Dara: Before we get started, I just want to forgive you all for the low-quality pictures in this post. We were a little to focused on eating bugs to think about getting the DSLR out. And the sensory deprivation thing was a pitch black experience so not much to photograph there!
TJ: When you just say those two things in a row like that, it sounds like I had such a bizarre birthday weekend – but amazing choices by Dara. Both things we had talked about doing and had never done. The theme for this bday was basically things TJ has talked about wanting to do.
Dara: I mean, objectively speaking your birthday was doing two things that most people have never done nor would ever consider doing.
TJ: Which sucks because they were so cool! The sensory depravation/”floating” was incredibly relaxing and bugs actually do taste good when made well.
I’m less inclined to agree with that second point but yes they were both really fun, and I feel like I deserve a pat on the pack for picking such very, very TJ gifts. And that doesn’t even include the whole bringing you to meet Chris Nolan and Denis Villeneuve thing.
Oh god yea that was amazing too. But a work event so not technically fit for this blog. And either way, that definitely puts this in the top 3 of my best birthdays ever.
But now I gave myself a really high standard which I may regret next year. But anyway! Let’s talk about those two activities. Floating first?
Yea so this day in age, going in sensory deprivation tanks is a chic activity called “flotation therapy” or “floating” for short. You basically go to a spa-type place where you each get an individual room that has a bench and a shower and a floating tank. The tank’s like the size of a small, shallow jacuzzi and as tall as you.
When you get in the are lights on and there’s soothing music playing and once you’re ready, you press a button so both slowly fade away.
For those of you who don’t even know the basics – sensory deprivation is exactly what it sounds like: being in a space where you have no sensory stimuli. You’re in extremely salty water that allows you to float and is made to be the same temperature as the air so you can’t even feel it. And the room you’re in is also pitch black and sound-proof so you can’t see or hear anything. As long as you keep the salty water out of your mouth, there is also nothing to taste obviously.
So the hour-long experience is just you being alone with your thoughts. It’s amazing. I left feeling really focused and energized. And once you get out they have a calm area where you can just like color in adult coloring books and drink tea before you leave.
Yea it was very new age therapy. It took me like 20 minutes to get myself to stop playing around in the water and just sit there and clear my mind. Once I did that though it was deeply relaxing. It felt like a cleansing or a reset.
So true. Highly recommend. We went to Just Float in Pasadena. It really does energize and revitalize you. I felt incredibly, deeply relaxed afterwards. It’s the perfect solution to a stressful week at work.
And then for birthday weekend surprise #2 – I organized a bug and beer tasting at our house because ever since I told TJ that I was good friends with Bugible and Eat Bug Events founder, Aly Moore, he’s been obsessed with wanting to try it. Aly has done a bunch of cool bug events that we haven’t been able to make it to so I reached out to her to set up an in-home bug event just for us and some friends.
It was a really fun surprise! Aly walked us through six beers with six different bug counterparts, and we got to taste them and also learn about entomophagy as a whole and the burgeoning bug-eating industry. I know it sounds gross, but more and more people are giving it a chance.
Bugs are high in protein and great for the environment – they’re much more efficient than other animals at turning what they eat, into what we eat. Plus, they could solve world hunger. The UN just recently put out a report saying that bugs could be an important aid to feeding the overpopulated world. Anyway, I think I liked the seasoned crickets the most. The mealworms less-so since they tasted like Cheez Its. (For those of you who don’t already know: I don’t really eat cheese. No, I’m not allergic. I just don’t like it. And this has been true since I was very very little.)
My favorite bug of the night was the mealworms. They’re a perfect crunch to throw into a chex mix, and Aly left us which a bunch more that I’ve been snacking on ever since. Only time will tell if I will end up buying them for myself though!
Overall, a fun night and great birthday weekend. I’m excited to see what’s in store for me next year…