What I Learned This Week: #155

Monday, July 27 – Sunday, August 2

The Week in Finding My Joy #1: I bought some new clothes this week. If I did not have a longtime, part-time job at TJ Maxx, I would need a very, very good reason to be out shopping for clothes during a global pandemic. Like, maybe if my high school called and asked my if I wanted a re-do on my senior picture, I would make an attempt at getting my fashion act together. Maybe.

Shopping really isn’t my thing Covid or not, but I do have a new full time job and I do have to go to a place that sells clothes, so I might as well take advantage. This is a long introduction that hints at the idea that I don’t really NEED new clothes. I have plenty of clothes. I just like to keep my wardrobe fresh. Also, my commitment problem with men is not that dissimilar from my commitment problem with clothing. After a time, certain favorites don’t seem to fit right or feel right any more and they absolutely must go.

Also, in addition to my commitment problems, I live in a small space that I’d rather fill with books and cookware than clothes. For years I’ve lived by one in and one out rule. Any item I bring in has to replace an item I am getting rid of. It can be rough. T-shirts are the worst. Work clothes are the easiest, but Saturday I still spent a good hour choosing the six shirts that would have to go to make room for my six new shirts. It was rough. Afterwards, I took a nap.

Six shirts on the left out…Six shirts on the right are IN!

The Week in Finding My Joy #2: You know you’re settling into work when you’ve used all the bathrooms on your floor. So yeah, things are going well at the new gig!

The Week in Killing My Mother’s Joy: This week I’m preparing for next weekend’s annual Houseboat trip. It is one of the greatest weekends of the year. And this year, it is literally the only social weekend of the year. I cannot wait, but man, is my Mom mad. She hasn’t given me unsolicited advice in years, but on our weekly grocery outing she told me repeatedly I shouldn’t go and that none of us should go. She’s convinced I’m going to die and she doesn’t want me or my friends to get sick if we can help it.

So much to unpack. First, yes. It is absolutely a terribly idea to travel to a state with a Covid R value higher than 1, traveling through the essentially closed state of Kentucky to get there. Second, yes. It is absolutely a great idea to get ourselves isolated on a houseboat, a trip we have taken before, and recharge our collective mental state.

True, there are so many risks. What if one of us is pre-symptomatically ill as we get on the boat.  Or, will one of us pick it up  in the days between when we got tested and we get on the boat. Will one of us pick it up when we make a rest stop or at the grocery or the marina? If we do get sick, will it be severe? Covid’s transmission and how individuals react to the infection are still mostly unknown. What if…what if…what if? In the end, on this day, 5 days before we head out, the rewards are greater than the risks. Fingers crossed!

The Week in I Don’t Know Shit: As I semi-confidently weigh the risks of traveling during the pandemic, I’ve been thinking about how much I don’t know. Specifically, on one of my walks this week I saw a carabiner laying in the street, like an omen to remind me of the one time a four-year old taught me something.

Me a couple friends were sitting at restaurant when a little boy from the next table walked up to us to show us his Dad’s keys. Super cute. He handed the full ring of keys to me without a word, so I asked him, “what is is this?,” all peppy the way you talk to kids. I was expecting him to say “keys.” Instead, he said carabiner. I don’t recall ever hearing that word before and didn’t know what to make of this kid’s answer, which I assumed was just a nonsense grouping of syllables. I looked up at my friends, “What did he say?” “Carabiner,” they both said. In a split second I knew I was about to be schooled. “What’s a carabiner?” Of course, it was what was holding all the keys together. If some people have a spirit animal, I have a spirit object, the carabiner of humility.

Carabiner, obviously.


The Week in Ramen: The guy at Saigon Market is happy to report the supply of Ramen is starting to get better. Also, I cannot wait to try Chapagetti.


The Week in Waffles: Mid-Covid confinement my waffle maker died. I spent a bit of time over the next several weeks picking a well-reviewed waffle maker that stored easily. What was throwing me was that, unbeknownst to me until I started shopping, I have a strong preference for square waffles. Who knew? Squares are not the most popular shape and after literally hours of shopping, I had to settle for a circular waffle maker. The horror! Still, I was glad to have finally made up my mind. Sadly I immediately become low-level furious when I discovered the model I picked was out of stock. The agony.

Welp, this week I finally got my waffle maker, received it like a long lost relative, and set out to make me some waffles. Yes, I love eating waffles, but I love that my favorite recipe has me fold egg whites into the batter. Using a fancy cooking technique makes anything taste better.

The Week in Foot Pedals: I’d seen videos from Asia for foot door handles (officially called a foot door handle opener…which is not great for the branding team). The first place I saw one in person was in the restroom of TJ Maxx. Granted I don’t go a lot of places anymore to see who else has installed these, but I expect to see more of them when I do finally get going. My first use of it was a little clumsy, but, like mastering the mask, it’s another covid skill.


The Week in the Color Palette: The back of the Sugar and Spice Diner looks like a place where a Barbie doll might take a load off. Side note: For weeks while they were rehabbing the building for the restaurant, I thought the pink exterior was a primer coat. It wasn’t. It’s a beautiful pop of color!

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