Lockdown: Sticky situations

In Friday’s issue of Thursday’s mundania:

  • Waking up
  • Dragging myself to the desk
  • Staring at static words on a field of white
  • Breakfast and lunch (the turkey’s bad)
  • A Zoom meeting and some editing — tiptoeing
  • Stickers!
  • Dinner: Everyone needs a can to hold onto
  • December writing project one: rougher seas
  • Opening a vein
  • Too much snacking
  • “I like to give joy away for free”
  • Do ya think I’m texty?
  • I wanna text you up

Not the worst sleep in the world Wednesday night but neither the best. I think I got five good, solid, uninterrupted hours, and was shocked to discover it when I awoke. There are mornings when I wake up and I just know I slept so soundly that a succubus could have visited me in my chamber and had its way with me and I wouldn’t have stirred one bit. Well maybe ONE bit, but that bit, as we all know, is completely disconnected from my brain.

In the world of writing for a nonprofit: nothing meaningful happened for several hours. Words sat there on the page, stubbornly refusing to budge. Whiteness surrounding them refused to be sullied further with my clumsy attempts at poetric prose or anything resembling meaningful exposition.

The solution to my illoquacious, half-hearted attempts was of course to take a break for breakfast and lunch. I used up the last of my turkey broth, some fresh hapa rice, rosemary, garlic powder, salt, vinegar, and a couple of eggs some delicious turkey jook. I had a few pieces of turkey left for this last Thanksgiving memory, but they had turned, so I threw them in the trash, tearfully.

Still a great bowl of soup. I don’t know why I thought Tuesday that a great bowl of soup would be made better with bean sprouts.

We had a good weekly Zoom meeting with the department, during which I shared my struggles with sleep and productivity, not to mention my difficulty getting to the beach for some fresh air and salt water. Others shared similarly, ‘though on the whole, nobody was especially talkative. I think my boss was disappointed. I know she likes spending the time with us.

I got some stickers in the mail from a vendor on Etsy. I really just wanted the dart sticker, but what the heck. She does good work and I had $20, so I got these. One favorite quote from the series I have yet to see on any third-party merch is, “I like to give away joy for free.” My phone case is transparent, so the dart sticker went right in there after I snapped this.

I was sorely tempted to get takeout from somewhere. Or anywhere. I just couldn’t get interested enough in anything to make the effort. And I still had a bunch of fresh rice. So I opened a can of whoop-ass on a can of chili. It was lovely. I added ketchup and extra-sharp cheddar and read the news.

When it was time to write (that is, 8:30 or 9:00), I had a short list of stuff I wanted to get done. I wrote the week’s Friday 5 questions, my journal entry for Wednesday, and a quick review of Haunt’s Mind Freeze. Only it wasn’t very quick.

I’m trying to prepopulate my metal blog with content before I unleash it upon the foolish and the damned, but geez. I couldn’t settle on an approach or a voice, and it was frustrating. I want the writing to be sharp and clear, and I do want to inject my personality, as honestly as I can, because you know how it is when you write about certain areas: you want to establish some cred, and maybe you want people to know you’ve been listening to this music since you were fourteen, and that was a miiiiiiiiiillion years ago.

Except that the “honestly” part involves admitting what I don’t know and what I haven’t listened to. Yeah, I can name metalcore bands but I honestly don’t know what separates them from certain other -core bands, and post-metalcore is still a mystery to me. Yeah, I really enjoyed the Winterfylleth album this year, but black metal, as it grows on me, is still a little bit of a mystery to me. I don’t know yet what I like and why I like it.

This is the stuff I want to communicate because I’m not writing it for an audience. I’m writing it as an exploration of a music I love, and if the writing isn’t candidly reflective enough, it doesn’t serve its primary purpose.

I didn’t figure out until I was brushing my teeth before bed that I have to write a bunch of these before I find the voice I want. This may involve going back later and re-writing some of these early reviews, but that’s cool. I revise for living anyway. Onward. Let’s write a bunch of bad, schizophrenic reviews in order to learn to do this well enough for my intentions.

I saved the most pressing for last, one of the two stories for work I’m late with. I didn’t begin with the most urgent because I knew I’d take as long as I had. I finished at about 1:45 in the morning. If I had begun with it at 9:00, I’d still have finished it at 1:45 in the morning and wouldn’t have finished the other stuff. It sucked to be working so late, but I was determined, and moonlight is very slimming on my prepositional phrases. I opened a vein and bled myself onto the page, stopping periodically to lick the tip of the quill so as to save a few drops for my vampiric self.

When I’m in the middle of a ton of writing I’m not especially enjoying, I eat like a maniac. I’m a hundred percent sure it’s the sensory stimulation I want, something that doesn’t distract me from my work but makes me feel something besides the strain of squeezing transitions out of an already wrung-out brain. During my evening writing, I had a small bag of chips, three clementines, a large bottle of hard cider, and a Diet Pepsi. I caught myself several times wandering to the fridge just to open it up and see what might ignite one of my senses without taking me off my task. I very nearly made a tofu-kimchi salad, and I considered making a small pot of penne with a drizzle of olive oil and some grated cheese. Ugh. It was frustrating, but I’m glad I didn’t go too far overboard.

Writing is unhealthy, I tell you.

Then instead of going to bed, I re-watched a few of my favorite Ted Lasso moments from the “Diamond Dogs” episode. The darts scene. The “I like to give away joy for free” scene, and its subsequent “You, with the effing eyes” scene. I think I watched them three or four times each.

There was some silliness in the Cindy-Suzanne-Julie group text, which I stayed out of. I sent Ali this photo of my Ted Lasso stickers, which led to a short conversation. Crush Girl and I talked a little about one of my favorite coworkers who’s leaving next week. A real bummer, and she’s being mysterious about what she has lined up. She mentioned some things she’s lining up for the holidays. Good conversation, if a bit brief.

Here they come. The holidays. Are you ready? Are you connected? Are you drifting with the flotsam, hoping to be left by the receding tide with the rest of the jetsam? Don’t float alone. Leave me a comment if, like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, you could use a little tethering.

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