Lockdown: Swap meet and curry meat

I slept a little better than usual Saturday night but it still wasn’t very good. I set my alarm early, not to hit the beach this time (I think I’m just going to avoid weekends there altogether) but to hit the swap meet.

It’s probably the most juvenile thing I do, but I realized some years ago that I like wearing black t-shirts, so much that when I’m not wearing a black t-shirt, I wish I were. I feel weird not wearing black. So I have some nicer black t-shirts I save for certain occasions (most of my concert tees are black, so of course I wear them to concerts) and some cheapo — but not necessarily unattractive — black tees I wear every day. The everyday shirts I get at the swap meet.

There are a whole bunch of shirt vendors at the swap meet, spread around the permiter of the stadium, who mostly carry the same stuff at the same prices. A certain higher-quality shirt brand lately goes for $5 a shirt, or five shirts at $20. They feature Hawaii-themed, multicolor designs on the back, with a smaller identical image on the front left, where a breast pocket might go.

When you wear the same ten shirts every day, they don’t last very long. Most of them hold up well structurally, but they fade, get a little thin, and sometimes stretch. Still wearable, but slovenly-looking after six to eight months.

Since nobody sees me these days, I’ve been wearing the most recent shirts for quite a bit longer, and it looks pretty terrible. When I drove to my parents’ house Saturday, a sign in front of the stadium announced modified hours for the swap meet: open at 6:30 on Sundays.

I figured it would be pretty easy to dash in, grab ten shirts, and dash out without encountering too many people at 6:30. So I did, and I did, and I did. Ten new black tees are in my car now waiting for a first launder, and I’m quite pleased.

Then I ran a couple of errands related to paying my rent, and dropped off Penny’s birthday gift. Then went to the office for my weekly in-office work.

It all went swimmingly. Got home at about 2:00 to catch the ends of the Seahawks-Niners and Bears-Saints games, then put on the Cowboys-Eagles game, took a nap, did some chores, and thought about NaNoWriMo.

Around 9:45 I got started on the novel, a cozy mystery set in a Hawaii public high school. The working title is Finals Resting Place. I was joined on Skype by my longtime NaNo friend Jen, and we did a couple of ten-minute word sprints, both of which she beat me in. But by 11:45 I had 2023 words, a few hundred more than the 1,667 words per day one must write to meet the goal by November 30. A nice start.

I texted a bunch of people Sunday to ask if they were familar with the term “dead week,” and only Suzanne had heard of it. At HBA when I was a student, we called the week before finals week Dead Week. It was the week when no field trips or other extracurricular activities were allowed, so we could all focus on reviewing for exams. When I was a teacher at HBA, we no longer called it Dead Week.

But I Googled it, and I know it’s not specific to HBA in the 80s. It’s a thing. Just not a thing any of my friends have heard of.

I wanted to go with Dead Week for my working title, darn it. A little bit of brainstorming with Ali led me to Finals Resting Place and I think it’ll do for now.

The writing partner and I texted a little about our projects. She’s not doing NaNo, but was interested in what I’m working on. Sharon asked me for some advice on what to buy for Japanese curry. I actually had an educated answer about the cut of meat she was looking for.

Breakfast, eaten at my desk in the office, was from the Taco Bell drive-through. It was great. Lunch when I got home was a manapua left over from Saturday. For dinner I tried to eat leftover Korean veggies from last Sunday but they tasted a little strange to me so I ate several bites and threw them out. Took me that long to decide I just didnt’ know what I was eating. Sometimes with certain sour foods you can’t tell if the sourness is normal or spoilage. It’s too bad because I could have used some veggies.

So I just had another leftover manapua and a couple of hot dogs with sauerkraut, ketchup, and mustard.

I’m due for a trip to the grocery store Monday night, but if I don’t make decent progress on leftovers, I may have to just go in for a week’s worth of stuff. Fridge is getting a little cramped but I’m down to my last two Diet Pepsis.

One problem with trying to make new dishes is you end up with opened, unfinished bottles of oyster sauce and mirin which are too useful to throw out but which you never used much before you made the one dish. I may give myself two weeks off from new dishes and just work my way through some of these half-consumed ingredients in some way.

NaNo’s going to be a challenge this year, but I’m interested in seeing if I can put something decent together with stuff I learned from previous attempts at cozy mysteries.

It’s freaking November. This is insanity. Madness. I can’t believe it.

If you need someone to connect with, leave a comment and I’ll send you my contact info. Don’t go into this month of crazy alone, because you don’t have to.

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