Washed down to gravel and stones

The shift back to working from home hasn’t been easy. I can’t decide if this surprises me or if it doesn’t.

Some of it’s predictable, including the unintended shift to vampire hours. I had to drive to the office early Monday morning to get my work laptop. Combined with my weekly difficulty putting myself to bed Sunday night, I got about two hours of sleep before the alarm went off at 5:30. On my way back I picked up a few groceries (okay, it was mostly caffeine-free Diet Pepsi but also fresh veggies and a chuck roast), so I didn’t get to back to bed until around 7:00, leaving me another two hours before I had to get up for work.

It was the first domino in what might be a week’s worth of sleep-deprivation dominoes. We’ll see, I guess, but since it’s quarter to five now Wednesday morning, I think we can see where this goes. I’m off for half the day Thursday and off all day Friday, so I kind of think I’ve already resigned myself to being miserably sleep-deprived for another day. Not a conscious decision; I swear.

Monday I was in such bad shape I asked for a half day’s vacation. I’d have preferred to take the whole day, but I had mailouts for two community colleges to edit and schedule. Tuesday I was just kind of wasted all day. Managed to work on a few tasks, but you can imagine I wasn’t very efficient. Bleah.

Monday night I felt kind of terrible, so after a longish nap I cooked that roast in the Instant Pot and watched the Seth Meyers standup special on Netflix. It did the job better than I predicted. It’s quite funny, and one of the few comedy specials on the service where every joke landed. The pot roast was good, but since I’m mostly off rice and potatoes, it wasn’t as good as it should have been.

Tuesday evening I watched the first half of Don’t Look Up, on the recommendation first of my boss. What a cast, and what sharp writing. I’ve been following Adam McKay since The Big Short, and he’s a consultant for Meadowlark Media now, the production company that cranks out at least half my podcast listening. I think he’s brilliant.

I actually got on the phone and made an appointment to take Jessica in for a few repairs. It felt good to get just that much done. Car stuff stresses me out, so it’ll be nice to take care of this one thing. I have a few more car issues to attend to once these repairs are made, but I feel like I’ve got things in motion, finally.

Breakfast Monday was overnight oats. Lunch was granola and yogurt with raw honey. Dinner was the pot roast. I snacked on potato chips — too many for sure — and olives. I never cared much for olives until recently, when I decided they’d be a decent low-carb snack. I have four varieties in my fridge right now.

I forgot to put overnight oats in the fridge Monday night, so Tuesday breakfast was granola and yogurt with raw honey. Lunch was overnight oats. Dinner was takeout from Panda Express: mushroom chicken and black pepper Angus steak with supergreens. I snacked on pistachios.

Texted a little with Allison, a newish coworker. Also with Excrush Girl (I’m still not feeling the EX part of that but I’m going to keep trying for a while at least).

Monday and Tuesday I mostly listened to podcasts. I fell three or four weeks behind on the Dan Le Batard Show and spent most of the weekend and the early part of this week trying to catch up. Still working on it.

Right now I’m spinning the 2021 James McMurtry album, The Horses and the Hounds. It’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect, but probably a little better.

My fields are empty now
My ground won’t take the plow
It’s washed down to gravel and stones
It’s only good for burying bones

He’s the son of Larry McMurtry, and this album makes me think of the elder. I wrote about this last spring, but Larry McMurtry and Beverly Cleary both died March 25. Two writers who most influenced my writing. Cleary turned me from an avid reader into a real bookworm; she’s the inspiration for my declaring in fourth grade I wanted to be a writer. McMurtry is the writer whose skill I envy more than any other. His clarity and readability are my daily aspiration.

Note to self: Stephen King’s mention of Larry McMurtry in On Writing would be a good topic for this space.

My weight is creeping back up. Need to address this beginning Wednesday. I’m not kidding.

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