Lockdown: Munchkins in the parking lot

Saturday was uncharacteristically nice. I got up after not enough sleep for reasons I don’t remember. Something online or something. Drove to Young’s for a Hawaiian combo plate, which was breakfast and lunch. On the way, I took money out of the ATM and purchased a money order for the rent.

Went back to bed and took a nice long nap. Got up at three, took care of a few chores, and drove to Mapunapuna for my other Saturday task. I needed a new chair.

For a year, I’ve been lounging and working in a dining room chair. As dining room chairs go, it’s pretty comfy, but it certainly wasn’t meant for hours and hours and hours of occupancy each day. My posture and my back are not happy.

I have a friend who writes about video games for the Washington Post. Like an actual friend. Once upon a time, he wrote a traffic column for the Star-Bulletin. Now he writes about video games for the WaPo. It’s kind of amazing, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

So yeah. Several months ago, he wrote that he bought a racing-style gamer chair for his work at home and it’s been great for him. He said he just bought a cheap one on Amazon. I tried to get the same thing but with demand so high at the height of the lockdown and with supply lines so out of whack, it was tough to get one. The company was out of stock and didn’t know when more would be available. When, months later, they were available, when I tried to order one I was informed I live outside the delivery area.

You know, that might have been a nice thing to know right up front. Thanks.

So I went to Fisher, thinking I’d grab something office-like from the clearance room. Fisher’s got tons of office furniture and they’re always marking stuff down. They did have some good-looking stuff, but they also had a racing-style gamer chair on sale. It was like $20 or $30 off; not a clearance but just a sale.

I sat in it and liked it. Rang it up and loaded it into my car. It’s some cheapo made-in-China chair, but I decided it would work for me, for now. I paid $180 for it, which is pretty steep, but I went in planning to spend around there. I need to work and live in this thing and I’m tired of being uncomfortable.

Don’t get me started on how overpriced furniture always is.

I’m 52 and this is the first piece of furniture I’ve ever purchased new, I’m quite sure, not counting a couple of assemble-and-paint-yourself particleboard book shelves. Everything else I either purchased used, inherited from a friend, or received as a gift. I’m talking ever.

I drove to the post office for stamps, then mailed my rent and a couple of Netflix DVDs, then hit the Dunkin’ drive-through since I was in the area. Got an iced latte and a bag of Munchkins, then drove to Keehi Lagoon, where I thought I would read a book, drink some coffee, and eat doughnut holes.

Except the park is closed. I had no idea.

The parking lot in front, where the tennis courts are, is open, although the cement barriers that must have blocked the lot during the official lockdown are still nearby. So I parked there. A couple of other people in cars were doing the same thing, although whether they were drinking iced lattes and eating doughnut holes I couldn’t tell you.

The picnic table was wet. So I drank my latte and ate my doughnut holes in the car. One of the very, very rare times I’ve ever eaten in my car.

Then I put some shoes on, grabbed my Kindle, and walked around the park, reading. I walked for about an hour, enjoying A Pho Love Story. I got my fresh air, a little bit of sunshine, some movement, and book time. I got rained on too, but not much.

I could have walked another hour, but I didn’t want to push it. I knew my knee would ache later. How much? Would I wake up in tears again? I figure I’m not going to get it looked at for at least a few more months, so I should just experiment and see what the limits are.

I took another nap when I got home, then got up to assemble the chair.

I’ll spare you, gentle reader, the ridiculous details, but putting that thing together was freaking difficult. Everything went smoothly except attaching the chair back to the chair seat. Someone was drunk at the chair factory when my chair was manufactured, I tell you.

I eventually got past that part and the rest was a cruise. And my chair is definitely great for relaxing, for watching TV or reading or phone-vegging. It’s not quiiiiiite what I had in mind for working, but it’s still way better than what I was using before. I mostly have to sit forward in the seat, but the angle is good and it’s easy to sit upright with decent posture. I can raise the seat back if I want, and that’s okay sometimes, thanks to the lower back cushion. I’m still figuring out what works best for me.

This thing reclines. And my life has changed. I’ve already fallen asleep in it once.

Stayed up late writing. Ate a late snack of clementines and dried apricots. Went to bed around 4:30. Yikes.

I set up a group text for the NCAA tourney pool participants, so Saturday there was a little bit of trash talk. Nice. I think that was mostly it.

If you’re pandemicking alone and you need some connectivity, leave a comment. I’ll send you my contact info and we can text or whatever. I’m totally serious.

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