Lockdown: I wanna rock and roll all nite

I’m (again) writing this much later than usual. Well past mid-day Tuesday.

Monday is almost lost to me. I got a few short hours of sleep, then got up to be available for edits to the proposal. I was in stand-by mode most of the day, although I did make several edits to the document early. Then it was waiting for others to read the document and send me their feedback.

They extended the deadline, sort of. Gave me a bunch of changes. I could have worked on them in the evening, but I was so wrung out I needed to rest. So I didn’t get to work until about midnight Monday night.

For reasons having nothing to do with the proposal itself but my network, I had a lot of problems — the sort where you have to redo work you’ve already done because things crash while you’re working on them. I seriously made some changes five times. Five! Ugh. Finally got it sent to the development officer at about 4:30. I had dinner, then got to work on the Monster.

I worked quickly, so my usual stuff got done in about an hour, fifteen or thirty minutes ahead of normal. I considered not doing it, giving myself the week off, but I couldn’t stand the thought of missing the opportunity to take another chunk out of it.

Didn’t get to bed because by the time I was done at about 6:30, I had an email with supposedly final edits.

But now we’re on Tuesday, and I’ll write about Tuesday later.

Breakfast Monday was the last of the angel hair kimchi leftovers. It wasn’t much, so I’m thinking I must have had something else but I can’t remember what it was. For lunch, I had a few hot dogs with sauerkraut, mustard, and ketchup. The buns I got were terrible. These pricey things that looked (from the labeling) like they weren’t baked to sit on a kitchen counter for two weeks like most supermarket bread is nowadays. They tasted fine; but they were supposedly sliced and they were not. When I sliced them myself, they mostly fell apart. I ate my hot dogs with a knife and fork.

Dinner at 4:30 in the morning was the kale-broccoli-chicken rice with some canned corned beef hash over it. So bad but so good.

Didn’t go for a walk.

It was my first work-related all-nighter since early last fall. Last Monday I was up working until well past sunrise as well, but at least I went to bed before getting up for work. Yesterday I basically worked all night Sunday and kept going through Monday until early Tuesday, then worked Tuesday without a break until about eight, when I did get a few hours’ sleep since I had vacation for the morning.

I’m not complaining about any of this. I’m happy to have a job. I like the work. It’s a challenge, and I feel myself getting better at it. These are all blessings.

Yet I am mentally and physically taxed to exhaustion, so after I finish typing this, I’m going to bed. With my boss’s blessing.

I texted Crush Girl to ask how her weekend was. We went back and forth for a few minutes. It was nice. Sharon sent me a link to an article about seniors who hang out at Zippy’s. Also nice. Jocelyn sent me some infuriating info about schools reopening in an area near her, the school board blatantly calling the shut-down all kinds of conspiracy theory things in its letter to parents.

There’s more but I can’t find it. This is the state my brain is in. So I’m ending here and going to bed. I hope you’ll reach out if connection has been elusive. It needn’t be, unless you need me in the next couple of hours, because I think I’m going be comatose.

Lockdown: Indecent proposals

It wasn’t the Sunday I hoped for, but it was the Sunday I expected.

Slept okay, despite getting up a couple of times. Both times I had texts from Ali in Boston and didn’t feel like waiting until I was up-up to respond. More Kindle talk. The second time I got up I still had a couple of hours before my alarm, but I felt awake, so I didn’t even try. Thought I’d sneak in an early afternoon nap before heading to the office.

Did the Sunday crossword (it destroyed me). Read the news. Listened to Meet the Press. Had breakfast. You know I had the lefttover angel hair because of course I did. Tried to get a nap, but something distracted me and by the time it was time for me to head to the office, I’d just been lying in bed for an hour, not napping.

Got to the office at three. It was blessedly empty, as I expected it to be. I got to work on this big-deal Maui proposal and it took freaking forever. Shoot. I knew the proposal itself was long, but I didn’t know it was LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG. Around nine I took a lunch break and walked to Zippy’s for a Korean chicken / chili mixed plate, bringing it back to the office to consume in the break room. Would rather have eaten at my desk while I worked the proposal, but we’re not allowed to eat at our desks, and I honor the rule except for the occasional non-messy, finger-food kinds of snacks, like chips or whatever. Dinner was quite good and I guess I needed the break.

I did some multi-tasking, so I got some personal things done too. I’m still putting CDs in storage but importing them into iTunes first if they’re not available on Spotify. I brought some with me, along with my personal laptop, and imported

  • Out of Egypt by Painted Orange (1996)
  • …Sane by Velocipede (1994)
  • White Horse / Adam Again by Michael Omartian (1974 and 1977, a two-album CD)
  • Fun, Fun Feeling by Lust Control (1991)
  • Lie Down in the Grass by Charlie Peacock (1984)
  • Brent Bourgeois by Brent Bourgeois (1990)
  • Happy Hour by Dead Artist Syndrome (1995)
  • I Rose Falling by Undercover (2002)

It’s kind of coincidence that these are all Christian artists. Certain kinds of CDs are likely to find themselves next to each other on my shelf, but also, albums by Christian musicians are likely to have been released on indie labels or Christian labels that don’t exist anymore, so rights for streaming might be ill-defined or difficult for artists to get back. There could have been six albums by Billy Joel or KC and the Sunshine Band amongst them on my shelf, but major label artists are far more likely to have their albums on the streaming platforms.

It’s a shame, really. The streaming platforms, social media, and crowdfunding platforms make it the best time in history to be an indie artist. It’s a disappointment all these great albums by great artists aren’t available for the musicians’ benefit, not to mention audiences’ enjoyment.

I wrapped up the first draft of the proposal and then finalized another, and was done at about 4 in the morning. Went through the McD’s drive-through in my hood for a late dinner. Egg McMuffin and Sausage McMuffin with Egg. Large Diet Coke with extra ice. Hash browns. I’m sated. And exhausted. It’s creeping up on six Monday morning, and I have to be available for revisions on that proposal because we’re hoping to get it to the donor Tuesday. Yikes.

Sunday connectivity. Ali and I traded some more texts about Kindle stuff. Suzanne and I exchanged one text each about the lychee she wants to give me and I wussed out on picking up from her. Jennifer sent me a photo of another pizza (with a modification suggested by me) and I just responded that it looks great. Gwen asked me if a meme she created refers to something most people should know, and of course it does. I don’t even know why she had to ask. I sent a Twitter link of a video of a family helping a young bear swimming in one of the Great Lakes to get a plastic jug off its head (it’s very cute). Actually it could have been any lake — I forgot that there are a million of them in that part of the country. Anyway, I sent that to a bunch of people.

AJ in San Diego, who works East Coast hours, responded first just to say “poor bear.”

Sylvia and I traded a bunch of texts arranging a yeast-and-flour handoff. We agreed I’d just leave it on my desk at work, and since she has some business there Monday, she can just grab it when she comes by.

Jocelyn and I chatted a bit in Hangouts. It’s her preferred way to message. She lives in Los Angeles, so I think about her almost all the time when I’m watching the news.

Aw geez. When I walked to and back from Zippy’s Sunday evening, my knee was really unhappy with me. Bleah. Argh. Yikes.

I have stuff to say about the two Ozzy albums I listened to Sunday, but it’ll have to wait. 6:05 now and I need to get a few hours of sleep.

I’d be pleased if when I get up, there are text messages from you if you need someone to connect with. I may not get back to you as faithfully as if you were Crush Girl, but come on. You’re not Crush Girl. I’ll return your texts eventually! No, but for real. I’ll do my best.

Lockdown: Proposal fail

I had problems getting into the company virtual desktop from my work computer, so the proposals did not get worked on! Woo. It’ll be okay.

I got to sleep around 5:30 in the morning — might have made it by 5, but Ali in Boston texted me and I enjoyed our exchange until I dropped off. Woke up at about 8:30, to see she had texted me several times while I slept. So I answered them for a while and then went back to sleep at about 9:00, waking up at around 1:30. It was about seven or seven and a half hours of good sleep, interrupted only once.

I felt so rested I took only the tiniest of pleasant naps Saturday, which puts me on track to have kind of a normal Sunday. It’s 2:00 in the morning Sunday now, and if I can be in bed by 2:30 or 2:45, I can get up around 9:30 or 10 and have something close to a normal day.

This is the plan, anyway.

I traded several texts with Sylvia as well, arranging a time and place where I can give her some yeast and flour. I bought the yeast (a whole pound!) to share, so I’m happy to pass a bunch of it along. And my local supermarket had tons of bread flour, which I have been lacking for a really long time, so I’m happy to pass along some of my all-purpose and whole-wheat. Gotta make room in the pantry for the bread flour, which gives a better rise and which I hope will fix some of my sourdough shortcomings.

I haven’t launched my starter resuscitation project yet. Hopefully Sunday evening. I may save the slice-of-bread idea for later, though, since when I was cleaning out my fridge, I found some discard from several weeks back. I may be able to wake that up much more quickly, and this is the new plan.

I did the Saturday NYT crossword in just over fifteen minutes. Not a record for me, but eleven minutes faster than my Saturday average. I had to do some trial-and-erroring in the northeast corner, so it wasn’t a clean solve. Bleah.

Did a bunch of the normal chores, nothing that actually got me ahead on things. Just kept me current, which in normal days I’d consider a win.

I hit the supermarket just before it closed. The only thing I really needed was another week’s supply of Diet Pepsi and a gallon of milk, but I still managed to spend more than a hundred bucks. Picked up an onion and a couple of apples. Then got backup of stuff I’m past halfway done with: fluoride rinse, dental floss, shampoo, paper plates, and dishwashing soap. Oh I realized when I got there I needed balsamic vinegar, bread flour (since it was in stock), white rice, and hot dog buns. I don’t want to go back to the store too close to July 4 weekend, and you gotta have hot dogs on Independence Day. One impulse buy was a couple of packages of Oreos. I could have spent less getting a bunch of that stuff from the drugstore — Long’s is on the other end of the stripmall. I just didn’t want to take chances going into another establishment. So yeah: a hundred bucks. Ugh.

Breakfast was a bowl of raisin bran, which I actually had before I brushed my teeth and went to bed. For lunch, I was kind of craving something from my leaner days: something made entirely in the rice cooker more for filling me up semi-healthily than for indulgence. There were a lot of options, since in those years between the engineering firm and the non-profit I came up with a lot of good, inexpensive meals this way.

I made a large pot of brown rice (in the Instant Pot because I’m trying to decrease the number of countertop kitchen appliances I keep) with a large can of chicken breast a friend at work gave me to try, then when it was done cooking but not really (if you make Japanese rice, you know what I mean), I threw in the steamed kale and half of the steamed broccoli I had in my fridge. Mixed that up and spooned it into a bowl and topped it with medium cheddar. Probably coulda used some salt, but otherwise it was a decent meal. I have a bunch of leftovers too, although I’m not dying to have it for a main course again. Maybe I’ll lay down some Spam and eggs on it Monday.

For dinner, I made a pot of angel hair and finally tried the spaghetti sauce with chopped kimchi. It was good. Also topped with medium cheddar. I am trying to decide if it needed more kimchi or if it had just enough. The kimchi didn’t dominate, but it was noticeable. Maybe that’s the best way for this to work, you know?

I feel like I pigged out on that, but there’s still a bunch of leftovers.

Didn’t snack at all, and neither did I go for a walk!

All day I pretty much listened to Ozzy Osbourne’s No Rest for the Wicked (1988), which has a couple of hit songs on it. This was the recording debut of Zakk Wylde, and it’s a great introduction. Give Ozzy credit: he has never been afraid to share the stage with first-rate guitar players. Maybe it’s from his early days in Black Sabbath with Tony Iommi, or maybe it’s because he understands how much better his songs are when played by outstanding musicians. Or maybe it’s just a keen understanding that he’s always the focus of attention, even when a killer guitar shredder is off to his left.

The guitar playing is fantastic. All pyrotechnics and hey-look-at-me. Based only on this album and the two previous albums, I’d say Wylde is a better player than Jake E. Lee, and that’s saying something.

The album is also a heck of a lot better than I expected, and I learned only this evening that it was double platinum by 1997, so perhaps I’m not the only one who thinks it’s a fine piece of hard rock and metal. It’s also surprisingly heavy — not as heavy as the stuff I listen to on a normal weekend, of course, but that was never Ozzy’s thing. But still quite heavy and a bit dark. I like this Ozzy quite a bit. Oh, and there’s a song here about Jimmy Swaggart so of course I think it’s a nice record.

A devil with a crucifix
Brimstone and fire
He needs another carnal fix
To take him higher and higher
Now Jimmy, he got busted with his pants down
Repent ye wretched sinners, self righteous clown
Miracle man got busted, miracle man got busted

Readers of a certain age will remember that Swaggart pointed a lot of fingers at Ozzy for supposedly being evil. Which he very well may have been, but you know how it goes. I honestly don’t care what Jimmy did or with whom. Honestly. Other people’s having consensual sex is none of my business. But Jimmy made it his business and got busted with his pants down. I actually agree with what he told his congregation when he finally discussed it. According to Wikipedia, he said, “The Lord told me it’s flat none of your business,” and that was it.

He was telling the truth for a change. It was flat none of our business. I’d like to think he learned a thing or two about other people’s sins (if sins they are) being nobody else’s business, but I’d wager he didn’t.

The guitar solo on “Miracle Man” is amazing, by the way. Ozzy and Zakk had something to say. And there is a decent chance when I’m through with this retrospective, this will be my favorite Ozzy Osbourne record.

Geez it’s past three. Gotta brush my teeth and head to bed. My text alerts seldom wake me, but if you should need someone to reach out to, reach out to me. I’ll get back to you when I wake up!

Five things I can’t live without

My writing partner sent me this journaling prompt, which I began two months ago and finished last week. Submitted here for your amusement, but also because I’ve been a bit boring lately.

Five Things I Can’t Live Without

Diet Pepsi

I love soda.  It’s an indulgence I absolutely do not need, but we never drank it in my family while I was growing up, and I only got it at parties or if we dined out.  When I was teen, a cold cup of Coke or root beer from the school snack bar was a physical daily pleasure but also a small act of independence, a decision I made for myself outside my upbringing.

As a grownup, I still see soda as a treat, and in lean weeks it’s one of the last things I cut from my spending.  If I can afford a bottle of Diet Pepsi once every few days, I must not be that destitute.  It makes me feel good. And I love the way it burns its way down my throat first thing in the morning.


I’m not the only writer who sometimes blocks out the distractions of the world in order to find the zone.  I’m also sure I’m not alone in being unable to rely on any one type of music or any specific artist as a conduit to the zone.  Yet there’s one album I can almost always rely on when other artists fail me: ABBA Gold.  It’s so effective that I only use it when I absolutely need it.

The New York Times crossword puzzle

My daily exercise in making order from chaos.  I’m taking forever to create a bucket list because I take it very seriously, but competing in the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Connecticut is one of the few things definitely on it.  I don’t even care if I suck: I just want to be there.

My Keychron K2 mechanical keyboard

I didn’t understand the pleasures of a mechanical keyboard until I spent $90 on the most-funded Kickstarter keyboard ever, and it’s changed everything.  I type more quickly, more accurately, and with more pleasure.  I’m excited about someday trying other models, but for now this compact Bluetooth design is wonderful, and it’s spoiled me for typing.  Also: look at all the pretty lights!


Librarians are hot.

Lockdown: Loco for Fruity Pebbles

Not really sure how Friday went, but I feel good, so maybe there’s that?

I dropped off to sleep sometime around five. Woke up at 9:00 to deal with emails on the proposals I’m working on. High-stakes stuff that I don’t want to mess up. Also, one of the proposals had a timeline of “ASAP,” a designation I hate because I think people seldom mean this literally, and I don’t know how to interpret it figuratively.

As I noted last fall, everything is urgent; there are just levels of urgency.

I said yesterday that I would write a little about the short-notice Zoom meeting my department had, because I do have things to say about it, but the situation changed today in such a way that I can’t talk about it at all for a couple of weeks (at the most). But I will.

So work was a little stressful this morning, despite my positive energy. How did I deal with the stress? I ate, of course. I’d skipped breakfast, not on purpose but just because I was focused on work.

There’s this new spot in my hood called Guieb Cafe, in the space Kiawe Grill was, many years ago. I was a regular at Kiawe, so I’m annoyed that my friends Melissa and Nadine knew about it before I did. The photos they posted were great, so that was my choice.

I ordered the prime rib loco moco (it’s a Hawaii thing) and Fruity Pebbles French toast. It was a lot of food, so it was my lunch and my dinner.

The rest of my workday was mostly staring at a lot of words and trying to figure out what to keep and what to flow into a proposal template. I didn’t get far enough on it so I’ll be working most of my Saturday, I think. Because urgency.

I snacked on tortilla chips and fresh salsa. Costco was out of the tortilla chips I like, so I got the huge bag of the chips I thought were my favorite before. But now I only sorta like them. I’ve been spoiled.

I again did not go for a walk but the knee’s not bugging me so much anymore. A good sign, maybe. I still feel it, especially after sitting still for a while.

Two gross developments. My recurring rat problem is almost surely back. I heard some scurrying in my laundry room this evening. I keep the live traps out all the time now, but lately I’ve had them in the closed position. I cleaned them out a little and opened them back up and baited them.

And ugh. Maggots. In my sourdough starter. I Googled it, and apparently it’s a thing. I tossed the whole thing and was going to ask Sylvia for another cup from her starter, but then I read that you can get your starter back if you have a slice of bread from a loaf made with your starter. I have the heel of my loaf from last weekend, so I’m totally going to try this. And I’ve learned my lesson: I’m going to dry out a small amount of my starter, if I bring it back to life, and keep it in the freezer in case this happens again.

This kind of thing only happens to a neglected starter, so I confess. Yeast is such a cool thing. If it’s healthy and happy, your starter can’t grow mold or invite gross larvae. I’m going to do my research Saturday and see if I can’t resuscitate my girl.

It’s new music Friday, but I didn’t listen to as much music as I have been lately. Mostly just podcasts, although I did spin this very Pink Floyd-ish new album by a band called Long Distance Calling. Trippy and cool. Now I’ve continued my Ozzy Osbourne retrospective. I’m on his The Ultimate Sin (1986). This has been a fun rewind — I’ve played each of his albums multiple times before moving to the next. This is the second (and final) album with Jake E. Lee on guitar and the guitar playing is great, but the songwriting is a little weak. I really like the bass playing. It’s a guy named Phil Soussan on this album, who’s played with a lot of other musicians I like but whose work I’ve never heard except on the few songs from this album I was already familiar with.

I traded early texts with Sharon and Sylvia, continuing our work-related conversations from Thursday. Sent JB a text update of something we talked about Thursday night. AJ in Boston sent me some more Kindle talk. That was fun.

Writing partner sent me a photo of someone on the beach, taking a space near the only shade but not actually using the shade. Writing partner was displeased.

Jennifer sent me a photo of a pizza she made. It looks great. Made me want pizza again except I was still full from Fruity Pebble French toast.

It’s 3:41 and I’m trying to get to bed by 4:30, so I’m keeping this short. Gotta focus on proposals tomorrow and do some housecleaning.

Typos in last night’s entry were very entertaining. Koran veggies. Ozzy Osbourne’s album Bart at the Moon. Funny! I don’t even have spellcheck on this web-based interface so I can’t blame autocorrect.

I’m tired but not super tired. Hoping this bodes well for 45 minutes from now.

Tomorrow’s going to be a good day. I’d like to share it with you (I’m quoting an old preschool song from the 80s, when my mom was a preschool assistant teacher). Reach out if you’re in need of connection. This virus thing isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and I expect I’ll be working from home until the end of summer. Yikes.

Lockdown: Strange days indeed

I think Thursday writing about Wednesday is only the second day I didn’t chronicle right away since lockdown began. The first time was intentionally; this time it just happened.

So two days in one entry. The days kind of blurred together, which makes it likely I’ll get the details wrong.

You know that bowl of raisin bran I had several hours after dinner laaaate Tuesday night? I’m calling that Wednesday breakfast. I mean, it was just before sunrise Wednesday anyway, and I didn’t have my next meal until past 1 or so Wednesday, so that gets to be lunch. See, it all evens out.

I didn’t eat when I got out of bed because I rolled right into a Zoom meeting about a big-deal proposal. About two big-deal proposals, actually. Work on these kept me busy until somewhere around one, by which time I was very hungry.

I drove to the neighborhood stripmall and got some Korean food. Ordered two entrees for takeout, as is my wont lately. A chicken and meat jun plate (it’s a Hawaii thing) and a veggie plate. It’s enough food for three meals, which is what I had in mind. This was lunch, which I ate happily while cranking on those proposals.

I checked out a little early because I was exhausted and because I knew I was going to finish some of that work late Wednesday night. Took a nap. Got up, ate a few bites of the leftover Korean veggies for a small dinner, submitted drafts of those proposals, and went to the laundry.

Got to the laundry a little later than usual. I mean aside from being two days later than usual, I got started half an hour after my target start time. At the laundry, I did as much work as I could before my battery died. It shouldn’t have — I am having battery issues, much to my annoyance.

Wednesday connections. Ali in Boston sent me a funny IG thread (via text) about babies are problematic. Pretty funny stuff — she said it reminded her of me because I’ve expressed similar issues. I said that’s funny because I thought I was keeping those thoughts to myself lately.

There were work-related texts with Jocelyn and Karla. I texted Suzanne to work out a lychee pickup, but I flaked. She lives in a pretty posh neighborhood and I just didn’t think I or my car could handle being around such wealth.

AJ and I traded a bunch of texts about a bunch of stuff, none of which I can share in any kind of public space, even with a disguised identity. But the company was really good, and I appreciated the extended connection.

The other Jennifer texted me with her thoughts on the new Pearl Jam album (it’s my favorite album of the year so far).

Crush Girl and I talked about a local pizza place that closed Wednesday after 45 years, then I asked if my disparaging comment about rainbow sprinkles annoyed her, and she said no; I was just wrong. So I think we’re cool.

Didn’t go for a walk again. However:

Thursday’s breakfast was my usual Tuesday breakfast of a Big Mac combo while I did the laundry. Salty, greasy, hot, and delicious.

I got to the beach at about 5:30 and because of the unfinished work (dead laptop battery) I didn’t mess around much. Waited until the water was dark green instead of black and jumped in. I had a really, really good swim and it was the highlight of my week.

On my way home I stopped at Pancakes & Waffles for a loco moco (it’s a Hawaii thing), even though I had just finished breakfast a couple of hours earlier. I figured I’d leave it on the table and have it for lunch.

I got right to work, cranking out revisions like crazy, ate most of the loco, listened to a lot of Ozzy Osbourne music (his new album and Bark at the Moon), attended my regular Zoom meeting, and took a little nap. Got up for a quickly assembled Zoom meeting, which I will write about tomorrow. Then went back to bed. Got up and got back to work — it was around 9:30 in the evening.

Went back to bed, got up at around 12, and finished stuff up. Emailed everyone. Ate a very late dinner of leftover Korean veggies. Posted this week’s Friday 5 questions.

I did not go for a walk Thursday.

The writing partner and I traded a few texts about our next journaling thing. Crush Girl and I traded a bunch of texts about her upcoming weekend and a few other things. Second highlight of my day.

Jennifer sent me an article about a bakery who celebrated its sourdough starter’s 65th birthday with a birthday party. Funny!

The other Jennifer sent me a link to her Discord server via text. I haven’t installed Discord on my phone yet so I’ll do that sometime this weekend.

I traded a mess of texts with Sylvia and with Sharon (not a group text) about some work stuff.

I sent Crush Girl a link to an article by a friend who owns a travel agency. We talked about some other stuff.

I was lying in bed moping about something when the phone rang and it was JB. My friends know I never answer the phone. And he lives in Virginia, so it was very late for him. I answered, thinking something might be up. He just wanted to chat. I was at first quite annoyed, but it turned out to be a pretty good talk and I was glad he got me out of bed.

I didn’t know my phone still had the telephone function. Learn something new every day.

My brain is a little fried from all these weird hours, but you know I’ve almost got things back under control. It’s only 4:00 in the morning Friday now, and I’ll be in bed by 4:30. Up again at 9 or so and I think I’ll have my old schedule back. Just in time for the weekend to mess it up, but I’m not going to think this way!

This stuff was all very boring, I know, but it was a boring few days and I’m logging the thrilling ones as well as the boring ones. I got stuff to say this weekend, though, so get your popcorn ready.

And reach out if you’re having difficulty connecting. Don’t be like JB and actually call me, though. Geez.

Too tired to edit. I’ll edit later. If there are bad spellings or usages or grammar, just smile and check back later when I’ll have fixed everythgni.

Lockdown: Two bowls of two scoops

Connectivity first. AJ and I texted a little about sleep. She’s getting more. I’m getting less. It was Sharon’s birthday, so I sent her a happy birthday text, and we chatted a little about pizza. We discovered we both have strong preferences for red sauce. Sylvia sent me a photo of a pizza she made (I know; it’s weird), so we talked a little about making pizza dough. Karla from work and I traded texts about this proposal I’m two workdays late on. I responded to Suzanne’s text from the other day and said I do like lychee.

Crush Girl talked a little about what she did over the weekend. She sent me a photo of something she baked. I said something disparaging about rainbow sprinkles, which I suspect may have thrown ice on the conversation. Haha. I mean haha, but not really haha because that was pretty much the end of the exchange.

F5 girl sent me in FB Messenger a photo of her niece(?) making a Fathers Day gift.

I didn’t go for a walk! Argh.

I was a bit of a mess during work, but I kinda knew I would be. I actually saved my late proposal for late Tuesday night, knowing the quiet solitude was what I needed. It took far, far longer than it should have, but it was also the way I knew I needed to work on it. It came out okay for a first draft. I suspect there will be a lot of work on it, very quickly since it’s a high-stakes, kind of time-sensitive proposal.

It was a stupid way to get the work out of me. It was pretty necessary.

I also ate like a maniac, another thing that sometimes happens when I’m working really hard on some writing. Breakfast was a bowl of raisin bran. For lunch I drove down to Rainbow for a boneless chicken plate. It’s a good plate, but the first half is always awesome and the second half is always kind of gross. Dinner was a tuna sandwich with my sourdough bread. Then while I was writing I had another bowl of raisin bran. Not my best day.

I’m tired and I’m going to bed. If I think of something else about Tuesday, I’ll add it to Wednesday’s recap.

Reach out if you need someone to connect with. Seriously.

Lockdown: It(’s a Monster)

I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I’m getting a little nervous. I’ll fight off sleep for hours between, say, seven in the evening when I get off work to midnight or so, then instead of being dead-tired and taking a dive like the stock market, I’ll be wide-wide awake, looking for fun things to do or interesting things to read about, or even doing chores. Until well after sunrise.

It’s been going on for nearly a week.

Monday I struggled through work. I got a lot of easy stuff done, stuff still requiring some thought and a critical eye, but not really creating anything. When I tried to work on the difficult stuff, I hyperfocused on stuff that really just slowed me down, like where to put a quote or where on the page to put an image. Meanwhile, the writing wasn’t getting done, and now I’m two days behind on something that’s kind of a big deal.

As the work day ended, I was a little conflicted about whether I needed laundry, sleep, or some of the big weekly chores taken care of. Oh, and drinking water. It seems pretty obvious the laundry could wait until the next (or even the next-next) night, but for some reason it took me a while to get there. So I focused on tackling the Monster, thinking I’d be done by two in the morning, then go to sleep and get a good seven or eight hours.

The Monster gave it up pretty willingly. It’s still a super unpleasant task, of course, but it’s becoming almost routine when I take care of it once a week, and I’m chipping slowly away at its Godzillaesque dimensions. Although I’m a long way from getting it closer to Godzooky, I am seeing it shrink slowly, slowly, slowly.

I had a late dinner and went to bed, sometime after 3:30, but then couldn’t get to sleep until (again) well after sunrise. When I say this is madness, I’m not sure I’m speaking figuratively, you know?

Breakfast was a bowl of raisin bran. Comforting. Lunch was the last of the leftover pot roast, with the last of the carrots and potatoes, with gravy and hapa rice. I still have some rice, gravy, and kale left from that original meal. Hot, kind of fatty, and quite comforting. Dinner was a few slices of sourdough bread with some medium cheddar. I ate the last four chocolate peanut butter pie Oreos for a snack.

I didn’t go for a walk. Again.

I got a text from Suzanne about lychee. I haven’t responded yet for some reason. Then in the engineering firm group text, the ladies talked about something I’m not qualified to comment on, but it was about someone friending someone else on FB. I texted coworker Terri to let her know I left something for her on her desk, for whenever she gets back.

The writing partner and I traded texts about the work she’s about to submit. Crush Girl texted me to talk about some changes at her job.

It wasn’t a great day but it didn’t suck. I’ll feel a lot better when I get some of this work stuff taken care of.

Here’s an invitation to reach out if you’re having difficulty connecting during this insane lockdown. Just do it.

Lockdown: Oh yes, I know the muffin man

Weird Sunday.

I put myself to bed at five? Five-thirty? I can’t remember. I remember that I didn’t finally get to sleep until past seven. Noooooooo.

I slept okay for four and a half hours, though, so that was nice. Took a little bit of time getting up and about, and finally got out the door at about 3:30.

I delivered my dad his gift, a fairly pricey bottle of Scotch. Stayed downstairs (in the house) while the parents stood at the top of the stair. We chatted for about half an hour. They seem, honestly, to be doing pretty well.

With some advance permission, I went to the office from there. My work laptop needed updating, and I don’t like using my home network for that (I don’t have unlimited internet access at home), plus I’ve been told several times that I have several boxes from Amazon in my cube. They’re snacks for the coworkers, for when we eventually get back together.

I don’t remember exactly when I got there, but it was well before dark. I remember thinking I might get the update started, then go for a walk. Or maybe grab takeout somewhere and bring it back to the office for dinner in the break room.

While I had the update going, I thought I’d take the time to update my personal laptop too, which I’d brought along.

The updates took for-ev-er. And I actually spent some time doing housekeeping-type work, managing some files and updating an archive of proposals. Then I tidied up one area of my cubicle, packing a bunch of stuff to bring home. If I get laid off, I’d rather be able to pack my stuff quickly and get out, so I might as well bring home what I can now. I didn’t crawl out of our basement office until just past one in the morning. Geez.

Then when I sat down to write this, I just couldn’t focus. Neither could I sleep. So I pretty much stared at my phone until like 8:30, falling asleep around there to be awakened by my 9:30 alarm.

I don’t know what’s going on with my sleep. I’ll fight off sleep between seven and midnight, then when I lie down at two I’m wide awake.

I’m hesitant to log my meals for Sunday because it’s embarrassing. However, I knew keeping track was important when we went into this lockdown, so here goes. Breakfast was English muffin pizzas. Spaghetti sauce, medium cheddar, pepperoni. I know it sounds horrible, but if I said I’d had eggs benedict you’d think it was a normal, understandable Fathers Day breakfast, but I’ll bet what I had, while not very healthy, was far more healthy than eggs benny.

I was in the office around what would usually be my lunchtime (a diurnal creature’s dinner time), and I was sorta babysitting my updates. So I just had some Korean instant ramen I keep in my desk. It’s yummy, but I kinda had my mind on something hot and steamy from a nearby Korean place, so it was a bit of a disappointment.

I had dinner when I got home from the office, resisting the urge to pick something up from one of the open-all-night spots between work and home. So I had English muffin pizzas again. Because I wanted to use up the English muffins before they went sideways. Spaghetti sauce, medium cheddar, and kimchi. Slightly less offensive than what I had for breakfast! I’m telling you, kimchi is a great pizza topping.

Some time in all that sleeplessness, I got kind of hungry. So I got up and had a few slices of my sourdough bread with some honey and medium cheddar. I really wish I’d just pulled out some of that broccoli I steamed the other day.

I snacked like crazy in the office. Had a snack-sized bag of Utz cheese curls, then chased it with five (I counted) fun-sized Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

It was a good day in a few ways: I got to see my folks and their dog. We chatted. I gave my dad a gift I think he’ll enjoy. My parents seem to be in good spirits. I suuuuuper enjoyed the drive out to Aiea to see them, and the drive back to the office. Man, I miss driving.

It was rough in most of the other ways. And all that weird sleep stuff is going to kill me since I’m supposed to get up early for the laundry. If I get enough stuff done for work today, I might ask to take some vacation hours before my day is up, so I can do the usual Monday things and still get some sleep before the laundry.

Jennifer texted me a photo of a guy whose name was actually Pete Pettigrew. Harry Potter allusion. I sent her a photo of the bottle I got my dad for his gift.

Crush Girl responded to some stuff I texted her Saturday, then told me some of the stuff she did Sunday. She ventured out, and I was envious but also not envious. There are so many people out and about, and I do not feel safe among them.

One of my ex-coworkers, usually a cheery presence on FB, has been kind of quiet there for a couple of weeks, so I sent her an IM to see if she’s okay. She is. Just lost some interest in FB, which I can certainly feel. I’m glad she’s doing well. We didn’t work together very long, and we never worked together directly, but in my first few months she was one of the people who kind of defined for me the kind of place we worked at, that company culture stuff. I think she and I considered a lot of the same stuff important, and I recognized in her a seriousness about team-building. I’ve tried to be a leader in this area but it doesn’t seem to stick.

Still trying, though.

You can guess I didn’t go for a walk again! Ugh. My knee is really bothering me.

I feel lucky to have friends I can reach out to and connect with. I’m lucky to have mostly healthy parents who are getting through this lockdown pretty well. Sleep? Who needs sleep when I have friends and parents, right?

If you’re feeling the lack of someone to connect with, I’m hoping you’ll reach out. Let’s share the lockdown love.

Lockdown: Going out in a laze of glory

I’ve been sleepy all day. Somehow managed not to fall into the traps I’ve succumbed to. Mostly.

I woke up after four really good hours of sleep, and instead of rolling over and continuing, I got up to call my parents, to let them know I’m coming over for a little while Sunday. My dad invited me to stay over for dinner. Ugh. I really want to. I just don’t feel safe enough, especially with these numbers up.

Then my mom told me she’s going to church Sunday. Nooooooo.

I don’t blame her. My mom has never, ever been a stay-home kind of person. And it’s been four months of staying home. Please, church, don’t do anything stupid, and keep my mom safe. ‘Cause geez.

Reid emailed me some questions about some crossword puzzle answers. I did my usual NYT puzzle first (16:30 for Saturday) then the LA Times puzzles at the Washington Post website. These are free, and just a notch below the NYT in quality (usually). I knew Reid does the LA Times puzzles, but didn’t know which one he got his questions from. So I worked backward from Saturday and finally found the puzzle in question: last Sunday.

A week’s worth of puzzles is straining, even for a puzzle-addicted person like me. My brain was mush. So I finished up breakfast and went back to bed.

I did okay: a couple of hours of good sleep. I got up, puttered around a bit, and went back for a couple more hours. See, these hours of sleep are okay. Purposeful. It’s the accidental sleep, the lying-on-the-bed-reading-and-dozing-off sleep that’s terrible. Doesn’t do anything for mind or body, and isn’t facilitated by the Darth Vader getup. I wake up dopey and just as sleepy as before I napped.

I watched the news and went to Taco Bell to bring home lunch-dinner. I was just itching for some fast food.

Breakfast was leftover pot roast with potatoes, carrots, gravy, hapa rice, and steamed kale. I remembered the kale this time. It was hot, salty, and hearty, like a good weekend breakfast should sometimes be.

Those were my two meals. Each probably too large, but each rather pleasurable. I snacked on far more cookies than usual. I think I had seven chocolate peanut butter pie Oreos. I do not feel good about this.

During lunch-dinner, I baked a loaf of sourdough bread in the bread machine. I also read my writing partner’s two stories and left some notes. Then AJ’s book review and left more notes.

The bread came out pretty good. I’ve read that programmed settings on bread machines might not leave enough time in the second rise for sourdough. I looked it up because I’m getting nice, dense, chewy bread, but nothing resembling the airy sourdough I like, with those huge bubbles. I’m going to have to play around, since my machine doesn’t do custom settings. I’m thinking of stopping the machine in the second rise to let it rise longer, then using the “bake” function and just timing it according to recipes online.

I was too full from all the other food to enjoy the bread, beyond one slice just to make sure it was edible.

Ugh. No. I didn’t go for a walk Saturday. I’m going to figure something out for Sunday.

Writing partner and I traded a few texts about work we’re sharing.

Crush Girl replied to the last thing I texted her Friday. I responded. That was it.

I’ll probably share Sunday or Monday one of the things I shared with the writing partner. We’re doing journal prompts together. She doesn’t know about this space for some reason. And since this is a journal, I figure I might as well post here what I’m writing separately with her.

As I’ve written this, an old Doris Day movie with Cary Grant was on. I had do to some Googling to learn it’s That Touch of Mink, 1962. It’s pretty amusing. I only caught the last thirty minutes, so I think I’ll add it to my queue. I don’t have much Grant experience, and just a little bit of Day experience. Grant seems to be phoning it in. But the other actors are pretty good, including Audrey Meadows. You know, from The Honeymooners. I read a synopsis and there’s a scene at a Yankees game, with Roger Maris, Yogi Berra, and Mickey Mantle playing themselves.

Okie dokie. Off to bed. Happy fathers day, if you’re a dad. Happy Sunday if you’re not. Hope you’ll reach out if you’re not getting enough connection. These days it can be difficult!