Lockdown: Tide me over

Pithing off

Sunday afternoon, when I was in the midst of dealing with the bee stuff (which I’ll get to), our website guy at work emailed to say he had a bunch of videos ready to post. They’re videos from students who’ve received emergency relief, explaining who they are and what their stress is. They all say thank you, too, which isn’t part of what we asked, but it’s nice to hear.

We asked for the videos for our website, so people could see who they’re helping, or who they could be helping. Hopefully this leads to their making a donation to the fund.

Each video on what we’re calling the video wall on our website is given a title and a small introductory blurb. We want both to be compelling enough for a reader to click the item and watch the video.

I have a knack for it, for some reason, something I only learned when I started this job. It’s not exactly anything I’ve ever had to do; at least I don’t think it is. For videos and stories in our email newsletter, I often write the titles and blurbs.

Honestly, I don’t think I’m great at this, but I’m pretty good, if sometimes a little slow.

This is one of the tasks I said early early Monday morning I wanted to get done before bed. I didn’t finish until close to six in the morning. Ugggggh. The fact that these titles and blurbs would all be on the same page, next to, above, and below one another, means you have to think of each as part of a whole, not a stand-alone thing. So you can’t write, “So and so, a _____ major at This Campus or That Campus, found him/herself in [describe situtation], but thanks to you, he/she will ______ on his/her journey to a degree.”

I mean, you can, but you can’t write it for all of them. Some of them have to be something like, “[short emotional phrase from the person’s video].” Some should just summarize something interesting about the person, or unique to the situation. It’s so that when you’re looking at all the videos arrayed on one screen, each looks like its own special thing.

Which it is.

I don’t always have this luxury (if luxury it can be called), but seven videos at once meant the best attack was to watch all the videos first, taking notes that might be useful for the titles and blurbs. The ones I write first are the very difficult ones (the videos that don’t really say anything different) and the easy ones (the ones that say something very different.” Then filling in the rest according to the dictates of variety.

I do the difficult ones first because they’re the ones I use my best weaponry on. The special words laden with aesthetic appeal, and emotional impact. The writer has to be more involved when the story by itself won’t serve my purpose. It’s not that the story is less compelling or less urgent or less meaningful. It’s that the person, for any of a million reasons, doesn’t make the case well, so the writer makes it for the person.

Boring work stuff, I know, but I’m putting it out there in case it’s ever useful for someone reading this someday.

Dough you wanna go my way?

I really wanted to get that stuff done before people showed up for work Monday, since I come in a couple of hours after everyone else. Having it ready meant they could get right to it while I made the long journey from bed to desk.

However, it meant that the stuff I meant to do all weekend had to wait until the workday Monday, and now I was doing it on three hours of sleep. Bleah.

Work is already taxing on my sensitive eyes. It’s doubly so when I’m running on fumes. It’s triply so when I’m doing copy editing.

I got my first task done well ahead of my loose deadline. The second took far longer. I was asked to have it done by 2, but at 5 I was still a short distance from the end, and my eyes were dying. So I sent an apologetic email, took a break from the screen, and finished it off at about 8.

During the break, I made sourdough bread!

I didn’t get the rise I expected. Sylvia has since told me she’s seen online testimony that bread machines don’t allow enough time for sourdough to rise; she sent me some links but I haven’t looked at them yet. Also, I wasn’t very hungry and I was suuuuuper tired and I was planning to wake up at 2:30 to come to the laundry, which is where I’m typing this at 4:27 in the morning. So I got everything ready while my small, dense loaf cooled on a rack, then ripped off a small piece right before bed.

Oh man. The crust is lovely, and the taste is divine. Or maybe as close to divine as can be experiened in my kitchen. It’s a dense, chewy loaf, not at all light or fluffy, which is what I envisioned. But it’s real. Sourdough. Bread. And I made it.

Well, I sorta made it. The bread machine made it. But I didn’t buy it!

I kept thinking of more things I had to do before bed, so ugh. I only got about 3 hours of sleep. Again. However, I’m taking the morning off from work, so I’ll get a little bit more sleep before checking in at noon or one.

No more yankee my wankee! The Donger need food!

Breakfast, which as usual I ate at my desk while catching up on emails, was overnight oats. For lunch, I had to use up the rest of that marinara sauce from a week or so ago, so I made penne in the Instant Pot and stirred in some of that nice blue cheese. I was too tired and too busy to make something new for dinner, so I had it for dinner too. I swear I ate the whole one-pound box of pasta in these two meals, but I had considerable leftovers. It’s weird when you think you’ve eaten far more than you have, which I suppose it preferable to thinking you’ve eaten far less than you have.

I had a few tortilla chips and fresh salsa for a snack, although I can’t seem to remember when.

I skipped the walking, as you might imagine. Mondays are probably going to be my weekly night off from that.

I’m bringing texty back

One of the friends from the engineering firm sent a photo of some ducks who’ve moved onto her property. A friend from work texted me to talk a little about working from home. I asked her what she misses most, and she said eating out. I said I miss sitting in cafes. We talked about some work stuff, then stuff about our respective baking projects. She said nice things about our video wall.

Crush Girl sent me a photo of her workspace at home. She made a few adustments related to something we discussed last week. We talked a little about baking too. Then Sylvia and I traded some texts about sourdough. She’s the friend who gave me the starter, remember. Friday 5 girl IMed me some video links.

Connection-wise, it was enough. Work soaked up most of my day, but somehow I managed to live a normal day as well. Oh yeah, except for sleep.

I’ll have to write about the bees later. My writing partner sent me something to look at, and my clothes are almost done in the dryer. Whatever’s going on in your weird, weird world, I hope at least you’re getting enough sleep. I can’t do anything about that if you aren’t (although, if you’ve read this far, you’re probably already asleep), but I can try to help if you’re not getting connected enough. It’s worth a shot. Please reach out.

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