Aug 25, 2020

Random Roundup: School, Being a Responsible Consumer, BLM, Dental Hygiene, AOC, Fish & PSL

My kids started school - all online - last week, so life has been rather chaotic as we try to settle into a new routine. Not surprisingly, my mind is also chaotic right now, so rather than try to form coherent thoughts about one central idea, here are some random things that have been on my mind and in my world:
  • The first week of school went way better than distance learning in the spring. I feel like the district listened to parents' number one complaint about spring distance learning, i.e., the inconsistency depending on the teacher. This semester, there's a set schedule and clear expectations for when a teacher should be online with their class. So I'm feeling optimistic that my kids will have a decent school year even if it's all online.
  • When it comes to being a responsible consumer, there is no end to the questions you can ask, the amount of money you could spend, and the rabbit holes you can find yourself in. Lately, I've been researching dairy and cotton. When it comes to dairy, I'm trying to buy from local farms that produce organic milk while humanely caring for their cows. Cotton is less clear cut - there are reasons to buy organic cotton and reasons to buy conventional cotton - but I'm trying to find ways to buy responsibly produced end-products, even if it means paying extra, least some of the time.
  • I realize that none of these are new thoughts, but they're new to me. I suppose you could say I've buried my head in the sand, but it never occurred to me that there could be so many ethical concerns about almost everything I buy. I feel like I'm doing what I reasonably can - buying straight from farmers through Edible Gardens LA, seeking out local products at the supermarket, buying a new sheet from Boll & Branch instead of Target or Amazon, tipping delivery people well, etc. But at the same time, I know that meaningful change will only happen when society and the economy as a whole change, so maybe the next step is look at ways to help make that happen. (I'm open to suggestions.)
  • I was so impressed by NBA stars LeBron James and Chris Paul using their post-game interviews yesterday to call attention to yet another police shooting of a Black man. Chris Paul even called on his fellow players to make sure their entire team is registered to vote.
  • When the pandemic started, my kids went an extra long time without seeing their dentist or orthodontist. So by the time they went back, both practitioners were not pleased. The happy result is that I've got them both using electric toothbrushes. One is using a Sonicare. The other is using the Waterpik Sonic Fusion, which is an electric toothbrush with a built-in water flosser. The orthodontist loves it, and even told my son to "keep doing what you're doing," which is a first.
  • Over the last few months, I've become a huge fan of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (aka AOC). I don't always agree with her politics, but I've just been so impressed with who she is and what she does. The makeup video she did for Vogue blew me away - who else can talk about gender inequality while applying eyeshadow and explaining how glitter shadow was a brave choice? Her Instagram stories in particular are amazing, and a testament to both her social media and communication skills. She just shared great tips on how to wisely consume news, and also gives behind-the-scenes looks at being in Congress (e.g., what the dress code is, how she prepares for hearings, and more).
  • Last week, I talked about how we're eating more fish and seafood, so I thought it would be fun to share what I ordered this week from Dry Dock. My aunt sent me my grandmother's sushi vinegar recipe, so I decided to make chirashizushi, which is sushi rice topped with sashimi and assorted things like roe, egg and vegetables. So I ordered salmon, ahi, ikura (salmon roe), black cod, and squid. The salmon, ahi and ikura will all go in the chirashi. I'll make miso cod with the black cod. And another night we'll have calamari, which I coat in cornmeal - I don't love frying, but my family loves calamari, and it's been a long time since we've had it so it will be totally worth it.
  • Finally, it's Pumpkin Spice Latte season! Starbucks started selling them today, and I waited in a long line at the drive-thru for mine. It was so worth it!

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