Thursday, April 30, 2020
Monday, April 27, 2020
Thursday, April 23, 2020
Monday, April 20, 2020
I've been watching a lot of "Chopped" lately. "Chopped" differs slightly from other cooking competitions in that the format is very unchangeable. They have certainly done special episodes, but one of the challenges you find in some other cooking competitions is that a chef who watched 2-3 episodes to figure out what they were signing on for might see three challenges that end up being not applicable to their own experience. Of course, it does mean that when "Chopped" does break format - like everything is breakfast, use chocolate in every dish, I have even less sympathy with the contestants.
But I have - in addition to be a dude, which helps tremendously - https://theintersectionoffoodnetworkandgender.wordpress.com/about/ - I have come up with seven tips for contestants that my non-chef, just watching at home self has determined.
1. If you nicked yourself get it taken care of. The chef who gets blood on the plate goes home. Seriously, they will have more sympathy for your dish being unfinished and not bloody, than they will for bloody. There is more than one instance of a chef who did not think they were bleeding who got blood on the plate. The clock is your enemy but inedible is inedible.
3. Taste it. In fairness, a lot of these boil down (lol) to time. But if you haven't tasted all the things, then little things like two little or too much salt that you could have fixed will escape you. And if they asked you if you tasted it and you have to say no, it's bad. Not as bad as trying to pretend you meant to serve a salt lick.
5. Don't be a dick. I know the chef world prizes arrogance and boldness. I know the show is designed to constantly ask you why you think you're better than your competitors. I know my personal wishes and desires as a person who does not hire and fire chefs, probably matters little. But here's why I think you should avoid being a dick about it. Because the editors at "Chopped" get to pick and choose clips after the show has been decided. And sure, if you say things like, well, I was really proud of what I served but I'm up against some great competitors, you're right that they may never use that even if you end up the winner. (Although the winner always gets to say the last few words. Plus the winner gets money.) But if you say, at least my dish didn't look like trash the way Susie's did, and you get cut that round, they are definitely using you saying that. And you go out looking like a dick.
7. Putting a cold thing on a hot thing melts the cold thing. I know this seems self explanatory, but I have seen this come up multiple times. It's often a result of thinking of ingredients and not the whole plate. So if you baked something that you then want to put something cold on, you need to allow time for that baked thing to cool.
Thursday, April 16, 2020
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Sienna looked at the phone. He had texted her last night when they made it to DC, so it wasn't an idle question.
Sienna: Why? You gonna whisk me away somewhere? <winky smile>
The junior hockey league was getting ready for their finals - a time-crunched playoffs and finals all in four days. Sienna had offered to go, but it turned out there were limited seats on the team bus. Once she had realized the whole team plus coaching staff needed to travel by bus for nine hours together, well, Sienna was happy to watch their games on the livestream.
With a lot of the stuff for KeKi running well, it meant Sienna's schedule had normalized for a bit. Although it turned out paying attention to hockey was a real schedule eater.
But did she have some free time to offer a certain goalie? Perhaps she did.
Al was stopping off to do a quick appearance at the children's hospital after doing the media gauntlet.
Sienna: Way to brag.
Al: Lol. Yeah, there's no way to be like, oh I have to go smile a children and not sound like you are bragging or lying. At least not that I've found.
Al: But seriously, you pick anywhere you want. Preferably not too fancy, although I own suits.
Sienna: So all the pressure is on me. It's cool. I'm used to this.
Al: I believe in you.
Sienna felt a little fluttery something. But he was joking of course. Gosh. Sienna was so used to being taken somewhere. Her one Ex seemed to know people at all these places. And well, yes, in retrospect, they were mostly women that he knew in all these places. Sienna was more savvy now. Knew plenty of people said things just to say them. Getting caught up in thinking every single one was true was how you ended up sleeping on your brother's couch for a while.
But food. Sienna wished there was some place she had been secretly dying to go. She liked food, appreciated food, but didn't track the food scene, mostly just went where other people suggested. She could ask people of course. Raven or Marcus might know somewhere. But she had the whole of the internet available to her. Besides both Raven and Marcus would have questions she didn't want to answer.
But Kyran. Kyran wouldn't. Kyran worked as a concierge at the hotel where her brother worked. When things had gotten a little tense with Sienna staying with her brother, Kyran had let her stay with him for a bit.
Sienna: Hey, Kyran - gimme a good restaurant.
Kyran: Gonna need more info. Price range? Group size? Desired ambiance?
Sienna: Two people. Not noisy but not like Valentine's Day. And price is not no object, but less of a concern.
Sienna had googled hockey player salaries. Not because she wanted a piece of Al's money. But well, it seemed once you were on a long term contract, you were doing okay. And while this felt like a date, Sienna was not going to be the one who took a friendly dinner request and pushed it over the line into date territory all by herself. Nope.
Besides she had a focus on business not dating rule. If someone else broke it that was one thing. But she wasn't going to go out there making it happen.
Kyran helped her settle on something and Sienna made a reservation and texted Al all the details.
Now she just had to figure out what to wear. Fortunately she had tons of experience in crafting an image.
I can't remember quite how long I've know Cristina. The knit night at Looped is about nine years old, but over the years there have been regulars, irregulars, folks whose lives, jobs, kids, and/or school have caused them to cycle in and out.
At some point Cristina and I figured out we were the same age. I am a dedicated cat person. She was a dog person who had also had cats, but been too sad to find another when her previous one passed away. But then she took over a relative's and she shared the slow winning over process as the cat decided she might be an okay caretaker.
The nature of knit nights are that I can remember talking jobs, and bad bosses, and taxes, and condoms with Cristina. She was firm in what she wanted in so many ways. She went from knitting stockinette that she never quite finished (oh those seemingly easy projects) to amazing colorwork.
It is easy to assign battle terms to illness, as if the amount of fight in a person has some bearing in their eventual success. Cristina said they considered her young and healthy when she came in (which, being the same age, I heartily approve of this framing).
COVID-19 is a nasty germ. Cristina was added to the death totals in Maryland this week. Due to various social distancing policies, we obviously haven't done in person knit night for a few weeks now. It's heartbreaking to think I won't ever get to see her in person again.
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Sienna: Good game.
Sienna: Are you on the plane?
Al: Bus now, then plane.
Sienna: Cool, text me when you're back in DC.
He pocketed his phone. Kunyk was looking at him. "Texting your sister?" he asked.
Al frowned. "What do you know about my sister?"
"So not her then. Parents?"
Spruce leaned over the back of his seat in front of them. "What are we talking about?"
"Stop is texting someone very intently."
"Really?" Spruce said. "Who is it? Is this why you're watching rom coms?"
"Rom coms are great." Mulvenna leaned over the back of his seat, so now Al had three sets of eyes trained on him. He'd honestly rather be back on the ice, if this was the grilling he'd get off of it.
"I was just texting a friend that I'd be home later tonight."
"Do you have friends that are not on this bus?" Mulvenna asked.
"Are you guys this lacking for entertainment that we are counting friends now?" Al asked.
"I was honestly just teasing you, dude," Kunyk said. "You looked so serious that I thought for sure you were texting your agent or something. But then you smiled and got all squirrelly when I asked you. But you can have secret friends if you want."
"Tell me the secret," Spruce chanted. "Tell me the secret."
"Has anyone got Nyquil? Some sort of sleeping pill. Chloroform maybe," Al asked.
"Hey," said coach who Al hadn't seen walking down the aisle until just then, oops. "No drugging your fellow teammates."
"So," Kunyk said, "other teammates are still on the table. Yes." He fistpumped.
"And I'm walking away so I have plausible deniability later," said Coach.
They all snickered.
"Are we gonna have time to play a game on the plane," Spruce asked. "Or are you fogies all going to sleep."
Mulvenna pillowed his hands under his cheek and made fake snoring sounds.
"Boo," Spruce said. "I need new friends."
"Hey," Kunyk said ruffling Spruce's hair. "Just remember fogies wake up early and know how to charm hotel staff."
"Ugh," Spruce said. "I hate you. It was bad enough I had Hrkac as my roommate all last year. This year I was supposed to have some privacy." Spruce had been drafted last year. First year players often had to share a room on road trips. This year he didn't.
"I don't know why you need privacy to dress up like a princess and sing Disney songs. That seems like the kind of thing that would go over better in groups," Kunyk said.
"It's called cosplay, duh," Spruce said. "And I do do it in groups. But only with people who like respect the characters. Not people who confuse Elsa and Merida."
"Those are completely different characters," Al said.
"I know!" Spruce said. "But this dude," Spruce pointed to Kunyk, "saw a red wig, a bow and arrow and somehow thought that was an ice queen." Spruce shook his head.
"Wait, why is this about me all of a sudden. Does everyone even know there is a Disney princess named Merida?"
Al and Mulvenna both nodded.
As the team filed off the bus, Al could hear Kunyk going up and asking the other players. Al was sure the other players were confused, but honestly, everyone had post game entertaining themselves while they travelled rituals.
"How complex is your cosplay?" Al asked. "And do you bring it to every trip? Is that why your bag is so huge?"
"We can't all be one suiters like you, Al," Mulvenna said.
"Wait," Spruce said. "You have one suit? I thought for sure you at least had two identical suits."
"I do," Al said. "Trust me, all it takes is one spill to learn to bring a spare."
"Okay. And no, I don't bring it to every game. Kunyk busted into my room to do whatever when we were playing Chicago at the same time C2E2 was happening."
"Wait it was?" Mulvenna asked. "That wasn't this year, right? I'm gonna be so bummed if that was this year."
"It was, dude, sorry. But if it coincides again, I'll let you know," Spruce said. "Usually C2E2, New York, and Seattle, are the ones I keep an eye out for when we get the schedule. A lot of the rest are in the off-season."
Spruce and Mulvenna started talking favorite conventions and Al slipped his phone back out of his pocket to text Sienna.
Al: Getting on the plane now.
He couldn't wait to get back to DC.
Monday, April 13, 2020
After the players all showered and were reminded what time they needed to be at the stadium for the game and were sent on their way.
"So," Spruce said, "I found like the best place to have lunch. We should all go."
Al knew the we was really just Kunyk and Mulvenna. Spruce would and had likely already texted the whole team about this place, but the players tended to stick to their sub groups on the road.
Mulvenna was right behind them and nodded when Al looked. "Did you already text Kunyk?' he asked.
They turned the corner in the hallway and Kunyk was standing right there, looking like a freaking hockey poster.
"I did," Spruce said.
"I'm so hungry," Kunyk said.
"Did you skip breakfast?" Mulvenna asked.
They walked outside. "Are we walking or driving?" Al asked.
"We can walk." Spruce said leading the way.
The restaurant Spruce had picked looked kind of like a sports bar. It was a good sign. Spruce sometimes went a little more esoteric with his picks. Nothing he'd ever selected had been terrible, other than the one place that turned out to only do raw food. They had all gotten a snack after that. The challenge was often finding something that was open, near enough to the stadium that they didn't have to worry about being too far away, but offering a wider selection than if they had just gone back to the hotel to eat.
They ate enough hotel food anyway. After tonight's game, they were going to check in at the next stop too late to have any other options.
After they made their orders, Kunyk and Spruce started sharing pictures they had taken with the team dog. Al looked over at Mulvenna. "I listened to that podcast. Just two episodes though. Not gonna make a habit of it, but you were right, it's pretty cool."
"Did you listen to my appearance?"
"I did. And well, I already knew you talked to your goal posts, but man dd you have to tell like everybody about that?"
"You talk to your goal posts?" Spruce asked.
"Oh," Kunyk said, "that's not even close to the weirdest goalie thing I've ever heard."
"Well," Mulvenna said, "I'm so glad that's what we're going to talk about today, and not say, weird habits of forwards and defensemen."
"What's the weirdest goalie thing you've heard? Was it the guy who puked before every game?" Spruce asked.
"No, although that one's odd too. Why make yourself feel gross right before a game?," Kunyk said. "But it's gotta be-"
"Here's your orders, gentleman," the waitress said, quickly sliding plates in front of each of them.
"Sorry, man," Al said quietly to Mulvenna. Raising his voice so the other guys could hear, he said, "Of course I heard there was this one hockey player who liked to eat raw food before every game."
"Oh come on, now," Spruce said. "I apologized for that one. I thought it was like the next level up from farm to table. Or like sushi or something, where some things are raw. I really didn't think they were going to give us like a plate of veggies and juice."
"How did we start talking about this anyway?" Kunyk asked.
Al was fully able to take the blame when something was actually his fault, despite some people's thoughts about goalies. "Mulvenna was on a podcast, and he mentioned talking to his posts."
"Thanks for clarifying that," Mulvenna said. "Who watched a good movie last night?"
"I did. I watched 'Then and Now'," Al said.
"You and your chick flicks," Kunyk said.
"It's pretty funny," Al said. "There's this one part where-"
"Nope!" Mulvenna held his hand near Al's face. "No reenactments in the restaurant. We all remember what happened in Boston."
Al nodded. "Fine, but it was funny. You all should watch it."
It was only as they left the restaurant, he heard Spruce lean over and ask Kunyk, "Okay, but what did happen in Boston?"
Social distancing is like Abstinence Only Education. Hear me out. So, in much abstinence only sex ed, the instructor shows up, says don't have sex until your married, and then blathers on about how violating this rule makes you bad and worthless.
So the folks in the audience who have children and are not married tune out.
The folks in the audience who are already having sex tune out.
The folks in the audience who can't imagine a scenario in which they would ever want to get married tune out.
Sure there are folks who keep listening. And some of them think, okay cool, I just won't have sex until I get married. And they don't ever engage in any sexual behavior until they get married.
Some of the folks still listening think, okay, I'll just skip sex, but surely they meant like married sex, right? So that's like a penis and a vagina together. There's tons of stuff I can do that's not that. No worries.
And I feel like we have arrive at this approximate place with social distancing. Some people are healthcare workers, construction workers, food workers, pharmacy workers, grocery store workers, security guards, landscapers, bus drivers, first responders, taxi driver, and other essential employees, and so they are still going to work. Some of them have been given PPE and some have not.
Some people have a job that is either currently cancelled, has transitioned to work from home, or was always work from home. Some of those people have fridges and pantries large enough that they can go weeks without leaving.
And they are either staying entirely inside, or going out with face coverings, exercising social distancing as they do so.
Some people have kids or dogs or tiny spaces that don't let them keep several weeks of food stored up. They are used to going outside every single day, multiple times. So going out once or twice a day, feels like a huge adjustment already.
Some people don't have homes, and while my city's current stay at home please order encourages you not to be homeless, I could hardly blame someone for deciding even now, especially now, that the street is safer than a shelter, where social distancing is near impossible. (See also, jails.)
And some people hate rules, and so they are going to do what they want to do, and if some stupid germ comes for them, so be it.
It isn't even that last group that's the most dangerous. They may be out there, mask and glove free, touching all the things and still spitting in the street, but they are clear dangers. As with so many things, the person who thinks they are social distancing well, and yet continues to go out and touch all the shiny things outside, they are, in my humble opinion, the one who's gonna be the big infection vector.
In the sex positive sex ed class that I teach we do an exercise with candies. Everyone gets a bag with an randomly assigned batch of candies and they can go and trade with their classmates or not. When we did this with adults in the training, one of the adults decided not to share with anyone. A couple of us went wild, sharing with anyone who asked.
At the end, we were told which colors represented disease, which represented condoms (ie PPE for sex), and which meant nothing. It's a silly exercise, and a great excuse to get the whole class hopped up on sugar. But in the end the idea is that the people who look just like your friends may be sick and not know it. They didn't mean to infect you. But the interactions you engage in without protection are the ones that don't only have risk to you.
And yes, there is a PPE shortage in this country, and medical professionals do not have enough. Do not use medical grade PPE unless you have been assigned it by your job or your medical professional.
But we have to think not only about our risk, but that of others. Maintaining equilibrium with those beings inside your house is important too. I am not trying to take that away, especially as we face what looks like a longer bout of this.
But so far we've been given a lot of don't go out unless it's essential. And it seems, based on my recent trip to get some food, folks definitions of essential is where we are seeing a lot of variance.
Friday, April 10, 2020
Monday, April 06, 2020
Today's prompt is offsides.
Note: The top of this post has been edited to reflect counting by prompts. Previous entries: Prompt one - which includes the what and who, prompt two, prompt three, prompt four, prompt five, prompt six, prompt seven, prompt eight, prompt nine, prompt ten, prompt eleven, prompt twelve, prompt thirteen.
She could buy a ticket of course. She checked online, and there were still tickets available. But maybe she would just watch it at home, the way she had for the away games.
She and Jay had met up at the coffee shop again and Raven had sent her home with a bunch of brownies. There were never brownies at the hockey arena so this was fine. She had grabbed takeout from a nearby Vietnamese place.
And she settled in with the game streaming, she kept her phone up. She had joined a chat for the fans and folks on the podcast. Her first appearance had gone well and they were having discussions about bringing her back on to do a regular feature.
Someone had helpfully explained what offsides meant because the announcers for the game just told her it had necessitated a stoppage in play and a face off.
SiennaClear: Appreciate it folks, I'm learning. Slowly but surely.
The Oaks scored and there was a bunch of ughs and boos let loose in the chat.
NumberOneDomeFan: Mulvenna sucks. They should put Stop in.
ATMPMod1: Hey, folks, just a reminder that we all love the Domes, but we want to critique specific player behavior on the ice, not make blanket statements.
There was more mumbling with folks declaring their love for Stop or Al or Tseu. Hockey players went by so many names, Sienna often found it was like reading a regency historical novel where the duke character would have a first name, a last name, a title, and different people called them some variation of each of those names.
Actually, that was a great idea for a KeKi post. Sienna grabbed a notebook. Everyone had lots of names, personas, especially folks who existed on social media.
There was something in the announcer's tones that made her look up at the screen again. An Oak player skated across the ice, the Domes player behind him looking way to far behind. The Oak player flicked his stick and Mulvenna dropped into a butterfly, but the red light behind him followed by the cheers of the Oaks players said it was too late. Sienna watched the slo-mo replay.
"Right through his five hole," the announcer said as the puck passed between the goalies skates while he was still dropping down.
That had to be so hard, Sienna thought.
Sienna thought about texting Al, but probably he didn't want to talk to anyone right now. Sienna had caught herself scanning the shots of the bench, for glimpses of him.
Sienna tugged her shirt and realized she had forgotten to put on her jersey. She usually only wore it when she went to a game in person. Of course that meant she'd worn it to the Blizzards game too. But what could it hurt right? And if it didn't work she just wouldn't ever tell anyone.
She went over to the closet and grabbed the jersey sliding it on. These things were so warm when you were sitting inside.
Sienna check on the chat again.
NumberOneDomesFan: I told you that Mulvenna sucks. They should put Stop in.
There was more agreement this time.
Keymaster: Folks, Stop gets a day on the bench like everyone else. Heerema's a top ten scorer in the league this year for a reason.
NumberOneDomesFan: Hey Sienna, tell us the truth, you wore Stop out didn't you?
Sienna read it twice before the text disappeared before her eyes.
Underneath a new message appeared.
ATMPMod1: Okay folks, we've got a user on timeout. Going forward, let's try to leave the penalties to the players.
An alert appeared that she had gotten a private message. "Hey, Sienna, we wanted you to know the user who commented on you has been moderated. We apologize, that's not the environment we're trying to create here. If there are additional concerns we can address, let us know."
Sienna appreciated it. She logged out of the chat anyway. It was just too much. Kunyk scored for the Domes next, and Sienna patted her jersey. In the end the Domes had a rocking third period and pulled ahead just before the buzzer.
Jay had been right though. Tangling with sports fans was a dangerous proposition.
Sunday, April 05, 2020
Today's prompt is penalty shot.
Note: The top of this post has been edited to reflect counting by prompts.
Al loved a good penalty shot. They were more fun in his opinion than overtime shootouts, where you faced off against three different players in quick succession. However, here, hanging with the junior league team today, he had not planned on facing a penalty shot.
But the teen acting as ref in today's practice called for one after one of the players in desperation used her stick on the other's skates to stop a breakaway and here they were.
Penalty shots with players you didn't know, certainly hadn't had time to study beyond the ten minutes of the scrimmage, were always a little more wild. Al also had way less padding than normal today, since he and Sienna were supposed to be observing this scrimmage and then one goalie had been late, and they had found skates and a stick for him, but had nothing else in his size.
Pucks were made of dense rubber. It didn't take a lot of power or strength to make them hurt like hell, but junior league or no, he was also not going to let this puck go by him just to avoid a bruise.
The skater moved towards him, swishing the puck back and forth with her stick. Al spread himself wide and tried to watch her eyes. The cage style masks the team wore were a little different, as far as his visibility on her expression. He saw her glance to his left, and he tensed. He didn't move yet, waited for her to skate just a smidge closer before she paused infinitesimally and took the shot. He slid left managing to catch the puck with his shoulder, something he might really regret later today.
Her teammates gathered around her, and patted her back, telling her what a good shot it was.
The coach, blew her whistle. "Hey folks, out goalie has arrived, so let's thank Mr. Tseu."
He had tried telling the coach they could all call him Al, but she was had shook her head at that. "Thanks, Mr. Tseu."
"Thanks to you all for letting me join in. And now I get to just watch you all, which will be fun." He waved and accepted some high fives, before striding off the ice to the bench, where he removed the skates.
Sienna slid onto the bench with him and offered up a gel pack. "For your shoulder," she said.
"Thanks. Where'd you get this?" he asked. He didn't normally carry around gel packs, the trainers took care of all that for them.
"I asked the coach if they had some. They did," Sienna shrugged, like it was a normal thing for someone to think of.
"I appreciate it," he said. "Ooof." On the ice there was a pileup of players as one of them had lost her edge and taken down a few fellow players with her. "I hope they have more of these."
"They have tons," Sienna said. "Thanks for coming out here with me today."
"No worries," Al said. It was fun to hang out with junior teams. They still thought literally everything about hockey was the coolest. He still loved hockey, but the enthusiasm dulled every once in a while, it was easy to spend too much time worrying about stats and trades ad salaries. Hanging out with teams that just cherished every chance to get on the ice was fun.
"Well, anyway, I'm sure your busy, so I appreciate it. And well, I hope you're good at playing through bruises, because if your bruised shoulder keeps you out against the Oaks, I'm not sure the fandom will ever forgive me."
"Mulvenna is playing against the Oaks," Al said. "That was already planned. Although I can't remember if it was announced yet, so shh. But my shoulder's fine. I've been bruised before."
"Good," Sienna said. "Well not good that you're bruised obviously. But you know what I mean."
The coach blew the whistle, and waved the players to come off the ice. "That's my cue," Sienna said. "Can you stick around a bit. I'd love to talk to you after I talk to the team.
Al was curious what she had in mind, so he nodded.
She smiled and left the bench. He removed the cold pack from his shoulder and looked around at the now empty ice arena. He was a goalie though. He was good at being patient.
Friday, April 03, 2020
Today's prompt is intermission.
Note: The top of this post has been updated to reflect counting by prompts.
Coach had given them a rousing pep talk during the first intermission when they had been down two. The second intermission the locker room had been eerily quiet. In the end, they finished four to two, resulting in the first Domes loss at home this month. Al knew intellectually it didn't matter if you lost away or at home, but it always felt like a bigger deal.
Al had a basketball game waiting for him when he got home. He just had to get up off this bench and go outside. He didn't know quite what he was sitting in there waiting for.
Al smiled because Daisy was nice and she meant well. This was why he stayed away from post game interviews as much as he could. He hated false cheer as much as he hated explaining that some nights the other team played in a way that led to more scoring. It wasn't even about better or worse. Teams playing like crap pulled off wins sometimes too.
"I'll email you to get more info," Sienna said. "Thanks so much for everything." She looked at Al. "Could you walk me out?"
"Sure," Al said even though he was worried she wanted to try whatever her brand of soothing him after a game was. If parts of him perked up a little at the possible images that evoked, other muscles screamed for sleep. He had already moved past the post-game full of energy, can't sit still mode.
Once they were around the corner, Sienna patted his elbow. "I can actually find my way out of here, but you looked like you needed an out. I'm just going to metro."
"Me too," he said.
"Hockey players take metro?" Sienna asked. "They don't like mob you or something?"
Al huffed a laugh. "No. Although tonight they might want to throw things at me. But even with social media and all that, I look different without the mask."
"I'd recognize you," Sienna said.
"Well, fortunately for me, most people don't." He did pull out a hat emblazoned with the local WNBA team's name and stick it on though.
"Still looks like you to me," Sienna said. "But people do see what they want to see." She gave him a look like she was fighting asking a question.
"Spit it out," Al said.
"I have a thing to ask you, but now is probably not the time. Can I text you tomorrow maybe?"
"Sure," he said.
"Cool. I'm headed this way." She pointed down the street. "Talk to you later."
He watched her leave, to make sure she stayed safe of course. She was still wearing his jersey but it didn't cover up the slim fit jeans she was wearing, and of course, he had a very good memory for what those legs looked like in shorts.
Definitely time for him to get home.
Thursday, April 02, 2020
"So, I've been invited to be on the hockey podcast," Sienna said. They were having another KeKi meeting in the coffee shop.
"The 'All Things Must Pass' one or a different one," Jay asked.
"That's the one," Sienna said.
"Okay, so I'm going to say a thing that makes me sound like a fun hating jerk, but hear me out."
Sienna nodded. Jay often brought the practical side to their partnership, and sometimes it meant Sienna needed to push her to be more excited about things, but often she was right.
"So," Jay said, "you said when we started that part of your goal was to push away from being just a body. And I know it's not the same, but there's a way where you turn out to have a really interesting and unique perspective on hockey, and you find people that appreciate that. And there's also a way where you just become like a glorified trophy girl blowing kisses at the players."
Sienna didn't cringe but she wanted to. But Jay was right. Sienna could push this in the direction she wanted, but sometimes her first idea was to blow a kiss for the camera and that wasn't the brand she was building now. That was old Sienna. She nodded. "Yeah, yeah, I hear you."
"Okay, I will sit back. And obviously, I think the stuff you did with the volleyball team was great. We got a lot of signups that mentioned that. And the volleyball team applied to be a featured sponsor next month. So when their season starts up we should look into stuff. The cross stuff."
"Cross promo?" Sienna asked. "Yeah, I'll check in with them on that."
Jay turned back to her screen and Sienna scrolled through more of her email. The junior hockey team wanted to know if she'd come to their last game. And there was another email from Daisy. Sienna opened it up. Yup, they wanted to know if she'd come to another game. This time the owner was offering to let her join him in his box which was fancy. She wondered if you still wore a jersey for that or something a little dressier.
She told Daisy yes, of course. Sienna had turned into a hockey fan, even watching their away games on her tablet and adding a score alert app to her phone. If she had set up a fake insta to check on a certain goalie, well, that was just her newfound love of hockey. But Jay had a point. Just like she'd had to lock down her DMs because people thought the #UnderMyJersey stuff meant she had some interest in their dick pics, people were going to try and push her in a lot of directions.
The key was to make sure they were the directions she wanted to go, Skimpy on skates, wasn't anything she needed to do or be. But sharing interest in a sport she hadn't previously known a lot about, there were plenty of reasons to engage in that. But given her history, people were going to assume she was in this to find a dude. And intriguing goalie or not, Sienna could not afford to put herself back in the public relationship space. It was a danger to her brand, a danger to her heart, and she didn't know quite which one scared her more. But she could handle this. Navigating media both social and not, was something Sienna had been doing for quite some time.
Wednesday, April 01, 2020
They were playing the Herders tonight. The Domes were on track to take their division, and since the Herders were in it, a win would be extra nice. But the Herders were generally good sports, so Al expected the game to be competitive but fun.
He glanced over and saw Sienna in her seat, wearing the jersey with his number again. He wasn't a super famous goalie, people often used adjectives like hard-working and steady to describe him. So yeah, his jersey was in the team store just like everyone else's. He had sent a few to his parents. And a few folks wore it to the game. But he didn't usually spot folks in the stands with his number.
He moved his shoulders getting himself ready. If people wearing your jersey was an indicator of anything, well, all the forwards would score hat tricks every night.
He sipped from his water bottle and skated back and forth in front the goal. Once the game started he was fully focused.
It stayed scoreless through the first period, although there had been plenty of shots on goal to keep Al busy. One of the Herders wingers was spending a lot of time camped out near Al like if he couldn't make a play himself he was going to get the assist.
Al had mentioned it to a few the defenders, but they laughed it off.
Beginning of the second period, Kunyk scored in the first few minutes. It was good, but Al knew that the Herders were going to play even harder now.
Sure enough the puck barreled back towards him and there was that Herder's forward lurking nearby. Spruce stole the puck and disappeared around the backside of the goal with it. Al glanced in the direction of the linesman as the Herder player shifted so close he was just about knocking into Al, definitely blocking his view of what was going on.
Seconds later the puck shot around the side of the goal, and the lurking Herder dinked it up and over Al's shoulder. Al took a sip from his water bottle while the Herders celebrated. Telling the defender he had warned them, did not good. In sports it didn't matter who was right. At least not in the middle of the game. They had to keep working together.
Fortunately next time he saw that same Herder player try to move in front of him, a Domes defender showed up to clear him out of the way. The Domes scored again, bringing them back to up one and that's how the second period ended.
Al had stripped down to the basics, gone to the bathroom and was chilling on a bench in the player's room when he could hear the arena crowd reacting to something. It sounded like laughter or something. They did all sorts of goofy games and such to entertain folks.
Spruce came into the locker room. "Dude, you didn't watch?"
Oh, the volleyball video. "No," Al said.
"They made us look good," Spruce said, "although of course they showed that last point the ladies won."
Al gave Spruce a thumbs up.
"And at the end, Sienna wished the Domes good luck and blew us all a kiss."
Al repeated the thumbs up, but made a mental note to