Lockdown: The sum of our ambition

An island lost at sea, oh

It’s just past midnight Friday night. I was supposed to have a fantasy baseball draft at twelve, but the league was cancelled because not enough teams signed up. It’s fine. It was a money league and it would have been against strangers, and the season doesn’t begin until April 1. Plenty of time to get in other leagues, which is my intention.

It’s another weekend, and I’m once again behond on lockdown journaling by nearly a week. Silly. But today was a holiday, and I spent most of it vegging, so chances are good I get caught up by weekend’s end.

Sting has a new compilation album out, released last weekend. It’s a collection of his duets, almost all of which I haven’t heard. I was looking forward to spinning it this evening, but Spotify doesn’t seem to have it. Instead, I’m just listening to this live album called My Songs: Live. It’s pretty dang terrific, one track in.

I’ll always be king of pain

I saw him in concert here, the last time he played here solo. It was like 1990 or 1991, Valentine’s Day. It was something of a weird night. I was living in the BSU dorm. My roomie Henry was a business major. We got along fine but we had very, very little in common.

As many of us did, when he had group assignments, he often met his partners at the dorm to work. I was rather taken with one of them. I think he name was Glenda but it may have been Wendy or something similar.

Boy did I turn on the charm when she was around. By which I mean I mostly ignored her the first time she was there, then flirted very casually the second.

I got in line to buy Sting tickets without a date in mind. I got pretty good seats, too. The first row after the first section break, about seven o’clock from center stage. On paper, it looks like a great seat, because even if you’re seated, you can see the stage terrifically even if the last row of the first section is on its feet.

On the other hand, there’s a nonstop stream of people walking right in front of you. Who goes to a concert to walk around? Lots of people, which of course I observed at my very first show in tenth grade. I just never thought of it that early morning standing in line. Dang it.

Not long after the purchase, I thought my classmate Jolene would be fun to take. We really disliked each other from the first day of school in seventh grade until sometime in our senior year. Actually, this isn’t true. I disliked her. She hated me. We tolerated each other because we had the same group of friends, but yikes. It was a chilly relationship.

Then something clicked and we started getting along great, right near the end of our senior year. We don’t know what happened, but we were in the same van for our senior trip to the Big Island (I told you we had the same group of friends) and it was sometime then.

And then, the super uptight annoying Jolene who I was sure was going to be a business major went to USC and she majored in art history. Art history! She didn’t see it coming and neither did I, and when she moved back home and I was still four years from graduating, we called each other a few times and even hung out once or twice.

As friends.

But I thought she would be great to take to Sting, and I’m still sure we would have a great time. However, while she was totally going to accompany me, her parents said she couldn’t go. Yeah, I’m not going to delve into this except to say when we were in high school school, the only friend I had whose parents genuinely liked me was Reid, whose parents loved me. So it wasn’t crazy that Jolene’s parents didn’t want her to go to ao concert with me except that she was a college graduate and I was a fifth-year college sophomore (or something).

Jolene, me, and Sting never did converge.

She didn’t have to put on the red light but she did anyway

Then I did something I would never do today, and it embarrasses me more than a little when I remember it now. Someone asked me to sub a jazz radio show at the campus station. I always said yes when people asked me to sub a show, whenever it was and in whatever format. I wanted to be known by as many people at the station as possible as the guy they could call to fill in. It was how I got to know people, and I got to know a ton of music I would otherwise never have been familiar with. I didn’t yet have my own show, and the way to get your show is to be the ultimate team player.

The other reason I said yes to every sub request was that deejaying was soooooo fun. It’s like in the top ten funest things I ever did. I still have on cassette almost every show I ever did. It’s a lot of cassettes.

I was allowed to have two guests in the studio with me. So a few weeks before the Sting show, when I was subbing that jazz program, I brought Kirk and JB with me. And we spent the three hours of the program offering reasons Glenda or Wendy or Brenda should go to the Sting concert with me.

I’d play four songs, get back on the air and say, “Here’s Kirk with our number six reason Glenda or Wendy or Sandy should go to the Sting concert with Mitchell: Because Sting is awesome!” Then I would spin four more songs.

The joke was JB and Kirk gave every great reason they could think of, as long as the reason had nothing to do me or with being in my company. Pretty hilarious. I didn’t even think of it. They did it on their own without telling me it’s what they had in mind.

I don’t remember if I asked Henry to tell Glenda or Wendy or Kendra to listen to the program or if I gave him a tape to deliver to her. However I did it, I called her on the phone and asked her and she said she would think about it, and then she told Henry to tell me she was in.

It was awkward. We didn’t have much to talk about. The show was great but I wa so self-conscious I had great difficulty just absorbing the moment.

Glenda or Wendy or Tandi said she had a nice time. I kind of hoped we might chat a little in my truck as I drove her home, but conversation was pretty one-sided. And when I pulled into her driveway, she was out the passenger door and in her house like she had desperately to go to the bathroom. I mean, she said thank you and she had a nice time but then she was gone.

I wasn’t going to do anything, but she was cleeeeeeaarrrly not going to leave that to chance.

These aren’t the Seoul cages

Sunday I slept in. Did the usual Sunday stuff: crossword, news, Spelling Bee, nap. I ate clementines and dried apricots mostly to tide myself over until I decided what to eat. Then of course I didn’t eat anything. This is actually also part of the Sunday routine lately.

I went to the office, thinking I’d get Korean food at Choi’s, which I tired for the first time a couple of months ago and really liked. Got the computers set up, downloading software updates. Called Choi’s to order takeout. The nice Korean lady took my order and when I said I’d be over in about ten minutes, she asked if I knew where the new location was.


Yeah. Choi’s shut down on King Street and moved to McCully Street. That’s too far for me, I said. I’ll come by another time.

You can’t throw a dol sot in the neighborhood without hitting a Korean restaurant, but it was Sunday and a lot of Korean places don’t open on Sunday, even in that neighborhood. I walked down King and just settled on Panda’s, figuring that would take care of my veggie craving. They have the supergreens now, which I really like.

Took it back to the office and devoured it while I did some work. I was super let down but it was still a good meal. Just not what I’d had my heart set on.

Sending out an SOS?

I think I had lazy quesadillas for dinner. Stayed up too late but I don’t remember why.

There was some texting in the Suzanne-Julie-Cindy group text about some stuff someone saw in a thrift store, and Cindy admitting she didn’t feel well after her shot. Also some trash-texting in our NCAA Tourney group chat. And I sent individual updates to everyone to keep people current on scores and placement.

That was it for texting. Typical Sunday.

I’m going to defrost my fridge now. If I still have some mental energy, I’ll write about Monday before I turn in.

Leave a comment if you need someone to connect with, to get you through these rough days. My number six reason you should feel free to reach out? Because Sting is awesome!

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