Happy Friday! Here’s an exciting realization: when I typed “Happy Friday!,” I meant it in my bones. I’m really happy. There’s some stressful stuff happening–(East Coast, why you gotta be so expensive? Academia, why you gotta be so precarious? Moving, why you gotta be so dreadful?)–but I’m breathing (and tapping) through it, and feeling oh so great. Yay!
The internet was full of it this week. Made my brain work and my heart feel. Here are some things that I enjoyed, plus some stuff from my week that contributed to my general life happiness. Enjoy!
I love love love this post from The Fat Nutritionist about putting in the effort to cook for yourself, even if no one else is going to eat with you. I struggled with this a lot this year. After spending 2 years living with and cooking alongside my ex, it was really hard to find motivation to do anything more than throw kale and heated frozen veggies in a bowl and call it dinner. I definitely had less variety in my diet since living alone it also triggered some bad, restrictive tendencies. I’m going to bookmark this article and return to it when I feel like it’s not worth it to put in time and care and love to cook a meal “just” for me.
The title speaks for itself. I have friends with chronic and/or invisible illnesses, so I’ve been able to learn firsthand how brutal daily life can be, and how effed up people can be in response to their challenges. If you don’t suffer from a chronic or invisible illness, please read this piece and educate yourself about how to be a better friend to those around you who do.
Okay, so this might be one for the more academic (and/or Marxist) crowd, but I am super fascinated by the ideas in this Jeff Sparrow piece (which is a critical response to an article originally posted in the New Yorker). So soylent is this powder created by a guy named Rob Reinhart, who found food to be too time-consuming for his busy Silicon Valley lifestyle. With his background as an engineer, he created a powder that provides complete nutrients. But don’t confuse this with protein powder for smoothies, Reinhart markets soylent as a replacement for all your meals, all the time, forever. Sparrow’s astute critique uses Marxist theory to describe the ways in which the whole life hacking culture upholds neoliberalism and wrecks the potential for more generative (and socially transformative) uses of working class creativity. The whole concept brings up fascinating questions about food, pleasure, class, work, capitalism, and nutrition.
A professor named Austin Stewart has created a technology that would allow chickens in small cages to experience the life of a free-range chicken via an Oculus Rift-like program. It seems Stewart has good intentions, but this feels awful to me. It seems like a way to allow factory farms to get away with even more egregious conditions if they agree to let the chickens have some virtual escape time. But maybe it’s better than the alternative (until we abolish factory farms)? I don’t know, what do you think about it?
Stuff from the Week that Made Me Happy
game night with colleagues
cooking dinner for friends
fancy advanced movie screenings with a dear friend
biking and riding the train
being on the radio again and getting to be in the actual NPR studio!
friend phone calls
What do you think of virtual chicken cages? Do you have trouble cooking interesting meals when it’s “just” you? Most importantly, what made you happy this week?