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

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

positivity journal 2020:6

no delay this month, and only 2 skips, which is waaaaaay less than i would've guessed the way the month started

jun 1:
jun 2: guy at meal distribution site kept calling me chef and i just let him
jun 3: fewer sirens today
jun 4: i can’t tell you anything about secret sushi society 
jun 5: writing is coping

jun 6: shows with judy greer
jun 7: celebrating becky bowers with remote mexican birthday dinner 
jun 8: puppy asked to be petted. puppy’s person said it was ok. so i petted a puppy for first time in months. this is the reopen phase i’ve been waiting for
jun 9: for the first time in 10 days, no police staging in the police staging area. this is the state of positivity in 2020
jun 10: when people message me their favorite lines from something i wrote

jun 11: i started watching letterkenny and i can’t decide if that’s a good idea
jun 12: first caprese of the season 
jun 13: finally finished geoff edgers’ book “walk this way,” which i got a year and a half ago. i’m a slow reader
jun 14: my trusted confidante, laura reiley, has implored me to limit the amount of time i spend talking about reo speedwagon. so i don’t know what to say about my rediscovering the song “the key”
jun 15: epic patio feast celebrating michael schlow

jun 16: worked side by side with two DC police officers making 600 sandwiches that i think were going to protesters
jun 17:
jun 18: i felt better as soon as i decided to not weigh myself this week
jun 19: someone reminded me i’ve written cookbooks. i think i actually forgot
jun 20: i cooked from one of my cookbooks 

jun 21: i don’t want to get super deep into how i spent my evening, but apple cider is better with bourbon 
jun 22: cereal for dinner for first time of pandemic. thought that would happen more
jun 23: talking 80s music while dishing up meals at stadium 
jun 24: everybody was talking about how hot it was but it seemed pretty nice
jun 25: my favorite sushi chef told me i did a good job plating the takeout i got from him

jun 26: cut out of work before i was done to have aperol spritz on the patio 
jun 27: walked the mall and tidal basin. seven miles in 90 degrees. took freezing shower after to resolidify
jun 28: followed through on threat to make almond croissants. not bad, but it's a thing i can get better at
jun 29: "haven't all the fading lines lingered on?"
jun 30: apple watch gives me new metrics to obsess over. it hardly cares about steps at all

Sunday, June 14, 2020

positivity journal 2020:5

this just keeps getting harder, and i still don't even know if i should post this one, because nothing seems right right now

but here it is. some of it seems ridiculous given all that's happened since may started,  but i'm committed to continue to try to be a part of the solution

may 1: i posted the april list and only left 2 dates blank. when i decided it was ok for me to leave dates blank, i expected more. let's see how this month goes
may 2: all-day bageling
may 3: i saw familiar faces, in person. tho with masks
may 4: grace potter all-covers show
may 5: got about 2 organic minutes of face(mask) time with jose andres

may 6: watched season 3 finale of ozark. i didn’t see that coming, but then, neither did she
may 7: had birthday dinner with bowerses by text
may 8: subversive negroni during rigatoni takeout pickup
may 9: grits
may 10: turned my grandmother’s recipe for dinner rolls into another sourdough project 

may 11: "everything that kills me makes me feel alive"
may 12: got most of my steps for the day by doing laps on the concourse at Nats Park after volunteer shift. ftr, one lap around the 100 level is a half-mile
may 13: i typed "the negroni" in my phone and predictive text assumed my next words would be "was my favorite"
may 14: whenever i look for recipes on the king arthur flour website, i get a message telling me it uses cookies. which i find hilarious 
may 15:

may 16: quote seen in window of favorite wine store: “you can cut all the flowers, but you can’t stop spring from coming”
may 17: butchered 2 chickens then made stock and schmaltz from the leftover bits, then made chicken salad from the bits of the bits that came off the bones after making the stock. it is 1890 and i am your grandmother
may 18: got to play the role of literary ventriloquist again. was fun
may 19: when i got to stadium at 9 am, left cup with ice in the car. when i finished at 430, there was still ice in the still-cold water. in mid may. if you think i miss florida, you are not paying attention
may 20: if you told me hearing a huey lewis song for the first time in years would briefly buoy me, i would not have believed. but i did, and it did, so here we are

may 21: i subscribed to salami
may 22: pasta 
may 23: second saturday in a row with cabbage salad for dinner, and it was excellent 
may 24: dabney memorial day bbq takeout
may 25: people made bagels because i told them how

may 26: got to work with arielle retting again, if just for a day
may 27: went to a lumber store. it was amazing 
may 28: maggie rose single drop 
may 29: finished work at reasonable hour
may 30: grill marks

may 31: