Last week was nuts. After arriving to L.A. from vacation late Sunday night, I barely had time to catch my breath. I had after-work plans every single night, and didn't spend longer than seven hours at home until Thursday night. About halfway through the week, I realized I could think of it as one of two ways: I could let the stress get to me and just grin and bear it, or I could approach it through the lense of a challenge I have the privilege and capacity to take on. How lucky am I to have a job that pushes me and an after-work schedule filled with friends and family I love? Simply making that shift helped me actually enjoy my roller coaster of a week for the ride that it was, rather than pushing against its inevitability. By Friday, I was sleep-deprived but also nourished from a week of diverse experiences that affirmed the love I have for my hectic L.A. life. For balance's sake, I'll be making far fewer plans this week (I may be a chronic over-booker, but I'm not entirely crazy). Tonight, I'm headed to The Now to try out their new Gua Sha massage and I just accepted an invitation to Joanna Vargas for a cryotherapy facial (how could I say no to that??). And the best part is: That's it! If you need me, I'll be on my couch, catching up on books and movies. Here's what else I'm loving this week:
I was only paying half-attention to my Food and Wine magazine on my flight back from South Carolina until I flipped to a shot of seared white fish in a relish with marinated tomatoes. And after a week of eating a steady diet of fried everything, the summery and fresh photo looked irresistible. I made it the next night, with a few swaps: I cooked tilapia (a white fish that tends to be less expensive than the Mackerel the recipe recommends) and plated it over zucchini noodles with feta. The only part of the recipe I wouldn't tweak is the tomato relish, which combines the tomato seeds with vinegar and citrus into a bright and tangy sauce that would be delicious on any fish or salad.
Has anyone else noticed micro-podcasts have been on the rise, with bite-sized episodes? Earlier this year, I recommended the five-minute daily podcast The Slow Down where Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith reads a poem. I also recently came across On Being's Becoming Wise, which features highly curated five-minute segments of big conversations hosted by Krista Tippett. In 60-Second Science, journalists provide a quick update on everything from penguin poop to the surprising benefit of having a bookshelf full of books. Personally, I like to listen to these micro-episodes as jumping-off points for walks, giving me something to think about as I stroll, or during short and quick chores, like dishes. I save the bigger episodes for my commute (here's a list of my favorites).
Yola's debut album, Walk Through Fire, wouldn't be out of place in the 70s. This makes perfect sense once you realize the classic-folk-meets-British-invasion songs were a collaboration between Yola and Dan Auerbach, whose 2017 album Waiting on a Song is among my favorite ever and has a distinctly retro vibe. I've been putting it on as soon as I get home, while cooking dinner.
I don't think I've ever spent more time thinking about a book than I did after reading Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale, which can feel more like a warning than a novel. In spite of my love for the novel, or maybe because of it, I never fully dove into the Hulu series. When I came across this graphic novel adaptation, I decided to give it another try and bought the graphic novel to brush-up on the story before trying the show again. Though I often get antsy while watching T.V. and distracted while reading a novel, the graphic novel combined the best of both (maybe I'm the last person on Earth to figure this out, considering their popularity?). I breezed through it in one late afternoon before starting Season 2 that evening (Season 3 comes out June 5th!). It was a luxurious, relaxing way to spend an evening and now I'm looking for more graphic novels to try. Any tips? Next on my list is: Sabrina by Nick Drnaso, after reading this review.
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