Lockdown: Remembering the Ala Mo

Sunday was slightly better. I got up far too early, so I read the news for a bit and went back to bed for a few hours. Got up before noon (progress!), and rather than settle in with the crossword as usual, I just got stuff ready to take to the office. Got a few quick chores done first and then got to work at about 3:00.

Did some housekeeping stuff at my desk, including updating software on my work laptop and packing up some more stuff to bring home. On Ali’s last day at the office in February, she left me a dozen packs of Shin Ramyun, the most popular (at least in America) of the Korean instant ramen brands. I’d been keeping some in my desk for a few years specifically for Ali when she didn’t have anything for lunch, and she was paying me back even though I told her that was ridiculous. I have five left and brought them all home, along with a few other things from the snack/lunch drawer.

Then I walked to Ala Moana Center to get some hand sanitizer from Bath and Body Works. Man, that was stressful. It was stressful walking down Keeaumoku the six blocks or so. That’s a high-pedestrian-traffic bit of city, so I wore my mask and so did most of the others, but people were not careful to stay away from me. I stepped out into the road a few times just to leave enough space. And yeah, I was miffed.

It was more of the same at the mall. At least there were zero maskless people, but there were just so many people. Bath and Body Works did a nice job keeping us spaced out while waiting in line to get into the store, and there were few enough people inside that staying away from others wasn’t difficult, thank goodness. Props to Bath and Body Works.

I considered grabbing lunch at the Lanai, the lesser (in size) of the food courts at this enormous mall, and could have found a table spaced far enough away from others to do it, but all those people eating, with no masks? I couldn’t do it.

I hit Target on my way out, to grab a new fan and a box of cereal. Target was far more croweded than Bath and Body Works and it was pretty darn stressful in there too. That’s it; I’m done with trying to buy things in daylight hours, especially on weekends.

Walked to Zippy’s instead to grab lunch. Took it back to the office to eat while I read the Washington Post and Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Settled in at my desk to do some real work, and got out of there at about 8:00. I’d aimed for 7:00, but I kept thinking of things to do, stuff that’s just easier to take care of in the office.

The walking was good, although my knee was unhappy with me by the time I was done. It came out to about 7,000 steps, and if I’d been keeping an eye on the step count I think I’d have gone another 2,000, but oh well. Maybe I’ll find a way to build this into my Sundays: errand-running on foot while my computer updates in the cube. Just, dang. Maybe not Ala Moana or Keeaumoku Street.

I was enormously tired when I got home. Didn’t even fire up the computer and do any of my usual Sunday night things. Just brushed my teeth and was in bed by nine. Slept soundly (but without Darth Vader) for a couple of hours, then another couple of hours with Darth Vader. Woke up at about 2:00 really hungry, then took an hour of lying there thinking about eating. Got up and had (I guess) a very late dinner and dove back into bed at about 4:30. Slept a few more hours and got up at about 7:30.

There was some texting with Sharon about work stuff. Ali and I chatted extensively about a situation involving a social problem, and we talked quite a bit about books. Man, we never talked about reading when she was here, so this is a nice new facet to our friendship. I gave her books for Christmas each of the past two years, both of which she read (novels by Linda Sue Park), but we never talked about books other than that. Weird. Oh, she was very supportive of my starting Silent Book Club, but we had our first meeting the week after she moved. Sigh.

Breakfast was a bowl of instant ramen, with tatsoi and soy bean sprouts. Soy sprouts are fine, but they’ve got these enormous, nutty heads that I find distracting in most dishes. They’re fine as a side, but as an ingredient I find them bothersome. I know I’ve cooked with tatsoi before, although I can’t remember anything about it. I like the thinner, lighter-tasting stems, compared to tatsoi’s cousins bok choy and choy sum. I think they might be good in a raw salad. I’m thinking tatsoi with cold tofu cubes, halved grape tomatoes, and very thin slices of red onion, maybe with chopped parsley and that’s it. Or maybe parsley is too strong for the tatsoi. Anyway, I have half a bunch left and look forward to having fun with it.

Lunch from Zippy’s was chicken katsu. One of their more reliable dishes. The very late dinner in the middle of the night was a bowl of cereal. There was a slice of custard pie in there somewhere, too, I think right before I brushed my teeth to go to bed.

Neither a notable nor memorable day, but I’m chronicling them all. And here is one.

You’re likely tired of my offering, but I’m also doing this every day (that I can think of it) because I know that without a certain amount of connecting with friends in ways I’m comfortable, I’d be teetering on the edge if not tilted over it by now. If you need someone to connect with in this bizarre, maddening, frustrating season, hit me up in comments. I got you.

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