Features + The Weekly Edit

The Weekly Edit: Sometimes You Lose

On Tuesday night, eight months of work ended in losses for two candidates who I respected, supported, and wanted to see on the ballot in November.  When you work in politics, you understand that sometimes you lose, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

So yesterday, I slept too late.  Stayed in my pajamas too long.  Ate too many carbs (oh, let’s have pizza and french bread!).  Drank too many High Noon Sun Sips while sitting on my patio.  Had way too much screen time.  And generally felt sorry for myself until even my Schanauzer was looking at me like, “Girl, get over it.”

Today, I move on.

I spent the morning doing the laundry mountain that has been stacking up.  Took a walk around the neighborhood and listened to a podcast.  Signed up for a webinar on racial equity in workplaces.  Attended a virtual CLE on civil disobedience and constitutional rights.  And I will spend the rest of the day looking for gainful, full-time employment and sprucing up my resume and cover letters.

Sounds like a pretty good (and productive) day, which will hopefully be followed by another similarly productive day tomorrow.  Because I don’t know about you, by mental health is always improved by a bit of productivity.

Is anyone else’s COVID-19 mask giving them acne?  Or “maskne” as the case may be.  The area around my nostrils is just erupting in these deep, painful blemishes.  It’s a scourge.

The pimples are so deep that they require a multi-step approach.  First, I cleanse the area with a tea tree oil cleanser.  This one from The Body Shop is my favorite.

Second, I heat the blemish using the rose-quartz warming disc on my PMD device.  The heat helps bring the pus to the surface.  If I need to pop it, I use a warm compress to gently release what’s near the surface.  (You will also need to disinfect the PMD device to make sure you don’t spread bacteria.)

At night, the third step is to apply one of these Acropass Trouble Cure Patches to help treat the blemish from within.  And then, during the day, I apply a dab of cortisone cream and a dab of Neosporin to the blemish.

To prevent this from happening in future, I need to start using my Origins charcoal detox mask more than once per week.  It does a great job of exfoliating, decongesting pores, and reviving tired skin.  And I’m going to put some face wipes in my car, so that when I’m not wearing makeup, I can clean the area under my mask once I’m out of the store.

JSTOR, the digital library that you haven’t used since college, put together a collection of educational resources on institutionalized racism that is worth your time.  The collection includes articles on the burning of Black Wall Street in Tulsa, OK (the origin story for the HBO show Watchmen), how history textbooks promote and whitewash racism, how school suspensions disproportionately hurt students of color, and more.

Bookmark the list.  Read and watch the content.  And share it to your social channels so that others can educate themselves as well.  This Twitter explanation of the FBI operation COINTELPRO — how it murdered Fred Hampton and forever shaped white Americans impressions of the Black Panthers — has gone viral.  So think about all the people who might be rethinking what they “know” as a result.

One of my personality quirks (flaws?) is that when something becomes really popular, if I missed being an early adopter, I tend to avoid it.  Then, I finally try the thing and it’s often just as great as everyone said.

The crispy spinach at Rasika.

Those blue light glasses that I now wear every day.

Game of Thrones.

I could unfurl this scroll for hours.  But the newest addition to the “Abra ignored this because she was trying to pretend she was too cool for it” list 🤦🏻‍♀️ is:

After years of avoiding the Salt Fat Acid Heat cookbook and Samin Nosrat’s uber-popular Netflix series of the same name, you guys finally convinced me to buy it.  All of the raves finally penetrated my stubborn brain and I snapped it up.  And yes, it is just as great as everyone said.

I like that the book teaches you how to mix flavors to create better dishes.  Kyle likes to get experimental in the kitchen and I’m hoping this book will improve his original creations.  Now, if only he would learn that you can’t “eyeball” how much flour goes into the cookie recipe.

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  1. Julia says:

    A dermatologist once told me to use Polysporin instead of Neosporin on your face. She said that Polysporin is better to ensure no scarring. I’ve been doing that ever since.

    June 4, 2020/Reply
  2. Rachel says:

    Samin’s buttermilk roast chicken is so good. Also, in the Heat episode, she makes a white bean and roasted vegetable salad that is incredible – I’ve been making it weekly. It’s not in the book, but you can find it here: https://www.today.com/recipes/roasted-vegetable-white-bean-salad-recipe-t144350

    June 4, 2020/Reply
  3. Aar1 says:

    So sorry to hear about the elections Abra! Stronger tomorrow <3

    June 4, 2020/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Thanks, it happens.

      June 4, 2020/Reply
  4. Mary says:

    I had a really bad breakout the other day from a mask. I don’t wear a mask while driving, so as soon as I get in the car, I now put my mask in a clean zip lock baggy, so it has a clean place to “live” instead of the bottom of my purse (yuck!)Seems to be helping.

    June 4, 2020/Reply
    • mpls says:

      I’d suggest a brown paper bag, instead of a ziplock, if you are going to reuse it again before washing. Lets the mask dry out from any moisture caught by it why you breathe on it. The closed plastic bag lets things…breed.

      June 4, 2020/Reply
  5. Kate says:

    Samin’s focaccia bread from the series is a staple in my home. Its so simple to make and comes out the same every time. Give it a try.

    June 4, 2020/Reply
  6. Colleen says:

    So sorry to hear about the election results. It’s never, ever easy to see good people lose.

    And “Hamilton” is on my “scroll” right now. Really listened to the soundtrack for the first time last month and now I’m obsessed. And everybody I mention it to says, “Um, yeah. Where have you been for the last 5 years?”

    June 4, 2020/Reply
  7. Libbi V. says:

    The “Abra ignored this because she was trying to pretend she was too cool for it” List kills me – I wouldn’t consider myself an early adopter but I’ve definitely had those moments as well! So sorry your candidates lost but I have faith you will find something great soon!

    June 4, 2020/Reply
  8. Pam says:

    LOOOOVE. Crispy Spinach at Rasika!!!

    June 4, 2020/Reply
    • Christine S. says:

      It’s seriously amazing. Also, Punjab Grill is another fantastic option if you’re looking for non-Rasika Indian food in the area (like for a work lunch).

      June 5, 2020/Reply
  9. E says:

    Thank you for sharing the resources about institutionalized racism. I appreciate actions to actively make your blog an anti-racist space and weaving these resources into your normal blog posting.

    June 5, 2020/Reply
  10. evelyn says:

    I am using a reusable mask made with a silk cover and cotton lining. It is breathable and I disinfect it with alcohol after every use. Maybe that’s the way to prevent acne?

    June 5, 2020/Reply
  11. JB says:

    Self-proclaimed foodie, and I also just recently got really in to Samin and her work! Her episode of “It’s Alive” from the BA Test Kitchen is just so delightful– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQOhAeNAjKc. That said, the BA videos were recently called out in this great Eater article on the whiteness of “viral food success”. https://www.eater.com/2020/5/20/21262304/global-pantry-alison-roman-bon-appetit. Definitely recommend to anyone who is in a space to dive in.

    June 5, 2020/Reply
  12. Anna says:

    Ha! Just remind Kyle that baking is chemistry, which needs to be exact, whereas cooking leaves a lot more room for interpretation 🙂

    June 7, 2020/Reply
  13. Lauren says:

    I do the same thing with missing a new fad! Maybe this is a sign for me to get some blue light glasses and finally read Harry Potter 🙂

    June 8, 2020/Reply
  14. Lindsay says:

    THANK YOU for the acne recs – I have the worst breakout I’ve had in years at the moment, to the point of using the Acropass multiple nights in a row on the same spot. I have to figure out how to keep my face from sweating/getting oily during the day, since I think it’s the mask plus not being in my air conditioned office all the time. I hope the towelettes and charcoal mask will help.

    June 8, 2020/Reply