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: A Friday 5 and Tiramisu Oreos

Friday 5: The most convenient definitions. From here.

This week’s questions come verbatim from a certain favorite movie.

  1. So — so on Monday, what happens?
    I was scheduled to be in a group Zoom interview with some big donors. As we scheduled and rescheduled the thing, I had a weird feeling about how this was coming together, but I kept my mouth shut except to suggest that group interviews (in this case, two interviewers and two interviewees) required a bit of strategy ahead of time, a comment that was responded to by crickets. However, my boss emailed me Friday morning to say I didn’t have to be in the Zoom call — she’d felt similarly that something was off, so she’s going to handle the interview on her own. Whew. So now it’ll just be a normal Monday, at least normal according to new definitions of normal.
  2. What was that ruckus?
    Neighborhood kids bouncing a ball around, then almost setting off my car alarm. It was mildly annoying but kids being kids almost never bother me, and I let it roll.
  3. What do you know about trigonometry?
    Math didn’t become poetry for me until high-school calculus, but once I had my moment of calculus awakening early in 12th grade, I could look back and see that the prologue was trig. Less poetry and more elaborate puzzle, trig is like those pencil-and-paper mazes you trace your way through, and when you color in the path, you’re left with a drawing of a flower. Or it’s like those Transformers toys. It’s a robot! Until you start moving this thing here and that thing there and then it’s a big, complicated mess — still one structure made up of the same pieces, but completely unrecognizable until you play around with it some more and then: it’s a sleek racecar. That it’s effectively all based on one simple, beautiful theorem is the stuff that makes you realize there had to be an intelligent creator. The secrets of the universe are in the right triangle. Actually, I don’t think that’s true; I think the secrets of the universe are in pi, but Pythagoras was clearly on the path.
  4. Vodka? When do you drink vodka?
    Not very often. I haven’t figured out what my spirit spirit is. It’s not vodka. ‘though I gave vodka a pretty good chance to connect. I have two half-consumed bottles of it in my kitchen right now, in fact. A bottle of Absolut, which I dislike. It has a weird waxy flavor when you drink it neat, although I have to say it’s a good mixer. And a bottle of Ketel One, a much better option that I rather enjoy. While most of my liquor is in a cabinet, I have the Ketel One at the ready in my freezer, a Captain Morgan spiced rum on my dining table, and Buchanan’s blended Scotch on my kitchen counter. None of which I imbibe very often. I just like having them ready. That Buchanan’s, by the way, is horrible right out of the bottle; I get why so many YouTube whisky raters don’t score it highly. However, if you pour it and let it sit for a few minutes before sipping (neat), it’s quite good. I don’t know what the explanation is.
  5. How’d you like to go fishing this weekend?
    Man, I would love to. I wouldn’t mind grabbing a bamboo pole and getting ankle-deep at Waimanalo and hooking oama for a few hours. I haven’t been oama fishing since elementary school days with the McGuires. Any nice beach time at all right now would be great, really.

Friday was mildly productive in a super-slo-mo kind of way. I was rolling on this proposal I backburnered near the end of March. I got up to take a break and saw that I had a Zoom meeting in forty minutes, and I didn’t think it would be worth it to get re-absorbed in the proposal only to have my workflow interrupted by the meeting. Then the meeting got called off, and then I had half an hour until the regular daily Zoom call, so I kind of waited around for that. It was not the best use of my time.

I don’t think I’m going to be pleased with myself if I don’t spend some time this weekend just wrapping up the first draft to send to the fundraiser. Urrrrrggggghhh.

I didn’t go walking Friday either. Urgh again. Just felt super lazy and even though I knew I’d feel great once I got moving, it just didn’t happen this time. My weekly stepcount is going to be its lowest in months, I think.

I did, however, get Taco Bell for lunch, something I’ve yearned to do for six weeks. I wasn’t even hungry. I just saw a window of opportunity and once the idea popped into my mind, I could not shake it. So a burrito supreme, a taco supreme, and a 7-layer burrito with a large Diet Pepsi. The Taco Bell drive-through didn’t have a pay-with-phone option, much to my annoyance. It’s a brand-new building, not two months old yet! They didn’t outfit the drive-through payment system with a phone payment capability? I’m appalled.

Breakfast was a bowl of Churros breakfast cereal. Soooo bad. Dinner, which I just had a moment ago, was some of that pulled pork and kale, with hapa rice. Delicious. The hapa rice for certain dishes is going to work out if I don’t cook it in the Instant Pot and then let it sit in the keep-warm phase for 90 minutes as I did this evening because I fell asleep. I will try to stick to brown rice for most dishes, but there are certain things brown rice just doesn’t work for.

Don’t tell my doctor.

I did a lot more snacking than usual. A couple of times I had a few bites of potato salad just to drive the twitches away. And right before I decided not to go walking, I had four Oreos. While I am not much of a cookie guy, I’ll enjoy the occasional three or four Oreos, and the supermarket had these tiramisu flavored Oreos. They’re quite good.

It looked like there would be no interpersonal connection via texting Friday, but then Ali in Boston finally reponded to my messages going back two weeks. We chatted about a few things. I miss her.

Then Sharon asked me about the Hawaii Stories project I’m working on with Ryan, and we talked a little about Ellen DeGeneres, Demi Lovato, and Christina Aguilera. No contact with Crush Girl but it feels okay.

IMed with F5 girl for a little while too.

It was not my best day, work-wise or life-wise, but I am grateful for the interaction with these friends.

Oh, I did one semi-productive thing today. I continue to set up my workspace at home, a task I could have finished six weeks ago but which I continue to drag out. I finally took an old HP tower off my desk and cleaned up the stuff that accumulated beneath it: mostly hair ties and a few coins. I’ll take the hard drive out of the machine Saturday and destroy it with my drill. My goal is to have the entire table cleared of everything except the (working) computer stuff and things directly related to my daily work. This desk doesn’t have drawers, so I’m keeping stuff I need but not all the time in a plastic bin on a TV tray next to my desk. It’s mostly working. I just have to get all this other garbage, the accumulation of years and years and years, off this table so it’s a nice, clean workspace.

It was a long week and I’m looking forward to this weekend. Gotta do some stuff for the Hawaii Stories project. Some personal writing. A little bit of work (making that my first priority for Saturday when I eventually get out of bed). A ton of walking. Reading. I’d like to squeeze a movie in, too. I won’t have to do any cooking, since I have so many leftovers in my fridge, but I fed the sourdough starter this evening. I’ll have another go at sourdough bread in the afternoon.

“In these uncertain days…” it can be easy to feel disconnected from the world, which if you want it can be a glorious thing. Believe me, I’ve been there. But if you don’t want it, it can be horribly discouraging. Don’t be discouraged. Reach out and I’ll be happy to spend some connection time with you, in texts or DMs or IMs. “Because we’re all in this together…”

Friday 5s: AKA March 73red; Excitement in the domicile

From here and here.

AKA March 73rd. These posted April 3, so I’ll answer for the week leading to April 3.

  1. What did you have too much of this week?
    Too much bad sleep for sure. I’ve reverted to some bad things in my sleep routine, stuff I thought I had gotten past. But I’m taking Darth Vader off in the middle of the night, which means unhealthy sleep, which means not my best at work.
  2. What did you have not enough of this week?
    Oh, haha. I should’ve saved my #1 answer for this question. I’m going to say that for as much solitude as I had, I didn’t have enough. Those people at the laundry messed me up, and I made two visits to the supermarket when I didn’t really need to make any. Also not enough of Crush Girl’s company, if I’m being honest.
  3. What did you have in just the right amount or number?
    I did well on step counts. The long walks at night have been great for my body and mind. Although I often have trouble making myself go, once I’m moving I can’t remember why I didn’t just jump up and get out. Also, I think I had enough Diet Pepsi for pleasure.
  4. What’s better today than it was a week ago?
    Working from home. I decided on a two-laptop system, using my work laptop when I needed files or apps on the virtual desktop, which isn’t that often, and my personal laptop for the actual writing. I might have been able to ask for remote access on my personal laptop, as I think some coworkers have done, but I’d prefer to leave work stuff on the work computer and personal stuff on the personal.
  5. When they make a movie about last month, what would be a good song for the soundtrack?
    I’m hearing a lot of references to “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” by REM, which is a pretty good choice, but I’m going with The Chior’s “Blue Skies.”

    I’ve got a cause I should surely defend
    I hope you will agree
    I’ve got a tire I would love to suspend
    I’m searching for a tree

Excitement in the domicile. These posted April 10.

  1. In what way have you recently been naughty?
    I go on these long walks through Kapalama, Liliha, and Nuuanu. That’s a lot of walking, during which one often has to relieve oneself. I’ve done this enough over the years that I know where the good spots are: Maemae Elementary, behind the heavy machinery parked in front of Nuuanu Cemetery, the trees at Lanakila Park. Public urination counts as naughty, right?
  2. What’s the closest you’ve been to death-defying these past few weeks?
    I’d have to say shopping at Costco. Listen: I’m through with Costco until this thing blows over. I don’t care if I’m spending twice as much money on things. I was utterly terrified the last time I went in there.
  3. What temptations have you recently resisted?
    I’m telling you, this doesn’t make sense. At least a few times a day I swear I need to go to the stupid supermarket. I don’t need anything! What’s going on in my confused brain? Thank goodness laziness usually outscores panic-shopping.
  4. What’s something you wish you didn’t recently see?
    When I came out of the water Thursday morning, I saw something on the beach that looked a little unusual; I thought maybe it was an oddly shaped hunk of driftwood. I didn’t have my glasses on, so I had to get close to realize it was some kind of dead animal, domestic-pet-sized. It had washed up on the beach, it had matted fur, and sand was stuck to it all over. I couldn’t tell from my short glance what kind of animal it was. *shudder*
  5. What behavior from others are you excusing nowadays?
    People on FB are disagreeing on what’s a legitimate reason to go out. I’m iffy on everything, so I’m passively watching the conversations. None of us really knows. I’m excusing any position that isn’t blatant disregard for public safety. Those ministers insisting on holding public worship services can all go eff themselves, though.

Lockdown: Some days are good enough (and a Friday 5)

Not my most productive Friday at work. I revised the voiceover copy for a 30-second radio PSA we’re doing for emergency student aid. It’s okay (my boss likes it) but it’s too long, and I don’t think it’s compelling enough. I asked if I could work on it a little more and submit a few other suggestions, and she said that would be fine.

So I’ll be doing a little of that over the weekend, which is okay. I kinda feel like I owe a few weekend hours after my non-productivity today.

It was another day of bad food decisions. Breakfast was two small frozen burritos which sounds unhealthy but really isn’t. Lunch was two hot dogs with ketchup, mustard, and sauerkraut. Dinner was a bowl of macaroni with marinara sauce, prepared in the Instant Pot. I didn’t really snack unless you count the after-walk bowl of leftover macaroni I’m having right now. I prefer to think of it as the final course of my dinner meal, interrupted by five miles of walking.

I hit 14,448 steps for Friday. When midnight hit I was still a ways from home (I got off to a late start) so I already have 4,200 steps accumulated for Saturday. I kinda like doing it this way even though it really amounts to the same amount of walking. It’s nice to wake up in the morning and see I only have 9,000 steps to go.

Traded texts with a friend from work — but it wasn’t about work, and she’s not just a work friend anymore so I’m counting it. Responded to a text from a friend in San Diego, and sent a text to Grace to let her know (in case she missed it) that the city bus is operating on holiday schedules every weekday now.

I went through a few podcasts and laughed aloud at a few. Took a nap during my lunch hour. No progress on chores today but I knew that would happen when I stayed up ’til 3 Thursday night.

Neither a bad day nor an especially good one, so I’ll take it.

Friday 5: Final Frontier, from here.

  1. What would you do with more physical storage space?
    Put all my music, books, and DVDs in some kind of nice, neat arrangement, all in one place. They are taking over my residence and I’m getting a bit overwhelmed.
  2. What would you do with more living space?
    I’d like to get a restaurant booth and table just for meals, maybe with like a napkin dispenser and sugar shaker. I actually have room for this but I have to toss a bunch of stuff first. Not giving up on this dream.
  3. Would you rather have more kitchen counter space or kitchen cabinet space?
    I have a lot of cabinet space I don’t use. Stuff gets put in cabinets and forgotten about. Most of my cabinets are empty, except one where I keep the alcohol and a few cans. So I would like more counter space for my many kitchen appliances. Right now they take turns between the counter and the space under my dining table. The only permanent residents are the bread machine, Instant Pot (which only recently replaced the slow-cooker), and microwave oven. That’s right: I’m a bad Japanese boy. I don’t keep my rice cooker on the counter. I made brown rice in the Instant Pot the other night and it came out great, so I’m thinking of just using the IP for rice now, since it’s in the position of honor.
  4. What would you do with a larger bedroom?
    A couch and a papa-san for sure. I wouldn’t mind having a second desk in there either.
  5. What’s taking up too much space in your brain lately?
    For once I don’t feel especially burdened lately. Maybe work? I’m a little concerned about being more productive working at home. And although I thank God daily that my company is keeping me working, I honestly don’t feel safe if things get worse. There are indispensable people around here, and I don’t think I’m one. There are several people with more seniority in my company who can write. I’m not worried right now, but I’m a little worried that I might have to worry later.

I hope anyone reading this is sheltering well. You don’t have to go through it alone; please reach out if you are.

Friday 5: Accidents will happen

From here.

  1. What was the last thing you spilled?
    A Super Big Gulp I walked from the 7-Eleven to my desk (it’s a block away). My budget was extremely tight and I didn’t have a lot of room for the $2 drink but I’d worked hard that day and really wanted it. I missed the desktop, slamming the cup into the edge of my desk, which broke a hole in the plastic cup (!) and spilled Diet Pepsi mostly on the carpet. I was heartbroken.
  2. What was the last thing you broke?
    I break things all the time but I think it’s miraculously been a while. Ohhhhh. You know what? I don’t know how I did this because I’m careful about these things, but I snapped the snap-cap on my liquid dishwashing detergent shortly after I opened a new bottle. I hate that. Now I have to set the cap down somewhere while I do dishes. Thank goodness that bottle’s almost empty and I can start fresh with a new one.
  3. What was the last thing you dented?
    My phone case. But of course that’s what a phone case is for.
  4. What was the last thing you tore?
    I was gift-wrapping a weird-shaped item and when I tried to manipulate the paper around a tough spot, I ripped the paper. At first I was annoyed because it was really nice paper and I didn’t have a lot of it, but I made it work. You totally couldn’t tell while the gift was wrapped that there was a tear in it.
  5. What was the last thing you stumbled over?
    A case of water in the middle of my laundry room. I’ve been stepping over it (it’s part of my hurricane readiness kit) for a year, with varying degrees of success.

Friday 5: It’s around here somewhere

From here.

  1. What was your most recent unexpected expense?
    Legally changing my name so that my birth certificate matches all the other documention I’ve assembled over the span of my life. Ugh. Stupid gold star ID thing. By the time this is over, I’ll have spent $300 dollars or so.
  2. What was your most recent pleasant surprise?
    Crush Girl gave me a Christmas gift. No, I don’t know what it is yet because I’m one of those wait-until-Christmas guys. I seriously didn’t expect this to happen. It gives me hope for our friendship.
  3. What can’t you find?
    I can’t find my Santa hat, even though I pretty much know where it is. It’s put a little bit of a dent in my Christmas spirit.
  4. What are you hiding from?
    i’ve been fleeing the reality of my thinning hair for several years. 2020 is the year I decide at least to attempt some kind of proactive maneuvering.
  5. Who is a mystery?
    We have tandem parking at the office — one person parked in front of another in one very long space. Most of the time it works fine. I requested a parking buddy I knew I’d never mind getting up for. And I don’t. But we’ve been having some problems communicating, and I’ve been discouraged by my inability to be a good partner. I wouldn’t say my partner is a mystery, but figuring out how to click has been a serious puzzle.

Friday 5: Body of Evidence

The stress at work continues, but while my part of the project is mostly done, the other people on it are really just getting going. They’re going to be shooting all week, away from the office, so I think I’ll be able to get back into a quiet routine. Here’s hoping.

It was getting rough enough to make me write an email, mostly saying “I’ll work with you whenever I need to, but if you want me to hate it, keep talking to me the way you’re talking to me.” Cooler heads (mine) prevailed and I emailed it to my boss instead. I felt better just expressing my issues with someone; it didn’t have to be the person I have issues with.

She welcomed my venting.

NaNoWriMo continues. I took a few days off last week because of work stress, but there was a write-in at Kaimuki Library this morning and I knocked out more than 3K words, catching me back up. It was a nice morning.

Friday 5. From here.

  1. Among people you know, who’s got the softest shoulder?
    Man, that’s a good question. I haven’t had need of a soft shoulder for quite some time, and when I needed it most, I didn’t really want to talk to anyone except R, and I couldn’t because she was the reason I needed it. The truth is that I’ve been something of an emotinal lone ranger since the R thing. I open up in these journals, and that might be about it. Oh, I just remembered that Jocelyn has been my only person to talk about Crush Girl with, and that’s been a good help. Maybe not such a Lone Ranger after all.
  2. Among people you know, who’s got the stoutest heart?
    My mom is super tough, and while that may not be as true today as it once was, she’s still the person I look to for toughness. Japanese moms — they raise us to be koi, and my mom has set a pretty good example even though the metaphor’s not supposed to extend to women.
  3. Among people you know, who’s got the most soul?
    There’s a way to answer this that kind of goes against the usual meaning, and since I’ve grown up in church culture I’m more likely to go that way. Actually, I think my pick answers it both ways. My eighth grade social studies teacher and my former landlord, Mrs. Wong.
  4. Among people you know, who’s got the biggest mouth?
    Although he’s not nearly as big a mouth as he used to be, I still have to go with Reid here. High school classmate and former roomie. It was never one of his more endearing traits, although combined with his more endearing traits it can really liven up a party. We planned our most recent high school reunion for a year but his emceeing is what really made it a success. It was actually nice to watch him come to life with the mic in his hand. A good reminder of what he’s like at his best.
  5. Among people you know, who’s got the toughest liver?
    Growing up, I watched my dad put down impressive amounts of beer, and I never saw him behave in a drunken manner. He was always aware of how much he’d had to drink, and sometimes I would ask him why he didn’t say ______ or do ______ when it was clear to me his expertise would have settled whatever debate or task could have used his input, and he would say quietly, “I’ve had a few beers. It’s not the best time to get involved in something like that.” So while this doesn’t exactly answer the question, it keeps with the question’s spirit. I saw some of my friends’ dads drunk or hungover, and I could see how embarrassing it was to my friends. I never had to go through that.

Friday 5: Bad Mood Food

I’ve had a long, busy day, and I’m unwinding in the boba cafe, which closes in thirty minutes, so I’m going to try to write this in 20, leaving me time to pack up and visit the lavatory.

From here.

  1. What are you most likely to reach for when you stress-eat?
    Ice cream is my depression food. Chips are my stress food, at least lately. And I’ve downed a ton of them at work this past week and a half. It’s not good. It’s helping me cope, but I can’t keep relying on it — I’m trying to drop weight, not add chips. But grrrrrrrrrrrr this group project at work is taking a toll on me. By the end of Friday I felt wrung, like a chamois. It’s affecting the rest of my life, too. I lost sleep Monday night because I was so annoyed about a scheduled 90-minute meeting I thought could be an email. The meeting turned out not to suck, and we got good work done, but I still don’t think it was necessary. Now WHERE THE HECK DID I PUT THOSE DORITOS?
  2. When were you last disappointed by a meal?
    The frickin’ Popeye’s chicken sandwich was supposed to be available last week. The stupid Popeye’s app even TOLD me to go get it. Turns out the app for some reason doesn’t even work in my region (beyond sending me notifications) and the Popeye’s in my ‘hood had signs up all over the restaurant saying the chicken sandwich was coming soon. So I ordered chicken fingers and they were on the downside of okay. So annoying; I should have ordered chicken but I was trying to write while I ate, and I didn’t want to grease up my fingers, so I could type. Blasted chicken sandwich and crappy chicken fingers. Two disappointments in one meal!
  3. What food are you sad you can’t get anymore?
    They added a thin layer of caramel to the Whatchamacalllit bar in the summer after my junior year. It was a perfect candy bar before that. It’s still good but it’s not nearly as good as it used to be. KC Drive-In shut down 20 years or so ago, so the legendary chocolate ono-ono shake is but a memory. I wrote it about it in my NaNo project, so I’m feeling the nostagia now.
  4. For what food will you make an exception to a personal rule?
    I don’t like to get food on my hands, so eat a lot of finger foods with a knife and fork, but I make an exception for wings. Wings are among my favorite foods, and you can’t eat them with a knife and fork.
  5. What’s something you really like but would never order while dining out because you have it at home all the time?
    There are fewer items on this list than there used to be, because I’m so busy and I typically dine alone. I’m a sucker for corned beef hash when it’s made in-house, and I used to have the canned version all the time at home, but I’m trying not to have processed meats at home. So I’ll order corned beef hash even in joints where I know it’s out of a can, once in a while when I want to indulge. With a sunny-side-up egg and some rice, it’s one of my favorite breakfasts.

Yay. Got it done in 15 minutes.

Friday 5: Food Mood

From here.

  1. What’s the best striped food?
    Someone else said salmon, and I really wish I’d thought of that. My first thought was Fudge Stripes cookies, which aren’t really that great. Then I was chatting with Sylvia the other night. She wants to make Japanese-style potato salad (mmmmm…) and asked if I thought Kewpie mayo was a must. I said the only thing Kewpie mayo is a must for is okonomiyaki. Bing. There’s my answer.
  2. What’s the best spotted food?
    Crush Girl has a blouse that reminds me of a certain fruit I’m fond of, so of course that’s the food I want to name here. Really, though, how could it be anything other than vanilla bean ice cream? Great. Now I’m craving ice cream.
  3. What’s the best layered food?
    Why are layered foods so amazing? Tiramisu, ice cream cake, seven-layer dip, loco moco. Mm. The winner is clearly lasagna, though.
  4. What’s the best swirly food?
    Helloooooooo Cinnabon.
  5. What’s the best black-and-white food?
    I’m going comfort food here: nori tsukudani and rice. I only just learned the word tsukudani now. I had to look it up because in our house we just referred to it by one of the brand names we liked (Gohandesuyo!). When we were kids, my sister and I always called it “mushy nori.” My mom, the first time she heard us saying it (when I was like 6 and my sister was 4), told us not to call it that. Because mushi means bug. Hahaha. And if you look at nori tsukudani closely, you couldn’t swear that it wasn’t made of blended bugs. So of course that’s what we always called it when my mom wasn’t around. In college, it was a frequent breakfast, and my roomie Captain Daveman was grossed out by it. Wouldn’t even try it. Kept calling it “that black stuff.” But it is freaking delicious. That stuff is straight-up umami paste, and it will always give me feelings of being taken care of, which I suppose is really what comfort food is, right? The stuff in the photo up there isn’t as black as the stuff I usually have, but better photos were from personal blogs and I didn’t want to steal from them. This one’s from an online retailer and therefore fair game.


Friday 5 from here.

  1. What does your favorite mug look like?
    I have two I consider favorites. I have a very large Eeyore mug I prefer most of the time. It holds two cups of coffee, for starters, and two cups of coffee are better than one cup of coffee. Eeyore is my spirit animal, and one of my friends in high school even used it as a nickname for me (I called her Roo, which if you knew her you’d know was close to perfect). This is the mug I bring with me to coffee hours or staff meetings (I try not to use disposable coffee cups at these things), so by now everyone at work knows it’s my mug. My other favorite is a white UH Hilo mug using a font and logo the school doesn’t use anymore. I bought one for me and two for my parents the week of my graduation. I don’t think they still have the ones I gave them (which is too bad — if they were going to give them away, I’d gladly have taken them off their hands). Go Vulcans.
  2. With a typical dinner out, how many glasses of water do you drink?
    I drink a lot of water. Easily six to eight glasses on a good night, if the waiters are attentive, but I wouldn’t be surprised if in some places it goes to ten. I just really like clearing the palate frequently so I can enjoy my meal appropriately. Plus I just like water, and the colder the better.
  3. What’s something for which you recently used a paper cup, other than to hold a beverage?
    Because I don’t like to use disposable cups, I try to get at least two or three uses out of each one I come into contact with, not counting whatever I get in fast food joints. Recently, I’ve used paper cups as my change jar, a pen holder, and a measuring cup for one of my go-to meals on evenings after longs days: microwaved pasta.
  4. How confidently do you pour a drink into a tumbler with your non-dominant hand?
    Something very few people know about me is that I’m trying to train my left hand to do everyday tasks in case I ever lose the use of my right hand. Have you ever tried to take your keys out of your pocket, select the right key, insert the key into your front door, and let yourself in with your non-dominant hand? I couldn’t believe how such a seemingly simple task could feel so complicated the first time I tried it. I do it with aplomb now; in fact I do it most days leaving the house or coming home, since I usually have my gym bag in my right hand. Pouring drinks into cups (or from one bottle of water to another, to consolidate half-drunk bottles) with my left hand has been a recent, targeted skill. I’d say I do it pretty confidently, ‘though not with the second-nature, no-need-to-concentrate ability with which I unlock a door.
  5. What’s going to be your holy grail for this weekend?
    I’d like to complete minimal amounts of work in pursuit of my holy grail: plenty of good sleep and time to read. Last weekend’s hoped-for good weather did come, but I only made it to the beach Saturday while I was hoping for two good days in the water. This week I’d like to get those two mornings, too.

Rereading what I wrote last week, I know I wasn’t being honest with myself when I said the bruises I still have were only because of the introspection. It was mostly that for sure, but it’s dumb to pretend I’m not also still aching a bit from the rejection, even while totally convinced I deserved rejection and pretty much no other response. It sucks to be rejected, and it causes injury. Nobody really thinks otherwise, not even me.

Crush Girl has inspired a lot of aching this week. I’ve been in a terrible mood everywhere I go, almost all the time, for the past few weeks, and fleeting moments with her have been respites from the crappy feelings. It makes me grateful in a twisted way for the friendzoning. Better this than no relationship at all, but the echoes of her absence do load me up with melancholy from time to time, this week particularly.

I’m in the middle of two weeks of deliberate frugality. It’s not extreme, as it has been a few times in recent months, but it’s still not exactly pleasant. Right after payday I took care of my obligations, and seeing how little I had left, I stocked my pantry and filled my gas tank, leaving me a little bit of cash for the occasional boba and possibly some fast food once or twice. So it’s not hellacious; it’s just pretty restrictive.

I’m typing this in my neighborhood boba spot. I like this place a lot for its super-fast wifi and good tea. The fruit teas are amazing here. I just wish they had a few no-caffeine options, as I’ve been getting here close to closing. Oh, that’s another thing I like about the spot: it’s open until 10 on weeknights. Down the road a few blocks is a really popular spot in a rather unlikely, mostly industrial place near the community college. We’re talking line from the counter to the door popular. I haven’t checked it out yet despite raves from friends mostly because it closes at 9.

I think this is going to be my NaNoWriMo HQ for November. I can get two solid hours here each night if I don’t waste time either getting out of the office or settling down to get busy. Still no idea what the plan is for a NaNo project, but I’ve got a few ideas floating around up here.

Sometimes I question my participation in this thing every year. I’ve already proven to myself that I can crank out the words, and that sometimes they’re pretty good. And as much as I value the community — I’ve made some really good friends during NaNo — it’s been difficult being one of the veterans with an ever-refreshed cast of newcomers. I like the new people fine; I just miss some of the old friends who no longer do this.

There is also, of course, a difference between knowing I can crank out 50K words in 30 days and actually doing it, and with my writing partner suuuuuuuper busy with real-life stuff, I haven’t had the motivation to work on stuff. Plus, of course, there’s the way the writing part of my brain is so tired after a long day of actually doing it for a living for someone else.

Teaching is emotionally and physically exhausting. It wasn’t nearly as mentally exhausting as writing is. I’m not sure why, but it’s absolutely true in my case. I’ve pretty much never been one of those get-home-and-veg-in-front-of-the-TV guys, since when I was teaching I could seldom afford myself the luxury. I can see it now, though. My brain when I get home from work at this job just wants to go into cruise control.

More about NaNo later.