Friday 5: It can’t be that bad

“If it makes you happy, it can’t be that baaaaad…”

From here.

  1. What movie makes you happy?
    Two that come immediately to mind are Groundhog Day and Sideways. However, the unexpected recent answer is Pitch Perfect 2, which isn’t nearly as good as the first movie (which also makes me happy). Still, for reasons I can’t identify, it really does the job. Oh-em-aca-gee!
  2. What song makes you happy?
    The one that’s almost guaranteed to do it is REO Speedwagon’s “Roll with the Changes,” with REO’s “Live Every Moment” a very close second. I’ve got them first and second in my REO playlist and they’re just great for driving to work with. Shout-outs also to Michael Franti and Spearhead’s “Say Hey (I Love You)” and “The Sound of Sunshine.” And don’t tell anyone, but “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves does it to me too.
  3. What food makes you happy?
    I’m going to be specific and say indian food at Maharani in Honolulu. I almost never go, since I typically dine alone and you always feel bad as a solo diner in such a popular restaurant. When I go with friends I actually feel lucky to be eating such great food. Like I woke up and Morgan Freeman as God said, “You’re going to have a fantastic meal tonight.”
  4. Who makes you happy with just a text message?
    I wish I could give a better answer, but almost always Crush Girl. I think I’m nearly over my interest in her as more than friends, but she still lights up my day when she initiates a text conversation. It makes me feel special to know she’s thinking of me.
  5. What beverage is most likely to lift your spirits?
    Nothing beats a good cup of coffee. It really fills me with joy, especially now that I seldom drink it. Yeah, nothing else comes close.

Listen to Michael Franti and Spearhead and feel good today.

Friday 5: Z

From here.

  1. How have you been sleeping lately?
    Miserably. For the past few weeks. A combination of work stress, not enough exercise (because of bad weather), and current events is making peace and rest difficult to find. I’m hoping some of this will be alleviated in ten days or so.
  2. What kinds of linens and stuff do you have on your bed today?
    I’ve found a combination I really like, so when it’s time to wash everything, I just strip the bed, do the laundry, and put it all back. I have a navy blue fitted sheet from Target. Not the least expensive of Target’s offerings, but not the most expensive. I’ve found that higher thread counts are kind of uncomfortable for me; I like a little bit of texture in my sheets. My flat sheet is a brownish-orange sheet, also from Target and possibly the least expensive. I have a black pillowcase from Target for my regular pillow, and a dark blue pillow case with a starry sky pattern (as in yellowish white dots to look like the night sky) for my body pillow. I have a blue and white Mexican blanket, a gift from R, on standby, but I haven’t needed it since winter.
  3. What’s the latest you’ve gotten out of bed these last few months?
    I like to stay in bed late on weekends, but my terrible sleep has made such relaxation distasteful. I’m usually up by 9:00 on weekends now, and usually take a short nap later in the day.
  4. Have you had any pleasant or unpleasant dreams lately?
    Geez. I had a terrible nightmare Wednesday morning. I was a teacher, and it was set in a school. Since I’m not a teacher anymore, I’m interpreting this as related to my work stress. I was in possession of a female student’s binder when I shouldn’t have been. It was kind of an accident. I realized I’d grabbed the wrong thing, and was flipping through it when there was a knock on my classroom door. There was a TV reporter with a microphone and several reporters with cameras outside, asking to come in and speak to me. I hadn’t done anything wrong except this unintentional possession of the student’s binder, but I also knew how it might look. I went into near panic when I realized I was dreaming, and I forced myself awake. It was really scary.
  5. What helps you relax these days?
    Morning swims for sure, but I haven’t been in the ocean for two weeks now. There are a few podcasts I enjoy, whose hosts have relaxing voices. After listening, I often don’t delete them, so I have a few hours’ worth on my phone. Most nights, I’ll play the podcasts when I lie down to sleep. It helps. Mina Kimes. Kevin Sheehan. John Hodgman. Katie Nolan.

Friday 5: Consumption

From here.

  1. What would you consider your most recent major purchase?
    Chagall Guevara is a band who in 1991 released one of my favorite albums. The lead singer is Steve Taylor, whom I idolize, but guitarists L. Arthur Nichols and Dave Perkins are also musicians I think very highly of. They recorded just the one album, despite excellent reviews. Early this month, they launched a Kickstarter campaign to release a new concert album, recorded in 1991. I jumped all over it, committing at the $75 level, which includes the live album on LP and CD, plus a t-shirt and a CD of unreleased studio songs — including a couple of new things the band is recording now! The rabid fans took the campaign past its $40K goal in twenty-two hours! Then when they were nearing $60K midway through, they set some stretch goals, offering fresh vinyl of the original album and all kinds of other cool things if they hit $100K, which I really thought was too large a stretch. I was wrong — they hit that mark, and are at $114K from 1754 backers, with three days to go. I’m in it for the music only — I don’t need guitar picks or turntable slipcovers or whatever, but what they are offering music-wise was far, far too good to pass up. So now I’m in for $150 for all three albums on CD and 180 gram vinyl. Plus the shirt. It comes to $172 bucks with shipping. Ridiculous, but when it comes in the mail, the pain will have been forgotten and all I will feel is love. And for these musicians to see how beloved they are? That’s part of what I’m paying for, and they are already talking about the possibility of reforming (or maybe I’m making this part up). And they set up another stretch goal they will never reach, but if they get to $125K or 2000 backers, they’re going to have a concert in 2021 in Nashville. Even if I don’t go, I’ll love that I helped it happen. No, I do not own a turntable. Why do you ask?
  2. On what are you hoping to spend a good chunk of change in the near future?
    Car stuff. The transmission’s getting ready to go, and I really like my car, so I’m going to spend more than its value to have it done, and then since I’ll have invested so much in it, I’ll have some body work done. Yikes.
  3. When did you most recently resist the urge to splurge?
    I put a new ukulele in my cart and then moved it to “save for later.”
  4. When did you most recently experience buyer’s remorse?
    I wasn’t pleased with myself when I had that second Taco Bell breakfast whenever I had it.
  5. What’s something interesting you consumed this past week?
    I watched The Banker on Apple TV+. Listened to a lot of Rush music. Ate a nice veggie stir-fry with a ribeye. Oh, and those Lay’s Nashville Hot Chicken potato chips. Really good. They taste just like fried chicken skins.

Friday 5: One-decade rewind

From here.

  1. What are some albums you really like from 2010?
    In 2010 I purchased BK3 by Bruce Kulick, Streets of Rock and Roll by Keel, Periphery by Periphery, Infestation by Ratt, The Seraphic Clockwork by Vanden Plas, Warp Riders by the Sword, Aqua by Angra, Angel of Babylon by Avantasia, Cherryholmes IV: Common Threads by Cherryholmes, Burning Like the Midnight Sun and de-plumed by the Choir, Clara McVille — Concert Edition by Clara McVille, Acoustic by Della Mae, In Your Eyes by Echoterra, Tug of War by Enchant, The Big Black and the Blue by First Aid Kit, American Slang by the Gaslight Anthem, No Better than This by John Mellencamp, Aligned Archetype by Kellee Maize, Stairwells by Kina Grannis, Live Love in London by King’s X, Spring by Larkin Poe, Omni by Minus the Bear, High Violet by the National, Taken by Rhonda Vincent, Magic for Everybody by Sam Phillips, The Secret Sisters by the Secret Sisters, Volume 2 by She & Him, and Excavations of the Minds by Sky Architect. I’ve since purchased several more from the same year, but since this is a look back at 2010 specifically, I’ll only pick from among these. The clear choice is Omni by Minus the Bear, with Burning Like the Midnight Sun by the Choir second, American Slang by the Gaslight Anthem third, and Cherryholmes IV by Cherryholmes fourth. Man, good memories.
  2. What are some songs you remember fondly from 2010?
    Among popular songs, I see “Like a G6” by Far East Movement was that year. Pretty great song. Also “I Gotta Feeling” by Black Eyed Peas. I purchased both of these as singles. Also “You Belong with Me” by Taylor Swift. Great songs, all of them, but the two best are “Fireflies” by Owl City first and “Fuck You” by Cee-Lo Green second. Great songs.
  3. What’s your favorite movie released in 2010?
    I’m pretty sure I was at the movies more than once a week during 2010. I saw in theaters Leap Year (Amy Adams), Youth in Revolt (Michael Cera), When in Rome (Kristen Bell), Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Valentine’s Day (cast of hundreds), Cop Out (Bruce Willis), She’s Out of My League (Jay Baruchel), Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Hot Tub Time Machine (John Cusack), The Last Song (Miley Cyrus), Clash of the Titans, Death at a Funeral (Martin Lawrence), Kick-Ass, Iron Man 2 (Robert Downey Jr.), Just Wright (Queen Latifah), Letters to Juliet (Amanda Seyfried), Princess Kaiulani (Q’orinaka Kilcher), Get Him to the Greek (Russell Brand), The A-Team (Liam Neeson), The Karate Kid (Jackie Chan), Toy Story 3, Grown Ups (Adam Sandler), The Last Airbender, Despicable Me, Inception (Leonardo DiCaprio), Ramona and Beezus (Selena Gomez), Dinner for Schmucks (Steve Carell), Get Low (Robert Duvall), Flipped, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Anna Kendrick), Lottery Ticket (Bow Wow), Easy A (Emma Stone), Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (Hugo Weaving), Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (Michael Douglas), Secretariat (Diane Lane), Hereafter (Matt Damon), Morning Glory (Rachel McAdams), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1, Tangled, The King’s Speech (Colin Firth), The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Fighter (Mark Wahlberg), How Do You Know? (Reese Witherspoon), True Grit (Jeff Bridges), Gulliver’s Travels (Jack Black), and Blue Valentine (Michelle Williams). I might have seen the last few in 2011, since they were released in December, but I’m not going to draw that line since I can’t remember. There are more bad films here than great (Valentine’s Day couldn’t end quickly enough). I’m going with Blue Valentine first, Scott Pilgrim second, and Harry Potter third.
  4. Which television programs debuting in 2010 did you rather enjoy?
    Not much to choose from here. I definitely watched Hot in Cleveland and Hawaii Five-0. The former was bad but it starred Valerie Bertinelli so I kept watching it. The latter was decent but I lost interest after a few episodes.
  5. Which events in 2010 bring back good memories?
    It was a good football season. I incorrectly predicted the Steelers would beat the Packers in the Super Bowl, but I liked the Packers better, so I was pleased by the result. I’ve mixed feelings about this because Aaron Rodgers is better at putting the football exactly where he wants than any QB I’ve ever seen, and the stupid Packers haven’t done a good job of putting good players around him, and it’s still the only Super Bowl Rodgers has won. They are wasting an amazing talent.

Friday 5: 家

From here.

  1. In what forms of housing have you resided?
    There were a few places in two states I don’t remember, so I’m answering beginning with ages 3 and 4, the earliest I can recall.
    At least two two-story houses as part of multi-home units (military housing)
    Three two-story single-family houses
    Two one-story single-family houses
    Four walk-up apartments
    One two-story single-family mansion that was my off-campus dorm
  2. What are the best and worst things about the location of your home?
    The best are that it’s very quiet and still very close to city things. The worst is that I sorta have to get into my car for everyday things. I’ve gone a few periods without wheels, so “have to” is too strong a word, but it’s very, very inconvenient without a car.
  3. Where would you keep a second home if you could have one?
    I have two ideas. One is a small house in Cooperstown, New York, where the National Baseball Hall of Fame is. The other is a smallish lake in sort of the same area, where I spent a summer with R and her father. One day, when I become filthy stinking rich from being a writer for a nonprofit, I’m going to find a realtor to find me a home on a lake like this one. Not huge, but not tiny, with a no-motorcraft rule. This rule makes a huge difference. People paddle canoes or row boats, but there are no jetskis or motorboats.
  4. How well would you adapt to permanent RV life?
    I would mostly adapt very well, but I have a tendency to accumulate stuff. I think this would be the toughest adjustment. I’d easily limit my book collection. However, I’m very attached to my music collection. I think I could manage with what I own now, actually — I just wouldn’t be able to grow it very much. I’d have to give something up for everything I picked up. Doable. And probably worth it for the life of a nomad. I have a friend who lives in a bus, and I’m envious whenever he posts photos on IG.
  5. What’s the prettiest thing to look at within five miles of your residence?
    I think Ala Moana, the beach where I swim a couple of times a week, is six miles away, so I’m going to say the waterfront behind Aloha Tower, especially late in the day. In the year before I started working at the nonprofit, I walked there a lot, just to enjoy the view. The water isn’t the sort you’d want to swim in, however, and there’s no beach. It’s very industrial. But boy, is it pretty.

Friday 5: State change

From here.

  1. What recently caused you to boil?
    I’m going to stay away from national current events because that’s too easy, and focus on my personal life. Bloody Wednesday at work, a few weeks ago when our leadership laid off ten percent of my awesome coworkers, was devastating and infuriating at the same time. It’s been a month, and we’re still dealing with it. The devastating part is obvious, but the infuriating part is that even though nobody can really predict a pandemic or what it’s going to do to a nonprofit organization, getting to a point where you have to cut loose ten people, ten awesome people, some of whom have been with the organization for decades, is a failure by leadership. I know these things often cannot be helped, but someone is responsible, and it’s never, ever the responsible people who lay themselves off. Perhaps it’s a built-in unfair reality of doing business, especially in a profit-driven world where a nonprofit works on the thinnest of margins, but that doesn’t change the unfairness of it, and I’ve a right to be angry. Which I am.
  2. What often causes you to freeze?
    I don’t know what things are like in other places, but in some cultures here it’s socially normal to give everyone a kiss when you greet them in social settings. Say, at a picnic. Someone shows up and walks around greeting everyone with a kiss. If it’s a guy, he shakes hands or fist-bumps the guys, but he kisses the women. If it’s a woman, she kisses everyone. I like kissing women as much as the next guy, unless the next guy is Joe Biden, but I freeze up every time this happens. Thankfully, it seems to be happening less and less, but man. Sometimes it happens in a group of people you don’t know very well. Super stressful. Aaaaaand sometimes (albeit rarely these days) it happens in the conference room at work. Yikes. And no thank you. Honestly, it’s more often a hug, but I’m almost nearly as terrified of the hugs as the kisses.
  3. When did something evaporate into thin air?
    For Christmas, my sister gave me this cast-iron griddle I love but haven’t used yet. She threw in a couple of amazing oven mitts, and I adore them. I never knew I needed oven mits that only go up to your wrists, made of some heavy-duty fabric but with silicone on the part of the hands and fingers where you grip stuff. The silicone has grippy bumps too. I have these enormous cloth-lined silicone oven mitts that go up to my elbows. They’re great for getting a broiling pan out of the oven, but practically useless for getting a small bowl out of the microwave oven. These little hands-only oven mitts are great for that kind of thing, and I’m dexterous enough in them that I can twist off stubborn jar lids or bottle caps with them. Anyway, I have difficulty keeping track of them for some reason. They’re there, and then they’re not there. Maddening!
  4. What recently caused you to melt?
    I’ve been watching Anna Kendrick in Noelle lately, just for the feel-good. Anna plays Noelle, Santa Claus’s daughter. She tries to convince her brother, the heir to the red suit, to return to the North Pole to claim his title, but he’d rather teach yoga in Arizona. It’s a silly movie completely absent any cynicism or darkness, but I love it. And Noelle has these moments where she extends grace and compassion to people who need it (and who doesn’t need it?). There are a few scenes that have teared me up ever since the first time I watched it, but now I get teary in almost all these instances. Noelle’s gift for listening to people so they know they’re being heard and sympathized with is amazing, the kind of thing we are all charged to do, and she demonstrates how easy it really is. And there’s this silly that’s-what-Christmas-means-to-me speech that’s written specifically to make you cry, and of course I resist that entirely, but the last five times I’ve watched the movie I just let it go, melting right into the living room carpet.
  5. Among United States you haven’t visited, which would you most like to check out next?
    It’s obviously going to be a long time before I can do it, but I’ve got my eyes on Ohio, with Illinois and Missouri second and third, mostly for reasons related to professional sports. Each of these states has two Major League baseball teams loaded with history and lore. Ohio is in first because it also has the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, which I really need to visit. The music festival I most want to attend someday is in Atlanta every fall (except this fall), so Georgia’s on the radar too.

Friday 5: She’s going the distance; she’s going for speed

Haven’t done this for a while. From here.

  1. What’s your favorite cake?
    I’m not a huge cake guy. I prefer pie. But if there’s a good cake around and I’m craving something sweet, I’ll partake. The best cake I ever had was at someone’s birthday party at Ice Palace when I was in high school. It was amazing. Just a regular white cake with white icing, but from a high-end bakery that I don’t think exists anymore. I remember thinking, “Wow. I need to re-think my concept of cake.” However, since that’s not available the best cake I can think of is the chocolate cake with chantilly frosting at Liliha Bakery, although the same cake at Zippy’s is just about as good.
  2. When did you last have pancakes?
    Last month or the month before, I picked up a Denver omelette at Pancakes and Waffles on my way back from the beach, with a short stack. The pancakes are quite good there.
  3. When did you last bake a cake or a cake-like thing?
    Oh, I made a mug cake a few weeks ago! In the microwave. It was really good. I think I’ll make another sometimes this long weekend.
  4. What part of your job is a piece of cake?
    General copy-editing is pretty easy for me. I have a knack for making other people’s writing readable. If the source material isn’t terrible, I don’t usually have to focus much — I can listen to music and even converse with others while I do it.
  5. Where have you had a really good cupcake?
    There are some good cupcake shops on this island, but my favorite were from a food truck called The Girls Who Bake Next Door. They have a store now, and have retired the truck. It’s kind of near my house actually. I should drop in.

EDIT: Darn it, I forgot the bonus question.

Bonus question: What are your thoughts on icing?
Mostly I prefer a cupcake without it, and a regular cake with very little. I had a couple of students who would often bring cupcakes (or better: mini cupcakes!) to school, and they would save a couple with no frosting for me. “Don’t touch that one!” they would say to their classmates. “That’s for Mr. D!”

Also, I was reading another Friday 5 respondent’s answers, and she reminded me that strawberry cake is a thing. I’ve had some great strawberry cakes made with strawberry soda. That might actually be my favorite.

Lockdown: A Friday 5 and Tiramisu Oreos

Friday 5: The most convenient definitions. From here.

This week’s questions come verbatim from a certain favorite movie.

  1. So — so on Monday, what happens?
    I was scheduled to be in a group Zoom interview with some big donors. As we scheduled and rescheduled the thing, I had a weird feeling about how this was coming together, but I kept my mouth shut except to suggest that group interviews (in this case, two interviewers and two interviewees) required a bit of strategy ahead of time, a comment that was responded to by crickets. However, my boss emailed me Friday morning to say I didn’t have to be in the Zoom call — she’d felt similarly that something was off, so she’s going to handle the interview on her own. Whew. So now it’ll just be a normal Monday, at least normal according to new definitions of normal.
  2. What was that ruckus?
    Neighborhood kids bouncing a ball around, then almost setting off my car alarm. It was mildly annoying but kids being kids almost never bother me, and I let it roll.
  3. What do you know about trigonometry?
    Math didn’t become poetry for me until high-school calculus, but once I had my moment of calculus awakening early in 12th grade, I could look back and see that the prologue was trig. Less poetry and more elaborate puzzle, trig is like those pencil-and-paper mazes you trace your way through, and when you color in the path, you’re left with a drawing of a flower. Or it’s like those Transformers toys. It’s a robot! Until you start moving this thing here and that thing there and then it’s a big, complicated mess — still one structure made up of the same pieces, but completely unrecognizable until you play around with it some more and then: it’s a sleek racecar. That it’s effectively all based on one simple, beautiful theorem is the stuff that makes you realize there had to be an intelligent creator. The secrets of the universe are in the right triangle. Actually, I don’t think that’s true; I think the secrets of the universe are in pi, but Pythagoras was clearly on the path.
  4. Vodka? When do you drink vodka?
    Not very often. I haven’t figured out what my spirit spirit is. It’s not vodka. ‘though I gave vodka a pretty good chance to connect. I have two half-consumed bottles of it in my kitchen right now, in fact. A bottle of Absolut, which I dislike. It has a weird waxy flavor when you drink it neat, although I have to say it’s a good mixer. And a bottle of Ketel One, a much better option that I rather enjoy. While most of my liquor is in a cabinet, I have the Ketel One at the ready in my freezer, a Captain Morgan spiced rum on my dining table, and Buchanan’s blended Scotch on my kitchen counter. None of which I imbibe very often. I just like having them ready. That Buchanan’s, by the way, is horrible right out of the bottle; I get why so many YouTube whisky raters don’t score it highly. However, if you pour it and let it sit for a few minutes before sipping (neat), it’s quite good. I don’t know what the explanation is.
  5. How’d you like to go fishing this weekend?
    Man, I would love to. I wouldn’t mind grabbing a bamboo pole and getting ankle-deep at Waimanalo and hooking oama for a few hours. I haven’t been oama fishing since elementary school days with the McGuires. Any nice beach time at all right now would be great, really.

Friday was mildly productive in a super-slo-mo kind of way. I was rolling on this proposal I backburnered near the end of March. I got up to take a break and saw that I had a Zoom meeting in forty minutes, and I didn’t think it would be worth it to get re-absorbed in the proposal only to have my workflow interrupted by the meeting. Then the meeting got called off, and then I had half an hour until the regular daily Zoom call, so I kind of waited around for that. It was not the best use of my time.

I don’t think I’m going to be pleased with myself if I don’t spend some time this weekend just wrapping up the first draft to send to the fundraiser. Urrrrrggggghhh.

I didn’t go walking Friday either. Urgh again. Just felt super lazy and even though I knew I’d feel great once I got moving, it just didn’t happen this time. My weekly stepcount is going to be its lowest in months, I think.

I did, however, get Taco Bell for lunch, something I’ve yearned to do for six weeks. I wasn’t even hungry. I just saw a window of opportunity and once the idea popped into my mind, I could not shake it. So a burrito supreme, a taco supreme, and a 7-layer burrito with a large Diet Pepsi. The Taco Bell drive-through didn’t have a pay-with-phone option, much to my annoyance. It’s a brand-new building, not two months old yet! They didn’t outfit the drive-through payment system with a phone payment capability? I’m appalled.

Breakfast was a bowl of Churros breakfast cereal. Soooo bad. Dinner, which I just had a moment ago, was some of that pulled pork and kale, with hapa rice. Delicious. The hapa rice for certain dishes is going to work out if I don’t cook it in the Instant Pot and then let it sit in the keep-warm phase for 90 minutes as I did this evening because I fell asleep. I will try to stick to brown rice for most dishes, but there are certain things brown rice just doesn’t work for.

Don’t tell my doctor.

I did a lot more snacking than usual. A couple of times I had a few bites of potato salad just to drive the twitches away. And right before I decided not to go walking, I had four Oreos. While I am not much of a cookie guy, I’ll enjoy the occasional three or four Oreos, and the supermarket had these tiramisu flavored Oreos. They’re quite good.

It looked like there would be no interpersonal connection via texting Friday, but then Ali in Boston finally reponded to my messages going back two weeks. We chatted about a few things. I miss her.

Then Sharon asked me about the Hawaii Stories project I’m working on with Ryan, and we talked a little about Ellen DeGeneres, Demi Lovato, and Christina Aguilera. No contact with Crush Girl but it feels okay.

IMed with F5 girl for a little while too.

It was not my best day, work-wise or life-wise, but I am grateful for the interaction with these friends.

Oh, I did one semi-productive thing today. I continue to set up my workspace at home, a task I could have finished six weeks ago but which I continue to drag out. I finally took an old HP tower off my desk and cleaned up the stuff that accumulated beneath it: mostly hair ties and a few coins. I’ll take the hard drive out of the machine Saturday and destroy it with my drill. My goal is to have the entire table cleared of everything except the (working) computer stuff and things directly related to my daily work. This desk doesn’t have drawers, so I’m keeping stuff I need but not all the time in a plastic bin on a TV tray next to my desk. It’s mostly working. I just have to get all this other garbage, the accumulation of years and years and years, off this table so it’s a nice, clean workspace.

It was a long week and I’m looking forward to this weekend. Gotta do some stuff for the Hawaii Stories project. Some personal writing. A little bit of work (making that my first priority for Saturday when I eventually get out of bed). A ton of walking. Reading. I’d like to squeeze a movie in, too. I won’t have to do any cooking, since I have so many leftovers in my fridge, but I fed the sourdough starter this evening. I’ll have another go at sourdough bread in the afternoon.

“In these uncertain days…” it can be easy to feel disconnected from the world, which if you want it can be a glorious thing. Believe me, I’ve been there. But if you don’t want it, it can be horribly discouraging. Don’t be discouraged. Reach out and I’ll be happy to spend some connection time with you, in texts or DMs or IMs. “Because we’re all in this together…”

Friday 5s: AKA March 73red; Excitement in the domicile

From here and here.

AKA March 73rd. These posted April 3, so I’ll answer for the week leading to April 3.

  1. What did you have too much of this week?
    Too much bad sleep for sure. I’ve reverted to some bad things in my sleep routine, stuff I thought I had gotten past. But I’m taking Darth Vader off in the middle of the night, which means unhealthy sleep, which means not my best at work.
  2. What did you have not enough of this week?
    Oh, haha. I should’ve saved my #1 answer for this question. I’m going to say that for as much solitude as I had, I didn’t have enough. Those people at the laundry messed me up, and I made two visits to the supermarket when I didn’t really need to make any. Also not enough of Crush Girl’s company, if I’m being honest.
  3. What did you have in just the right amount or number?
    I did well on step counts. The long walks at night have been great for my body and mind. Although I often have trouble making myself go, once I’m moving I can’t remember why I didn’t just jump up and get out. Also, I think I had enough Diet Pepsi for pleasure.
  4. What’s better today than it was a week ago?
    Working from home. I decided on a two-laptop system, using my work laptop when I needed files or apps on the virtual desktop, which isn’t that often, and my personal laptop for the actual writing. I might have been able to ask for remote access on my personal laptop, as I think some coworkers have done, but I’d prefer to leave work stuff on the work computer and personal stuff on the personal.
  5. When they make a movie about last month, what would be a good song for the soundtrack?
    I’m hearing a lot of references to “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” by REM, which is a pretty good choice, but I’m going with The Chior’s “Blue Skies.”

    I’ve got a cause I should surely defend
    I hope you will agree
    I’ve got a tire I would love to suspend
    I’m searching for a tree

Excitement in the domicile. These posted April 10.

  1. In what way have you recently been naughty?
    I go on these long walks through Kapalama, Liliha, and Nuuanu. That’s a lot of walking, during which one often has to relieve oneself. I’ve done this enough over the years that I know where the good spots are: Maemae Elementary, behind the heavy machinery parked in front of Nuuanu Cemetery, the trees at Lanakila Park. Public urination counts as naughty, right?
  2. What’s the closest you’ve been to death-defying these past few weeks?
    I’d have to say shopping at Costco. Listen: I’m through with Costco until this thing blows over. I don’t care if I’m spending twice as much money on things. I was utterly terrified the last time I went in there.
  3. What temptations have you recently resisted?
    I’m telling you, this doesn’t make sense. At least a few times a day I swear I need to go to the stupid supermarket. I don’t need anything! What’s going on in my confused brain? Thank goodness laziness usually outscores panic-shopping.
  4. What’s something you wish you didn’t recently see?
    When I came out of the water Thursday morning, I saw something on the beach that looked a little unusual; I thought maybe it was an oddly shaped hunk of driftwood. I didn’t have my glasses on, so I had to get close to realize it was some kind of dead animal, domestic-pet-sized. It had washed up on the beach, it had matted fur, and sand was stuck to it all over. I couldn’t tell from my short glance what kind of animal it was. *shudder*
  5. What behavior from others are you excusing nowadays?
    People on FB are disagreeing on what’s a legitimate reason to go out. I’m iffy on everything, so I’m passively watching the conversations. None of us really knows. I’m excusing any position that isn’t blatant disregard for public safety. Those ministers insisting on holding public worship services can all go eff themselves, though.

Lockdown: Some days are good enough (and a Friday 5)

Not my most productive Friday at work. I revised the voiceover copy for a 30-second radio PSA we’re doing for emergency student aid. It’s okay (my boss likes it) but it’s too long, and I don’t think it’s compelling enough. I asked if I could work on it a little more and submit a few other suggestions, and she said that would be fine.

So I’ll be doing a little of that over the weekend, which is okay. I kinda feel like I owe a few weekend hours after my non-productivity today.

It was another day of bad food decisions. Breakfast was two small frozen burritos which sounds unhealthy but really isn’t. Lunch was two hot dogs with ketchup, mustard, and sauerkraut. Dinner was a bowl of macaroni with marinara sauce, prepared in the Instant Pot. I didn’t really snack unless you count the after-walk bowl of leftover macaroni I’m having right now. I prefer to think of it as the final course of my dinner meal, interrupted by five miles of walking.

I hit 14,448 steps for Friday. When midnight hit I was still a ways from home (I got off to a late start) so I already have 4,200 steps accumulated for Saturday. I kinda like doing it this way even though it really amounts to the same amount of walking. It’s nice to wake up in the morning and see I only have 9,000 steps to go.

Traded texts with a friend from work — but it wasn’t about work, and she’s not just a work friend anymore so I’m counting it. Responded to a text from a friend in San Diego, and sent a text to Grace to let her know (in case she missed it) that the city bus is operating on holiday schedules every weekday now.

I went through a few podcasts and laughed aloud at a few. Took a nap during my lunch hour. No progress on chores today but I knew that would happen when I stayed up ’til 3 Thursday night.

Neither a bad day nor an especially good one, so I’ll take it.


Friday 5: Final Frontier, from here.

  1. What would you do with more physical storage space?
    Put all my music, books, and DVDs in some kind of nice, neat arrangement, all in one place. They are taking over my residence and I’m getting a bit overwhelmed.
  2. What would you do with more living space?
    I’d like to get a restaurant booth and table just for meals, maybe with like a napkin dispenser and sugar shaker. I actually have room for this but I have to toss a bunch of stuff first. Not giving up on this dream.
  3. Would you rather have more kitchen counter space or kitchen cabinet space?
    I have a lot of cabinet space I don’t use. Stuff gets put in cabinets and forgotten about. Most of my cabinets are empty, except one where I keep the alcohol and a few cans. So I would like more counter space for my many kitchen appliances. Right now they take turns between the counter and the space under my dining table. The only permanent residents are the bread machine, Instant Pot (which only recently replaced the slow-cooker), and microwave oven. That’s right: I’m a bad Japanese boy. I don’t keep my rice cooker on the counter. I made brown rice in the Instant Pot the other night and it came out great, so I’m thinking of just using the IP for rice now, since it’s in the position of honor.
  4. What would you do with a larger bedroom?
    A couch and a papa-san for sure. I wouldn’t mind having a second desk in there either.
  5. What’s taking up too much space in your brain lately?
    For once I don’t feel especially burdened lately. Maybe work? I’m a little concerned about being more productive working at home. And although I thank God daily that my company is keeping me working, I honestly don’t feel safe if things get worse. There are indispensable people around here, and I don’t think I’m one. There are several people with more seniority in my company who can write. I’m not worried right now, but I’m a little worried that I might have to worry later.

I hope anyone reading this is sheltering well. You don’t have to go through it alone; please reach out if you are.