Lockdown: A few cross words

I had two major tasks to get done today. I won’t name either, but one involved replacing a part on a home appliance. The other was the Monster.

I got started on the appliance during the evening news. Advice on replacing the part was scarce online. There are apparently a lot of ways to do it, varying by manufacturer and model, and no help for my specific situation.

I had the part, mail-ordered for almost sixty bucks. I had a general idea of what to do, based on videos for other models. However, until I tore the thing open, I wouldn’t know exactly what I was dealing with or how to fix it.

Motivation and willingness came from almost a nothing-to-lose position. If I blew it, the worst case meant not being able to use the appliance for some time, but it’s on its last legs anyway, so breaking it was only hastening the (probably) inevitable. Almost as distasteful but equally inconvenient was the possibility I ended up in pretty much the same position: replacing a broken part with an ill-installed new part. This would leave me in the same spot but sixty bucks lighter.

I’ll spare my gentle reader the blow-by-blow, but let’s just say I’m slightly worse off than when I started but the appliance still does what it was doing, only somewhat not as well. It’s not hopeless; I just don’t have standard sockets for my socket wrench in this house. I have metric, since the last few cars I’ve had were all foreign-made. I was horrified to discover that it seems I need a socket wrench to loosen a large number of smallish bolts to install the replacement part correctly. I’ve MacGuyvered a temporary solution, and if I get it in me to run to the hardware store tomorrow, I’ll give it another shot Tuesday.

I was pretty dang disheartened. I took to the bed, discouraged and mildly depressed at my failure and its implications for life in this house. I can actually afford to replace the appliance entirely, and that’s in my plan, but certain realities prevent this from being a feasible action just yet — it’s further in the plan than I’ve yet come.

It was nine-ish and I was just going to turn in, go to bed and forget the rest of the stuff I wanted to do, and try again some other day. But some time before midnight, I got up and thought I should at least fight the Monster. I can see the end of this ridiculous journey and I didn’t want to let the week go by without at least some progress.

So I did it. Took about the usual-sized bite out of the arduous task; took too long but whatever. I did it. And from the looks of it from here, I might be two weeks away from done. Which is pretty mind-blowing. I listened to podcasts while I toiled and the time seemed well spent.

All this means my spirits are much higher than they were a few hours ago, although I’m still bummed about the appliance thing.

The communication from the office Sunday was unclear enough that a lot of people wondered if we were expected to work today. It was clear to me that we weren’t, and when three coworkers texted me to ask me if I was working, I explained why I was certain we weren’t supposed to. However, it was also clear from email traffic that a lot of people were working! Including people in my department who got the same message I got. So although I didn’t any real work, I did reply to a few emails, and I shared this with the three people who reached out. Two said they were doing the same thing — not really working but answering a few emails. The other never got back to me.

For breakfast, I had a bowl of raisin bran after waking far too early. I thought maybe a quick, short meal and the morning news would be all I needed to get me back to bed. Which is sorta true. I had a very late lunch, right around when the early local news came on. I stir-fried won bok, choy sum, and bean sprouts — actually, I didn’t stir-fry them at all. I really just wilted them. Threw them in a sauce pan with no oil, just salt and pepper. Let the heat wilt the veggies and steam off most of the moisture they throw off. It’s what I’ve been doing lately when I’ve said “stir-fry.” It’s a cleaner, tastier preparation.

The third plate lunch from L&L from Sunday was barbecue chicken. They serve three thighs, and I ordered it “all rice,” which is three scoops of rice instead of two scoops of rice and one scoop of macaroni salad.

I chopped up one of the thighs, threw that in with the veggies and some dried garlic flakes, then heated up some of the rice (about half?) and poured it all on top. Um, then I fried two eggs and laid that over everything. It was delicious.

It’s approaching 3:30 in the morning and I haven’t had dinner. I might just go without. I did snack on two snack-sized bag of Route 11 kettle chips, one with lunch and one right after the Monster. So maybe I don’t need dinner. Good chips, by the way.

Didn’t go for a walk Monday, but I have a good feeling about Tuesday.

I didn’t do all the Sunday croswords on Sunday, so I finished them up Monday. NYT: 32:58. A clever theme but kind of unsatisfying. LAT: 23:03. Also a clever theme and also unsatisfying. Washington Post: 18:33. Not as clever but an admirable feat, and super fun. I love Evan’s music-themed puzzles.

AJ got the internal job she interviewed for and let me know early Monday. Yay. Writing partner let me know she was done with her new revision; I apologized for not taking a look yet. Penny had some questions about her new phone, which I did my best to answer. Then the texts from the three coworkers.

Monday felt like a typical Sunday, minus the late-evening angst I always feel about the coming week. Which is nice, since Sunday was completely outside normal in every way and didn’t feel like anything familiar. Looking forward to a productive Tuesday-starting week.

Reach out here if you’d like someone to connect with. I’ll do my best. I’m a texting fiend lately.

I’m not going to proofread until I get up Tuesday. So pardon typos. I’ll fix later.

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