Lockdown: Winging it

Saturday night I actually got about six and a half hours of good sleep. This is probably the night I need it most, so this was really good.

I lounged a bit in bed and slept another half hour or so. Seven hours of sleep? I’ll take that.

Most of the day was just busy work and vegging. Read the news, goofed around on my phone, listened to music and podcasts, did a teensy bit of housekeeping. I had carnitas tacos for breakfast-slash-lunch. They were pretty good.

I had to go to the office to do some of the stuff that’s too difficult from home. Mostly I was super worried that I accidentally overwrote the original InDesign file I modified for this other newsletter. After being so grateful it was there, easy to find, and easy to modify thanks to my coworker’s dilligent effort and foresight, it would have been soooooooooo stupid for me to then do a stupid regular save (instead of a save as) with the modified work.

Buuuuut thank goodness I wasn’t THAT stupid.

While at the office I grabbed dinner from this new Korean street food place across the street. Fried wings. Delicious! Glass noodles wrapped in nori, battered, and fried. Delicious! Crispy potstickers. Delicious! It was a lot of fried food — oh, and the wings came with crinkle-cut fries (delicious!) — and probably too much for one meal, but I didn’t let that stop me. Also left my boss’s birthday gift on her desk.

Got home late in the evening and unwound. Wrote. Read. Did the Monday crossword in 4:02. Argh! I reeeeally wanted to break four minutes but I got slowed down with a typo near the very end.

I was up so late I got the munchies, hours after I should have turned in. So I just miked a couple of hot dogs and ate them with ketchup and mustard — no sauerkraut since I was trying to just take the edge off. The doggies did the job and I went to bed faaaaaaaaar to late for a responsible working professional.

JB texted to talk a little about George Orwell. Jennifer sent me photos of her new home decor. Star Wars stuff. No Precious Moments on the etagere or tole painting over the doorways for my friend! Crush Girl and I chatted a bit about this Filipino Oregonian wine and the Golden Globes awards.

Leave a comment. If you need. Someone to connect with. In these fricking terrible pandemic days. It’s MARCH AGAIN people! Holy crap.

Lockdown: Having my Fil

I didn’t get much sleep Friday night. Got up at six-thirty to hit the supermarket. It opens at five, but I know from experience now that I don’t have to be there right at opening to avoid people. I had until about seven before things got hairy.

Loaded up on Diet Pepsi, my main objective, but also grabbed some broccoli, green onions, hot dogs, buns, sauerkraut, and a few pantry staples.

It was a dismal, rainy morning and I enjoyed the feeling of the cold rain on my face, so I drove around Kalihi for a while. I’ve been deep-diving into the discography of Free (you know, the band who sang “All Right Now,” and whose members founded Bad Company) and the second album was a nice listen as I navigated the mean streets of Kapalama.

Swung through the BK drive-through for breakfast, then back home to devour it. Normal Saturday morning online stuff: the news, the Spelling Bee, some phone-vegging. Then back to bed for a little while.

Ran to the wine merchant to grab my supervisor’s birthday gift. There’s this local master sommelier who put together an Oregon pinot noir called Fil. I’m guessing he’s Filipino by his name, so it’s a cool name for his wine, athough I’m thinking Filipinot Noir would have been cleverer.

Most wine drinkers wouldn’t consider it a pricey bottle, but I usually keep it under twenty bucks when I’m drinking by myself, and this bottle was twice that. When the clerk greeted me, I said I was there for the Fil, and she asked how many bottles I wanted.

I was just going to be the one, but since she asked I figured I’d get one for me too. Yikes!

The bottles sell out quickly. They got a case or two Friday and by Saturday there were just a few left. I figured I’d hang onto my bottle until my first get-together with friends, post-vaccinations. Can’t make promises, though. That’s a good-looking bottle.

Got home and took another short nap, then put the rent into an envelope and my water jugs into the car. Drove to Mapunapuna for water, then the aiport post office for the rent. Aaaaand since I was in the area, hit the Dunkin’ drive-through, which I have never done before.

When I was in Boston for the work trip, of course I had a cup of Dunkin’ coffee one day and boy is it overrated. I didn’t even finish the cup — tossed it about midway through. But I was craving something sweet, so I ordered an iced vanilla latte, and it was pretty dang good. Verrrry sweet, though.

Spent the evening writing and phone-vegging. Did the Saturday crossword a little late, and the groove was good so I did the Sunday puzzle as well. Sunday was more of a challenge than usual, but I got a clean solve, which closed me out for February with all 28 puzzles finished. That’s my first calendar month with all legal solves.

Crush Girl texted me a photo of some cookies she made, which was sweet. They looked pretty good. Jennifer texted me some home decorating updates (she looked into the fun house mirror!). I texted my boss a happy birthday message. The other Jennifer spent a little bit of time in the hospital with an IV in her arm. I don’t think she was there overnight, but I checked on her and we chatted a bit. Later I texted Ryan to tell him about this podcast hosting service I’d heard about.

Someone took me up on my offer to send a Clubhouse invite, and the invite gets sent in text messages, so I also texted someone I’ve only been casually acquainted with online for several years. She was unfamiliar with Google Voice, so I sent her some info that way too. Lets you use a different number for apps that require a working phone number.

‘Sabout it.

Leave a comment if you need someone to connect with. I’ll send you info. Don’t need to be coy, Roy.

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!