Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Quiet Days at Home

via Unsplash

After a relatively productive January in terms of writing for this blog, I seem to be feeling a bit of blog-related writer's block again. It seems clear that when I'm trying to avoid shopping for my wardrobe, it becomes more difficult to get ideas for things to write here. Today's post is a light one, about some of the non-fashion things I've been enjoying recently. 

1. // While the weather's been quite cold out - including with a big snowstorm yesterday here in NYC - I've been making a lot of soup. Recently, I've made Balthazar's cream of mushroom soup (via Smitten Kitchen; I halve the recipe and get four light lunch-sized servings), Smitten Kitchen's white bean soup (I omit the crispy kale topping), and a baked potato soup from Delish (the resulting texture's quite thick, I add some chicken broth to thin it out), all of which were quite tasty and not too difficult to cook. 

2. // Netflix just released the second season of the glassblowing reality competition show, Blown Away, which I highly recommend! I've watched a few of the less well-known Netflix-distributed reality competition shows, including The Big Flower Fight (rather boring) and The American Barbecue Showdown (pretty good). Out of the ones I've tried, I think Blown Away is the best. 

For all that glassblowing as an art form has tons of inherent drama - lots of fire and heat, and things that accidentally break or crack - which, of course, helps keep each episode  interesting, I find I really enjoy Blown Away specifically because it still ultimately turns out to be a surprisingly low-drama competition. It's a comforting show to watch, somewhat like The Great British Bake Off ("GBBO"), particularly the older BBC seasons. All the contestants are extremely professional and also unfailingly gracious to each other, even the ones that might have more intense, potentially polarizing personalities. Because of the inherent fragility of glass as a medium and the ever-present risk of breaking or cracking, even in the hands of experienced artists, one gets the sense the contestants are all pretty good at rolling with the punches and staying calm to do their work. 

3. // After first buying Sims 4 (plus the Seasons expansion pack) years ago during a particularly good sale and then promptly forgetting all about owning it, I finally started actually playing the game over the Christmas holidays! Back when my current MacBook Pro was brand new - nearly seven years ago now -  it struggled mightily to run Sims 3 with just a single expansion pack installed, to the point where the game was nearly unplayable. I was initially worried my computer wouldn't be able to run Sims 4 either. Well, I was pleasantly surprised to find that, even though my laptop is much older now, it actually runs Sims 4 plus Seasons quite well. 

I don't find Sims 4 as interesting as Sims 3, they cut or changed a lot of things to make the newer game run better on most computers, and the experience of playing feels a bit less interesting and more empty. But it's still fun to try to build and decorate houses, so I can definitely at least get my money's worth from the heavily discounted sale price I paid for this game. 

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