Things I Love: March 2014
Do you wonder, like me, where the first quarter of 2014 went? To distract us both, I present a list of a few of the things keeping me happy so far this year:
I’ve enjoyed matcha for years, but this month I’ve craved it more. Maybe the dregs of gloomy winter have called for its intense green vibrancy, the feeling of drinking nature and springtime, the hunger for actual leaves.
Yes, I said leaves:
Matcha is powdered green tea, which means you drink the finely ground leaf. (Hey! Fiber.)
And the ritual of making matcha—scooping the kelly-green powder, shaking it through hot water with a special whisk—offers the comfort of process and evokes the beauty of the Japanese tea ceremony.
What wouldn’t someone like about that?
Slow to the video-chat party, me. Until recently, nothing sounded worse than a video call. Would I need to worry about my appearance? How would I pace while talking, which I tend to do on calls?
I have a very close friend—someone I have known since freshman year of high school—whom I rarely see. He lives in Connecticut. We chat on the phone occasionally and e-mail and text.
Why we decided to use Skype the first time, I don’t remember. What I do remember: The comfort of seeing him in motion, the feeling that the call didn’t differ too much from sitting across a table at a coffee shop. I felt more satisfied—content, connected, even happy—after talking with him via Skype than I did after our phone-only chats.
Not long after, a business contact in New York City suggested we connect over Skype—and I had the same feeling. The difference between an in-person meeting and sitting together over beverages through the magic of Skype seemed far more minor than I would have expected. And what advantages, to interact via two senses—visually as well as aurally—over just one.
Unlocked: A whole new set of business possibilities, especially with Skype’s ability for screen-sharing and group video conferences.
Levenger Lap Desk
Lap desks had a brief period of vogue when I was in elementary school. All my friends and I had them; we decorated the tops with paint pens in multiple colors. My grandmother used one to write letters in front of the television while she watched basketball.
So when I decided I wanted to get a lap desk in graduate school, I felt almost retro. But, goshdarnit, how else to easily read heavy tomes away from a desk?
Decades later, I still use my Levenger lap desk and, though I’ve managed to beat it up a bit, the wear and tear hasn’t changed its utility. Though I have an office cubby at home, lengthy work periods compel me to change scenery—to the couch, say, or the porch, or to a fireplace-adjacent blanket or bean-bag chair.
Using my laptop in my lap without a buffer requires me to sit just so. Over time, sitting just so becomes uncomfortable—and the edges of the laptop dig into my flesh. My Levenger lap desk has a nice, detachable, cleanable velveteen cushion that saves my legs and the desk is wide enough to allow me to sit—or lean—however I like.
What do you love this month?