Lockdown: Not ready for Prime time

Tuesday at work was pretty much like Monday. Got up early because I slept poorly, opened up a Diet Pepsi and did the thing. It was about as productive, too. I just wasn’t feeling it. It being any of the writing mojo or the writing itself.

I usually know when what comes out of my metaphorical pen is good. I don’t always, at least not right off. But when it’s flowing, I can tell whether the writing’s good or just okay. I wasn’t feeling anything about this, though.

My department had the first of its twice-weekly Zoom meetings, and most of it didn’t involve me directly, which is fine. There was a little bit of talk about this big proposal that’s coming up. I’m not going to be working directly with the CEO as planned. Instead, my supervisor is going to meet with him in person a couple of times this week and channel (read: translate) the ideas to me so I can put the proposal together. This is a pretty good idea for a few reasons. She’s more in tune with him because she communicates with him on a near-daily basis. Also it gets her directly involved in one of my proposals so she can see what it’s like from my end. I’m expecting this to be quality work.

I took a little side trip from the attempted writing to finish edits on that letter I got edit suggestions on. It turned out pretty good. My coworker added to what I wrote, which is generally a bad sign for overall quality — not with this coworker, but with coworkers in general. This time I think we made each other’s work better. It felt pretty good.

When the work day was over I got things ready for my weekly trip to the laundry and refilling my drinking water. It went quickly. I had enough time to goof around a little, playing stupid iPhone games and getting a little further into the Washington Post than on most days.

Breakfast was a slice of pumpkin pie (you know, to balance out the Diet Coke). Lunch was leftover hapa rice with corned beef hash and a couple of eggs. I skipped dinner because that was so filling. I had a couple of Nutter Butters for a snack in the evening.

I exchanged a lengthy coversation via the office Skype with the coworker I ran into at the bakery Saturday. We shared our experiences and favorites. He’s been going a lot longer than I have — I didn’t get my first pie there until sometime after the the lockdown began. He’s been going for years. That led to more talk about places we like to eat. I mentioned that I try to stick to Kalihi, while he’s been getting his meals all over. It was a good talk, especially since for some reason, although he and I have been friendly since my very first day, he hasn’t seemed to want to talk much. Guys connecting over food talk.

I texted Suzanne to ask what she’s getting for Prime Day and she said she browsed like crazy and wasn’t excited about anything she saw. I said I felt the same, but hadn’t gotten into the deep dive I usually do. I figure I have another day. I’ve bookmarked a couple of higher-priced items I don’t really need but really want, but I also think it would be great to take care of a chunk of my Chistmas list if I can.

Ali and I texted a little bit about the low Prime Day prices on Kindle Paperwhites. Tempting. If my niece and nephew were readers, I’d love to hook them up with new Paperwhites. Crush Girl and I kinda continued the conversation we started Monday. There wasn’t much left to say. I checked up on Sylvia, the coworker who’s begun a new position this week. Sharon texted me to let me know a link in our company’s IG bio isn’t working.

There was a lot more FB messaging than usual. I shared a link on FB to some job listings at our foundation, and it led to two conversations. One with Ruth, a schoolmate I’ve known since I was a junior and she was a seventh-grader. She was asking on behalf of a friend. Another with someone I’ve only known since the early days of Twitter (so, around 2007) who’s been in the field doing one of the listed jobs for some time. She’s with another nonprofit now, which is why I don’t share her name. No sense outing her even on accident.

My soundtrack for the day was Van Halen’s Balance (1995), the band’s tenth studio album and the first one I purchased. It was released in January, a few weeks after my birthday. I was eager to buy myself a couple of birthday gifts at the Sam Goody’s in the Prince Kuhio Plaza. Spent a good hour or so browsing, and settled on Balance and Steve Howe’s Not Necessarily Acoustic (1994). The guy behind the register was a fellow English major at school, a guy I was friendly with but never liked being in class with. He was part of a group of students who some of us called the Disciples, big fans of one particular English professor. She had her admirers and she kind of reveled in it.

I won’t say much more because the guy later married one of my best friends among the English majors and I don’t want to insult either one of them, if somehow they should stumble upon this someday.

Anyway, it was too late to sneak out; we’d seen each other and I had two CDs in my hand. So I placed my purchases on the counter, and of course he commented. He scoffed at “fake Van Halen” (this was the fourth album with Sammy Hagar on lead vocals) but approved of Steve Howe. And before I could get annoyed, he gave me his employee discount on the CDs. Suddenly I didn’t find him quite as annoying.

It turned out to be Van Halen’s second-least memorable album (the first is coming up in a few days in my retrospective), and I never listened to it very much except for a couple of tracks. Listening to it now is different. It’s a good album. Solid, and slightly different-sounding from the album before (For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge). I really enjoyed getting to know it again, hearing many of the songs for what felt like the first time. I think I’m going to put it on repeat Wednesday too. No photo for this journal because the album cover’s kind of disturbing.

So thank you, husband of my friend and pretty nice guy. I still have the CD you sold me on discount in a long-gone shopping mall music store, and I enjoy it more today than I did 25 years ago.

Pandemic days continue, and so does my offer to connect with you if you’re in need of some connection. Leave a comment and I’ll send you contact info.

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