minute thoughts 8.8.18
Thoughts while French tucking
1. My friend and I were having a discussion about "tall energy" vs. "short energy" (this is before "big dick energy" was a whole thing, so completely unrelated), and he told me that I had "short energy" and he's not wrong but I've never been more insulted by anything in my entire life.
2. I've loved Christina Tosi for years ever since I read a profile of her in The New York Times (and in Eater, years later) and insisted on going to Milk Bar. Then I saw her on Masterchef and loved her even more. And then I saw her Chef's Table episode and it was a full-blown obsession (funny story about why I watched that: I was with my friend at Milk Bar and there was a couple behind us, and the guy kept saying "I can't believe I'm here; THIS IS HER BAKERY," and his girlfriend explained that they had watched Chef's Table together and he had gotten really excited and insisted that they visit Milk Bar. "It's so good," he gushed, "You have to watch it." And so I watched it). I just admire her view on pastry and whimsicality. Desserts can be so serious sometimes. Milk Bar is a sugar-infused breath of fresh air, and she is an unshakeable force of nature. Her approach to baking resonates with me—maybe it'll turn out well and maybe it won't, but we'll just toss some stuff together and see what happens. Baking should be fun. It shouldn't be stressful (I tell myself, as I cry into my French macaron batter).
3. I’m absolutely obsessed with candles. At this point they’re a necessity in my room, even in the summer. Right now I’m on the hunt for something floral, because I love florals and they’re perfect for when you want something light. So if anyone has good recommendations for gardenia, freesia, or jasmine candles that aren’t $64 (that is an actual price point), let me know.
4. Okay, I'll be the first to admit that I'm just not into space. I never have been. I'm pretty sure I skipped that Magic Tree House book altogether when I was a kid. I don't personally have an interest in it, but I also think it's ridiculous from a practical standpoint. What? So we can ruin another planet's environment? I think we should take care of our problems on Earth before venturing to other planets—pay attention to climate change, for example. Hearing things like the fact that Jeff Bezos has so much money that he's considering investing in space travel just because he doesn't know what else to do with it is truly infuriating. It's a bit of a sick joke that we're trying to send humans to Mars while some people still don't have healthcare. Some people make the argument for space exploration in pursuit of extraterrestrial life, but in my opinion, if no one has contacted us in 4½ billion years and we haven't found anything, either they don't want to be found or there's really nothing else out there. Have we learned nothing from the Space Race? It was literally a $23 billion ego-boosting competition. And what do we have to show for it? A robot on Mars that sings happy birthday to itself.
Edit: Yeah. Okay, so I may be just mad at capitalism in general.
5. Omg THIS a million times. Small talk is the worst and I know I think that partly because I'm honestly terrible at it. But I also kind of like the idea of bonding with people being uncomfortable together. There's a real vulnerability in that. It just gives you the opportunity to open up. I think that's why Tinder is so successful. You've already established the fact that you're looking for a relationship—that's kind of the first icebreaker. I can't help think of the "36 Questions That Lead to Love." Do they create intimacy? Or are they simply revealing compatibility through intimacy? I've always wanted to pick a random stranger to try it with. But also there would probably be small talk preceding it, which is the worst.
6. I have two work moods: a 24/7 livestream called "Happy Summer Café Music Radio - Jazz, Bossa Nova, Latin & Soul Music" and my playlist of Ultra Miami 2017 sets. Both are equally satisfying to my soul.
7. I am a burger enthusiast, and because I'm a born-and-raised Californian living in New York, I've had both Shake Shack and In-N-Out. There's an endless debate over which is better, but I find that most people haven't tried both, or at least not and the same time, because In-N-Out is exclusive to California and there are only a few Shake Shack locations on the West Coast. So, when I went home to San Diego for Christmas last year, my family and Josh's family got both and ate them side-by-side. It was a very scientific process, because that's how serious we are about burgers. In-N-Out won by a mile. We decided that except for the bun, In-N-Out had a much better burger by far—Shake Shack's was oversalted (although Noah and I both live in New York and swear that it's better here). But Shake Shack had better fries and milkshakes (the vanilla milkshake tastes like real vanilla and real ice cream, while In-N-Out's is much sweeter and tastes a bit like melted marshmallows). But we were judging the burger, so In-N-Out was the winner.
Here’s the cost breakdown:
$2.75 burger ✓
$2.99 fries ✓
$5.29 shake ✓
So really, Shake Shack is almost double the price for a meal. While it's true you have a chance of having a better meal overall at Shake Shack, the burger at In-N-Out is much more worth it in terms of quality and price, so I'd still choose In-N-Out every time. What do you mean, "too much time on my hands"?
8. Did you know that Ben & Jerry's has a great blog? Because I didn't. The things I find in my research for work. But it's actually a really entertaining and thoughtful read. They do analyses of their past flavors and how they were created, but the second most-popular post is titled "7 Ways We Know Systemic Racism Is Real," so it's really the best of both worlds.
Edit: They also made an excellent commercial for the prevention of global warming.
9. If you aren't aware of my love for Queer Eye yet, then you clearly don't follow me on Twitter. But I love the Fab Five so much; I think it was partly because I had zero expectations for the show, and so the amount of emotional depth both surprised me and legitimately reduced me to tears. It's fine. But I sincerely believe this is the show America needs right now. And it's difficult to get people to watch it, because the premise sounds like any other silly makeover show ("five gay guys make over one straight guy"), but it's so much more than that; it's the literal dismantling of toxic masculinity, one avocado appetizer at a time. They also did a video series on Elle's YouTube channel in which they Insta-stalk their castmates, and it is precious, and also great if you need something to tide you over until Season 3 airs (Tan's, Jonathan's, Karamo's, Bobby's, Antoni's). I spend most of my free time watching YouTube videos of them. They are national treasures that should be protected at all cost. There is some criticism of the show, most of which in my opinion asks too much of the reality show format (and the heroes' cooking skills—Antoni doesn't need to prove anything; leave him alone) but this is the most well-articulated and insightful critique I've read; shoutout to my housemate for sharing!
10. Data privacy is a hot topic right now. But I think we often get distracted by Facebook and Google (let's be real—they already have so much information on you; the only way for you to mitigate that is to delete your digital footprint off of the grid entirely, which we know is next to impossible) that we forget about our more innocuous-seeming habits. A researcher from Berlin started a project called Public By Default, a reference to the default setting on Venmo payments, and examines the lives of five strangers through their transaction histories (featuring UCSB's very own elote man!). It's delightfully creepy, and it speaks to how much you can extract from just data with very minimal digging.
Edit: I don't know if this is related, but Venmo just recently updated their post-login screen to include this: