Lockdown: It’s put a spell on me

the spelling bee puzzle from december 2

I slept without Darth Vader Saturday night then managed to get it on for about an hour and a half, then took it off because I thought I was getting up, but I fell asleep again for another couple of hours without it. Somehow woke up Sunday feeling mostly refreshed at about 10:30.

I knew I had a long day ahead of me; I just didn’t know if I wanted to get it started early or late. The football games didn’t excite me much, so I packed up and headed to the office, stopping for a turkey sandwich at Subway on my way in.

The one thing I absolutely had to do, despite nobody being on my case about it, was get that late story about the Maui chocolatier done. Done as in submitted in first-draft form to my boss. I don’t know why I’ve been having trouble completing it except that most of my organizational strategies just weren’t working for me.

So I did a blind revision, started all over with a blank page, and at first everything flowed and I thought I had it, but then I bogged down. I was boring myself, and that’s not easy to do. So I yanked out the stuff I thought was interesting but distracting to the story and muscled my way to a finish. It’s not my best work but it’s a good start. I hope my boss has some good critique to help me polish it up a little.

That took a few hours. I’m mad at myself for being so late with it and for taking so long just to draft it today. Took a little break, walking a whole bunch of empty plastic Diet Pepsi bottles (four grocery bags’ full) to the little park near the office where there are always homeless people hanging out. Found a woman with a cart and asked if she was collecting bottles, and could I give her mine. She didn’t seem happy to see me, but she said thank you when I left the bottles on the ground near her cart.

There were more restaurants open in the neighborhood than I expected, and although you get tired of them quickly when you work in the area, I don’t exactly work in the area anymore, so they were a welcome site. I picked up a pastrami sandwich from La Pizza Rina, ate it at my desk, then wrapped gifts while my software updated.

I got Christmas gifts for more people in the office than usual. I miss my coworkers and want them to know I’m thinking of them, so I wrapped, signed cards, and left things on people’s desks. Hoping they bring a little bit of encouragement and cheer.

Finally rolled out at about 10:15 in the evening, dang it. I feel good about the productivity, but I wish I didn’t put myself in a position where I had to do it Sunday.

Now I’m having a Corona as I think about this coming week. I have a few hours off here and there to take care of car stuff, Christmas stuff, beach stuff, and decluttering stuff, and I should decide now what’s the must-do stuff and what’s just aspirational.

My uncle sent me an IG message, shared from someone else’s account, with a super positive message, so we chatted a little about that. Ali responded to some stuff I sent her; I think there may have been a miscommunication but I’m trying not to let it bug me.

Crush Girl texted me to say she’s been reading this book I lent her a year ago. I’ve kind of been wanting to re-read it, so I’m glad to hear it, but mostly I’m glad that she wanted to read it and I had a copy of it and she’s (most likely) enjoying it now.

The Suzanne-Julie-Cindy group text is definitely not the place for a Taylor discussion, I realized, so Julie and I will probably break it down on our own. She sent me a thought about one of the song titles. I sent her a screen shot from a book I’m reading. It’s a start.

You know what I’m really annoyed about? There’s this puzzle on the NYT puzzles page called Spelling Bee. You have to make as many four-letter (or longer) words as you can with the letters in the grid, but the letter in the middle must be included in every word. There’s this scoring ladder you climb with ranking based on your score. More points for longer words, and a bonus for finding the daily pangram, the word or words using all letters in the grid.

I played it when it first hit the website, but it wasn’t doing anything for me so I focused on the crosswords, which are still my main purpose for existence. But for the past month or so I’ve been doing the Spelling Bee puzzles daily, enjoying the challenge of hitting the highest ranking, “genius.” I always hit “amazing,” the second-highest ranking, sometimes with difficulty but usually with ease. Hitting genius is always a challenge but I’d say I get it five or six days a week. And for some reason the pangram almost always pops into my head as soon as I see the puzzle.

Anyway I was so preoccupied Sunday that I missed the puzzle entirely, and as I write this the Monday puzzle is already up. I’m so bummed. There’s no way to play the puzzle once it’s the next day.

I’ll get over it. I guess I’ll attempt Monday’s puzzle now, or at least work on it until midnight, by which time I’m supposed to get ready for bed.

Don’t pandemic disconnectedly. Leave a comment and I’ll send you my contact info if connection is what you need. It’s what we all need.

PS: ANTICLIMACTIC. You saw it right away, right?

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