Capitalist Liz

Nostalgia is half the reason I write in here anyway.

May as well make it into a Friday Five!

What toys were popular when you were a kid?
Lots, but a very memorable one was the little electric pin-racing track sets. We had one that was Days of Thunder-themed, and one of the cars was even the Mello Yello car! I remember lots of other kids having these too, a hugely popular Christmas gift when I was 7 or 8. It wasn't exactly designed to make your own course, but the track pieces were modular so you technically could, and oh boy my brother and I spent a lot of time building more fun shapes than the boring oval. The cars flew off our self-designed courses constantly, a real hazard for any nearby pets or people.

What musicians were popular when you were a teenager?
Also tons. The biggest ones I remember were the big boy band groups, mostly 98 Degrees, Backstreet Boys, and N*SYNC; the big pop women, including Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Madonna, and the Spice Girls; and more quality songwriters that were still-packaged-for-the-masses artists like Jewel and Fiona Apple.

What unique personality traits do you think you have in common with others born around the same time as you?
Not buying into blind loyalty to specific companies or brands. Sometimes that loyalty is earned, including in the case of a handful of consumer products*. But other times, especially in the case of employers, it just doesn't make sense. I like to see that more people in my age cohort question why that should be and leave behind institutions that have not earned this.

Do you think stereotypes about your generation are accurate?
I mean, the serious lack of assets compared to other generations at the same ages is true. Hah. But for the most part, I don't buy into or believe generational stereotypes about anyone, because they tend to only focus on the wealthier and whiter contingent, and more recently are effective Outrage Content manufactured for social media clout. Ok, stepping off my soapbox now. :)

What do you admire about other generations?
Certainly our grandparents' and great-grandparents' generations excelled at self-sufficiency. Having gone through the first half of the 20th century, that probably wasn't a choice at the time, but continuing to carry that forward in their lives is impressive. I have tended to be a real baby when something in my usual routine is unavailable, e.g. the power goes out for a day, when I should instead take a page from the Greatest Gen and try harder to adapt.

*My parents have been extremely loyal for their entire adult lives to companies that treat them well and are 100% reliable, most notably State Farm and Maytag, and I agree with that where it's warranted.

More weekend Friday 5 action.

I do in fact love food.

1) What is your favourite food?
Let's go with lasagna.

2) What is your favourite food preparation method?
Broiling kind of feels like magic. You put your casserole or cut of meat or whatever super close to a high heat source and it's transformed in minutes (sometimes seconds!). Don't walk away while broiling, kids.

3) What is your favourite cuisine or style of cooking?
B has really sold me on Cuban food in the last few years. I had had it before we dated, sure. But not in the pure, I-literally-stole-this-recipe-from-my-abuela way that he prepares things.

4) Do you have any dietary restrictions and if so what are they?
I actually don't. I can in theory eat anything, but that doesn't mean in practice that I do. In particular, the last year has been extra indulgent to make up for the boredom and inability to spend time away from home, so I'm reversing the trend and pushing a lot of junk/super-rich foods away for a while.

5) If you could introduce the whole world to one ingredient to improve their culinary experience, what would that be and why?
I would say Hatch chiles, which are a very flavorful chili pepper that is usually (but not always) pretty mild. But the world seems to have discovered them already. The only thing I have to contribute is that just because you might see peppers that look like Hatch chiles, it doesn't necessarily mean they are. Anaheim peppers are everywhere, but have much less flavor.
Most comfortable chair ever.

Soon I'll actually do these on Fridays.

Watch out for my belated promptness!

From thefridayfive:

1) What's the furthest place you've traveled to in the last 12 months?
Last July we drove to Fallingwater, the famed Frank Lloyd Wright house in southwestern Pennsylvania, which is just about three hours each way. Great thing to visit, as so much of the grounds remained open during Covid, but the little town was packed full of non-distancing, non-masking people so we didn't get to see anything else and had to eat at Wendy's for fear of stopping anywhere crowded. Still, it had long been on my bucket list and we both were glad we went.

2) What's the most interesting small town within driving distance?
Dangerous question to ask of a planner with interest in rural places. ;) Rehoboth Beach is very cute and I have always enjoyed it.

3) What's the coolest tourist attraction in your city?
Definitely a fan of the National Arboretum, which is off the beaten path and thus less crowded than the Mall or the famous memorials. My parents actually haven't seen it yet, and I hope they can visit again soonish so I can take them there.

4) What was your favorite road trip you took as a kid?
There were better plane trips, but to respond to the specific prompt ...

For most of my childhood, my mother was a meeting planner among other roles and had to drive around New Mexico to host meetings at times. I remember one series that the family went along for included Gallup (pretty cool, very different from my hometown despite not being that far away), Clovis (bland but fun antique shopping), and Las Cruces (way different and nifty). Las Cruces was my favorite because it was far enough south that there were palm trees outside our hotel, and I was extremely impressed by that very basic thing.

5) How often do you feel like you've got to get away?
It was a frequent feeling before Covid hit, because my coworkers were traveling a lot more than me and I felt left behind. It wasn't necessarily that their business travel was particularly glamorous, especially to such destinations as Danville, VA and Peoria, IL. But frequent trips build on themselves, and they were able to justify airline lounge memberships and redemption of miles for far-flung trips that we can't take. As for now, I still feel it sometimes but am focusing more on planning trips to see family than just escaping my routine.

While I wait for my soup to heat up.

It's already too warm for soup, but we have a stockpile to drink.

From thefridayfive:

1) Where's your favorite place to go connect with nature?
Elena Gallegos Park in Albuquerque. It's technically in the "foothills" section of the Sandia Mountains, but that underestimates the terrain. There are many great challenging trails there, and it's surprisingly picturesque to have to look almost straight up to see the peaks. Since I fly into ABQ for every family visit, I'm trying to make a habit of going there after getting off the plane, or the next morning if I arrive after dark.

2) What's a disposable thing that you've found a use for?
Since I always have at least a couple of books going, and the dead tree kind, I use whatever is flat as a bookmark. Right now I have a receipt in one and an old conference name badge in another.

3) Where does your community need de-trashed?
Dangerous question to ask in DC, hah. But literally speaking, our many little pocket parks see a lot of use and only weekly official trash pickup. Also, the alley behind our building doesn't look great from the many hasty move-outs of residents.

4) What's your favorite flower?
I've always loved irises, as my grandmother had them in her side yard garden when I was growing up. She liked and babied her rose bushes, which was understandable. But I preferred irises because they look so much more badass, especially the deep purple ones that my brothers, cousins and I convinced ourselves were black.

5) What positive change do you wish we'd all make?
I'm somewhat surprised how few of our neighbors are really interested in engaging, even for just quick chitchat. As a lifelong Officially Introverted Person, I get that it can be awkward. But neighbors can be very valuable in specific situations, and in general it would be nice if a little of my effort was reciprocated.

Q1 2021 reading update.

This one was such a mixed bag!

I'm expecting this to be my last quarter where every title was an e-book. Libraries here get further increases to capacity limits and should be open for more hours too starting May 1, yielding more convenience for me. If true I can resume my old-fashioned love of print titles, and may even be commuting on Metro again in three months' time, so I can read them to distract myself from thinking about potential virus transmission.

But it was very convenient to have all these e-books while we were sequestered at home, and I'm grateful for DC Libraries' extensive holdings in this medium, even if I didn't enjoy some of these as much as I expected.

All reviews are behind a cut.

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