Lockdown: Lollipop ladies and pelican crosswalks

Stayed up too late Saturday night reading. Still working on Utopia Avenue and it’s pretty engrossing.

So I was a bit annoyed with myself, with my book, and with the world when I woke up Sunday before seven. I did a quick check of the NFL news and thought I’d go back to sleep, but it wouldn’t come. I just got up.

I watched most of the early game, the second half of the second game, and half of the third game, with a nap somewhere in there, and a porterhouse steak in my grill pan (with the Mitchell Street seasoning and a pat of butter) for lunch, before packing up for the office. I actually had very little to do there this weekend, especially since I popped in Christmas night to drop off my office gift, but I was ready for a little change of scenery.

The software was all current. I tried to work on a story but couldn’t focus. And I was too tired to just give up and come home, so I was there about three hours, mostly staring blankly at the screen. It was actually kind of restful.

Stopped at Grace’s for a chicken katsu plate. I was very hungry by the time I got home at about 9:30 and my plans for leftovers vanished as I pretty much inhaled that thing wile reading my book.

Most of my evening chores were done during football, so I enjoyed a nice quiet evening reading, with breaks for the bathroom and stupid phone games. It’s nice to have my Kindle back.

A few highlighted lines from Utopia Avenue.

“The cellar of the 2i’s Coffee Bar at 59 Old Compton Street is as hot, dank, and dark as armpits. Two naked bulbs dangle above the low stage made of planks and milk-crates. The walls sweat and the ceiling drips.”

“What’s not written in ink on paper is, de jure, written in piss on snow.”

“‘In fifty years,’ said Jasper, ‘or five hundred, or five thousand, music will still do to people what it does to us now.'”

“It’s a classy Victorian pub with brass fittings, upholstered chair backs, and NO SPITTING signs.”

“Under the striplight in the staff kitchen, Jasper studies the sleeve of The Cloud Atlas Sextet.”

“Writing is a forest of faint paths, of dead ends, hidden pits, unresolved chords, words that won’t rhyme. You can be lost in there for hours. Days, even.”

“On the table is a pot of tea Jasper doesn’t recall making, the core of an apple he doesn’t recall eating, and a page of staves, notes, and lyrics he knows he wrote.”

“The hookah’s spell is fading. Dean lies where he lies on Shanks’s Turkish carpet.”

“A lunchtime lollipop lady took up position on the pelican crossing and directed a crocodile of infants across the road.”

Aaargh. I don’t seem to have in my highlights a couple of sections I really want to write about, where David Mitchell gets away with something that, if I wrote it, I would immediately have deleted because it’s too cute and clever by at least half. If I don’t find these sections I’ll have to re-read (or scan) later to find them. Need to ask myself if I’m not brave enough to leave alone some of the cutesy ideas I come up with instead of deleting them as being too cutesy.

Pretty sure Sunday, always a day of very little texting, was my first day of the lockdown with no texting at all. I didn’t even notice until I turned in.

Uneventful Sunday (I’m sparing you the horrible fantasy football details), kind of like my Saturday, and I headed into the work week kind of refreshed.

I hope wherever you are, you’re reading a good book for escape or inspiration, and that you have someone to connect with as we approach the final seconds of a crappy year. If you don’t, leave a comment and I’ll send you come contact info. Tell me about your book or the sweaty walls and dripping ceilings.

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