Lockdown: Gee, mail.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

My sleep Saturday night was a joke, even for me. Dragged myself up arond 9:30 to use the bathroom and decided I was up. Read the news, watched some football, goofed around on my phone, ate a small slice of pie.

The auto shop called at 10:31 to say my car was ready, a minute after the start of my fantasy basketball draft. The draft took an hour — I think I did pretty well — and I took another hour getting stuff squared away at home and ready for a trip to the office. Walked down to the shop, paid my ton of money, and drove it home for my stuff.

It was noticeably better. The thing I was most stressed about, this mechanical pop I heard a few times on every drive, coming from my right front axle, was gone. The ball joint. I thought the engine had been running well, but now it ran even better. The tuneup. The car already growls while waiting at red lights and roars as the light turns green, but this time it was practically snarling in idle. The wheel alignment made me realize I’d been wrestling for control of the vehicle for months without really thinking about it. I knew the alignment was bad, probably related to the bad ball joint (as were the bad front tires), but I had no idea how bad it was until I drove it right after the repair.

Picked up two footlong sandwiches from Subway. I figured one for breakfast-slash-lunch and one for a late dinner.

Went to the office and dug in while I updated software. Sharon needed to get in (she doesn’t work in our main office anymore so she doesn’t have a key) so she dropped by when I told her I was in. We stayed far apart, even riding down to our floor in separate elevators, but dang it was nice to see her. It had been nine months.

Her stuff didn’t take long. I tried to work on this article I’m on. It’s not especially difficult but I couldn’t focus, and boy was I tired. I took care of a few housekeeping tasks instead, put an ornament on one of our lobby trees, placed a bunch of healthy(ish) snacks on the reception desk, and took care of a few Christmas things.

I’d loaded four large grocery bags with empty bottle and a small rat in a live trap into my car before leaving the house, so I walked the bottles toward the park where the homeless people are. On the way, I met a woman with two shopping carts, doing something interesting with either a tube of paint or a tube of something edible. I honestly couldn’t tell if she was preparing a meal or working on some kind of art.

“Excuse me. Are you collecting bottles?” I asked.

“Yes, thank you,” she said.

“Can I just put them in here?”

“Yes, thank you.”

“Thank you for taking them off my hands,” I said.

“You’re welcome.”

Cleaned up in the office. Drove up to my preferred rat-releasing spot, and let the little guy go. He seemed happy to be out of the cage. The car handled great coming home a windy-twisty route.

I wasn’t feeling that second Subway sandwich, so I stopped at Liliha Bakery and picked up a meat loaf plate. It was exactly what I needed while also being just what I didn’t need, but ah well. Comfort food.

I was so tired. Took a little bit of a nap that ran too long, so now it’s nearly two in the morning as I write this, and I’m still too tired to be up.

The shop said I’d get my invoice in email but it wasn’t there, hours later. I was using a custom email with my name in the domain (the domain at which this space resides), which Gmail imports into my Gmail account. I did a webmail check directly into that email address and dang it: Gmail hadn’t fetched mail from that box all weekend. Among the not-yet-retrieved mails was an email from Keith, my old boss at the community college, asking if I’d help a friend of his start a podcast (of course I will) and to text him because his new phone didn’t have his old contacts.

But also: an email from the shop SATURDAY MORNING AT NINE telling me my car was ready for pickup! I got it twenty-seven hours later. I am furious. I feel like I lost a weekend day. Gosh fricking darn it. It took me a while to figure out the problem with Gmail and fix it (it was kind of an easy fix and soooooorta nobody’s fault). I’ll spare readers the tech details. I made the adjustment of other email accounts I have Gmail set to import, but didn’t get it all done. Just the important accunts. I’ll do the rest sometime this week.

It’s okay. Saturday was restful if not productive. The car drives well, and I had the money to cover it. I still have a few big deals and then a couple of lower-priority things to take care of, but I no longer feel like I’m driving myself into a prophesied doom. As long as I don’t get pulled over for my long-expired safety inspection sticker, I feel pretty safe taking care of some late-minute Christmas things Monday and Tuesday. So I can stop being furious.

Right. Now.

When I wrote about Saturday’s breakfast-slash-lunch (penne with jarred sauce) I forgot that I also threw in a bunch of that steamed kale I loaded my fridge with. Although I’ve many times had fresh greens with pasta in red sauce, for some reason I never think it’s going to work when I do it at home, but this worked great. If I have to eat all this kale, combining it with perhaps the unhealthiest thing I love most, a huge bowl of pasta, seems like a good way to mitigate the damage I’m doing with all these empty carbs.

I still have a boatload of quinoa in the fridge too, and that already has kale in it. I guess that’s a more sensible option. Especially since I love quinoa and it goes great with fresh greens.

There was quite a bit more texting Sunday than usual for this day. Kerri asked me something about East of Eden for some reason, while I was walking to the shop to pick up my car. I traded texts wtih Penny about a stupid Christmas gift situation I caused with some carelessness. Then there was all the texting with Sharon about getting her into the office. I also texted her later, saying how nice it was to see her and sorry for being unfriendly. I’m stressed out being around people, especially people I care about. Don’t want to get anyone sick. Texted Ali some updates on life in the office. Crush Girl and I texted a few times about stuff she’s been watching. I told her I was watching Noelle Sunday evening, which I did.

I wanna get a lot of work stuff done before the holiday weekend, and some Christmas errands early in the week. Here’s to a good, festive, Christmasy week.

Don’t go through it alone. If you need some connection, leave a comment and I’ll send you some contact info. The holidays suck if you’re floating adrift. Don’t float adrift.

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