Weekly Good Things: Week 10

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

Weekly Good Things 2024 – Week 8

Hello! Hello! Welcome to another weekly episode of Good Things where I give you a peek into my everyday life during the week, and roundup my good links, ideas, books, and more.

Sam tackeff standing in a darkened room filled with thousands of pinpoints of light and mirrored walls by the artist yayoi kusama

Another change of scenery! Today I flew to LA where I’m sharing what we do at Ompractice at #VIVE digital health conference (thank you, AARP Innovation!)

While the week will be lots of work, making connections, and being on my feet, I’m squeezing in as much curiosity time as I can get while I’m in LA.

I managed to get to the Broad tonight for an hour before closing. And in highly exciting news, I was snuck into the Kusama exhibit at the Broad tonight without a ticket because of a very kind museum staff person! Thank you, Jen!

a landscape photo of los angeles with large sky, buildings, and a road down the center leading to mountains in the background

TOPICS on my mind this week:

  • Emojis: I had a few interesting conversations about emoji this week, including learning about a law professor who specializes in emoji(s?) and the law. (I did just learn that ‘emojis’ is the preferred plural by AP Stylebook. One reason I love them is how they help people better express their emotion. I’m also a fan of the memes where people ask you to “describe your day in emoji”. ❄️🏃🏻‍♀️☕️✈️👩🏻‍💻🐻👯‍♂️🍣🖼️🍜.
  • Spoon Theory: I had to have a challenging conversation with a friend about my energy levels and capacity to do things. If you haven’t heard the term “Spoon Theory”, this is a good link. Generally speaking, it’s a way to describe a decrease in energy capacity throughout the day for those living with chronic health conditions. In my case, I have boundless amounts of physical energy, but my executive function drastically decreases regularly (and usually at inopportune times). It makes it challenging to do certain things: scheduling, pro-active outreach, or spending time with friends 1-1. (Even when I really want to!)
  • Fair Play: I’m fascinated by “Fair Play” cards, designed to better balance the emotional labor and household management between partners (or even roommates) and this was a great (if not depressing) essay on the topic.
  • Women’s Hobbies: on that note, I also read this phenomenal piece by Anne Helen Peterson, about gender-coded hobbies, and who gets quality leisure time. Spoiler alert, it’s not the women. (But it’s much more fascinating an essay than the surface level thesis!)
  • Bluey. What’s not to love? Seriously, if you’ve not watched yourself some Bluey (maybe you don’t have a small child to watch it with – truly, watch it yourself and heal your inner child.
large Californian trees at night lit up by spotlights from the ground

More Good Reading

Typically I work on planes (some of my favorite places to write!) but the internet was cranky today on my 6+ hours cross country. I did manage to get about 13 articles written on a project to re-organize and update the Ompractice support knowledgeable, but aside from that, I tried to spend time catching up on some reading.

I really enjoyed this interview David Epstein (author of one of my favorite validating books ‘Range’) with Pablo Torre. There’s not much I love more than wildly curious people interviewing wildly curious people. I love the far ranging topics.

A dog in a blow up cone on a grassy field

A Few More Moments from the Museum

a large square orange canvas of art with stylized lines drawn by the artist Keith Haring
Some Keith Haring at the Broad
paper cut paper silhouettes by the artist kara walker (NSFW)
Kara Walker
Barbara Kruger

Other Good Things

  • 📖 Reading: I’ve been reading Mistborn (Wax and Wayne) – I’m on the last book in this series. Fortunately there are several series in the same general universe. I’ve picked up Charles Duhigg’s Supercommunicators after listening to an episode of LifeKit with him featured that I quite enjoyed!
  • 📺 Watching: Next Goal Wins on Disney+, a feel good movie by Taika Waititi about the true story of the American Samoa national soccer team.
  • 🛍 Good Acquisitions: my Rancho Gordo Bean Club Shipment and my Burlap and Barrel Spice Club shipment arrived in the same week.
  • 🤣 Memes and randomness of the week: this absolutely insane story about the Strava Chipotle Burrito Challenge // you can still buy Brain Quest and Cricket Magazine
two pieces of orange uni sea urchin sushi on a plate
Santa Barbara Uni at Sugarfish today!

The Weekly Meal Plan:

On hiatus this week! I’ll be eating good things in LA (both at the conference, and when I manage to sneak out. If you’d like some food inspiration though, please look at this INCREDIBLE web page highlighting the food (where/when/what) at this conference this week. I don’t think I’ve ever seen something so beautiful!

Today’s Lunch: Sugarfish Trust Me

Edamame
Tuna Sashimi 
– ponzu and chives
Albacore Sushi 
– ponzu and chives, 2-pc
Salmon Sushi 
– toasted sesame, 2-pc
Toro Hand Roll
Japanese Yellowtail* Sushi 
– lemon, 1-pc
Hirame* Sushi 
– yuzu ponzu, 1-pc
Blue & Dungeness Crab Hand Roll

(Plus ankimo and uni!)

several bowls on a small table of food including soup, and chicken and noodles, kimchi, and a bottle of san pellegrino
**Unbelievably good chicken soup** from Hangari Kalguksu

Today’s dinner: an absolutely insane Chicken Kalguksu soup from Hangari Kalguksu. Hand pulled noodles, anchovy and chicken broth with dates, squash, zucchini. Pickled vegetables. Kimchi. I’m rarely shocked by a meal but this was beyond.

🥑 Good Eats from this past week: scallops and pasta with eggplant sauce. Wasa crackers with boursin, kalles, and maple butter. Pork tenderloin, french fries, and paprikash mustard from my Burlap + Barrel spice subscription. Chicken soup dumplings, cabbage, and chicken cutlet. Salmon with sherry vinegar and tahini beets. La Fermière desserts (chocolate, creme vanille, and creme caramel). Sukhi’s Chicken Tikka from the fridge case, cauliflower, with coriander chutney.

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

xo, Sam

Weekly Good Things 2024 – Week 1

Good Things, First Snow of the Year, and the Weekly Meal Plan.

Hello! Hello! Welcome to another weekly episode of Good Things where I give you a peek into my everyday life during the week, and roundup my good links, ideas, books, and more.

Picture of a french bulldog and a corgi walking on snow

I’m wearing my fleece onesie after a full day on the first snowstorm of the year! I had plenty of time in the great outdoors, including running my daily mile in the snow, and then taking Bertram on a walk with his best bud, Sawyer.

Photo of Sam Tackeff in front of a mirror wearing running gear and a race bib

This Week in Good Things:

Let’s MOVE!

  • 🏃🏻‍♀️Running! The first week of the year is always a great week for me to get moving. A few things of note: I ran my first race of the year, the Needham 5k. I’ve run this for maybe a decade now? It’s a great way to start the year!
  • 🏋️‍♀️ Weight Lifting. I’m kicking off a 16 week training cycle with a group of folks. “Boring” progressive overload, how I like it! I did my three workouts at home, and hit my weekly session with my trainer Ryan at AnkFit.
  • 🧘🏻‍♀️ Yoga. We kicked off a four week Vitality series for the New Year at Ompractice on Thursday night, with Tasha Edwards. I let people into class, and had a great time participating. In the mornings, I’ve been taking Yoga with Adriene’s 30-day flow series. (I adore Adriene, and while I love taking our own classes, I was finding that doing a morning class on our platform meant that I was kicking myself into “work mode” before I wanted to. (Adriene is one of my favorite alternatives!) I not so secretly wish she would teach with us!

🌱 Create: I kicked off a workshop this weekend with a group: “One Month, One Goal” where we create and tune our singular focus goals for the month and then check in weekly. I’m also bringing back my *Do The Thing hours, my weekly co-working sessions for folks who registered for the month!

✍️ Writing: I wrote up my Kitchen Resolutions, and Good Things to Eat in January, and my first Ship30 essay “structure will set you free”. Ship30 is a daily writing challenge that I’ve participated in several times over the years. Since I typically write and publish most days anyway, it’s just nice to participate with a group of people doing the thing you like to do.

💪 Saving the Day: I love when I can feel generally useful – and when people give me the opportunity to help! (Note to self: it’s okay to ask for help – people feel good when you give them the opportunity to help!) I got to rescue a dog who was inside for the day while her humans were stuck doing RMV related tasks. And then I got to help with a car situation, and then carry some doors.

🐾 Pup Walks with Friends: a SNOW walk with Sawyer (the Corgi) and her humans; a quick backyard party session with Sylvie the Frenchie.

photo of a tall tree and a victorian house in front of a hazy night sky

Other Good Things

The Weekly Meal Plan:

This week I sat down to make a long list of foods I’d like to eat in January, and published my 2024 Kitchen Resolutions.

  • Sunday: Tortilla Española and an endive salad with mustard vinaigrette
  • Monday: Smoked salmon salad with hard boiled eggs and fried onion crunchies, lemon vinaigrette
  • Tuesday: Farfalle with mushrooms and cheese
  • Wednesday:  an event at the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum with snacks (and hopefully dinner?)
  • ThursdayPierre Franey French-Style Flounder with lemon butter and parsley; steamed bok choy
  • FridaySherman’s Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup with beef
  • Saturday: Pork cutlets with roasted sunchokes (or jerusalem artichoke soup)

Lunches: Leftovers, palak paneer, lamb vindaloo, baingan bharta, tadka dal

Snacks: Ricotta, soft boiled eggs, cottage cheese, cheese sticks, tofu, chicken broth.

Treat options: End of the See’s box. Tapioca Pudding. TJ’s Pretzel Breadpudding. TJ’s Iced Gingerbread in the freezer. Peppermint Hold the Cones. Walker’s Shortbread. Pumpkin Sticky Toffee Pudding. TJ’s Apple Tartin Tartelettes. (You’ll notice that this list keeps growing – I have a bad? habit of getting fancy desserts from Trader Joe’s from my freezer and taking forever to eat them.

🥑 Good Eats from this past week: Marcus Samuelsson’s Black Eyed Peas (seriously you need these in your life). Smoked Sable on a bagel. Chopped chicken liver on toast. Ottolenghi Chicken Thighs with Fennel and Arak. Salmon roe on toast. Alison Roman’s Slow Salmon with CitrusPalak Paneer and tofu. Salmon and whitefish salad on toast. Fila Manila Kare Kare chicken and potatoes.

What are you eating this week?

Previous Years:

Something I really enjoy doing is flipping back in my journal or my blog to the week of the year over the past several years. When I write it out in a list like this, it feels like a nice accomplishment!

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

xo, Sam

The Second Lunch Kitchen Resolutions 2024

julia child in her kitchen

🔪 Kitchen Resolutions 2024

Every year I sit down and make some resolutions for the kitchen. Given that food is one of my favorite sources of joy, novelty, and connection, it’s a favorite practice of mine to spend a little bit of time making this space more useful, and my time spent in the kitchen more meaningful. Having people around my table (even figuratively) is how I show love, and bring people together – and although we can’t do much of that these days, I’m thankful to be able to take the time to feed myself well.

I’ve been writing these resolutions for more than a decade, and some of them pop up year after year – affirm doing good things that work – and a handful are new each year. You can take a peek through previous years here:  (2012) (2016) (2017)  (2018) (2019) (2020) (2022) (2023)

I try not to re-invent the wheel, so the categories are the same with some year in review updates!

Re-Commit to Consistent Kitchen Habits:

Particularly the habits that keep me consistent in other areas of my life. I find that most things in my life depend on me eating well.

  • Weekly Meal Planning: one of my home court habits in my “Let’s Eat” spreadsheet. I also make a weekly Evernote note with my shopping list on there as well. One thing that has made this easier in 2023 is that I now publish my meal plan each week in my newsletter! I plan on continuing this!
  • Update my “Anytime Shopping List” ie: regular groceries list (favorites, protein, don’t leave the store without this!)
  • Update my “New Recipes To Try” list (with at least 52 stellar recipes for the year and beyond); and a weekly Turkish recipe.

AND: Dishes cleaned before bed, coffee maker set. Coffee cup next to the coffee maker, ready to take on the day.

Remove Clutter:

While some people find a perfectly spotless and minimalist kitchen ideal; I actually need to be able to see appliances or pantry items in order to be inspired to use them.

  • Do a systems audit for blockages
  • Make what I want to use more obvious
  • Schedule a quarterly KITCHEN PURGE
  • Remove the storage pans from the oven so you can use it more easily this year

In 2023, I gave myself the gift of an organizer who came once a quarter. We worked on some big projects each time, and cleared out the vast majority of all tupperware from my kitchen. Life changing.

Quest for Best:

This is one of my personal values – I get a lot of satisfaction out of keeping track of the “best of”, like your own neighborhood consumer reports.

  • Do a pantry audit, and re-stock pantry with “best of” items, update my spreadsheet (did in 2023, do again in 2024)
  • Seek novelty: Bean of the Month Club, Spice Club, new item at Trader Joe’s or one new item at Formaggio each trip! (NEW: Noma R+D club shipments (re-upped for 2024 – the Dashi RDX and Corn Yuzu hot sauce were fab!)

AND: Update my 1000 new fruits/veg to try list! (By *season* if possible)

Assorted Culinary Miscellany

• Get your knives sharpened. Just do it! (China Fair does it for a dollar)
• Review storage containers for more sustainable options (updated with Anyday)
• Re-Read a classic cookbook every month
• Read more food writing (and memoirs) – added to reading list!

AND: Write a new travel (and local!) bucket list of restaurants. (Currently in my Ideas Doc)

Make Memories in the Kitchen

  • Update Friends + Family Favorite List so I can cook in honor of my people and think about them (or cook for them!) If I haven’t solicited some from you, drop your favorites in the comments for me!
  • Monthly: Update Seasonal Favorite Cooking List (in my Ideas Doc)
  • Monthly: Update my list of “Big Cooking Projects” (in my Ideas Doc)
  • Zoom Cooking classes with friends! (In 2021, I had a great time taking a truffle making course, and a Lamb Biryani from Pondicheri – looking forward to choosing a few great options to take with friends and family!)
  • Pick two signature cooking gifts (something to perfect and send to people)
  • “The Weekly Bean” – I have a subscription to the Rancho Gordo Bean Club that leaves me with a very large stash of beans to eat. I aim for a bag a week. I was very inspired by a picture in the Rancho Gordo Bean Club facebook group of a woman who had a nice running list in a bullet journal of her weekly beans. 

Restaurants in Boston I’d Like to Visit

Yes it’s not *technically in my kitchen* (also generally working my way through Eater 38) – this actually got a kickstart in 2023 with a monthly dinner with my friend Kathy! We went to Pammy’s (stand out!), O Ya (truly delightful), Fox & The Knife, and Bar Vlaha.

Still want to try: Oleana •  Kava Neo-Taverna  • Contessa •  Menton

New Cookbooks in 2024:

My bare minimum of reading/rereading starting point – I read a lot more cookbooks generally, but my specific resolution is to add recipes I want to try to my running doc! I also want to read a range for my creative input.

  • January: Jeremy Lee – Cooking Simply and Well, For One or Many

Do you have any kitchen resolutions this year? I’d love to hear about them!

PS: ICYMI: my non-exhaustive list of food I ate in 2021 and food I ate in 2022!

xo, Sam

Weekly Good Things: Week 46

Cross-Posted to my Substack, my new weekly Newsletter.

Buds. This week saw several pup-walks with our friend Sawyer the Corgi, and our friend Sylvie the Frenchie.

👀 This week I started my End of the year Retrospective Process. It’s something I really enjoy doing in downtime over the last few weeks of the year. I’ve written about this before in some detail here.

Usually, I’ll go through my calendar, my photos – 12k this year so far, my emails, my writing, journals and notebooks, and anything else that can help me to get a better picture of my life in the past year.

It’s quite a fun process – I get great satisfaction in looking back and re-living things!

I also make yearly lists while I’m at it: here’s a peek at last year’s 2022 Eating: A Non-Exhaustive ListList of Lists (which is due for an update). My 2023 Kitchen Resolutions. My 2023 Reading List.

And then over the next few weeks I’ll update some of my regular life-binder lists: my movies/shows to watch, creative adventures, purchases I’d like to make, creative inputs (podcasts, etc.), Goodreads, etc. I’ll review my financial plans and finish up my taxes early.

At the end of the month, I’ll update my intentions for the new year, and pick a new word of the year, so I can set off with fresh ideas and inspiration.

I’ve been loving the light hitting the tops of the trees this week on our late afternoon walks before it gets dark.

This Week in Good Things:

  • Food Memories: I boiled a chicken. And then when it was almost done cooking, I some farfalle noodles to the stock, and served myself a soup with chicken, pasta, and a lot of lemon, just like my dad would when I wasn’t feeling good.
  • Sometimes Self Care is.. doing nothing? I had my quarterly-ish facial with Lily. Upon observing my skin, she mentioned that whatever I was doing with my skincare I should do more of. I didn’t tell her that actually, I went down a rabbit hole of finding the best products over several months, acquiring them, and then never using them. My skin just likes being ignored, almost criminally.
  • Change of Scenery. My neighbors are re-siding their house, which is noisy. So I picked up and went to work at the coffee shop a few times this week during the mid-day. It reminded me that I still haven’t gotten my pre-pandemic coffee shop routine back, and might want to figure out how to do that again.
  • First Snow (that wasn’t.) Well, it was supposed to snow, but ended up being a bit of a dud. That said, I decided to celebrate with chocolate mousse. I pulled in my dahlias (the tubers need to be split and saved this week.) The following several days we had un-seasonally warm-ish weather.
  • World Adventures: Our Battle Ducks team made it to region 11 of CRAW, the circumpolar race around the world. We’ve been going for several years now! This region is from the top of Alaska down through Canada to the Border of Montana. Early days I used to write a weekly re-cap of where we are in the world – I think I’d like to bring that back!
  • Good Snacks: Light Rye Wasa Crackers, Trader Joe’s Pavé Cheese, Kalles, and Topaz Apples.
  • I acquired one of the most unique cookbooks in my entire collection from one of our neighborhood little libraries: Sharing the Table With Your Bird: Recipes for people and parrots!
  • I had a great time watching The Marvels. Is it the best Marvel? No, but it has one of the most purely enjoyable Marvel fight scenes that I’ve seen period. The magic systems are interesting. And the new world locations that we visit are delightful. Also, I got myself popcorn, which I never do. (I also learned that Majestic has brought back $7 Tuesdays, and you can still reserve your seat on Atom. So I think I’ll be doing that again.)

Good Things Elsewhere and on the Internet:

I’ve been trying not to go down too many rabbit holes this week. (Although Sam Altman being outsted from AI has definitely been one of them.)

  • Age is a number. Statistics-wise, Lebron James is having the best season of his career. This is his 21st year in the league, and he’s about to turn 39. He’s also the oldest player right now in the NBA.
  • Birds are fascinating. Man plays a flute while his raven sings along. I also loved this one of a parrot reacting to their human leaving the house. Dancing along to the Tiki Room. Budgies Singing Sean Paul.
  • Taylor has her Disney Prince (with a good voice, too!) Swifties then proceeded to help him get to number one on the charts.
  • Are the 90s a lie? I’ve not been able to look away from the TikTok’s of Enrique Iglesias singing poorly at live shows. (Sadly, I feel like there’s something that has happened to his voice. Also, in contrast, Nepo babies crushing it: check out Emily Estefan on Instagram.
  • Local History: For those of you who know anything about Massachusetts Geography, I live right around the corner from the Star Market over the Mass Pike. Enjoyed this article about it’s history.
  • Nature. I made the mistake on chiming in on a Neighborhood Facebook Group post about Coyotes. (Do not recommend). Also, this video of a bull elkThis Dog TikTok Content.
  • Creative baking TikTok. “Cherry Pie”.
  • I stumbled upon my own blog as a citation in the Wikipedia page for Chez Panisse.
  • Maybe you need some Squid Facts. The nice thing about this is that it asks you to prompt it any time you’d like a fact, and doesn’t send them aggressively.

The Weekly Meal Plan:

This week I’ve been going through my meals in 2023. Every year I make a big recap list, and it’s always fascinating to see what kinds of foods I’ll eat for weeks at a time, and then… forget entirely.

  • Sunday: Meatloaf, mashed potato, steamed broccoli with blue cheese and balsamic
  • Monday: Chipotle Pulled Pork Chili, leftover mashed potato, green salad
  • Tuesday: Jaju Pierogi, grilled onions, roasted cauliflower
  • Wednesday: French Onion soup with… tofu.
  • Thursday: Thanksgiving! (We’re having Orenell’s.)
  • Friday: Leftovers and a very large salad
  • Saturday: Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

xo, Sam

Weekly Good Things: Week 45

When things admittedly feel a little shaky.

Cross-Posted from my Substack. (Please subscribe if you’d like this in your weekly inbox!)

I pulled out the good camera. As much as the best camera you have is the one that you have on you, the DSLR in fact does produce better images than my nice iPhone.

This Week in Good Things:

  • This week felt like an “I made it through the week!” week. If it felt that way for you, solidarity! I felt a sudden strong onset of seasonal affective disorder, spent the first several days of the week absolutely a mess, and have been working to turn this frown upside down.
  • I’m featured in the Boston Globe Magazine for my love of bagels. (Specifically, the Sportello Bagel, RIP).
  • Bertram got nose butter and didn’t complain about it. This stuff works magically. Also, in the cold weather he becomes a morning snuggler.
  • I voted. While I’m proud that Massachusetts makes it easy to vote by mail, I still roll up to my polling place. The best part about voting in person is that you get a sticker.
  • I got an icing cookie with little ball sprinkles from Arthur’s Montreal. (Thank you, John!). And a Walker’s Shortbread Advent calendar. (Yes, I’m Jewish, but everyone needs a box of seasonal treats in the winter.)
  • In, things that went comically badly but I turned around: I was supposed to go to one of my favorite 2x a year Wellesley club of Boston events: Authors on Stage. It’s an excellent event with three authors, each sharing not specifically about their book, but more of the behind the scenes of writing the book. This one was with Carl SafinaNovuyo Rosa Tshuma, and Virginia Pye. On the morning of, the temperature had dropped, and when I went to turn on my car, my battery was dead. Instead of hopping in an Uber, I went upstairs, poured myself another coffee, and cried. (Thankfully AAA does battery replacement. So now we have a fresh one. If you don’t have AAA, it’s always worth it.)
  • I succumbed to “bro-science” and ordered a box of AG1 (athletic greens powder). When it arrived, the box was weirdly damaged internally. I dropped a note to support and literally before they responded they sent out a replacement.
  • Working on the porch in the afternoon before it becomes too cold.
  • I got to hang out in a semi-empty Museum of Fine Arts after hours for an event. I won’t lie, getting to wander through galleries without stepping around people, pretending that I’m spending a night at the museum is probably my favorite way to experience art.
  • Pumpkin waffle with crunchy Biscoff Spread.
  • We’re over 100 people registered for the Ompractice Slow Down! (First live class is Tuesday.)
  • I got to take home two more free bouquets of flowers from events (making my current household total six fancy bouquets.)
  • All hard weeks are solved by purchasing paper products and planners you will use approximately 30% of. I snuck over to the Paper Mouse to grab myself a Hobonichi Techo!
  • Tackled nagging tasks: finished cleaning out the car. Went to the Container Store for a drawer organizer for jewelry and other little things, and some baskets to keep my daily fitness clothing a little bit more organized.
  • Good numbers. 11/11, 11:11.

Good Things Elsewhere and on the Internet:

  • Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. Two wild women discussing their (copious) awards.
  • I finally broke the seal and started my first Brandon Sanderson: Mistborn while patiently waiting for Iron Flame to come out.
  • I giggled watching Joy Ride. The Marvels is out, with a new box office weekend low for the MCU, but I think honestly it’s because I saw ZERO marketing. I will be going to watch it.
  • I ordered a Lisa Congdon “Live Your Values Card Deck” (affiliate link) in anticipation of my yearly Retro and Goal Setting. I keep my personal values on an Apple Note called “2023 Habits” which I read every day.
  • Mostly (NSFW – not safe for work), I can’t stop listening to Troye Sivan’s One of Your Girls. (Where can I find Marabou in the US?)
  • Working myself up to enjoying the cold weather, I’ve been watching Cecilia longer youtube videos. This Cecilia: “I live on a cabin in Svalbard, an island close to the North Pole”. This one was lovely.
  • Peppermint Mini Cones are at Trader Joe’s right now.

The Weekly Meal Plan:

  • Sunday: Salmon Rice Bowl with avocado, seaweed, ginger, cucumber
  • Monday: Woks of Life Poached Chicken with Ginger Scallion Sauce, cucumber
  • Tuesday: Salad bowl with chopped red peppers, marinated corona beans, salami, cheese, almonds
  • Wednesday: Beef Chili (it’s chili season!)
  • Thursday: Farfalle with vodka sauce and cacio pepe chicken sausage, salad
  • Friday: Tofu and broccoli bowl with peanut dressing
  • Saturday: Indian Takeout

That’s all for now! Know someone who might like this newsletter? I’d love if you send it to them!

xo, Sam