Lockdown: I got a little behind

I slept pretty well Monday night, once I got to sleep, but because I turned in so late (after 3:00), I only got four hours or so. This made work kind of a struggle. I’m already behind on some of the web work, thanks to my having been behind on the print editing. It made for a stressful morning. I was called on my tardiness, too, and I couldn’t make any excuses except that the web stuff is new to me and I’m still finding my workflow.

Somehow, I got kind of a lot done, even making room for several phone calls and a couple of emails asking for editing advice. By the late end of my work day (close to 7:00), I was spent.

I lounged for about an hour and then took care of my getting-ready-for-laundry-night chores. Got to bed later than planned (9:00) and didn’t get to sleep until quarter to ten. Then of course I woke up at 11:30 and couldn’t get back to sleep for an hour.


The World Series is over and the Los Angeles Dodgers are the champs. It was an outstanding series, one of the best I’ve seen. I had the game on while I worked, and it was lovely background music as I ran through my tasks.

I picked up breakfast and lunch at Rainbows. Portuguese sausage, eggs, and rice for breakfast. It was okay. I really should have just made it at home, since I have all the ingredients in my fridge and most of these take-out joints don’t use the best sausage. Boneless chicken for lunch. It was a lot of food but I was ravenous, and I planned to skip dinner.

I texted a bit with Sharon, starting off with some work stuff and moving into regular chitchat about a UPS shipment she was waiting for and a UPS shipment I received (I ordered a small sampler from Maui Chocolate because I’m writing a story about the proprietor). We also talked a little about making mochi and voting.

The rest of my texts Tuesday were work-related. Except for the World Series and (later) some Armored Saint music, it was a rather work-centric day, which is fine for a Tuesday.

I’m a little behind on returning texts, but if you need some connectivity in the doldrums of pandemic living, leave a comment and I’ll send you some contact deets. I got you. Maybe a few days late, but I got you.

Lockdown: Hello drive-through, my old friend

Can’t stop spinning the Armored Saint album. It’s really good. Just give this song a try.

I’ve been less stressed at work but I’m still behind on stuff. I thought I could catch up Sunday when I was at the office. Then a couple of last-minute things came in. A donor I tried to set a date with this week wanted to talk late Friday. A development officer had a very last-minute proposal she was writing but I was editing and formatting.

I thought I did okay, but it turned out I wasn’t productive enough Monday. I wonder if there’s a time difference between my perception and reality. With the terrible sleep I got Sunday night, I wouldn’t be surprised.

I got through the day okay. There was an email reply from the author whose book I got an advance copy of. She answered my question, saying no, the edition I read was not the version that’s being released when the novel drops. It was unproofed but was already being proofed, and if I noticed anything I was welcome to share my observations. Of course I’m going to send her all my edit suggestions. It’s going to take all week, probably, although I did take good notes in the second half of the novel.

I went to the Taco Bell drive-through for breakfast. I don’t know why. Just a bit unmotivated, I think, to take care of meals in a better way. I have ingredients for Portuguese bean soup in my fridge, which I have plans for Wednesday evening. I had a slice of apple pie for lunch. It was goooooood. Then I hit the Korean take-out for dinner. A meat jun plate and a veggie plate for later. Korean veggies keep pretty well.

After some thought this weekend, I decided to give NaNoWriMo another go. Checked in on the website, when Chrome told me my PW was compromised on that site and thirteen others. Most of the websites don’t even exist anymore, so I just deleted the stored passwords from Chrome. Then logged in on the other sites and updated my PWs. It wasn’t painful, but it took a while.

Oh, I suddenly remember why I was up so late. I took a nap after dinner and didn’t get up until about nine. I felt great! Bad news, of course. I thought I might try to go back to bed, but I remembered that it was trash-to-the-curb night and I hadn’t done any decluttering.

I lugged one large tub to the carport and gave it a quick look. It was all books I plan to keep, so the whole tub went into my storage space in my laundry room. That might not sound like much, but moving a tub from my living room to a storage space is a big deal as I try to turn my living room into a more habitable space.

Of course I had time for another tub. This was full of stuff from my teaching days, circa 2007 and 2008. Teaching materials, old documents and forms, stuff like that. Even lesson plans. I threw most of it out but kept some. I photographed some and tossed it after. As long as I have the photographic record I don’t need the actual documents on some of this stuff.

That was a good pile of stuff to go through — the stuff I consider typical of what remains. Stuff I thought I needed to hang onto when I thought I would be teaching again someday. It felt good to send it to HPOWER. And it felt good to remember my days in the classroom., days when I was doing something I’m good at.

All that clearing out was before my password resetting adventures. I may also have added a few cozy mysteries to my Amazon cart to consider later. Truth is, I have quite a few unread cozy mysteries in my stack, and I don’t need to add anymore. I just felt this urge to kind of symbolize my jumping back on the train with a few more books.

Penny and I texted a little about cozy mysteries again. Sylvia and I chatted on a couple of different platforms about Biki riding. Ali sent me a text to tell me she got a 100 on her latest paper. Sharon and I talked about Drew Barrymore. Did you know she has a new daytime talk show? It’s kind of strange but it’s a hundred percent Drew Barrymore, and I adore her. But you can see how spot-on all the SNL impressions of her are.

You know what? I think I may just have to deal with terrible sleep, cozy mystery obsession, and laziness in the kitchen for one more week. I won’t say anything about after a week’s time because I want neither to jinx anything nor get my hopes up, but I am fricking miserable about all kinds of things related to next Tuesday. The word for the next week is survival.

Whatever you’re hanging onto by your fingernails, if you need someone to share it with, just hit me up in comments. I absolutely do not want to talk about current events, but I’ll text with you about whatever you’re doing to deal with them.

Lockdown: Building a mystery

I wanted to do a million things Sunday and did a few of them, so it was a good day.

It started with not enough sleep. I fell asleep just fine, once I shut my book, but woke up at six after just a few hours of sleep, so I could do a quick check of the NFL news to see if I had to make any last-minute changes to my fantasy football lineups. I did get back to sleep but woke up at 7:30, too early after going to bed so late, but I got up.

I watched the Packers and Texans game while I did a little bit of writing. Read the news, ate a little bit of mochi, brainstormed a little for NaNoWriMo, which I think I am doing this year. I’m somewhat inspired by my reading this weekend.

Around 1:00, I headed for the office. They rescheduled the Raiders game and I stuck around to see if they were going to put it on TV, but alas. I stopped at Subway for a sandwich (footlong turkey on wheat), got to the office, and took care of some business.

A coworker mentioned she might be in the office Sunday too, and although I have done my best to avoid coworkers at all, which is why I go on Sundays, this coworker might have needed help getting into the building, which she did. So I brought some of my less-than-pretty mochi for her. I miss my coworkers!

I listened to the World Series game on the MLB app while I worked. It was good company. And it’s been a great World Series.

I was tempted to stop at the same Subway on my way home and get another sandwich. I enjoyed the heck out of the one I had for breakfast-lunch and although I wasn’t hungry yet, I knew I would be, since the sandwich and the few bites of mochi were all I’d had.

Instead I had some canned turkey chili (almost no fat) and leftover rice, and it was also quite enjoyable. And I read the rest of my book, the entire second half. It felt really good, like I rediscovered something special. I quickly emailed the writer, because I had a question about something before I wrote my review.

I did a couple of quick chores, the Monday NYT crossword (easy; I was annoyed that I finished in 5:05) and a little bit of planning for the week. Turned in a bit late, but happy to have made good use of my weekend.

I traded some texts with Penny about cozy mysteries. We share a weakness for them. I told her I’m planning to gift her this one I just read, in Kindle format when it officially drops. Crush Girl and I traded some texts about some stuff that’s frustrating her. I feel a little useless, completely unable to make her feel better about things, but I know it’s not my role to fix everything. Ali sent me a short video she shot of a strange Uber driver she had. We cracked a few jokes about that.

I’m not always quick to return a text, but if you need someone to connect with, I’m happy to connect too. I’m kind of a mess right now, seven months into this lockdown. I hate to think what I would be if I didn’t have good friends to trade silly messages with about work, books, Uber drivers, and food. It’s really making the difference for me, so if you could use a little, leave a comment and I’ll send you some contact info.

Lockdown: Muthavaca

I don’t know why I was expecting the new Mountain Goats album to be less than outstanding, but I was, and it is. I need to spin it again, of course. And probably again, with a lyrics sheet. So far, however, I don’t really like the sound of this one.

I’m intentionally not listening to the new Bruce Springsteen until Sunday evening, perhaps after the football games.

I slept decenlty but not well Friday night. Lingered a little too long in bed, reading the news on my phone then dragged myself up to do some writing and to pick up a pie. Apple. Oh, and some garlic ahi poke for lunch and dinner.

I did the Sunday NYT crossword. A 31-minute DNF because of one area where an answer from a foreign language I don’t know (vaca) and a historical figure I’ve never encountered (Nitti) crossed a species of tree I’ve neither seen or heard of (live oak). Although the crossword blogs didn’t indicate anyone else had my problem, the consensus rating is around 2.5 out of 5, so I’m not the only solver who didn’t love this one.

I took a short nap, then got up and made mochi for the first time. I forgot to cover it with foil as I baked it, so it was a little hard on its pink surface at first. However, after storing it it over night, it’s just a little stiff on top. Still pretty yummy. I have to get better at slicing it into pieces, as evident in this photo.

Then I settled in with some mochi, ice water, and that cozy mystery. And I read for four hours. I haven’t done this much sustained reading since sometime last year, and it was glorious. Got halfway through and enjoyed the reckless abandon of staying up super late with just a book.

I’ve written in this space about how I haven’t done much reading since the lockdown began, but I also have been on a break from cozy mysteries for a few years. I don’t know why. Jumping into this one, I was reminded of how fun they are to read and how difficult they are to put down. I’m back on the cozy mystery train, which is good because I have many in my physical and electronic book stacks.

Cindy asked the Cindy-Suzanne-Julie group text where to get soft serve besides Dairy Queen. I gave her a list of places I’ve tried. It was a fun conversation, and it was nice to find some places I haven’t tried yet. Someday, when we’re okay to go out again.

I also traded short texts with Ali and Crush Girl. Nothing especially gripping, but it was nice to have the contact.

Breakfast was a slice of peach-pear pie and a couple of hot dogs with ketchup, mustard, and sauerkraut. Lunch was the poke with fresh hapa rice. Dinner was more of the same.

A decent, mellow Saturday. I have a little bit of work to do Sunday, and I’m expecting to be very, very tired, but I’m hoping also to spend more time with my book.

Leave a comment if you don’t have adequate connectivity in these, the dismal days of the pandemic. I may look up from my book long enough to respond. 🙂

Lockdown: Saint that a shame

Thursday night I slept decently, but woke up around 4:00 and had trouble resting until it was time to get up. Frustrating.

I got out of bed a little before the start of my workday and drove to Subway for breakfast. Footlong turkey on wheat. I had a $2 reward to burn before Monday. Used to save the rewards up until I had enough for a free footlong, but that’s when I was eating there two or three times a week.

Work was so much less stressful than it’s been, now that I’ve got that bear of an assignment turned in. I posted an article, edited some letters, interviewed a donor (this is a good one — I look forward to sharing), edited a photo for someone else, and wrote some social media posts that didn’t go up yet.

Too tired Friday night to do anything fun (or meaningful). I did a couple of crossword puzzles (poorly), read more of the news than usual, did a little fantasy football research, and watched the new Borat movie. It’s funny in a super clever, super awkward, fairly gross way. I was impressed with how Sacha Baron Cohen uses his stunts to catch normal people being kind, though. Most unexpected.

Oh, I also spun the new Armored Saint album, and it’s reeeeally good.

People get nostalgic for olden days, but sometimes they are horribly misguided. With schooling for sure — we know so much more today about learning differences, when some decades ago we would label some students “slow” and put them in non-college prep track.

You know what else sucked when I was growing up, that doesn’t suck now? When I was fourteen, I read heavy metal magazines, where I learned about bands like Metallica, Armored Saint, Anthrax, Kix, Keel, and Cirith Ungol. I saw the records at Tower, but I couldn’t afford to buy stuff unheard, and there was nowhere to hear these bands.

Metallica and Anthrax were big enough that if you paid attention, you’d hear them on movie soundtracks at the cinema, or sometimes on MTV, but there were so many bands who sounded cool who you could never hear. I’m still making up for a lot of lost listening, and I’m in my fifties.

Anyway. Finally getting into Armored Saint. I’m already super familiar with the lead singer, John Bush, who was for a time the lead singer in Anthrax. Until last night I had no idea Armored Saint was a musically decent band. Since Bush contributes a lot of songwriting, it makes sense that this Armored Saint album reminds of a less thrashy Anthrax.

The songs are interesting, and the musicians have a good sound. The album is very well produced, too, which of course enhances my listening. This is almost surely a top-ten album of the year for me. And I’m looking forward to exploring more of the band’s discography.

Ali texted me really late (for her). We shared a lot about our work situations, and a little bit about racial healthcare disparities. Sylvia texted and we talked a little about exercise and food. Vicky sent me more info about some of her MLM meetings. Crush Girl and I shared briefly about stuff I won’t describe.

Need this weekend a bit more than most. Here’s to it.

If you’re having trouble finding people to connect with, I hope you’ll leave a comment. Don’t go through these days alone.

Lockdown: Sweatshop

Sooooooooo I went to bed around midnight Wednesday and woke up at 3:00 Thursday morning to get back at it. It took me until about 3:30 to get to my desk. Traffic on the way to work was horrible; there was a bit of congestion at the hallway-livingroom junction.

The stuff I had left was generally tedious work I don’t mind doing when I’m not in a hurry, which is one reason I did it in the wee hours, when I wasn’t on company time. We have this enormous, highly confidential database of people associated with the university, and this major publication I’m working on likes to cite people’s degrees, grad years, and campuses when we write about them. Like this: “Sally Smith (BA ’08, MS ’12 Hilo) met with constituents to talk about…”

It takes a lot of time, and it’s kind of a pain because it’s a huge database, and you can imagine we have a million Sally Smiths in it, and I have to find the one record matching the subject of the sentence, if this Sally is in fact a grad, which may not be the case.

I also checked name spellings, which I’ve adopted as my personal mission. Also tedious, and also something of a guessing game. If the person’s not in the database, I have to hit Google or Linkedin to match the person in the text with the person in the real world, to be sure I’ve got it spelled correctly. This takes a lot of time, too, and I’ll do it again when I’m proofing the assembed draft.

I got through at about 6:30 with one task left. I kind of screwed up a similar task (one huuuuuuge reason I was so late with this assignment to begin with), so I sent a clarifying email to my supervisor and went to bed for a couple of hours.

The first, three-hour sleep was really solid. The second, two-hour sleep was pretty bad, even with Darth Vader. But I kind of expected that, especially with all the junk food I ate while I worked. Chips and wasabi peas, mostly. An ice-cold Diet Pepsi. Oh yeah, there’s the reason, I guess, although I drank that early, so it should have mostly been metabolized out of my system.

The rest of the workday was systematically plodding, but productive. Got that last thing done. Posted a news release on the website and looked up the social media tags so our social media person wouldn’t have to do it. Another tedious task, looking up FB, IG, and Twitter accounts, if they exist, for tagging in our social posts. Then I wrote the posts, mostly as suggestions, for the person who officially handles the accounts.

When the day was done, I was super tired, and I considered just vegging in front of the TV, but I listened to podcasts instead and did a few chores. I may also have done some online shopping I’ll regret later.

There’s this musician I like, Luke Brindley, who Kickstarted two albums this year. One, This Spaces, is an instrumental, and I’ve been spinning it while writing this week. It’s remarkably good for keeping me in the writing part of my brain. I think I’ll write a full review after a few more spins. It’s a strong candidate for my non-metal album of the year. I haven’t taken the (figurative) cellophane off the other album, even though the non-instrumental is the reason I jumped on the Kickstarter in the first place.

Oh, I don’t know how this happened but I spent a little bit of time reading, too. Still working my way through Sarah Frier’s No Filter, but also dove into a new cozy mystery, an advance copy (!) by a writer I like. I signed up to be on her advance copy team so I could be one of those people who posts reviews of her books before they’re actually published. I think finishing the novel will be one of my things for the weekend.

And looking for my Kindle. Argh.

I kind of skipped breakfast Thursday because of all the junk I ate while writing. For lunch I had a few hot dogs with ketchup, mustard, and sauerkraut. Dinner was leftovers of the baked ahi, with some borderline leftover rice. I had a slice of peach-pear pie for dessert, not really enjoying it because I think I was eating it just to keep from going to bed too early. Ridiculous. The only food I actually enjoyed Thursday were the hot dogs. Since we’re still getting rain and I can’t swim in the ocean, meals are the only real carnal pleasure I have these past few days. Sucks not to enjoy food.

Now that I’ve got that onerous task done, and am settling back into work I’m not letting destroy my psyche, hopefully things will get back to some kind of fake normal.

Grace is terrible about texting, but we got into it a little Thursday evening. She’s working too hard, of course. We talked about voting and this boba spot on her street that used to be my favorite. I’ve cut way, way back on boba, mostly because if I have to get it to go, I’m just not as interested. I miss cafes.

Ali must be busy. I sent her a little update on a coworker’s retirement, and didn’t hear back. It’s been like three or four days of her not returning texts, which is totally fine and actually normal for her.

Crush Girl and I texted some more about her work situation. I gave unsolicited advice, of course. What a mansplainer I can be sometimes.

I feel lucky to have friends with whom I connect via SMS. It’s a low-pressure, non-immediate interaction that suits me very well. If you could use a little of that, please leave a comment and I’ll send you my contact info. You don’t have to go through these damndemic days alone. There’s a cleverer phrase there somewhere but I’m too tired to come up with it.

Lockdown: Tuesday, Wednesday: crappy days

So. I fell asleep around 10:00 Tuesday night after putting myself to bed at 8:30. I considered it a small triumph. And I slept really well until the alarm went off at 2:15. I mean, deeply. Restfully. Uninterruptedly. It was bliss. I was sad to be awakened.

But I dragged myself up, stopped at the supermarket to fill my drinking water, and get a Big Mac combo from McD’s. Except the McD’s was closed. Ugh. I stopped at the 7-Eleven instead, which I was going to have to do sometime soon anyway to get a money order for the rent. Still, convenience store sandwiches are not nearly as lovely at 3:00 in the morning when you’re doing laundry as a Big Mac and some fries.

I forgot to bring my MiFi device with me, too. The first time I’ve done that since lockdown began, so I spent my time in the laundry reading an ebook on my laptop. It didn’t suck.

Unwilling to brave the ocean since I usually give it a couple of days to restore itself, I came right home after, and went to bed, remembering how wonderfully I slept last week when I did the same thing. It was not a repeat performance, but I slept okay.

Good thing, too, because work kind of killed me. I focused on getting this annual report done, this project I’ve been working on for more than a month (actually, in some ways, since May and June), whose original deadline was September 30. Yeah, it’s been bad. I worked until about midnight (on that and other tasks) and still had two things to do. So i went to bed, setting the alarm to give me three hours of sleep so I could get up early and finish things.

Yeah, it was a long, kind of crappy day, but I was glad to be productive. I did take a few breaks — I had to, so it wasn’t the worst day. It just wasn’t very nice.

Breakfast at the laundry was an egg salad sandwich and a tuna sandwich from 7-Eleven. I had it with a bottle of water. I had some hot dogs with ketchup, mustard, and sauerkraut for lunch. For dinner, I made the first of my planned (and shopped-for) meals, a baked ahi dish from the HBA family cookbook. It was okay, but I would much rather have just done a quick pan-fry with some lemon, butter, and capers. The point, however, was to make something new, and I did and I’m glad I took the time.

I texted my sister to pass along a message from my folks, then texted my niece too. Jennifer sent me another link I still haven’t checked, but I will as soon as I finish writing this and then finish some work. Vicky asked me if I knew anyone who might want to sit in on a Zoom info meeting for her MLM. I texted Ali to let her know that her former boss is leaving the company next month. Crush Girl and I traded a bunch of conversation related to her job.

My soundtrack Wednesday was mostly Van Halen’s final studio album, A Different Kind of Truth (2012). It’s not good but it doesn’t suck. Will spin it a few more times when I have time to focus. I also spun a few new albums from bands I’d never heard of before: Infera Bruo (black metal), Cryptic Shift (black metal), and Pallbearer (doom metal).

Oh! And I got my Prime Day order in the mail. Some new wireless headphones, which I’ll write about later. Of course I broke them in with a spin of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Heavenly. Delightful.

Don’t forget to reach out if you need someone to connect with. These are the pandemic days of our lives. Don’t spend them lost, disconnected, or alone. Every day you’re not contributing to the health crisis is a day you’re doing something good. But you don’t have to do it alone. Unless you’re Jennifer and I keep forgetting to look at your links!

Lockdown: Roger Dodger and Rays of light

It’s going to be a few days before I brave the ocean again, assuming we don’t get more rain like we had, so I didn’t worry too much about getting up early Tuesday. Slept terribly again, then got right to work. I still didn’t have the kind of day I like, but it was almost okay, productivity-wise. I posted a donor student impact story, only my second post on the website. It was stressful, but I thought I did okie dokie.

Strangely, some of the best work came while I had the World Series on the TV. I don’t like the Dodgers and I do like the Rays. But the teams are successful for very similar reasons, because Dodgers team president Andrew Friedman changed the way baseball is played — when he was with the Rays.

Friedman is not a jock. Well, he played baseball at Tulane on a scholarship, but that was where his athletic career ended. He was a Wall Street analyst before joining the Rays, applying his understanding of markets and valuation to the world of baseball, and as I said: it changed everything.

Whichever teams wins the World Series, it will be because of Andrew Friedman. Cool story. The Dodgers have been screwed in recent years, the best team in baseball a few times but loser in the playoffs because of cheaters. That’s not sports-fan hyperbole; the Astros admitted they cheated, and some of the Red Sox, who beat the Dodgers in the World Series later, were involved in the Astros’ cheating.

So it will be a good story, no matter which team wins. I almost always root for the AL team, but I will be pretty happy if the other team wins, too.

After work, I did a couple of quick chores and got ready for the laundry. Got to bed around 8:30 but couldn’t fall asleep until 10:00.

Breakfast and lunch were leftover angel hair, and dinner was a slice of peach-pear pie. Boy, that leftover pasta was delicious.

Texted kind of a lot with Crush Girl, mostly about my work. She was a good ear. Ali sent me a selfie showing her still wearing Hawaii jewelry and clothing, which she says she’s planning to wear throughout the New England winter. There were a few other texts here and there about little things, just reminders, I think, that we all existed.

I exist. You exist. If it doesn’t always feel that way in the context of this idiotic pandemic, I encourage you to reach out. Just leave a comment and I’ll send you my contact info. I don’t always return texts very quickly, but I eventually get back to everyone. I think!

Lockdown: And if we meet, we shall not ‘scape a brawl

Not really in the mood but if I don’t do this now I’ll be too far behind later.

I’m struggling. Not seriously, and not a lot, but a little bit here and there and there. I recognize my lack of energy and motivation, and I know myself well enough not to let things go, or little annoyances turn into big problems like the Monster and the Beast.

I was supposed to go to the supermarket sometime this past weekend but just didn’t feel up to it. I put it off to Monday night, but Monday night I wasn’t down for it either. Tried to think of ways not to go: I could go Tuesday morning, I could just skip the supermarket entirely and go next weekend, I could stop at the Safeway at Manoa Marketplace when I was done with my laundry, except I was also trying to think of good reasons not to do the laundry this week. Like I tried to think of them last week.

What I saw was the downward spiral, and I know what’s at the bottom, so Monday night I put my list together and went to the supermarket half an hour before closing and got it done. For two weeks’ worth of groceries, this live-alone bachelor paid $146, and when I looked at the receipt, I said a little prayer of thanks. I remember very recently trying to keep my weekly grocery trips to $25. It was still a pain dragging my stuff into the house and playing 3D Tetris with the contents of my little fridge, but while my mood wasn’t any better, my mindset was.

I’m blessed whether I’m putting fresh ahi in my fridge or packages of instant ramen on my shelf. But I am far, far less stressed about these things, and I’m healthy, and my parents are doing okay, so the least I can do is whatever I have to do.

I woke up Monday morning, not as early as normal for a beach day, but I know that parking opens up a little after seven, as the early-goers (usually me) leave for work. After telling myself a bunch of different ways I wasn’t going to go, I went. Got there at about 8:00, got my second-favorite parking stall, and jumped into the ocean.

And jumped right back out. The water was super gross. Leaves. Seed pods. Twigs. Feathers. Roots. Yeah, it was a lot of runoff. I knew it had rained, but I had no idea it had rained like this. I actually swam through that yuckiness out to the buoy, where some mornings like this the water is a lot nicer, but it was just as gross out there.

So I took a really good beach shower, picked up breakfast at the Taco Bell drive-through, and got back to my desk in plenty of time for work.

Work Monday continued to be a slow plod, putting me further behind than I already was. Not good, but I ended in a good place and shut it down feeling hopeful for Tuesday.

For lunch, I unwrapped a small wedge of Point Reyes Bay Blue cheese and had it with some crackers. Delicious — it’s my new favorite blue. For dinner, I made some angel hair and threw half the wedge in with some jarred sauce, garlic flakes, red pepper flakes, and vodka. No brown sugar this time; I didn’t want to mute the savoriness of the cheese. It was gooooooooood.

I gave myself a little bit of credit for making myself get groceries and didn’t do any decluttering, which makes it the first week since I started that I pretty much didn’t throw anything out. Disappointing, but I’m going to forgive myself.

I traded brief texts with Penny to ask if she voted (I sent her a funny David Sedaris quote I came across about undecided voters). The writing partner and I caught up a little. Had a little CBD conversation with Julie, Suzanne, and Cindy. I don’t think Julie’s going through the sleeplessness Cindy, Suzanne, and I are, but it was nice to commune with people similarly struggling. That was about it.

Okay now I’m a little behind on getting ready for bed, so I’m out. Leave a comment if you need some connectivity in these mad, mad pandemic days. “For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.” Romeo and Juliet. Don’t go through this stuff alone.

Lockdown: Medium tedium

(sing it with me) I slept terribly Saturday night and got up Sunday around 7:30 just to get it over with. The terrible sleep, I mean. The Raiders had a bye week, so I wasn’t super interested in the early Sunday games, although I had them on as I went through the morning routine and they were pretty good.

Still trying to work something out that allows me to spend a few hours in the office on the weekends while avoiding coworkers and still seeing the games I want on Sundays, I went to the office in the morning. I figured I could skip the early games and get home in time for most of the late morning games and the late afternoon game.

Picked up brunch at Grace’s. Chicken katsu and mochiko chicken. Worked pretty efficiently, although the work itself was a slog. I’m posting some stories I finished to the company website, but I wanted to take advantage of the office wifi while I was there, managing the images for all three stories at once and then uploading them in advance of posting and editing the stories.

It took a while, editing each photo and then individually uploading each photo with alt text and whatever else I had to add. Tedious.

I also updated software on the work laptop and worked on updating my binders. More tedium, but it felt good to put them back on my shelf with stuff updated and in order.

The goal was to be out of the office at noon, but I didn’t get out until two. Five hours, but they were productive, comfy, and relaxed, which they wouldn’t have been with coworkers in the building. If I make this my routine (when the Raiders aren’t on in the early morning) and cut it back to three hours, I’ll be pretty dang happy.

I got home in time for the late game, the 49ers and Rams. I have to admit my heart wasn’t really in it despite my fantasy football interests on both sides. Jimmy Garoppolo looked sharp in the first half, though, in a way that goes beyond what I believe every NFL quarterback is capable of on a good day. He looked a bit sloppier in the second half, but his team won.

Dinner was the rest of the four-bean salad. I did a few chores, read the news, worked the Monday NYT crossword early (in 4:14) and turned in before 9:00. It was an easy puzzle; I was disappointed I didn’t break 4:00.

I took a break from Van Halen and listened to new albums by Calyces (plural form of Calyx!), Lord Almighty, and Version Eight. Calyces and Version Eight were especially intriguing. I really like the dark progressive metal sound of Calyces, but the songs aren’t very memorable. Still a band to keep an eye on. Version Eight appears to be a one-man operation. Very positive, up-mood, djenty, metal-leaning progressive rock.

New Bruce Springsteen Friday, and new Fates Warning the Friday after that. What a good year for music, at least with the release calendar. I’m pretty sure that takes care of major releases until the end of the year, which will hopefully give me a chance to catch up on my list before 2021, if it ever gets here.

Ali and I did a lot of texting about someone she told me about a couple of years ago. Crush Girl and I traded a few texts about some eating spots. Sundays are always light for texting.

Leave a comment if you’re going through pandemic days without enough connectivity. Let’s work something out so you’re not dealing with this crap alone.