these are the posts tagged ‘weeknotes’:

weeknotes, 8/21

– my mom got the first dose of the vaccine, and this was the best news of the week year so far! knowing that people we love are safe is just the best. <3 it might take a while yet, but i can’t wait to hug her again.

– wore my it’s never aliens tshirt for the first time, and it was brilliant.

– in an effort to make the drudgery of replying to emails more palatable, i’ve made my peanut butter consumption dependent on number of emails replied, at the rate of 1 peanut butter teaspoon per 10 emails. it’s been a good strategy, not just to curb my consumption of the stuff (which is like crack to me), but also to make me amazingly productive all week (email-wise at least), even stocking up on extra spoons for the weekend! productivity gurus should just hire me as a consultant. :D

– was getting kind of tired of seeing my own white hairs in video calls, so decided to paint my hair at home with a kit from the supermarket. cheaper, and not a total disaster as I had feared!

– had to study this video for chinese class this week, about what used to be called “leftover women”. pressure by parents to marry off their children in china is still as high as i remember it 10 years ago, though the kids seem to be alright.

– new yarn for my first ever sweater arrived!

– and on a sad note, my godmother passed away this week. she was in her early 60s, recently retired after being a nurse and caring for others all her life. she was single, well-traveled and awe-inspiring to me as a kid — i admired her talents in different crafts, but also her fierce independance. early last year, she started complaining of headaches, but postponed getting checked due to the lockdown until they became unbearable… and a tumour in her brain was discovered. months of painful treatements ensued but to no avail, as is often the case — just a slow, excrutiating decline into death. a stark and painful reminder of the overall unfairness of life, and of how much we keep living on borrowed time, postponing things to a “later” that might never come.

as someone once said, “there’s only one age: alive.”

weeknotes, 6/21

i feel so rusty about blogging lately, like there’s nothing new worth mentioning in these rinse-and-repeat lockdown days… but there is always something going on, and i hope to pay more attention to the little things this year, to notice and be grateful for them. so, here’s an incomplete list of stuff that i stumbled on this week — the mundane and extraordinary, all roled up in one.

– this lego white noise album on spotify, which is just someone rummaging through boxes of legos. i’ve been obsessed with it ever since.

– gathered up the courage to reactivate my long dormant italki account, and actually schedule some chinese speaking practice! super daunting at first, but it went well in the end, and i look forward to more of these.

– went for a bike ride to stretch the legs and saw a huge grey heron, standing magestic on the side of the road, so close and unfussed by passerbys. i wanted to pull aside the few people walking by and point to it — had they ever seen one?! i’m amazed at how many birds i see, now that i’ve started looking. today’s finding: common shelducks, with their weird nose/beak.

– finished watching alice in borderland, for a change of language and for glimpses of an impossibly empty tokyo. it’s… ugh. the first three episodes are a kick in the teeth, it gets slightly better after that.

– this quote, which has made me think about trying to embrace winter and this period of withdrawal, being content and making do with what i have.

“Plants and animals don’t fight the winter; they don’t pretend it’s not happening and attempt to carry on living the same lives that they lived in the summer. They prepare. They adapt. They perform extraordinary acts of metamorphosis to get them through. Winter is a time of withdrawing from the world, maximizing scant resources, carrying out acts of brutal efficiency and vanishing from sight; but that’s where the transformation occurs. Winter is not the death of the life cycle, but it crucible.”

Katherine May, Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times (via Austin Kleon’s blog)

– weekly dinners with friends keep us going and keep us sane. we chat, kids show us their favourite books and the postcards we send them — it’s not a hug, but it’s as close as one gets these days. reach out if you’d like to do one with us!