Tuesday, February 2, 2021

positivity journal 2021:1

not gonna lie: this was the month it almost didn't happen, and i think it shows. what a seething hellscape.

anyway! onward!

jan 1: najah @ 20
jan 2: spotify shuffled three straight clare dunn songs and that feels right 
jan 3: i sorta burned some pumpkin seeds and they kinda taste like unpopped popcorn kernels, which are my favorite, and now i will only sorta burn pumpkin seeds
jan 4: watched video for billy joel's angry young man for the first time in years. i still can't believe how fast his hands move
jan 5: petsmart clerk told me to say hi to my cats, plural, based on how much cat food i bought. i didn’t tell him there’s just one. i know this one is a repeat. it happens every time


jan 6: the good bourbon. lots and lots of bourbon. and cherries. also the good ones. also lots. 
jan 7: calmed down before going to bed by queuing up three deliciously sedate sara bareilles songs: gravity, st honesty and orpheus. it worked 
jan 8: i love watching the charter buses leave town
jan 9: walked the mall from the capitol to lincoln memorial to reclaim it
jan 10: while walking, woman asked me about ucf shirt. said she graduated in 2012. which means she was probably not born when i graduated 

jan 11: bill ... bellchick? wait, really? (checks notes). yeah, bill belichick. huh. weird. who woulda guessed
jan 12: i burped out loud while waiting at a crosswalk because i forgot about being around other people 
jan 13: had potato chips and onion dip for lunch, then tortilla chips with bean dip for dinner. no matter how you look at it, that’s 4 servings of vegetables 
jan 14: started planning the fruit tart i hope to make tom rhodes for his birthday next year
jan 15: while walking, i met a 3-month-old pupper named rocco and the best way i could describe his general shape would be spherical

jan 16: stuffed crust pizza

jan 17: i did regular grocery shopping at publix in richmond just because i could and so i could write here that i did
jan 18: helped make 800 sandwiches
jan 19: helped make 1,100 sandwiches
jan 20: super quiet day. didn't see that coming

jan 22: it was 30 degrees, so wayne and i were able to leisurely eat our ice cream outdoors without fear of it melting
jan 23: listened to tom rhodes' "around the world" while cleaning the apartment. putting the ha-ha in housework
jan 24: the round trip to the krispy kreme shop is about 9,000 steps
jan 25: did not love the premiere of the second season of zoey's extraordinary playlist, but it reminded my how much i love the song "carry on" by fun

jan 26: drove three hours to sit in a restaurant. there was no food, but good, masked, distant conversation. baby steps

jan 27: accidentally got two story ideas in one conversation
jan 28: quality writing time
jan 29: it was a long day at work in which i barely left desk for almost 11 hours, but it eventually ended, and felt productive
jan 30: had probably best gyoza since i moved to DC. i made them (it was a recipe test, but still)

jan 31: watching snow out the window

Sunday, January 3, 2021

positivity journal 2020:12

year 2 of this list closes heavy on weird dairy references and a perhaps surprising amount of pork products

dec 1: went on a weird online shopping binge for my vacation. not sorry
dec 2: clerk at wawa called me sweetheart, which was nice, but it struck me that she seemed far too young to be calling random people sweetheart, then i wondered if it’s just that at some point i got too old
dec 3: delivered a whole lechon belly and omg my car smells good
dec 4: watched the live action “mulan” and it was great but could’ve used a wisecracking mini dragon played by eddie murphy
dec 5: got a new knife (see dec. 1) and it’s amazing. h/t quintin middleton

dec 6: finally got kitchen mostly clean from thanksgiving
dec 7: first day back from vacation is when i learn how smoothly things go without me and it’s liberating
dec 8: today is the first day i got an inquiry as to whether i expect to have leftovers of christmas dinner
dec 9: "i don't know why I go walking at night / but now i'm tired and i don't want to walk anymore / i hope it doesn't take the rest of my life / until i find what it is that i've been looking for"
dec 10: heard that najah sat on my hip at some predawn hour waiting for ... something. this makes me happy and sad, actually


dec 11: feed the good wolf
dec 12: went to whole foods and they had everything i needed
dec 14: i’m not all that into beef anymore (if i ever was), but jeremy gave me a chunk of brisket he made and it’s kinda great
dec 15: christmas card included 40-year-old photos i’d been missing. h/t linda fruecht

dec 16: when i text jay wang and look at the top of the screen and it says “jw” i always think i accidentally texted myself
dec 17: watched the losing my religion episode of song exploder and mentally made a list of about 100 songs that i’d love to see that thoughtful of a deep dive into the creation of
dec 18: made cookies
dec 19: i went to a new butcher shop and we hit it off well and the butcher gave me his cell number and that seems normal
dec 20: swapped cookies

dec 21: whenever i say the words creme fraiche, out loud or in my head, it's in the south park guy's voice
dec 22: mcrib
dec 23: i al
ways forget how much better homemade pasta is until i make pasta again
dec 24: 9 am text: “we got too many truffles. want some?”
dec 25: found a way to feed friends again

dec 26: i apparently thought allison brie and brie larson were the same person. turns out they are not. and that i like brie more than i thought i did
dec 27: was in wawa and trying to figure out what song was playing. thought it might be a matchbox 20 song i didn’t know. realized it was actually john legend. but the very next song was real world, which is a matchbox 20 song i totally know, and i think i just heard it before it started playing
dec 28: leftover porchetta sliders
dec 29: i ate a whole pint of ice cream because i didn't feel like getting up to put it back in the freezer
dec 30: rib wich

dec 31: this is my 731st post in this series. wow

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

positivity journal 2020:11

the mostly turkey edition
nov. 1: i watched steelers play, and enjoyed it, but even when i thought they were going to lose, i was ok with it
nov. 3: watched jeremy bowers be an electoral college weatherman on the internet
nov. 4: while my colleagues spent the day holding a lantern for democracy, i spent the day editing thanksgiving pie recipes. we’re all our own kind of hero
nov. 5: i put nocino in my ovaltine for my best, most immature cocktail yet

nov. 6: dude walking with dog, off leash. dog sees me, loses mind, starts running at me barking. dude loses his mind, screaming at dog to stop. dog runs at me, i sti“remember that tough times don’t last; tough people do.ck out my hand. she rubs her nose all over my hand then lays down at my feet. dude looks at me. i can't believe you stuck out your hand for a dog that was running at you barking. i knew how the story ends
nov. 7: had a really bad dream, but looks like it ended
nov. 8: worked on a sunday for like the third time in 8 years, but it was totally worth it
nov. 9: sleepy najah started slipping out of my lap, caught herself, stood up, resituated, fell back to sleep, slipped, caught herself, etc, etc, for like 2 hours

nov. 12: delivered cookies to wayne lockwood in a late-night transaction in a park that probably looked weird if you didn't know everyone involved
nov. 13: twitter updates on sourdough laura michalski is making for me to use in thanksgiving stuffing
nov. 14: “the greatest work that kindness does to others is it makes them kind themselves”
nov. 15: started cooking thanksgiving

nov. 16: i had been sitting for several minutes when my watch informed me i had met my goal for standing
nov. 17: melanie starkey dropped a remarkable homage to the origin story
nov. 18: on anniversary of seeing sara barelleis in concert, spotify randomly dropped “orpheus” on me and i could not be more pleased
nov. 19: orchestrated the purchase of alcohol from 600 miles away
nov. 20: got shoes i bought on the internet and they fit. i did not see that coming

nov. 21: a microplane is a more efficient way to zest citrus, but i love using a zester and watching the oils expel as you pull it across
nov. 22: when nora simon and i exchange texts, it is almost exclusively “i made some (thing), do you want any,” followed by “yes.” either of us can initiate this exchange
nov. 23: i can butcher a turkey in 12 minutes
nov. 24: gravy
nov. 25: the guy at my seafood store is named gator

nov. 26: i try to just be thankful for something every day, but it’s nice there’s a day for it
nov. 27: started the day with an email that made it clear all the effort was worth it, but spent the day wrapping my head around it
nov. 28: gargantuan hot turkey wings
nov. 29: wayne lockwood gave me pink gin, which makes it easier to make pink drinks at home
nov. 30: you’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to

Sunday, November 1, 2020

positivity journal 2020:10


i'm not excited about this week, but here is last month

oct 1: bittersweet: last day working at the stadium. it was a great ride, though
oct 2: “optimism is the greatest form of rebellion”
oct 3: i have open group text threads in which the only topics are, separately, chicken wings, fried chicken and tacos
oct 4: wasn’t sure if maggie bowers would remember me. i assure you, she did
oct 5: walnut tacos

oct 6: a walk in the park on the chesapeake bay
oct 7: spent the day listening to van halen
oct 8: thousand island dressing is clearly the very best dressing
oct 9: sometimes survival is a victory 
oct 10: eating the first of a batch of bagels hot out of the oven

oct 11: just watched football all day. never left the house. not terrible 
oct 12: i kept a mistake out of the paper because of something i learned in sunday school like 40 years ago. that’s the first time that particular thing has happened 
oct 13: when i listen to billy joel, i never imagine the music video
oct 14: “we can wake up every morning/we can set ourselves on fire/we can do it all again”
oct 15: closed the "move" ring on my watch at 11:58 p.m.

oct 16: was out walking and a guy asked me what gang i was in. as i weighed the potential consequences of a funny answer, he laughed and said he was kidding 
oct 17: Sterling: "what are amphetamines?" Blair: "drugs that can go on land and water."
oct 18: made french toast with bread i made from my grandmother's dinner roll recipe
oct 19: haven’t used my ice cream maker in awhile, but someone asked to borrow it, so glad it got its reps in
oct 20: i saw a tv commercial in which they properly pronounced the word nausea. it was a moment 

oct 21: my vision in my left eye has improved by a half a diopter, whatever that means. so all that hard work is paying off
oct 22: voted in favor of the mushroom proposition. i will never not be in favor of mushrooms
oct 23: margo price and lukas nelson covering stop dragging my heart around for tom petty birthday bash
oct 24: grits for breakfast 
oct 25: went to supermarket and only bought things on my list

oct 26: wondered if it would open some weird time-space portal if i told alexa to play downeaster alexa
oct 27: walked past favorite ice cream place without buying ice cream. i DO have willpower 
oct 28: i think i am inadvertently, de facto, low-key life coaching a couple of friends and my god i hope it all works out
oct 29: woke up to the sound of rain
oct 30: saw a fed ex guy put his packages down on the ground so he could pet a very tiny puppy who very wanted petted. this account is now a fed ex guy stan

oct 31: i got a caramel apple without going trick or treating

Friday, October 2, 2020

positivity journal 2020:9

there's a lot of billy joel this month, and all the billy joel moments aren't even in here. same with najah
sep 1: i was thinking about lady gaga’s “you and i” and it came on. you might be surprised how often that kind of thing happens. i know i am
sep 2: i broke nail clippers trimming nail on my big toe. so my toenail is stronger than steel. yes, this list is weird
sep 3: after picking up food in drive thru, popeye's employee said "see you tomorrow." which, i mean, is not a bad idea
sep 4: for second week in a row, slack conversation with daniela galarza leads to weekend cooking project. this week: frangipane 
sep 5: late-night cherry frangipane tart delivery

sep 6: made old boca news salsa recipe (as best i remember it, but we actually have a copy of the recipe somewhere) with the tomatoes i canned, used it in breakfast burritos 
sep 7: was worried when parking lot at gettysburg was full, then happy when trails were empty 
sep 8: when billy joel’s for the longest time came on, guy next to me in assembly line started singing along. in spanish 
sep 9: learned there’s a zaxby’s within driving range
sept 10: meat loaf day is pretty easy

sep 11: the humidity disappeared 
sep 12: ikigai: the two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you figure out why
sep 13: eve evans randomly sent me a beloved family recipe, so i made it
sep 14: combination leftovers for dinner means i cleared 3 containers from freezer 
sep 15: 57 degrees when i got to the stadium 

sep 16: i think najah’s vet legit loves her
sep 17: “you want to have dinner in a tent on the sidewalk in the rain?”
sep 18: fried chicken friday
sep 19: walked past supreme court. so did a lot of other people 
sept 20: a week after i was supposed to watch brandi carlile at red rocks, i watched a stream of brandi carlile at red rocks from 2015

sep 22: reading rachel anderson's positivity journal posts
sep 23: i might've given up on the show "the boys" by now, but they keep dropping hilarious billy joel references. oh, and they added aya cash as one of the super-antiheroes
sep 24: there is a new puppy in our building. a tiny bulldog. her name is hoppy, and that is the correct name for her
sep 25: as soon as i finished work, najah jumped in my lap and stayed there for more than 2 hours

sep 26: walked around dupont circle and kalorama for 2.5 hours with chris white listening to him tell us about where various presidential dalliances took place
sep 27: replied to a tweet about a wine because it sounded interesting. jeremy bowers almost immediately responded to tell me we had it with dinner ... 12 years ago
sep 28: i don’t love red wine, but i always seem to like really, really, really expensive red wine (not related to sep 27, as it happens)
sep 29: walked 2 miles along the anacostia after plating 2,000 meals, all before lunch
sept 30: since deleting facebook app from my phone, my blood pressure has dropped


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

positivity journal 2020:8

not gonna lie. in a year of months that suck, august did its best to stand out as super suck, made worse by the fact that the next couple months will be a literal virtual cesspool of suck. 

 but, i mean, you can read about that in the post above this one, and the 15 below, which i get to on or around the 22nd. 

aug 1: i think i might be in the background of some lady’s cheesy congressional candidate ad. i do not endorse her, as far as i know
aug 2: almond extract 
aug 3: grace potter singing “stars” from the bridge of the starship enterprise 
aug 4: "oh, i know who you are"
aug 5: i feel that, ironically, there are a lot of answers in the song “don’t ask me why”

aug 6: bought horchata so i could put rum in it. the reverse will probably happen some day in future
aug 7: slack recognizes "guesstimate" as an actual word. it can't be, can it? 
aug 8: my watch sent me a message that said “it looks like you’re working out” and that’s the nicest thing anyone has said to me in a long time 
aug 9: so many tomatoes
aug 10: got some cheese, crackers and salami and called it lunch. which i would not have done if at office. on day 152, i have found first net positive of this fiasco

aug 11: we were short at the stadium, and i worked a 5-person line with 2 other people, and it was seamless, like a dance
←aug 12: pam is rewatching ER. whenever i hear dr morganstern in a scene, what i really hear is frank gallagher. and it makes the show way more interesting 
aug 13: dropped everything to drive to falls church to get jars to can more tomatoes, which i picked up on the way home 
↓aug 14: “i’ve been counting up my karma and i think it’s time to cash it in”
aug 15: my watch says i got 1 minute of exercise today. i have no idea when that could’ve happened 


aug 16: lasagna sunday omg
aug 17: had to choose between watching maggie rose and maggie rogers. because of technology, actually watched both maggies
aug 18: broke out single malt scotch, because i knew anne ferguson-rohrer liked it. as always, i gasped as it vaporized my alimentary canal, which i also think she would find amusing 
aug 19: “it’s not our circumstance that create gratitude, but rather our perception of our circumstances”

aug 20: went to schedule next month's payment on credit card, found out my balance was $0. that was easy
aug 21: capn crunch is a nutritious part of a healthy dinner
aug 22: deleted facebook app from my phone in an act of self preservation 
aug 23: drove on carroll street to deliver tomatoes to my friend carol
aug 24: i’ve always liked birch beer, and always thought the flavor was familiar but i couldn’t figure out why. then it hit me. pepto bismol. i stand by all parts of this statement
aug 25: someone accidentally bumped into me. it’s been months since that happened and it was kind of great

aug 26: after doing some research, i think i like boulevardiers better than negronis. tho that is only effective for today
aug 27: i play a dumb game on my phone and am a member of a team, on which i have a teammate whose screenname is "huskymom," and i wonder if that's because of the mascot of the school where her kids go, or ... i mean, what else could it be i guess
aug 28: done with work at 8 pm on a friday. i'll take it
aug 30: went in to start writing something. found i already had

aug 31: gave myself a break

Saturday, August 1, 2020

positivity journal 2020:7

i dunno. but here is this, and there are cats

jul 1: was suspicious when story said business’s phone was 123-4567. was not convinced when biz’s website confirmed. so i called. i was right. tracked down another number. called it and told owner about bad number on website. he seemed legit grateful. so now i edit business’s websites as a pro bono side gig
jul 2: “they tried to bury us. they didn’t know we were seeds”
jul 3: a lap around the outside of nationals park is 3/4 of a mile. so i took 2
jul 4: dispatched 11 pounds of cherries for future use
jul 5: drove an hour and a half to get a burger, confident i would not see anyone i knew, only to arrive at precisely the moment john taylor showed up

jul 6: demanding najah
jul 7: officially reached the point that they let me in the stadium even if i was inadvertently left off the list
jul 8: can’t figure out what the reality level of talk of impromptu road trip to maine for lobster rolls with tammy and jenna is
jul 9: saw scott drewno while i was walking and got to pet his great dane, agnes, who is a very tall dog. while doing that, someone with a giant german shepherd walked by, and luckily they got along
jul 10: theme of meditation app today was cats

jul 11: while walking around convention center, saw guy wearing “stay home” t-shirt. give it a second 
jul 12: decided against cooking over the weekend. i needed a distraction from my typical distraction
jul 13: i wear a mask even though i don't like to, but i do love, when i get home, the feeling of taking it off in the air conditioning. it makes the ac feel colder
jul 14: i was in second spot on assembly line and in first was a kitchen pro whose ocd complemented mine perfectly and i kept up with him all day
jul 15: watched treasure planet on disney+ strictly because the montage song is by the singer of the googoo dolls and subtitled "jim's theme"

jul 16: “when the student is ready, the teacher appears”
jul 17: my beard is now part of my peripheral vision 
jul 18: slept till lunchtime. would do it again
jul 19: watched an episode of letterkenny in which the first 20 minutes was mostly about a white supremacist who came to town spouting his stupid, which was anxiety inducing, but the last 5 minutes of the show were the crew kicking the shit out of him and his ilk and it was sweet catharsis 
jul 20: during walk, a 4-month-old bulldog attacked my ankle with her wet nose

jul 21: just another day at the ballpark
jul 23: question of the day in office slack channel was "who is most famous person you've met?" and i wasn't sure how to answer. eventually, went with billy joel
jul 24: after my emoji stream of consciousness happy birthday slack to tanya sichynsky revealed my inner truth that i wanted dumplings, i ordered dumplings at dinner 
jul 25: while shuttling steven rich to chantilly for a lumber run, i found a persian market

jul 26: there’s a building on mass ave that seems abandoned and has a front yard that’s overgrown with mint. so whenever i walk past, i prune a bunch of it and come home and make iced tea
jul 27: 🌮🌮🌮
jul 28: the mask is making me much more aggressive when i’m lip syncing during walks
jul 29: sometimes, i think najah is just looking for attention, not treats, specifically. but she'll take the treats too
jul 30: interest in taylor swift album instantly increased exponentially when i realized all song titles were in lowercase

jul 31: old obsession: 10k steps; new obsession: closing all the circles, all the days, for a month. done. tired