Lockdown: Going the distance; going for speed

It’s past 1:00 in the morning, Tuesday night as I write this about Monday. I’m very sleepy, quite sleep-deprived, and definitely ready for bed. I’m just feeling the compulsion to get the fingers moving before turning in. I don’t know if it’s to hear the tapping of the keys or just needing a little bit of downtime with some music (Cake’s Fashion Nugget) in the quiet of the night as my hair dries or if it’s the need to get some thoughts down in pixels and electrons, but when the muse says work, you work.

I stayed up until 6:30 in the morning because I had all that work I wanted to submit, somewhat assuaged by anticipation for the half a day’s vacation I scheduled for Monday, thinking I could get a couple of hours’ sleep before doing the stuff I had to do Monday afternoon.

I had clementines and dried apricots for breakfast before work.

I might have wasted the half day of work I had, since I was close to exhausted, but I actually did work, sending emails and replying to them right away, and getting a few other things moving. I was pleased. And I got some good early feedback on the work I stayed up all night to submit, which was nice.

When I wrote yesterday about needing to be vague, I was talking about what would go in this space right here. I’ll fill in the blanks later in the week, as I’ve already said.

I did get a very, very short nap, but then I had to get up and do a few tasks. It was vacation time well spent, mostly, and except for a little bit of anxiety (used in the non-clinical sense; however, remind me to explore this topic again later) I got a little bit of the tension out of my body and brain.

Fast-forwarding over the stuff I can’t write about yet, I had canned chili and some fresh hot rice (all white!) for lunch, at about four. Man, I was hungry, and the canned chili really did the job. Such a simple pleasure.

I had a very late dinner from Palazzo. Chicken piccata, resisting the urge to get something a tad more sinful. I also resisted the desire to get a second dinner just to save for later.

The chicken piccata at Palazzo isn’t quite as good as the same dish at Ricado’s, where I went on my birthday, but they put a bit more care into wrapping it up for takeout. They plastic cling-wrapped the entire takeout container, to prevent that yummy buttery lemony goodness from leaking through the clamshell. They wrapped a generous pat of butter in some aluminum foil, wrapped the foil in cling wrap, and tied the cling wrap to the handles of the takeout bag, so as not to let the butter melt from the heat of the entree or the yummy mini-loaf of bread. Geez, that was impressive.

And when I say it’s not quite as good as at Ricado’s, it’s no shade on Palazzo. A very good meal.

I should have watched a movie or something as I ate, but instead I proofed a proposal from one of the DOs. I told her I’d be available despite my vacation, if she understood I’d be a little slow and possibly late. She didn’t complain, and I think we did some really good work together.

One of the unexpected pleasures of this job is developing good relationships with each development officer. They are all serious Type A personalities, but each has his or her own working style, and I find it really rewarding to find a groove that works with each. Still finding it with some, but the groove has given me a nice satisfaction, and I think it’s been profitable for the university too.

Sylvia was working late too, from home, so we Skype-chatted until she was done. It was a good talk, about a bunch of good stuff. Work, food, skating, vaccinations. Stuff like that. Also traded some work texts with the DO whose proposal I worked on. Sharon and I also traded a bunch of work-related texts.

Jennifer texted me a photo of a funhouse mirror she saw in a local hardware store. That was creepy but she still should have stepped up to it to see what she could see.

Bianca shared something in her FB stories with a song by the Ocean Blue as the background tune, which surprised the heck out of me. I messaged her to say I didn’t know she knew this band, and that I really loved them. She enthusiastically responded that she loved them too, and that she’d been turned on to them when she worked at Tower a million years ago. That’s right. Totally forgot she worked at Tower.

It was busy enough a day that I didn’t hear the sirens singing from the dark side, which was a relief. Spent almost no time phone-vegging.

I have a feeling I’ve written about this before, but this album by Cake always reminds me of my first year teaching. I purchased it at the Sears in Pearlridge. Spotify says it was released September 1996, which makes it a few weeks into my first year teaching, although I’m sure I didn’t buy it until later in the semester. I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on CDs that year.

In my first year of teaching, living in a tiny apartment in Kalihi, I found it to be especially good for late-night grading sessions. I put it on repeat and it was the soundtrack to a lot of good lessons about teaching, not to mention a lot of bad lessons sketched out with bleary eyes for use in the classroom later.

I still turn to it once in a while when I need to do some good writing late at night, as I’ve turned to it now, but it always, always reminds me, whenever I hear any song from it, of that first year teaching.

Aw dammit. The version I’m listening to on Spotify is the censored version. Friiiiiiiiick. Just looked, and it doesn’t even have the non-censored version. What a *&^&^%. The track I’m on now even has the E for explicit on the track listing, but there’s nothing explicit here except censorship.

I wonder why I didn’t notice it on “I Will Survive,” where they change Gloria Gaynor’s lyric to “I should have changed the f***ing lock; I should have made you leave the key.” Maybe because the censored radio edit is the first version I ever heard of this cover, so it wouldn’t have seemed strange.

Okay. Nope. I just played it again and “I Will Survive” survives with its naughty words intact.

I’m taking this as the note I should end on.

Ohhhh now go. Walk out the door. Just turn around now, ’cause you’re not welcome here anymore.

It’s not even the fourth-best song on the album. So much goodness here.

Hey. Leave a comment if you need someone to connect with. Don’t be untethered in these (hopefully) waning pandemic days. You will survive; you will survive. Just don’t try to do it alone.

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