A few updates and a few stories.
I hope you’re all doing well today, as well as have some plans for the long weekend which apparently became a thing a few years ago! Don’t ask, just enjoy the Monday off for those who have it!
This post will just be a chill post with a few updates and some recent stories just to start your long weekend. If you all have some stories of your own please feel free to share!
1. Boomer-ing Substack
Earlier this week I made two posts on vaccinology- Part I was a general vaccine overview while Part II looked more closely into vaccine failures. Both were intended to correct and supplement last Friday’s post on imperfect vaccination which confused a few people (which is mostly my fault for not properly defining terms). Unfortunately, I still don’t quite understand how Substack works and it led a lot of people to have missed those posts.
Here’s what happened: on Substack you can make different Sections that get added to your home page. Right now I have two additional sections named “The Anthology Series Archive” and “Mini Lessons”.
When you create these sections there’s a little box with a comment about whether people on the email list should be automatically subscribed to those Sections. I was confused about that part, and decided to unclick that box since I thought that would lead to many people unsubscribing due to spam notifications.
Well, apparently that box meant that any publication I post under a different Section than the “Home” section would not send an email out to most of my readers, which is apparently what’s been happening with my “Mini Lessons” Section.
I can’t remedy that on my end without having to remove the Sections in full and making sure that box is clicked when I recreate it. As a heads up, if you still got a notification, it’s likely because you subscribed after the Section was created.
So moving forward I will post everything under the “Home” Section and then shuffle it into the proper section after publication. Updating the post in that manner hopefully shouldn’t lead to you all receiving another email for the update, but please let me know if it does cause that to happen.
So if anyone was wondering what the initial portion of Wednesday’s post was about, this is what I was referring to.
So apologies for this hassle! I’ll hopefully figure it out soon! But in the meantime please check out those Vaccinology posts (linked below):
2. Alternative Support Option
I know how tight money is getting for many of us. Gas is ridiculously expensive and the cost of groceries seems to be double what it was a few years ago. So many people living off of a tight budget means that you have to trim the fat where necessary, and so it’s likely Substack subscriptions are going to be hit.
I know that personally: I’ve received a few messages from people that inflation and high cost meant that they had to stop becoming a paid supporter to my Substack, and I definitely understand that.
Now, I’m not sure what the future holds for this Substack, but I’d certainly like to hold out as much as possible, and it’s been through community support that I continue to do so.
So I wanted to find other support options that may be more accessible to people with ever tightening budgets.
I’ve seen that several other Substack publishers such as Stephanie Brail over at Wholistic and Brain Mowrey of Unglossed (please check them out if you have not already done so!) have turned to the website Ko-fi as a funding option outside of Substack.
Ko-fi is one of those “Buy me a coffee!” websites where you can support content creators or projects through tipping.
For my Ko-fi you can tip in multiples of $2 or become a “member” for $2 a month. There are no perks to becoming a ko-fi “member” as of now as I would like to keep the main focus on this Substack. Unlike Substack which takes 10% all of the money raised on ko-fi go directly to the content creator.
I understand that money is extremely tight so hopefully this is a less stressful, less intrusive way of supporting my work without having to dig deep into your wallets. Consider it a way of funding articles that you enjoy by tipping good articles, or use it as a way to throw some spare change my way every now and then.
Any bit of support helps! I’ve mentioned this often, but it takes a lot of time and effort to write the articles that I do, and unfortunately I am well-aware that many of us smaller Substack publishers are the first ones on the chopping block when money begins to get tight.
So if not me, please consider other smaller content creators and publishers who may need some support as well. There are many other creators out there putting out great work, so please consider many of those creators during these trying times!
I will continue to release several paid-member’s articles on this Substack, but if it works out financial-wise I’d prefer to keep everything open some time in the future.
Once again, I greatly appreciate all of the support that you all have shown me these past 9 months! These months have been so strange and endearing, but I appreciate that there are many like-minded people out there willing to engage in open dialogue and discourse.
So if you would like to support my work through Ko-fi please click on the image below. If not, please consider subscribing and sharing my posts, as well as the work of other smaller content creators who would love your support as well!
But with that, let’s get to a few stories!
3. I Dream of Molnupiravir
Last Friday I decided to indulge myself a bit and enjoy a nighttime alcoholic beverage- a White Claw; mango flavored if I remember.
Now, I usually don’t drink anything alcoholic, and so my liver hasn’t learned to be abused through wining and dining. Apparently I couldn’t even withstand a hard seltzer.
I began to feel very drowsy and passed out on my couch. Instead of dreaming of magical unicorns or whatever one normally dreams of, I began to have more of a nightmare I suppose.
Apparently, I came down with COVID in my dream. I actually only had a cough in this dream, but apparently my dream-self decided to panic and scramble to find a magic pill. One to relieve me of my COVID (cough).
And so I rush to the dining room where my saving grace awaited me. There it was, packaged in a plastic container, individually segregated was my savior: Molnupiravir.
I really don’t have any idea how I got it, and I also apparently didn’t realize it was Molnupiravir until I noticed some random banner that hung above the room spelling out “Molnupiravir” in big, bold letters.
But I couldn’t wait any longer- I had to rush to open the package and save myself from the misery that was my mild cough!
And so I popped the back of a few pills and rushed to shove them in my mouth. Even in this dream I got the dosage right, as I believe I crammed 4 pills down my gullet.
And then the dream ended. I don’t quite know what it means when Big Pharma decides to visit me in my dream, or that the pills were the correct color (red) and the right dosage (4 pills). Maybe it’s a sign that I’m too deep into the weeds with this COVID stuff, or maybe that we tend to act irrationally in a state of panic.
Or maybe the real thing to learn here is to not drink and dream, lest you want Big Pharma to subliminally shove pills down your throat.
4. No Sriracha for you!
There’s been recent news that the national supply shortage is hitting the spicy condiment department, of all things.
The spicy sauce in low supply is named sriracha sauce, and similar to Frank’s Red hot sauce in the west many Asians put this shit on everything! It’s actually one of the reasons why I’ve grown to somewhat dislike it.
For anyone who hasn’t had it, it’s a slightly thick, spicy and tangy sauce that is usually used as a condiment for dishes such as Vietnamese pho. It’s used quite ubiquitously in various Southeast Asian dishes. You’ll notice it because of the rooster logo on the front which comes from the most popular brand of sriracha (Huy Fong Foods, Inc.).
But anyways, the sriracha shortage is being blamed on climate change. Inhospitable weather has supposedly made this a bad year for the peppers, and thus the quality was not good enough to use in products, leading to this sudden shortage.
So like with all good Asians in a panic my family scrambled to buy as much of the sriracha sauce out there as possible.
Most stores have been emptied, but the one nearby my house still had plenty. They were selling for $4.50 a bottle. I remember when they used to be around $3…
The sign also said that there was a limit to 3, so I grab my 3 bottles of sriracha and went around buying other sauces such as soy sauce and fish sauce as well. You know how it goes: if one thing is going out of stock everything else is as well.
Don’t ask, just buy and hoard.
It was through soy sauce rummaging that I noticed that the chili garlic sauce also had a sign of “limit 3 per customer”.
The chili garlic sauce comes from the same peppers as the sriracha sauce, and so it made sense that the shortage would hit them too.
So I decided to grab a bottle ($4.50 as well…) and eventually made my way to the cash register.
Of course, nosy me asked the cashier if the chili garlic sauce was included in the “limit 3” issue, which led to a discussion between my cashier and the other cashiers as to whether I have surpassed the condiment limit. Keep in mind that at this point I had 4 of these limited sauces, so I wanted to be a good little customer and inquire about the limit, which just lead the cashiers to ask each other and hold up the line.
Well, I’m glad I did, because I was told that the additional chili garlic sauce was included, and that if I went over the limit I would have to pay double for the 4th bottle!
What the hell, I don’t even like this stuff that much! And there’s no way I’m paying 9 bucks for a bottle just because my Asian, hoarding proclivities demand I do so!
I ended up asking the cashier to remove one sriracha sauce, but after noticing that the two bottles were different she decided that they were technically not the same. A spicy sauce packaging loophole, perhaps? To be quite honest both taste the same to me, except sriracha tends to be more smooth in texture.
With this revelation I end up deciding to buy the 3rd bottle of sriracha along with the chili garlic sauce (almost out $20 on these sauces alone. My Asian ancestors would be proud…).
So I eventually leave with my array of sauces in hand, with a few ripping through the bags (hint: look at the top of the sriracha bottles).
I placed them into the trunk of my car and drove off. Unfortunately, I hadn’t taken into account the empty space in my trunk, and so my bottles of fish sauce and soy sauce rolled endlessly back and forth across the deserted landscape that was the back of my car.
All I could think of was the tiny jar of gochujang1, and if a fish bottle may eventually collide and shatter into a horrendous, fishy mess of sauciness. It was probably the only thing worth hoarding- my poor little jar of gochujang!
Anyways, that’s my story of how a condiment shortage scare led me to spending over $70 bucks on seasonings…
So there’s just a few little stories and updates for you all. I hope you all have a great weekend, and let us know of anything happening that you thought was interesting or weird. Also, let me know if my storytelling needs some work!
And once again, please consider becoming a member and supporting this Substack either through paid membership here or donating to my new Ko-fi.
gochujang is a Korean condiment that’s thick, salty, earthy and spicy and made with red chili peppers. It’s used in all sorts of Korean dishes, but I usually use it in a dish called tteokbokki which is a spicy dish made with Korean rice cakes and other additions such as hard-boiled eggs, fish cakes, and veggies. Usually gochujang comes in a plastic container with a flip-top lid, but I ended up buying it in a jar since it was cheaper than the ones in the plastic container. Luckily it didn’t lead to the calamity I was fearful of.