weeknotes #13: open minded music discovery and radical acceptance

⚠️ Content warning: Food poisoning symptoms. LOL y’all. I think I have trauma related to food poisoning, because I think I got it again. After I had it two months ago. This time was the same familiar stomach-stabbing pain, although I didn’t have a horrible episode of throwing up like I did last time. I ate nothing but a bit of scrambled egg and a hash brown yesterday. I am scared of eating when my body tells me it has reacted badly to food. I just don’t want to make the symptoms any worse.

I think I ate some chicken that had some bacteria that made me sick. I just didn’t have a good feeling about it. We were eating at a restaurant on Friday and I ordered a chicken and noodle dish. The style of the chicken was cold chicken on hot noodles. Now… yes, cold chicken is a thing in Asian dishes, but the paleness of this chicken (and the fact that I don’t eat cold chicken much) and the slightly pink bits made me really suspicious, even though it tasted like it was cooked. I mean, I don’t know. Food poisoning is not just uncooked meat, it’s bacteria or spoiled food. Bad, bad, bad.

As I was eating, I think I was triggered. I said to Nick that I had these memories of the time I didn’t eat meat for several years, and how it was nice to not worry about the state of cooked chicken. Before I was pescetarian, I had food poisoning (likely salmonella) from food in Indonesia and it was just a horrific, horrific experience. Pain and discomfort that is extremely hard to forget. I think I’m somewhat scarred by that.

Anyway. After some headaches yesterday, taking a bit of Metamucil, napping twice and then having a full night’s sleep, I think I am better. I still feel like my body needs to get rid of whatever shit was bothering it, but yeah. I managed to eat lunch today. Going to be taking it easy in terms of what I’m consuming.

Geoff and I have been recording episodes of Toast & Roast. Yes, I did have a couple of hours where I didn’t feel like I needed to clutch my stomach in pain. We’re back on Monday for our first episode of 2022! I don’t like “hustling” but I have decided that I will commit to doing better social reach and promoting the podcast this year. I care about it. It’s nice to care about the thing you might be “hustling” about.

I have a mild obsession with The 1975 at the moment. I don’t remember how I came across the band, maybe from an Apple Music playlist suggestion, or maybe I remembered hearing about them and finally deciding to jump into listening to them. I’ve been thinking about doing a Bread Talk at work about “Open minded music discovery”, discussing some experiences I’ve had with discovering music lately. Since I “left” the music journalism/photography space, I haven’t had as much opportunity and haven’t had a lot of time to listen to new releases or bother listening to new music. I’ve spent the past year or so listening to playlist after playlist that I’ve created for my own motivation at the gym or while working. So it’s been nice to discover albums I’ve never listened to – such as The 1975, and evermore by Taylor Swift, and of course listening to Olivia Rodrigo after my friend Daniel shared their love and admiration of Olivia with me. And it’s nice to rediscover my love for albums I know, like all the Beatles’ stuff, Plans by Death Cab For Cutie, and even Hey Geronimo’s two albums – and listening to them at a different point in my life.

The 1975 have definitely grown on me. I didn’t love all their songs but I dig into their discography and listened to some of their albums from beginning to end. I began to appreciate them more, and especially their knack for exploring different genres of music. Some of their stuff is odd and experimental, thus some songs stand better as part of an album rather than on their own. If you want just a couple of song recommendations, Sex, Robbers, The Sound, Somebody Else, If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know), and Girls, should give you a solid breadth of variety.

Remote work has meant something a bit different when it comes to listening to music. In comparison to years prior, I spent a lot of 2020–2021 in pairing sessions and not really able to spend the time in deep independent work and listening to music to get me going. I think it was only in the latter half of 2021 that things calmed down and I found a better balance of collaboration and independent work.

I must say, the 10-day break I had over Christmas and New Year really helped, and it put last year’s burnout into perspective. It is actually surprising how stuck in burnout you can get. I recently reflected on some incidents that happened last year where I was very emotional and stressed, and I realise I was in a dark, upsetting place. The emotions I was feeling had a direct impact on my actions, some of which could have been a bit of an overreaction. I like to think that I’d handle them better if they were to happen right now.

That does tie in a little with the whole “stoicism” and “radical acceptance” thing, which I think is a bit (or maybe waaayyy) far out of my comfort zone for me to fully attempt… purely because accepting everything – including the shitty things – already sends my tendency for anxiety over the rails. I do try to remind myself that there are things out of my control, which helps. So the notion of stoicism and radical acceptance is a nice one, on the surface, but I think there is a nuance to it that I haven’t figured out yet. And I need to figure that out so that I don’t reprimand my feelings in the process. Because feelings make us goddamn human, y’all. (Here’s a video on the concept.)

Another cool thing I’ve discovered recently is Melbourne shoe brand, Rollie. I honestly thought these blue shoes were going to be mad obnoxious, considering how much blue I already wear in my outfits… but they actually look pretty snazzy. I think there is something about shoes when it comes to an outfit. I think that because they are a small part of an outfit, it’s easy to wear something a bit more experimental and out of your comfort zone and try it out. Granted, I haven’t actually properly tried these shoes with jeans, but I think they will be alright. These shoes had no breaking in time, and have been super comfortable for moderately long walks. 🤩 These might just be my new favourite brand of shoe.

An Asian woman with short, straight dark hair, wearing a geometric print playsuit with a square neck. The playsuit has yellow, navy and pink colours. She has a hand on her hip and is wearing bright blue shoes. There is an apartment block in the background with a similar geometric pattern to what she is wearing.
Nick pointed out that my outfit kind of matches the building in the background 😀

Also, I decided to go back to some slightly nicer looking lunches, so here’s one of my lunches from this week. We had some capers left in a tub that we used for pasta a while ago, but haven’t been used since. So I thought I’d just wash and sprinkle them on my lunch like a bouje idiot.

A white plate served on a wooden table, with two slices of toast, topped with sliced avocado, smoked salmon and capers
I also miss my bagels… lol

We have a trip to Tasmania planned in February. Hoping travel will be alright then. I’m really keen to see more of its natural beauty – Tasmania is a beautiful state. We’re going to do a road trip around the state. I’m a bit giddy and nervous and excited at the same time. It’s hard to believe it has been so long, but it has been a year or so since we’ve travelled anywhere via plane. I’m always keen on packing my bag because I take pride in packing super light all the time. 😂 I’ll have to remember to bring hand sanitiser. I’ve even found myself forgetting to pop a bottle in the car (even though we don’t use the car often) and it does come in handy.

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