This morning I woke from daylight savings with the feeling one has when you wake up one day and decide to chop your long hair off immediately. Thankfully, I didn’t do that, but instead channeled my strong desire for change into a switch up of format. Today’s 10 Things format comes from 

Austin Kleon, who writes a great weekly newsletter.

Grey Skies in San Fransokyo at Disneyland

10 Things of Interest This Week

  1. Maps In Your Head: In honor of SXSW this week, I’ve been thinking about 2012, when I went to Austin for the first time, and had one of the wildest travel experiences of my life (and not just the 30 individual meals I had in 10 days of visiting! At the time, I’d been working for a food startup called Tasted Menu, which was a cross between Yelp and Foodspotting, where you’d review individual dishes at a restaurant. I oversaw data entry for our Austin launch, which had us cataloguing the restaurant data, locations, and full menus of restaurants in the Austin area. When we landed in Austin, I had one of the oddest sensations I’ve ever experienced. As we drove around the city, everything was intimately familiar, and I had a deep sense of directional understanding – without having ever stepped foot in the place before. On that note, if you want restaurant recommendations for SXSW this week, I have a near photographic memory of all of these places circa 2012. Lots of good stuff is still there and thriving!
  2. Brandon Sanderson’s Elantris. Every year or so, I find myself immersing in the full body of work of a new-to-me author I’ve been holding off on, and usually they are so prolific that I have enough to immerse myself for quite some time. Notably, my Discworld adventure (about 40 or so Terry Pratchett books), everything by Tamora Pierce, and then last year’s Sarah J. Maas quest (I started with Throne of Glass). 2024, is my year of Sanderson, and immersing myself in the Cosmere – his linked worlds. I’ve finished the first and second Mistborn series, and was absolutely delighted to dive into Elantris, a standalone book in the Cosmere, loosely about a poisoned and broken magic system and stepping into your power when you think you have none. This was an absolute gem of a book, and would make a great introduction to his work. For those of you passionate about reading order, I’m loosely following this path.
  3. Curiosity and the Way of the Dragon. Every few months, I try to take a class, workshop, or program that helps me see the world in a new way, shoves me out of my current world view, and stokes my curiosity. Right now I’m enjoying my Wellesley classmate Simone’s new 5-week course The Way of the Dragon. A good question from the course to ponder: “Imagine you aren’t trying to escape anything, nor are you trying to chase something. How does that feel inside your body?” (A good one to tap in and journal on. For me, there’s a sense of grounding – static, a little heavy, but not devoid of tension – my body is in a state of light buzzing.)
  4. Disneyland, a reward. I’ve leaned into my Disney adult era. Last week, I was in California for a work conference, and treated myself to an extra day and a half at Disney to adventure and re-charge. Doing Disney alone on a very low traffic weekday with strategy means that I ended up doing from open to parks close and getting in 29 rides/experiences between the two parks on day one, and room for lunch and snacks. (Birria toasted cheese at Jolly Holiday, Dole Whip Float at the Tiki Room, and Birria Ramen in San Fransokyo were my favorites!) Day 2 was only a half day, and I took advantage of my early rising to be the first one alone on Tom Sawyer Island, as well as enjoying the River Boat, and a full loop of the train.
  5. Thoughts on Drugs. My mind has been on pharmaceuticals this week. Bertram is healing a cornea scratch, and had a minor debridement procedure and a contact lens put in. Hopefully the Oculenis (hyaluronic acid!) ocular repair will continue to help him heal. // If you have an aging dog, I want to put a shout out to Librela, a monoclonal antibody biologic treatment which has been a game-changer for arthritis and pain in older dogs. // My heart sank seeing the news about the ALS drug Relyvrio failure this week. Over the past few years, I’ve been following Brooke Eby who is a woman in tech living with ALS and making an incredible impact in the world educating folks about the disease and driving both awareness and change. I first learned about Relyvrio from her videos of how god-awful it tasted. Go follow Brooke because she’s awesome and we need more brilliant eyes on curing ALS.
  6. Sol Food Chicken (recipe). Seeing Shutterbean make this chicken nearly weekly, I finally made a batch and it’s *delicious*. I cooked up some potatoes with it, and added a bunch of lemon to the final product. It’s pure chicken and an aggressive amount of garlic, how I like it. (A secondary chicken shout out to I think Aleka who turned me on to Just Bare chicken cutlets in the freezer aisle?)
  7. A scandal I can’t look away from. This wild story this week where a vendor selling Dunkin’ donuts to a store in New York and (truly dangerously) passing them off as her own vegan and gluten free donuts. Here’s the original instagram post where the market owner posted a horrified apology.
  8. TV: I’m watching the new series Shogun on FX. It’s beautifully shot, with strong visual storytelling. While there are some comparisons to Game of Thrones (and it’s definitely violent), I find the pacing to be slow blooming, and it took me a whole episode and a half to really get locked in. That said, now I’m in.
  9. Finding joy in the workplace. Hat tip to Sondy who alerted me to this delightful paper title: A.C.I.D – An Improved LSD Technique for Accurate Line Profile RetrievalI always enjoy it when people make puns and have a chuckle in their professional lives.
  10. Good Eats: I’ve been enjoying Blondie in China’s videos and was made hungry by her recent eats in Xi’an. A good excuse to try out a Pork Stew Rougamo (Rou Jia Mo 肉夹馍), and order some Liangpi (凉皮) cold skin noodles, and some pickled cucumber with woodear mushroom. Hit the spot.

That’s all for now! Hope you have a great week!

xo, Sam