Friday 5s: AKA March 73red; Excitement in the domicile

From here and here.

AKA March 73rd. These posted April 3, so I’ll answer for the week leading to April 3.

  1. What did you have too much of this week?
    Too much bad sleep for sure. I’ve reverted to some bad things in my sleep routine, stuff I thought I had gotten past. But I’m taking Darth Vader off in the middle of the night, which means unhealthy sleep, which means not my best at work.
  2. What did you have not enough of this week?
    Oh, haha. I should’ve saved my #1 answer for this question. I’m going to say that for as much solitude as I had, I didn’t have enough. Those people at the laundry messed me up, and I made two visits to the supermarket when I didn’t really need to make any. Also not enough of Crush Girl’s company, if I’m being honest.
  3. What did you have in just the right amount or number?
    I did well on step counts. The long walks at night have been great for my body and mind. Although I often have trouble making myself go, once I’m moving I can’t remember why I didn’t just jump up and get out. Also, I think I had enough Diet Pepsi for pleasure.
  4. What’s better today than it was a week ago?
    Working from home. I decided on a two-laptop system, using my work laptop when I needed files or apps on the virtual desktop, which isn’t that often, and my personal laptop for the actual writing. I might have been able to ask for remote access on my personal laptop, as I think some coworkers have done, but I’d prefer to leave work stuff on the work computer and personal stuff on the personal.
  5. When they make a movie about last month, what would be a good song for the soundtrack?
    I’m hearing a lot of references to “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” by REM, which is a pretty good choice, but I’m going with The Chior’s “Blue Skies.”

    I’ve got a cause I should surely defend
    I hope you will agree
    I’ve got a tire I would love to suspend
    I’m searching for a tree

Excitement in the domicile. These posted April 10.

  1. In what way have you recently been naughty?
    I go on these long walks through Kapalama, Liliha, and Nuuanu. That’s a lot of walking, during which one often has to relieve oneself. I’ve done this enough over the years that I know where the good spots are: Maemae Elementary, behind the heavy machinery parked in front of Nuuanu Cemetery, the trees at Lanakila Park. Public urination counts as naughty, right?
  2. What’s the closest you’ve been to death-defying these past few weeks?
    I’d have to say shopping at Costco. Listen: I’m through with Costco until this thing blows over. I don’t care if I’m spending twice as much money on things. I was utterly terrified the last time I went in there.
  3. What temptations have you recently resisted?
    I’m telling you, this doesn’t make sense. At least a few times a day I swear I need to go to the stupid supermarket. I don’t need anything! What’s going on in my confused brain? Thank goodness laziness usually outscores panic-shopping.
  4. What’s something you wish you didn’t recently see?
    When I came out of the water Thursday morning, I saw something on the beach that looked a little unusual; I thought maybe it was an oddly shaped hunk of driftwood. I didn’t have my glasses on, so I had to get close to realize it was some kind of dead animal, domestic-pet-sized. It had washed up on the beach, it had matted fur, and sand was stuck to it all over. I couldn’t tell from my short glance what kind of animal it was. *shudder*
  5. What behavior from others are you excusing nowadays?
    People on FB are disagreeing on what’s a legitimate reason to go out. I’m iffy on everything, so I’m passively watching the conversations. None of us really knows. I’m excusing any position that isn’t blatant disregard for public safety. Those ministers insisting on holding public worship services can all go eff themselves, though.

Lockdown: Saturday in the dark

I seriously don’t know where the day went. I slept in, sure. Got up for breakfast (two frozen burritos) and to pop my meds, then went back to bed. That much is clear.

Then, much like Friday, I kind of alternated between the bed and the desk, only I don’t think I have anything to show for any of it, except the Sunday NYT crossword. My one major task was going to be making a few face masks out of old t-shirts, but before I knew it, it was time to get out for a walk. Then I took a nap, and then I went out for a walk. It’s like one moment it was 2:00 in the afternoon and the next it was 10:30 at night.

Lunch was a whole lot of steamed brussels sprouts. Dinner was the homemade bread with balsamic vinegar and the mediocre cheddar. Wasn’t in the mood to break out the blue. Somewhere in there was a snack of tortilla chips and what remained of my fresh salsa.

I love my city at night, but it’s especially beautiful when the mayor declares a curfew for people in cars. It’s so quiet and so safe, and I revel in the darkness. I reeeally think I’m allergic to something in the flora on Nuuanu Avenue, between Wyllie Street and Judd Street, on the Ewa side of the street. I was sneezing and sniffling like a madman again, and only while walking that one block.

Thanks to those 8K steps very early Saturday morning, I got the stepcount to 15,700 steps before midnight, and then added 5200 steps after midnight. The first half of the walk was rough; my body and mind didn’t want to be out there. The second half was really nice, though, my body and mind both loving the quietude.

I listened to a few podcasts, plus my short but decent The Cure playlist and then my short but awesome Easter playlist. I’m kind of hoping that my fellow believers will experience this Easter soberly and deeply, and realize what I’ve been quietly trying to tell them for the past few years. Maybe we don’t need a physical church. Or maybe we don’t all need one.

Didn’t do a lot of connecting. I wonder if that’s why the day seems not to have really existed. Early Sunday I sent a link to Keith Green’s “Easter Song” to a bunch of people and traded a very few IMs with a person I know from Friday 5. Penny texted around dinner time to check up on me. We talked a little about how easy it is for introverts to just do their thing at home alone.

I don’t think I’ll plan anything for Sunday except maybe making one mask just to see if I can. I have a few veggies I’d like to use up too. Maybe send out for a late pizza? Who knows!

It’s Easter, which may not mean anything to you. If it does and you’re feeling separated from the body, alone when you feel you shouldn’t be, I hope you’ll reach out. We can have a Keith Green listening party or something. Through DMs, texts, or IMs, of course!

Lockdown: Remember the Ala Mo

Everything’s beachy keen

If you’re paying attention, you probably figured out I went to bed early(ish) Thursday so I could go to the beach early(not ish) Friday.

Last week Thursday, I tried to park at Kewalo Basin so I could walk through the little mini-park there (it’s there for people who live on the boats) and hit my usual beach. I got there at around 7 and much to my dismay (‘though not really to my surprise) the tiny parking lot there was full, and people were waiting for spots to open up. So I drove to that free parking area behind the Ilikai, behind the lagoon at Hilton Hawaiian Village (I gotta find out what the surfers call that spot) and walked to Fort Derussy. It was nice, but it wasn’t ideal.

They open the Kewalo parking lot at 4, but I didn’t think the dawn patrollers were going to be there that early, since dawn wasn’t until just past 6. So I got up at quarter to five and got down there at about 5:20. Plenty of parking.

It’s not a free lot, but it’s a dollar an hour, so it’s totally worth it. I paid for three hours (just in case). Almost everyone already parked there was either a surfer or a standup paddleboarder. And the regulars at Ala Moana (especially the SUPers) all know each other, so it was a chatty crowd at an hour when I just wanted some quiet time.

But yay. The sun came up, everyone made the trek to the beach, and I trailed behind. I jumped in at what was my usual spot for years, and swam two buoys down and back. It. Was. Lovely.

I don’t usually swim on that end of the beach anymore. I’ve found the other end, just beyond the pavillions on the Magic Island end, much nicer lately. The parking’s not quite as close to the water (because the beach is wider) but there’s more parking at sunrise and more room in the water for spreading out. The water movement’s a bit mellower too, most of the time. Oh, and the shower on that end is much better. There’s one showerhead with amazing water pressure — the regulars usually wait their turns for it, or they’ll jump beneath one of the other showerheads and move over when the good one opens up.

I love showering at the beach. I took the showerhead off my shower at home so I could emulate beach showers. And I usually take cold showers too for the same reason, even when I’m at my parents’ house and showering there.

I’m chatty; can you tell? It was a good day largely because of the excellent beginning, and I’m feeling pretty good.

There were still a few open parking spaces when I left at quarter to 8 (or so). Maybe last week was a fluke. Or maybe Friday morning was a fluke. Guess we’ll find out sometime next week!

I picked up breakfast on the way home at Pancakes & Waffles. A Denver omelette with a short stack. It’s not the best thing on the menu but I wasn’t interested in anything exciting. I wanted something simple and filling. What I really wanted was a Subway sandwich, but the last time I tried to get to the Subway in my ‘hood, I pulled up at 8 and the store was still dark. I get it, and I’m trying to be patient, but don’t people know how much I love my Subway sandwich after a good swim?

Eat. Sleep. Write.

I ate breakfast while I read the news, then went back to bed. It. Was. Also. Lovely.

I pretty much spent most of the day moving between the bed for lazing horizontally and the desk for lazing vertically. I really wanted to write my review of The Lighthouse (see entry below!) and do some other writing, but the review took most of my writing time. Ridiculous.

I skipped lunch again. Snacked on some potato chips (Kettle Bourbon BBQ again). Dinner was some of my fresh bread with slices of mediocre cheddar. I’ve got some decent blue in my fridge and I think I’ll break it out for the rest of this bread Saturday.

Regrets, I’ve had curfew

I cut myself a little slack on the walking because of this morning’s swim, but still thought it would be nice if I could hit the daily goal. I didn’t. Took way too long getting out the door, so I only got it up to 7400 steps before midnight. I think next time I go to the beach an hour before sunrise, I’m going to walk along Ala Mo Blvd and get in as many steps as I can before jumping in the water.

I got 8100 steps after midnight. It’s quiet out there after 11! Unheard of for a Saturday night. I stepped into the 7-Eleven at Nuuanu and Kuakini, the one I usually walk right past because there are always at least four customers in there no matter what time it is, and it was so slow that the lone clerk (there are always two, but not tonight!) had parked his SUV right in front of the store in the customers’ parking, and was hanging out next to it with the door open.

I have to say the curfew makes the walking much, much more pleasant. As long as the police chief says it only applies to driving, I think I could get used to this.

I listened to some podcasts, my short but awesome Foo Fighters playlist, some songs from I Am Abomination (inspired by an email I got from the band about the new album this month, which I backed on Indiegogo two years ago!), and the first few tracks from the new Nightwish album.

I suspect Nightwish fans aren’t going to love this one, but I think it’s really interesting, perhaps their most interesting album (so far) since Floor Janssen joined the band.

Connecting points

Friday I traded a few texts with Ali in Boston (no holiday for her), the friends from the engineering firm (Suzanne braved Costco! Nooooo!), and Sylvia (we had chatted about how we each wanted to go to the beach this weekend so I sent her the photo I’ve shared here). Swapped a few DMs with my uncle in San Diego — he’s still working at the office but will work from home some days. And there was some IMing with the person I met from Friday 5 (in Wisconsin) about lighthouses, and with Laura about The Lighthouse because she’s the person who pretty much made me watch it.

Almost every paragraph in this entry begins with the word I, something I didn’t do on purpose. In fact, I usually try to avoid it. I think this is a sign I am tired and should go to bed.

Looking forward to accomplishing even less Saturday than I did Friday. If your Saturday isn’t looking great, or if your outlook overall isn’t great, I hope you’re not going through this alone. If you are, please reach out. We can text, IM, or DM about whatever. Just please don’t despair.

Lockdown: A little bit later and a little bit worse

Okay Thursday.

Thursday is already a blur and it’s only Friday night. Evidence that if this is important to me, I need to log this stuff with minimal delay.

Breakfast was overnight oats. I kind of skipped lunch because I had breakfast a little late, and I kind of dragged it out all morning. I had turkey chili with brown rice for dinner, and I made a loaf of bread in the bread machine. Had that for a late snack. Somewhere in the middle were a handful of Kettle potato chips, the Bourbon BBQ flavor. They were yummy.

Traded quite a few texts with JB, who asked me if I could help him find some poetry to read. You know I love a question like this. My usual response is to ask someone some poems they remember enjoying (not as many people say Shel Silverstein as you’d expect; I wonder if people feel silly naming him), and go from there.

He said he liked “The Raven” and some other poet I hadn’t heard of. So I started him on “The Charge of the Light Brigade” and “The Highwayman.” He liked “The Highwayman.” Then I shared “Reflections on a Gift of Watermelong Pickle Put Up by a Friend Called Felicity” and “The One Girl at the Boys’ Party.” He was pretty amped and wondered why he never got into poetry before. I resisted the urge to say, “Because you didn’t have me as a teacher.”

Also traded texts with Crush Girl, which was nice. I called mom and dad on the phone. They seem to be in good spirits, although I can tell my mom’s getting a little restless.

I skipped the walk so I could get up early Friday for another try at Ala Moana. More about that in a few hours.

Work was pretty productive. I didn’t get those revisions on the proposal done until very late, like around 11:30 in the evening. It was slightly distressing as I was trying to get to bed early. But I feel pretty good about the work. Haven’t heard back from the fundraiser yet for feedback, but I kind of expected that. It’s a holiday, after all.

The mayor of Honolulu declared a “pilot” curfew for the long weekend. 11:00 in the evening until 5:00 in the morning, beginning Friday evening and ending Monday morning. He’s worried the Easter weekend will be too tempting for people who are already incapable of social distancing. Nobody on the roads for the entire island unless they’re driving to get medicine or driving to or from work!

Luckily, the police chief says if you’re out on foot, you’re probably okay. She just doesn’t want anyone on wheels. I’m about to test this when I go out for a nice long walk in a moment.

The mayor also said he and the police are ramping up their enforcement of the stay-home mandate by hitting the beaches hard. We’re still allowed to go into the water, to cross through parks and across beaches to get to the ocean. We just can’t linger. Can’t hang out. Can’t congregate. His edict was accompanied by a slide with an illustration of the beach. Crossed out with red Xes were a couple of beach chairs and several peaches. “No peaches on beaches,” he said, which is incredibly clever for this mayor. He was either really inspired or he’s got a pretty good writer on this team.

Hawaii’s new cases continue to hold at about the 25 new cases per day line. I’m trying not to be encouraged by this, but I’m encouraged.

I’m so grateful for a three-day weekend. Spent today taking it easy, if you can call writing my first film review in MONTHS taking it easy. I swear, sometimes it’s like opening a vein. I struggled with it all day and it’s still not very good. And then I had to lie down for a couple of hours after.

I might have to do a review every day, even if it’s a short one, to get those muscles back into shape. It shouldn’t be this difficult but I think that part of my writing brain is atrophied.

It took me four days to watch The Lighthouse twice. Partially because of business. Partially because of lack of attention span. I’m okay with this. On my walk this evening I’m going to decide what to watch next!

Hey listen. The news has been optimistic these past couple of days, but I think we’re at least three weeks from really being optimistic. If that’s a challenge for you, please reach out. I don’t know why, but I’m handling this pretty well — it’s almost as if I’ve been practicing for it for years. Get in touch if you could use some encouragement. And no peaches on beaches!

Review: The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse (2019)
Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson.  Written by Robert Eggers and Max Eggers.  Directed by Robert Eggers.

For a psychological horror film, The Lighthouse is quite watchable if you (like I) shy away from such pictures.  It’s unlikely to give you nightmares or to gross you out, so it’s worth a shot, because this is one compelling and gorgeous movie.

Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson play Thomas Wake and Ephraim Winslow, lighthouse attendants on a remote island in the north Atlantic.  Wake is the barnacled veteran with a pirate’s aaaaarrrrgot, a grouchy taskmaster to first-timer Winslow. Their relationship begins tenuously and continues contentiously, the men’s interactions swinging from testy to amiable depending on how much alcohol has been consumed.

Wake and Winslow are stationed for four weeks, but a vicious storm extends their stay.  The men’s quarters are cramped, and they spend just about every minute together. This reality is heightened for the viewer by the film’s 1.19 to 1 aspect ratio, a frame that’s practically square, much narrower than a high-def television screen, even narrower than pre-HDTV television screens.

The acting is fabulous, but excellent performances by the principal actors highlight one of The Lighthouse’s major obstacles.  When great actors overact in service to the movie, we have to work out a certain tension.  When skilled writing goes over the top, we have to decide whether or not to accept it. At the height of one conflict, one character accuses the other of being a parody, so Pattinson, Dafoe, and director Robert Eggers are clearly aware of these issues.

Eggers’s commentary track reveals meticulous research and thoughtful filmmaking, so I’m inclined to accept the film on its terms.  Accepting the acting and writing makes it easier to accept the other strange sights and developments; my advice is to appreciate everyone’s considerable chops.  There’s almost no way the film satisfies if you can’t.

The Lighthouse is compelling and gorgeous.  Block off two evenings because it rewards a second viewing.


Lockdown: Azooming the position

I’m going to try to make this a quick one because I’m super tired.

I proposed

I think it was a productive day at work. A new proposal popped up for a major gift and I turned it around really quickly. I was told it’s urgent but as I’ve said, I’m learning there are different levels of urgency so I’m not totally sure. I thought I did good work but it looks like I’m going to have to redo a whole section or two, which is totally fine.

I suspect my employer values the proposal writing much more than the other kinds of writing I do, but the proposals are probably the easiest. The challenge is in figuring out what the fundraisers want, because some tend to be really unclear, and when I push them for direction, I don’t think they know how to give it.

This one I did Wednesday is fine; I think the fundraiser is a good communicator. I just went with an angle I thought was most compelling based on the material I have, but she knows the potential donor, so of course she has a better idea of what will work.

Telling someone’s story is far, far more challenging, and it’s too bad it’s not as valued a skill, because I think I’m pretty good at it.


Breakfast was turkey chili and brown rice. Lunch was two frozen burritos. I had a snack of tortilla chips and fresh salsa. Dinner was two hot dogs with ketchup, mustard, and sauerkraut. I ate a late snack of a strawberry shortcake ice cream bar while on my walk. Mmmm.

Tomorrow’s about fresh veggies I think. I’ve got a bunch I need to use up before they turn.

Step this way

I came suuuuuuper close to not going for a walk. I just wasn’t feeling it. I went to the supermarket instead, for just like a few things I don’t really need, like cinnamon for my overnight oats and more Diet Pepsi so I don’t have to think about pacing myself if I don’t want to.

But the rain let up to just a little drizzle, and I already had shoes on, so what the heck. At about 11 I just set off. I got rained on but it wasn’t unpleasant, and the rain was pretty much done after half an hour. The late start meant only 9,300 steps before midnight, but I walked another 5400 steps after midnight.

Listened to a few podcasts and a ton of Foo Fighters music. Thursday’s ESPN Daily podcast is an excellent story of Darko Milicic’s post-NBA life. He’s an apple farmer in Serbia now. It’s really, really well done.

Reaching out

I joined our daily conference call via the Zoom app on my phone for the first time. Everyone else is videoing in, but I’ve only been calling in via audio on my phone. It didn’t suck. I also had a short phone meeting with my supervisor, and a phone call with that fundraiser to talk about the proposal.

Traded a very few texts with a friend / former student in San Diego, the friends from the engineering firm, Crush Girl, and JB. Sent a very late text to Faye. Didn’t call mom and dad, so I’ll do that Thursday.

Friday is a holiday, so I’d like Thursday to be really productive.

Hope anyone reading this is thriving. If you’re not, and if you’d like someone to chat with (IMs, DMs, or texts) please reach out! Any way you’re feeling in these weird days is totally valid and meaningful. If it’s wearing you down, though, you don’t have to go through it alone.

Lockdown: Every tomorrow is the same as before

This new Pearl Jam song is my frontrunner for best song of 2020. Interesting: I didn’t know it was released as a single in January, so apparently Pearl Jam is fond of it too. I heard everything on their new Gigaton album for the first time all at once when the album dropped a couple of weeks ago. And this one really stands out.

Perchance to dream

Ahh, sleep. I still didn’t sleep wonderfully when I got back from the laundry early Tuesday morning, but I had the morning off so I did about five hours, waking up every couple of hours for no reason I could tell. But the sleep felt pretty good, and I wasn’t tired all afternoon as I have been in recent days.

The other night when I said I was going to drop 5 mg of melatonin? I didn’t. I got all comfy in bed when I realized I hadn’t done it, and by then I wasn’t in the mood to disconnect Darth Vader, get up, and go to the kitchen. Wondering if I should keep the bottle in my room.

G-L-U-T! T-O-N-Y! I ain’t got no al-i-bi!

I ate so much today I can’t even tell which were the meals. It was a little crazy and out of control. I picked up a Big Mac combo from the McD’s drive-through on my way to the laundromat. So I guess that’s breakfast. Then I had two hot dogs with ketchup, mustard, and sauerkraut when I woke up and sat down to work, so that’s lunch? I worked a little late (thereby kind of erasing the concept of taking time off) and before I stood up to call it a day at around 8:00, I’d also put down the overnight oats I’d planned to have for lunch and forgotten about, and a bunch of tortilla chips and fresh salsa. Dinner and a snack, I guess. Then I polished off the rest of that potato salad — snack again? And during my walk I popped into a 7-Eleven with no customers in it and had a strawberry shortcake ice cream bar. Yummmmm. Now I’m back in front of my keys waiting for rice to finish so I can have a small bowl of turkey chili and brown rice. With a Heineken Light. Second dinner?

No idea what came over me, but thankfully days are not usually like this at all.

The to-dos

Work was fairly productive. My people liked the thank-you emails I wrote. I helped someone with yet another final draft (like, the fourth final draft) of a proposal. I interviewed a student applying for emergency assistance, and wrote her story, My boss like it, so I’m sending it back to the student in the morning to see if she likes it.

I fell fewer than 200 steps shy of my 13K goal this evening, but I was totally fine with it. I almost didn’t go out at all, but I thought I’d at least wander around a little, and when I got it going I just kept with it. It felt good. Listened to podcasts and that Pearl Jam album again. Oh, and I watched the NBC Nightly News on the NBC News app.

There were 25 new cases in Hawaii yesterday. I mentioned flattening the curve since the new cases are remaining fairly steady, but I was thinking of the curve as a rate-of-change curve, which of course it’s not. The curve is a number of people with the illness, or maybe a number of people who’ve been diagnosed, a first derivative of the rate-of-new-cases curve, so that’s something close to linear. Linear is good, though. What we don’t want is exponential.

Not much connection today. A few texts with JB, the friends from the engineering firm, and Crush Girl, plus some IMs with Bethanie and someone I’ve sorta gotten to know through Friday 5. It feels like a lot, though, since I had the phone interview with that student and my department’s daily conference call. I’m planning to call my parents Wednesday.

It could be verse

I’m wondering if these lockdown journal entries are going to fall into a sameness. I suppose they have already, since I’m logging certain things regularly. Seems important, though, as a way to distinguish one day from another. Perhaps I’ll write tomorrow’s in verse, just to change it up a little.

The world is going crazy but its people are hanging in. If you’re teetering on the edge, or even just thinking about teetering, please reach out. I’m not much use for woe-is-me counseling, but I’ll chat with you about stuff. Don’t go through this alone.

Lockdown: Cafe Downy

Final but not really final

It was a bit of a hectic morning, at least compared to other days working at home. The stuff I’ve been doing on the urgent student relief fund (we’ve raised more than $800,000 so far, with more than 1500 students appying for assistance) has taken precedence, pushing other writing tasks down the list. Usually not a problem but the list is bottom-heavy in a way that causes me some tension.

My supervisor called me on the phone to ask if I’m overwhelmed. I don’t know what I said or did to tip her off, but I told her I’m not overwhelmed, just a bit tense. She wondered if she should funnel some of the relief stuff away until I feel okay. I asked her not to. I’m okay; I just need to get stuff done.

So I interviewed one of the UH Hilo students applying for aid. Highlight of my day. She has four young children and lives in a part of the Big Island where the internet service providers don’t even offer service. Her work got canceled. Other stuff that made me want to give her half of the $800K. And this isn’t a sob story at all — she’s a professional, in the literal sense of the word, with a license to practice her profession, taking classes to add to her BS so she qualifies for the next level of licensure in her field.

Then I worked on like the fourth or fifth “final” drafts of a couple of proposals and some thank-you letters. The thank-you letters were really the source of my tension, I think, because I’d been promising them for a while, then totally forgot about them, then I thought I did them but it turned out the stuff I did was for a different project. It was a little confusing and then stressful to find myself suddenly overdue on something I thought was complete.

I feel good about the work, though. I think I did it well, which is really all I want most of the time.

Unexpected issues

I really like to cook, but most of the time I just don’t have enough time at home to cook every evening. I work until the early evenings at the office, then usually go for a long walk, not getting home until a couple of hours before bedtime. This means dinner is usally picked up on the way home or heated up from an enormous amount of food I made over the weekend before. When I make food, I make a week’s worth.

Now I’m home all the time, with plenty of time and desire to cook, but I can’t cook every night because my fridge is full of the food I made yesterday or the day before. Or yesterday and the day before. When I made turkey chili Sunday, I made five quarts of it, enough to feed me for a week or more. Cooking anything now, as much as I’d like to, would likely be wasteful, not to mention a storage problem.

So, no cooking Sunday or Monday. Breakfast Monday was overnight oats. Lunch was two hot dogs with mustard, ketchup, and sauerkraut. Dinner was chili and brown rice. It was all delicious.

Okay, the overnight oats aren’t exactly delicious, and Monday I had to kind of power myself through it. It tastes fine. It just gets a little tiresome once in a while, but I find it a satisfying meal not only because it’s filling, but it’s super inexpensive and I swear I can feel the soluble fiber doing its thing to my insides. I add about a tablespoon and a half of flaxseed and whole chia seed (combined), so we’re talking a lot of soluble fiber. I probably go a little heavy-handed on the brown sugar, something I should probably start decreasing but whatever.

I didn’t snack much, but you know that tub of potato salad I inexplicably picked up at the supermarket Friday night? It’s juuuuust about gone. Yikes.


I skipped the walk, partially because I’m getting a little nervous about being out and about, but mostly because I’m typing this at the laundromat at just past 4:00 in the morning. Tried to get to bed early but I only got about two hours of sleep. The vampire in me wants to take over and it’s going to be a struggle for the duration of this work-at-home season.

I got here just past 3:00 and have run into exactly zero others. With my clothes now in the dryer, I’m feeling pretty good about my timing. I’ve also taken the morning off from work — I thought maybe I’d give the beach a try, but on so little sleep I’m now just looking forward to a few more hours of sleep before I tackle those urgent stories.

I have to say I really, really look forward to my time in the laundry every week. I bring my laptop, my mechanical keyboard (note to self: good topic for journaling later), some food, and some diet soda. I set up on one of the tables, do a ton of writing (like this), eat, and drink in quietude outside my home. It’s almost cafe-like. Working in a cafe is maybe the thing I miss most about this new life.

Oh, you know what else I miss? Glazed doughnuts. I don’t even eat pastry very often, but my nightly walks take me past Liliha Bakery (I usually drive past on my way home from work, but driving past and walking past are two different things), which has closed “until further notice,” so now of course all I want is a Liliha Bakery glazed doughnut. Sigh.

I thought I might stop at Kamehameha Bakery on my way to the laundry, because I’m not seeing any indication online that it’s closed, and because it opens each day at 2:00 in the morning. The glazed doughnuts there aren’t great, but they’ll do the job. And I can pick up my favorite bread pudding. When I got in the car, though, I just wasn’t in the mood to delay my getting here beyond going through the McD’s drive-through. So maybe I’ll try the bakery later this week.

Do ya think I’m texty?

I did some pretty good texting with Crush Girl Monday. I also sent a link to that Queen Elizabeth address to several people late Sunday night, which got a few comments and launched a couple of short conversations. My favorite response was from Penny, who said *sigh* and nothing else. Traded a few thoughts also with JB, Sharon, Faye, Andrea, and my writing partner. Writing partner finished our agreed-upon journaling assignment, I’m still working on it so I’ve got to get moving.

The writing partner and I planned to do some Gchat to work on some ideas for her courses (she’s a high-school English teacher) but she never showed up at our agreed-on time. It’s okay. We’ve got all month, and it’s not like I had to cancel anything in order to make our appointment. I was still actually working on work.

Oh I said I was going to link to her momblog article. I think she’s really on to something — she could conceivably keep going to this well because there’s going to be a lot of audience for ideas like hers.

Laundry’s just about dry. A guy came in 20 minutes ago and of course he wanted to use the machines right behind where I’m standing. At least he loaded his machines and went right back out to his car.

It’s April 7, and most of us are going to be locked down until the end of the month, although I suspect it’ll be quite a big longer. I’m okay with it. If the thought kind of freaks you out and you don’t have someone to talk about it with, please reach out. Nobody needs to go through this alone!

Lockdown: “Better days will return”

Yay. I got my taxes done. E-filed and now I wait for refunds. I’m getting back two months’ worth of rent and that’s exactly what I’m going to use them for.

I did a few chores. Busted out my collapsible beach chair and left it out in the sun to get some air. I was really worried roaches had gotten into the bag, so I haven’t been using it. When I dragged it out onto the lanai right into the bright sunlight, I prepared for the worst, but the only thing that came out was a cockroach egg sac. Everything else looked pretty good.

I didn’t watch The Lighthouse with the director commentary, opting instead to dig into my backlog of podcasts. It was a good decision: I laughed aloud multiple times, mostly at the Dan Le Batard Show.

If you haven’t seen this speech by the queen of England, you really must. It’s four and a half minutes long, but stick with it. It made me a little wistful. And of course tickled my little Anglophile I keep hidden most of the time.

Please watch this if you haven’t already seen it.

Okay breakfast was overnight oats. Lunch was some steamed red potatoes with garlic butter and sauerkraut. Dinner was a bowl of Apple Jacks because I have to use up this gallon of milk soon. Unintentionally a meatless day, until after my long walk I had two cheeseburgers and fries from McD’s. Ugh. I know I’m going to regret that.

I exchanged a few texts with Don (it was his birthday last week and I just got around to saying happy birthday) and Ali, and sent a few to Faye and my writing partner. I’m usually a little more communicative Sundays but what does Sunday even mean anymore?

I hit 14,500 steps, which is about the norm now for what’s unintentionally become my usual walk. I may have to alter it soon; there are just too many people walking on School Street late at night for my comfort, and nobody seems concerned about social distancing but me. I walk way out into the middle of the street to avoid people.

A retired long-time local anchorwoman, someone I’ve become friends with in recent years mostly because we’ve been playing Words with Friends together (matched up randomly but she figured out who I was before I figured out who she was), shared on FB some photos of some bread she made Sunday, with a caption about worrying about the Quarantine 15. I think it’s a clever name for the weight gain we’re all trying to avoid, and a takeoff on the Frosh 15, but I’ve been trying to get the Covid 19 to catch on instead. I think it’s funnier. I can’t seem to get others to latch onto it, though.

The numbers continue to go up, but the rate has been steady in Hawaii, not exponential. I still expect there to be an explosion in positive diagnoses soon, perhaps this week, but part of me is holding out hope that we’ve already flattened this curve. Wishful thinking, I know.

I’m sleeping terribly lately, back to bad habits with taking off the Darth Vader in the middle of the night. I’ve been off melatonin because I suspect (based on a little research) it doesn’t put me to sleep more quickly. However, I was sleeping for longer uninterrupted periods while I was on it, and if it’s a placebo effect I think I have to take it. Just got to play with the dosage, because 20 mg was carrying over into my workday. I’m going to take 5 mg in a few minutes and hope it just gives me six good, uninterrupted hours.

Think I’ll give it a shot now. I hope you’re sleeping and waking well, and if you’re not, please reach out. You don’t have to go through any of this weirdness alone, and while i’m not the world’s best listener, at least I’m also terrible at giving advice!

“And though self-isolating may at times be hard, many people of all faiths — and of none — are discovering that it presents an opportunity to slow down, pause, and reflect in prayer or meditation.”