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.