Friday 5: She’s going the distance; she’s going for speed

Haven’t done this for a while. From here.

  1. What’s your favorite cake?
    I’m not a huge cake guy. I prefer pie. But if there’s a good cake around and I’m craving something sweet, I’ll partake. The best cake I ever had was at someone’s birthday party at Ice Palace when I was in high school. It was amazing. Just a regular white cake with white icing, but from a high-end bakery that I don’t think exists anymore. I remember thinking, “Wow. I need to re-think my concept of cake.” However, since that’s not available the best cake I can think of is the chocolate cake with chantilly frosting at Liliha Bakery, although the same cake at Zippy’s is just about as good.
  2. When did you last have pancakes?
    Last month or the month before, I picked up a Denver omelette at Pancakes and Waffles on my way back from the beach, with a short stack. The pancakes are quite good there.
  3. When did you last bake a cake or a cake-like thing?
    Oh, I made a mug cake a few weeks ago! In the microwave. It was really good. I think I’ll make another sometimes this long weekend.
  4. What part of your job is a piece of cake?
    General copy-editing is pretty easy for me. I have a knack for making other people’s writing readable. If the source material isn’t terrible, I don’t usually have to focus much — I can listen to music and even converse with others while I do it.
  5. Where have you had a really good cupcake?
    There are some good cupcake shops on this island, but my favorite were from a food truck called The Girls Who Bake Next Door. They have a store now, and have retired the truck. It’s kind of near my house actually. I should drop in.

EDIT: Darn it, I forgot the bonus question.

Bonus question: What are your thoughts on icing?
Mostly I prefer a cupcake without it, and a regular cake with very little. I had a couple of students who would often bring cupcakes (or better: mini cupcakes!) to school, and they would save a couple with no frosting for me. “Don’t touch that one!” they would say to their classmates. “That’s for Mr. D!”

Also, I was reading another Friday 5 respondent’s answers, and she reminded me that strawberry cake is a thing. I’ve had some great strawberry cakes made with strawberry soda. That might actually be my favorite.

Lockdown: It catches up

When we were in college, when all-nighters — the social kind and the academic kind — were common, V and I used to talk about how you’re always pretty fine the first day. It’s the second day where it catches up to you.

I felt that Wednesday. After all-nighters Sunday and Monday, I was slow and fuzzy but pretty functional Tuesday. Wednesday I was a mess. Got through my 10:30 weekly check-in with my supervisor pretty well. Worked on emails and even reviewed my notes for one of the stories that’s been sitting on a back burner for two months.

Then I was toast. Without going into details that might be incriminating, I mde it to my usual lunch break and was wiped for the rest of the day. Luckly it was a slow day — I think I got fewer emails Wednesday than in any single workday since the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. And most of them had little to do with me directly, therefore needing no response.

So, not much to say about work except that I did very little. There was a late (5:30) email asking for one more small revision on one of the big proposals from last week, but it was a quick fix and I turned it around in just a few minutes.

Spam spam spam spam spam spam bacon and spam

I won’t say breakfast was great, but it was good. And satisfying. I still have a bunch of that broccoli-kale-chicken rice, so I did fry some Spam and a couple of eggs and ate them with that. I think it was my first time trying the Portuguese sausage Spam variety, and it was quite good. Almost as good as Tulip, if not better. Tulip is superior to regular Spam, by the way. I don’t understand why it never caught on here.

Lunch, which I didn’t have until about 9:00, was a bowl of raisin bran. I was in a hurry to get to bed and not very hungry, but I new I needed something in me. Read the news and did the crossword while I ate.

Then it was to bed for a few hours before heading to the laundry, where I am now, having dinner. Big Mac combo. And, um, an apple pie. I was ravenous when I got in here and pretty much scarfed the fries right away.

Taken out of context

The writing partner texted me a reply to something I asked about the stories she submitted to a couple of major publications. Sylvia texted me a photo of the pizzas she made with the flour and yeast I passed along. They look great! She offered to make me one as thanks. Haha. I said no, I was pleased just that she got some use out of the ingredients I was happy to share.

Sharon and I talked about some work stuff.

Crush Girl and I texted about some mundane stuff. It was fine.

If you build it, they won’t come

I can’t remember if I said this, but I’m going to be surprised if any of the major professional sports leagues besides the NBA actually gets to play real games this year. Ditto college athletics. There is simply no reponsible way to pull this off, with so many uncertainties and the news changing every day. I freaking love sports, and I’ve continued to consume sports commentary through the lockdown despite there being no sports. Yet I say with utter sincerity that I hope nobody gets on the field until next year. I think even the NBA is going to shut back down once it launches.

I do not want people dying for my amusement. Which is a bizarre thing for an NFL fan to say, since people have already died for my amusement, but this goes beyond calculated risk. This is reckless.

Kimes and Torre: They Mina business

Since there’s no actual sports to talk about, a popular topic lately has been people who talk about sports. Mina Kimes, a Korean American award-winning investigative business reporter (and Yale grad), has been a rising ESPN star for a few years. Last fall she added the ESPN Daily podcast to her work (her weekly NFL podcast is one of my favorites to listen to as I fall asleep at night). This week ESPN announced she’s going to be one of the analysts on NFL Live. I think some people would consider it a step down, but she’s such a football nerd that she’s realizing a dream here.

She’s not just going to be a female analyst on a daily TV show about football. She’s going to be an analyst, alongside some insightful if not exactly intellectual ex-NFL stars like Keyshawn Johnson and Dan Orlovsky. That she’s an Asian woman doing this means something.

ESPN announced at the same time that it gave Pablo Torre a new contract, making him an even wealthier Filipino American (Harvard grad) journalist and the new host of the ESPN Daily podcast. I am still disappointed to lose Mina’s daily excellence, but my disappointment is assuaged by Pablo’s taking her spot. He’s substituted for her at least once this year and he was great. He’s going to be greater as the regular host.

Seriously, I’d probably have unsubscribed to the podcast if any other likely candidate were named the new host. I might have stuck around for Sarah Spain (Cornell grad) or Randy Scott (Northwestern grad), but it would probably have been on a lets-try-and-see basis.

Howard Cosell (NYU grad, English and law) used to talk (incessantly, really) about what he called the sports broadcasting “jockocracy,” and since he was a lawyer he was sort of in a position to talk about it. I was ambivalent about Cosell as a broadcaster, but sports talk today isn’t what it used to be, and I think he might have done okay in today’s sports talk landscape. I mention him now because this new breed of commenters is a huge encouragement to me. I want to hear smart people with journalism and composition backgrounds talk about sports as much as I want to hear ex-jocks talk about sports. More, actually. By far.

It makes nothing but sense for media platforms to hire people from within the professional sports world to talk about and write about sports. The problem with that is the existing professional sports world is glaringly absent Asians. Not being part of the landscape in sports itself makes it harder for Asians to be part of the landscape in sports talk and sportswriting. So smart, talented people can be unintentionally iced out of the entire profession just because they’ve never been in it.

I can’t even think of who Mina and Pablo might have seen as their role models growing up, if they ever thought about being sports talk TV hosts. Who was there to let them think they might have a shot? There were a few ex-jocks with mixed Asian heritage who found their way into big local markets, like Ron Darling (his mom is Hawaiian-Chinese, and he was born in Hawaii) broadcasting for the Mets, but that’s not the same thing. What Mina and Pablo are doing is enormous.

Remind me tomorrow to say something about Al Sharpton.

And hit me up if you’re looking for some lockdown connection. Reach out here and I’ll be happy to connect via text, DM, or IM.

Looking forward Thursday to getting some progress on some long-idle stories for work and then diving into a self-indulgent weekend of reading, DVDs, and housecleaning.

Lockdown: That touch of cilantro with onion and tomato

There’s a chance some of this will repeat or even contradict what I wrote about Monday, because the days have blurred together and i’m not sure where one began and the previous ended.

I had a bowl of raisin bran and stumbled bedward. Got up in time for the (now twice-weekly instead of daily) department Zoom meeting. It went well. I did a few email and made lunch: the broccoli-kale-chicken rice with the rest of the canned corned beef hash and a couple of fried eggs. So bad. But you know the rest.

Went back to bed. Forced myself up in time for the national news and the second local newscast. Then back to bed but I’m not sure if I slept or not. Mostly lazed, I think? Around 11 in the evening I got up to have return some texts, and realizing I didn’t have anything I had to get done before work Wednesday, I had a me-evening. Ate tortilla chips in place of a real dinner, with fresh salsa, while watching the DVD of That Touch of Mink I queued up from Netflix after catching the last thirty minutes a couple of weeks ago. A week ago? Who knows?

It’s a silly movie but genuinely funny. Clever. I was surprised, and mostly enjoyed it, although at 100 minutes, it’s ten minutes longer than my attention span likes anymore.

Overdid it on tortilla chips. Feel a little sick now.

Cleaned up a little, brushed my teeth, goofed around on my phone, and now I’m writing this and hoping to get to sleep by 3:30.

It feels like there weren’t a lot of text messages, but evidence says otherwise. Sharon and I texted about some pretty heavy work stuff. Sylvia texted me from the office to ask about the flour and yeast I left her. Hoku, a former student from my favorite homeroom at Assets, sent me a funny sign he saw on social media (“Wet Piant”). Stacia from work answered my work-related text from the night before. The writing partner texted to tell me she submitted the two stories. Good news.

Crush Girl texted to ask how my day went. This led to a lot of conversation about various stuff. Probably the highlight of a rough day.

Didn’t go for a walk. Considered it, seriously, but opted for the movie instead.

And now is the time when all good men must come to the comfort of their beds. I need to try and get at least five good hours. My brain is oatmeal.

Send me a text or reach out here for contact info if you need some connection. We all need it; I’m convinced.

Ozzy Osbourne’s Ozzmosis (1995) is his worst, by far, of the solo albums up to this one. More about it later, but I think I’m on the seventh or eighth spin. Trying to be fair to it and see if it grows on me. I don’t hate it as much as midway through the first spin, but yeesh. Not Ozzy’s best Ozzy.