Lockdown: Casting about for meaning

I’m having a little bit of trouble with this story that was due Friday and delayed by those edits to other pieces. There’s just so much background, and most of it is a bit of a slog — technical writing that I usually don’t have a problem with but for some reason is a bit laborious to get through. I told the development officer I’m working with on the story I’d reach out Wednesday to go over what she has in mind for the story, and I really want to have the background read beforehand. A little bit of self-imposed pressure to keep me moving.

So most of my day was taking care of other stories. I need a term for this. Something to brainstorm while I’m avoiding doing all that reading.

Breakfast was some of my fresh bread with this local honey-macadamia peanut butter. I bought it as a gift for a relative and remembered too late that he hates peanuts. Normally it would be a little pricey for me, but what else am I going to do with it since I can’t gift it to its intended recipient?

It may be the best peanut butter I’ve ever had, except maybe the peanut butter I make myself in my food processor. It has a wonderfullly smooth texture, and there’s somehow no palm oil in it. Gotta investigate. Also, I’m wondering now why I have never customized my homemade peanut butter.

The night I bought it for my relative, I also bought a second jar, this one Kona coffee flavored. I’m such a doofus. This relative doesn’t drink coffee either.

I’ve heard a few podcasters talk about these gourmet peanut butters they love, and I’ve gone as far as to look at the websites and see what’s available on Amazon, but until just now I never considered I could make my own. I may have a new purpose in lockdown.

Lunch was the same thing, except I had it in two smaller courses. The first was bread and a can of Vienna sausage. Reminds me of poor college days, when I often had it with cheap supermarket white bread. The second was more peanut butter, with some local macadamia honey. Hello.

It was somehow not enough to keep me going, so a few hours later I had a cold can of pork and beans with another can of Vienna sausage. Sinful. Which makes this Big Mac combo I’m having now at the laundry my second dinner.

For the second week in a row, the TV is off in the laundry and it’s quiet and wonderful. There’s one other guy folding his dried clothes, but he’s just about done.

I’m coming around to the idea that the late-night walks are a memory, and if I’m going to get meaningful exercise, it’s going to have to be in the ocean, where my knee is less a factor. This means an entire shifting of hours, since apparently one must get to Kewalo soon after the parking lot opens at four. We’ll find out, as I’m going to head down there this morning and probably won’t get there until maybe quarter to five.

I’ll miss the wee hours, but maybe not as much as I would have guessed. This week several times I’ve gone to bed before nine, and it’s been pretty good. It just requires more planning than I like to do for such things. Maybe that’s better for me anyway since putting myself to bed is supposed to be a deliberate thing.

I didn’t think I was tired when I retired at 7:30 Tuesday evening, but I popped 15 mg of melatonin (which I’m beginning to think doesn’t do anything except placebo me to la-la land) and was asleep before 8:00.

Jennifer texted me a photo of the sleeping baby otter. Very cute. I expected it somehow to be on a rock in a pool, but it looked like it was in a crib or something. Sharon and I traded a few texts about the Democratic National Convention, which I watched more of on Day 2 than on Day 1. Crush Girl texted me some stuff about her weekend and her work situation. Ali texted me a question I did my best to answer, but admitted it was out of my realm of expertise. This led to some difficult miscommunication that was probably on me, since for her it was nearly eight in the morning and for me it was nearly two. Yeah, I got up about twenty minutes ahead of my laundry alarm.

Which still gave me nearly five and half hours of good sleep, interrupted once but continued quickly. I’m still feeling a little bit off, though, like maybe I’m coming down with something.

I never finished my personal Ozzy Osbourne retrospective and I really want to, but I’ve been in a Mastodon mood these past few days, so I’m also doing a Mastodon retrospective, beginning with their first album and working my way to now. It’s good music to work to, and it brings back some really good concert memories.

I’m hesitant to write about this, but one function of a journal is using language to sort things out — bring order to chaos, in a way. I had two New Year’s resolutions related to reading and creativity this year. The first was establishing a Honolulu Silent Book Club, which I launched in March. We met once, and the island was shut down immediately after. This is now necessarily on hold.

The other was a new podcast, because the world doesn’t have enough podcasts. I won’t publicly share what it’s about until I launch it, but my intention was to do ten complete shows, with all the production and editing, as practice. Never intending to publish them. I know it’s going to take several episodes for me to find my groove, and to settle on certain details (music, organization, that kind of thing). I want my first episode to be as good as my eleventh, so I’m going to do ten practice ones as if they’re not practice.

I’m also going to have to shift my strategy for now. I have a good idea, but social distancing makes it impossible to do what I have in mind. This means I’m going to have to recruit some friends for Zoom-Skype-Face Time-whatever, something I was hoping to avoid.

The thing is, this pandemic has put too many things on hold. I welcome it in a lot of ways, not least of which is taking other things out of do-it-later status, like slaying the Monster and finally checking out Halt and Catch Fire. But you make resolutions for self-improvement. One shouldn’t put those things on hold if one can avoid it. If this means making adjustments to original plans, and apparently it does, I guess I should get on with it. It’s almost September, dammit.

My goal for the long weekend ahead (Hawaii celebrates its admission to the union Friday) is to pick a few candidates for theme music. I’d like maybe eight good songs to test out, then to whittle down to two. It’s kind of a tedious task since I’m determined to do this legitimately, paying a service for rights to use the songs, which means going through offerings by musicians I’ve never heard of to find songs I’ve yet to hear.

If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll outline the first (practice) episode and recruit a friend to play with me for half an hour or so. I bought a few toys this past winter specifically for producing this podcast. It would be nice to get them out of the toybox.

I also need to finish setting up the website. I’ve been sitting on the domain for two years.

You should consider being a guest on my new podcast. You can be anonymous, and you can even make stuff up. It’ll be something of an interview/conversation format. Or you could just reach out if you’d like to trade a few messages now and then, to give you some connectivity in the time of lockdown. Just leave a comment and I’ll send you my contact info.

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