The Weekly Wrap #4


On Friday, we ate lunch inside a restaurant for this first time in months. We thought the risk of eating inside was low because the restaurant had ceiling fans going, the doors open, very few people, and the tables were over 10 feet apart. It was both a scary and enjoyable experience. I miss restaurants. I miss going out. I miss seeing people. At the same time, I also do relish being near other people right now.

We had the kiddo with us and she surprised us by acting like a dream. She didn't make a mess, fuss, or try to run away. Then, we realized that this was all new to her. The last time we were able to eat inside is probably before her memory kicks in. She was looking around taking everything in. She loved waving at the restaurant staff and announcing "Bus!" each time one drove by. She even ate her first french fry.

​I can't wait until we can start letting her explore the world again. At her age, she knows no different, but I want her to realize that there is so much more to see and do. Fingers crossed we are nearing the light at the end of the tunnel.

his week, I started reading A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. It’s a prequel to The Hunger Games series. I binge read those books as they came out, but I am approaching this title more cautiously. It focuses on Coriolanus Snow who was, without a doubt, a villain in the first books. The author is going to have to walk a fine line and not write a redemption story. I am enjoying it so far but it’s just kind of an odd read knowing where it is going.

  • How to store and reheat rice. [Real Simple]

  • The debate about bay leaves. [Huffpost]

  • An interview with the man who builds ancient instruments. [Atlas Obscura]

  • Mission: ImPASTAble - it's not a quest, it's a marketing stunt. (I am still looking forward to the 5 pound bag I bought.) [Dirt]

  • Oscar Ukonu creates amazing portraits in ballpoint pen. [It's Nice That]

  • A list of a dozen books banned in the prison system. [BuzzFeed]

  • How bathroom logs can identify literacy issues. [EdWeek]

  • Demeaning pregnancy terms are getting an update. It's about damn time. [Pop Sugar]

  • Truly the middle of nowhere. [Atlas Obscura]

  • Inside the Notre Dame restoration. [Architectural Digest]

  • This is the best explainer of NFTs I have listened to, and I still don't get it. [The Daily]

  • Making your home a cozy nest. [Life Kit]

  • That robo call is definitely not selling you an auto warranty. [Planet Money]

  • Drawing dinosaurs. [99% Invisible]

  • I polished off the archives of Planet Money. Now, I am working on the archives of its sister podcast, The Indicator. The episodes are short and I managed to get through a lot of them. This week, I enjoyed:

    • To declare bankruptcy or not. [TI]

    • All the potatoes you could grab. [TI]

    • Why you don't plan for a pandemic. [TI]

    • Contagion got it right. [TI]

  • I got sucked into a marathon of BBQ Pitmastersearlier in the week. It's your typical competition cooking show that happens to focus on some tasty looking barbeque. It usually involves one typical barbeque meat (beef, pork, chicken) and one wildcard (salmon, shrimp, elk). This show will always hold a special place in my heart because it got me through A LOT of early morning feedings when our daughter was an infant. 

  • We watched Orbiter 9not expecting it to be a Spanish language foreign film. In the end, it was worth the subtitles. It's a sci-fi flick that offers an interesting look at humanity.

  • We got sucked into a marathon of Holmes on Homes. It's been ages since I binged a home related show. Any time I watch something like this, I start questioning what needs to be done and get fixed in our home. 

  • We finally polished offer Bridgerton! Now bring me season 2!

  • On Monday, I made a batch of this summer pea and roasted red pepper pasta. It was tasty the night of but I really enjoyed the leftovers... particularly after I added feta cheese. Also, I cut the olive oil for the vinaigrette in half and didn't notice a difference in flavor.

  • I love dumplings. Love them! But, they are a time consuming meal to make. I found this recipe for inside-out pork dumplings and thought it might sate my craving. It did, but I think the recipe would have worked just as well with lo mein or rice noodles in lieu of boiled wanton wrappers. Also, I missed the dipping sauce.

I filed my taxes this week. Huzzah? If you were unaware, there is a website called My Social Security where you can see the income history (and expected social security benefit) the government has listed for you. I think it’s a pretty useful tool. Plus, it’s nice to know that no one else is using my identity. I recommend signing up for an account if you don’t have one already.

The first set of fully vaccinated grandparents were in town for a visit this weekend. We say goodbye to them tomorrow and I don’t want them to go.