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  • Writer's pictureJulia Hass

The Best Things I Bought in 2023

It's been a couple years since I've done one of these. but sue me, I was feeling nostalgic for these annual posts I used to do.

You see, while the last few years have generally been positive if laborious ones, one way they were pretty unequivocal garbage was the collapse of Twitter. For the past 12 or so years, Twitter was my one-stop shop for keeping in touch with all my friends, getting my news, sharing all my silly little jokes, looking at cute animal pictures, and generally recording the passage of time. Now to remember what's happened to me on a day to day basis I've had to start keeping a journal and calendar book, which is frankly embarrassing and old-fashioned. I have to reach out to my friends and repeat news and jokes to them individually instead of sending out the equivalent of a mass text. If things aren't on the nightly news, I'm not sure if they've really happened. I have to track cute animals across multiple platforms now. Unbelievable. We're supposed to have progressed beyond this as a society.

When Elon first bought Twitter, my response to it was what my response to anything from mild inconvenience to profound and life-changing injustice to someone being an outright jerk to my face:

I am, not to brag, a grand wizard when it comes to turtling and avoidance as a coping method. In my defense, I am also someone whose first instinct is to react to things in the loudest, most maximalist way possible, so usually biding my time and waiting for the feeling to pass or for my brain to form a better, simpler way of dealing with a problem besides yelling "I DON'T LIKE WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MY BODY RIGHT NOW" over and over until the thing I don't like stops happening to my body tends to be a good plan. In this case, though, the problem was "this platform is being run by a giant fucking antisemite and you're Jewish" and also "you live in a world where it's inevitable that Israel is going to enact some humanitarian horrors because that's the direction the government has chosen to go, and while ideally that should not effect you as an American Jew who has always been very critical of the Israeli government and people should be capable of criticizing Israel without being antisemitic the way they can with every other country on the planet, let's be real here, how do you think that criticism or even support of Israel is going to go down on a platform run by Elon Musk".

So yeah, turtling didn't work.

While I was locking and archiving my Twitter (may its memory be both a blessing and a horror) and going through all my writing and any traces of my online presence that might compromise my safety, the bright scraps I kept coming back to were my old posts about things I bought and loved. I love those posts. I love writing them. They are me in my purest form, and the incarnation of myself that I am most comfortable inhabiting, which is when I turn into a weird little hoarding rodent that scrabbles out of its den, holds up a weird little object or bit of information to you (the object is usually either blue or yellow or both and fuzzy) and goes "look at this thing! I'm so delighted by this thing!!!!" I've realized as I've gotten older that I feel less and less interested in writing essays about The Serious Issues of Our Times because my opinion becomes less interesting to me the longer I've lived with having it inside my own head. But I will always write about things - objects, books, food, music, whatever - that bring me joy. That, I feel pretty safe in saying, is a thing you can rely on me popping up on this otherwise mostly forsaken blog once or twice a year to do.

(Also, my dad got and then gave me a cold that leaves me feeling mostly fine, except I'm chilly/feverish and have no voice, but I feel well enough to be bored and need to talk at someone, so here you go, 7,000 words I would normally say some version of out loud, but written down. Merry late Christmas to all of you, courtesy of my dad and also viruses.)

The biggest change since I last wrote anything, by far, is that I totally switched career paths. When last you left me, I was a winsome and plucky library assistant pondering grad school, but my librarian era is no more. People who have been around for a long, long time will remember that when I graduated from high school, my original dream was to be a children's illustrator, but I gave up on that fairly quickly. There were a few reasons for this - for one thing, art school was very expensive, and there weren't as many resources available for people who didn't go to art school. Social media circa 2007/2008 was very much in its infancy, and so there weren't things like artists making YouTube channels discussing whether or not you needed an agent and how to charge clients and how much. It was all very opaque and what you were supposed to do, as far as anyone who I could get advice from would tell me, was put together a portfolio and then throw it at the wall like spaghetti by sending it to as many people as humanly possible and hope it stuck to one person or publishing company with money. The entire point of art school was just as much about training you in what to put in that portfolio as it was giving you access to people who would recognize your name in the pile of people cold emailing them and be more likely to choose it. If there were alternative routes, they were never explained to me as a 19 year old with severe anxiety and next to no confidence in my ability, and as that 19 year old, this avenue of supporting myself did not sound like one I could see myself thriving in.

On top of that, the actual producing of art was way more expensive, labor-intensive, and difficult back then. Wacom tablets were just coming out and the process of getting art digitized and cleaned up still involved scanning things, cleaning it, and then painstakingly correcting it pixel by pixel. The only way around spending a lot of money upfront on the newest technology was to make it non-digitally and then hire people to photograph and upload it professionally, which was cheaper but equally daunting because of how I do art. I've always been someone with a very clear vision of how I want something to look, and that vision doesn't necessarily correlate to how real-life mediums actually work. In real life, very few mediums are erasable (a necessity for me) or hold up well to fussing and trying it multiple ways and then comparing (another necessity for me), they require a lot of physical space and storage of materials, and honestly, none of them ever really felt right when I used them. The closest I got to feeling "right" was watercolor, which I struggled with and was definitely not erasable (we'll get to that next). I learned how to draw by doodling with mechanical pencils, and so I wanted everything to work the way a mechanical pencil worked. When I tried painting, I would get frustrated that it didn't work like a pencil did, and suddenly I had to worry about consistency and texture. I used to complain, long before iPads were a thing, that if I could just have a magical pencil connected to my brain, I'd be unstoppable. And when I first looked into being an illustrator, that option existed, but only if you were willing to drop a cool thousand dollars or so. Since art didn't seem feasible, I eventually fixated instead on becoming a children's librarian. It was the next best thing, right? A thing I was good at! I like people, I like finding people things they like, I love picture books, I like public service, and I got to be around children's books and art and helping make craft kits all day, plus it eventually came with a reasonable, regular salary and benefits! Good thing nothing like a major, world-upending pandemic was going to come along that would cause public salaries to freeze at pre-inflation rates while forcing towns to cut positions and hours, and that paired with culture wars and post-pandemic trauma would make what was once a low-key way to serve your community a 24/7 toxic interpersonal war zone where you were regularly being cried and screamed at and unable to do anything about it and also not making a living wage, right? Right?!?!?!?!?

Anyway, by last fall I had flamed out of all three libraries I was once working at pretty hard, and on a whim and for lack of any better direction took a job at a local stationary company. I've been there a year, and it's been pretty great. Not only did I find that I was good at the actual logistics of the job, but I was around art and artists again. I started looking at the cards I was sleeving and thinking "wait, I could do that". I started having ideas. I started showing people my ideas and having people go "have you always had those ideas? Because you realize you can make money off those ideas, right?" All the times over the years I'd had friends offer to pay me for art and I'd turned them down suddenly stopped seeming like "my friends are being nice" and more like "wow I have people who are willing to pay me to make stuff". I suddenly knew things thanks to my job, like how something went from a drawing to a product, how stores chose and bought what they put on their shelves, and what pricing looked like and what profit margins were, and I thought "wait, hold up, can I do this?"

The answer still remains to be seen because learning a new medium and creating an entire body of work takes time. But as someone who's in the process of figuring it out, I can say that it's been almost a year since I got my iPad, and it turns out I was right: if I have a magic pencil, I can indeed create ungodly amounts of art just by drawing on nights and weekends, and also the magic pencil means that the art does, in fact, finally come out the way I always wanted it to. There are now YouTube channels and shared google docs of production companys with resources and artists happy to answer DMs about any question a fellow artist might have from "is this agent a scam or not" to "how did this company that mass-produces post-it notes work for you and what was the quality like?". Brushes have also evolved like crazy. Back when I used to try to make art by cheap Wacom tablet or laptop touchpad, there were tons of brushes you could download in theory, but none of them looked quite realistic. Digital art tended to look very plastic like it never quite had the charming and hand-made quality that existed in non-digital art. I was pretty pleased with my newfound abilities to make art the way it had always existed in my head before I took a chance on the ViviBrushes sets, but the richness and depth these add to art is beyond my wildest imagination. Technology and the march of time is not always cool, but sometimes, it is pretty cool.

I unfortunately decided to get back into art and illustration around the time the whole AI debate and "will human creativity be replaced by computers" question started taking off. And so, with the caveat that once in high school someone told me "the iPod is coming out with more features" and I said disdainfully "what else is it going to do? Take pictures? Be a PHONE?" so like maybe I'm not the person whose technological foresight you should trust - I don't think AI can ever, no matter how good it gets, replace human art. What all art forms have in common is that they do not follow logic and algorithms. Creativity is not something you can code, and most algorithms are set up to create things that look as perfect or optimal as possible. And the thing is, perfection is a thing most people find unsettling even if they can't place why. The human brain wants things to be weird and a little wonky and look like a person made it even when they didn't (see also: the baffling success of Rae Dunn pottery). We, as humans, like the mess of being human and things being perfectly imperfect because that feels normal to our brains. Imperfection and randomness makes us feel good even if we don't realize that that is the thing making us feel good about the object or image in front of us. And so even though you can now for the most part concentrate an entire art studio into a little tablet, there are still some things you have to do by hand. For me, the thing I most have to do by hand and not on my tablet is watercolor details. Watercolor is perhaps the most random and uncontrollable of all mediums, and something about the way it stains or pools in little areas and has these very thin layers of pigment and is always impressionistic and never precise is just not something even the best of brushes can replicate. If you see naturalistic textural work that's not hair or fur in my stuff, like moss or bark or water, that's usually watercolor that I've done by hand and then digitized by photographing it (watercolor scans like shit, don't ask me why). And while I am normally not not one of those artists who thinks you can only make good art with good materials, in the case of watercolors, watercolor inks are so, so much better than any other type of watercolor, and this is I think the only brand that makes watercolor inks.

Most watercolor comes one of two ways: one, pressed powder, which tends to give your paint an unpleasant grainy texture, doesn't mix particularly well, and has less rich and natural colors. Two: in little tubes, which is both very expensive and also very easy to over-use. The pigment in the tube paint is so, so rich and concentrated and it's extremely laborious to water down to the exact amount you want that getting the paint ready is in and of itself an entire art form. And mixing a color - fucking forget it. Microscopic bits of other colors will change the entire thing, and coming back later to match an area you've done before is a pipe dream. You will make that color once, in one tiny spot on your palette, and you will never make it again. It is an ephemeral shooting star. What makes inks so superior is that it's already formulated exactly correctly. The concentration of pigment, the liquidity, how easy it is to only get a tiny bit of it - all of it is correct and done for you. A year ago I would have fought you if you told me I'd learn how to watercolor because I'd only ever used the powder or pigment and failed miserably at it. But last year as I was complaining about the need for watercolor details to my boss, he tossed me a bottle of this stuff and my life was changed forever. It's almost stupid how good these are. Like borderline infuriating. I have all three sets (but not the fourth, which is only neons) and I only supplement those with a Daniel Smith white for pastels or pale colors. They make me look like I actually know what I'm doing when in fact I never, at any point in my life, have ever really known what I am doing.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - mass production is good for a lot of things, but one thing I will be buying from small sellers and at crafts fairs until I die is winter knitwear. It's astoundingly better when it's hand-made. Once I started walking to and from work, I realized I needed mittens. I wanted mittens that were convertible so I could use my phone, since it's dark walking home in the winter and my technique for not dying is to turn on the phone flashlight if I have to cross at a crosswalk. I found some mass sellers who had convertible mittens, but they were all boring. And besides, as a fellow New England Jew who was of course drawn to the Bernie Sanders look, I wanted them really, really bright and multicolored. A lot of my ADHD problems are cured by taking medication, but one thing that I continue to struggle with is leaving things places or losing half of something that's supposed to come in a pair unless it's very brightly colored and distinctive and impossible to ignore. I've had these mittens for an entire year and not once left one of them at work and walked home lopsided or misplaced one of them only to find it stuck under a piece of furniture in July when I no longer need it, which is a new and unheard of record. They are fleece lined and functional and delightful and cost the same as they would if they were made by a big company and yet not quite as delightful. If mittens aren't your thing, this seller also makes slipper socks, which I can vouch are pretty rad as well. But really, if you want the best knit accessories you will ever have, go find some middle-aged woman from north of the Mason-Dixon line on Etsy because let me tell you, those bitches know their business.

One of the biggest quality of life improvements that I've had since starting my new job is that I now work at a place where it's permissible to wear slippers all day. This is a wonderful development for me, someone who thinks all shoes are just Feet Jail. If I had my way, we as Americans would adopt the custom from the Japanese of wearing slippers all the time everywhere. Alas, I am not in charge of society, and if I were, I'd prioritize adopting a robust public transit system from the Japanese over their All Slippers All The Time lifestyle, though be assured that SlipperLife (tm) is still a close second.

My all-time favorite slippers for wearing at my home unequivocally remain L. L. Bean's Wicked Good slippers (L. L. Bean is the reigning champion of coziness always) but when I say these puppies are warm, I mean these are warm. I personally like to keep my living situation at like 65 degrees, which most human beings consider cruel and unusual, and these are perfect for that. But at work, in recognition that my coworkers are not human penguins like me, I not only keep it closer to 70, but I'm running around all day and my feet get sweaty in these things. (And schlepping them back and forth is, admittedly, a pain.) So for my birthday, when my parents gave me a bunch of money and said "have fun, you and your siblings are on your own at actually picking stuff out and we're allocating all our effort to the grandchild", work slippers were my highest priority. These are perfect - like a medium-warm fall fleece jacket for your feet when I was going around in a winter ski parka. That, and they have a lovely delicious squidgy memory foam inside. I am once again nailing getting gifts for me.

With the rest of my birthday money I decided to get two delightful sweatshirts (this one and this one, I have a brand and it's very strong) and on a whim, I splurged on this bento box. I had a kind of cheap one from ages ago where half of it, in classic Julia style, had gone missing, and Snapware containers were fine but kind of bulky and carried more food than I ever managed to eat. It meant that when I packed my lunch, I spent a lot of time trying to decide what exact type of container went with what, and it is exhausting to spend most of your lunch prep time doing this:

If I put the sandwich in this container then the goldfish and apples go in that container, but if I put the apples and goldfish together then the goldfish will be soggy, but-

$30 seemed like a lot for a fancy lunch container, but it was a delightful shade of yellow and my birthday and very highly rated! Worth a shot! And let me tell you - I have seen the light. The portions of the two compartments are perfect. Every time I take it out and see the color I'm so, so happy. It's taken so much hassle out of my nightly routine it's unreal. And since I only have one of them, I have to wash it every night instead of letting it pile up in my room, the You Can't Make A Mess If You Don't Own Enough Things To Mess Up method being one of my personal favorite strategy of working around my particular brand of Brain Worms.

Oak Ash & Thorn Tarot Deck (American re-seller where I got the mini deck from so as not to piss off my credit card company is here, the original British artist's page where you can buy it is here)

This year was the year that YouTube got me into Tarot. When I say that it sounds like I started practicing witchcraft and believing in the magical power of crystals and that's wildly out of character. To be more clear and in character - I put YouTube on in the background at work, the algorithm started recommending me pick a card readings, and I immediately became suspicious of what each reader was saying and if they were just projecting scenarios or actually reading what the cards were, which meant I had to learn so I could debunk them (the most on-brand reason possible). But as I was teaching myself Tarot and learning that as I suspected, 75% of people claiming to be psychics or readers are completely full of shit and telling you what they think in general people should hear regardless of what cards come out of the deck, I learned that Tarot is actually very useful less as a method of fortune-telling and more as a form of guided meditation. Each card represents a concept or archetype, and so when I ask the cards "what's someone thinking" or "what will happen", I'm not doing it to get an actual answer. What I'm getting instead is a randomly selected answer, deciding if that answer feels plausible or not, and then deciding how that makes me feel and if I want to act to make sure that outcome either does or doesn't happen. It isn't any more predictive than picking potential outcomes out of a hat, but applying randomness to big, unknowable questions does turn out to be a great way to work through your thoughts, feelings, and experiences around those big, unknowable and uncontrollable things. Also it turns out that shuffling cards is a really fantastic stimming activity.

Any Tarot deck works as well as any other Tarot deck and there are bazillions of them along with oracle decks (Tarot decks have specific cards that mean specific things in them, oracle decks have whatever cards the creator wants in them), and which is best for you is really a matter of personal taste and aesthetic. My favorite is actually the Fyodor Pavlov deck, which is the main deck I use. The only reason I don't recommend this deck to everyone is because while I love it, Fyodor Pavlov is primarily an erotica artist and so a few of the images aren't for all audiences, and that's on top of all the cards with titties. I personally feel titties are neutral and non-sexual objects on all genders and shirtlessness is a non-issue if you are not bothered by the chafing sensation, but not everyone agrees with me and there are, like, a lot of titties in this deck. Also, I have used this deck so much at this point that all the cards are curved, (probably more of a me and how I shuffle issue than a cardstock issue) and I find the box it comes in a bit unwieldy and large, though it's large because it has a really excellent guidebook that comes with it. For beginners who want a deck they feel more comfortable using with general audiences, the Oak Ash and Thorn is my favorite. The illustrations are charming, detailed, and clearly illustrate what the card is meant to symbolize, the cardstock is excellent, and the storage box is sturdy without being too big. The little cards they've added to explain each card's meaning is pretty lacking, but as with any deck, I would suggest using a bunch of different sources (my go-tos are BiddyTarot, Labyrinthos, and Contemporary Tarot's YouTube channel) to get a bunch of different perspectives and really triangulate what each card means to you. Also, do a lot of practice readings and make an excel spreadsheet to put your keywords and observations for each card in. Making that spreadsheet is really what helped me the most.

I'm an evangelist about very few things in my life, but one thing I'm absolutely feral to anyone who will listen is this: IF YOU HAVE ADHD, STOP INGESTING CAFFEINE. Caffeine is a stimulant, which will make you feel like it is helping your ADHD because most ADHD medications are stimulants. But unlike medications, particularly medications with extended release, it isn't designed to give you a precise amount of stimulants on a regular schedule. What that essentially means is caffeine is putting you on a completely unregulated boom and bust cycle and also messing with your natural sleep schedule. This isn't good for anyone, but it is especially bad for people with ADHD, who are already struggling with things like maintaining consistency and regulation. Stop! Doing this! To yourself! I understand this is a stupidly hard thing to do, as someone who never got the chance to make the classic "I don't need to go to a doctor because I can medicate my ADHD with five Red Bulls" canon event that most neurodivergent people go through only because even if I drink green tea too fast and on an empty stomach my heart starts feeling like it's vibrating in my chest. Like I get it, going to get a cute little drink or bubble tea or whatever really sucks when you can't have caffeine, and people are even weirder and more shame-y about not being able to handle caffeine than they are about food allergies, and people are also extremely weird and shame-y about food allergies. Luckily, there are alternatives! This is a rare decaf coffee that not only does not taste like hot garbage, but actually is delicious. The only reason it isn't going on my "favorite things I bought this year" post is because I started buying it like three years ago. It's an all-timer. There's decaf chai concentrate so you don't have to give up your iced chai lattes, though it has more sugar in it than most ice creams, so do this one in moderation. Celestial Seasonings herbal selection? Straight fire. Their peach tea is an exact duplicate of the peach tea Starbucks used to make, before they switched to using real peach juice that always has a weird aftertaste that's kind of like sweaty armpits for reasons I can't explain. I'm not a fan of loose-leaf teas because they're a pain in the ass to bring back and forth to work, but my dad is and is religious in his love for Adagio, and Mem Teas is the cult classic in Boston that every cutie little cafe you go into is carrying (and their white tea - which has next to no caffeine in it - slaps).

But of all the options I've found, both the cheapest and the one I reach for the most in every season, in every weather, is this Decaf Vanilla Almond. My love affair with almond flavor and scent is long and storied, and this just always hits. The night before I go to work I stick it in a travel cup, fill the travel cup with water, stick it in the fridge, and bam, start the day with a single serving of my platonic ideal of what ice tea should taste like. It's so, so, so good.


I've never been someone who pays particular attention to or cares about people's ages, but then a few weeks ago I turned 35 and had the horrible realization that if someone asked me how old I was and I told them, I was going to sound like a much older and different person than I experience myself as. I don't experience myself as any age, really, but I certainly don't experience myself as 35. Like, what am I, someone who's supposed to know how the ins and outs of mortgages work as though I'm ever going to be able to afford a house? No thank you! I am very small and very silly and all of that is much too much responsibility.

Luckily, my body for the most part agrees and acts like a nebulously 30-ish body (healthy but my back kinda hurts). And while my skin is generally very good, aside from the few patches of psoriasis, the skin around my eyes and cheeks has started to change texture. I'm not sure how to describe the change, except that the whole thing has stopped feeling less solid and more... spongy. It's thinner, the pores are bigger, and it doesn't hold its shape as well. I might have ignored it except the texture change coincided with my makeup starting sliding off my face as I applied it in the morning, which meant adding time to my morning routine (a no-go). So I set about to research, and research suggested retinol. Which is, unfortunately, expensive.

Anyone who has had the misfortune of being around me in the rare instances I am forced to reckon with the fact that I have a physical form and it can be perceived by others knows that my feeling on anything beauty-related is one of deep ambivalence. I'm down to try most anything once, but in order to continue doing it I want it to either be very cheap and require no effort or I want it to be an elaborate quiet time ritual I know doesn't do anything of significance but I engage in maybe once or twice a year to treat myself. What I do not want, under any circumstances, is to be reminded that if I was willing to spend time and money and effort, I could be hot. Knowing I could be hot is a real roadblock to my "avoiding the toxic culture around bodies and appearance by pointed obliviousness and treating myself as if I am a brain in a weird fleshy jar" lifestyle. So imagine my shock and horror when I went, bought the best rated cheap retinol cream I could find, and learned that it made my skin look great. I'm sure it would go even harder if I was willing to spend even more money, but I'm not. I put this stuff on once a day after I take off my makeup and my skin's texture has improved drastically. It didn't fix the original problem with my makeup (what is that? Is there a technical term I can google? It just kinda, like, pills off like dead skin. Someone please explain this to me), but it makes my skin look oh so dewy and plump and less spongy, it doubles as a moisturizer for daily use, and now I only moisturize and use retinol when I get out of the shower, which technically... saves money? I guess? I don't know, the point is that it rules but it also costs money and I have a body and I'm mad about all of those things.

As we've established, I'm not the type of person that was ever going to hop on the jade roller/gua sha/whatever trend and I cannot attest to how well this or anything else works for getting "puffiness" out of your face or "draining toxins" or whatever. All I know is that this spring I got my first ever migraine. I've always gotten headaches, and there's technically no scientific differentiation between a migraine and a headache (a migraine is just a really big headache), but this one was A Migraine, complete with a dissociation from reality and the space-time continuum and a killer hangover that put me out of work for a week. During that recovery time as I was wading through intense brain fog, I realized how my chronic headaches that I've had since ever since I was eight and started needing to wear glasses usually boil down to one of two things: either my sinuses are getting wrecked by barometric pressure, or my head hurts because I've been clenching some muscle in my face super hard because of stress/tiredness/tension/whatever. I've never found a solution for the barometric pressure one (and RIP to me during this, the season of Nor'easters) but when I was telling a friend about my face clenching headaches she went "oh, I used to get those super bad, have you tried an ice roller?" which was genuinely the most genius thing anyone has ever suggested to me, 10000/10 advice, this also doubles as a great cooling device when you get home from work in the summer or on those sticky nights where nothing is lowering your core body temperature. I got this one because it was on Amazon, a fun shade of yellow, and inexpensive, but it does make an annoying squeaky noise when it rolls. I don't think there's any particular difference between this or any other brand. Just consider this me passing onto you what my friend passed onto me: if you are clenching your face and that makes your brain hurt, these things rule.

My winter wardrobe is fun and flattering and a delight. My summer wardrobe is... not. My ideal summer clothing is a 100% jersey cotton sack with a cotton bra and cotton boxers under it and nothing else. Things touching my body should have either elasticized bands or drawstrings and nothing else holding them upright but that and the grace of God. Because I'm usually wearing one, maybe two pieces of visible clothing and usually those are a bright, solid color, it means my outfits get pretty repetitive and boring. In brainstorming ways to fix that without making myself hotter, I came up with two solutions: big earrings and watches. I didn't intend to use the watch, more have it as a fun little accessory. So I bought a Swatch watch and I... loved it. It turns out that watches are actually extremely useful because they're like, a phone without apps? Or like a clock? But it's on your wrist???? Also I think they look nice. The vibe of me and watches was very much "I started this thing as a joke but bro I don't think it's a joke any more". I now hate going to work without my watch, even though it doesn't really do anything because I will always check my watch, the clock, and my watch again. I don't know. Something about the ritual of it being part of my work uniform soothes me.

I'm personally a fan of pretty small watches on me (a maximum of 25 mm face in diameter) and my favorite watch is not a Swatch, but an old Timex my mom found shoved away in one of her drawers, but I don't know how to link that one for obvious reasons (though it's probably just an older version of this, with a brown braided strap). The Timex is my everyday watch that I use kind of the same way you have that one pair of sneakers you put on with every outfit on the days you don't want to have to think about what shoes you're putting on with your outfit. My issue with all watches is that the face of them scratches extremely easily, as someone who uses their hands and wrists a lot for work, and this one is no exception. I aesthetically prefer the Swatch watches (I own the Pickmika and Ora D'Aria), which are like... if the Timex was my everyday sneakers, these are the fun boots. My only - and I mean only - complaint about them is that the silicone bands are gorgeous but don't breathe for shit, which in the summer makes my wrists all sticky and sweaty and puffy. Finding nice and cute little watches that aren't a million dollars is hard, and Swatch is really the undisputed champion when it comes to getting stuff that isn't overly basic or overly expensive.

Am I biased because this is the company I work at? Yes. Am I wrong? No. Come on. Look at that little picture of what is clearly me at my desk doing my work! I'm just a little guy! Because I'm in the process of trying to find my own apartment (the progress report so far: woof) and so my address is a nebulous thing in the long term, I instead got these with my email and phone number on them to stick inside my notebooks or other objects I tend to lose (I have a lot of those). They are absolute delights. If you order them or anything else from my work and I recognize your name, I promise that as long as I am at this company and my job is mailing stuff out, I will free of charge blow your package special little kiss.

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