“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.”
― Carl Reiner
Kittens, I have failed you! This post is late, but as mentioned before, it’s because this month has really taken it out of me. We are currently dealing with the #beastfromtheeast storm battering the UK, which has iced over the city and actually stirring out of doors is dangerous, uncomfortable, and difficult. Meanwhile my stress levels are up again, alas, and my routines are still all over the place. Send help, chocolate, or podcast recommendations to get me through!
Here are the things that got me through the shortest and yet most irritating month of the year.
Lush Sleepy Body Lotion
This product actually caused something of a social media commotion when everyone and their dog began writing about how it helped them fall and stay asleep better. “What they hell,” thought I, “at this point I’ll give most anything a go,” and I purchased a tub when buying Christmas presents for my coworkers. Well, color me converted. I don’t know if it’s all voodoo or self-delusion, but I really feel this goop has actually helped me fall asleep and on nights I don’t use it it’s become harder to switch my brain off. Whether it’s just become a mental signal that it’s time to wind down, or because it’s become part of my evening routine after a hot bath (absolutely necessary given the state of the thermostat!), this stuff helps me relax.
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Podcasts and audiobooks are necessary components of my commute. I try to read “smart” during the week and save my trashy novels or quick reads for the weekend, but this month was not a month for serious nonfiction–I’ve had to renew my library checkouts for my latest political and scientific reads because I could not get through them! But this audiobook, narrated by the author and astrophysicist himself, was the exception. It’s a delightful short book that discusses the wonders of the cosmos in a nicely accessible way.
Wowder, by Glossier
Yeah, yeah, another Glossier product. I didn’t start using powder until my late 20s but like so many things beauty, it was a gamechanger. No wonder people have been wearing this stuff for centuries (exclaimed the noob)! I’d been trying to use up another pressed powder with a sheen to it…until I caught sight of myself in a mirror recently and recoiled. Apparently in the depths of winter, that “sheen” actually looked more like a “disco ball,” and I hadn’t realized because like all of the rest of us poor suckers at this time of year, I’m doing my makeup in the dark. Oops. Luckily this was a Thanksgiving present from X when she visited and I finally gave it some love this month, only to have it seriously love me back. Until the sun returns, only matte powders shall be allowed near my face.
It’s Been a Minute Podcast (Black Panther Interview), by NPR
Go listen to this thing, already! This is a great podcast by the same guy who helped create and launch NPR’s politics podcast, but which takes a look at news and pop culture through the lens of interviews with artists, or friendly discussions between journalists or creators. It’s also riddled with humor and is a nice alternative to the more angsty news digests out there. The episode about Black Panther in particular, featuring one of the most recent writers of a comic book run of the eponymous character, is excellent.
Shout out this month to my girl squad, one of whom is rocking a new job in NYC and back to pitching writing, and the other who is working on her next novel. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I am the least impressive member of my friend group! But in spite of that, our text chains, calls, and general shenanigans have helped make February a bit less awful.