Friday 5: High voltage

From here. This week’s questions taken from AC/DC song lyrics in recognition of the band’s new album, which is pretty dang good.

  1. Are you ready for a good time?
    I’m eager to have one, but I don’t think I see one in the near future, at least not until after the new year. I may have a good time on my own January 20, which I am absolutely looking forward to. Sorry Mel.
  2. What do you do for money, honey?
    I’m a writer for a non-profit. It’s good work and I do it with good people. This is all I ask of my career, so I’m pretty happy where I am. I jumped in too late to be called a lifer, but I don’t envision myself leaving.
  3. Who’s your friend and who’s your foe?
    My foes are COVID-19 and government officials who subvert the democratic process, including those government officials who indulge, encourage, or empower other officials toward this subversion. My friends are (to quote a character in Ted Lasso) “good people trying to make a difference.” I’ve worked in a few different career-type jobs these past couple of decades and I’ve made very good friends at them all, good people trying to make a difference. Ross, George, Valerie, and Traci at HBA. Alison, Kerri, Susannah, and Sandi at Assets. Keith and Juli at KCC. Suzanne, Julie, Cindy (especially Cindy), Wendy, and Shellet at the engineering firm. Sylvia, Patty, Sharon, and Ali where I work now.
  4. What do you do that’s guaranteed?
    I am almost guaranteed to find new ways to mess up. Everywhere I’ve worked except the engineering firm and the community college has rules in the books added because of something I did. Mmm maybe not the current place, but it’s only a matter of time.
  5. Do you wanna journey?
    So much. I was already coming down with some wanderlust before this thing started. Wanted to make a few repairs to my car first, then was going to go on a few trips. I even pay for an email subscription to this service that alerts me when there are super low fares somewhere, including mistake fares that the airlines usually honor. I’ve paid for two years and have taken zero trips. I figure when I take one it will pay for the subscription, and when I take a second I’ll come out ahead. However, this is unlikely to happen any time soon! See my answer to number three about foes!

Lockdown: Be a goldfish

Slogging through Friday

Friday wasn’t my best day, production-wise at work. I struggled to focus and made very little progress on any of the documents I had open in front of me. I basically resigned myself to working over the weekend on some of it, something I try not to do. I’ve got enough work-related stuff I try to do on weekends without adding the work I meant to get done Friday, but alas, and here we are.

I did make some progress on my entries for the staff newsletter. I had to go to my already-determined Plan B on the film review. I was collaborating on a list of documentaries with one of our new coworkers, not realizing she’s still on the continent and is moving here Wednesday. Moving sucks, and she doesn’t need the stress of creating content in the middle of her relocating week.

Bring on the darkness

Mostly vegged after work, then got going in the NaNo Skype. The energy was pretty determined. We did multiple word wars in succession, getting me across 2000 words in about ninety minutes, with enough conversation along the way to keep us all encouraged and tapping away. I finished at 2222 words.

There were a few big new releases Friday. I gave the new Dark Tranquility album a spin. Melodic death metal’s not my favorite genre, but some of my favorite metal bands are solidly in it, including Children of Bodom and In Flames. The Dark Tranquility is pretty good; I may have to revisit their earlier work. And maybe more melodeath. My musical tastebuds may be changing. My earbuds?

The new Killer Be Killed album is fantastic. Difficult band to categorize. It’s a supergroup made of members of bands I haven’t listened much to, except for bassist Troy Sanders of Mastodon, whose every album I own. and whom I’ve seen in concert twice. It mostly thrash with a hint of prog metal, but it also leans heavily toward groove metal. I’m biased, so the songs Sanders does lead vocals on are my favorite, and they sound the most like Mastodon.

Reluctant Hero a good, heavy, head-nodding album. There are that I could easily spin for non-metalhead friends without worrying they’d be frightened off. Heavy but not nasty-heavy, not face-melting heavy. Very listenable. A good candidate for my top 20 of 2020. I may have to give Dillinger Escape Plan and Soulfly an extended listen because the band says its sound is sort of a blend of all their primary bands’ sounds.

I got ready for bed and then watched the rest of Ted Lasso. Geez what a good program. Go watch it.

Daily minutiae

Breakfast was from Taco Bell and it was delicious and I didn’t have the faintest twinge of regret. I skipped lunch, then made some angel hair for dinner, topped with most of the rest of my bagna càuda. I had a few crackers with extra-sharp cheddar to snack on while I noveled.

Sylvia texted to ask if Whamageddon is in effect now, because she heard the song this morning while passing someone’s desk. I said I honestly didn’t have a clue, since everything I know about Whamageddon is from her, but it seemed to me it wouldn’t begin until after Thankgiving.

My classmate Tiger texted me to see if I could talk. We haven’t spoken in a year or so, so of course I said yeah. You never know. She called me and of course it was to ask about my feelings about MLMs. I confessed to her something I was planning to tell her anyway: that I had attended one of Vicky’s MLM things via Zoom, so of course I was going to attend one of hers, if she thought it would help her. It was a good conversation. I miss my classmates.

I haven’t spent any money yet, but I’m open to it. Vicky sells Young Living. Tiger sells a number of different MLM lines, including Amway. Bring it on.

Sharon and I discussed a few work-related things. We had a positive test in one of our on-campuses offices, so that whole office was cleaned and everyone stayed home for two weeks. Ali texted, responding to a video I sent her of a man feeding a bunch of raccoons. It led to some other conversation. She seems mostly likely to text me late Friday evenings, when she’s up getting her schoolwork done. I’ll take it.

I also texted Crush Girl to recommend Ted Lasso.

That was Friday. Another in a long line of lockdown Fridays with no end in sight. Don’t go through it alone. If you need someone to connect with, hit me up in comments. We can text or DM or whatever. Here come the holidays like a giant wall of heavy groove metal.

Lockdown: Biscuits with the boss

The last session of the workshop Thursday morning went well. It was kind of a wrap-up with final questions and then each participant shared one takeaway from the workshop. Most of us gave variations of the same answer, including me. The Pixar pitch. Useful stuff.

Then I took a nap because dang I was tired. And then I worked horribly inefficiently on some stories and this proposal thing I’m doing for someone. Then I posted a news release story on our website, and composed the social media copy and wrote an email to my supervisor complaining about the writing.

That took a while and I didn’t sign off for the day until past seven.

I went for a late breakfast, getting takeout from a sandwich shop in my hood. It was an enormous sandwich and super delicious. I can’t wait to go back and try some of the smaller sandwiches on the menu. If they’re made with this kind of care, they’re going to be outstanding and not as sinful.

It was so much food I skipped lunch. Then for dinner I had the leftover stuffed pepper and some leftover Korean veggies. Kim chi, mostly, with a little bit of choi sum and some seaweed mixed in. It was a good dinner.

Good energy in the NaNo Skype. We got a really nice group of writers, and when this happens, the little community that springs up is great for writing. NaNo is a lot easier when you’ve got some community going on, something this lone wolf was surprised to learn many years ago. Writing is a lonely thing, not merely in the social sense but in the existing sense. You’ve got this thing to say and only you can say it. Or you’ve got this dream and only you can make it happen. Or you’re putting these thoughts together only for you and you may be the only person who ever reads them.

I powered through my words, hitting 2198 words with a little bit of effort near the end. That last couple hundred for the night, to push you past 2K, can be tough.

I shouldn’t have done this, but when I was done, I got myself ready for bed, got comfy, and watched the first two episodes of Ted Lasso.

Okay listen. Just listen. It’s a stupid title for a series. The premise doesn’t sound that interesting. I’ve heard people in my media consumption talk about it, and at first I let it swoop past me. It just didn’t sound great. Then more voices chimed in, and the old voices repeated themselves and the sentiment that kept coming up was this show is super, super positive, and super, super sweet. And stuff like “It’s what I needed this month, and I didn’t even know I needed it.”

So two weekends ago, I downloaded all ten episodes to my phone and finally gave the first episode a look last night and cruised right through the second. It’s what everyone says it is. Positive and sweet and exactly what I needed. As I’m writing this I’ve now seen eight episodes, and each one made me laugh aloud and tear up a bit, and sometimes both at once. Go ahead and read a description but don’t let it make your mind up. Just watch the first episode and a half. I’ll be surprised if you don’t stick with it. This series is something special. Oh, it’s on Apple TV+. Sorry. If it’s avaiable to rent or purchase on the other platforms, just rent the first two episodes. Seriously. You’ll want to rent or purchase the rest. And no, you don’t have to care about or love sports.

I was up too late and it was very irresponsible, but I don’t care. This conference has made my life difficult and I needed some self-indulgence. I mean beyond a gigantic $12 deli sandwich.

Thursday I didn’t text much. Recommended Ted Lasso to Penny, then to Crush Girl. Crush Girl and I texted a little about the weather and about swimming. I think the nightly Skypes for NaNo are giving me most of what I need, so the texting has decreased this month.

However. Feel free to reach out if you could use some too. Freaking pandemic and crazy current events. Just, you know. Reach out. Leave a comment.

Lockdown: Starmaker — sleep taker, heartbreaker

Woke up at 2:30 Wednesday morning, slightly later than usual, but since I already knew what I was going to do after the laundry (zip home and get to bed!), I didn’t stress getting off to a bit of a later start.

There were some shady-looking people in the parking lot of the supermarket where I like to get my drinking water. Nobody messed with me, though. I must look badass in my mask or something.

Got a Big Mac combo from the McD’s drive-though and got to work at the laundry. I had an assignment due by six in the morning, so I worked on it while the clothes did their watery somersaults.

I think it came out pretty well. It was a thank-you letter to the donor we wrote our proposal for in the earlier assignment. Since my proposal was an actual work in progress, if we get what we’re going after, I already have a decent thank-you letter for our CEO to sign. Pretty nice. And if not, I have a decent letter to use for some other thing later.

I got home around 5:30 and was back in bed by 6:00. I had a 10:30 one-on-one with my supervisor at 10:30, and I had Jocelyn’s thing to format and edit, so I got up around 9:30 and got that stuff done. Then it was back to bed for a little while longer.

I had to prep a news release for the website. It was pretty low-maintenance, mostly because it went through a lot of hands for approval before it got to me, so even though I would love to have taken a little red pen to some of the sentences, I left it all alone and just focused on formatting.

I almost never get takeout for lunch on workdays lately, but despite a fridge full of groceries and leftovers, I went to the strip mall for Korean takeout. Barbecue chicken plate and a veggie plate. I like loading up on Korean veggies to last me the next several nights.

That was lunch and dinner, and I had a lot of leftovers.

The Skype was chatty but also very productive. I got 2030 words and signed off a little early. Tried to get to bed early-ish because of the 7:00 workshop session Thursday morning.

Suzanne texted to ask how I’m sleeping. I forgot to get back to her so I just did it now. Up late for NaNoWriMo, up early for the workshop. Not good. Crush Girl and I texted very little, but we did have some contact.

And that was Wednesday. I totally appreciate this writers conference my employer is paying to send me to, but I’m so glad it’s over Thursday morning.

If you need someone to connect with, I hope you’ll leave a comment. I’m bleary-eyed and fuzzy-brained, but I’ll try to be there for whatever’s on your mind.

Lockdown: Minutiae Man

Oops. I forgot to write about Monday before I wrote about Tuesday. It’s been this kind of two weeks.

It’s just as well, to be honest. Seriously, the days don’t differ much, one from the other, except for stuff I eat and people I interact with and media I consume. It’s the whole reason this lockdown journal exists, so the days don’t blur together into an objectless blurry photo. I write about the minutiae of daily work and living because the minutiae is all there is.

I stayed up far too late Sunday evening because that’s what I do Sundays when I don’t go to the beach Monday. I don’t even remember what I did, except not go to bed. I hate giving in without a fight to the weekend’s conclusion.

You’d think Monday was a holiday, based on the paltry few emails I got. Three emails from two coworkers. I sent a few more than that, replying to emails from late last week. I mostly spent the day staring at my Maui donor story without really making any progress. I also spent time flipping through my notes from the workshop last week.

I watched Pitch Perfect 3 for the fifth and sixth times in four days, opting to let it play while I worked on my NaNo project. The Skype was pretty subdued, but I kicked out 2322 words.

I think I may have had a slice of pumpkin-custard pie for breakfast. I tripped my way to the fridge for a Diet Pepsi, took the box out, cut out a small(ish) slice, and ate it right over the sink with my hands, the way one eats a slice of pizza. As dining experiences go, it lacked a certain grace. As early-morning sensory stimulation goes, it was just about perfect. I felt like the up-all-night cat devouring the early bird for a late night snack. I also ate some kulolo for a snack. That might have been lunch.

Dinner I remember very well. I boiled some angel hair pasta and tossed in some of that delicous bagna càuda, topping with some canned parmesan. Heavenly.

I texted my sister to give her a little update on my parents. Then Ryan to ask him if he was aware that there were imposter accounts on IG for him and his daughter on the same day. Sharon actually texted me first to tell me about the Ryan account. I saw the daughter account myself. Crush Girl texted me to talk about a new series she’s been watching on Netflix. I hadn’t heard of it but I was pleased to see one of the main characters is an Asian teen.

If was supposed to go to bed early but I’m a doofus and stuck around in the NaNo Skype longer than I meant to — by two hours. I was going to be dragging Tuesday for the workshop but this is the price of creating art. Even crappy art.

Leave a comment if you’re feeling disconnected. Here come the holidays. Like a cat pouncing on a bird, or a bird pouncing on a worm. Don’t get slurped by winter.

Lockdown: Peppers and stuff

As I did last Tuesday, this Tuesday I got out of bed at about 4:30 so I could do a Starbucks and McD’s run before the 6:00 conference session. I got my fifth (or so) pumpkin spice latte of the season and another couple of breakfast sandwiches and settled in. It was going to be a long morning.

For the large group sessions, we’re watching streaming video of the presenters, but we’re not on video or audio ourselves. There’s a chat window instead, and an interactive poll widget. I chimed in once or twice but nothing especially insightful. At one point in a late-morning session on writing case statements, I did say, “This is all for real but nobody listens to the lowly staff writer,” to which another participant replied, “Very true.”

We had three presentations of varying lengths. They were all interesting, and the presenters were all great. But they are all seated in front of their computers, just speaking to us and leading us through slides. It’s good for what it is, but if I ever get asked to lead one of these things (and I’ve been asked, for a local group, but I never got the okay from my employer), I’m going to lock myself in one of the conference rooms at the office with a lapel mic and camera with a wide angle, and present on my feet as if I were conducting a class. I don’t really know how to teach sitting down.

That’s not entirely true. Good teaching is good teaching, but I would at least try to deliver while on my feet, if for no other reason than to break the monotony.

We broke into our smaller sessions and had a nice discussion about thank-you letters. Especially helpful was a list of phrases never to use. Ha. When I first started in this job, I didn’t realize how some of the language sounded. I adopted stuff I soaked in from reading existing content. I figured it out, though, and was pleased to see many of the things on the presenters’ list match my own list of taboo phrases.

I mostly worked on my assignment, due at six o’clock Wednesday morning, for the rest of my Tuesday, with breaks for the twice-weekly department Zoom meeting and a pretty decent nap. Hey, I started my work day at six; I was entitled to a good, long break.

Of course, focusing on my conference stuff means I’m behind on my real stuff, but I’ve tried to communicate to people waiting on work from me that this conference is important to me. I don’t want to blame my real work for my missing the deadline on my first assignment last week, but it played a part, and I never got critique on something I worked really hard on. Dang it.

Between the end of work and the beginning of NaNoing, I left the TV on after the evening news, and it was The Bachelorette. Which I have never watched. I’ll tell you what, though. The new Bachelorette, who stepped in after the season’s original Bachelorette left the program last week, is freaking gorgeous. I watched it just so I could keep looking at her.

I took a while to get warmed up in our NaNo Skype session, mostly because I really wanted to get all my laundry-night stuff done. I wrote somewhere around 1100 words, about two-thirds the daily minimum and half my daily goal, but they were a pretty good 1100 words, and by the time I got rolling, the energy in the Skype room was really good.

Finally got to sleep at midnight. Woke up at 2:30 to head for the laundry. Whee.

Breakfast was an Egg McMuffin, hash browns, and oh yeah, a local deluxe breakfast platter. That was way too much food. I skipped lunch.

For dinner I made stuffed peppers. First time. I was disappointed to learn you cook the filling first and then stuff it into the peppers, and then cook it some more. Cooking things twice is mostly something I avoid these days. Most recipes called for also par-cooking the peppers before stuffing them, but screw that. They also said you don’t have to if you like your peppers crisper. Fine with me.

There were a hundred recipes, each different from the others, but the basic idea was to make a tasty ground beef and rice mixture, then stuff the peppers, then cook in the oven. So I winged the filling. Ground beef, tomato sauce, garlic powder, leftover rice, red onion, and halved grape tomatoes. I had three peppers. Stuffed one with this filling. Added kim chi to the filling for a second pepper. Added doubanjiang to a third. Dinner was the first two. I’ll have the third sometime Wednesday.

I texted Sharon to tell her how freaking gorgeous the new Bachelorette is. I don’t know why but I thought she was into the show. She’s not, but it led to some good conversation about her, and we segued into some talk about work. I also texted Suzanne because she kind of loves trashy stuff, and she turned her TV on right away so we could text while we watched together. THAT is a friend.

I also got a late text from a coworker who needed help with some formatting on a document.

Crush Girl and I texted back and forth most of the day, talking about Thanksgiving dishes and some of the latest COVID-19 news.

Many things about this crappy pandemic suck hairy donkey balls, and one of them is the isolation and disconnectedness some of us feel. If that’s you and you need someone, leave a comment and I’ll send you some contact info.

Lockdown: Each one beach one

I got sort of a decent sleep Saturday night, possibly because Saturday was so mellow, or maybe because I didn’t watch the news. Or I guess because I was so sleep-deprived last week and my brain needed to catch up.

I still got up kind of early after not enough sleep, to hit the beach for the first time in two weeks. I got a good parking and jumped in while it was still pretty dark. I wanted to get out before there were too many others on the beach or in the water, and it mostly worked. There was an alarming number of people out there by the time I showered and drove away.

I picked up a few groceries at Foodland Farms, then hit the office. I didn’t have that much work, so I hoped to be out by 11:30. I got out just past noon and I guess that’s okay. Got home in time to watch some football and do a few chores. I think I even took a short nap.

Banged out 2322 words in the NaNo Skype. It was sparsely attended but three of us made good use of the time.

I picked up breakfast in the McD’s drive-through. I wasn’t planning to, but I’m driving with a very expired safety inspection sticker on the back of my car, and in order to avoid driving past a police car on my way to the beach, I pulled into the McD. Egg McMuffin combo, eaten at the beach before I jumped in the water.

For lunch, when I picked up groceries at Foodland Farms, I also picked up a roast beef sandwich. For a pre-made sandwich it was excellent. Ate it in the office while my software was updating.

For dinner I attempted bagna càuda, thanks to a recipe Jennifer sent me some time ago. Olive oil, anchovies, garlic, butter. I don’t think I got it quite right — the photos I’ve seen look pretty different from what I ended up with, but it was still delicious. I dipped a couple of bagels in it for my dinner, then put the rest in the fridge for Monday’s dinner.

I don’t think I texted with anyone Sunday. It’s always the slow day for texts, and it was fine. I had a good, relaxing day and there was good connection in the NaNo Skype.

You got that too if you need it. Just leave a comment.

Lockdown: Pitch imperfect

I didn’t get much sleep Friday night, so when I got up super early to hit the beach, I immediately just turned around and went back to bed. As much as I needed the sun, sea, and salt air on my body, I needed sleep more.

It was a good decision. I slept well for the remainder of the morning. Got up in time to pick up a pumpkin-custard pie from Hawaiian Pie Co. and a combo plate from Young’s Fish Market. I’ve sorta been thinking about that Hawaiian food ever since the last time I had it a month or so ago and Saturday seemed like a good day for a return. Picked up some kulolo there too.

I took it pretty easy Saturday day. Napped a little. Did a lot of personal writing. Finally slid Pitch Perfect 3 into the Blu-Ray player. I hadn’t seen it since the first time in a theater, and forgot how truly bad a lot of it is. Still, it made me pretty happy. I also watched the second half of I Love Trouble (which I forgot to mention I started Friday night), and quickly scribbled my review (below this journal entry).

When I met with the Skype group, we were all pretty motivated, waging several word wars in a short time. When I thought I’d had enough, I saw I was a couple of hundred words away from 25K, so I wrote some more and hit 2558 words, my third-highest one-day total this month. And I went just past the midway mile marker. Yay.

I spent a little bit of time looking up places selling Thanksgiving family meals. I’m not getting together with my family, but I want to buy my parents a meal. Maybe a large meal so I can take half of it and give them the other half. I’m running out of options and need to do this soon — lots of places are sold out, including Zippy’s and Foodland.

Tried to go to bed a little early, in hopes (again) of hitting the beach Sunday morning.

So breakfast and lunch were the Hawaiian food. Dinner was a slice of pie and some kulolo. Not a great dinner, I have to say, but I was a bit too full of Hawaiian food for a real meal.

Penny’s laptop came in, so she texted me to ask a few questions. I helped her through them and haven’t heard back so I’m guessing she got it working okay. Ali texted to say she saw the new Borat movie and wanted to know what I thought. Crush Girl texted to ask if I’ve seen a certain Netflix series a lot of people are talking about lately. Some friends have said they think I specifically would find it very interesting. I mentioned this stuff to Crush Girl and she said she hasn’t seen it yet but has been seeing the ads.

Vaccine news is encouraging, but it’s going to be several months before regular shmoes like you and me get a chance at them. This means we have to remain vigilant and safe. I admit I’m getting a little antsy. I’d like to eat out, or write my stupid novel in a cafe, or zip down to the Cannery to catch a very late movie. It’s not happening anytime soon. I’m psychically prepared for it; are you? If not, leave a comment and I’ll send you contact info. We can help each other through this mess.

Review: I Love Trouble

I Love Trouble (1994)
Julia Roberts, Nick Nolte.  Written by Charles Shyer and Nancy Meyers. Directed by Charles Shyer.

What a stinker of a movie.  I Love Trouble is proof you can’t just throw together two charismatic actors and expect them to work well on screen.  This is not to say Julia Roberts and Nick Nolte as investigative reporters for rival Chicago newspapers have no chemistry at all, and they are both skilled enough to create a certain believability, but every time they kiss in this film, all I could think was, “Gross.”  Except that one time I said, “Ew” instead.

Roberts and Nolte famously did not get along while making this film (Julia said Nolte is the worst actor she’s ever worked with), but I seriously don’t think their dislike for one another is the reason the movie is so bad.  It’s the writing, which is preposterous.  Nolte’s character is a cartoon, both actors deliver lines they must have hated, and the movie doesn’t give us any reason to believe their characters have genuine feelings for one another.

It still has its moments as the reporters realize the only way they’re going to get to the bottom of a suspicious train crash is by working together.  There are a few genuinely funny moments, and a few lines that had me laughing aloud, a few clever turns of phrase.  And of course Julia is beautiful to look at, her doe eyes and toothy smile lighting up the screen as they always do.

Its few good moments make it not a complete waste of time, but keep your expectations low.  It’s one of the worst Julia Roberts films I’ve seen.


Lockdown: My excerpt opinion

I wrote about Thursday this morning, so if you’re a completist keep reading after this entry, or skip to that one before this. I know how particular you can be.

Friday I had a super light schedule. I actually had nothing on the calendar, and nothing needing my immediate attention, so I worked on a couple of stories. A donor story about a chocolate farm and a donor story about Hawaiian archaeology.

After work I watched the news and just chilled. It was a long, busy week, and I had time to breathe for the first time. I didn’t have any work due early next week, so I could probably take the entire weekend just to relax. I spun the new AC/DC album about six times — it was quite good, probably the best album they’ve recorded since the 80s.

I was ready to crank when we had our NaNo Skype session. The energy wasn’t very high; I think people were really tired. But I banged away on the keys while they chatted, and got 2130 words, putting me back on pace.

Of course most of what I’m writing is garbage, but underneath and amid the garbage are some good story ideas. I think with a lot of work, I can turn this into quite the readable cozy mystery. This month, I’m just going where it takes me and see what else I come up with.

Here’s a little excerpt of Friday night’s writing. You’ll see it has a little bit of rhythm and flow but lacks narrative and could really be trimmed to about half this length.

“Stacie, I feel stupid bringing this up, but you do know about the bookmaking, right?”

“What do you mean?  In the art classes?”

“No that’s bookbinding.  I’m talking about Martin.  He was kind of a wannabe bookie for a little while.”

“He took bets?”

“Yeah.  Nothing big time, just friendly wagers.  But a lot of friendly wagers among the faculty.”

“Did you make bets?”

“Yes, I placed bets almost every week during football season.  Little ones, like twenty five bucks here and there.  Never more than a hundred bucks a week.”

This was definitely it.  It had to be.  People were always getting murdered over gambling wages.  It’s why Hawaii is one of only two states in the nation with no form of legalized gambling at all, a fact many residents were frustrated wtih.  People like to gamble, and as long as they’re playing with their own money, why should anyone care?  I admitted I mostly agreed.

That government which governs best governs least, and all that.

“Graham, don’t you think this has to be it?  Martin was killed because he was a bookkeeper?”

“Bookmaker.  And no.  He quit doing it years ago.”


“He was doing it to make a few extra bucks, and because he loved gambling on sports.  I think he was using his winnings from taking our bets, and making his own.  But he said he gave it up becaue it was taking the enjoyment out of sports for him.”

“GRAHAM!!  This has to be it!  He was taking bets on campus.  He was making bets with someone else.  Somehow things got messy, Martin backed off, and someone killed him.”

“Years later?”

“Maybe someone had a grudge!”

“I guess.”

Breakfast. I drove down to Pancakes and Waffles for a Denver omelette and a mochi waffle, late in the morning. Breakfast and lunch, I should say. For dinner I used up the remainder of the elbow macaroni I bought for the Portuguese bean soup and threw some canned sauce on it, with dried garlic flakes, vodka, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes. It simple but yummy.

Crush Girl and I traded texts through most of the day about swimming, takeout, movies, and our Thanksgiving plans. Vicky texted me a happy Friday message. Reid texted me some info I requested about the pool hours at the park he directs.

That was it. An uncomplicated, mellow Friday. I need more days like this.

If you need someone to connect with, these pandemic days are likely to get crazier. So don’t go through it alone. Leave a comment and I’ll send you some contact info.