rorschach test

Sydnee Washington and Nicole Byer on Zoom Dates, Indoor Dining, and Day Drinking

Sydnee Washington.

About a year into quarantine, the necessity of hobbies has never been more apparent. This is the ethos behind Hobby Hunter, the podcast by comedian Sydnee Washington—a regular on the on-hold stand-up circuit—in which she interviews fellow comedians about their hobbies in the hopes of finding a new one. Washington, however, has been doing a good job of keeping busy. In addition to hosting “Syd Can Cook on Instagram Live,” a weekly cooking show for amateur cooks, she’s been doing a lot of online shopping. Washington joined the comedian Nicole Byer, one of her podcast guests and the host of Netflix’s reality bake-off series Nailed It!—with an upcoming turn as the host of the Wipeout! reboot—to sound off on some semi-random topics and hobbies, from Zoom dating to day drinking.



BYER: I’m not for Zoom dating. I like doing interviews over Zoom or talking to a friend over Zoom, but with someone I don’t know, staring into my computer just seems so weird. 

WASHINGTON: Whew, this kind of feels like a date. I’m like, “Are we going to have sex after this?”



BYER: If it’s flat land, okay. But if we’re going uphill, I’m going to be holding my breath so you don’t see me breathing hard and then I’ll be breathing harder because I was trying to hide it. Let’s sit in a park. I’ve done that.

WASHINGTON: I don’t walk enough. So if I walk for three blocks, my legs start itching. I would need to walk before I go on the date so that by the time we go on the date, my legs will stop itching.

BYER: But then you’re doing a full ass workout, for what? Dick that you can’t have? Pussy you can’t have? Because you’re not going to fuck somebody on the first date because they might have COVID.

WASHINGTON: It’s true. We have more standards now. Before, it was very lax.

BYER: I would fuck any old person, and now I can’t fuck any old person, I won’t fuck any old person, but I’d love to get back to fucking any old person.



WASHINGTON: I think indoor dining is a no. There should be indoor dining if we’re all vaccinated. But I don’t want to be eating next to someone that I don’t really know that well and then a waitress comes over in a whole mask, and they’re like, “Would you like more bread?” It’s like, “No, I would like the vaccine. That’s what I would like.”

BYER: I fully agree. There’s something about sitting inside with a mask off, and somebody’s coming over dressed for surgery, being like, “Please don’t kill me. Do you want more water?”



BYER: Yes, please. I love day drinking. If you rent a house somewhere, that’s the best case scenario. You wake up, you have breakfast, you start drinking, and then by like four or five, everyone’s like, “Should we take a nap before we start drinking again?” 

WASHINGTON: I have a hard time drinking at night. When I used to day drink, oh man, I would be out for the count by 8:00 PM. So it’s actually better for your sleep schedule to day drink.



BYER: Sydnee, I feel like you’re all about real plants. You’ve got a lot in your apartment.

WASHINGTON: No, Nicole. They have died so many times and then I get the same plant and someone will see it in the background of a Zoom and I will pretend that it is the same plant, but I bought that one plant four times already. It had had root rot, one had a disease on the leaves. It was bad. I should not have plants. It’s actually wrong.

BYER: I have fake plants and they bring me joy because I don’t have to water them. I’m turning into my mother. My mother had so many fake plants.



WASHINGTON: Well, let me tell you, I bought two by accident and it took them two months to come and then finally the one that I actually wanted came and it broke. It broke four hours after me getting it. It’s bad. I want my money back.


Nicole Byer. Photo by Kim Newmoney.


BYER: I thought people were taking these cats to the cat barber and shaving them. I did not realize that they’re just like that until maybe last year?

WASHINGTON: I have two cats and their hair is everywhere. I wake up and there’s cat hair in my cooch, there’s cat hair in my eyes. They have no respect, they have no boundaries. They sleep on my pillows, on my clothes. So I don’t like how they look, but I actually wish that most cats were hairless.



BYER: I think bald people in general, they’re hot.

WASHINGTON: All my friends that went bald, they immediately got hotter. When you’re bald, you look younger. I wish I could be that person. I wish I was bald. I wish I was a bald man actually.

BYER: A bald woman is a strong woman because women hold their value with their hair sometimes, especially Black women. So when I see a beautiful oiled-up Black woman with a shaved head, I’m like, “Oh, she’s powerful.” It’s exhilarating to see. And then a bald man—I love Mr. Clean. I love a man who embraces his baldness. He’s like, “Let’s just take it all off so we don’t play the game that I still have a little bit of hair.” I think bald people are powerful. I’m a bald woman. I don’t have any hair. I shaved my head. So I’m powerful. I’m talking about myself.



WASHINGTON: The ones where they roll it all the way up so it looks like a condom? I don’t want to knock anyone’s style. Half the time, I’m not even wearing underwear. I have my bare ass on the couch all the time. Who am I to be like, “You shouldn’t wear that?”



BYER: I fucking love it. 

WASHINGTON: If we didn’t have reality TV, a lot of us would not have personalities right now.



BYER: I like coffee. I drink it. 

WASHINGTON: I don’t like the coffee community. “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had coffee.” It’s like, “Okay, then I won’t talk to you.” You know?



WASHINGTON: If anybody is friends with Con Edison, if Con Edison is following Interview, I would love for them to just turn it down a notch, you know? Why is my electricity almost $200? I have a ton of lights, but I need these lights for my depression. My insurance should cover my Con Ed.



BYER: I’ve been on Etsy before everybody else was on Etsy. I’m the most proud of this site. Anything you want you can find on Etsy. A shirt from fifth grade that you loved? Just type it into Etsy and I promise you’ll probably find one or one similar to it. If you want a gorilla lamp, which I just found but it’s $2000 so I can’t buy it, and it’s six-feet-tall, you can find that on it Etsy. I love Etsy.

WASHINGTON: Nicole is pro-Etsy. I don’t know if you heard that. 

BYER: If somebody wants to donate $2000 to me so I can buy a hot pink six-foot gorilla lamp from Etsy, I will gladly take it. My Venmo is @Nicolebyer. Just don’t request money from me because I won’t send it to you.