August 31, 2021:

But that's not true. I've found bonding over the brand of stainless steel steamer pot, or the history of cochineal. Things I actually care about, and can discuss with enthusiasm.

Yet it was necessary to think about that statement. Is the enthusiasm genuine? Or is it part of the workplace necessity to manage the prima donnas, where my strategy turns upon charm?

In the end I believe in it. I like the two of them. I like their laughter, and the truth is, I like my laughter every bit as much. So that joking about Cherry Coke being colored by the blood of crushed insects is really perfectly real.