minute thoughts 11.20.16

Thoughts while perusing Singaporean food blogs for In-N-Out alternatives

1. HOLY...Bite Beauty is opening a Lip Lab in San Francisco AKA all of my cosmetic dreams come true. I guess I'm moving there now.

2. An incomplete list of foods I miss from home: pizza, carne asada fries, bagels (+ Bagel Café), Diet Coke, pasta with clam sauce, Flaming Hot Cheetos/Funyuns (how do they not have them here?!), In-N-Out, barbacoa, and Panda Express (I KNOW IT'S NOT REAL CHINESE FOOD BUT IT'S STILL GREAT).

3. It's strange that there's really no definitive measure of mental and emotional wellness. The mind is such a fascinating concept; it's so fluid and complex and impossible. Like the fact that false memory and déjà vu exist as creations engineered by our own mental exercise, or that personality types and mental disorders are on a spectrum. You can be relatively "healthy," but sometimes things affect you in ways even you yourself can't predict. And for this reason, mental health is such a tricky space to navigate. It's difficult to declare what is "best" or "right" for any given person. The mind is one of the most fragile parts of the psyche, and it's amazing how many people dismiss it or ignore it altogether.

4. If you're a hopeful millennial like me and feel very sad about the election, here are some things you can actually do right now (for this month's donation, I chose the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center! Activism doesn't all have to be angry blog posts). But more importantly, this election is a reminder to stay informed. For the past six months or so, I've been making an effort to expand my reading horizons. I recommend The American Conservative (which makes the distinction between real conservatives and populists) and ProPublica, and my friend recommended Reason, a libertarian publication which presents a lot of interesting views that most of the traditional left-wing/right-wing media doesn't talk about (in case you were wondering, even The New York Times leans left).

5. The new power-posing. If you think psychology is a joke, when you're feeling sad, try smiling three times in a row. It actually makes you feel better.

6. I've been really into YouTube lately, particularly micro-documentaries (Vox has some awesome ones, like the deconstruction and evolution of rap and Kim Kardashian explained) and educational videos (check out How to Become Pope, an explanation of the metaphysical Ship of Theseus paradox, and an exploration of the science of addiction), but one of the most interesting ones I came across recently was a crash course on the value of aesthetics. I've mentioned the importance of beauty before, after a visit to the Getty Villa, and I strongly believe in the goodness of aesthetics, but this was an interesting take on it from a philosophical perspective (I personally agree with Aristotle). I think the best argument for art is that of enrichment. It alters your perception of the world and makes you think holistically; it makes you feel beyond a purely rational capacity, and that's significant.

7. Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse is a highly-underrated children's show. Seriously. I used to watch it with this four-year-old girl I would babysit, and it's actually a very clever satire of the pink-washed "girl culture" that inevitably saturates child's play and gender stereotypes in society. A lot of the humor is very clearly written for adults, from its snarky commentary on narcissism, materialism, and pop culture to Ken's flamboyant, metrosexual mannerisms. Honestly, I think I found it more amusing than the four-year-old.

8. Roti prata has replaced naan as my favorite kind of flatbread and this is important because I take my bread very seriously.

9. The whole Season 3 of Black Mirror was great, but "San Junipero" is one of the more nuanced episodes of any TV show I've seen in a while. And what I liked about it is that not only did it have that classic Black Mirror twist, but it was also just a really beautiful story about two souls finding each other in a chaotic world and just being human, without becoming too much about romance or existentialism (but there is some of both, if you're into it). It's also beautifully shot; I've recently started to appreciate cinematography and this is a great example.

10. Okay, I have absolutely no business wanting a Wacom mini tablet because I'm the least artistic person on earth, but I've lusted after them for years because they're so beautiful, and having one would make designing so much easier, considering that right now I do all of my drawing with a tiny little mini-mouse. And with the release of the new ones, I'm assuming the price of the old ones will drop. And my birthday's coming up, so that would justify me buying one for myself, right?