While I compiled this list, I had to continuous check if the items were truly new to me in 2021 since this year seems like an eternal final month to 2020.
Things I learned
- JBrekkie is the author Crying in H Mart
- Pickled beets are available in jars as well as cans
- It is possible to train yourself to walk in a way that maintains foot health
- Knee scooters can be used as yoga accessories
- Gas appliances were sold to the public by HGTV and the Food Network but aren’t great
- The meaning of 486 in korean–the number of strokes in 사랑해
- The sign language for “dance”
- Pour paint has an 80s vibe
- I have not outgrown being a super fan
- Shirts can be tucked in–again
- What happened to Juice WRLD (I realize I’m late to this news)
- My friend’s Annual Austrian Christmas Open House was on a Saturday, not a Sunday (despite my Google calendar reminder) 😢
- Membership to the NAACP is for anyone
- The US has a caste system that is convincingly similar to the ones in India and the one built during the Nazi regime
- I don’t have to solve racism by myself or in my lifetime, but there is a role for everybody to play
Things I bought that I love
NOTE: I am not being paid by any of these brands or products. This list is inspired by Mindy Kaling’s blog from years ago which has since vanished.
- Minty Shampoo The multiple sensory effect of this is refreshing!
- Public Goods dental floss The small glass container is reusable and pretty.
- Fashion Chingu Probably made in factories not monitored for human rights abuses, but browsing these lists is a guilty pleasure.
- Fila related items on Poshmark Track suits are the new jeans!
- Samsung Galaxy Watch in rose gold I had been tracking my steps on a smartphone, but realized after getting the wearable that I had been missing out on several thousand steps daily.
- Be@rBrick keychain Sadly, I was not able to locate where this is available for purchase in the US.
- GRIP6 Belts This was a 2020 purchase, but holds up due to the ability to notch it at any length as pandemic diets rise and fall. They are customizable.
- Subscription to Rakuten Viki Watching subtitled content is a step below reading and audio books, but a step above movies and series in your native language that can be playing while you are cooking and cleaning.
- Native Plants As a low maintenance gardener, native plants cannot be beat.
Things I binged
- Maid Recommended by friends who live near where this was filmed.
- Surviving R. Kelly Began this while at a hotel where I was staying to attend a globally adored KPop group. Traumatizing, and also self-indicting of super fanhood (which I am still processing and in no way victim blame the survivors of the abuse brought to light by this documentary).
- Sky Castle Kdrama psychological thriller about the intensity of being accepted into prestigious schools.
- Squid Game BTS introduced me to half of the games in this disturbing series . . . I still have questions. Lots of questions.
- The Chair An Asian woman adopting a child of color that is not Asian? Sandra Oh always picks the best projects.
- Itaewon Class The main character’s hair style is relatable . . . when I was 7 years old and my dad cut my bangs while they were still wet. 😆 Love!
- Nobody Knows Recommended on the Adopted Feels podcast. Lots of orphaned characters. Super intense.
A few satisfying things
- Gif loops: My students introduced me to these as Google slide backgrounds . . .
- ARMY bomb crowd waves My 2nd Grade niece commented, “This is satisfying” when thumbing through the photos on my phone.
- Back scratcher: Endorsed by “Don’t Waste Your Money” 🤓
Word of the year . . .