Quarantine Diaries: Part Two



Hello again, Mane Landers. It has officially been 49 days since Orlando City’s last soccer game. How are you all holding up? Times are weird, aren’t they? In the previous Quarantine Diaries update, I shared my many failed baking attempts, started learning Spanish through Duolingo, and played soccer with my dog. The more things stay the same over here, the more we’re evolving.

Cooking Improvements

On a normal day, my husband and I stop for dinner on our way home from work — either a nice sit-down meal or something quick to go. We have every intention of cooking at home, but by the end of a 10-hour workday, neither of us can stomach the thought of cooking.

Obviously, things have changed. While we try to support something local once a week, I’ve been cooking a lot. However, I hate cooking. To be clear, I can cook, I just don’t find joy in it. This week, we focused on recreating some of my husband’s favorites. TGI Friday’s had a steak and plantain sandwich that has been discontinued for a few years now, but we’re pretty sure we’ve perfected it. Yesterday, I also mastered his favorite breakfast sandwich with a homemade garlic aioli. So I’m definitely improving after the baking fiascoes.

Second Language Acquisition

I’m slowly progressing with Spanish lessons through Duolingo. It’s free and for a free program I’m very impressed. At the time of writing, I am on a 45-day streak and have earned 46 crowns. You earn crowns by finishing about four or five lessons, which are only about five minutes long each. It’s certainly getting harder and I’m feeling less confident than before, but I’m sticking with it!

Soccer Knowledge

I’ve known my husband for 20 years and we’ve spent 15 of those 20 together with nearly 10 married. It was just this week that my husband realized the extent to which my soccer knowledge has grown over the last two years. Many of you may recall that at one time I was not a fan of the sport and actually had a deep-rooted hatred for it.

When you work together, share a car, and now live in close quarters every second of every day, the slow changes like weight loss or gain are hard to notice. Apparently so is how much my soccer knowledge has evolved.

I asked everything from, “I don’t get it, what does it mean that he was caught offside?” to “Wait, why can’t the keeper just pick up the ball right now?” Whether we were watching in Exploria Stadium, at home, or even in his FIFA games, I had questions for a sport I both hated and was trying to understand.

Once I was hooked, I started writing for The Mane Land, where I’ve learned and continue to learn so much from the team here. I started doing player grades and learning more about positions and performance while compiling Lion Links twice a week. I spend a lot of my spare time reading about soccer.

This leads me to the moment my husband realized just how much I’ve absorbed over the years. I was sharing the nice message former Lion Giles Barnes had for Orlando during this pandemic and my husband wanted to know more about him. I shared that Barnes kicked off his career with Derby County, to which my husband said, “That’s a club in England.” I just looked at him in disbelief. How could he think I didn’t know that?

“What? What do you know about Derby County,” he shot back.

“I know that Wayne Rooney left D.C. United to play for Derby,” I snapped with a bite. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen the face he made following the revelation that I’ve been actively absorbing soccer during all of our time together.

Then, a look of regret washed over him as he asked if he’d just “mansplained” Derby and if he’s been “mansplaining” every exciting or frustrating play he makes in FIFA. I’ve let him explain things to me for a while now, but he must not have realized I stopped asking.

I imagine if I want to know from here on out, I’ll have to start asking questions again.

How is your quarantine going? Are there any silver linings to be had or anything I should try? I finally got flour again, so maybe I’ll give the baking another shot!


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