January 31, 2020

Woke up at 3:30 a.m.

Lee Tung Avenue, Hong Kong - January 31, 2020
Since July 2019, I've been keeping a daily record of a very specific set of daily diet and lifestyle factors—it's all part of a health journey that I'll talk about on this blog eventually. I've also been working with a trainer-slash-body-composition-specialist three or four times each week. Sometimes, when I'm a bit more stressed about work or whatever, I don't sleep very well or very much. This morning, for example, I woke up around 3:30 a.m.. At my training session at 7 a.m., my trainer asked how I'd rate my sleep on a scale of 1 to 5—with 5 being the worst. I said 2. He thinks I should have said 3 or 4. Maybe my sleep bar is too low.

Two books I read cover to cover last week: Why We Can't Sleep by Ada Calhoun and A Class Apart by Alec Klein. This weekend I'll read Megan Angelo's new novel Followers

January 30, 2020

Wearing socks to sleep

Outside my office window in Wong Chuk Hang.
Everyone told me that it'd be cold in Hong Kong in January, but I didn't really believe them. But it's been, like, 54 degrees out every day this week and, somehow, 54 degrees in Hong Kong doesn't feel quite as temperate as 54 degrees in New York. So I've been wearing socks to sleep, which is something I've hated doing all my life, but, somehow, here it works for me? Although this morning I woke up with a bug bite on my ankle. Did something bite me through my pineapple socks? I obsessed over that for a solid 20 minutes this morning.

One of the good things about wearing a face mask all day long is that it keeps my face warm. It would be nice if there was a pollution mask that incorporated some kind of skincare stuff on the face side. Should I put on a facial treatment underneath? An anti-aging pollution mask would be great.

January 29, 2020

I have some thoughts on hotel restaurants

I just bought this dress from the Anna Isoniemi x Adidas collection. I love it.
I love hotel restaurants. Especially in Hong Kong. I've always been the type of person who doesn't mind dining out alone—with some caveats: I prefer eating alone off-peak, at anonymous non-neighborhood places, and I like eating at the bar, if there is one. In Hong Kong, at least in my neighborhood near the center of town, there aren't many options for dining at the bar. So whenever I eat out on my own, I usually find myself eating at a table, which can sometimes be weird. I've wound up in lots of situations in Hong Kong where near-empty restaurants will wedge me elbow-rubbing distance in between a family-of-six (with small children!) and couples on dates. Even when there's hardly anyone else in the room, I've been asked by restaurant staff to share tables with couples.

Solution: Hotel restaurants. Hotels aren't weird about solo diners, they know what to do with us! Hotels also tend to have bars—and these bars tend to serve food! I also love that most larger hotels have all-day-dining options (a weird rarity in parts of central Hong Kong, sometimes I want to eat at 3:30 p.m., you know?).

Here are some of my favorite hotel restaurants in Hong Kong:
  • Osteria Marzia in The Fleming: Order the hot seafood tower and the chicory salad
  • The Lobby at the Peninsula: My favorite room in Hong Kong; high tea is mandatory
  • JW Cafe at the JW Marriott: The breakfast buffet!
  • Cafe Gray Deluxe at Upper House: Gorgeous views and lots of healthy options on the menu
One of the best bars in Hong Kong is also in a hotel: the XX lounge at the Rosewood Hong Kong is only accessible by women—and only by secret pin-pad code. It's discrete, the drinks are strong (and delicious), and the views across the Harbour are spectacular.

January 28, 2020

Super boring daily blogging

Central, Hong Kong - January 27, 2020
I've been going to the gym a lot over the past six months—I started in July 2019 when protests started to take place on a more regular basis on evenings and weekends, and it became harder and harder to make and keep social plans. I needed something to do outside work and, let's be real, I needed to get into a regular workout routine, too. So since July, I've been weight training three times a week and trying to get 13,000-plus steps in each day. Yesterday I pushed 120 kg (265 lbs) on the prowler!

In the beginning, I was listening to music—Apple Music playlists, 90s Essentials, Kanye, Whitney Houston, favorites like that. More recently, I've started binge-listening podcasts while I'm walking around town or on the treadmill (13 percent incline, 6 kph, 90 minutes). My favorite podcasts include:
I'm not sure I'm one of those people who retain a ton of information from audio—which I guess I thought I might be, I've always been great at remembering song lyrics. I'm much better at remembering things when I can process them through at least three senses: for example, if I need to remember a quote or an idea, I'll read it silently, read it out loud so I can hear it, and then write it down for touch. Three senses.

In the past two days I've listened to two different podcast episodes wherein the host has interviewed Seth Godin. This is a guy who has a lot of smart observations and ideas, and one of them is that everyone should blog everyday. So I'm going to try. It's something I've aspired to do since, oh my god, what, 2006? Since I was in my late-20s, for sure. And now I'm in my 40s. Maybe I'll have more to say. Or maybe not. Maybe it will just be an exercise in super-boring daily blogging. I guess that would be OK, too.

Side idea: I love those podcasts I mention above because they're mostly one-on-one interview-based, super-longform, productivity and ideas-oriented, and actionable. I would love to learn more about women who are podcasting in this space. Please @ me on Twitter if you have any recommendations (@danicalo).

P.S. I've also always intended to post more regularly on YouTube, will work on that.

January 01, 2020

New Year's Resolutions 2020

Back in Hong Kong just in time for the new year. Here's what I'm thinking for resolutions this year:
  1. Set boundaries
  2. Don't get stressed
  3. Find a creative outlet
Thing I'm doing today: Trying meal-prepping using my slow cooker.