Tag: Redondo Beach

Blog Analytics

Blog Analytics

I’m sure it seems a bit narcissistic and self-serving to dedicate a whole post to my own blog’s analytics out of nowhere. Especially considering the last time I did this kind of thing when I hit 100 Twitter followers over the summer, I didn’t have 100 for that much longer.

By now I have some number fluctuating around 110 or so, to be fair.

But that’s beside the point. I assure you that narcissism has nothing to do with this.

If anything, to lampshade myself appropriately, this is just a result of having no idea what to talk about to fill today’s gap.

Otherwise my choices would have been the mandatory internship class orientation I attended today (but it was kind of a waste of time and I already complained about school this week), my fluctuating inner conflict over going to the gym tonight (I decided to just go tomorrow on account of my big lunch food coma™ (thanks Mimi) ) or Fire Emblem Heroes (except the new banner comes out tomorrow, so you’ll have to wait a day for that).

For the reasons I stipulated in the parenthesis up there, I decided not to go with any of the above.

However, while doing some soul-searching and just staring at my blog to try to figure out what I was in the mood to write, I came across something that piqued my interest. In traffic analytics, of all things.

I’ve talked about the analytics that WordPress offers briefly in the past, during my 2018 New Year’s Eve post. In that post I looked at the large overall increase in views from 2016 to 2017 when I got slightly more interested in writing blog stuff.

By the end of this year it’s going to be an even bigger story considering the inherent jump that came from me writing a post just about every day. I’ll get to that story in about a month.

Today, however, I’m looking at more of a small-scale moment in recent history. Recent history meaning approximately two days ago.

I’m sure you all remember the silly post I did with Alyson where we opened a stupid “Wreck it Ralph 2” toy in a faux box opening channel style. Had a lot of fun with that one, it was a goofy little experiment. The video part we made has 20 views on YouTube right now too, which is neat. Especially considering that’s about a third as many views as that Sonic on Apple T.V. video I made for the post of the same topic in July.

Boy I know I said this wasn’t a narcissistic, self-serving post but I sure am calling back to a lot of things, aren’t I?

ANYWAY, all of that was to set up the analytics I noticed from that toy opening post.

Screen Shot 2018-11-20 at 7.19.32 PM

That’s a hell of a sudden spike for that one post.

Sure, we can be cynical and talk about how that’s still only about 40 people when I on average reach about 20 people. But that’s still a 100 percent increase.

I don’t know, I think it’s pretty cool to see.

Plus while I was looking at that, I happened to also briefly look back at the ‘countries’ tab of the analytics. Aly told me she let her friends know that we shot a stupid video, so I wanted to see if it was purely a U.S. demographic that picked up on the post.

What I found was that as of, say, 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2018, here was the spread of people visiting my blog:

Screen Shot 2018-11-20 at 7.20.27 PM

Mostly the U.S., as I would have thought. But also Taiwan and France!

Don’t know who’s out there reading this blog in Taiwan and France, but I’d be very interested to know how you all perceive the mad ramblings I embark on.

Oh, but that’s not all folks. I didn’t just look at today’s visitation statistics.

I looked at an entire week’s worth:

Screen Shot 2018-11-20 at 7.21.01 PM.png

Check out the diverse spread of yellow. I know those are just one or two people compared to the 81 individuals in America that came in over the last week, but still.

The fact that a stupid, silly blog some college student in Redondo Beach, California rambles into on a whim can reach this kind of international audience continues to astound me. It’s probably the only thing that has really, truly made me care about things like analytics and search engine optimization.

Everything I do on the old blog here I do for me. But seeing the kind of reach my personal business has is just incredible.

Gosh that definitely came out sounding self-serving again didn’t it?

I’m just going to cut my losses and leave things there. Look forward to tomorrow when I write about Fire Emblem again and probably kill all interest in anyone coming back!

When life hands you a freebie

When life hands you a freebie

Someone out there must have been looking out for me this morning.

I was apparently very tired, or my bed was really comfortable and warm, or I was getting ready for Thanksgiving break a little too early, or some other contrivance that might explain my behavior. Whatever it may have been, all I know is that I was cognizant enough to switch off my first few alarms at about 9:00 a.m.

But then I lost a few hours and found myself woken up at 11:30 a.m. by a call from my mom.

For once in my life I was not up into ungodly hours the night before (or morning of, as it goes), so I have no idea what messed with me and kept me clocked out.

All I know is that I usually leave for class at about 11:00 a.m., since that gives me 2 hours or so to make it from Redondo Beach to Fullerton for my 1:00 p.m. class.

So I came to the conclusion that it might just be worth skipping the first class of the day. Sensation and Perception was the earliest thing on the docket, and considering we just had our exam last Thursday I didn’t imagine anything important would be happening.

Plus I have friends in that class that I could get the notes from.

It was arguably the safest class I could have skipped, as luck would have it. My body’s poor life choices were well timed if nothing else.

But then there was a twist.

As I laid in bed sending out messages of feigned pleading to help with whatever notes I’d be missing, I started my “morning” routine by checking whatever emails I might have missed the night before or gotten while I was asleep.

While looking through my college email, I saw a message had come through from the professor of my Sensation and Perception class.

Apparently he wound up with a flat tire this morning and had to cancel class.

So, by some virtue of whatever Gods may or may not be out there, not only was my body’s messed-up internal clock timed to mesh together with a less-important class, but that less-important class happened to get cancelled anyway.

It literally became a win-win situation. I slept in and missed nothing.

My friend in that class and I laughed off the convenience.

Of course it wasn’t a perfectly timed event, because I still had to come in for my 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. block class. But at least it’s a class I really like coming to.

Also, as it happened, today was an easy day in class. We pretty much just spent the whole day watching a movie.

In fact, I wound up writing this whole thing while the movie was going because I figured why not kill two birds with one stone? Getting my blog post out of the way during an easy, chill class opens up more time for me to do other things later.

Like go to the gym.

Or finish some homework.

Or play some Monster Hunter.

Who knows what the evening will hold! All I know is this goofy little story seemed like fine blog fodder for the day.

So I hope you enjoyed the ironic conveniences of my Tuesday.

Strange Associations: Irvine band competition edition

Strange Associations: Irvine band competition edition

Tonight my family and I braved the smoke-ridden California atmosphere to head out to Irvine for the California State Band Championship semi-finals, where Alyson and the RUHS band performed.

I’m not sure whether it’s wrong of me to talk about that while people in areas actually ablaze right now are surviving a horrible tragedy? But the fires have been so intense that the South Bay has seen huge clouds of dust, and we were treated to a bright red sun on the way into Orange County.

Full credit to my mom for snagging this one out the window.

So we might not have it as bad as somewhere like Malibu, to get images like this one I’ve seen circulating out of the LA Times:

But I still felt like it was worth mentioning.

Now let’s get into the meat of this post, shall we?

… Or at least, that’s what I would say. If there was some to get into.

I’m caught in a bit of an awkward position when it comes to talking about this competition. It’s all about a number of marching bands from across the state coming together to perform musical and visual shows so they can earn a spot in the finals.

I don’t think there’s a monetary benefit involved? Unless you consider a school’s potentially increased willingness to fund an award-winning program.

The problem comes when that musical and visual performance is best captured on video, but we’re not allow personal video recording of the performances because the organization is doing “professional recordings” and wants you to buy their video.

I’m not sure I could feasible argue this is a professional venue, and I’d rather not deal with a headache if it turns out they’re the kind of organization that sues if you break the rules.

So brief pictures will unfortunately have to do.

Like this one I got out of the performance by Troy High School:

The drum major actually did something unique by wearing that cloak and performing the prologue ballet for their show on that guitar there.

It was a bit goofy because the whole thing was leading up to a fantasy love story. But it was different and I appreciated that.

Of course I also tried to get Aly’s band performing their show Imagine, which is a somewhat bizarre blend of John Lennon’s “Imagine” and “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Ironically relevant to me this semester if I hadn’t made that obvious enough already.

However, that’s about as exciting as I can get with this whole experience.

So I figured I would harken back to an older post I did and talk about more strangely specific video game-related associations I’ve had thanks to this competition.

The drive out brought back a memory from over two years ago. Way back to those days when instead of trying to do daily posts, I just wrote about a few things of interest whenever they came up.

Like brand new details about the as-of-yet released Pokémon Sun and Moon.

Boy those were the days, weren’t they? Everyone was so eager to eat up each and every little detail they could about the much anticipated Generation 7.

I miss that kind of game hype.

But now I’m getting sidetracked. All I wanted to say was that the drive reminded me of writing this blog post, specifically the Type: Null portions, in the car.

Which in turn drudged up the chunk about Tsareena and Bounsweet that I wrote in the stands that night.

That’s not where my gaming-centric connections end, though.

The competition is taking place at Irvine High School, where we’ve been here for a different band event in the past.

When we were here last it must have been a few years ago as well, because I distinctly remember playing Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright at the time. In fact I can do you one better and pinpoint the exact mission I was struggling through.

Mitama’s unlocking mission: Paralogue 12, as I looked up.

However… Just talking about that reminds me that I keep putting off that Fire Emblem Heroes post, which is focused on Fates characters.

So I’m going to try and cut my losses by wrapping things up here.

Would only be right to do so with the results. Aly and the RUHS band got fifth place, so they are going on to the finals. Because the top six teams make it through.

I guess here’s to next week when I’ll be doing this all over again!

Proud Big Brother Moments

It’s kind of strange being on this side of the fourth wall when it comes to a high school award ceremony.

Which, I now realize sounds a bit dickish to lead off with, as if I’m trying to put more praise on myself for previous achievements?

But I swear that’s not at all the intent.

Because this is a blog post that’s all about my sister getting a sweet Academic Letter tonight!

Or, alternatively, if you prefer vague facial features:

Girl works her butt off with a heap of AP classes on top of doing Marching Band, Jazz Band… And probably like three other bands I’m forgetting off the top of my head.

Because she plays at least 300 instruments.

No exaggeration. I swear.

I’ve certainly talked about her performances and such enough that I’d hope you all would be pretty in-the-know by now. Just gotta update whichever new folks might be swinging around with this as their first post.

Aly actually gets to rub this one in my face, because her time in Marching Band has allowed her to get an Athletic Letter as well as an Academic Letter. Even though I’m not entirely sure what the point of having two identical letter “Rs” that you’re supposed to put on a single letterman jacket is.

I think that’s the first time I’ve ever mentioned a letterman jacket before.

Do I get to be honorary sports person because of it?

Probably not. But hey, I can fake my way through it.

While I could spend the next 300 words talking about how much I’m proud of my sister, that’d probably get old fast. So I figured I’d talk a bit about the experience of being at the ceremony.

Like I mentioned up top, it was a bit strange being on the audience side of the equation for a big academic event like this. Because I’m always 5ish years ahead of Aly, she usually has to suffer through long ceremonies and stuff for me.

I have to apologize to her now, because god was it boring.

Yeah it was exciting to cheer when Aly went up. But for everyone else? I pretty much just lingered on my phone, texting some peeps and playing my vidya games.

There were a few key points in the event that did keep my interest.

For instance, while waiting outside of the Redondo Union High School auditorium, an old lady walked into the glass panel wall thinking it was an open door.

Which I would laugh way harder at if I hadn’t done the exact same when I was much younger, costing my grandmother a housing complex here in California as a result.

True story. I’ll have to tell it another time.

Another fun thing at the event was watching the PTSA President make a blatantly political statement at the top of this otherwise completely unrelated school function.

It was a harmless point about how “the U.S. will be in better hands in the future,” but boy if it wasn’t jarring and distracting in the moment.

During the actual ceremony itself, there were a few goofs of note. Most notable was one of the announcers mispronouncing “McGonigle.” Compared to the many other last names that he got through just fine which had clear Indian origins (as well as some other nationalities but Indian was the one that stood out), it was hilarious how bad he screwed it up.

There was also one kid who collected his award and danced on-stage before exiting. He was a baller.

Also, I found out that “McCurry” is a last name and that led to me thinking about a McDonald’s signature dish in India. Because apparently I just had India on the mind tonight?

I don’t know, man. Don’t ask me.

I suppose that’s really all I had to mention of note, however.

Proud of Aly. Funny ceremony goofs. Obligatory post-ceremony ‘during dinner’ photo:

Check.

So I think I’ll leave you all on that note. Hope you guys have a great night!

Also, I hope you all return tomorrow for my Fire Emblem Heroes post. I thought the update was happening today, but turns out it’s happening tomorrow so my timing was really solid.

Also, also: There’s my talking about video games just to annoy Alyson in a post all about her moment of the day.

Take that, you.

Getting ready to vote

Getting ready to vote

I’ve been positively swamped with homework, essays and exams this weekend. Which is why I didn’t post any blog stuff yesterday.

I quite literally locked myself in my room and did work, turning off (most) of the usual distractions.

Luckily last night I got an extra hour of sleep from Daylight Savings Time, so I was able to get up nice and refreshed to… Do more homework.

It’s just been that kind of weekend.

But DST does actually offer me a neat little segue into the topic I figured I would touch on for this quick blog post today.

Tuesday is midterm Election Day here in the States. We’ll be voting on state and national senators, judicial appointments and ballot measures.

One such measure this year in California has the possibility of allowing our legislature to vote on essentially eliminating DST if the national government implements the idea. For my purposes, that made an excellent transitional statement.

This is only my second time being able to vote, and again it’s a bit of an awkward situation for me. I’m very used to Fullerton-centric politics because I spend all of my time there, but the local appointments I get to vote on are based in Redondo Beach. Sure there are still the state-wide initiatives and elections that I’ve paid a good amount of attention to thanks to my being enmeshed in journalism (though that’s a bit less concentrated than 2016 when I was at the Daily Titan). I just needed a bit of a closer look at what’s going on at home.

So that’s where my parents came in tonight.

We had a grand old time talking everything over before dinner tonight, and now I’m plenty ready for Tuesday.

Honestly I just wanted to put this together to say that you should go vote if you’re in an area/age demographic where you can.

I’m not going to talk about my policies or what I’m planning on voting for because that doesn’t matter. Taking part in our democratic process is what matters.

It’s an important thing and I felt like I should put my two cents in.

I didn’t have too much else to talk about today due to my aforementioned homework-filled weekend, which is more or less why I went down this route. In the near future I’ll probably write something about my obsessive armor planning in Monster Hunter, or that new Toby Fox game whenever I get around to playing it.

Just some fun stuff so I don’t have to think about all of these upcoming exams and freak out too much.

So look forward to that.

And also go vote, like I said. It’s important.

Who’s that car?

Who’s that car?

It’s been a long time coming.

After months of dealing with a broken rear driver-side window, one that was stuck so wide open that it was hard (if not impossible) to seriously wash my car without flooding the inside, it became a bit of a disgusting mess.

Covered in black grime that came off on your fingers from the rubber around the doors. Coated on the back in old, ratty tape that was used to seal the open window during rainy seasons. Canvased with the remnants of squished bugs and, no joke, the waffling pattern on the bottom of a shoe that hit my side mirror on the freeway one night.

It’s a long story.

But you get the point, my car was a mess. I’m running out of C-word synonyms for covered so I’ll just get to the point.

The point being, if you hadn’t guessed from that featured image, the fact that I finally got my car washed and detailed after literal months of idle care.

Look at how shiny this boy is! I’m so proud of him.

The guys at Redondo Car Wash (shout out to them) even cleaned up the inside. Dusted all of my panels, washed the floor mats. A really stellar job all together.

Now I’ll truly be the talk of the school. Probably.

I’m not sure how much people care about seeing cars go by when it’s a commuter school and nobody pays much attention to anything on campus, but I suppose I’ll find out.

That’s honestly about all I have to say for the day. Now that I’m back home after finishing my last class for the week, I can officially declare the end of my midterm hell week.

It’s a sweet feeling, and I couldn’t think of any better way to celebrate than finally cleaning my car so I could feel better about myself.

Which is probably kind of sad in hindsight?

But hey. You do you and I’ll do me.

As far as the weekend coming up goes, I have some Gladeo-related responsibilities to attend to. Running a meeting, rescheduling an interview, all that fun stuff.

Plus I have some other school-related business like another exam next week… Because my Comm professors like to stagger things out where my Psych professors made everything happen within three days of each other.

So that’ll be fun.

Oh, and I’m probably going to do an internship application. Somewhere in between the time that I’ll be running around with my family to do some activities for Aly’s band career.

Otherwise, I think I’ll finally have a little time to kick back, play some Monster Hunter with my friends and chill.

Hopefully all of you equally get some much-deserved time to chill, because you certainly deserve it — whether you had a bad week like me or not.

2:00 a.m. Adventures

Because I’m on the cusp of starting the last friend hang out of the summer, I’m probably just going to make this post quick and dirty so I don’t have to think about it later when everyone leaves.

Figured what better thing to talk about than the reason I’m so tired right now?

See I went to bed relatively early last night because, as mentioned, the gang is getting together today. Wanted to get some extra sleep to prepare for that.

The world apparently had different intentions.

Right around 2:00 a.m., I woke up to the sounds of very loud arguing just outside my house. At that point I was pretty groggy and didn’t think too much of it, but whoever was out there really wanted to just go at it.

It became much harder to ignore when the police sirens kicked in. Someone must’ve called in a noise complaint, I figured. So by that point I got up and went to look out of the window upstairs.

Thinking it may have been more than a noise complaint considering six police cars showed up.

Naturally I went to see if my parents were cognizant enough to wake up and come see, because at the very least they would have been interested in checking out whatever was going on from the distance like I was.

They were not. So they’re probably going to find out that all this happened from this blog post considering I wasn’t cognizant enough to tell the story this morning when they left to do chores.

That being said I don’t personally know what happened very well either, so I suppose I don’t have too much to share. From the distance I was able to hear just a couple minor things, as the three suspects were turned away from me. The most significant thing I was able to hear was that none of the three of them had a knife.

One of the guys was super insistent that none of them had a knife. So I’m assuming something about weapons was involved in the 911 call.

Just before 3:00 a.m. everything seemed to mellow out. It seemed like some of the suspects were brought away, leaving their red car in the middle of the street.

Around that time I was able to pay a bit more attention to the police officers as they gathered together to chat.

Wanted to point that out specifically because just.

Look at this guy in the middle. He’s so god damn tall.

I honestly thought Slender Man was a police officer in Redondo Beach for a while there. The fact that he’s that big while also standing off of the sidewalk ledge that everyone else is standing on is just.

Hoo boy.

What a man.

But anyway. Eventually they all parted ways, cars skidding around as they went off to address other crimes. Except for one car that hung back until a tow truck showed up to bring away the red car stuck in the middle of the street.

While I mostly put this post together just to say “whoa some wacky stuff happened in Redondo this morning,” I also thought it had a somewhat interesting conflation with my reporter life.

Because I genuinely considered going out and asking the officers what was happening. At least for my own curiosity, but potentially even as something that could be a freelance article for… I don’t know, the Daily Breeze or something.

In hindsight I likely wouldn’t have gotten anything from them since I don’t have credentials for any newspaper and it might come across as me impersonating the press.

But that’s hindsight. Honestly the reason I didn’t do it was because it was 2 a.m. and I was super tired. Plus I didn’t want to get dragged into things as a potential witness to whatever was happening considering I didn’t actually witness anything.

So yeah. No serious reporting. You just have to deal with these mad context-less ramblings.

That said, consider it the potential for future reporting. Because I pay attention to crime things that are happening and newspapers appreciate that.

Anyway that’s all I had, so I’m off to hang out with my friends. Hope you all have a good Sunday!

Two-for-One Deal on Gladeo Spotlights

You like reading?

I sure hope so, because today I’ve got two brand new published Spotlight interviews to check out. That’s right, the editing and publishing pipeline has finally caught up with me.

There isn’t a lot of build-up I can think to add to this other than a vague “keep on the lookout” message for some interesting developments coming soon. Next week when everything is confirmed I should have more to say.

But until then, feel free to enjoy these nice little interviews:

The first is featuring Raymundo Vizcarra, the band director at Redondo Union High School. Though my sister is one of his students, I never really had the opportunity to talk with Ray that often before going to chat for this piece.

He’s got a lot of solid advice in regards to balancing school and work, considering he’s working toward a master’s degree, as well as a rather heartfelt history concerning his family moving to the U.S., his father being absent for a number of years and how life led him down the path of music.

You can check that Spotlight out here.

The second features Ismael Villarreal, a design engineer for the aerospace manufacturer AdelWiggins Group.

I found Ismael after being asked to look for some individuals working in STEM careers, particularly engineers. My friend Jonathan’s dad works for AdelWiggins and was able to help get me connected to Ismael, a fairly young buck in the field that got a lucky break into aerospace.

We mostly discussed how the competitive business of aerospace manufacturing works and how his past experiences with education proved both beneficial and lacking in preparing him for the work he was going into.

With some advice on good practices for aspiring engineers who want to go into that field, of course.

You can check that Spotlight out here.

But of course, if you want to see my continually growing body of work, you can always head over to that listing over on the right!

It occurs to me that one day my entire blog could get a re-design and my mainstay “check this out on the right” message may become obsolete… But I think that’s a bridge I’ll cross when I get to it.

Not super relevant for this conversation, however. For now, like I said, just be on the lookout for some things coming up in the near future.

Stealing from Sports’ Traditions

Stealing from Sports’ Traditions

I may not be a very sport-y person, but if there’s anything I enjoy about sports it would be the team naming conventions.

Yeah I know that’s a strange thing to latch onto. But trust me, there’s a through-line to this conversation. Which, spoiler alert, is video game related.

Because hey if you wanted to see me spend an entire post talking about sports alone, you should have been around for this discussion I did a while back about watching the behind-the-scenes goings on at a baseball game.

As a home-grown Southern California kid I do have some interests in sports teams that come from some semblance of nostalgia. Namely the Dodgers when it comes to baseball and the Lakers when it comes to basketball. I’ve gone to see them many times over the years, so there are fond memories there even if I’m not as much of an avid follower of their games as I am Nintendo games.

However neither are striking examples of the kind of naming conventions I enjoy when it comes to sports teams. Like… What even does the name ‘Dodgers’ stand for? If anything, you wouldn’t want to be good at dodging a ball when you play baseball. Don’t you get to walk when you’re hit by the ball while at bat?

Come on Dodgers, get your act together.

Granted there is something interesting about them specifically. The fact that both the Dodgers and the Giants were originally East Coast teams before coming to California.

Inherently that brings up some questions about the permanence of a name if it can be so easily uprooted and moved around. Like yeah now we always associate the Dodgers with Los Angeles, but they weren’t always so closely linked with the culture here. That’s kind of fascinating, honestly.

Though according to official records by Major League Baseball themselves, the only reason those teams moved were simply to bring baseball to the West Coast. Which is a kind of underwhelming answer to an intriguing question.

But hey that’s a long tangent isn’t it? What I was going to get at was the fact that I enjoy seeing sports teams that are named after singular entities which could potentially duke it out.

The phenomenon tends to be more prevalent in high school and college sports, in my head. At my high school the main rivalry was the Sea Hawks versus the Mustangs. Though I did have some school spirit, for the most part I couldn’t care less which campus actually won. It was just kind of cool to imagine some kind of battle between a vicious hawk (which my biology teacher told us was actually based on a real life bird known for crushing bones) and a majestic hoofbeast.

I imagine the same thing could be said for many small-town sports rivalries. Certainly the idea of two forces of nature going at it is much more exciting than some other team names. Like the Patriots. Or the Redskins.

Much less racist too.

As I already mentioned, I’m not just bringing up this idea because I have a sudden passion to talk about sports. Or racism scandals. There was actually a spark that got me thinking about the subject of sports team names.

Unofficial Pokémon battle tournaments.

Yeah you heard me right. Bet you didn’t think anyone would be relating competitive Pokémon battling to actual real life sports in your daily blog posts today. Well I am, so you best be ready for it.

There’s actually a healthy amount of comparisons one can make between the two. When preparing for a Pokémon battle, trainers are restricted to six members, much like sports teams are limited to X number of team members on the field. Those six Pokémon fit different roles, be them wholly offensive, defensive or supportive. Or they could be some combination of the three.

It’s not hard to say that my hyper-offensive glass cannon Mega Beedrill in a battle is comparable to a football team’s leading quarterback, or that my heal-passing Audino is supportive much like a shortstop on a baseball team that quickly gets the ball from base-to-base for multiple outs.

I don’t know, I think it’s a pretty easy comparison to make. Maybe you disagree, but it’s all just an unapologetic segue anyway.

The reason I’ve come to think about this subject is because of the lengths I’ve seen certain Pokémon-playing YouTube personalities go to when establishing battle leagues that are steeped in the traditions of real life sports.

There are about a billion examples out there, but the one that’s most impactful to me is the United Championship League (UCL). There’s no real specific reason why other than the fact that most of the circle that competes in it are a close-knit group of Pokétubers that I tend to watch fairly often.

Which yes is possibly one of the nerdiest things I’ve said around here. But does it look like I care?

The UCL started about three years ago and carried an interesting aesthetic:

It comes to mind today specifically because the draft for Season 3 happened over this last weekend. Based on the video that was put up by TheKingNappy not too long ago, it took five hours just to get teams assigned to each competitor.

Yeah that’s right. This is a Pokémon battle competition with an extended team draft and a classic branching tree tournament board. On top of that, each team tends to do a pre-game discussion where they determine which members they’re bringing based on the opponent’s overall draft and how they’re building their teams up as a result.

It’s kind of crazy to thing that that’s almost exactly the same thing as a real sports league, but I adore one and can’t bring myself to seriously care about the other.

I think part of the reason I do care so much about the UCL — other than the fact that I’m a Pokémon junkie in general — is the fact that another real life sports trope they use so well is the naming convention.

Every team in that league names themselves the same way. City name (or some other location) followed by a Pokémon name that matches in some way.

Tucson Terrakions.

Pittsburgh Pichus.

So on and so forth.

Though of course it would be a terrible mistake for me not to mention my absolute favorite Pokémon sports league name:

The New York Mankeys.

Shout out to ShadyPenguinn for coming up with literal perfection. That’s the kind of name I wish I was clever enough to come up with on my own. Not only is it a solid team name, it’s a great reference to an actual real sports team too.

I just love it man. I basically wrote this whole post just so I could say New York Mankeys out loud. It’s just the kind of name that makes me giggle whenever I hear it. More of the world deserves to hear about it even if it couldn’t give a damn about Pokémon.

Now before you ask. Yes. I have had moments where I’ve tried to figure out what my Pokémon sports team name would be. Though I haven’t exactly come up with a good answer as of yet.

Incorporating my favorite Pokémon Gardevoir would be tough without stretching my location to Gardenia (though Gardenia Gardevoirs is a cool name).

I do like the sound of something like the Manhattan Beach Mimikyu, though again that requires relegating my location to somewhere I’m technically not, a city that’s my city’s rival if nothing else.

Unfortunately I’m just not sure which ‘R’ Pokémon I would use to go with Redondo. Ralts sounds a little not intimidating, though they fit the Gardevoir line love. Roserade also doesn’t seem right, despite being one of my favorites.

Also let’s be honest. As much as the Redondo Rayquaza sounds dope, I’m not sure I’d want to use a Legendary. It seems a bit cocky.

The Redondo Rhydon might work well. I have a pretty strong affection for him too, and Rhydon certainly sounds like the kind of Pokémon that could fit a sports team.

I guess if you want you can leave your suggestions in the comments below. Or you can say what teams you might be able to make using your home region. That’d be cool to hear!

In the meantime, I’ve got a five-hour livestream recap to catch up on. So I’m going to go off and do that.

In the meantime, I suppose I should come up with some kind of moral for today’s post.

Uhh…

If you’re a sports guy, don’t make fun of nerds that like Pokémon. Because we do wacky competitive things too.

And if you’re a Pokémon guy, don’t make fun of nerds that like sports. Because they built up a cool structure that we can do stuff with.

Let’s just all live together in harmony. Liking weird things that we all like without judgement.

Yeah, that’s a good lesson. Nailed the ending.

Sleeping, working and dying.

If I had to characterize my day today in just a few words, it would be easy. Sleeping, dying and working.

Basically a perfect microcosm of life I suppose.

Like I mentioned in my post yesterday, I’ve been sick lately. Today happened to feature a nasty flare-up, which led to sleeping in until at least 1:00 p.m. followed by an afternoon of sequestering myself away in my room to avoid disrupting the world with my somewhat intense cough and Advil-riddled outlook.

On the one hand that seclusion was a positive because, as I mentioned, it gave me the chance to focus on work. I managed to work through my entire transcript for the interview I conducted with Magic the other day, giving me an easy head start for the profile and Spotlight I’m writing.

On the other hand I basically spent the whole day sitting around in my own sick misery. That’s never exactly a positive, all things considered.

Because of that rather uneventful course of events, I don’t have a bunch to talk about in this blog post.

So I just wanted to give a shout out to the one thing today that gave me a series relief outside of drugs: Chinese food.

Yeah that sounds silly I know. But really, what’s better on a day when you’re sick than some hot, tasty soup.

Now I don’t have a lot to say about Chinese food specifically, don’t get me wrong. I’m not promising a particularly meaty discussion here. I just figured it was worth reflecting on something or another to avoid a day where I haven’t written anything.

Even if, to be fair, I did write about 6,000 words or so just transcribing my interview. But that’s a different story.

Though writing it out seems silly from how ubiquitous the act is in American life, My family has ordered in a lot of food over the years. Chinese and Pizza are the chief culprits, naturally, though with more recent advents like Grubhub that spectrum of potential has expanded widely.

One thing I’ve given almost no thought to over all those years is the middle man in the equation, that person who delivers the food. Don’t ask me why, it seems like they would be the first thing that comes to mind from how ever-present the idea of being a food delivery person is in popular culture, but I guess I’ve always been more focused on the destination than the journey in that regard.

Today I’m feeling a bit more fond toward the delivery people of the world. Perhaps it’s some outlandish association between the comfort that came from hot soup against my sore throat and the fact that it wouldn’t have been possible without the guy from Emerald Garden at the door.

Even if it is a very specific association, it’s something to extrapolate much further. It’s easy to say that those delivery people, like many others who hold jobs we may take for granted, are what help keep modern day society rolling along as smoothly as it does. For the most part.

So take this as a plea from a sad, strange little man dying from a cold. Treat your delivery people well and tip them well. Because they deserve it.

Thanks for the soup you wonderful man. I hope your July brings many great things!