Korean sheet masks in the bardo

I am the proud owner of 2 (two) occlusal cavities! Not the aforementioned 5 (FIVE). They didn’t even require any numbing or anesthetic so, um, believe in yourself (when it comes to your dental hygiene practices) and follow your dreams (with regard to flossing) and never give up (when it comes to finding a dentist who will tell you what you want to hear about your cavities, or lack thereof). I am also told the cavities were the result of groove-y (as in lots of grooves) teeth and, I must admit, I have been so focused on brushing the gum/tooth juncture, I have definitely been neglecting my teeth’s groovy (as in totally rad at gnashing shit) surfaces. Freed from the fears of my aging teeth haphazardly rotting away in my quarter century-year-old, practically-a-fossil skull, I am back to my treasured warm acidic water morning drinks and oil pulls. All is well in my mouth. On to the reviews.

Last week, I finished our book club’s March book: Lincoln in the Bardo. You can google all the facts about this book and get them from sources better than me so I will suffice to tell you this is a fairly recently written book (this decade, I think), and has done well for itself (awards or lists or good reviews… something). It is also SUPER weird. The concept of the bardo is another for you to google, but it’s basically the buddhist idea of a purgatorial realm in which beings (spirits? souls? google.) exist in between their death in their former life and their birth in the next. And then also Abe Lincoln is there… not in the bardo but visible to beings in the bardo because his young son dies and opts for an unnaturally long stay in the bardo so as to see his dad, and Abe does come and visit his son in the cemetery often. Also, a majority of the book is written as quotes from both real and fictional sources. This takes (more than) a moment to adjust to, and there are definitely reasons that books are not written this way, but it creates a certain community perspective which I think ultimately lends itself to some of the themes revealed at the end of the book. And I did really like the themes revealed at the end of the book. As well as most of the book itself, after I got over the undeniable weirdness of a book about one of America’s presidents’ sons being trapped in a Buddhist purgatory state as told from the perspective of about 50 factual and fictional ghost sources (happened about about 1/5 in).

  • Is this book weird? Yes
  • Is it 100% historically accurate? Not at all.
  • Is it 100% fresh, imaginative fiction? No.
  • Is it experimental? Yes!
  • Should I check it out if I don’t have a lot of time for leisure reading and I’m just looking for an engaging, not super-heavy read that makes sense and doesn’t leave me in an existential crisis? No.
  • Is it comfortable to read? As in, am I safe in assuming there are no overly grotesque images depicted in the book? No.
  • Is it interesting if you’re an avid reader willing to try any type of book once especially, (in the least pretentious way), if the material has been vetted by some sort of ethos-bearing critic? Yes.

I’m thinking 4/5 stars, do recommend. Get ur booties in the bardo, guys!

The other thing I am very excited about is Korean sheet masks! Everyone who lives super-rock knows Korean people have beautiful skin and that Korean beauty is the French beauty of our lifetime. It is clean, natural, and the packaging is VERY cute (important…). With us poor, beach-going, french fry-consuming Americans throwing our money at them in a (sad) attempt to attain their poreless, alabaster skin, there is plenty of money for R&D. This, plus the ubiquitous understanding that all-natural ingredient lists are a crucial tenet of K-beauty culture, means what some of you smarties may have already guessed at or known, but that my Korea-obsessed receptionist had to tell me: a beautifully competitive, truly free, clean-beauty market (as in no brand loyalty)! It’s like my birthday + Christmas + …….. 4th of July! :):) 😉 ;D

This began when that same Korea-obsessed receptionist brought me two delightful treats from mother Asia after finding out I too am very interested in Asian culture (I am interested in pretty much anything, but don’t tell her). One was some cans of fruit juice. I know, big whoop, but Asian fruit juice tastes literally like you’re eating a liquid version of the fruit. American juice is HF, sugared-up nonsense. It’s so easy to just juice a fruit, it’s pretty hilarious that one of the most developed countries in the world is instead opting to produce this synthesized chemical-intensive, super unhealthy “juice product.” I’m sure it’s a money thing but it’s funny. Sometimes human brains are a handicap. But Asian fruit juice actually tastes like the fruit it is supposedly the juice of. And you know what? I read the ingredient list and it was only the fruit, so… I’m not a scientist but I’m thinking I have no choice but to deduce… it was the juice of the fruit it claimed to be the juice of! What a concept, and boy was it あまい! OKAY I’M ANNOYING SO

The second item was a rose sheet mask from Mamonde. While I am far from being a face mask connoisseur, I do consider myself an entry-level face mask connoisseur ever since Nordstrom messed up my free 50-piece Christmas gift set with online order two years ago TWICE and so sent me THREE 50-piece Christmas gift sets to make up for it, which included about 50 perfume/cologne samples, 30 skin creams, and 20 face masks (and 50 other things idk). Btw, if you’re reading this Nordstrom, that was awesome, please do it again. In these past two years I’ve tried a bunch of different masks with results ranging from disastrous (tea tree oil and witch hazel) to pretty good (Mario Badescu cucumber mask), and I use them frequently enough that Hank is fully conditioned to not have an adverse reaction when I enter a room with one on. However, this sheet mask was easily the most dramatic result I have noticed. As in, it was supposed to be moisturizing and smoothing and in the morning my skin was so so so soft and not oily at all because all the products are natural and I think water-based so the excess just kind of evaporated off I think as opposed to just forming a “protective” oil layer or however tf estee lauder tries to spin that ish. AND the sheet mask was a whole new look and really alarmed Hank! Win win.

I bought a variety pack of 20 Mamonde sheet masks from a Korean person (couldn’t read the name but guessing would have been a lady? But couldn’t say for sure) on Amazon and 5 weeks later they came in their awesome packaging with an additional layer of awesome Korean shipping packaging. They aren’t expensive but they ship slow so I’m probably gonna use one a weekish. And while I love how irrefutable the effects of the moisturizing one were, my main skincare concern is more of pore minimization/if possible turning my skin into a sort of poreless, perfectly smooth, new kind of organ that doesn’t need to be breathable, so the perfect 5/5 stars must wait until I’ve further examined the variety pack for the mask which most closely promises to do this (with the aid of google translate) and tested for results.

Happy burrito day! I hope you enjoy a burrito, book, and K-beauty-inspired routine of choice this fine Friday evening.