Practically Productive

One of my favorite books, Judith Guest’s “Ordinary People”, introduced me to a phrase I’ve tried to take to heart, that there’s ‘no golden gradebook in the sky’. It’s easy to beat yourself for failing to hit your own goals, even though they don’t make a lot of difference and no one else cares. Anyway, this weekend was ‘perfectly productive’, in that I pretty much got done everything I’d put on my list. It wasn’t a lot, or onerous, but notable because that never happens. I have a list a mile long of things I always could be doing, but, as I keep reminding myself, there is no golden gradebook for them. I guarantee you that no one but me cares about framing this blog inside The Toast Point Page, my largely-obsolete webpage which has been up for over 25 years. Or maintaining a spreadsheet of romance novels I’ve read, so I can remember which authors I like.

Speaking of which, I took a chance on two completely different ‘psychic falls in love with a cop and they solve mysteries together’ series. On the face of it, that’s not a concept with a particular draw for me, and the starting book of the first series didn’t do it at all for me. Put that down after finishing it, thinking ‘oh, well, don’t have to keep going with that’. The other one, though, was crack and I’ve been spending the last week tearing through the series. It’s set in Cornwall, and has a lot of background in ancient woo-woo old traditions – which, again, is not a concept with a particular draw for me – but these characters and the storytelling have been like potato chips. So that’s fun.

But back to the weekend. Saturday, I had a scheduled phone call with an old work friend I’d lost touch with, and while I was looking forward to it, I was also anxious. Basically, I’ve realized after all these years, that I do have a level of social anxiety, particularly with ‘live’ interactions (phone calls, for instance, as opposed to social media or emails). And while it’s not crippling, and I’m not thrown enough to make them miserable experiences, they do take a lot of ‘spoons’ and I have to gear up for them and rest up afterward. All this to say that I’d planned to only do laundry, have that phone call and maybe practice the piano, all of which I did. And we had the call, which as long (as expected) but delightful.

Sunday was free as a bird, and I could have, if needed, spent the day in the recliner reading about my psychic and his cop boyfriend. But I had a reasonable amount of energy and was like, how could I bring some things to a close and start on some new stuff that’s been waiting? So by the end of the day, I had:

  • Cleaned and dusted my home office desk and everything in and around it, including the computer tower underneath, which was filthy. Also swapped the two monitors, putting the larger one towards the room corner and thus less likely to be washed out by sunlight, a problem this time of year.
  • Reorganized my clothes closet, which was the last of the closets I needed to tackle in the ‘closets’ project. So that’s done.
  • Took three bags of clothes to the Salvation Army, then had brunch and a nice walk back.
  • Took a nap. (Needed, right?)
  • Put away the yarn and the tools from the last few knitting projects, and set up the next ones.
  • Juiced limes for cosmos, and then made a batch.

I have high hopes for being productive at work this week, too. Last week was so meeting-heavy. I still have low-level anxiety about being called out for not producing, even though the reality is that this organization is nice enough and mellow enough that if anyone had problems with what I’m doing, they’d let me know about it in the nicest possible way, and even that hasn’t happened. The org has its clear rock stars, who are ‘go go go’ all the time, and I admire them, but no one seems to be upset that I’m not one of them. *phew*


Media consumption. Let’s see. We’re wrapping up “Schitt’s Creek”, which is delightful. I don’t adore it 100% like many of my friends do, but it’s very good. My dream finale would be to see Roland finally getting the slapping-around he’s been asking for for the entire series. All of the characters in the show have foibles, but, to me, Roland’s aren’t funny, they’re just enraging .

We saw the eight episodes of “Bridgerton”. Silly fun. I didn’t buy the reveal of Lady Whistledown – the character they revealed had shown no such capacity to be that clever, although I like the character very much. Well, we shall see. I also was miffed that the hints of making one of the brothers, the friend with the artist, discover that he Likes Boys, led to nothing. Well, I have my books for that, I guess.

And we’ve just started “Behind Her Eyes”, which is delightfully creepy. I love the lead actress, Simona Brown, she’s lovely and very funny and radiantly human. (also the kid who plays her son is a delight)

Oscar season. We’ve already seen “Ma Rainey” and “Mank” and “Soul” and “My Octopus Teacher”. This weekend, we watched “Promising Young Woman”, which I loved, and “Crip Camp”, which I admired. PYW is a delight – although if you want to, you could certainly pick it apart for a variety of reasons. I just enjoyed the hell out of it. “Crip Camp” was interesting and occasionally guffaw-level funny. I love documentaries about the late 60’s, early 70’s, such a weird time in our culture and I was a small child, that weirdness was literally my first picture of what the world looked like.

Speaking of late 60’s, my friend Mitch turned me on to the Internet Archive’s trove of unlocked recordings, vinyl records which are no longer available through normal means and are thus fair game for digitizing and free distribution. Quality varies (crackly records), but what great stuff. A lot of cheesy ’60’s stuff which I’ve been delightedly downloading (bossa nova, Ray Conniff, “Music of the Flower Children”), very odd 20th century classical stuff that we listened to in college classes and which I’ve never encountered again, and a lot of random stuff I’ve been willing to take a flyer on, because, hey, it’s free and I have a 4-terabyte media hard drive that’s less than half full. And I like to collect.


Other than that, I’ve been having the odd experience of turning on the news and thinking, ‘Why are they spending so much time on the Staten Island road signs that were misspelled and have to be replaced? Oh, yeah, because the world doesn’t have a different Trump crisis every day and the pandemic is headed in the right direction and they can spend time on silly stuff now.” So that’s … um… normal? Good.

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