Lockdown: Happy bedtime reading

I’m always glad I went for a walk, after the walk is through. I never look forward to it.

Most of the time, I enjoy it while it’s happening. I like being outside. I like fresh air. I like wandering, in the daylight or at night. I especially like it at night. Once in a while, my body feels good too, like it was meant to walk 15,000 steps up a steep hill and through a couple of neighborhoods. That’s when it’s the best, when my body feels good and my mind feels good.

Wednesday night was mostly the opposite. I finally got my carcass out the door at 1:40 in the morning, the latest I’ve done it since this lockdown began. It didn’t suck. I just kinda wished I’d stayed home most of the time I was out, which was close to two and a half hours. But I’m home now, and I’m glad I did it. Mostly.

I listened to some podcasts in the second half, but in the first half I didn’t want my brain engaged with words, so I listened to the new album by Sylosis, Cycle of Suffering. I’d only heard of the band but had never heard their stuff until this album came out in January. Something someone wrote somewhere inspired me to add it to my running list of music to check out, and I didn’t get to it until Wednesday evening.

Such a nice surprise. Musically, I think it’s a cross between Children of Bodom and Metallica. Equal doses of melodic death metal and thrash, minus the killer CoB keyboards, with a bent toward super-melodic soloing with some amount of shredding. It’s a great combination, and this album shoots into my top five of the year so far.

I also checked out the first half of Giobia’s Plasmatic Idol. Not really metal, but metal in spirit. It’s a nice melding of 70s psychedelic, acid, and space rock styles. Enjoyable in small doses. Kind of mind-numbing in larger doses.

Anyway. 13,600 steps.

Work was almost as rough Wednesday as Tuesday, only instead of dragging my work out until 5 in the morning, I only dragged it out to 11 in the evening. Improvement.

I actually took a two-hour nap break in the middle of the day, with encouragement from my boss. And I was excused from my daily Zoom meeting. I still had a mid-day Zoom meeting for the proposal I’m working on and a phone meeting right before.

Breakfast was the leftover kajiki from yesterday, with hapa rice. Not nearly as good the second day as the first. Lunch was a bowl of cereal — I opened a new box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I don’t know how people call breakfast cereal a meal. It’s really dessert. I’ll write more about dinner tomorrow, but I finally explored the Polish open-faced sandwich I heard about last week. Split a hoagie roll and put the stuff together, sticking it in the toaster oven. In the middle of my walk, I stopped at a 7-Eleven for a bottle of water and a salmon musubi.

We have 46 active cases of COVID-19 in the state, all of them on two islands. Three new cases yesterday, all from one family.

Crush Girl and I had a few text conversations Wednesday, beginning with her suggesting I might be interested in Robin Sloan’s Sourdough, which I have on my Kindle but have not yet read. She thought of me because I’ve been messing around with sourdough bread lately. Then we talked about shoes for a while — she just got a new pair and I’ve been planning to order a new pair Friday. My walking shoes are pretty close to shot.

Ali in Boston and I continued our conversation about e-readers. She’s not ready to commit, but she spent time doing research and passing along her thoughts and questions. It was a great text conversation, spread out across the later part of the day. She passed along quotes from Paperwhite and Oasis reviews she found amusing, like this one for the Oasis:

The real reason I like the buttons is this: I live in Alaska and we have very long, cold nights. But even in the winter, we turn down the heat at night. I read in bed every single night, tucked all cozy and warm under my down comforter…except for having to have my hand out in order to touch the screen on my Paperwhite to turn the page. My hand starts to get very cold. It’s uncomfortable. My half frozen hand takes away from my happy bedtime reading experience. With the Oasis, I can keep my hand under the blankets and just push the button. You don’t know what a big deal this is until you spend night after night with a frozen hand.

I said she sounded cute and I’d be happy to turn her pages for her.

We have a 9:30 Zoom meeting Thursday. All staff. Our leadership is going to reveal a plan for getting everyone back into the office, in stages. I think I heard that each of us will have two days a week in the office, which to me sounds like it’s still way too many people in our space. I don’t feel safe enough yet, especially since we’re in a 14-story office building with elevators, narrow stairwells, lobbies, and parking structure. I might trust my coworkers but I don’t trust everyone else’s coworkers, not to mention their visitors, clients, and customers.

Buuuut you know what? The other day, Uber had a three-minute conference call during which it informed 3500 employees (employees, not drivers) their positions were being cut. So maybe I’ll just shut up and be grateful I still have work.

I am not looking forward to this meeting, and I almost always look forward to our all-staffers.

Okay I have to get to bed. It’s nearly 5:30. Reach out. If you’re having difficulty connecting. I’m here for your texting, DMing, and IMing needs. Wanna get an e-reader? Let’s talk about it!

No time to proofread. I’ll do it Thursday.

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