Friday 5: Touched by your presents, dear

From here.

My sleep is so messed up this week I can’t tell if at 3:42 a.m. Friday I’m up late or up early. I should be in bed either way but I don’t want my whole evening-morning to have been a waste so here’s something useful (ha!) instead.

  1. For what ability do you seem to have a natural gift?
    You should just see how easily I let food in my fridge go to waste. It’s amazing! I stick some broccoli crowns or green beans in, and *pow* despite being home all the time, and despite loving my greens, in just a few days I’m throwing them all out with all my unrealized good intentions! I had a funny, snarky answer here about repelling the sort of women whose company I most enjoy (middle-aged divorced teachers or librarians!) but despite my status as a professional writer I couldn’t make it not also sound pitiful and pathetic, which was not the vibe with which I want to begin my Friday morning. Or end my late Thursday evening.
  2. What’s pretty good about the present moment?
    I didn’t have dinner, and I’m sorta looking forward to either a couple of small sandwiches when I finish typing this (I’ve two rolls left of half a dozen I bought Sunday night) or the leftover Indian food I brought home from lunch with some coworkers. If you live on Oahu and dig Indian food, check out Spice Up on King St. between Piikoi and Keeaumoku. It’s where Choi’s Family Restaurant used to be. Delicious.
  3. What nearby, everyday object would be a good symbolic bequest to someone in your life?
    It would be funny to leave my Kindle Paperwhite to R to represent the love we never rekindled, but she’s married so I doubt she’d receive it in the intended spirit, if she made note of my death at all. So I’m bequeathing this large bottle of naproxen sodium to all the girls I’ve loved before who wandered in and out my door, to remind them of all the pain we caused each other and to accept this gift as a token of our mutual healing. Why I’m thinking about relationships at this late (early) hour is a bit of a mystery, since I’ve been feeling pretty great in my self-sufficience these days. Although now that I’m emerging from this long lockdown, I suppose I’m craving the company of the fairer sex.
  4. What recognitions, large or small, have been bestowed upon you?
    My senior year of high school, the newspaper staff named me Most Likely to be a Televangelist (this in the years of the Jim Baker and Jimmy Swaggert scandals) but I think the newspaper advisor made them think of something else (It was a small, moderately conservative Christian school) so I was renamed Most Likely to be a Used Car Salesman.
  5. What was your most recent charitable donation?
    Spelling names correctly is of severe importance. I was freakishly devoted to it when I taught high-schoolers, and I’m nearly as devoted now that I work in a nonprofit. So I have this rule. Anything I’ve written or edited, if it gets published with a misspelled name, I anonymously donate $20 to the associated fund at the university, if there is one. If the misspelled name is in an article about an engineering scholarship, for example, I donate money to that scholarship. If there’s no immediately related fund, I find something close. Someone else misspelled a coworker’s name in our staff newsletter, and for some reason I didn’t check spelling on the names when I edited (which I always do, even the names I absolutely know the spelling of), and it went out with the mispelling. I made the donation to the staff social/party fund, a little side account not budgeted by the foundation but by bake sales and bottle recycling.

Happy long weekend and happy Independence Day. I don’t have plans beyond Friday night but I hope to do some catching up on personal writing. I have so many unreviewed books, films, and TV series. And I’m doing July’s Camp NaNo, so there’ll be a bit of noveling all month.

Friday 5: Heights

From here.

  1. What’s the best non-animated movie musical you’ve seen in the past several years?
    I realized several years ago that I was unlikely to be fond of any non-animated movie musical I didn’t already like. All the stuff I find bizarre and uninteresting about a movie musical is true of my faves (The Music Man, Little Shop of Horrors) but the old favorites are too much a part of my movie-lover identity. The same stuff in new (and new-to-me) films is just kind of unwatchable. But then there were La-La Land, which I liked, and The Greatest Showman, which I loved and which I purchased on Blu-Ray, and maybe there’s hope. I saw In the Heights Thursday night in a theater and enjoyed the heck out of it. So yeah. The Greatest Showman is my answer.
  2. How are you most likely to pass the time during a lengthy blackout?
    I’m realizing we did this question some time not too long ago. Dang it. The answer used to be playing my guitar and singing songs, but these days it’s pen-and-paper crossword puzzles. I don’t like going to sleep at night with no power, but if the blackout is during daylight hours, I’ll most likely grab sleep in anticipation of being up all night. I have enough backup juice for my phone, Kindle, and other toys, but if I’m feeling restless I might drive around my neighborhood and charge things there, staying away from traffic lights and important streets to keep them clear for emergency vehicles.
  3. When were you last in a swimming pool?
    It’s been a looooong time, like more than half my life ago. When I was a kid, I practically lived in pools during the summer. Our summer rec program took us to Waipahu pool every Tuesday and Thursday, all day. In intermediate and high school, my scoutmaster took the whole troop to Pearl City pool on meeting nights instead of having our regular meetings. He believed fervently that if you live on an island, you should be a good swimmer, so we spent a ton of time in the water, most of it unstructured. The guys in my patrol destroyed a summer camp record in the relay race, ‘though we finished with the second-best time: the other patrol in our troop destroyed the record by a few seconds more than we did. But in my post-college years, pools have been less available and less attractive. I’m mobile enough that a beach is as accessible as a pool, and I’d much rather swim in the ocean. So I think the last time I was in a pool was 29 years ago during a weeklong summer mission trip to Molokai. I wasn’t sure I wanted to get in the water, but the girls on our trip got in, and I wasn’t going to miss that.
  4. What do you remember fondly about the neighborhood where you grew up?
    I grew up in Waipahu, a historic town playing a huge part in my state’s cultural history. It was the heart of the island’s sugar industry, which means it was the heart of immigration from Japan, Korea, China, the Philippines, and Portugal. By the time my family moved there (my second grade year), we were on third generations of most of these cultures, and my neighborhood was going through ethnic changes. By the time my family moved away (end of my tenth-grade year), it was more known for its first-gen Filipino population, and sections were booming in Vietnamese immigrants. This was all critical in developing my extremely liberal ideas about immigration in this state and in this country. Throw the doors wide open, I say.
  5. What language did you study in school, and what’s something you remember how to say?
    I studied Japanese after school in fourth and fifth grades, then for three years in high school, and then for another few semesters in college. My mom is from Japan, so there’s a lot I still remember. たべましょう! Let’s eat! おてあらいに いっても いいですか? May I go to the bathroom?

Friday 5: Mental health again

From here.

  1. What’s the best thing you’ve done for yourself in recent days?
    Three times in the ocean in the past ten days. It was especially good Thursday morning before work. It’s light enough by 5:30 in the morning to jump in, but I’ve been doing it closer to 6:30, but even after nearly an hour in the water, there’s enough time to grab breakfast before heading to the office. It’s wonderful. Now if my favorite breakfast spots in town would just open for dining in!
  2. What have you to overcome in the coming days?
    A small mountain of of personal writing I’ve piled up. It’s been on my list each weekend for the past few months but THIS weekend for sure! I’m going to set an easy goal. Structure for success, I always say.
  3. What’s growing inside you?
    A weird uneasy feeling about returning to the office full-time by August, as is the plan. I can’t identify the source. Being in the office once or twice a week lately has been fine except for the extreme difficulty getting to sleep the nights before. Maybe I’ve just gotten too used to working at home, where I am extremely comfortable. Maybe I’m a little worried about leaving the house unattended for such long periods every day. I’ve had some problems with break-ins, and several times in the past year or so, people have come into my carport to mess around. I don’t know. I’ve taken to saying a short prayer every time I leave the house and then whispering thanks to God when I get home for protecting my space. I’m not saying my house is protected by prayer; and I can’t say I’m not doing it more for inner peace than as entreaty to the deity. But I can’t say the opposites either.
  4. What has lately been your escape?
    I’m not proud of it, but I’ve been retreating to bed a little too much lately. When I don’t want to deal with the unpleasant realities of things, I’ve just gone to bed. Being super sleep-deprived these past few weeks is a contributing factor to stress and escape, so I think I can be excused, but this isn’t the healthiest way to deal with stuff. I’ve also taken more comfort from very cold bottles of Diet Pepsi than usual. That’s also not healthy but it’s a healthier escape than other options!
  5. What amazing thing have you recently crammed into your maw?
    A popular Korean spot right across the street from the office has moved to Kapahulu Ave, probably a better location for it. A new Indian restaurant has moved in, and people in the office have been raving. One coworker has been there four or five times. Thursday I was invited to come along, and it was heavenly. We had chicken momos, samosas, rice, butter chicken, chicken tikka masala, lamb korma, cheese naan, and regular naan (there were five of us). I added a sweet lassi, and we all loved the meal. I don’t think I understand $2.99 for raita, which I encouraged us to get, but I’m looking the other way because I didn’t pick up the check and because I’m totally here for good Indian food in a casual setting. Can’t wait to go back!

Friday 5: I’m so unusual!

It’s easy to think of Cyndi Lauper only in context. The wild hair, crazy wardrobe, unique vocal inflections, and strange association with professional wrestling all combined with the explosion in popularity of music videos to set her up as a true creation of MTV, although it could as easily be said Cyndi made MTV as much as MTV made Cyndi.

This is all true, but it doesn’t change that she was supremely talented, a songwriter and vocalist truly unlike anyone else of her time, or anyone since. She may have lost her knack for writing sticky songs, as her later material was competent but unmemorable, not to mention sometimes cheesy.

But she can still sing.

From here.

  1. When did you most recently have a change of heart?
    I don’t want to get into too much detail, but I had one of those periodic, professional identity crises. My employer created a new position in our department, and I never thought for a second about applying for it until a handful of coworkers suggested I really should. There are undoubtedly aspects of the work I’d have to learn as I went, but there are parts of it I could do well, and a couple of the coworkers said I would do them well enough to make their jobs easier, which is one of the nicest things your colleagues can say, especially when they’re in other departments. It didn’t help that I was really struggling with this one story I was working on, and the best time to get a writer thinking about changing paths is when he’s struggling with a writing assignment. I went pretty dark for a few days. Then at the end of one work day I just remembered I like what I do, and while I won’t rule out trying for positions like this some other time, for now I’m doing what’s right for me. And while I’ve not had my best year doing it because, you know, this pandemic, I think I’m pretty good at it and I’m still finding ways I can be better.
  2. In the coming months, what’s most likely to keep you up all through the night?
    I’m having so much trouble with sleep lately it can be literally anything that keeps me up through the night. One night last week I stayed up all night watching season one of Mythic Quest, which I’ve already watched three times through. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?
  3. When you gonna live your life right?
    Sunday night I bought a bathroom scale for the first time in my life. Tuesday morning I stepped on it. Let’s get this thing started, shall we?
  4. Do you wanna go out with a lion’s roar?
    You know I always heard this lyric as a question about going out with friends or something. But isolated like this it seems it’s about going out like dying. If it’s the latter, my answer is no. I want to go out meekly and quietly, trying my darndest to hang onto life. If it’s the former, then still no, but maybe with a lion’s confidence. I went to freaking Zippy’s the other night, dined in the restaurant by myself while reading a book, and enjoyed the heck out of simply dining out at a long-time hangout. Thursday I went to my ophthalmologist after skipping my appointment with her last year. I’m not roaring, but I’m getting close to strutting. Lions strut, right?
  5. When did you recently decide something wasn’t perfect but was good enough?
    Well. I wrote these five questions and didn’t love them, but I thought they’d be good enough at least for me, which of course dictated that I then answer them, which I don’t always do.

They say I better get a chaperone
Because I can’t stop messin’ with the danger zone

I won’t worry and I won’t fret
Ain’t no law against it yet!

Okay yeah, it’s a crude subject, but it’s a woman singing about it, which makes it kind of awesome, and these lyrics are just great. Although I think Cyndi was wrong — there were a lot of places where it was illegal. I think there are fewer now.

Friday 5: Self-care

A tree grows in central Honolulu. Sunset at Makiki District Park.

From here.

  1. What have you done lately for improving or maintaining your mental health? What more would you like to do?
    I’ve done a lot toward degrading my mental health for absolute sure, with crazy sleep habits and my bad knee keeping me from taking the long walks that mostly kept my sanity a year ago when we first locked down. These last few weeks, and especially this past seven days, I’ve taken myself to Makiki District Park for walks around the park just before sundown, through dusk, into the early evening. It’s 75 to 90 minutes of non-strenuous movement, and I walk pretty slowly because I’m reading my Kindle nearly the entire time, but it’s been good for me. I’ve gone two or three times a week. I feel myself integrating slowly back into society. I love the fresh air and sun on my face. And the book time is great, of course. I’ve been hitting the beach once a week but I’ve got to up that for swims at least twice a week. Before the lockdown I was going three or four times a week, swimming nearly an hour in the mornings before work. I need this back!
  2. When did you last eat something specifically because it was good for you?
    Because my potassium levels were low-normal the last time I had bloodwork, when they’ve never been a problem before, my doctor recommended some additions to my diet, so I’m downing about seven dried apricots and three clementines every day. Most days. Some days I just don’t want them or I forget, but most days I do it right after I take my daily meds. I don’t dislike the apricots but I don’t particularly like them either, so they are just for the potassium and fiber.
  3. These days, what are you learning about, and what would you like to learn about next?
    Besides the usual assortment of recipes, I’m reading a lot about the blockchain these days. I’ve got most of it, but there are some important holes I can’t seem to fill. Like, I could explain cryptocurrency to just about anyone so they’d get the gist of it, but I’d have to admit where a couple of holes are. And how NFTs work in the blockchain is still puzzling to me because the blockchain is supposed to be decentralized and I can’t seem to find an answer to where, in a commercial NFT venture such as NBA Top Shot, the ledger exists and how it’s kept. Argh. I’ve also spent time learning about car stereos because I want to work on a few DIY improvements to mine, so that’s probably my next focused effort. My car stereo already sounds good, but I want it to sound gooooooooooooood so the ladies at the bus stops can sing along with my ABBA playlist as I cruise slowly past. Sorry ladies: I’ve got somewhere to be, but I’ll be back to pick you up later!
  4. What’s positive about your physical appearance lately?
    This is a sore spot with me so why did I write this question? Maybe because I need it. I’ve put on a lot of weight this past year and it doesn’t bother me too much except I don’t like what I see and I know it’s unhealthy. I’m having hair issues, too, which stresses me out big-time. My hair, even on its best days, looks ridiculous (I’ve not cut it since 2002), like the midlife crisis everyone knows it is, but I’ve worn it this way because it pleases me. My hair is a kind of outsider identification that makes me feel good, and the one place where people compliment me on it is at metal shows — another outsider affirmation with deep meaning for me. Sooooooooo ugh. I’m not feeling good about my appearance these days. However, among my weird purchases this lockdown year has been a fairly pricey beard trimmer, to replace the small arsenal of cheaper (shorter-lived) devices I get from Ross (the discount clothing store, not my math-teacher friend) every so often, and it’s been a good buy. When I bother to clean myself up, which is usually Saturday or Sunday night, I feel good about the way it looks, and it takes a lot less time and effort with the new gear. I’m also considering a major change to my professional wardrobe which I shan’t detail yet in case I don’t do it, but I’m ready to shift gears with my look, as I did several years ago when I first left the classroom. There will still be plenty of black and dark solids, but I want to put it together differently. Send a different message in the office.
  5. What will you do this weekend to bring joy into your life and a smile to someone else?
    It begins with taking a vacation day today, Friday, to catch up on reading and a few nagging tasks I don’t want to worry about Saturday and Sunday. I’m picking up food for me and my parents for dinner with the folks on Mothers Day, and in case I see my sister, I’m picking up something really nice for a late birthday present. We don’t give each other birthday presents, but I want her to know this year I’ve been thinking of her. If I don’t see her I’ll bring it over to her house, which is something of a trek. And of course: beach time.

Friday 5: Aca-scuse me?

From here. What an obnoxiously silly set of questions.

  1. In what way have you recently been rebellious?
    Keehi Lagoon Park has been closed for a year. There are concrete barriers blocking entrance to the park by car, but the tennis courts in front are open. So parking there and walking into the park is a piece of cake, as I’ve been doing these past few weekends. I’m not the only one — there are a few others walking around and through the park when I’m there, but we stay far, far away from each other. If you know anything about the park, you know it’s very popular with homeless people. I guess during the pandemic, the city erected a little compound with large military tents and picnic tables, fenced off and overlooked by police officers, for the usual park residents, ostensibly to keep them safe. Whenever I go by, there aren’t very many people there unless they’re all in tents. The whole thing is a placid picture I’ve enjoyed walking through while reading my Kindle. My car’s safety inspection expired in February 2020, so there’s also that.
  2. What fond memories do you have of camping out?
    I was a Boy Scout, so camping was a huge part of my teen years, from seventh grade until I graduated high school. One of my NaNoWriMo projects was about summer camp the year after my sophomore year, the year my patrol (The Roach Patrol) won the patrol challenge, and there are a ton of memories from just that one week. Lately, though, I’ve remembered late nights playing cribbage under the dining fly, by the light of old Coleman lanterns. My scoutmaster always brought a couple of boards, usually one for each patrol, and we played for chores or KP duty. The new scouts almost always got the raw end, as older guys would take advantage of their rawness. Cribbage is supposed to be a civil game, but it has one cutthroat feature: when the scores are announced after each hand, if a player doesn’t claim points the opponent sees, the opponent gets to steal them. We usually played four-handed cribbage, with older guys partnering up and younger guys partnering up, but in my patrol we also mixed it up sometimes, older pairing with younger. These were great friends. We played game after game, telling the same stupid stories from past summer camps, laughing at the same stupid jokes, drinking cocoa warmed up on a propane stove, late into the night for the whole week.
  3. When did you last have a snow cone, or something similar?
    In Hawaii, it’s called shave ice (except on the Big Island, where it’s called ice shave), and it’s one of my favorite snacks. Like most of us, I’ve avoided the shave ice stands for more than a year. The last real shave ice I remember was when my company moved to its new offices on King Street. There’s a bikeshare station on our block, so one day at lunch I changed into shorts and a tee, and biked the King Street bike lane back to University Ave, then came back. On the way back, I stopped at a little hair salon slash shave ice joint. I know, it’s a weird combination, and based on the quality of the shave ice, I’m going to say the salon is the main business. Oh, wait! I remember for Penny’s birthday in October ’19, we went to that Korean shave ice spot on Keeaumoku, inside the 88 Mart. In Korean it’s bingsoo, and at En Hakkore Cafe it’s a large and busy dish. Not what I’m used to but still quite good. So that was a few months more recent than the hair salon.
  4. Where do you have difficulty fitting in? Where do you easily fit in?
    Fitting in has been an issue my whole life. I’m just a misfit in most situations, and I’ve come to be (mostly) at peace with it. And I think it’s one reason I’ve been thinking a bit about those cribbage games when I was a teen. The feeling of belonging I felt with my friends under that dining fly especially is dear to me. I didn’t even really feel like I fit in with my troop most of the time, but in my patrol it was usually great. These days, I enjoy the feeling of misfit community at metal shows, where I have found the people to be nicer than at concerts of any other type.
  5. How do you feel about banannas?
    I disliked bananas for most of my life. If anything I ate or drank had banana in it, I just couldn’t get it down. Then several years ago, I made a dedicated effort to learning to like them. First I chilled them, then smeared them with lots of peanut butter and brown sugar. It took a while (and lots of brown sugar) to consume a whole banana, but I did it, not enjoying it at all for weeks. Then I got to where I could tolerate them, and I gradually used less peanut butter and less brown sugar. Now I can actually eat a banana. I can’t say I like it, but it’s no longer an issue. When I get an acai bowl, I eat every slice of banana in the bowl with no problems. I’ve been surprised by how starchy bananas are, how filling and satisfying just one good banana can be. And I’m hoping within a few years I will actually like them.


From here. I hate the way this formatting turned out but I’m not going to spend my whole Saturday trying to make it pretty.

  1. Who are your three latest celebrity crushes?

My main lockdown crush is Mona Kosar Abdi, co-anchor on ABC’s overnight (on repeat all night) news program World News Now. I’ve kept crazy hours this past year, and while I keep the TV off during the day and most of the evening, if I’m up very late, I like having the news on. Especially when Mona’s on, because she’s utterly gorgeous and exceedingly smart in a field where everyone’s smart.

My most recent crush is Jessica Kleinschmidt, a baseball reporter in the Bay Area, mostly covering my favorite Oakland Athletics. I listen to Buster Olney’s Baseball Tonight podcast every weekday, and he had her on recently to talk about the Athletics. When she’s not delivering baseball stuff, she talks a lot about what it’s like to be a woman in sports journalism, and she paints a suuuuper discouraging picture. Posts like this on IG are another reason I’m crushing. It’s total BS that she has to put up with this crap, but she does. Every fricking day.

Annie Clements has been on TV a lot this past year, as she’s the bass player and back-up vocalist in Maren Morris’s band. Maren’s had quite a year and she deserves it, but I was familiar with Annie because I listen to a lot of bluegrass and bluegrass-adjacent music, so I follow Americana musicians on social media, including Annie. Women bass players are already badass, but Annie is extra badass.

2. What three strange things have you done during the pandemic?

So much strangeness. Doing my laundry every week (in recent months every other week) at Manoa Laundry at 2:00 in the morning probably tops the list. It was a major inconvenience, and kind of stressful, but it gave me some much-needed out-of-house structure in a crazy time. Picking up McD’s at the drive-through on my way was part of the structure — my only dining out for most of the year.

Going to the office one day every weekend isn’t strange — I’ve been doing it for four years. It’s usually just for a little while, remnants of always going to my classroom on weekends during my teaching career. This past year, however, I only go in on weekends, specifically on Sunday because nobody else is around. I’d rather not, most of the time, but it keeps me connected to my workplace and it’s a good time to do some undistracted thinking.

This is really strange, since I’m such a keep-to-myself person. I’ve become acquainted with my letter carrier. Like, acquainted enough (although we’ve only met face-to-face once) that when I’m on the road and he sees my car, he waves at me and I wave back. Late last summer I left him an Amazon gift card because I’ve relied on Amazon this year, and I appreciated his important role in getting me my stuff. Then when we met, he thanked me in person (after leaving me a nice note) and we had a short conversation. It led to waving from behind steering wheels.

Oh. I also bought a $50 box grater. Very strange.

3. What three goals do you have for the weekend?

Lots of sleep. Lots of reading. Some sunshine and fresh air. I’m keeping it simple.

4. What three things are you avoiding?

Uggggh I’d rather not even think about this. I’m avoiding taking my damaged vehicle to the shop for an price quote for the insurance company who’s paying for repairs. It’s just such a hassle. I’m avoiding making an appointment with my ophthalmologist, which is a big deal because my eye problems aren’t limited to bad vision. I have a glaucoma-like condition (my record actually uses the word glaucomic) I can’t neglect, and I missed last year’s appointment. I’m avoiding housecleaning.

5. What three things are you feeling pretty good about?

The start of major league baseball for sure. It’s such a comfort. I’m feeling good about my parents being vaccinated, and my being two days away from fully vaccinated. It means I’ll be able to go over on weekends again. I’m feeling pretty good about work, since I had a very productive week — the kind of productivity my coworkers actually see. Some of my good work is pretty invisible. Some of it is very visible. I like both types, but this noticeable type helps because it more directly makes a difference in other people’s work.

Heading into the weekend with slothful intentions. I’ve got the Athletics vs. Astros game on and I’m headed back to bed for a nap.

Friday 5: Obstacle course

From here.

  1. What did you most recently leap over (or past)?
    I tried to purchase my first pack of NBA Top Shot moments. Leapt ahead to position 57,000 (I’m rounding) in queue of 300,000 eager buyers. With 67,500 packs available, I was definitely going to get one! But I got distracted by work and forgot to click back to the tab for about forty-five minutes and I missed my turn! Ack.
  2. When were you most recently forced to crawl?
    I got a new Rush Blu-Ray, a concert video from their R40 tour. I dropped the stupid disc while trying to load the player, and had to get down on my hands and knees to retrieve it from beneath my TV stand. I think it was last Thursday.
  3. What are you sprinting from?
    Debt. For several reasons mostly related to the lockdown, I’ve got more money to apply to some debt. I’m doing my darndest to pay it down as quickly as possible, this past year. It feels pretty good to see the numbers going down more and more quickly. It’s like I’ve gained some kind of momentum.
  4. What has recently required you to step carefully?
    The Asian hate issue in the continental US is very real, but Asians in Hawaii don’t feel it the same way. I’m definitely privileged and I know it, but I can’t pretend to feel what my Asian friends are feeling elsewhere. I feel something profound. It’s just not what they’re feeling, and I am doing my best to respect it.
  5. Where is your next finish line?
    I get my second shot Monday. Two weeks from then, I’ll be about as immune as I’m going to be after a year of staying away from friends, coworkers, and loved ones. It will be a huge relief, but I am doing my best not to get complacent until I’m actually over the line. I may cry.

Friday 5: Just vegging

From here.

  1. What’s your favorite root vegetable, and what’s your favorite way to eat it?
    I am Japanese, so before I had to get carb-conscious, pretty much every meal came with rice and I’m fine with it. Rice is probably my second-favorite food after pasta. And in leaner times, I survived on huge amounts of rice and small amounts of meat and veggies. However, I’m also Irish and German, so we ate a bunch of potatoes instead of rice at many meals. My mom was cool like that. And boy do I love me some potatoes. I’ll eat mashed potatoes as a whole meal, not merely as a side.
  2. What’s your favorite leafy green, and what’s your favorite way to eat it?
    Because it’s so flexible and because I really like the taste, it’s probably cabbage, which I like best in a stir-fry. As a dish by itself, I think my favorite is won bok (Napa cabbage), which I like best as kimchi! In recent years, I’ve purcashed far more bok choy and choy sum, so a good case can be made for them. Choy sum blanched and added to soups or ramen. Bok choy roasted and eaten as a side.
  3. What’s your favorite legume, and what’s your favorite way to eat it?
    Pinto beans, seasoned, refried, and stuffed into a flour tortilla! Also black beans and garbanzo beans, added to any other beans and tossed in a vinegar-based, oniony dressing as a four- or five-bean salad. And soy beans, boiled in salty water and eaten from the pod.
  4. What’s your favorite vegetable to put on a pizza?
    Onions for sure. I think my favorite pizza is chicken breast, onions, peppers, and tomatoes with lots (and lots) of red sauce.
  5. What’s your favorite fruit to eat in a green salad?
    Thinly sliced strawberries, especially with a good balsamic vinaigrette. Canned mandarin oranges are also surprisingly good in the same situation. I’m not counting tomatoes, but if I did they would naturally be number one. Grape tomatoes. With papaya seed dressing.

Friday 5: A Clubhouse ain’t nothin’ but a sandwich

From here.

  1. What is the longest you ever spent on the phone on one call?
    In high school for sure. My longest calls were with my classmate Kelly, who helped me get through long nights the summer before our senior year, and V, the person I’ve spent more cumulative time on the phone with than anyone else. That same summer and the following school year, we easily had six-hour calls.
  2. When you were a teen, how important was the phone in your daily life?
    Super super super super super super super super super important. The school day was hectic, and because it was a private school, we all lived on different parts of the island. Hanging out was difficult on school days, so school nights were for the phone. In addition to all the usual “What did you get for number six on the chemistry homework?” there were all the pretty girls who needed regular how-are-you-doings from me.
  3. How much do you use the actual telephone function of your phone today?
    My boss calls me once a week. I call my parents roughly once a week. And that’s pretty much it unless I must speak on the phone with one of the coworkers, or conduct an interview. I’m getting better about ordering takeout on the phone if I must, but that’s a royal pain.
  4. How well do you handle phone calls at work?
    My parents taught me phone etiquette, as I think all my friends’ parents taught them. I speak very well on the phone in a way I don’t see anymore from most young people (and you know me; I’m a huge apologist for young people). I did time answering phones for my high school as an office assistant, and I worked retail for several years. Oh, and I’m a fill-in at the front desk at my office now, in non-pandemic days. I don’t like speaking on the phone, but I do it well. On the other hand, I have to get psyched up to call someone for an interview, or even to call my parents sometimes. So in that respect I don’t handle it well at all.
  5. What are some good telephone-themed songs?
    “Answering Machine” by Rupert Holmes is pretty great. “Call Me” by Blondie. “Tiger Phone Card” by Dengue Fever. Oh, and here’s one you might not think of because we think of it as a song about the radio: “Pilot of the Aiwaves” by Charlie Dore. The lyrics seem to indicate the persona is writing to the DJ but who does that, unless it’s to Casey Kasem?