Mar 16 - Mar 22

Five Things for the Week

(above) Feathers in a stump, at Cosumnes River Preserve. Taken Mar. 11, 2020.

Hello, I hope you’re doing well. The feathers are not practicing social distancing. They look a little worse for wear and I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere. I was thinking that “Social Distancing” would be a great name for a 90’s band but it’s too close to Social Distortion. And I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there, somewhere.

I had a good week. It was a weird week. Strange times, right? It certainly wasn’t the 2 week vacation that I imagined but, I still relaxed and refreshed. Just in a different way. Our adaptability and our flexibility is important, and yet to be truly tested. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

Please take care of yourselves, and have a great week!

[one] i’m grateful…

  • For the few times I had to go to the grocery store, it was a calm experience with small to no crowds and well-stocked shelves (eggs and paper goods being the only exceptions).

  • For the customer service during those visits, which has been positive, friendly, and consistent. Thank you, Raley’s and Sprouts.

  • For a well stocked refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. But also for a delivered pepperoni pizza when we just didn’t have the energy to cook.

  • That we are in a position financially, geographically, and economically to be able to use food delivery, Amazon Prime, and Lyft services to help us through this week.

  • For the variety of technology and entertainment options we’re using to keep us busy during our social distancing. And yes, this includes access to the internet.

  • For local news and credible sources.

  • That, through social media, I’m learning that a lot of local business owners are also our neighbors. And even though some of them are franchised chain restaurants, it’s nice to put faces to these business and support our community.

  • That a neighbor’s horrible post (on Nextdoor) where she asked whether “gardeners could call in sick” because her’s had called to let her know he was, and she needed her lawn mowed, was deleted (I think). As you can imagine, the thread quickly devolved into one group defending the gardener’s right to call in sick, one group chastising her for prioritizing her lawn over people’s well-being, and another group defending her and offering her alternate gardener recommendations. Cringe-worthy.

  • For social media breaks, breaks from others’ opinions, anxieties, over-reactions, conflicting news, and well… noise.

  • For all other kinds of breaks, and allowing myself to be more comfortable with the quiet. With boredom, and just letting things be.

  • For basic utilities, like running water, indoor plumbing, electricity, and heat. Just a little over an hour’s drive east of us, there are families without electricity (result of a winter storm).

  • For the friends and family who have reached out to check in with us, and for their reminders that we should be doing the same (reaching out) to others.

  • That my wife and I are not living paycheck to paycheck, have some savings and an emergency fund, and are able to weather through this (knock on wood). This is privilege and position that we worked hard to earn and will never take for granted.

  • To be happy, excited, anxious, hopeful, and nervous (all simultaneously) to start the new job.

  • For our cat who, while fully enjoying both of us being home so much, provides us some much needed stress relief and moments of laughter, as only a cat can.

  • That my wife, our friends, our family, and I are healthy.

(above) Poppies at the Cosumnes River Preserve’s Visitors Center. Taken Mar. 11 2020.

[two] what, me worry?

Early in the week I got in my own head (I do that far more often than I’ll ever admit) and started worrying that I shouldn’t have taken the time off between jobs, because I kept thinking “what if they change their minds, because of the pandemic, and put my position on hold, leaving me jobless?”

On Tuesday I sent a “Just checking in” email to my future boss who responded pretty quickly with an update (the office is closed and staff is working remotely). The response was welcome but, the comfort came when, in the same email, he asked what my preference is for the work laptop. Because he’s setting up my equipment. For me to pickup. And start using. Tomorrow.

Since then, I have gotten updates from him, from HR, and from the executive director. All with info, all very welcoming, and all with excitement for me to start.

FYI: There’s no reason to trash talk me to “get in my head” or “psych me out”. I can do that perfectly fine by myself, thank you.

[three] but is rick moranis good at baking bread?

On Saturday morning I texted back and forth with a friend. On the surface, we didn’t really say anything important. One of our text strings was both of us contemplating how under appreciated Rick Moranis was in his time, which then moved on to us talking about bread baking. That’s what our friendship has always been. Random. And I took solace that, though we didn’t directly say it, that whole random conversation was our way of asking, “Are you okay? Anything I can do for you?” and answering, “Yep, all good here. Thanks for checking”.

[four] it’s really just me admitting that i crave coffee all day every day

The past few nights I have had trouble staying asleep. I also started to get strong cravings for coffee during the afternoons into the late evenings, which is abnormal (AB Normal. Young Frankenstein. Cracks me up. Need to watch it again soon) for me. I’m sure it’s related to all that is happening. It’s just so weird for me to be craving coffee so late in the day.

[five] how this gen xer spent his week

Me: I should take this week to get some things done around the house.
Also me: *continues to binge shows on Netflix and play with the Nintendo Switch*

I keep trying to work my way back into the top 10, in Tetris 99, but competition is tough! It feels more challenging now than it did a few weeks ago. Perhaps more people playing? Since Friday’s release, I’ve had Animal Crossing: New Horizons going for a few hours each day. Perfect time waster.

Recently Read

I won’t list all of the Coronavirus news and posts I’ve been reading. I also spent some time brushing up on some Agile project management methodologies (mainly SCRUM) in preparation for next week.

When you don’t know what to do, make tea - This was published in 2018 but very apropo for today.

Six NASA Astronauts Describe the Moment in Space When “Everything Changed” - Somewhat related, one of the flyover screensavers on my Apple TV is a gorgeous overhead of Korea with Japan in the background. It’s at night, so you can see all of the cities and roads networking them together, lit up in different colors. And the glow of Japan’s cities in the background… it’s just so beautiful to watch.

The Secret to Shopping in Used Bookstores - This was a good reminder that I haven’t yet spent any time exploring the bookstores here, in Sacramento. When all of this is over, that will be some of the first things I do.

Recently Watched

I spent a lot of this week in the Star Trek Universe. I know I have seen the last two Next Generation movies but couldn’t remember anything about them. Watched them and now I know why:

Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) - Started out ok but then fizzled a little bit. Then felt like watching a rerun of one of the series episodes.

Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) - Why wasn’t Troi’s mother at her own wedding? What happened to this movie? Why was it the way it was? *looks up IMDB trivia, reads cast interviews about director “hating star trek” and not getting character nor actor names correct, and worse*. Ah, ok.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - currently at s7 e6. We’re on the home stretch. You know how senior year of high school was all about “just waiting out” the rest of the year? So far, this season feels like that.

Recently Listened

This week’s rotation included Flor de Toloache, Regina Spektor, Rachael Yamagata, Superorganism, and Led Zeppelin.

[Podcast] KCRW Good Food: Letter to the Good Food Community - Evan Kleiman’s touching, wonderful (as always) episode was comforting to hear.

[Podcast] NPR Code Switch: The All-Women Mariachi Group That’s Lifting our Spirits - Oh they’re good! I hate that I’m only learning about them now but, I’m happy because I now get to enjoy their music.

[Podcast] The Moth: When We Were Young - I was going to highlight the first story but, when I give it more thought, all three of this episode’s stories were really really good.

Recently Posted (on the blog)

My website is
A lot of my photos are on Flickr.
You can find me on Twitter and Instagram as @ptrcktlln.

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