On Random Things

Today was one of my two days off in a row, now that we’re working the summer schedule. I teach Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 7pm. I like having two days off in a row. I did very little by most measures but I enjoyed my day. Woke early, had a nice breakfast, read half a novel until I finished it, watched some rain fall, had lunch with an episode of a TV show I’m watching online, laid around, got scared anew because I cannot feel the strings of my Mirena IUD again despite getting them checked and pulled down Friday – I could not feel them at all for a few days preceding Friday – and that is a sign to go to the doctor. I’m friends with my cervix and definitely know what it feels like with and without strings, so if I cannot feel them, they’re not there.

But I got over it, remembering the doctor’s advice that the strings are just cut short and so may curl into the cervix and not be felt, and my only cause to worry is if I feel any unusual pain or cramping or find the IUD expelled. Expulsion means no protection from pregnancy, and pain or cramps can mean perforation of and/or migration from the uterus. I’m saddened, but not surprised, that the current state of the patriarchal capitalist medical industrial complex* doesn’t have better birth control safety rates or options for women, let alone anything viable for men beyond the condom or a vasectomy (which you should look into, men. It’s short, relatively painless, 50% reversible, and enables you to take some responsibility for controlling your own fertility instead of foisting that responsibility onto your female partner(s) simply because that’s the social norm.) To expound on the Gloria Steinem, If Men Could Menstruate there would most definitely be awesome, safe, and effective reversible and permanent birth control options already available. None of this potentially unsafe, facing-a-lawsuit, list of complications up my ass shit. I wish I was 100% lesbian.

Later I went to the organic store and then the grocery store, and am now planning dinner and waiting for someone to come over. Here’s my haul from shopping:

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To be exact, from the organic store: organic cornmeal; desert essence face wash; neem and pomegranate organic toothpaste; organic ground chili; organic shea butter, lavender and wildflower bar soap; organic mayo; organic Japanese miso with kelp; organic dark chocolate bar, with crystallised ginger.  And from the grocery store, organic buckwheat flour, baking powder, green bell pepper, Japanese eggplant, organic tofu, brown button mushrooms, yellow onion, vine ripened tomato, blueberries, and catfish fillets. I plan to use some of this to make at least two new recipes:

Cornmeal pizza crust 

Blueberry breakfast muffin

The cornmeal crust I can make in my toaster oven, and the blueberry muffin in the microwave! I am getting to know microwave cooking because my stove/range/hob (as you might variously say in different parts of the world) is broken at the moment. That sucks, but I’m getting more creative with the microwave and even shelled out for salad things in the week before I went to Macau. (Salad is really expensive here for some reason. A bag of greens costs about $6.5/£4 which I think is a lot. Then you need other things like mushrooms, tomato, hard boiled egg, avocado, etc. and you’re looking for a homemade salad that costs over $10. That strikes me as odd.) Anyway, this is a nice list of recipes to try in the microwave. For one of Google’s top hits, it’s surprisingly full of vegan/gluten free recipes. (I guess that’s why its title in the address bar, if not the article’s main title, reads “surprisingly healthy microwave recipes”). Too bad the stress of a broken stove comes on top of the summer schedule. At least I like my content. IB English Literature Paper 2.

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Another stressful thing was that my phone was slowly dying. Emphasis on the slowly, as in, everything I tried to do with it took ages! So I got a new one. I’d had the old one, an HTC Desire C, since September of 2012 when I got to London and learned that my old lovely LG was CDMA and that wasn’t supported. Now I’m back to LG, with an L90 Dual, and it’s a nice upgrade. It was $1789 HKD ($232/£150). Definitely not a top-shelf phone, but I wasn’t really on the market for the 5 and 6 thousand HKD phones popular here. It’s also got a much nicer camera than my HTC. The grocery pic above is from it, though that might not showcase how much better it is…

In other news, I went to my first Pechakucha night last week. Thanks Aimee! It was in Kwun Tong right on the promenade under the flyover. A very hip space. As I was leaving, I walked into this random small tower and took the pic below (old phone):

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I like the idea of Pechakuck a nights. That’s the Japanese concept where a person devises a presentation in which they can show 20 photos and speak about each for 20 seconds. In actuality, it wasn’t my first Pechakucha, as I saw some people doing some at Burning Man when I wandered in to Center Camp one day. But it was my first willfully attended one. Interesting stuff. It was nice to be out, despite the mosquitos, amongst a different crowd than I’m used to in HK. Lots of white people and hipsters.

It was also nice to be out the other night when I stopped at a German beer hall near my place for something tall, dark, and sudsy.

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It was after work on a Saturday, so I was beat from a week of work. Yes, it’s ridiculously hot here, with humidity often over 80%. But sitting right on the edge of the restaurant, which is open to an elevated walkway connecting some buildings, I had the best of both worlds: the aircon which places blast way too cold in response to the heat, and the warm, humid air from outside mingling around me as I sipped my beer and read a book alternately with people watching.

Teaching, beer drinking, food shopping. Just a few random events in my current life here in HK.

* bell hooks mentions the “capitalist patriarchal male-dominated medical system” in chapter 5, “Our Bodies, Ourselves: Reproductive Rights.” Feminism is for Everybody (2000). PDF here.

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2 thoughts on “On Random Things

  1. Ugh, the Internet may have eaten my first comment when I was forced to login, but if it didn’t, choose which to keep.

    Totally with you on the second paragraph. It sucks how women’s health is a disproportionate battlefield. If you get a chance, check out Obvious Child, a recent rom com about a woman who gets an abortion. It’s wonderful how she’s centralized and her trajectory is largely separated out from male love interests, but it’s also profoundly sad when you consider the larger structural issues where abortion (where it’s allowed) can become women’s own private economic shame and burden.

    On another note, think beyond greens for salad. I recently made a kohlrabi/cucumber slaw (check my FB). Some inspiration: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/22/dining/22mlist.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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