“Five things” is a now a newsletter!

My weekly post, “Five things for the week”, is turning into a weekly email newsletter.

Each week I’ll choose five thoughts and/or updates on topics and events to share. My hope is that this format of sharing will be less scattered than my Twitter rants. And I much prefer the email newsletter format over posting on a blog/website.

Also included is a summary of interesting things that I have read, watched, or listened to from the week; things that I want to share with you.

The newsletter is free; I have no plans to monetize this medium.

Thank you, and please subscribe here.

Korean food in Woodland, CA

After reading this writeup (Sacramento Bee), I added Kuji Asian Grill to our (long) list of places to try. We finally had a chance to visit on our way home from Davis, CA.

My first impression upon walking into the small, fast-casual style restaurant was, “I like that it’s small and you’re up close with the cooks but, I was hoping for more of a sit-down place.” It wasn’t a knock against the restaurant in any way, I was just more in the mood for a more traditional “server-hostess” style restaurant.

I like that there is a lot of diversity in the area with both food and people, especially in Woodland, CA. The food and people in Kuji were nice and friendly. The food was above average; enough where I would definitely go back. Some of their salads looked really good. I regretted not ordering the bibimbap as soon as I saw someone near us receive theirs. It looked awesome.

All the more reason to return.

All aboard! Nature!

My Grandparents used to live in Oakhurst, CA, right outside of the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park. I was fortunate because this enabled me to visit the park, and surrounding places like Bass Lake, many times. The Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad is a memory straight from my childhood, as we stopped by top see this train many times.

This past Saturday was the first time I had a chance to actually ride on it. I’m not exactly sure why we never rode it as kids. I think it’s because whenever we stopped to see it, it was either on our way to or from visiting Yosemite itself. It was never really a destination.

The train takes a 4 mile round trip loop through the surrounding forest. It’s based on an old logging train, so much of the narration from the tour guide is focused on the logging history in the area. We opted for the first ride in the morning, 9:30 AM, and were joined by a tour bus full of Koreans on their way to the park.

While I started off taking pictures of everything I could, mostly to start getting used to the new camera, I ended up putting the camera away about halfway through the ride. The combination of the fresh mountain air, the scenery (the trees!), and just being “in the moment” with my wife and friends was far better than experiencing everything through a viewfinder.

It just felt good to be there. To take everything in. To relax. All in all, it was a fun way to spend the Saturday.

Five things for the week

Living wall

Self-Care Sundays

I’m increasingly creating a routine that ends up with Sunday’s focus on my own rest, healing, health, and overall mental state in preparation for the coming week. This comes in the form of things like

  • Personal grooming
  • Spending the mornings reading and writing
  • Eating without guilt, yet still healthy and in moderation
  • Playing on the Nintendo Switch

And, really, anything else that I want to do. The goal being that it’s a day that belongs to me, and shouldn’t be governed by stress or work/school to do lists, or any other obligations that I do not whole-heartedly endorse.

To achieve this, I have had to make routine adjustments leading into Sundays in order to keep them clear. A lot of these adjustments can be chalked up to simply reducing the amount of procrastinating that I do.


Nature

We spent yesterday in the Sierras. The fresh mountain air, the perfect morning temperature, the relaxing open-air train ride through the trees… it was all so perfect. Midway through I put my camera back into the bag and just sat and enjoyed it all.


Photojournalism

I’m not an Angels fan but, the passing of Tyler Skaggs is a story that I have followed this week. This picture of his mother on the pitcher’s mound, and tweet thread really hit me.


Writing

I’m going to start taking it more seriously. This, of course, can mean a lot of things. But, the only thing I want to say here is that, well… I’m going to start taking it more seriously.


Photography

I purchased this camera sling bag and tried it out this weekend. It’s perfect for the new camera. I love that it’s small enough to be comfortable (it’s very light) yet, still can hold what I need it to hold. Makes me happy. And appreciative.

Recently Read, Watched, and Listened

Read

How to Break Up With Your Phone, by Catherine Price I liked this read. The first part of the book gives you the facts and the “why”. The second part of the book talks through the “how” using a 30-day plan. While I haven’t (yet) participated in this plan, I can see how it would be effective. Before I begin it, I need to take some time to really identify how I want my phone use to be. Basically, set a goal around it so that I have a direction to work towards other than “I want to use my phone less”.

Reading with Patrick, by Michelle Kuo After watching her TED Talk, I immediately checked out Michelle Kuo’s book from the library. At large, it’s good reinforcement on how taking time to help and support one another goes a long way. It’s at times eye-opening and grounding at the same time. We can do better by treating each other better.

How to Embrace Professional Decline This is an intriguing perspective, and something that I have been giving a lot of thought to. While I’m not unhappy with my work right now, I do feel a sense of “stagnation”. I don’t feel challenged in the same ways that I used to. I don’t feel as fulfilled. I keep chalking this up to a temporary “lull” where things will pick up again soon.

Sikh drivers are transforming U.S. trucking. Take a ride along the Punjabi American highway I like reading/learning more about the workforce that I normally don’t think about. Everyone from farm workers to truck drivers to maintenance workers. If not to just remind me of how things get done, and to be more appreciative of how.

Road-Tripping With the Amazon Nomads This lifestyle sounds crazy, risky, and (like the subjects say) lonely. And while I understand that it could be lucrative with the right people, personality, and drive, it also disheartens me a little bit when I consider the consumerism that drives this.

How Cooking Websites Are Failing People With Disabilities This is an excellent post, and acknowledgment, by Serious Eats. It’s an issue not just limited to recipe sites, either. It makes me happy to see more people become more aware of what changes need to occur to make things more accessible.


Watched

Parks and Recreation I’m rewatching this series, through Netflix. I liked it during its first run. Now, as I rewatch it, I more appreciate the really good writing in it. But some of the side characters have become more irritating (mostly Tom, Chris, and Andy).

Aziz Ansari: Right Now Purely coincidental that while I’m rewatching parks and Recreation, Ansari’s new comedy special is released. It was an uncomfortable watch; I kept thinking it was “too soon” to see him back. But then I started questioning that, because I realized that I don’t know the full story. Nor does it directly affect me. And I think that’s part of the message in this show. I want to stop judging and punishing, and want to start taking more steps back to learn and understand.


Listened

Uncover, Season 4 Dubbed as “the Crazy Cat Lady Case”, this is another “true crime cold case” podcast series that caught my interest. I found it interesting to follow from episode to episode. But the narration, the tone and the creepiness of the tone, bothered me by the end.

Solomon’s on K

Solomon’s Delicatessen, K and 8th

Today, I found myself with a meeting-free morning and an excuse to be downtown around breakfast so, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to try out the recently opened Solomon’s Delicatessen. They have been working on this one for a while so it’s very nice to have a location much closer to me. Though, their Davis location (my standby since we moved here) isn’t all that far away.

I immediately feel in love with the entrance. As you can see, there is some great artwork around it. So many colors, you can’t help feeling happy as you walk in.

Inside has a nice vibe. I originally thought that I would pull out the laptop and knock out some work while there but, that didn’t quite work out. One because my laptop battery was completely drained and I couldn’t find any outlets that were “customer accessible”. And two, it was kind of noisy and “echo-y” in there. I work a lot better in small, quiet places.

The food is good, and I didn’t expect anything otherwise. I ordered The Russ, which is my go to. Bagel and lox, with onion, capers, and tomato, is one of my top 3 favorite things to have for breakfast. Solomon’s smokes their own lox, and you can tell. Their coffee is good too; it reminds me of a classic diner’s coffee. Nothing fancy but it’s comforting and familiar.

New camera, who dis?

Fujifilm X-T30 with 35mm f/2.8

This week, I finally purchased a smaller “companion” camera to carry in my everyday bag. I also wanted something on the smaller side for those weekend excursions where I want a camera but I don’t want a bigger kit with me. Just something nice and easy.

Because I use the Fujifilm X system, and already have my preferred selection of lenses, I was torn between the X-E3 and the X-T30. While I did try the E3, and found it to be very capable, it just didn’t feel right.

The T-30 did, which I attribute to being the SLR style (versus the rangefinder style). While I like the rangefinder style in specific scenarios, I much prefer SLR style shooting all around.

It already has a space carved out in my bag. Now I just need to work on getting out more often to take more pictures. Looking forward to it.

Two murals in Matsui Alley

Mural, by Josh: 20th and Matsui Alley. Still looking for some background on the mural and artist.

During yesterday’s visit to Federalist Public House, I captured two murals located nearby. All three locations (the murals and the restaurant) are within the same block in Matsui Alley. I really like both of them.

Chase Bank Mural, by Michelle Blade (2016): 21st and Matsui Alley

I love how dreamy this one looks, especially with the color combination the artist chose. It looks like Michelle Blade was commissioned not only for the mural on the outside but, the project continued on the inside of the Chase Bank building. You can see more pictures of the project on her website.

Federalist Public House

Me: I’m craving a wood-fired pizza.
Wife: Same.

Capitol: crushed tomato. mozzarella. cremini mushrooms. smoked pancetta. oregano. evoo. sea salt.

Federalist Public House has been on my list almost since the first day we arrived in Sacramento. I first saw their gorgeous wood-fired pizzas on their Instagram feed. Frankly, it’s a little mind-boggling that it has taken this long for us to try them.

Federalist’s front door: This place is made from 7 shipping containers, their front door (shown here) slides to the right.

We found ourselves in midtown in, well, mid afternoon. After getting a little pickup at nearby Pachamama Coffee (which I also highly recommend), we made our way to Federalist just before they opened, at 4:30 PM. Doors opened right on time and we were the second customers to order.

so much delicious comes from this oven.

I wanted to try everything. Their menu is that good. We opted for the Italian meatball sandwich and their signature Capitol pizza.

Italian meatball: cannonballs. mozzarella. grana padano. oregano. italian gravy.

The filling of this sandwich with, of course, the meatballs melted in your mouth. The warm, fluffy bread was the perfect compliment. How the wood-fired oven made this all come together was magic. The salad was amazing as well.

But the pizza… yeah, it was what we were looking for. Perfect flavor combination of cheesy and salt, along with that bubbly lightly charred crust. Just too good. We’re already planning our next meal there.

Five things for the week

Site and Blog changes coming

I’m still in my planning phase for some upcoming changes to this site. While I don’t have anything concrete to update you on now, I will say that this site will remain an “everyday” general blog. I’m putting together a personal photography website, which will have a portfolio and a photoblog where I will share more pictures and posts on photography. And no, I still haven’t yet determined what my newsletter will be about and when I’ll start pushing that. It’s all just a work in progress for now.

2. Photography

During our weekend trip to Ventura, I deliberately left my cameras behind, opting to travel light and use just my phone for taking pictures. And while my phone worked out just fine, I did regret not taking a camera for two reasons, 1) using my phone as a camera means that I always had my phone out, so chances for being distracted by it were higher than if I had just been able to keep it in my bag. Not to mention my battery drained pretty quickly. And 2) I just feel better when using a camera (instead of a phone).

3. Read

If You See Her, by Ania Ahlborn – An entertaining, quick read that definitely has the author’s signature storytelling. I like her other books, my favorites being The Bird Eater and Brother. This, for me, wasn’t as good but I still enjoyed the read. I think that she self-published this one? At least she published only through Amazon so it’s only available there.

I Wrote This on a 30-Year-Old Computer It’s definitely nostalgia but I like reading about people using old technologies. This one brings back memories of typing out school reports and fighting printers the night before they were due. It also reminded me of fighting with family members for computer time so that I could write stories and poetry, and play games. What I really liked was the author reminding me how much you could really focus in one one task, not being distracted with multiple programs running, as well as sitting down to a dedicated place and machine to do that. Not being so readily available and connected has an increasing amount of draw for me.

The Lingering of Loss Jill Lepore’s touching post about her best friend.

Blowin’ in the Wind I enjoyed the photos in this post. I also learned that tumbleweeds are edible? I remember, in the small town I grew up in, before all of the new home construction how often we would have to deal with tumbleweed buildup around our house.

Why Megan Rapinoe’s brother, Brian, is her greatest heartbreak, and hope This is a great profile on Megan and her brother. There’s so much that so many are going through. All the more reason to be supportive of as many people as you can.

4. Watched

This Old House, s. 40, ep. 26 – I always like the end of season episodes where they finish a project and turn it over back to the homeowner. While I didn’t like this style (mid-century modern), I did like seeing the different techniques used to modernize it.

Stranger Things 3Binged during our midweek day off (weird). Sure, the series has its faults but I like the ride, and season 3 was no different. These kids are growing up, fast! Hopper P.I.!!! And the Neverending Story scene was *chef’s kiss*.

Women’s World Cup matches, including the quarter, semi, and finals – USA! USA! USA! There’s a lot of people that can/will write about this much more eloquently than I can. I will say this: I am inspired.

5. Listened

Why’d You Push That ButtonI especially liked the Jibo episode but, more recently I listened to the Celebrity Death Twitter episode and I found it interesting how so many things could be perceived from slight differences in how and when people tweet.

Song Exploder, ep. 162 Big Thief This episode, breaking down their “Cattails” track, had me listening to the band for the majority of the rest of the week. I just really like playing their songs in the background while I’m working. I find them very relaxing.

Bear Brook, ep 7 – We listened to this update during our drive down to Ventura. It’s a bittersweet update where 3 of the 4 victims are identified as a result of years of research and persistence from volunteer researchers. I sent a thank you to one of them, Rebekah Heath, on Facebook to for the work that she did.

The Mountain Goats I’ve grown into the habit of just bringing up their Essentials playlist, on Apple Music, and letting it loop over and over again. I love the songwriting.

//My Read, Watched, and Listened lists are two week’s worth, even though it might not seem like it. I’m pretty happy that I didn’t spend a lot of time watching anything. The reading list is also low due to our extended weekend getaway and then the weird holiday midweek, which made the whole week kind of lazy (and nice).

Day 88 – AeroGarden

This is likely my last AeroGarden post for the tomatoes. The plants are no longer growing in height nor width, and are really focused on just producing so, rather than continuing to post pictures like this one, I’m going to end the photos here. Y0u can see the next “harvest” coming in. I’ll most likely pick them tomorrow, which I’m considering either turning into a salsa or just enjoying in a Greek salad.

I’m overall happy with the AeroGarden “experience”. I originally bought this to use as an herb garden (our kitchen doesn’t get much natural light) but, something told me to experiment with the tomatoes instead. I’m happy I did that.

Weekend Getaway – Ventura, CA

It’s been far too long since my wife and I have had a chance to go out of town for the weekend. We knew it, and we knew that we were in complete control of when we would be able to. So, we made it happen this past weekend, opting to travel to my old hometown, Ventura.

Ventura feels like home, even though I didn’t grow up there. I grew up about 23 miles away. I was fortunate to have lived in Ventura for a few years, but I chose to move away in pursuit of some difficult to pass on career choices.

We spent the weekend doing what everyone should do on their vacation: absolutely nothing. We woke up when we wanted. We ate when we were hungry. We wandered around with no schedule or agenda.

Slow down. Live in the moment. Empty our minds. De-stress. It was amazing.

I didn’t even take my camera (all of these pics were taken with my phone). I knew that I didn’t want to take anything extra with me. And I also didn’t want to “think” about photography.

And, of course, I had to get at least one meal in at Taqueria Cuernavaca, one of my top 5 favorite restaurants anywhere.

Don’t hoard vacation days

I took this in 2006 but, I’ve had a vacation since then. Right?

I am off work for the rest of the week. I’m giving myself a break and rewarding myself with a four day weekend. It’s one of the things that I need to improve on: taking more time for myself. I can’t remember the last time I used up all of my vacation days.

And that is a bad thing.

Vacation days are part of your compensation. They are part of your salary. Not using them is almost like forfeiting a part of your salary. And while I am able to carry over some vacation hours to the next year, it’s not to be used as a “safety net”. I need to use those hours.

The last “proper” vacation we have had? It’s been a few years. Some extended weekends here and there. Nothing in the realm of 5+ consecutive workdays off.

So, the rest of the week will have to do until my wife and I can figure out where to go and how to spend an actual vacation. Hopefully soon.

Five things for the week

Sunday morning

1. Balance

I work from home and I love it. It’s definitely a privilege that I try not to take for granted. Like many remote workers, I do struggle with “clocking out”. I sometimes feel guilty for even stepping away from my desk during business hours. As the time passes, I am getting more comfortable with it.

I do want to start mixing things up a little more, such as working out of coffee shops and other locations more often. If not just to get some more “social” tine around people. I have written about this before but, I do want to start networking and participating in some meetups more often as well. So I joined Meetup.com to check out what is happening in the area.

2. Habits

I fell back on my “no screen time other than e-readers after 9 pm” habit forming so, will I’ll have to put more focus on that, this week. The second bad habit that I started working to eliminate is working on multiple things simultaneously. In other words, I have been trying to focus more on single tasks, even adding time to my calendar dedicated to them. I would gauge my success rate in doing this at 50% for last week. I have some ideas to implement, this week, to help improve that.

3. Read

Inside the black (cherry) market of vintage Kool-Aid packet collectors After reading this, for a while I sat and tried to think of any food and/or beverage that I felt as much passion for as the people this highlights. The answer? Nope, not a single food item.

The Pu-erh Brokers of Yunnan Province A good cup of Pu-erh rivals the best cups of coffee out there. I love this tea and appreciate this article’s behind the scenes insight on it.

There Is Too Much Stuff Yes.

L.A. Son, by Roy Choi – I started to reread this. I have the hardcover sitting on my dining room table so that I can visit a few pages at a time. Chef Choi is doing some really admirable work.

4. Watched

Good OmensClose to when the book was first released, I attempted to read it. I didn’t finish, mainly because the religious aspect turned me off (I had a huge chip on my shoulder about religion at the time). Thew previews intrigued me so, my wife and I decided to give this show a try. It’s good! It’s got a wonderful blend of British humor and good storytelling. Perhaps I’ll pick up the book again soon.

A Tale of Two Kitchens The more I learn about Chef Gabriela Cámara, the more my admiration grows. This short documentary juxtapositions her two restaurants with the many issues across the US-Mexico border. It’s an excellent look at the people we often overlook. As a bonus, here is Evan Kleiman’s Good Food interview with Chef Gabriela (13 min). Another bonus, here is Dave Chang in conversation with her (68 min). I enjoyed both interviews very much.

June 17th, 1994 This was unique in that there was no narrator nor talking head(s), it was a documentary made from actual news clips and file footage to tell the story. And it was super effective; I found myself remembering exactly where I was and what I was doing as some of those clips were played (and I remembered hearing them the first time).

I remember that, during the chase, I was working (as a busboy at Black Angus). I was irritated because I had to work and all I really wanted to do was watch the NBA Finals. So every chance I got, I would find my way into the bar area to take peeks at the TVs. I very vividly, thanks to the refresher from this documentary, remember the split screen between the game and the white Ford Bronco. I also remember that it felt like the whole restaurant had frozen all activities, as more people filed into the bar area to watch the chase. Very surreal.

5. Listened

Prince’s Batman (1989) soundtrack I linked to Prince’s “Batdance” video. The first time I saw that music video was at my grandparents’ house with my cousins, who were visiting from Colorado. We were all so hyped for this movie. The entire soundtrack is just so fitting with the look and tone of the movie. I still love it. “Partyman” is my favorite track.

Gone at 26 years old, Officer O’Sullivan

Murdered young police officers, the second of the year in this area. R.I.P. Natalie Corona, R.I.P. Tara O’Sullivan.

Officer O’Sullivan was murdered, last night, not too far from my neighborhood. She was part of a group of officers responding to a domestic violence call. She was doing her job.

No, I’m not happy with our systematic racism in law enforcement across this country. But this isn’t an issue where taking one side benefits anyone. It is, like so many of our systematic issues, a very multi-layered, nuanced, complex issue that will only be solved with a combination of empathy, compassion, compromise, and time (to name just a few).

I support law enforcement as much as I support movements like Black Lives Matter.

Murder is murder is murder. We need so much less of it.

It is possible to be angry at and supportive of simultaneously.

Day 72 – AeroGarden

Salsa, bruschetta, Greek salads… we’re anticipating being able to make a lot of this in the coming weeks. Look at all of the tomatoes coming in! I’m now adding water every 2-3 days and haven’t raised the light hood since the last time. It seems like the plants are holding steady at their current height, and are now just focused on producing.

I think it’s because all six plants’ roots are tangled amongst each other and taking up all of the space in the water reservoir. So, in a sense, they have taken up all the space in the pot.

Which leads to some lessons learned for if/when I grow tomatoes again in the AeroGarden:

  • I’ll only grow 1-3 plants which should yield plenty of tomatoes for us, and take up less space. This might also allow me to use the other spaces to grow other things.
  • I’ll check on the roots more often and untangle them as needed.
  • Earlier in the growth cycle, I’ll transfer some plants to soil and grow them outside.
  • I may look into some auto-watering methods. It’s not a hassle to water manually but, the more automated the better.

On mukbang, I… have questions…

First, I will preface this by saying that I absolutely have no issues with the people who create or watch mukbang videos and streams. If it brings you happiness, if it’s something you enjoy, and you aren’t causing harm to others then, as far as I am concerned, carry on.

A sample mukbang video by Nikocado Avocado

I have been aware of mukbang ever since I first heard of it and what it was about, a few years ago. But I was never really intrigued enough to watch a video, let alone know any more about it. For years it was just “a thing” that other people did.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled onto a mukbang video on Youtube. That lead me down the famed Youtube rabbit hole and before I knew it, I had watched a few mukbang videos from a few different streamers.

It’s both disgusting and fascinating. I feel similarly when I watch something like Hoarders or My 600-lb Life. And, like those shows, I’m not going to seek them out to watch regularly but when they’re on a screen I cannot turn away.

  • Why?!?
  • Are they actually eating this much in one sitting or, is there any kind of trick photography involved?
  • What do these people do to offset, if anything, the amount of food that they eat?
  • Do they go in for regular checkups on cholesterol, blood pressure, and others?
  • What do their friends and family think of these? Not looking for “judgement” but more along the lines of whether they are supportive or not.
  • I assume people watch not only for the food binge (living vicariously?) but, that they also get “hooked” on the stories and personalities of the streamers, right?

And so, so many more questions. I also wonder if there is any shame, regret, embarrassment from mukbangers (?) when employers or colleagues discover their videos.

It’s a weird trend. It doesn’t surprise me that people make money from it but, I do wonder where the limit (on what people will do for money) is.

Five things for the week

1. Newsletter

I have been toying with starting a weekly email newsletter. I like the format but was never really sure that I would have anything to write about consistently. I have quite a few ideas forming, though, so I decided to move forward with the first step; creating an account on the newsletter platform that I want to use (Substack).

I don’t know when I’ll write/send the first one but, if you want to, you can subscribe here.

2. Habits

Last week, I started to work on eliminating one bad habit while tying to replace it with a “good” habit. This was simply to stop work, social media, and other unnecessary screen time by 9:00 pm to begin reading (books, articles, non-digital magazines). I would gauge my success rate at 60%.

So, this coming week, I’ll try to keep that going while working to eliminate the second (of three) bad habits.

3. Read

Save Me the Plums, by Ruth Reichl I loved the “behind the scenes” look at what Ruth Reichl had to do to move from the freelance to the corporate world. It still sounds very glamorous, considering the travel and prestige she experienced. It was a fun read, with excellent writing as always (from her). I always thought that I would go into journalism (photojournalism) after high school. That didn’t pan out and I’m kind of happy it didn’t.

USWNT Inspires Older Fans, Too. One of Them Was My MomGrant Wahl’s touching tribute to his mother, after she passed. I love sports for what they mean, and can mean, for people who watch sports. Sure, there is the sport itself but, the journeys and the representation and the stories… this is what I love best abut it all.

Are McMansions Making People Any Happier?I found this interesting as I watch developers and builders, around Sacramento, straddle the line between building neighborhoods with large houses and trying to fit as many of them into their subdivision as possible. It’s so weird to look out your window and directly into the window of your neighbor’s house. Part of me wonders if it would just be better to have townhouses/rowhouses and give the homeowners more back and front yards.

4. Watched

I watched a lot of YouTube this week, mostly watching updates and gameplay videos on Nintendo‘s E3 announcements.

I also found myself watching a lot of the Food Wishes videos. I know I’m late to the party on them but, they’re really informative and entertaining. I like Chef John’s humor.

5. Listened

Song Exploder, ep 161: Sheryl Crow A powerful, powerful track. Love the episode as Sheryl walked us through the process of combining her vocals with Johnny Cash’s.

The Moth: Mets Magic I found Marie Hershkowitz’s story to be very endearing. One because it has to do with baseball fandom, and two because it talks about the sacrifices one makes for others.

I like like flat whites

Flat white coffee and ipad with keyboard

I love cappuccinos. I like, well… I like like flat whites.

My go to at coffeeshops has long been cappuccino. I love the flavor and feel of them, ordering them whenever I find myself in a cafe, coffeeshop, or while traveling. It’s been my go to until a few months back, where on a whim I decided to try a flat white.

According to RoastyCoffee.com, “Flat whites are made by pouring purely textured milk (micro-foam) over a coffee component (usually 1-2 shots of espresso). They are served in smaller cups than cappuccinos, usually a ~5oz tulip cup. When you order this drink, you can expect a silky texture with zero frothiness. The flavor of the espresso features strongly because the flavor of the milk foam is more complementary than overpowering.”

It’s the “silky texture” and the stronger espresso flavor that is winning me over. And since that first try, the flat white has become my go to order whenever I see it on a menu. And even when not on a menu, I ask the barista if they can make one.

The photo (above) was taken a few Sundays ago, at Old Soul Coffee. The barista graciously made it for me, even though it wasn’t on their menu, and it was wonderful. Perfect for sipping on their patio, in the cool morning air, while I wrote and read.

Nintendo E3

I have been keeping up with all of the Nintendo news from E3 and it has me excited about some games that will be coming out soon.

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons – This looks like a fun game that I (and many others) can get lost in. Animal Crossing has a very calming effect on me. I’m not alone here, according to this Reddit thread. This comes out on March 20, 2020 so I have some time to get through the Games I have before diving into it.
  • Sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – My first reaction to this was “Uh oh, I guess I need to go back and spend some time with BOTW!” I haven’t put any serious time into the first one. I love it, it’s just that I haven’t had time to play it the way that I really want to play it. Not yet.
  • Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening – I like what they have done with this remake, from the art and design to the 2d game play that I’m so used to with Zelda games. I also love the elements and characters from other Nintendo properties/Games that have made their way into this. It just looks fun.
  • The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance – I’m intrigued with this one. It’s mainly because of my love for The Dark Crystal as a child. I was really never partial to “tactical strategy games” though, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to get into it and, as such, I’m not so sure I’ll buy it. But, intrigued!
  • Pokémon Sword/Shield – I’ll most likely end up picking one of these up. I like the Dreadnaw Pokémon design.
  • Contra Anniversary Collection – My brothers and I loved played Contra, growing up. It’s just a fun “shoot everything” type of game. This was a nice surprise (just released) so I’ll probably be downloading this soon.
  • Metroid Prime 4 – No mention of this during E3 but it still is my most anticipated game for the Switch. Until it’s released, there will be plenty of other games (above) to keep me occupied.

Update June 13: Just watched the gameplay video for Hollow Knight: Silksong. It looks great! Love the sidescrolling genre so much. I’m adding this to the list of games to pickup when it’s released.