WB – Washington, D.C.

Contributor on ‘2020 – A Year’s Worth of Ruminations’


January 31, 2020


On January 31, I was kind of deep in thought about a talk I had gone to the day before put on by Rightcare Alliance DC, a grassroots organization that put on an event that detailed Democratic presidential candidates’ strategies around healthcare reform. After working at a healthcare consulting company for about 5 months now, I’m starting to better understand the different players and stakeholders in the US healthcare system, and I feel like I just had a different perspective from the other people in the room, who were very gung ho about the single payer Medicare for all model, but didn’t quite have great insight into how it would actually be implemented. I asked a few questions that got rather quickly dismissed by the moderator (who, I realized, I’d spoken to about a job opportunity last summer). We can’t ignore the reality of big, rich stakeholders in the game. I think the question is: how do we incentivize them to rework the healthcare system? How can we design reform so that they have some stake in it, too?

My January 31st felt like any Friday, really. Work wasn’t too busy so I got a little early as usual, reveled in the fact that it’s the weekend, and that I got paid today! I still feel pretty lucky that I found a relatively decent-paying job where I get paid to do work that isn’t too difficult. I still wish the work was a bit more interesting but for now, I’m getting a pretty fair deal. After work, I got dinner at this Asian food hall out in Virginia, a hearty-sized portion of braised beef, rice, and some pickled mustard that made me nostalgic for Taiwan. I went with a guy I’ve been seeing for several weeks and enjoyed my time with him. After dinner, we ended up at HMart–a Korean grocery store–but I’m not complaining. Going shopping in an Asian grocery store reminds me of growing up in Vegas and accompanying my mom and family to Chinatown. Plus, they sell stuff that I can’t get in the DC area. It’s both a fuzzy nostalgic feeling and a practically good experience so I can stock up on some good food for the week.

I’m still trying to wean myself off holiday-level eating, but it’s been hard. My roommate AK got me addicted to these Tate’s Bakery cookies and we discussed earlier today how they were “a paradise and a war zone:” they’re so, so delicious, but because of that they are so, so dangerous. I’ve been trying to work out around 3 times a week, but just eating these cookies might as well make it once or twice a week. So: fewer cookies. I also want to maybe start intermittent fasting again–I really did feel a lot more clearheaded and lost some water weight, and it also felt almost nice to follow some kind of discipline or regiment. 

In terms of non diet/food related habits, I do want to start reading more often. None of the books on my bookshelf are really calling me to me right now, but whenever I go to a bookstore, I always tell myself I have books at home. Maybe I’ll start a book and if I’m not into it, I’ll buy another one. There’s an Amazon bookstore (!) across the river in Georgetown, and I feel really conflicted about it. It’s a nice bookshop, but it seems like a really big fuck-you to all the physical bookstores that closed because of Amazon. Anyway, I used to really be into fiction, but recently I’ve been on a non-fiction kick. I still haven’t started that podcast life, mostly because I feel like there are just so many good ones that it’ll be difficult sifting through all of them initially.