#WFH Diaries: Alice Xiang and Shannon Fiedler of Giant Spoon

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to disrupt lives across the globe, we're checking in with creative people to see how they're coping. Here's an update from Alice Xiang and Shannon Fiedler of Giant Spoon.

Give us one-line bios of yourselves.

Shannon Fiedler: Hello! I'm a senior copywriter at Giant Spoon, as well as a standup comedian and a self-proclaimed nacho connoisseur. 

Alice Xiang: Hi, I'm a senior art director at Giant Spoon, who sometimes makes jewelry and sometimes watches Tasty videos online with the intention of never doing any of the recipes.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

Shan: I escaped the city and hunkered down at my parents' place. It's me, them, and our very spoiled dog, Cappy.

Al: I'm living in a Brooklyn apartment with my roommate and his boyfriend, so you know, my ultimate third-wheeling dreams coming true.

What's your work situation like at the moment?

Shan: I'm snacking too much, and I miss being a desk away from Al so that I can talk to (read: annoy) her whenever I feel like it, but other than that I can't really complain. I've turned my windows into some makeshift boards. Blurred out, of course, because NDAs. 

Al: On the very first day of working from home, my roommate and I set up shop at our tiny coffee table in the middle of our living room. But that proved to give us both immediate back problems. So, with no real tables in our apartment, we decided to dig out our giant plastic foldable beer pong table. We gave it a good Lysol wipe and ever since have been working from this lovely setup.

Describe your socializing strategy.

Shan: I've been Zooming and FaceTiming and Housepartying more in the past three weeks than I think I have in all the years I've had a smartphone combined. I've gotten really good at playing virtual board games. I miss hugging people, though.

Al: Last weekend, we celebrated my best friend's 27th birthday on FaceTime and we all said cheers and clinked our beer glasses to our screens and it was all very sad. But on a brighter side of this whole thing, I've been getting very into Clue and Uno Flip!—which I only bought because they were out of regular Uno but it's been a surprisingly good drinking game.

How are you dealing with childcare, if applicable?

Shan: Nope.

Al: Lol nah.

What are you reading?

Shan: I just finished A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. Any recs on what I should pick up next?

Al: I finally started reading this book called No Logo, which I got maybe in 2017 but never actually started reading. It's interesting but I keep finding myself getting distracted because I now have the attention span of a squirrel.

What are you watching?

Shan: OK, hot take, I can't get into Tiger King. I know, I know, I feel you shaming me. But I'm trying to watch all the movies on my list that I never get around to. So far I've checked off The Way We Were, Ford v Ferrari, and What's Eating Gilbert Grape. Oh, and I'm watching Jeopardy every night because I'm secretly an 80-year-old.

Al: On the flip side of Shan, I have been watching Tiger King and I'm very tempted to cut my hair like Joe's. I think I could pull off a nice blonde mullet. I'm also watching 100 Humans, because social experiments are fun; the old people are my fave.

What are you listening to?

Shan: A lot of Bon Iver and The National. Don't worry, I'm doing FINE.

Al: OK, I know I'm late to the game because apparently they have a pretty avid fan base, but I was just introduced to this podcast called Crime Junkie, and if you love a good spook, check it out.

How are you staying fit?

Shan: Yoga in the morning and running on sunny days, because holy wow I miss the outdoors. That, and I also have spontaneous dance parties by myself, like, four times a day.

Al: Wasn't really staying fit before the quarantine. But I have been getting antsy so I downloaded this app called FitOn in the hopes that it will get some of my pent-up energy out. Will let you know how it goes when I do my first workout.

Have you taken up a hobby?

Al: I have become a Pinterest dream with all this downtime. I've made a macrame plant hanger with this weird spool of rope that I found in my kitchen drawer. Before this, I didn't even know how to spell macrame, so pretty proud of that. I've also started braiding a rug out of all the old T-shirts that I get at random events but have never actually worn. It kinda looks like a real thing? Now I just have to figure out how to sew it together.

Shan: I am nowhere near as crafty as Al. So no new hobbies, but I am spending a lot more time with my guitar. Haven't made any progress on my screenplay, though. But that's OK. Because, I don't know if you know this, but you're not allowed to be a copywriter if you don't have an unfinished script on your desktop. It's just the law. Sorry, I don't make the rules.

Any tips for getting necessities?

Shan: You guys. Hear me out. Omaha Steaks. Do not sleep on this! Their meats are freaking tight. And the delivery process is easy, efficient and completely contactless. I'm pushing this on everyone I know right now. @OmahaSteaks, sponsor me? I'll do an unboxing story. Maybe even eat a ribeye on Instagram Live. High Steaks with Shannon Fiedler. This is the quarantine content we've all been waiting for!!

Al: I wasn't a huge fan of online grocery delivery before being stuck at home, but oh boy, now I am. I've been trying Imperfect Foods and it's been super easy and makes me feel like a better person. I don't need my tomatoes to be perfectly circular!

An awkward moment since all this started.

Shan: My life is an awkward moment, so nothing's really stood out as being quarantine specific.

Al: Not super awkward, but people keep calling me out for only showing my forehead in video calls. I can't help it, I'm short!

Best work email you got since all this started.

Shan: My communication is mostly just Al Slacking me SpongeBob gifs.

Al: The only emails I really get are meeting invites. :(

An aha! moment since all this started.

Shan: Turns out, calling the people you love is really wonderful. So I think I'll do more of that, even when this whole thing is over. Oh, and also ... people only look at their own images when they're talking on FaceTime. 

Al: I am 100 percent one of the people only looking at their own image on FaceTime or Google Hangout. Also, my co-workers are all very rich and have very nice headboards and kitchen islands. 

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

Al: I predict there is going to be so many unfinished art projects that creatives take up and then abandon once quarantine is over.

Shan: We should bring them all together to create The Museum of Unfinished Side Hustles. Hold on, lemme start a deck...

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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