Lockdown: Hypochondria much?

The Lighthouse turned out to be compelling but something of a bafflement. The cinematography was pretty terrific (the film was nominated for an Oscar in that category) and the acting admirable, although I don’t know how I feel about some of the decisions, mostly the accents affected by both principal actors.

I’m withholding judgment until I see it with the director commentary.

I was so lethargic today I worried several times that I had the virus. Got up early-ish for breakfast (two hot dogs and some potato salad) but went to bed shortly after, where I alternated between dozing off and goofing off on my phone.

Forced myself up at 2:00 or so to make the chili, which turned out yummy; then I finished the movie. I ate way too much so I pretty much skipped dinner and went out for my walk.

It wasn’t a nice walk at all. My body just didn’t want to go (so of course I was worried again I had the virus) and either it was a really humid evening or I’ve got the virus, because I was warm and sweaty. And I was sneezing and sniffling like crazy in the second half of the walk, something I’m hoping was a reaction to the tall grass I walk past, but maybe I’ve got the virus.

Today I traded just a few texts with Crush Girl and my friends from the engineering firm. There were a few DMs in IG with Penny, Winnie, and Sharon.

Sunday I’m going to watch the movie with that commentary and then write my review. There’s some stuff in the laundry room I want to clean up. And I really should do a little bit of work since I’ve been so inefficient during working hours. Oh, and that journaling activity my writing partner and I agreed to do. I may be holding us up on that. I would like to do some reading too.

Some coworkers mentioned that they’re being far more productive working at home than they are when working in the office. They’re hoping when the office opens back up, they can get permission to work from home more often — much more often, like maybe three or four days a week. I’m not there yet; I definitely benefit from having a dedicated work space. But who knows? I might find myself cranking out the work like crazy by the time this is up. I’ve had permission to work from home for a year and I’ve never taken advantage of it.

Here’s your daily reminder that you don’t have to go through this alone. If you’re struggling and need a little bit of contact, please reach out. I know a bunch of dirty jokes and stupid stories.

Lockdown: Grossery shopping

Mellow day at the office

Kind of a mellow Friday. I did what I think are final edits on two proposals, then final edits on the thank-you emails we’re sending to people who donate to the university’s emergency relief fund. Worked on a short bio about a person who’s the namesake of a chair I helped land. We’re talking about a gift in the millions.

I still worked kind of slowly though. One of my goals this weekend is to work on my workspace so it’s a little more comfy than it is. I suspect some of my slowness has to do with not enjoying my workspace.

Chicken and oats

Breakfast was overnight oats. Lunch was an enormous bowl of steamed broccoli and asparagus on brown rice with garlic butter. I had tortilla chips and fresh salsa for a snack. Dinner was (oh no) a ridiculous number of Chicken McNuggets from McD’s. It was a late dinner; I just finished it half an hour ago and it’s a quarter past midnight.

I took some ground turkey out of the freezer so I can make turkey chili tomorrow. It’ll be the first time I make my chili in the Instant Pot. I have a feeling a thing like that is much better slow-cooked, but that’s how I’ve made it for twenty years. I have a new toy with a pressure function so of course I’m going to use it.

I’m having Kafka dreams this evening; I’d almost bet on it.

Exposure? No thank you.

I really wanted to try the drive-up shopping at Target but of the four things on my list, one was sold out, two were “not available for pickup” (that is, you have to go into the store to purchase them), and the last was just a couple of six-packs of Diet Pepsi, which of course I can get anywhere. So much for that plan.

I need distilled water for the Darth Vader machine, and it’s $.75 more per gallon at the local supermarket than at Target, but whatever. I can sneak into the supermarket fifteen minutes before closing and minimize my exposure. Fair trade.

Of course I got a little carried away, also picking up more oatmeal, some hot dog buns, a gallon of skim milk, a tub of potato salad (seriously; what?) and a couple of cans of corned beef hash just in case the disease erupts in this town and I’m too wussy to run out for fresh food.

And Diet Pepsi, of course.

All that walking I did after midnight meant I didn’t have to go far to hit my goal. Ended up with 15,300 steps without really working for it, and I can live with it. My body wasn’t feeling it this evening.

Children of the next level

New metal releases have been a little ho-hum these past couple of weeks, but Friday brought the much-awaited (by me, anyway) new album by Testament. I pre-ordered the CD from Amazon because Testament toured Europe with Death Angel and another band, and they all came back with the freaking virus. The Death Angel drummer is in intensive care on a ventilator. Ugh. I bought the CD to kind of show them they have a fan who’s pulling for them. Should probably buy a Death Angel CD as well.

I gave it a spin (via Spotify) and it’s pretty darn good. The first three songs are nice candidates for the live show.

I also watched the first hour of The Lighthouse, that movie last year with Robert Pattinson (Support Cedric Diggory, the real Hogwarts champion!) and Willem Dafoe. It’s not as horrifying as I expected, nor (yet) as homoerotic. Then again, I’m only an hour into it and there are still forty-nine minutes to go. That’s a lot of time to disturb the living heck out of me.

Today I traded texts with Crush Girl and the group from the engineering firm. There was so much interaction at work today that it was enough.

Too tired for the Friday 5. I’ll do it sometime Saturday.

It’s only April 4, and we’re pretty much all staying put until the end of the month. If that’s freaking you out or dragging you down or leaving you a mess, and you need someone to talk you through, I hope you’ll reach out. I’m lousy company but I’ve been practicing making sympathethic listening sounds. They’re all yours if you want them. Don’t go through this alone.

Lockdown: Salty and wet

I got to sleep far too late Thursday night for an early Friday swim, but I woke up and did it anyway. I tried to find parking at Kewalo Basin, thinking I could just walk over to Ala Moana and do a quick swim. Apparently lots of people had that idea, including a bunch of dawn patrollers. My search for a parking stall was in vain.

Plan B was parking in that free parking lot behind the Hilton Hawaiian Village (I don’t know what that area’s called). I walked from there to Fort Derussy, which looks like a longer walk than it is. Threw my stuff on the beach and jumped in.

I did it at the beginning of February to see if I could, so I knew what I was diving into. The swim isn’t as nice, but I did have the water pretty much to myself and the beach was practically empty. There’s a beachwalk way up on the edge of the beach, and lots of people were walking there without practicing safe distancing. I avoided most of them.

The water was really clear. I haven’t been in the water there since I was a teen, except for that one time in February, and I do not remember the water ever being so clear. A hundred yards out, I could see the sandy/reefy bottom. This lockdown stuff is good for the beaches, I tell you. Now I really want to get in at Ala Moana, just to see if it’s different there.

So it wasn’t the nicest swim but dang it felt good.

I got home early enough for a short nap before work. Work was okay; I was more productive than yesterday even though I didn’t really submit anything except new edits to stuff I edited Wednesday. My writing goes through a lot of other hands before it comes back to me. Sometimes it makes the work better. Sometimes!

Breakfast was grilled ahi from Megs Drive-In, picked up on my way back from the beach. Lunch was two frozen burritos. I made dinner before my walk, but I had a snack instead, thinking I would have dinner after the walk, instead of always snacking after the walk as I’ve been doing. That may have been an unwise choice, because I was hungry but too tired to eat. So I lounged for an hour before sitting down to write this and have my meal and now I’m going to be up far too late (again). It’s 3:20.

The pre-walk snack was tortilla chips and fresh salsa. Dinner is a huge bowl of steamed broccoli and asparagus with garlic butter on brown rice. It’s delicious but I wish I’d stopped for potatoes.

I walked more than 19K steps, 13K before midnight and just shy of 7K after midnight. Ridiculous. I’m past the halfway mark for Friday’s steps already. And boy is my body sore.

Traded texts with JB, Faye, and Crush Girl. Exchanged a few FB messages with Lauren. Chatted with my mom and dad, who continue to be in pretty good spirits. Tried to hit up Jocelyn in Gchat, but she’s stressed and she wasn’t having it.

Friday I’m going to try Target’s drive-up shopping. Pay for your stuff in the app, then let them know what time you’re coming. They meet you at the curb. Crush Girl says she went into the store Thursday evening and there were a lot of people there. No thank you.

Hawaii had slightly fewer new cases yesterday than the day before. I’m praying for the unikely holding steady for a few weeks, indicating a rather flattened curve. I’m not really optimistic about that one, but a guy can hope.

I think it was a good day. It’s hard to tell anymore! If your days are sucking and you’re going through this alone, please reach out. I won’t actually speak with you on a phone (yuck) but I’ll be happy to trade texts, DMs, or IMs. You don’t have to be alone!

Lockdown: Squirmy day

Planning to make this a quick one because Thursday is the day I try to get into the water.

I had a good walk. 15,500 steps and I was back at the house just past midnight. I was squirmy for almost my whole work day, so I was not super productive, but I did submit like three or four things fo review, most of them edits of works in progress. Emailed my boss midway through the day to let her know I was struggling, and she was totally sympathetic. Suggested I take a walk and do a mental reset. She’d done the same earlier in the day.

Four hundred deaths in New York in the twenty-four hours leading up to the beginning of my day. It’s mind-boggling, and it’s going to get worse. We’re up to 258 cases as of Wednesday morning. I can’t remember the number of new cases, but it’s the biggest jump so far.

Traded a few more texts with my former department chair at HBA today. My former coworker who moved to the East Coast has officially been replaced, so I texted her to let her know. Traded texts with another coworker during the day, and laughed at a few things in a group text I’m in with former coworkers at the engineering firm. And a couple of quick ones with Crush Girl. Meant to call mom and dad but got distracted; I’ll do it Thursday when I get back from the beach.

Breakfast was overnight oats. Lunch was the rest of those brussels sprouts and some tortilla chips and salsa. Dinner was two small frozen burritos. And then two more. Yikes. For a late snack I had a tuna sandwich. Drank an unusual amount of soda today. I’ve decided that as long as I can afford it, it’s an indulgence I’ll allow myself without going overboard even though I never drink soda at home. Work is home now so that changes things a little.

And it makes me feel good.

Tomorrow I have a lot of broccoli to get through and probably some asparagus too. I might pick up some red potatoes if I’m brave enough to chance the supermarket. Broccoli and potatoes are so good together.

Ugh I forgot to do my taxes. Must do tomorrow or I’ll just keep dragging this out.

Getting late and I’ve been staring at this screen without typing for twenty minutes. No time for introspection.

Please reach out if you’re going through this alone or if you’re feeling disconnected or despondent. It’s a weird time we’re going through and any response at all is reasonable and understandable. You may need to suffer, but you needn’t suffer alone.

Lockdown: The wash and a morning off

There were too many people in the laundry for my comfort, but we were spaced out enough that I think it’s okay. Early Tuesday is definitely better than early Monday, though, so that will be my laundry night.

I took the morning off from work so I could recover from late-night laundry. A five-hour workday is much better than an eight-hour workday at home, and I have quite a bit of vacation to burn. I may make this a weekly thing. My boss has encouraged me to take as much time off as I want.

Work was productive. More revisions on that PSA, then edits to a digital version of our quarterly publication, then some talk about the letters I wrote on behalf of our CEO. A little bit of conversation about edits to a proposal I worked on. I like the variety.

The daily conference call was looooong, going more than an hour, but I think it was productive too. A lot of it just didn’t really concern me, which is the problem with larger meetings.

I got a text from my former department chair at HBA, asking how I’m doing. We traded a few. HBA ends an extended spring break Wednesday with the first day of all online classes. I’m kind of envious of my former colleagues, as they get to rethink their classrooms in a completely new way. I know some teachers find this kind of thing discouraging, but I think my friends would be kind of amped for the challenge.

I’m envious. I would love to try and teach ninth-grade English this way. I wonder if George, who’s the middle-school principal now, is also envious. I think I’ll ask. It must make him yearn to be in his classroom again; it does me.

Also sent a text to a former coworker Ali who’s on the mainland now. The time difference makes it rough for us to have conversations. Other text exchanges were with one of my coworkers and with Crush Girl. She sent me a photo of a grownup coloring book with some parts colored in — with the colored pencils I gave her for Christmas. That made me feel pretty good.

I did my census, but not my taxes. Will do those Wednesday.

Breakfast was a Big Mac combo, enjoyed with great pleasure while I worked at the laundry. For lunch, I went to a teahouse in my neighborhood. They’re doing drive-up takeout in their sizable parking lot (it’s a very popular party room). I’ve never had their food, ‘though I’ve heard it’s very good, and Mochi Girl sold her business to them. $10 for a tonkatsu plate, and it was *chef kiss*. I kind of want to go back again tomorrow. I kind of skipped dinner because I had tortilla chips and spinach artichoke dip for a late snack.

If I had started walking fifteen minutes earlier, I’d have hit my goal. I was nine hundred steps shy of my 13,000 target when the clock struck twelve. Ah well. Still a pretty nice walk.

It’s coming up on 2:00 in the morning and I plan to have a productive day, so off to bed.

My spirits are pretty good. I think my mood is tied to a productive workday and a nice walk, plus a little bit of interaction with people I love. This journaling probably helps a little too, just to stimulate the creativity a little. I think the essentials are the work and the fresh air.

I hope you’re finding whatever it is that does it for you. If you’re going through this alone, please reach out. We can talk each other through all this craziness.