Lockdown: Sweatshop

Sooooooooo I went to bed around midnight Wednesday and woke up at 3:00 Thursday morning to get back at it. It took me until about 3:30 to get to my desk. Traffic on the way to work was horrible; there was a bit of congestion at the hallway-livingroom junction.

The stuff I had left was generally tedious work I don’t mind doing when I’m not in a hurry, which is one reason I did it in the wee hours, when I wasn’t on company time. We have this enormous, highly confidential database of people associated with the university, and this major publication I’m working on likes to cite people’s degrees, grad years, and campuses when we write about them. Like this: “Sally Smith (BA ’08, MS ’12 Hilo) met with constituents to talk about…”

It takes a lot of time, and it’s kind of a pain because it’s a huge database, and you can imagine we have a million Sally Smiths in it, and I have to find the one record matching the subject of the sentence, if this Sally is in fact a grad, which may not be the case.

I also checked name spellings, which I’ve adopted as my personal mission. Also tedious, and also something of a guessing game. If the person’s not in the database, I have to hit Google or Linkedin to match the person in the text with the person in the real world, to be sure I’ve got it spelled correctly. This takes a lot of time, too, and I’ll do it again when I’m proofing the assembed draft.

I got through at about 6:30 with one task left. I kind of screwed up a similar task (one huuuuuuge reason I was so late with this assignment to begin with), so I sent a clarifying email to my supervisor and went to bed for a couple of hours.

The first, three-hour sleep was really solid. The second, two-hour sleep was pretty bad, even with Darth Vader. But I kind of expected that, especially with all the junk food I ate while I worked. Chips and wasabi peas, mostly. An ice-cold Diet Pepsi. Oh yeah, there’s the reason, I guess, although I drank that early, so it should have mostly been metabolized out of my system.

The rest of the workday was systematically plodding, but productive. Got that last thing done. Posted a news release on the website and looked up the social media tags so our social media person wouldn’t have to do it. Another tedious task, looking up FB, IG, and Twitter accounts, if they exist, for tagging in our social posts. Then I wrote the posts, mostly as suggestions, for the person who officially handles the accounts.

When the day was done, I was super tired, and I considered just vegging in front of the TV, but I listened to podcasts instead and did a few chores. I may also have done some online shopping I’ll regret later.

There’s this musician I like, Luke Brindley, who Kickstarted two albums this year. One, This Spaces, is an instrumental, and I’ve been spinning it while writing this week. It’s remarkably good for keeping me in the writing part of my brain. I think I’ll write a full review after a few more spins. It’s a strong candidate for my non-metal album of the year. I haven’t taken the (figurative) cellophane off the other album, even though the non-instrumental is the reason I jumped on the Kickstarter in the first place.

Oh, I don’t know how this happened but I spent a little bit of time reading, too. Still working my way through Sarah Frier’s No Filter, but also dove into a new cozy mystery, an advance copy (!) by a writer I like. I signed up to be on her advance copy team so I could be one of those people who posts reviews of her books before they’re actually published. I think finishing the novel will be one of my things for the weekend.

And looking for my Kindle. Argh.

I kind of skipped breakfast Thursday because of all the junk I ate while writing. For lunch I had a few hot dogs with ketchup, mustard, and sauerkraut. Dinner was leftovers of the baked ahi, with some borderline leftover rice. I had a slice of peach-pear pie for dessert, not really enjoying it because I think I was eating it just to keep from going to bed too early. Ridiculous. The only food I actually enjoyed Thursday were the hot dogs. Since we’re still getting rain and I can’t swim in the ocean, meals are the only real carnal pleasure I have these past few days. Sucks not to enjoy food.

Now that I’ve got that onerous task done, and am settling back into work I’m not letting destroy my psyche, hopefully things will get back to some kind of fake normal.

Grace is terrible about texting, but we got into it a little Thursday evening. She’s working too hard, of course. We talked about voting and this boba spot on her street that used to be my favorite. I’ve cut way, way back on boba, mostly because if I have to get it to go, I’m just not as interested. I miss cafes.

Ali must be busy. I sent her a little update on a coworker’s retirement, and didn’t hear back. It’s been like three or four days of her not returning texts, which is totally fine and actually normal for her.

Crush Girl and I texted some more about her work situation. I gave unsolicited advice, of course. What a mansplainer I can be sometimes.

I feel lucky to have friends with whom I connect via SMS. It’s a low-pressure, non-immediate interaction that suits me very well. If you could use a little of that, please leave a comment and I’ll send you my contact info. You don’t have to go through these damndemic days alone. There’s a cleverer phrase there somewhere but I’m too tired to come up with it.

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