Volume 2, Issue 5: Remembering What New is Like

Hi friends! I’m happy to report that I have a Covid-19 vaccine appointment scheduled for a couple hours after this newsletter drops. Of course, after both doses I will continue to not gather with people, wear a mask, and stay 6 feet from others as recommended by the CDC and I suggest you do the same.

A bit of housekeeping! Last year I told myself I would re-examine continuing to offer this newsletter for free. While I enjoy writing this newsletter, it is multiple hours of work each week. That being said, I do not want there to be a monetary barrier to access for people who cannot afford it. So, I will continue to offer this newsletter for free because I don’t believe in putting most information behind a paywall. If you can afford to subscribe, here’s the subscribe button:

As RinnyRiot says,

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<ID: Instagram post that has black text on a multicolor pink and purple background. The text says, “Pay Black women for their labor instead of using them for diversity clout.”>

(By the way, I love this account and her shop. You can get the above text on a mug!)

First: New plant stand where I am desperately trying to keep succulents alive (our apartment isn’t super habitable for them but I am optimistic!)

Before I get into the meat of today’s newsletter, I want to acknowledge that some of it comes with a large slice of privilege. That being said, I hope to offer some ideas that work for a variety of situations.

My depression has been eh, not great the past few weeks. Not that it’s ever “great” but it’s been extra difficult lately. The main ways my depression shows up to play is 1) it is near impossible for me to get out of bed and get going in the morning and 2) loss of appetite.

Well. A couple weeks ago, we got takeout from a new-to-us restaurant. It’s not a new restaurant and it’s not super expensive. It was just burgers. But it was “new” food and holy shit, I was ecstatic for DAYS after that burger. It wasn’t like the burger itself was amazing, but it was food that we didn’t cook ourselves and also food we’d never had before. I realized that pre-pandemic, one of the things that Nicole and I did that brought us a lot of joy was eating at new restaurants and trying new recipes. We’ve been doing pretty much neither for many, many months. New food didn’t cure my depression and lack of appetite, let’s not get wild. But it did improve my mood for a bit and remind me of a way I can take care of myself. We then organized our cookbooks in a way that both reminded us what we have access to and also in a way that made the books we wish to reach for more accessible (i.e., not on the bottom shelf).

Last Saturday we went on an “adventure” to deliver Girl Scout cookies to some loved ones in San Francisco. I put on a cute outfit, we rang doorbells, and left cookies on porches. We saw our loved ones from about 8 feet away and chatted for a few minutes. Then we went to a Korean store in Daly City because I was determined to try the oranges in this video:

He was not wrong.

I also bought a bunch of snacks I haven’t had in a while because I haven’t been to an Asian store in way too long. Got some news snacks and also snacks from my childhood.

I had also recently learned that you can freeze doughnuts! Since we were already in Daly City, we drove to San Bruno to my favorite doughnut shop, Rolling Pin Donuts. Got a baker’s dozen. If you try to freeze them, make sure you freeze them when they are still good. Don’t freeze stale donuts. If you freeze a stale donut, then all you’re gonna get is a reheated stale donut. I put ours 1 or 2 at a time into a warm oven. Magic. Total game-changer.

Why am I telling you all this?

I have been so deep in just trying to get through each day that I failed to realize that new things are important to my well-being. And not just new food/restaurants or buying new things. Going for a new scenic drive or a walk around the neighborhood in a direction we don’t usually walk. Listening to a new podcast has also been bringing me joy. Watching new shows or movies! (We watched “The Black Cauldron” the other day. Wow, I had forgotten everything about that film). I always read new books and those are just as vital. Wearing a “new” outfit which isn’t really new it’s just something cute that I haven’t put on since the pandemic began. Listen to new music has been huge.

I know. It’s so, so obvious. But clearly I needed the reminder and I thought maybe at least a few of you might appreciate it as well.

That’s it for this week! You can shop any books I’ve ever mentioned in this newsletter at The Infophile’s Bookshop and support independent bookstores. If you want to send me some snail mail, you can find me at P.O. Box 21481, Oakland, CA 94620-1481.

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