Lockdown: Back to the beach (at last)

Thankfully the McD’s at Waiakamilo and Dillingham was open for takeout. I thought I needed to get some sugar into me quickly, so I had a small vanilla shake, then chased it with two cheeseburgers and a medium fries. They did the trick. At least the weird internal shakiness was gone.

I wrote this a year ago. Early April 13 about April 12, 2020. I remember that night. I was really feeling unwell. Shaky. I scarfed that impromptu takeout meal standing on the walkway of the adjacent stripmall. The fries were especially delicious that night.

I miss these late-night walks, which may have been my mental health anchor in the early weeks of the lockdown. We were actually locked down that weekend, Easter weekend, with an actual citywide curfew. You could be out excercising, but if you were in your car you had to be on your way home or on your way to work, or getting something important from a store. Great evenings for walking late at night. Great alone time.

Saturday morning I wrote something about slothful intentions. See, when you set the bar at sloth, it’s pretty easy to feel accomplished. I got up early that morning after only four hours of sleep, drove to Young’s for a huge Hawaiian plate, and enjoyed the heck out of it while writing my Friday 5.

Took a long, heavenly nap. Worked the crossword while finishing my food, then it was time for a little foodventure. I made pimento cheese, inspired mostly by a great segment on the ESPN Daily podcast.

Just give it a quick listen. It’s short, like three minutes, and it’s super interesting. And it made me seriously want to make it.

After all the tasting as I went, I felt pretty gross, so I quickly asked Siri when sunset was. In half an hour. I figured it would take me fifteen minutes to get to Keehi Lagoon, leaving me fifteen minutes before sundown and another thirty before darkness. I could work with that.

So I read A Pho Love Story on my Kindle as I walked around the still-closed park. It was really pretty, which is a nice surprise because it’s not a very pretty park by Oahu standards. Like a lot of stuff this past year, it’s benefitted from having no people.

The book’s quite engaging, so I kept walking after dark, just back and forth in the tennis court parking lot, where my car was. I think I totaled an hour of very leisurely walking for a little over two miles.

The sunshine, fresh air, and mild exercise were a tiny piece of the weekend, but I think they really made the weekend for me. Without them, I’d have felt pretty terrible about the way the rest of it went. With them, my spirits were just a lot better, and I’m fairly sure my hitting the beach eeeeeaaaaarly Sunday morning had a lot to do with how good I felt Saturday night.

I was still craving movement, so on impulse, I stopped at a liquor store in my neighborhood, thinking I’d grab a Diet Pepsi, then walk around on Pier 38 as I continued to read. Then as I stood outside my car putting my mask on, I realized I’d really had quite enough, so I hopped back in and went home.

I blanched a bunch of watercress and ate a few handfuls of that for a snack. All that Hawaiian food had me pretty sated, and I thought the fiber would be good for my insides. Then much later I had a pimento cheese sandwich, because of course.

I went to bed kind of early Saturday night, so I could wake up early Sunday. Got up a little earlier than planned, about an hour before my 4:45 alarm, and couldn’t get back to sleep. So yeah, it was off to the beach. After a stop at the McD’s drive-though for an Egg McMuffin and a couple of breakfast burritos, which I ate in my car (a rare thing) while reading my Kindle before the sun came up.

I do not know what the deal was, but I got my favorite parking lot and still would have if I’d come twenty minutes later. For some reason the beach was not a popular early morning activity Sunday. I actually waited until the water was light enough for me to see how gross it was before jumping in. It wasn’t gross at all. It was nice. And still there weren’t that many people in the water.

I took it easy, since it had been more than two months since my last swim. I guess I went for nearly forty minutes, but it was a old man’s forty minutes. Stopped at Starbucks on my way home for a decaf vanilla latte.

I was about to head home with it, when I remembered that I was vaccinated, and one day away from the two-weeks-post-shots milestone. So you know what I did? I grabbed my Kindle and drank my coffee at one of the outdoor tables. It was almost normal.

Got home and almost immediately took a nap. Woke up pretty refreshed but achy as heck a few hours later, and made another pimento cheese sandwich. Took some photos for the ‘gram, of course. Went back to bed, but not for tooooo long. Woke up and made the salad for which I’d blanched the watercress. Watercress, tofu, grape tomatoes, sweet onions. It came out pretty great but blanching the watercress was kind of dumb. Took the edge off the greens, so they added blandness. Without the nice bite of raw slices of onion, it would have been a failure.

I had a bowlful with just shoyu as a dressing.

Did a few house things and headed to the office, where I actually did regular work-work. Edited some photos, then placed them in a proposal I’m working on. This one’s kind of different: it’s related to hog farming. Most people around here don’t know it, but the University of Hawaii started as an agricultural college, so the ag college at Manoa is actually the oldest college in the university, predating statehood by fifty years or so.

Oh yeah, and I picked up dinner at Grace’s on my way in. This is turning into a bad habit, but maybe it was okay. The morning’s swim was causing me to burn through everything. That’s the theory, anyway.

To recap: lots of sleep. Lots of reading. A little bit of sunshine, fresh air, and exercise. My slothful ambitions were satisfied, and so was I for a change.

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