Lockdown: Grocery anatomy

I accidentally got seven hours of good sleep Saturday night, with a couple of interruptions around three and nine in the morning. It took me nine hours (or so) in bed to get seven hours of sleep, which I wasn’t even trying to get, but it felt good and I’ll take it.

I meant to get up early to call my mom and dad, but despite it being the late morning, I called around eleven and it was fine. I’d spoken to my mom Wednesday anyway and she’d relayed most of what we talked about to my dad (I silently prayed a thank-you to God), so my dad and I chatted about the game and my mom and I chatted about her scheduled second shot Monday.

I had the Super hoopla on the TV, muted for couple of hours before the game in case anyone interesting showed up (I was hoping for Marcus Allen). The only time I unmuted was when I saw Joan Jett on stage with some much younger woman I couldn’t identify until I unmuted, at which point it was obvious: Miley Cyrus. She did okay with “Bad Reputation” and some other song I only caught the end of. Miley seems to like getting close to her duet partner and interacting closely, which doesn’t seem to be Joan’s thing, so it seemed a little awkward. I know Miley’s going through a hard rock stage right now, and I’m here for it, but she miiiiight want to work on her rock star stage persona. Maybe. I guess most of the time she’ll be on her own so maybe it’ll work.

The game itself was fine, especially the first half, which I thought was well contested. I munched an assortment of snacks throughout: some of my Are You Kidding Me Cake, some wasabi peas, and some Lay’s Game Day Chili chips. I even ate a couple of florets of broccoli when I went to the fridge to get a Diet Pepsi.

Near the end of the game I was hungry for some real food, so I opened a can of chili and ate it with some leftover hapa rice.

By game’s end, I was already doing chores and packing up for the office.

I didn’t have much to do there. Just updated software on two computers and my phone (I’m there anyway; might as well take advantage of the much faster wifi) and worked on some ideas for the thing I proposed at our meeting Thursday. Outlined my contributions to the staff newsletter. For the film review, I’m going to do Palm Springs, and for the writing tips, I’m messing around with “me” vs. “myself.” A nice, easy lesson since the last one I wrote was a little grammar-geeky.

I was in at six and out at nine, which I consider pretty good. Got home to relax a little, then did my quick grocery run.

Boy do I need to learn how to do a quick grocery run. I meant it only as a booster, to supplement the stuff I have left from my last trip, stuff I don’t have room for two weeks’ worth of, like clementines and some fresh meat. I thought thirty or thirty-five bucks would do it.

I also brought home tofu (the tofu in my fridge is past the date but I might still be able to use it but I’m not sure), two heads of broccoli, three carrots, a small block of extra-sharp cheddar, two six-packs of Diet Pepsi, some chopped pork (for Korean stew), some chicken (for kabocha soup), and a little hebi steak (that’s spearfish) because they were out of ahi. I can’t remember if there was anything else, but it added up to $77. Ugh.

I guess on the other hand, maybe I’ve got enough food to go two more weeks without a trip to the store? Or maybe it’s enough just to dash in for some clementines (I basically only have five days’ worth) next weekend? I don’t know. But now I’ve spent more than two hundred bucks on groceries in ten days. Kind of ridiculous.

Then, of course, I went through the McD’s drive-through on my way home and got a 10-piece spicy McNuggets meal and had it for a late dinner before I did the three-dimensional Tetris in my fridge. Which I am getting pretty good at.

There’s this band I mentioned last week called Angelus Apatrida. They’re a little-known thrash band from Spain and I’d never heard of them before their new self-titled album came out. At first I thought it was competent but unmemorable, but it’s’ really grown on me. As one reviewer pointed out, they do sound a lot like Testament, but I hear a lot of metalcore too, as they remind me a bit of Shadows Fall. And their thrashiness is fast and messy, more like Slayer than Metallica, ‘though the lead guitarist has clearly been influenced by Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, with lots of wah-wah and more feel than technique. And all the songs don’t sound the same. I like it.

I might say something like, “You should check it out,” but who am I kidding?

I didn’t do any texting (typical Sunday), but there was some IG DMing. I’ve got a few friends with some health things going on. Ugh.

Feeling good about this coming week. Football season’s over, which means I have more time on weekends. Weather seems to be clearing, which means I should be able to get some beach time. Not caught up on work, but I’m getting there. Mondays are a drag, but this week they’re not feeling like so much of a drag. Bring it.

Don’t forget you can reach out if you need someone to connect with. I got texts, DMs, IMs, and if you want to do Clubhouse I have five invitations. But don’t chat me up there. I’m not quite in the chatting mode when I’m eavesdropping there. You may find some great people to chat with, though. The people I’ve participated passively with all seem super nice.

Lockdown: Ask me no questions; sell me no fries

what it looked like when i got there

I rather liked what I did with my Saturday last week, the Saturday after two weeks of frustration and late nights and not enough sleep and not enough production. I really just vegged and slept and got over it, and it’s what I needed.

It looked like this Saturday was headed the same way. I meant to get up early and call my parents, but for reasons I won’t get into, it’s better if I call before late morning. And I didn’t quite get out of bed before mid-morning.

I have to be in Mapunapuna for a little while this coming week, so I figured I’ll refill my drinking water then, but I needed to make sure I had enough to get me there. With nothing on my schedule (now that I was putting off calling my folks), I headed down there with four gallon-jugs and an appetite.

Yes. I had burgers on my mind. I’d looked forward to another shot at King’s Burgers and I was in a burgers kind of mood.

I filled my water and slipped into the food court at 99 Ranch. There weren’t that many people, even at 12:30. It’s an industrial area with a bit of commercial creeping in, so it really exists for the weekdays and the lunch crowd. Saturdays are for retirees (for some reason) and and gymnasts’ families. There’s a gymnastics school in there.

I ordered a teri Swiss burger and bacon cheese fries. The fries last time, just simple crinkle cuts surely out of the freezer, were delightful, and I figured if the burger was a disappointment, I’d be okay with just the fries.

Moved my car to a shady spot on the outer fringe of the parking lot and set up shop on the hood of my vehicle.

The fries were pretty good but they weren’t crinkle cuts! Steak fries. A good second choice, but not the same. The burger was pretty terrible. I mean it didn’t suck, but it just didn’t have much flavor and it was wet as heck. Not teri sauce wet, which you expect, but some other kind of wet.

I finished it all, of course, and was suuuuper full, but dang. What do you do when you try a place once and it’s preeeeetty good and then try it again and it’s terrible? Which is the anomoly, and do you give it another chance?

I asked the always-knowledgeable-about-these-things Jocelyn what she thought, and said hard pass.

Seriously, if the fries had just been crinkle cuts I’d be down to try it again. As it is, I think I’m done with the burgers, anyway. They have grilled steaks on the menu and I guess I’ll try those too before I give up.

I really wanted the burger thing to work out. Darn!

I got home, did some writing, read the news, did the crossword (rather quickly, thank you very much) worked on some Amazon window-shopping, and took a long, comfy nap. Boy was that a good idea. I was rested as heck when I woke up.

It was a lovely day, and there were a couple of hours before sundown, and so at five-thirty I put on some board shorts and hit the beach.

There’d been reports of jellyfish on the windward side, which is slightly unusual. By my calculation (which may have been in error), jellyfish weren’t due on the south shore until Sunday or Monday. Anyway, I didn’t even think about them when I grabbed a B+ parking space on the Kewalo end. There were some people in the shallows but nobody really out deep except the stand-up paddleboarders and a couple of kayakers. The beach was well-populated but not freak-out crowded.

So I went. The water was slightly gross, about the limit of my tolerance for monkey pods, palm fronds, and other vegetation clearly washed down by the recent rains. Another day of no rain and I’m fairly sure it would have been nice, but I didn’t have another day. Jellyfish.

The water was super cold, but the day itself had been pretty cool, so it made sense. After overnight lows around sixty, it was probably close to ice at sunrise.

I went hard for a good while. My first time in the water in two weeks might have been a cruise, yet I felt my body yearning to be strained. It felt good. Swam a distance I call four buoys, when lately I’ve only gone two and a half or three, and as I came back midway through I watched the sun sink into the ocean. It was lovely.

what it looked like shortly before i left

As usual after a good swim, I craved a sandwich. There were some options still open in Kakaako, so I cruised through. If I’d found a parking spot within two trips around the block, I was headed for Earl (of Sandwich). Alas, despite the area being far less busy than I expected, there were no primo parking spots to be had, so I headed back to Kalihi.

Picked up a roast pork plate (despite still really wanting a sandwich) at Pancakes and Waffles because I was running out of options and there was no waiting.

Brought it home and loved every bite as I wrote. I also listened in on a good-night conversation in Clubhouse. The chatter was good background music. I opted not to join in despite repeated invitations from Jocelyn. I hate talking on the phone. Why would I want to talk on the phone with a bunch of strangers? This Clubhouse thing may not be for me, but I admit I liked being there.

Took a very short nap, did some chores, ate some ohagi (picked up while I waited on my crappy burger), and listened to podcasts.

So it was a decent Saturday, and I didn’t feel like I pissed it away, which was a good feeling. Got to bed around 2:00.

Sylvia and I traded some texts about my search for a sandwich. I got a text from the medical supplies company from which I ordered replacement stuff for Darth Vader Friday. Jennifer sent me an article about this cool-looking jigsaw puzzle, which I’ve bookmarked for whenever it’s safe to get back into the office. Crush Girl texted me a response to my happy weekend text from Friday.

It’s Sunday evening as I write this, about a quarter past ten in the evening. I’m going to do a quick run to the supermarket, a booster run, not a full-on run. Shouldn’t take long and I won’t bring home much. I guess this catches me up, so I can post my resolutions in the next post.

Reach out if you need someone to connect with. Pandemic continues so don’t be alone.

Lockdown: Palm springs eternal

It’s Sunday afternoon as I write about Friday. A minute to halftime in the Super Bowl. I hate halftime shows but you kind of have to watch them because everyone talks about them the next day at the . . . office.

I got like four and a half hours of decent sleep Thursday night, then jumped into my work Friday with a fervor I wasn’t expecting. I think I wasted far too much time these past couple of weeks trying to be productive. I emailed people who’ve been waiting for me to email them. I called people who’ve been waiting for me to call. I followed up on edit suggestions and communicated with donors sending photos. I pretty much did everything except actually write. I suppose that can wait until Monday.

I didn’t quite finish work until close to 7:30, after which I just took it easy all night. I was in the mood to do absolutely nothing, so that’s what I did and it was nice.

Friday was my sister’s birthday, so I sent her a little happy birthday text. She said she was having dinner and sent me a photo of the layout. Details left out because I don’t know how public she is with stuff.

Gwen texted me a photo of this really cool gift she got me. We have to work out some way for us to meet up. I texted Crush Girl a happy weekend message, which she responded to the next day. She doesn’t often initiate conversation or respond to a message in a conversation-continuing way, and that’s cool. I like the interaction (rather a lot) when I can get it, but I don’t want to be a nuisance.

The Weeknd’s halftime performance is fine, and he’s a talented singer, but I find his songs so uninteresting and unmemorable.

There are a lot of new albums out this weekend, speaking of weekends and music. I spun the new Transatlantic album all evening Thursday and all day Friday. There’s new stuff by Foo Fighters, Cult of Luna, and Korplikaani too.

After work, I watched Palm Springs on Hulu. It was one of the five films nominated for a Best Picture Golden Globe in the musical-or-comedy category and I hadn’t heard of it (as I hadn’t heard of almost everything nominated).

It’s goooooood. Watch it! Andy Samberg, J.K. Simmons, and a bunch of people I don’t recognize in a Groundhog Day-like film that gets a leeeeeetle dark and nihilistic but emerges in light. I laughed aloud a few times, sometimes at dark moments. I appreciate where it goes, and I’ll see it again this week. One of the main characters lives utterly in the moment, determined that nothing matters except the next moment. Another loathes herself self-destructively. It’s a great combination.

I kind of skipped breakfast. Had some dried apricots and some clementines and decided it was enough. I had canned chili for lunch with leftover hapa rice. For dinner, I blanched a huge head of broccoli, then ate it with some angel hair pasta I sauced with olive oil, butter, garlic powder, dried garlic flakes, and lemon juice. It was quite good.

I have to remind myself that there are a million ways to enjoy pasta. I fall into these grooves because I just love it so much. Or maybe I’m better off not remembering, because it’s so bad for me! I may make it for dinner Sunday night. I still have plenty of lemon juice.

February is my second-least-favorite month, so thank goodness it’s the shortest.

Leave a comment if you want someone to connect with. Don’t do this alone.

Lockdown: Lost Thursday

Okay, now it’s Saturday evening as I write about Thursday. Which I don’t think I even remember.

Before I got started at work, there was a knock on my door. It was a police officer, and for once I wasn’t the one in trouble. My house is across the street from faculty housing for a rather rich private school. The housing is maintained by the school, and Thursday morning a grounds crew was doing yardwork. One of the vans backed into my car, parked on the street, and did damage to the rear bumper. Broke a tail light.

So I had to deal with that. I was going to take it to a body shop for a couple of very minor repairs soon anyway. Once I get the okay from the school’s insurance company, I’ll take it to their approved body shop, I guess, and get the other work taken care of at the same time. Serendipity, baby!

I don’t remember what I did at work, except I spent half an hour preparing for a planning meeting we had on Zoom. The meeting went half an hour longer than usual, but I think the conversations were good. I proposed two ideas: one was pretty much shot down and one was embraced enthusiastically. That seems like a pretty good success rate.

I don’t remember what I did after work, and I don’t think I took a nap, although I probably did because I was really tired.

It’s quite possible I had cake for breakfast, then clementines and dried apricots for a morning snack. I had an ahi filet in my fridge so I pan-fried that with Mitchell Street seasoning and fresh lemon juice for lunch with some fresh hapa rice. It tasted fine, but you could tell it was past its prime. I need to remember to prepare fresh fish first when I come home from grocery shopping. The carnitas probably could have waited.

I was feeling lazy for dinner so I drove to Waiakamilo Drive-In, where I have not eaten for a few years, and picked up a garlic chicken plate. It was pretty good; one of the better things on their menu. I often get a small pan of it for potlucks and it’s always a hit. Something a little different, something you don’t see in the potluck line very often.

I did a few chores and was up too late. I think I went to bed close to two.

There was a little bit of texting with the writing partner. There were some IG DMs but I don’t remember what they were and I’m not going to look them up.

I’m missing something and it annoys me that I can’t remember what it was. I was doing something that kept me kind of engaged most of the late evening. I went to bed feeling pretty good. Ah well. Whatever!

Leave a comment if you want someone to connect with. Pandemic isolation, if anyone out there is still going through it, is rough on your own. Don’t do it.

Lockdown: Laundry quandary

It’s Friday evening as I write about Wednesday. This weekend will be another chance to get caught up, as it’s another weekend where I don’t have to worry about work. Whew.

So. Tuesday night I went to bed at around nine. Set the alarm for 2:40. Woke up around midnight, got back to sleep for a little while, and woke up again at about 1:30. Tried to fall back asleep but couldn’t. Got up at two and whatever. Headed for the laundry.

I have a different plan for refilling my drinking water this week, so there was no need to stop at the McD’s on School Street. I opted instead for the McD’s near my house, which (believe it or not) is on a safer block than the School Street one. However: did you know the School Street McD’s is the busiest location in Hawaii outside Waikiki? It has been for decades.

For this reason, even in the wee hours, the drive-through is served by two people. The cashier at the first window; the dispenser at the second. My McD’s goes down to just the second window for payment and receipt, and the inside crew is always paltry. In fact, this location often has to close late at night if someone calls in sick.

I forgot about that. It took really long to place my order and get my food. It’s a lesson for next time.

Except there probably won’t be a next time. I got my order, drove to Manoa, grabbed all my stuff (laundry — a double load — detergent, dryer sheets, my book, and my food), and I could see it before I was halfway to the front door in Manoa Marketplace: it was closed. New hours. Six in the morning to nine in the evening, with a last wash at seven.

Seven. Ugh.

I’ve already waxed poetic in this space about what the all-night laundry has meant to me in this lockdown. Now it is no longer available, because no way am I going during those hours. Not even at six on a weekday, because lots of people do their wash early in the morning on a weekday, and all those late-nighters like me were most likely to go at opening now, making it even more crowded than it would be.

I don’t know this for sure, so one morning I may just check it out. But there are at least three all-night laundries in my neighborhood within a seven-minute drive, so I may as well try one of those.

I used to be a regular at a couple of them. The one on school street was right across the street from my first apartment when I started teaching. It’s open all night but that’s not the best place to be at three in the morning. On the other hand, it’s close enough that I could come home while clothes were in the dryer for a little nap. Also, it’s so close the whole thing would take just a fraction of the time I spend now.

There’s one on Nuuanu Ave, and I’ve been there late at night a few times. Honestly, though, that one’s probably less safe than the School Street one, and even late at night you can count on people being there.

Neither is very clean.

There’s a third tucked into the back corner of the Kapalama strip mall on Dillingham, where Zippy’s is. That one’s also slightly sketchy, but at least at that hour there usually aren’t a lot of people doing wash, and there’s plenty of police presence most of the time. I know because early in the lockdown, I walked past it late-late at night all the time. It looks fairly clean from the outside, but I haven’t been inside, so I may have to investigate.

Anyway. What a pain.

As I dealt with the sudden change in my pandemic life, I ate my Big Mac combo on the trunk of my car. By the time I was ready to drive home, my belly was full and my soul slightly more at peace. Compared to what a lot of others have to deal with, this was nothing, and I’m done complaining.

I came home, leaving my unlaundered clothes in the car (after removing my still unlaundered bed sheets to put back on my bed), goofed off online for a little, and went back to bed.

Got up and got to work about an hour earlier than usual. I had a 10:30 one-on-one with my boss, then called my mom (she’s doing fine, apparently). For lunch I think I finished off my acorn squash potato soup. The memory’s hazy, and I know I finished the soup sometime around then.

After work, I baked a cake! I pretty much never bake, but a friend of mine (a prominent, long-time print, radio, and TV journalist) shared in December photos of this thing called an Are You Kidding Me Cake. It’s any box of cake mix, any can of pie filling, and three eggs. That’s it. I had to try it, and Wednesday was the day.

I used white cake mix and apple pie filling. Not very adventurous, I know, but remember I don’t love dessert so I wanted to stick to something I knew I’d enjoy.

It came out great. I cut it into bite-sized pieces, left it uniced, and have been enjoying it a little at a time since.

I was so tired from the morning’s misadventures I crashed after I had some cake, then got up and did some chores and went to be shortly after midnight, I think.

Kind of a pisser of a day, but there was cake. And there were McDonald’s fries and a Big Mac. I’ll take it, I guess.

There weren’t many texts Wednesday. The writing partner is working on something and needed my feedback, so I spent part of the evening working on that after a few texts. Crush Girl and I texted a little about the books she’s reading, and I sent her a photo of my cake. She’s into baking and she knows I’m not, so I thought she’d find it interesting. Can’t really tell if she did.

Okay that’s it. Go read something actually interesting. But leave a comment first, if you need someone to connect with. You don’t mind if I pour out my soul about losing my all-night laundry, do you? Good!

Friday 5: Big game

From here.

  1. What item in your house recently ceased (or is likely soon to cease) Operation?
    My very ancient fridge died around September or October. I cleaned it up and cleaned it out but it’s still in my kitchen. I probably won’t have it picked up until I’m ready to buy a new fridge, and it’ll be a while. Until then, I’m getting by pretty well with one of those dorm-sized fridges. One of the larger ones. The smallness of the fridge is making me use up my food a lot better. As a single person living alone, I still throw quite a bit of food out, but it’s a lot less than it once was. And nothing just takes up space anymore: if it’s past a certain usefulness, out it goes.
  2. If someone were to poker ’round in your refrigerator, what item might he or she have questions about?
    I think most people would be surprised to see a grown human, especially one who does a lot of his own cooking, making do with a dorm fridge. Inside the actual fridge, they might have questions about my two kinds of mustard (yellow and dijon) and the assortment of cheeses I keep. If they’re not familiar with a lot of Asian ingredients, I might have to explain the gochujiang, doubanjiang, and Korean miso, Although I guess miso’s a lot more mainstream these days.
  3. What’s in your backPac, Man?
    Right now the backpack I use most is the eBags Pro Weekender, which isn’t meant to be an everyday backpack, but a weekender (duh) good for your laptop and other gadgets. Since I’m home all the time now except for Sunday visits to the office (when nobody else is around), I have no real need of an everyday bag. However, I am also not going on any weekenders, and I want to get familiar with the bag so when I do finally get to travel again, I know how to use it best. So on those Sunday visits, I pack two laptops, a small Bluetooth speaker, my four-port USB hub and the necessary cables, my wireless keyboard and mouse, and sometimes a book. No, of course this isn’t what I would travel with. I’m just testing out its usefulness for different stuff. Plus, these are the things I need when I go to the office anyway. Seriously, if you dig cool backpacks, click the link and take a look. This is one sweet bag. It unzips all the way around so you can open it wide open, flat, to the laptop compartment. Some TSA stations won’t make you take the laptop out when it’s like that, which saves hassle going through the checkpoint. And of course, although it’s pretty hefty, it should fit under the seat in front of you. If not, it’s easily good for the overhead bin.
  4. When did you last run into an old Flame?
    It’s been quite a while. I see her husband more often for some reason. Shortly after I left Assets, I saw her and Traci at the Starbucks in my hood, having a Bible study. It was actually quite encouraging to see they’re still doing that. Once upon a time, we were in a Bible study together, a very long time ago. I have to say running into them was a lot less awkward than I expected. I’m still on Traci’s Christmas card mailing list. No longer on R’s. Anyway, this would have been some time between summer 2012 and spring 2013. Wow.
  5. With what object are you frequently playing Hide-and-Seek?
    Hide-and-seek with my everyday objects has generally been an ongoing game for most of my life, but lately, maybe because my days are so simple and I don’t go anywhere, it hasn’t been much of a problem. However, since I’m one of those guys who carries his phone with him everywhere, even room to room when I’m home, I’m most likely to put that down somewhere and not know immediately where it is later. That can be somewhat maddening.

Lockdown: “Old-fashoned superstitions…”

Tuuuuuuuueeeeeeesdaaaaaaaaaay. I managed about five hours of decent sleep, which given my record lately I’ll take. Got busy on some web stories. The photos take the most time when there are many of them. The social media stuff takes the second-most, usually. If the copy is long, it often takes a while to read it and edit it for our website’s style. It’s all pretty tedious, but I kind of enjoy it. Doesn’t take much creativity, and it comes from a different part of my brain from where the story writing emerges. It’s a nice way to let that writing brain rest a little.

The plan was to turn in early (again) and get to the laundry. I just took too long getting stuff done, and since I wasn’t in bed by nine, I kind of wrote the laundry off until later in the week. I couldn’t do any journaling (my websites all being down) and went to bed early-ish.

That was honestly pretty much my Tuesday. I get most days off to a late start, and if I go to bed early in hopes of getting to the laundry or beach, I don’t do anything with my evening downtime.

I sent some video of pandas in the D.C. zoo playing in snow in texts to Sharon and to Crush Girl. It led to some smalltext, nothing very deep or meaningful, but it was fine. Just reaching out and reinforcing contact is good enough sometimes. Jennifer texted me some photos of her movie posters, finally hung on her condo walls. They look great! I’m pretty sure they’re movie-poster-sized, too, which is impressive. Movie posters are a lot bigger than most people realize.

Crush Girl also asked me what I thought of The Goonies. It’s been on a lot of Hawaii people’s minds lately, as this new Netflix film Finding Ohana is being described as The Goonies meet Hawaii. I actually never saw the movie until my 30th birthday, one night at Ross’s house with George, Traci, Valerie, and Ross. I think Cathy was there too. Anyway, it was fine, but because I saw it so late, I’m not as cultic about it as others my age.

I mentioned that my favorite thing about it was the theme song by Cyndi Lauper — my fifth favorite Cyndi Lauper song. She didn’t know what song I was talking about, so I sent her the video. Still a great song! Not so great a video in retrospect, although it certainly brought waves of nostalgia. It features a lot of pro wrestlers who’ve since died: Classy Freddie Blassie, Captain Lou Albano, the Fabulous Moolah, Nikolai Volkoff, and Rowdy Roddy Piper. Sad.

I don’t know if she watched the video, but I hope she did. People should know Cyndi Lauper’s songs.

Breakfast and lunch were pork carnitas tacos. I pretty much finished off the carnitas. They were so good. I think I’m going to make them again very soon, as in the next time I hit the grocery store. I was planning to skip dinner because I was going to bed early, but when plans changed, I had a bowl of instant ramen (Sapporo tonkotsu flavor) with a huge pile of bean sprouts and three baby bok choys.

I’m writing this late Thursday night. The laundry saga continues with Wednesday’s recap, and I’m telling you now I’m still annoyed by the whole thing. I’ll get to it later.

Leave a comment if you need someone to connect with. We’re going on eleven months in this pandemic. Eleven months! Geez, how are we all making it?

Lockdown: Darling clementines

All my websites were down for a time Tuesday night, so I couldn’t write about Monday and still get to bed at a decent hour. I submitted a help ticket to the webhost and went to bed a bit early.

Sunday I got to bed at something of a decent hour but didn’t sleep very well. Got up Monday and had a bowl of the acorn squash potato soup. It was pretty good. I toasted a few flour toritlla rounds (cut with biscuit cutters) for a garnish and added some canned corn and red pepper flakes. I was rather pleased.

The work was slow but steady, I guess. Posted two web stories and wrote social media copy. Made a bit of progress on the three student profiles I’m working on. Sent some emails to follow up on the UH Hilo scholarship story.

After work I did some cleaning up, then made carnitas in my Instant Pot. While they didn’t come out quite as I envisioned, they were still pretty good. I like orange juice and beer as a cooking liquid. Could have used a little more of that OJ tang. Maybe a little apple cider vinegar next time to bring that out. OJ and apple cider vinegar work well together.

I had a few quick texts with Penny, Dawn, Reid, and Cathy. Nothing super engaging, but it’s fine.

Man, I don’t know what I did with the rest of my evening. I read a little, several of the poems from On the Horizon and then crashed; I remember that part. Ha.

When I wrote about Sunday’s trip to the grocery store and then went off about my blood work, I forgot to connect them. My doctor suggested I consciously boost my potassium with some additions to my diet, so I brought home more clementines (which have been something of an on-off staple since the lockdown began) and a bunch of dried apricots. I’m not an apricot fan, but six of them (and dried are higher in K than fresh) is about ten percent of the USRDA. Add three clementines and that’s about 20% of the USRDA. I wonder if that’s enough of a boost.

It’s certainly not unpleasant to take a fruit break in the middle of my day. I line the clementines and apricots up on the desk next to me and just go to town. Maybe I’ll develop a taste for apricots. I already like the texture quite a bit. Clementines right from the fridge are delicious, so that’s not a problem. Because of fridge space, I might have to make more frequent trips to the grocery store, which I think I don’t mind. If I go right before closing and know I’m just grabbing more fruit, I should be in and out.

With more frequent trips, maybe I’ll double my newly added intake. That’s not a bad way to have lunch, especially since nowadays I don’t really have a lunch.

So yeah. Breakfast was soup. Lunch and dinner were simple carnitas burritos.

Leave a comment if you need someone to connect with. Life sucks but maybe it’ll suck less with someone trading texts or DMs.

Lockdown: Cholesterol in a day’s work

As aimless and lazy as Saturday was, Sunday was productive and (sorta) focused. I again slept terribly Saturday night, but I did get a few good hours near the end.

I had a slice of pumpkin custard pie for breakfast while I read the news and listened to music. Did a little bit of research for my grocery list, then a little bit of writing. Read a few articles about the newsletter trend. Robin Sloan wrote about it in his latest email newsletter, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, not for a possible revenue stream but just as an observer of how some writers are connecting with their readers and some kind of income.

Around two, I went to the office, stopping at Penny’s long enough for her to throw her birthday gift to me in the back seat. Oh, I also hit the Jack in the Box drive-through to try the Cluck Deluxe. It’s pretty good.

I had some paperwork to work on for our HR office. I’m adjusting the amount I put in my retirement account, and stuff like that is mentally very strenuous for me and it takes long. This time it didn’t take that long, but it was still strenuous. I did some housekeeping, managing computer files and organizing my upcoming work week. Then I did my monthly report (a week early, and even before my supervisor asked for it!), and while I had my paperwork out, what the heck. I did my taxes.

I was there about four and a half hours. Got out at just past seven, I think.

Came home to do some chores, then a very short nap. I got up and made a pot of acorn squash soup in the Instant Pot. It was good — better than the broccoli Brussels sprouts soup by a mile — but it was still far too gingery. I didn’t have an actual dinner, but there was a lot of tasting, and that was enough.

Went to the supermarket at about 10:30, half an hour before closing. I did okay. My one thing different this time was those small street-taco-sized flour tortillas. I’m talking about the tiny ones you get at food trucks.

When I had blood drawn Tuesday, the lab results were available online by the time I got home. My numbers are all about the same — normal levels of most stuff, high blood sugar but the same as it’s been for two years (ugh). My potassium was low-normal, though, which is unusual. The dip looks dramatic. My doctor sent a message Sunday suggesting a few additions to my diet and asking me for another blood check in a couple of weeks, at which time they’ll also check my cholesterol, which they didn’t do for some reason. I’m on medication for it. Last time, about two years ago, my LDLs were holding steady at slightly high, but my HDLs were solid too. I suspect they’re going to be lower this time. I make an effort to eat veggies when I’m eating out, but I haven’t eaten out for ten months.

Unsual amounts of texting for Sunday. JB sent me photos of his snow-covered yard. Vicky, Cathy, and Susannah sent me texts to wish me happy birthday (FB thinks my birthday is the 31st). Sharon asked me something I won’t share, related to work.

Oh, it’s February. I guess I’ll share my resolutions. Next post.

Reach out if you need someone to connect with. For now these hot days is the mad blood stirring.

Lockdown: Saturdays are for laziness

It’s Sunday night, a few ticks ahead of midnight as I write this thing about Saturday, so once I get this done I’ll sorta be back on track.

Boy did I sleep terribly Friday night. I may have had some peace of mind from finally getting that work done, but yikes. I still slept ugly.

Got up around nine, mostly because I had a pie to pick up at ten, and I was jonesing for some Hawaiian food again. Got to Young’s a few minutes after it opened, got my combo plate again, then pulled into the bakery lot about fifteen minutes early. They didn’t make me wait. Just came out and asked my name while I was texting them news of my arrival (it’s part of their system). Got home and got to work on that Hawaiian food.

Man, I was hungry. I pretty much left only a few bites of rice and the whole serving of kalua pig, which would be my dinner.

The rest of the day and evening were sort of this triangle of activity. The bed for a nap and some lazying. The desk for some media consumption. Other portions of the house for some of half-hearted housekeeping tasks. I strongly considered a drive to the beach but I was just too lazy.

Sometime in the evening I started to feel like crap. I’m almost certain it wasn’t the Hawaiian food, but oh yeah: I again bought a tray of Chinese roast pork, on which I nibbled here and there, and THAT really made me feel terrible. I wasn’t back to myself until late in the evening after some recuperative sleep. So I was still awake at three in the morning, kind of hating myself but kind of okay with it for some reason.

Oh, I got a few things from Bezos Claus. The Newbery-winning book by that young author who went to the School That Must Not Be Named. A Blu-Ray of that Rush documentary I saw last week. Some new keycaps for my wireless keyboard. It’s super pretty now! Also the new Soen CD, which I’d already been listening to since late Thursday. I’d preordered it sometime last year. I’m listening to it now as I type this. It’s a solid album. The first album of the year to perk me up.

I got a text from Jennifer, a photo of some Japanese gin at the Sake Shop. I’m definitely intrigued. There was more chatter in IG DMs for a change. My friend’s spouse, the librarian who works at the School That Must Not Be Named, and I chatted about that school and I sent a screen shot of the author and me sending @ messages on Twitter. That’s right: I interact with Newbery laureates on social media because I’m cool like that. Another friend, Lisa, who graduated the year ahead of me at HBA and is a librarian at an elementary school in Texas and I chatted a little on IG about the book too.

There are some terrible sentences in that paragraph but I’m leaving them. Go ahead and judge me.

And if you need someone to connect with in these crappy pandemic days, leave a comment. I’ll send you some contact info. Or you could just friend me on FB; I’m easy enough to find.