Re-reading the American Girls books

Growing up, I had the complete booksets of the Felicity, Samantha, Molly series, and two random Addy books. There was also a large paperback with plays and individual scripts for that, but when you’re a solo kid, how are you supposed to hold PLAYS with MULTIPLE PEOPLE?? That said, there were also the Felicity and Samantha dolls that were never really taken out of their boxes … I just didn’t care for the dolls. I suppose they could be near-NIB listings on eBay.

Recently, I have decided to do a quick re-read of the series. They’re short and easy books, right? Wrong!! Oh shiiiiiit … it is true that they are short and easy books, BUT in adulthood … these books hit different.

I read the Kit series for the first time yesterday, and I just blazed through the books. I had somehow assumed this was supposed to be a Depression-era Harriet the Spy, but it wasn’t!! Sure, Kit has a (totally only hobbyist) newspaper side hustle, but it is purely for entertaining her family members.

WOW, what was this series? There is some HEAVY stuff in here!?!? Is this okay for kids? I mean, obviously the deed has been one and it has been read by so many children, but …??

Mrs. Howard! MRS. HOWARD!! Am I the only one who thinks this lady might have Munchausen’s by proxy? Honestly, other than being a bit shrimpy, Stirling is otherwise a perfectly normal kid. I was getting lowkey Gypsy Rose Blanchard vibes.

My Year of Being Indifferent

I know I’m not a sociopath, but I’ve always known that my box of paints has significantly less colors than everyone else’s.

That said, here’s a quote that hits hard, from the end of The Cut’s “All The Time I Wasted Trying to Please Indifferent Men”:

“I’m still that needy, anxious kid going over the “Haha,” hoping it means something — except now it’s all the more sad because I know it doesn’t mean anything.”

I thought about it. Yes, I know how that feels. And then I decided: that’s going to be me. Not the needy, anxious kid — but the indifferent object of affection.

Nobody notices or cares that much about others, anyway. It makes no difference whether or not I care about others. It’s just that I’m going to consciously stop caring about anyone except me, me, me.

Voting from abroad, General Election 2020

Here we go again.

The mail will be delayed because of the coronavirus, for sure, so I am faxing mine in. I filled in my ballot online, printed it, and sent it in by fax ( Technology!

Not my first choice — that would be Bernie Sanders. But anything’s better than the current dumpster fire.

Underweight, but goals

I am now clinically underweight at a BMI of 18.2. I started out at a BMI of 21.4. Further proof that BMI is bullshit. At a normal weight, my flesh hung awkwardly on my body. Now I look fit; now I look #goals. Most of my clothes fit better now. The ones that don’t — are too loose and were too frumpy in the first place, anyway.

My body fat percentage could be better. I have a bf% of 25%, which is normal but also slightly unhealthy.

I started out at 54.9 kg, at 160 cm. I have a small frame – I’m a petite Asian. I am now 46.5 kg. I’ve lost 8.4 kg, and 8.4/54.9 = 0.15, which means that I lost 15% of my initial weight.

In imperial units, that’s starting out at 121 lbs, 5′ 3″, and losing 18 lbs. I now weigh 102 lbs.

I look amazing; I feel amazing.

Tracking my change in weight

I am very pleased with my weight plan so far. It has been quite simple, really — weighing  and recording everything I eat, and knowing what I eat. It is a bit crazy, but it does work. This never worked for me in Myfitnesspal because of how clunky and unpleasant the experience was, but the Loseit app is working beautifully for me.

Coronavirus testing


The foreigners at my company were loaded up on buses today, in three different shifts, to get tested for the ‘rona. Annoyingly, the local staff will not be tested. Reasoning? “They’ve been here for more than 2 months.” Ridiculous. So have the foreigners! They made us get in by March 1, and we did! I got in on … February 28, I think? Today is April 30! We were fuming.

They also got a sneaky blood test in, which the foreign staff concluded was probably a drug test because you may as well test the dirty foreigners while you’ve got them trapped.

While waiting for my coronavirus test, it was interesting to watch the medical staff go about their business. One of them stayed in the same PPE gear, but helped the person who was doing the actual swabbing to change medical gowns and gloves between every person who was tested.

The coronavirus nose swab went all the way up my nose. I didn’t know it could go that far, even though I did all those anatomy classes. I assumed there would be some sort of narrowing of the opening, the way that you can’t really shove your finger the whole way up your nose because the narrowed opening just won’t let the finger through. I started giggling. The nose swab took a little too long; they really do spend some time swirling about with the swab in there.

The throat swab, however. I gagged and started coughing because they were taking so long to swirl and swirl and swirl and swirllllll in there. It was not fun. I gestured to Lindsay, behind me, that it was not a fun experience.

Next, to the blood test tent. This was unhygienic, as always, just like during the visa physical/health exam at the city’s immigration health test center. The staffer was fumbling about with cotton balls and packages of butterfly syringes, and wearing the same gloves throughout — but we were told it’s okay because they put hand sanitizer on the gloves between tests. I watched her clean off her gloves with hand sanitizer and found myself thinking, Does that not degrade the latex?

Anyway, that was my half-day at work today, which wasn’t that bad at all.

In other news, I am so, so pleased that my meal plan is working! I was 55.4 kg before, and today is Day 55 and I’m now 50.7 kg! I tried on an old trenchcoat that had been getting tight and found that … it now fits me perfectly, just like before! I was so thrilled I started doing those little screams, and I cannot remember having been this happy for a long, long time.

Unfortunately I can’t actually tell anybody because they’ll just accuse me of losing too much. I wasn’t, and I’m not. My body fat percentage was at 29.9%, which is way higher than it should be.

I had a strange moment after arriving back in my neighborhood after the coronavirus test. I suddenly got dizzy, probably from the lack of breakfast and also from the blood test? But it was only a small amount of blood! I knew something was wrong and that I needed to either get home quickly or sit down before I fell over and hit my head on the ground or something like that. It passed after two long, long minutes, but I’m still a bit worried about what that was.

To end this post, I will say that I am the healthiest I have ever been, for a long time. Typically, my resting heart rate was in the 90s. I don’t know why. It has always been like that, and the earliest I can remember was having my heart rate taken at age 12, and I remember wondering why it was so far outside the normal range.

I finally got it down to the 70s when I was waiting tables as a server, always moving around. I’ve been checking it all week, excitedly, and I’m now in the low 70s and high 60s. It’s crazy! This is so good! I am so, so pleased.

Going out

I’m told that it’s no longer illegal to walk around Shanghai without a mask, but everyone still does it anyway. This includes myself. Restaurants are opening up and everyone is getting out more. There have been no local cases for a while now. I guess it’s okay to go out and live a little? I don’t know. I was invited out last week, as soon as my quarantine was over, but I chose not to go. I also genuinely overslept that time – brunch was at 12 and I woke up at something like 1 pm.

I went to brunch at Highline, which was lovely and had buy one get one free on cocktails. I ordered a Paloma.

The elevator buttons were covered like this, for ease of cleaning, I guess? I briefly couldn’t figure out how I should press the buttons, but I finally just used a cloth-covered finger to press 6 for Highline.



I had the shrimp roll and a side order of sweet potato fries. Overpriced but it was a nice break from my usual food at home. I’m staying under 900 kcal per day! I’ve lost 1.7 kg so far which seems like a lot but I’ve not seen any changes in the mirror yet. My clothes still don’t fit right!