Lockdown: The master’s grand InDesign

It’s a few minutes past midnight Sunday evening as I write about Friday. Guess this wasn’t the weekend to get caught up.

Thursday night my sleep was somewhere between not good and not bad. I got started at work by going through the week’s emails. I was pretty sure with all the weirdness (a day and a half of vacation, doing a lot of work on my personal time, some of it very late at night, some of it at my parents’ dining room table), I was missing something.

I keep a running to-do list in Word. It’s usually a physical list in a notebook I keep on my desk, but that system just doesn’t work for me working from home. So an ever-modified Word doc is keeping me going, but sometimes I make a mental note to put something in the doc and then forget to do it.

I ate the rest of that yummy shoyu ahi poke for breakfast, with leftover quinoa.

Sent some follow-up emails to people I’m waiting to hear from. Then got to work on the thing that did escape my attention, something I promised to have ready Friday.

I shan’t bore gentle readers with details, but the task was simple: modify a page we published in our print magazine three years ago for the newsletter of a UH Manoa college. Most of the copy and formatting would remain; I just had to swap out one photo, edit a headline, change contact info at the bottom, and reword some of the footer language.

Our graphics person, who puts the print magazine together, is super, super good about labeling files, so finding the original InDesign files from three years ago was a piece of cake. She’s on a short leave of absence as she tries to finish her dissertation.

InDesign is such a good application that changes like this are a breeze when you know what you’re doing and when the person who creates the document does things cleanly. It’s probably unnecessary to admit here that I’m not one of these people. I’m terrible about naming files and I do things in desktop publishing apps (Illustrator and Photoshop, too) I know are bad practice, but the stuff I create doesn’t require anyone else to work with the files. That’s my excuse at this place of employment, anyway. If you’ve worked with InDesign, Photoshop, or Illustrator, I’ll just say that I pretty much never bother to name my layers. You’re shrieking; I can hear it.

Despite the easy task, the major curveball here is that my work laptop, my home wifi, and the company’s virtual desktop combine to make work in InDesign and Photoshop incredibly, painfully slow. Like double-click a file icon and wait three to five minutes for it to open. Like six minutes for a save-as. It’s insane! I’m not even exaggerating.

Oh dang. I said I wouldn’t bore the gentle readers with details. Email me or text me if you really want the details, because if you’re into this kind of thing, they’re actually kind of interesting. It’s stuff related to the slowness and unreliability of my network connection and the document always losing its links!

What it comes down to is what would have taken fifteen to twenty minutes at my desk in the office took about six hours working from home. Longer, really, but I’m taking a couple of hours off the time because I caused my own problem by doing something idiotic.

Anyway it came out pretty sharp and everyone’s happy with the product. I emailed it to the recipients at about 9:30 in the evening; it came back with one change request at about 11:30. I made the change and sent the new draft at about 12:30 Friday night.

Happy weekend!

During one of the evening’s agonizingly slow tasks, I threw some pork into the Instant Pot and made carnitas again. For tacos. But I ate a bowl of it with leftover quinoa instead, and midway through the bowl it got gross. The quinoa was borderline when I spooned it into my bowl. And then before I was finished eating it was like I could taste it turning bad as it happened. I threw it out and ate a few more bites of pork right out of the pot.

I really needed to do a supermarket run, but I was just too tired. I was far too tired to consume any entertainment media, so of course this means I went to bed at a decent hour, right? Yeah, no.

Friday I texted my former coworker Laura with some info in our staff newsletter. She’d seen the movie I reviewed and wanted to see what I wrote. Gwen texted to continue our conversation about vaccinations. Sylvia texted me a photo of this puppy in distress she and a neighbor helped. Sharon and I texted for a while, speculating about which of our coworkers would be a good fit for a recently open in-house posting. I texted the DO to let her know I’d sent the draft of that InDesign PDF. Crush Girl and I texted a lot through the day, keeping each other company as we each did our work. It was nice.

I wrote this in forty minutes. Not bad.

Crush that comments button if you want someone to pandemic-connect with. Don’t isolate in utter isolation. It’s not good!

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