veins like superpowers, we've been feeling more & more comfortable heading out into the world even going so far as to eat inside restaurants a couple of times. 

Before we contracted COVID, though, we did our best to keep supporting restaurants new & old, from places we'd long loved to new spots we hoped would succeed. Here are 12 of the best places we've eaten from lately – mostly takeout & delivery – throughout the last few months of this pandemic.

What I Read in February & March

Friday, April 2, 2021

I kept thinking I hadn't been reading enough to do a roundup, but... oops, I did it again. Yes, I'm still operating on a much slower pace than in years past, but I've definitely recovered quite a bit from my peak-COVID reading pause. 

This round of reads includes a little bit if everything: nonfiction history & science, a memoir about disability, a fictional royal love story, a short-story thriller, & a YA fantasy series. And everything was pretty darn good! Here goes:

25 Things about Me as a Reader

Saturday, March 27, 2021

The last year has changed so much about our lives, including, for me, how much reading I do; it's like I just can't focus on a book anymore. Still, I'm finally back in the swing of things, if not at the same volume as before, & I'm really relieved to be able to rediscover my love of reading along the way.

Awhile back, Stephany of Stephany Writes wrote a post titled "25 Things About Me as a Reader," & I am straight-up stealing that idea today. I don't know if this will be interesting to anyone but me, but it seemed like a fun list for me to think of.

Here's a bit about me, my books, & my lifelong love of reading. 

Outdoor Fun, Even During a Pandemic... in the Winter

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Yep, that's me under there, bundled up beneath layers & layers so that as little of my skin as possible is exposed to the very, very cold elements. It's in the 70s as I write this, so this much snow & cold feels fairly distant, thankfully, but even in frigid temps, my friends & I were doing our best to, well, make the best of things, pandemic be damned. 

Here are just a few of the outdoorsy events we enjoyed at near- or below-freezing temps before things started to warm up. 

What It's Felt Like to Have COVID-19

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

I’m eight days out from my COVID diagnosis, & I’ve come a long way. Those first few days were absolutely miserable — “mild,” technically, but miserable nonetheless. 

I first went to the ER with a rapid heartbeat that, at one point, surpassed 140 BPM. I didn't have any other symptoms of illness yet, but I was jittery & panicked, too afraid to move much for fear of overwhelming my heart. That, it turned out, was likely the result of thyroiditis, which the endocrinologist says sometimes happen in cases of illness — your thyroid freaks out & dumps all of its thyroid hormone, which can cause an array of issues.

My other symptoms, which kicked in slightly later, were debilitating. 


Saturday, March 13, 2021

I was sitting at my desk on Sunday night doing exactly nothing when I got an alert from my Apple Watch: My heart rate was inordinately high. Weird, but I felt fine, so I didn't pay too much attention to it. The next morning, though, I woke up to a whopping nineteen alerts that my heart rate had gotten too high while I slept

On Monday, my doctor told me to go to urgent care, but no local urgent care has an EKG machine. I tried to put off care for awhile because I was equal parts anxious & lazy, but on Tuesday, I headed to the ER at Fairview Hospital. 

How Do You Measure a Year in the Life?

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

It's hard to believe it's been a year since the pandemic began. 

Do you remember the last thing you did before your quarantine began? I do. I went to Saucy Brew Works to play Bachelor trivia with a Twitter friend I'd never met in real life before. We lost badly, & afterward, I grabbed a drink at Jukebox, across the street. The next day, I got coffee at Civilization, talking with one of my favorite baristas about the weird "coronavirus" that seemed to be headed our way. Would it really impact us?

And then I basically never went anywhere ever again.

The 30-Recipe Project: Recipes 5-10

Friday, February 26, 2021

As a still-relatively-new cook & baker, I'm on a mission to make 30 new-to-me recipes in 2021. I shared my first five recipes of the year, plus a few holdovers, in mid-January, & now I'm back with five more. I've slowed down my cooking & baking in February, but I expect it to pick back up when my seasonal affective disorder lifts a little bit. 

Here we go, recipes five through 10. I have a feeling I'll hit 30 pretty easily... & then keep going!

What I Read in January

Monday, February 1, 2021

Annnnd we're off! In my goal to read 55 books in 2021, I'm going to try to get back in the habit of writing monthly "what I read" posts. I finished five books in January, which puts me a little bit behind schedule, but I'm pretty happy with everything I read. 

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

I both loved & hated this book, but mostly loved? I think? Doyle is a truly incredible, beautiful, fantastic writer, her words like a poison & a balm all in one. I loved this memoir, a series of short essays about life, generally, & lessons learned from the smallest & largest pieces of it. The "hated" part, though is just because... it's a lot sometimes. She's a lot sometimes – & that's OK. It's just occasionally a lot, is all. Sometimes I was like "OK, lol, this is not at all relevant to my own small life." ★★★★☆

Apartment Tour: Welcome to My Home Office!

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

This January marked a decade of my working from home! In a world where many, many people now work remotely, it's started to seem like the norm - but for the majority of my time as a work-from-home staffer, it was considered somewhat unusual & potentially only for lazy people. I once even wrote a piece for Thought Catalog (remember what that was super popular?" titled "11 Things That People Who Work From Home Hate Hearing."

Recently, I shared a photo of my office on my Instagram Stories, & my coworker @PaigePlates expressed delight at it, noting that she only ever sees the one little square right behind my head on Zoom calls. I thought I'd share it here so people can see my work-from-home space, where I spend the majority of my time in my home. 

The Best TV Shows I've Watched During the Pandemic

Saturday, January 23, 2021

So.... whatcha watchin'? The pandemic, now nearly a year old, has sent me into a tailspin of TV-watching, as, without any out-in-the-world plans to make, I've turned to bingeing whatever seems like it might be good enough to keep me from focusing on the state of the world.

Below is just a bit of the TV I've made my way through in the past year, from a comedy about an Indian-American teenager to the most classic mafia show in American history... & basically everything in between.

365 Days of Not Being a Mom

Thursday, January 21, 2021

It's hard to believe that today marks one year since I learned of my miscarriage, since setting into motion the double D&Cs it took to get my body back to normal. But it's not back to normal, is it? I'm not back to normal. 

In the midst of my miscarriage, I thought, "I will remember every moment of this, & I will write it all down later. I will tell my version of this story for women who can't figure out how to tell their own." It felt too painful in the moment, though, too much emotional energy I didn't have – & I found that when I "recovered," I didn't have it in me anymore to tell that story, to go back, to delve that deep.

The 30-Recipe Project: My First 5 Recipes of the Year

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Each year, I set a Goodreads goal for myself: How many books am I going to read this year? My 2021 goal is 55 books, up 10 from my 2020 goal. Back in 2018, I set a goal of 80 & read a whopping 101. I decided to take the same approach this year toward cooking & baking. 

As I've shared here before, I've finally learned how to do a little bit of both since the start of the pandemic – & while I'm nowhere near becoming an Ina Garten or a Mary Berry, I have started to enjoy exploring new-to-me recipes & trying my hand at getting things right. I'm setting my cooking goals a little bit lower than my reading goals, though: In 2021, I'd like to try at least 30 new-to-me recipes.

What Life Looks Like Right Now

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Sometimes when I don't know what the hell to write about or don't have the brain capacity for a "themed" post, I just do these round-up posts that round up... life lately. What have you been up to? Here's where my brain is these days. 

An Ode to Washington, D.C., My First Favorite City

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

I am 8 years old & visiting Washington, D.C., for the first time with my parents. My dad & I are sitting on a bench on the National Mall when a bird poops on his head. I am particularly enamored of public transit & of the Metro's colorful, extremely '90s logo. I write it all down in my diary, where I say that it is my favorite city in the world, as if I've been to others.

I am 14 years old, & my mom & I have taken my exchange student brother, who is from Peru, on a family vacation to Washington, D.C., so that he can see the U.S. capital while he's living here for the year. We visit the Air & Space Museum with my cousin, Patrick, & then we stand at the wrought-iron fence outside the White House, agog, in awe.

A Few (OK, Many) Words on the Christianization of the Bachelor Franchise

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

First things first, I was gonna write all this up into a nice packaged piece to submit to Alma, one of my favorite Jewish websites... but somebody else did it first. See "Is The Bachelor Just a Christian Dating Show Now?" by Emily Burack, the smart & insightful gal who beat me to the punch. 

After having a few conversations in a few Bachelor-related Facebook groups (Dear God, I am embarrassing), I realized that I've written enough words in there that I might as well put them into a piece to be shared here. I don't need to send my piece off to a publication if I've got a "publish" button right here! 

SO. Let's get to it.

What I Read in November & December

Monday, January 4, 2021

I know, I know, we're in a new year! Let 2020's memory be forgotten! But I couldn't close out the year without rounding up the books I read in the last two months of it. I think I might finally be back on the monthly review-writing bandwagon...

Oh, yeah, & if some of these individual reviews look familiar, it's because you read them in my Favorite Books of 2020 post, published last week. Check it out, if you haven't yet – & let me know what your favorite reads of the year were, too!

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