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.

WNT vs Thailand… 13 goals!?!

I was so excited to watch the game, the team’s first of the tournament. It felt like forever between the Women’s World Cup opening day and today. I can’t imagine what it felt like for the players and coaches having to wait to play their first match. Imagine the pent up energy and emotion they all had as athletes who have dreamed of playing in the World Cup for their entire careers.

And as you may have heard by now, the team unleashed it all! The final scoreline will tell you that the Women’s USA Team scored 13 goals while the Women’s Thai team scored zero. In the soccer world, that’s a lot. So much, in fact, that it broke records and is the highest number of goals scored by any World Cup team, men or women.

If you didn’t watch the game, you missed much more than the scoreline. The team played really well. They attacked the entire time. Thailand barely made it to their attacking side of the field, the entire match. Yes, Thailand was overmatched (and we all knew this going in). Yes, that played into the result but, it also had to do with the World’s number 1 ranked team (USA) playing like, well, the World’s number 1 ranked team.

I believe that Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl summed it best “… I’m also not a professional soccer player, and I don’t feel comfortable policing the natural emotional reaction of someone who has just done something that may be the pinnacle of her career: Scoring in a World Cup.”

As others have mentioned, the controversy should have less to do with the scoreline and more to do with the players’ celebrations. In which case I still stand with the players. This is a lifetime dream, a lifetime achievement.

There is much more to this argument. More layers, namely the divide between the soccer programs in countries like the USA versus the ones in Thailand (for example). In my opinion, Thailand played very well for Thailand. Especially considering that they were PLAYING THE NUMBER 1 RANKED TEAM IN THE WORLD! The Thai team got to the World Cup. They’re good enough to get there. They earned it. And now they’ll continue to build and develop.

I feel the same watching the South Korea team. They’re not doing too well in the tournament. But they have what it takes; we know this because they got to the tournament in the first place. Growth and success is build on failures (losses).

#fifawwc

I’m excited for this year’s World Cup. The US Women’s team is one of the most talented pool to exist, and it shows with the depth that each position has. Not to mention that many of the players can play multiple positions.

I’m excited because this is an international event where players, individuals, from all walks of life, all cultures, classes, backgrounds, etc… that are all working towards the same goal. And this is a rare sight in this current political and global climate. I think Greg sums this up in a very good way on his blog.