Lockdown: Now that’s a spicy nugget

I’ve added a new responsibility to my job, and Friday was my first time trying it out. I’m adding content to the company website: some of the stories I write, plus news releases and stuff like that. I have a lot of experience with web content and content management systems, and I stepped confidently into the driver’s seat on this CMS. We run Drupal with all kinds of modifications, which of course is one reason to use Drupal.

For years, I posted content on another of our sites, the alumni site which also runs Drupal, but there’s a third-party overlay that makes it a lot simpler than our main site.

It took me about three hours. I warned my supervisor that the first few were going to take me a lot of time. And it was just a short news release with one photo.

Thursday night I got the best sleep I’ve had in more than a week. Slept terribly (again) the first half of the night, but then got my act together and strapped in and got a good four and a half hours before time to get up. I’m not hopeless.

I knew it, too. Often when I wake up, I guess what time it is or how long I’ve been asleep (the Darth Vader machine keeps track of the night’s accumulated time), and when I woke up it felt like four and a half hours before I checked the display.

I drove to Rainbow’s to pick up breakfast and lunch. A loco moco for breakfast; a “Rainbow Royal” for lunch. It’s just a double cheeseburger deluxe with their special sauce, which I’m pretty sure is TI dressing. It’s a good burger. I need to remind myself sometimes that you don’t have to get a plate lunch at a plate lunch joint.

I was going to skip dinner, mostly because I waited too long to get something started, but I was also a little restless, so I drove to the strip mall hoping Subway might still be open. It wasn’t. Now I was hungry. Hellloooo McD’s drive-through.

I got the new spicy chicken McNuggets combo. The nuggets are good but not really an improvement on the old. I ate only a few fries and threw them out. I just suddenly became very uninterested in food. I think my body was telling me I’d had enough or something.

There wasn’t a lot of messaging Friday. A small amount of G-chatting with Crush Girl. Some office Skyping with Sharon. FB messenging with Allyson; she was doing me a favor at the KCC library.

Went to bed at ten in hopes of getting to the beach Saturday morning.

Leave a comment if you’d like someone to message with. Connectivity is key.

Lockdown: Thursday’s child has far to go

Once upon a time, Thursday was my most productive day of the week. It was true in high school mostly because I was always in the best mood on Thursday. It wasn’t true in college at all, but it was true again when I was teaching. When I worked for the engineers it was mostly true because most of my team (the marketing and publications department) was in Manila, and it was Friday in Manila. Whatever I didn’t get done with them Thursday had to wait until Monday.

In the regular working world I’m now part of, where I’m not working with people who live across the International Date Line, my day is Friday. Thursday tends to be a get-charged-up kind of day in anticipation of kicking butt Friday. It shouldn’t be this way but it is.

My supervisor being off Thursday and Friday surely didn’t help matters, ‘though I do try to be productive when she’s out, just to go against expectations.

So Thursday was mostly a get-the-small-stuff-done kind of day. More edits on that story with the ex-football player. More appeal letter edits. A bit of housekeeping. Some outlining on those two stories I need to finish.

I have to admit I was also tired. After a night of bad sleep, I got up early to hit the beach, and although I didn’t go very hard, I am pretty sure my body was still feeling Monday’s activity, because when I got out of the water I was really weak and tired, not pumped as I usually am.

It still felt good; just tired good, not stoked good.

I was amused by my getting up two hours later than I had been to get into the water at about the same time. No more rushing to Kewalo to snare metered parking.

After work, I watched the conclusion of season two of Halt and Catch Fire. Not how I wanted it to end, but not terrible. I think I’m going to take a break before I watch season three. It’s never been released on DVD, so I’m going to have to download and watch it or stream it. Either way it’s a rental or a purchase through one of the services. Each season was twenty five bucks the last time I checked, and while I consider it worth it, there’s too much stuff I want to see that I’m already paying for with monthly service subscriptions.

I have disc one of season one of Grace and Frankie sitting on my counter right now, in fact.

I picked up breakfast on my way home from the beach. I got a California Love omelette from Egghead. Avocado, bacon, onion, bell pepper, cheddar, and salsa. It was good, possibly very good. Weirdly, all the avocado seemed to be crammed into the back end of the omelette, so I hardly tasted any at all in the first half of the meal and enjoyed the heck out of the second.

I also had an order of “cheese eggs.” Scrambled eggs with Swiss cheese and some country bread. It was good but not nine bucks good.

I kind of burned right through all that food and was pretty hungry at lunch, when I had leftover pasta. I overdid it on the leftovers and was kind of miserable and in pain for some time after, another contributor to my slowness with work. For dinner all I had was a few handsful of chips. Went to bed early but didn’t go to sleep until late, just looking at football news and G-chatting with Jocelyn. We haven’t been conversing much at all lately, mostly because i think she’s suuuuuuuuper busy.

Most of my meals the next few days are coming out of the cabinet, not the fridge. I’m pretty much out of fresh stuff, and I’m determined not to hit the supermarket until Sunday or Monday night. I do have some local free-range eggs ($$$). And some Impossible sausages in my freezer. Gee, I wonder why they are the last to go. I guess I’ll give them a try sometime this weekend.

Gotta get through Friday first, though. And if you need to connect with someone to help you get through, I’m good for some texting or instant messaging. Leave a comment and I’ll send you my contact info.

Thursday, Sylvia and I talked about food. I was so full from leftover pasta that everything she sent me a photo of looked gross to me.

Sharon and I texted about some former coworkers who’ve found some landing spots. It was nice to have some good news in Bloody Wednesday’s aftermath. Most of our friends are still looking, though.

Charles sent me a DM in IG with a photo of a sign in a Chinese-owned takeout spot. Misspelled words. I thanked him even though I’m not sharing bad signage from entrepreneurs who are obviously non-native English-speakers.

Oh, and Paula and I traded a bunch of DMs in IG, speaking of entrepreneurs. Until a couple of weeks ago, she ran my favorite baseball cards shop. She’s retired and we traded some messages about writing well and about going to the beach. I’m pleased to see she’s learning some stand-up paddleboarding.

Crush Girl and I G-chatted a bit too. Idle chitchat, mostly.

Idle chitchat is the stuff of life nowadays. Mundanity is the rule; excitement is usually the bad sort. Kind of like most Thursdays lately.

Lockdown: Boring fantasy football talk

Wednesday was another mostly chill day at work. Moved steadily if not rapidly on my stories; smoothed one story a bit and submitted it for review; edited some appeal letters. In the process I learned the name of the new building at the pharmacy school at UH Hilo (and its correct spelling).

I goofed off a little on my phone after work, then watched episode nine of the second season of Halt and Catch Fire. Dismal. The relationship stuff didn’t go the way I wanted, although I suppose it went the way it had to for compelling future seasons. Good characters for long-lived television series should be flawed in some big ways, but these characters are flawed in ways I can barely suffer. The tech stuff is genius, and when it’s going right, the characters are terrific. Stuff away from the tech just makes me wonder why I spend any time with the characters at all.

Except for the one character played by Kerry Bishé who has to put up with the others. She’s pretty admirable.

I’m playing in six fantasy football leagues this year. The one with my classmates has been going more than twenty years — twenty five seasons over thirty years is pretty close. I’m running the office league, now in its third season. And I signed up for four money leagues at $5 apiece. The Yahoo! money leagues pay the same rates: winning a $5 league gets you $25, while finishing third gets you $5. Winning a $20 league gets you $100, while finishing third gets you $20.

I’m mostly playing in the pro leagues to test the advice of a fantasy advice service I subscribe to. I’ve subscribed for a few years and except for two years ago, I’ve done very well. I generally stick to the advice but trust myself on certain things, and when I’ve deviated from the advice, it’s paid off more often than it hasn’t.

Testing the service four times at $5 each seems like it will give a better evaluation than testing it once with a $20 league, and the likelihood of at least partial success seems greater as well. It’s more work, managing this many teams, so that’s a downside. And I mean work, because the real pleasure in fantasy sports is in the sense of fun and community it delivers, which you don’t feel in a league with a bunch of strangers when $25 is on the line.

Oh, that’s another reason I chose the $5 leagues. The $5000 league (first place payout: $25,000) isn’t going to have any schmoes in it, guys who sign up on a whim and then stop paying attention when they realize a few weeks in that they’ve drafted poorly. It seems a guy like me has a better chance of winning just by staying in the game at the $5 level, where losers are more likely to lose interest.

Only five of the six teams competed — the sixth didn’t draft until opening day, so it begins competition with week two — and four of them won in week one. The one loss was in the classmates league, the one that matters most to me, but it did quite well, so I’m still pleased.

Although it should be said that losing to Reid is never okay.

I decided the McD’s breakfast sandwiches at the laundry were not a late Tuesday dinner but a Wednesday breakfast. For lunch, I had the noodle-veggie soup. It’s nearly two weeks since my last visit to the grocery, so I’m running low on fresh veggies. I was left with a large amount of won bok and some fresh onion. Not quite as nutritious as usual. Still yummy.

I made a pot of angel hair pasta for dinner. I tried a new jarred sauce, a store brand, with red pepper flakes, brown sugar, dried minced garlic, sake, and gorgonzola. Delicious.

Sharon and I texted about some stuff we’re doing in the kitchen. She’s been doing a lot of quarantine baking, and I mean this literally. She went to the mainland to witness her sister’s courthouse wedding, and today’s her last day of quarantine since her return. Crush Girl and I also chatted a bit about food.

I went to bed at nine in hopes of getting up early for the beach.

The director of the CDC says we may have enough vaccine for a return to normal life by the end of the second quarter or early in the third quarter of 2021. A certain elected official, offering no grounds for contradiction, says the director is confused. I don’t know enough to make any kind of prediction, but I think I’d put money on the scientist, while still hoping by some miracle that the elected official knows something the director doesn’t. Whatever the case, I think we’re going to be shut in for quite a while more. If you need someone to connect with, in order to make it through, just reach out. I’m a good ear.

Lockdown: Canoodling

Slept terribly again Monday night despite my body’s being eager and ready for rest. Got plenty of sleep; it just wasn’t the good sleep. Still felt okay, because at least it was bad sleep in a generous amount.

Caught up on emails, finally had that phone call with the donors, worked on more emails, had a Zoom meeting, played around with the two donor stories I’m working on, and that was my work day. A nice, normal, fairly routine, non-stressful day.

The phone interview was with a prominent former reporter with a local paper whose blog I’ve been a fan of for more than ten years. Also with his wife, a professor emerita at UH Manoa. They were such smart, clear communicators, I really enjoyed my conversation with them. I felt smarter after just a twenty-five-minute phone call.

As soon as I was done with work, I got stuff ready for laundry and refilling my drinking water. Took longer than usual for some reason, and I didn’t get to bed until 9:00. Then I slept terribly again and I overslept. Baffling. I know I set my alarm but I never heard it, and overshot it by two hours. No indication on my phone that I set the alarm at all. Maddening.

I was severely tempted to change my plan for the day, but I was already packed up for laundry and I was mentally in the laundry-washing mindspace. I did a little bit of quick math and realized I could get to the laundry just after five. Most Wednesday or Thursday mornings at that hour, the laundry only has a couple of people, the ladies who come in just as I’m finishing up. I figured I could deal with them, and if people started coming in around six, I’d be nearly done anyway.

So I dragged my sorry, oversleeping carcass out of bed. It’s 5:30 and I’m at the laundry now, with breakfast sandwiches for my late Tuesday dinner instead of my usual Big Mac and fries. It’s a good meal but it’s not what I really wanted. I’ll have to make up for it later in the week.

Breakfast was the noodle soup thing. When I was severely underemployed, right after the engineering firm, I had to stretch my lonely dollars. A huge bowl of hot oatmeal for breakfast was a big part of it, something I came to welcome and enjoy over time. I almost always had it with some brown sugar and natural peanut butter, so we’re not talking destitute here; I just needed to be very careful. Six bucks for a jar of natural peanut better went a long way anyway.

The part of the equation I was uncomfortable with with instant ramen. I was going to have to go the cheap route, which is fine; cheap instant ramen is yummy too, if you modify it the way I like. It was just a lot of fat and salt, and while I don’t exactly shy away from either, we’re talking a lot of fat and salt every day.

So over some weeks, I found something that worked for me and is even more frugal than they way I eat instant ramen.

There’s a noodle factory in Kalihi; I’ve been aware of it for as long as I’ve lived here. You can buy fresh Chinese noodles and saimin (it’s a Hawaii thing) for much, much less money than the same stuff costs in the grocery stores. We’re talking two bucks for a pound of Hong Kong style chow mein, which is possibly three times that in the store.

I usually get six meals out of that.

I had a jar of hon-dashi in my cabinet, so I used that for the soup. I cooked a bunch of veggies in the soup first, whatever was on sale. Always either head cabbage or won bok, plus some onion and some dark, leafy green I got for cheap, although some weeks I went without that. Bean sprouts, otherwise. Oh, and if I could get eggs on sale — yes, I resorted to mainland eggs because they are waaaaaay less expensive — I’d add a fresh egg or two. A few months in, I also added a spoonful of miso.

When you have to eat like a poor person but have a little bit of leeway, you can make yourself feel not quite as poor. A huge bowl of fresh veggies with fresh noodles in miso soup? I could eat that every day, and I did. There was enough variety from week to week that I never got tired of it, and the nightly ritual of preparing the meal (I had nothing but time) was a highlight of my existence.

I tried other nearby noodle factories. It’s Hawaii; of course there are a bunch of noodle factories. Young’s on Liliha Street. That one in Chinatown, downstairs from where the dance studio used to be where I once helped a young Chinese woman find her class. There’s some difference, but Oahu Noodle, in my own hood, is the least expensive and the most convenient.

I’ve tried other types of noodles, but I like how quickly the Hong Kong noodles cook, and I like the texture a lot better. I guess I’m consistent that way, considering my preference for angel hair pasta.

I still prepare it once in a while, for a week at a time (you’re buying a pound of noodles; you have to use them before they get slimey), but it’s been a couple of years. The last time I made it, I’d discovered mushroom dashi at the Japanese market. It’s better than hon-dashi. This week I used shrimp dashi, which Foodland Farms had in the Asian aisle. The Japanese markets in town just aren’t convenient, opening too late in the day for me. The one sort of in my hood is a warehouse store and it’s always full of elderly Japanese people (that’s how you know it’s good), and I don’t want any part of that. Don Qi is open all night. I might have considered that when I was still keeping vampire hours. It’s near the beach; maybe I should stop by one early morning.

So, miso from the Korean market (it’s good, but I’m suspicious of all the ingredients) next to the noodle factory. Veggies from wherever. Dashi from Foodland Farms.

I got this mushroom soup base from Amazon this week. Looking forward to trying it when I’ve used up the shrimp dashi.

I keep thinking I should name this dish. I used to prepare it in my rice cooker, so my brain kind of thinks of it as rice cooker noodles, even though I make it on the stovetop now.

Lunch was a couple of burritos. I have one burrito’s worth of filling left and need to use it very soon. Thinking of scrambling some eggs and making a breakfast burrito for dinner Wednesday.

Suzanne texted me to ask me for a book recommendation. I made a few: a Nora Roberts book I actually enjoyed (the one Nora Roberts book I’ve read), a Neil Gaiman, and a Rainbow Rowell.

Sylvia texted me to talk about gourmet popcorn. I’m not a huge fan; she’s a huuuuge fan.

Stay home. Do something fun. Eat something different. Tackle one of those nagging chores you keep putting off. Leave a comment if you’d like some connection, and I’ll send you my contact info.

Lockdown: Sunsoaked

I took a vacation day Monday. I had a fraction of a day to burn before the end of September, so I just took the whole day. I slept in after another night of terrible sleep, took care of a few work emails, then headed for the beach. I haven’t been in the ocean during mid-day hours for a long time, possibly not since the company picnic in April 2019.

Picked up a Zippy’s Surf Pac on the way, and got a decent parking stall on the Kewalo end. I sorta did my usual swim, but the water was really moving, making it pretty tiring. I did the usual distance, a lot more slowly, then floated around for a while, enjoying my freedom.

There were a lot of people lying on the beach by themselves, per the mayor’s orders. Looked like people really tried to keep their distance, which hasn’t been my experience with the early morning swimmers.

Sat in my beach chair in the shade in the park, by the pond on the Kewalo end, for lunch and podcasts. It was really nice too.

I ached all over for the rest of the day, and if I weren’t too local to sunburn, a casual observer might say I looked a little pink.

I watched an episode of Halt and Catch Fire, read the news, did the crossword, played stupid games on my phone, and emptied out a large plastic tub in my decluttering effort. The Beast made me very hot and sweaty, but I also wheeled a full trash bin to the curb and opened up a little bit of space near my desk.

Crush Girl and I chatted most of the evening via G-chat. Jennifer sent me an otter update; I sent her a photo of a Christmas card she sent me maybe eight years ago, by her estimation, unearthed in my decluttering.

I skipped breakfast and the Surf Pac was enormous, so I kind of skipped dinner too. Finished off my potato salad, so I’ll count that as dinner. No snacking.

That’s it. A day of rest well taken. Hit me up in comments if you need someone to connect with. I’ll send contact info and we can text the night away. Or something.

Lockdown: Tsum Tsum dumdum

I’ve missed out on a lot of major-network broadcast TV since I went to over-the-air digital. I purchased an antenna to receive the digital signals, and it helped, but it still left me with just the local Fox and ABC affiliates, plus the local PBS station and a ton of other stuff you wouldn’t guess is out there. And lately I haven’t been getting Fox.

It’s been a pain, since football is on Fox, NBC, CBS, and ESPN.

I thought my antenna just wasn’t good enough, so I looked on Amazon for other options, then did a little web search to see if people out there had reviewed a bunch of the stuff. And of course there are a lot of articles out there. You kind of have to be cautious about review articles for tech stuff, since there are a lot of fake websites in existence just to steer you to specific products, disguised as neutral review sites.

Consumer Reports did a rundown, but I don’t subscribe, so I couldn’t see what it recommended. However, it had a publicly available article about getting the most from your digital over-the-air antenna, and geez. The stuff I don’t know.

The FCC has a map of DTV antenna locations. You put in your zip code and select the local broadcaster whose signal you want to receive, and it shows you on the map where the antenna is. You can set the location pin right at your address and it tells you the bearing you can point your antenna to so it’s looking right at the tower.

I had it pointed roughly in the direction of downtown Honolulu, thinking most of the towers were there. Most of them are, and only a few miles away, which is why I got them okay. The KHON (NBC affiliate) tower, however, is on a mountain above Nanakuli, completely in the opposite direction and sixteen miles away. The FCC website says where I am the signal should be strong, though. So I moved my antenna six feet away from where it was and swung it around so it was facing west instead of east, and *bing*. The late afternoon football game, loud and crystal clear.

Part of me wants to scream at myself, because I had all this good TV at my disposal and didn’t even know. Part of me is like, cool. Digital over-the-air is great — it’s indistinguishable in quality from cable or broadband, as far as I can see. Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth have never looked more beautiful than on my own TV at home.

And because I’m only a couple of miles from the towers in town, the antenna being pointed in the opposite direction isn’t a problem at all for the other stations.

I watched the early game on CBS, the Patriots and Dolphins. I thought it was a good game, but apparently a lot of people disagree. Then I messed around because the early afternoon game was on Fox and I didn’t figure out the antenna thing until an hour into the late afternoon game. Man, I can’t wait until next Sunday just so I can veg and watch the stupid games because I can.

I also watched episode eight of season two of Halt and Catch Fire. It’s seriously kind of a drag right now, which make sense. It’s a ten-episode season, so this is a good place for things to be nearly as bad as they’re going to get.

I played a ridiculous amount of Tsum Tsum, then got to work on that space in my laundry room. It was hot, sweaty, dirty work, but I got it cleared out and cleaned out, and I was able to move some of the newly-packed storage tubs in there, opening up living space where I hadn’t had any for some time. It’s a huge relief, and it’s a milemarker in this Herculean task of decluttering my space. It’s also going to be where I put my newly empty storage tubs. It pleases me enormously that there are more newly-empty than newy-filled.

Breakfast was my unnamed noodle soup thing, which I know I still haven’t explained in this space. Such a good breakfast. It’s mostly veggies, too. For lunch, I took a little inspiration from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt and my friend Jennifer and made a little pizza on a tortilla. I crisped it up in a grill pan, then added some spaghetti sauce, white cheddar, and sliced Portuguese sausage. It was good. Jennifer puts hers in the oven and the tortilla puffs up. It wanted to puff up on the grill pan too, but I cut a few holes in it to keep it crackery.

I kind of thought I would skip dinner, but all that cleaning took a lot out of me, so I had a couple of burritos. In between somewhere I finished off the blondies.

Ali texted me super early with a link to a cute IG post about how to drive a book-lover crazy. Kathy got back to me after hearing the New Order song saying they still sound great. Sharon asked me for a coworker’s chocolate mochi recipe, which I was able to find in my work emails. Not a super busy day with texting, but Sundays seldom are.

It’s nearly midway through September. Six months since this lockdown began, with no end in sight. I’m utterly opposed to social gatherings such as we’re seeing on the news, and I have no words for the people protesting the local governments’ attempts to keep us from spreading the virus. But I get it. It’s been a long six months. Nobody wants to keep this up. It’s easy to feel like life is passing us by and we’re missing out on time with others.

But you know. People keep dying from this thing, and if we can do something to prevent the death, we should. I’m here for it. So if you’re reading this and you need some extra connectivity, believe me: I dig it. Reach out in comments and we can talk each other through it.

Lockdown: Halt and catch the dang ball

Crappy sleep doesn’t have to set the tone for the whole day; nor does it necessarily make for terrible weekend relaxation or productivity. In Saturday’s case, however, crappy sleep was the general theme. I dragged my self up after insufficient rest and mostly goofed off on my phone.

The rest of the day was mostly the kind of lazying you do when you have an unexpected super-rainy day when the bosses tell you not to come in. I checked the football news every couple of hours. I played a lot of stupid games on my phone, including Tsum Tsum, which I hadn’t played in three years.

It’s just as addicting now as it was when I first picked it up ages ago.

Read the news. Did the crossword. The Saturday NYT destroyed me — I couldn’t do any of the northwest corner despite working really hard to fill the rest. I watched two episodes of Halt and Catch Fire season two. Episodes six and seven.

I suspect many (if not most) fans of the show would say the relationships keep the show interesting, but I could honestly do without them. The show drags when it’s not about the tech, and the tech stuff is moving too slowly for me in the middle of the season, after some pretty great stuff early.

Despite my not grooving on the relationships, one character’s love interest, played by Aleksa Palladino, is freaking beautiful. She sorta makes it worth it.

Breakfast was a slice of blueberry peach pie. I was tired and annoyed with myself. It was there. Tasted great but did very, very little to assuage either my tiredness or annoyance.

I had a small ribeye in the fridge from my trip to the supermarket last weekend. It was delicious, but I overcooked it to medium well. I’m getting better, but I’m still going to do stuff like this. Good thing I like a well-done steak too.

I had it with instant mashed potatoes, with gorgonzola. It was enough food that I only ate half, then finished it off for dinner.

I consumed a couple of blondies a bite at a time through the day. Definitely not as good two days after baking, but still good.

Crush Girl and I texted a teeny bit, mostly concluding a conversation from Friday evening. Sylvia and I had a conversation about hot sauce — she sent me a photo of this Korean brand. I’ve seen (and tried) the super-spicy instant ramen from the same brand, so this is intriguing. Doesn’t look like a condiment, though. It looks like something you add to cooked noodles, like a shiru base.

Jennifer sent me a link to the new New Order single, which I didn’t know existed. It’s good; you should give it a spin if you dig NO. I forwarded it to my classmate Kathy, with whom I attended the NO concert two years ago. Jennifer also updated me on that orphaned otter. Very cute.

Football begins Sunday, despite my sorta not wanting it to. I’ll watch one or two of the games, depending on which network has the afternoon game. I get my digital TV over the air, and my reception of Fox is bad enough that my TV doesn’t pick it up. So if CBS is showing one game, I’ll watch one. If CBS is showing two, I’ll watch two. It’ll be more Halt and Catch Fire if it’s less football.

I have to wait until Monday before I can get into the water. This kind of sucks.

Reach out in comments if you want someone to connect with in these days of insanity. There’s room for everyone.

Lockdown: More texts about buildings and food

Once I decided not to hit the beach, I got a little more sleep, which I needed because I slept terribly. I ran a few errands before work, filling a few jugs with water from not my usual spot or my usual second spot, but my third spot, which is a bit further but still in the hood. It’s in front of a convenience store on King Street near the Zippy’s.

The Korean market is right next door, and although that’s not my first choice for Japanese things, it was right there and it was early in the morning, so I figured there wouldn’t be very many fellow customers. I needed miso.

On the way home I stopped at Golden Coin, not because I wanted anything but because I’ve got this expired safety sticker on the back of my car and there was a cop across the street. I pulled into the lot to avoid his seeing my tail. Had to go through the motions, so I picked up a pork adobo plate for lunch.

I hit the Taco Bell drive-though for breakfast. It was pretty good.

I worked super inefficiently Friday, but I did get stuff done, and then I worked until about nine to get that teaser copy finished. I was tired, and I only ate half the pork adobo at lunch, so the rest of it was dinner.

Went to bed but didn’t put myself to bed, and it was like that all night. Just effing miserable. And I got up like five times to use the restroom, which is one of the stupid symptoms of sleep apnea. I don’t get up because I have to use the bathroom; I have to use the bathroom because I’ve woken up.

It was just a terrible night.

Crush Girl and I texted intermittently all day about various mundane things. It was nice. Sylvia and I switched between the office Skype and texting through the day, about food, IM platforms, and food.

The week went by quickly, something I seldom say about a four-day work week. I could have used more and better sleep, but everything else was pretty okay.

Leave a comment if you’re looking for more connectivity in these idiotic pandemic days. I got some bandwidth for texting or whatever.

Lockdown: Phase doubt

Thursday I did finish that acknowledgment letter. I think I did a pretty dang good job on it, if I did take far too much of my employer’s time to do it. Did a little bit of housekeeping stuff, had a phone meeting and a Zoom meeting. Kinda got started on this teaser copy for the emailed version of one of our publications. I didn’t get very far on it, but I’m not too worried. Sometimes you just kinda soak it all in, then you sit down to write it the next day and it just comes.

After I did Friday’s NYT crossword Thursday evening (in under twelve minutes, thank you very much), I got kind of caught up in another of their puzzle games, something called Tiles. It reminds me a lot of Set (which NYT also has on their site but which I’ve never played online) crossed with Shanghai. Pretty fascinating. My evening sorta got away from me this way.

Got ready for bed and turned in early-ish so I could go to the beach Friday, but when the alarm went off after some pretty crappy, useless sleep, I realized that depending on how you look at it, Friday was the first day of the monthly jellyfish invasion of Oahu’s south shores. Argh.

I used to look at this calendar that told me when the full moon is, then count nine days up from that. The real influx is on the tenth day after the full moon, but some eager jellies come in the day before and some laggers come the day after. I usually leave that three-day window tightly shut.

Lately I’ve been looking at a moon phases app, and it doesn’t give me a single full moon day. It give me like three. I don’t know which is the one day. It’s very annoying.

So I stayed in bed.

Let’s see. Breakfast may have been a blondie. And a half. They were better the morning after. I also had a couple of clementines and a few bites of potato salad.

For lunch, I still had the untouched leftover veggies and tofu from the Chinese takeout last weekend. I made a pot of quinoa, then stirred in the Chinese food. It was good. It was filling enough, too, that all I had for dinner was a few more bites of potato salad.

I had a bunch of questions for Ryan, about his status as a public figure and whether he had any publicly vocal haters. We traded some thoughts via text. It was an interesting conversation. Sylvia and I texted a few times through the day. She made some nice-looking homemade chips in her air fryer. We chatted a little about football.

Crush Girl and I chatted about my blondies and some other stuff. It was nice too.

Looking forward to the weekend, and to a productive Friday at my desk. The latter will make the former a lot better, so I’m psyching myself up.

Hit me up in comments if you need someone to connect with in these dark lockdown days. I’m here for it.

Lockdown: Eat to the beat

I was a little stressed about getting to the beach on time. I kiiinda had to go to the bathroom, in a way that using facilities at the beach was out of the question, but I thought there was a chance it could wait a few hours. Stupid, I know, especially in these days when businesses keep their restrooms closed to customers.

So I cruised right past the office on my way to Kewalo from the laundry, got to the harbor at around quarter to five, and saw there were a lot of open stalls. Based on recent experience, if there were this few cars in the lot at quarter to five, I could safely zip back to the office, use the bathroom, and get back in half an hour and be okay for parking.

I did, and I did, and I was. I don’t think the lot ever filled up in the three hours I was there.

I had another especially good swim. I’m doing things routinely now that used to be a big deal. This pleases me. The water was really nice, too.

Beginning Thursday, they open up parking again, and beaches and parks are okay for solo activity. So I won’t have to hurry to the water so early in the morning. Part of me is going to miss it.

I wasn’t very productive at work. Got stuck on this acknowledgement letter. It’s signed by the chancellor of one of the campuses, and it goes to donors who give more than a certain amount of money. Just had trouble getting into the mental sincere gratitude space. I don’t have to in order to write these, but I try very hard to make these letters heartfelt, and I’ve found I’m better at it when I’m actually feeling the sentiment. I also helped a coworker with a few paragraphs for her bio.

We had our office fantasy football draft at 6:30. It was fun. Thirteen of fourteen participants showed up, and we had a nice online draft with a ton of trash-talk.

After the draft, I lazed about for a while and forced myself up at about nine to make blondies. I’d never made them, and the last time I did any brownie-type baking, it was with R early in our teaching years. She liked to bake brownies. She hates cake and pie. At her wedding, she had a tiered wedding brownie.

They came out pretty good. I don’t have enough of a sweet tooth to do this very often, but I’m glad I have it in my arsenal now. Crush Girl was baking something at her place at the same time, so we had nice text message exchanges, with photos, about what we were making. That was fun. I asked for advice — more for the attention than actually needing advice, but of course it doesn’t hurt to get confirmation.

Sharon and I traded texts during the day about work stuff. Mostly about some coworkers who have moved on and didn’t seem happy when they were here. Sylvia texted me some commentary during our draft. That was fun.

I resisted the urge to pick up breakfast on my way home from the beach, mostly because I thought I had that last money-league fantasy football draft at eight. I didn’t; it was Thursday at eight. So breakfast was a couple of clementines, a few bites of potato salad, and a smallish slice of pie.

For lunch-dinner, I had a small wedge of Humboldt Fog, a goat cheese I picked up at Foodland Farms Sunday, with crackers. I drizzled local honey on some of it. I drizzled balsamic vinegar (that store-branded stuff from Foodland) on some of it. I drizzled habanero Tabasco on some of it. The balsamic was the best.

It was a quarter pound of richness, so I didn’t need more of a meal than that. I also knew I was making blondies later.

Week’s moving quickly, thank goodness. Lots of activity with a little bit of darkness on the distant fringe. Something’s threatening to bum me out, but I don’t know what it is.

Reminder to hit me up in comments if you’re looking for more connectivity during these lockdown days. Lockdown, schmockdown.