I went to a small class with three other men roughly my age. All of us were there to learn how to use a little gizmo that would track specific information about our health. We listened, looked and asked questions, but didn’t look around at each other. I hope all of us stay well.

A view from the west side of the third floor of the Kaiser Medical Center parking garage near Eighth Street in Richmond, California. Outside the garage, the street below is empty, the branches of several trees next to a sidewalk are mostly bare and brown and the sky above is light gray, bright for mid morning and steadily raining.

I’ve lashed myself to the mast over things this week: health, entertainment of guests, home and hearth duties and, again, work. Things will get done, still be kind of a drag and eventually pay off: that’s what I keep telling myself. There’s non-alcoholic bubbly in it for me too.

A solid gray band, well, as solid as it can be given what it is, of clouds above a low winter afternoon sun shining softly through a scrim of thinner, fainter clouds Thursday, January 12, 2023 in San Pablo, California.

Month in, month out, I drag my heels when it comes to reading what I ought and pass up the necessary for the airy distractions of bright, shiny things. When I am going to make a living? Push past these notifications, bend toward the tasks and everything that they ask? Who knows?

Illuminated tree branches lit from below, seen against pitch black sky, at an armed forces memorial site at the corner of Civic Drive and Broadway Wednesday evening, January 11, 2023 in Walnut Creek, California.

We started by wrangling documents and driving, thankfully not far. We were each home and dry before multiple afternoon rounds of rain, wind and hail. Now: looking at numbers from yesterday, trying to remember a letter’s inspiration and readying my usual frantic book club catch-up.

A roughly diagonally aligned wedge of light gray cloud edged with white light from sunlight shining down above it against a light blue late afternoon sky as seen Tuesday, January 10, 2023 in San Pablo, California.

I stopped by the greenway to marvel at last night’s rain before driving over to Richmond’s Iron Triangle to see a guy about a body (mine), tell him what the body’s been up to for the last year (doing nothing unholy, thank you very much) and get good advice on this year’s upgrades.

The view on Monday, January 9, 2023 looking north from the fifth and top floor of the Kaiser Medical Center parking garage at 9th and Nevin streets in Richmond, California. Below the garage is an empty parking lot that used to house an outdoor clinic for COVID 19 and flu vaccination shots; that clinic has moved indoors to an adjoining building.

As I laid in bed last night and listened to rain falling outside, I saw distant lightning flash past, followed by very soft and low rounds of thunder. Reading a blog post this evening, I learned more might show up overnight. I can’t say I miss them much, but they’re nice visitors.

Raindrops making a splatter pattern scattering across the surface of the patio balcony's cement outside our apartment Sunday, January 8, 2023 in San Pablo, California.

Reliable happiness is regular karaoke with strangers turned friends, cheering at song choices, clapping for singers, humming backup for tunes that ask for it, noting those you’ve never heard before, wondering how you missed them and learning how to get more of that in your life.

The interior of Stay Gold Deli, a black and white checkerboard tile floored, vinyl record walled restaurant and live music venue that hosts Dana Morrigan's twice monthly queer karaoke shows like this one Saturday, January 7, 2023 in the 2700 block of San Pablo Avenue in Oakland, California.

On a day off, we wandered through cramped and darkened museum halls to see hundreds of artifacts from ancient Egypt, and later met friends at a wine bar to mark completion of a workplace term with a surprise toast. In between, we had tea and an amazing meal at a nearby restaurant.

A full dark colored mug of cardamom spiced chai sits on a white sauce atop a dark wooden table inside an empty restaurant Friday, Jan. 6, 2023  in the West Portal neighborhood in San Francisco, California.

It was sprinkling when we left, and picked up a bit by the time we got over to the greenway. The only other person out was bundled up, walking a small black and white dog on a leash. After managing to talk myself out of a candy run at the drugstore, we went home to have hot tea.

Rushing levels of milk chocolate colored runoff water several feet high flows along Wildcat Creek underneath the bright colored graffiti encrusted Vale Road overcrossing late Thursday morning, January 5, 2023 in San Pablo, California.

This is not the strangest loop, because it’s familiar. We were here two years ago, almost to the day. The jokes around it are sad because they’re based on long-pending systemic failures. To confuse it with any honest, principled choice is to miss its intended impacts and effects.

An Acer flat screen computer monitor streaming a YouTube video of a PBS NewsHour broadcast Wednesday, January 4th 2023 of the day's House of Representatives vote to choose a speaker at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.