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from white2tea
weekly tea: RED RED ROBE
This is the kind of tea that some people would call an abomination, and despite the fact that I sing the tea name (UB40 version; can’t help but being Gen X here), it’s also a name that perfectly conveys to tea lovers exactly what kind of an abomination this tea is.
There’s a tea (a rock oolong) called da hong pao (大紅袍), which means “big red robe,” and the reason behind the name is mostly apocryphal, so I won’t give it out. You can’t actually buy the original da hong pao, because it comes from six mother trees, hundreds of years old, grown in the Wuyi region, which are currently national treasures, and in order to preserve their life span, it’s now illegal to harvest their leaves.
You can still get teas that are called da hong pao, of course, and these are usually harvested from trees that were artificially cultivated to be genetically identical to the mother trees. (There are also much cheaper versions that are basically blends of other teas, and not da hong pao at all.) I am a huge fan of rock oolongs in general and da hong pao specifically: it has the mineral taste of a rock oolong with an extraordinary balance of flavors, and if you ever want to have a good da hong pao, I highly recommend getting some from Old Ways Tea.
But back to this abomination of a tea. I think I may have mentioned this before, but what we call “black” tea in the West is called “red” tea in China. Thus: Red Red Robe implies that this tea is a red tea made with red robe. That is, traditional da hong pao leaves that have been made into black tea instead of oolong.
The result is stupidly good. It’s sweeter than da hong pao usually is, and the soup feels like it has a little more texture, but it has all of the mineral-aromatic-balance that da hong pao normally does. It’s not better, nor is it worse. It’s different and delightful.

the stages of stubbornness
Back in August of 2022, I said that I was setting the intention of Doing a Thing (unnamed) sometime in the next year.
I have (had) been working semi-diligently on getting ready to Do the Thing, and then I broke my big toe. I tried to come up with a plan to still Do the Thing (toes are necessary for the Thing), and I absolutely succeeded. I had so many plans! They would definitely have worked if we lived on Mars where the gravity is ⅓ that of Earth or if time operated differently or if I was a vampire.
But training to do the thing (part of Doing the Thing) wouldn’t have been able to start until the middle of March at the earliest, and would have had to ramp up slowly and gingerly to adapt to the toe.
If the Thing could be done in October of 2023, I would definitely be healed. But the thing cannot be done in October. Alas.
Over the last month, I have gone through all the stages of stubbornness.
  1. Denial. Do we really have to delay the Thing? That can’t be true.
  2. Anger. But I want to do the Thing this year! Who has made it so that I cannot do the Thing? It was me? That bitch.
  3. Rationalization. I know that most people would be intelligent and delay Doing the Thing, and I consider myself to be an intelligent person, but actually, upon further thought, I have decided that delaying Doing the Thing would be counterproductive for these nineteen reasons. Trust me, they’re all good. I will argue each one to the death.
  4. Delight. You see? I am going to do the thing. It will be fine. I have demonstrated it. Here is my schedule.
  5. Avoidance. I do not accept comments on my schedule or my reasons. I also do not accept comments on my lack of comments.
  6. Sense of impending doom. The entire time, I have been aware that this is all impossible, but luckily, I have managed to think everything except the truth and it’s been great. I’m beginning to suspect that it’s not all what it seems, but I'm pretty sure if I avoid actively thinking about it, it'll stay fine.
  7. Bait and switch. I still cannot accept that I cannot do the thing, so I have figured out something else that I can do, and I’m going to do that instead and pretend that was always the plan.
Anyway, I am not going to Do the Thing this July, but I will do a different thing this November. 😂

The heiress effect
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Jane is one of my most delightful, and also, my most annoying heroines. Her entire existence is to annoy people, and she does it on purpose. But she's also endearingly different, and the ways she annoys people is by leaning hard into her differences. 
In other words, she is very much like a cat.
I'm thinking of her today as I wear a fuchsia hoodie, and also because I'm in my office and my cat has woken up from her nap and is ready to destroy anything and everything she can get her hands on.
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Buy The Heiress Effect on:

SPARE by prince Harry
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I'm slowly making my way through Prince Harry's autobiography right now.
I know from personal experience that family disputes can often be complicated, and that recollections differ, sometimes surprisingly so. While recognizing that every word is Harry's truth, I'm trying to remember that every word is maybe not objectively true. It's written from both a place of immense privilege and also from one of immense tragedy, both at the same time, and it shows.
But even with those caveats, this book makes me think that this world has a lot of institutions that need updating, perhaps by dismantling.
Buy Spare on:

SEE YOU next week.
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