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:

Friday, May 1, 2020

positivity journal 2020:4

you'll notice a couple of blank spots. it's a sign of the times. it's not that it was a bad day, just that i didn't write anything down in real time, and remembering things that happened on specific days is a superpower that expired 6 weeks ago

apr 1: free sirius xm offer coincides with billy joel channel
apr 2: the crack formed between two fingers because of all the hand washing healed enough that it hurts less when i type now. man this list is getting weird 
apr 3: 
apr 4: as i got home from walk, love lies bleeding started, so i took another lap
apr 5: “never don’t listen”

apr 6: “i’ll allow the burn”
apr 7: i can’t decide whether i find it hilarious when i see a pigeon pecking at a discarded piece of fried chicken, or terrifying 
apr 8: it’s interesting to watch an episode of arrested development after an episode of ozark
apr 9: “so to sum up: you’re never going home, your god is dead, and taco tuesday is ON”
apr 10: nocino affogato

apr 11: saw a guy ride a bike up to a parked car for what was clearly a curbside delivery on fifth street where there are no businesses. and it looked like there was contact 
apr 12: matt adler told me the cart i loaned him has specifically helped move close to 5,000 meals to people who need them
apr 13: crunchy rice pearls from nama
apr 14: figured out how to get coca-cola without going to grocery store 
apr 15: i love watching songland and seeing the songwriters watch the artists workshop their songs in front of them. they always make the same face, and i know the feeling

apr 16: comedian on zoom made me understand why i’ve never considered myself a “cat person” despite evidence to the contrary 
apr 17: if you can type 10 words into a social media platform that will make someone feel better, even if you don’t know them, just do it
apr 18: sourdough pancakes on point

apr 21: i was jealous of all the good work my cart was doing at world central kitchen, so i went down to join in, and found a way to make a habit of it
apr 22: billie eilish twitter concert
apr 23: last week i watched some movie that iliza shlesinger had a supporting role in. i thought she ate every scene she was in, and tonight found her stand up special called elder millennial, and she’s a riot
apr 24: on grocery run, decided to buy 2 bottles of prosecco. this is how i learned my drivers license expired 
apr 25: watched forensic files and there was an episode i haven’t seen before. whoa

apr 27: 
apr 28: was disappointed volunteer shift ran short, but it ran short because we were so efficient. weird to list a disappointment here, but it actually makes sense 
apr 29: grilled cheese with cherry jam 
apr 30: it was raining but i walked anyway

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

positivity journal 2020:3

i know, right?

i skipped march 17, because that was the day the restaurant industry disintegrated, and for a lot of days, i simply acknowledge the preponderance of birthdays of some of my favorite people all bunched up at the end of the month. but, here is this, anyway
mar 1: driving through north carolina, chose dinner location based on the number of pink neon pig silhouettes on the front of the shack
mar 2: the time on tonight’s walk home was wind-aided
mar 3: i can guess the convention going on inside by the food trucks outside 
mar 4: "freelance curator"
mar 5: restaurant's lack of duck becomes a running joke through dinner

mar 6:  kalimotxo, except with lambrusco and dr pepper
mar 7: started recipe testing next big idea
mar 8: waiting at bus stop, a protest march goes by on pennsylvania ave. they are all wearing purple. cameras everywhere. i look down and realize my jacket is the same purple. this was not how i expected my career to end
mar 9: for whatever reason, najah has started sleeping on my hip again
mar 10: woman jogging toward me as i walk down sidewalk. she passes delivery dude returning to his truck, who affixes his gaze to her long past the extent of an admiring glance, entering the realm of creepy leer. so i stop and do the same to him. i know i made him uncomfortable, but i don't think he knew why i was doing it. so i won half the battle

mar 11: celebrating valerie panou
mar 12: fake campari
mar 13: celebrating ken preuss
mar 14: "alexa, play onerepublic"
mar 15: celebrating ronnie perkins

mar 16: celebrating susan marzano
mar 17: i don't know, man. this was a bad day. pass
mar 18: takeout general tso's, kung pao, hot-sour, potstickers and egg rolls
mar 19: video conference comedy show
mar 20: maggie rose concert live on the internet from someone’s basement 

mar 21: i haven't worn socks in like 4 days and don’t know if i can go back to a world where i have to
mar 22: celebrating scott long and sean daly. independently. or collectively. however works
mar 23: i'm not petting any dogs when i take a lap around the hood, but it makes me happy when they strain their leashes trying to come see me. and a little sad, tbh
mar 24: neighborhood restaurant tweets they have csa boxes from a local farm. 20 minutes later, i have a csa box from a local farm
mar 25: celebrating jennifer wright

mar 26: christian slater in a movie i wasn’t expecting him to be
mar 28: wrote a story that took either 12 years or 30 minutes, depending on how you look at it
mar 29: just got out and drove around. man, the bar has changed
mar 30: picking up schlow burgers from michael schlow

Monday, March 2, 2020

positivity journal 2020:2


feb 1: went to see gary gulman at warner theater. his joke about con men vs. con artists made me think so hard about so many people i know
feb 2: still no meat. it’s fine
feb 3: fact: there is a guy at the geological survey who is quoted about earthquakes and his name is john geiger
feb 4: i feel confident that my serving of rigatoni with sausage gravy came with more than the prescribed amount of sausage, and i think it was a statement from the kitchen
feb 5: "naturally flavored with other natural flavors" 

feb 6: do not have a bucket list but considering starting one so i can put “eat tamales in pati jinich’s kitchen” on it because i can now cross it off, tho i want to do it again
feb 7: perigord truffles steeped in amaretto over epoisses ice cream and buckwheat crumble. as one does
feb 8: was intently working when sara barreilles' orpheous came on spotify and stopped me cold, then made me feel like climbing a mountain
feb 9: not getting into details, but someone i barely know said something to me that unlocked me in a big way, and i will always appreciate it. writing this vague item so i will be reminded of it at weird times in the future
feb 10: walking home listening to dr feelgood. during the sirens part, a fire truck passed me, fully engaged. it felt like an immersive experience

feb 11: got to condo board meeting late, and when i got there, everyone was talking about the only thing i was interested in talking about, so i just had to nod a lot. bonus: i sat next to a dog that wanted to be petted
feb 12: "somewhere back there in the dust, is that same small town in each of us."
feb 13: cereal for dinner
feb 14: gave colleague a pep talk by reminding them they work at washington post; realized i was also pep talking myself
feb 15: had idea for mushroom marsala, tried to decide when i would make it. then realized that the answer was "now"

feb 16: amanda shires closing with "that's all" cover was so literal
feb 17: finally went to new dinosaur exhibit (top) at natural history museum. took shortcut home by walking through the portrait gallery
feb 18: when amelia bowers saw Wayne and i walking through the vaunted halls of the post, she did not recognize either of us, and i suspect it is because i was not cooking and wayne was not playing guitar. she has a point
feb 19: tiktok commenters restore my faith in the youngs
feb 20: someone told me i was right about something that i never doubted i was right about 

feb 21: sweet potato w chile and crunchy salt
feb 22: any movie with anna kendrick
feb 23: 12,000 steps without trying 
feb 24: pilot of “zoe’s extraordinary playlist” provides a pretty good visual of my internal narrative, but with choreography 
feb 25: meeting cancelled

feb 26: wore red shirt on day i brought leftover pasta for lunch. we can pretend it was on purpose and i am genius
feb 27: catching up with Jennifer DeCamp over obscenely large sandwiches that weren’t on bread
feb 28: multiple twisted sister shows in my youth perfectly prepared me for hamburger mary’s
feb 29: drove out on fo’-fohty-one while listening to tom petty 


Monday, February 3, 2020

positivity journal 2020:1

not guaranteeing the concept makes it through the year this year, but i was in the habit

jan 1: najah turns 19. that cat is amazing and is my favorite part of almost every day
jan 2: got my first concert presale code of 2020. here we go
jan 3: realized i didn’t have to close the section early. it felt like vacation 
jan 4: considered watching football, but did not
jan 5: mushroom banh mi made me feel like i could invent things again

jan 6: a homeless guy walked with me part of the way to work and ... i think he gave me a pep talk
jan 7: went to afghan restaurant. it was fine
jan 8: did not believe in meditation until i tried it and started sleeping
jan 9: extreme almond extract
jan 10: “if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice”

jan 11: reading a chef’s cookbook. see something i like. text chef because i have thoughts. he supports them and advises further. now i know what it feels like to be amy hollyfield!
jan 12: tried to guess year of old camaro in parking lot with ronnie perkins. we both said '67-'69. guy overheard and told us how to tell them apart. it was a 69
jan 13: “we appreciate your appreciation”
jan 14: brachetto
jan 15: tiny cast iron

jan 16: i try to get 10k steps every day. some days, tho, i am ok not. today was one
jan 17: “As you all know … well, maybe not all of you know … but those who know know that I’m an amazing cook” -- Paris Hilton, channeling my personal turmoil
jan 18: at grocery store, needed tabbouleh. realized i have NEVER bought tabbouleh before, and i had no real idea where to look. the nice lady in prepared foods showed me. it was there
jan 19: free movie at shakespeare theater
jan 20: i bought soda 2 days ago and left it in the car. went out to get it to put in the fridge. but since it was in the 30s outside, it was totally ready to drink, possibly colder than if it had been in fridge

jan 21: bread-and-butter pickles
jan 22: walk into neighborhood bakery and the baker starts excitedly telling me about all the cool things that she made today that she just sold out of. so i got usual thing. which is also cool 
jan 23: a flour company has a catalog, and i am on the mailing list  
jan 24: keeps sending me emails trying to get me to buy a membership by promising to tell me whether i’m related to my grandmother
jan 25: training session included bagels

jan 26: got to be a waiter. it was exhausting. but you waiters out there knew that 
jan 27: lip-synced uncharted by sara barrelies on the way home and wondered why i’m not in the video. i would like to claim "they may not make sense/but they sure as hell made me," which currently just has seagulls
jan 28: the new brand of yogurt i bought doesn’t have that dumb piece of paper on top
jan 29: each week i read about a museum whose address is 200 North Boulevard, and i always have to think if it is 200 N. Boulevard or 200 North Blvd. (it is the former)
jan 30: series finale for the good place was perfect 

jan 31: overheard, on jan 31: "you mean year to date? or for the month?"