Self-Isolation Diaries – Week 6

Greetings, Internet! How’s everyone doing? This week kind of flew by. And by “flew by,” I mean that all of the days have converged and if not for my need to keep track of the days with bullet-points, I would think that the past six weeks were a blur. But it has been six weeks, which is roughly halfway through a single semester of regular classes. So, hey! We’ve made it to the midterm mark. Good job, everyone! There does not appear to be a midterm exam to study for, so perhaps that metaphor is not ideal. Also, we’re definitely not at the halfway mark, so this metaphor is just falling flat on its face. Alas. But hey, Tom Brady and Gronk are reuniting, which I find hilarious because I’m going to bet that either they have a fantastic season (if there is one), or they both get injured in Week One and the LOLs will never stop. Daily summaries are below!

Day Thirty-Six (4/17/20)

  • My local coffee shop is accepting donations to deliver coffee, lattes, and the like to healthcare workers. I love when it’s possible to support a local business and healthcare workers at the same time. Meanwhile, The Chocolate Room just set up a GoFundMe and I’m concerned for its survival.
  • Posted my cover of “Rainbow Connection.” My niece got bored of my Kermit voice, so I decided to forego it here. Might have to bring it back though.
  • Did the FES cycle. While on the cycle, my adviser emailed me to ask me to send over my bibliography. Thank goodness I’ve been toiling away at it. It’s got 400+ secondary sources. I hope that’ll do for now.
  • Did a work Skype with a friend. Realizing now why my adviser kept telling me to read Gregory of Tours more closely. So many insights about the sixth century, and the effects of climate and famine.
  • Currently feeling: I should have marked on my calendar how I was going to plan out meals. I spend far too long thinking about dinner right when I’m hungry, which is a terrible time to think about what to prepare, because you know it’ll take time regardless of what you do, and then you end up snacking while preparing food, and then when it’s done you’re not as hungry as you were twenty minutes ago, because you snacked for about twenty minutes straight. I’m thankful that this is one of my main problems at the moment.
  • Currently looping: Exit Eden’s cover of the Backstreet Boys’ “Incomplete.” Because female-fronted metal and boy bands go pretty well together.


Day Thirty-Seven (4/18/20)

  • Did a mini-reunion Zoom chat with some of the awesome women I befriended whilst at Murray Edwards College (only the coolest college at Cambridge). It only took a pandemic to bring us together.
  • Recorded another birthday request! My friends keep requesting such cool songs. Maybe I should just make my channel a request channel.
  • Caught up on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” Still have to catch up on “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.” I suppose I’ll do that in the next day or so.
  • Created a spreadsheet to keep track of times that Gregory of Tours mentions things that are relevant to my dissertation topic. Let the Gregory-of-Tours-fest begin!
  • Had a Wine-and-FaceTime with my sister and brother-in-law while we watched the Global Citizen stay-at-home concert. Drank half a bottle of wine in about 1.5 hours. Wheeeeee.
  • Currently feeling: While watching the Global Citizen stay-at-home concert, I paid attention to the microphone setups of each musician. I’m so excited for my microphone to come in the mail. And hey, if after quarantine is over and my channel fizzles out (which, I mean, is a very real possibility considering I barely had time for anything outside of my dissertation and physical therapy pre-quarantine), I can still record a holiday album for my family. Is it the gift any of them asked for? No, but it would most likely be the one that they’re getting. Hope they like my rendition of “Let it Snow”!
  • Currently looping: Fiona Apple’s new album, Fetch the Bolt Cutters. Freaking. Amazing.


Day Thirty-Eight (4/19/20)

  • Did the FES cycle. Streamed “The Phantom of the Opera.” Ramin and Sierra are the MVPs. Like, for seriously. Is “Phantom of the Opera” kind of a messed up student-teacher relationship, with an even more ridiculous book source? Probably. But dang, that music.
  • Writing workshop continues. Should probably not drink half a bottle of wine during workshop. Proceeded to write next week’s draft in a drunken stupor. My poor writing workshop buddy will have to sift through this nonsense.
  • Currently feeling: Drunk. Very drunk. I should have written this prior to workshop.
  • Currently looping: Still looping Fiona Apple’s new album because I love it that much.


Day Thirty-Nine (4/20/20)

  • Practiced ukulele. Was going to record, but was feeling a bit groggy from the previous night’s alcohol consumption. Whoops. At least I know what I’m going to post on Friday now. I have a list of songs I want to do as soon as my recording equipment arrives, because I think my belting/yelling voice is too loud for my computer microphone. I’m so optimistic about this, even though I have yet to learn how to use said audio equipment and have no idea when it’s all arriving. Eek.
  • Cannot stop browsing websites with comfy pajamas. I’ve yet to buy any pajamas this month, but oh, it’s going to happen. Do I already own far too many comfy pajamas? Yes. But. Comfy.
  • Did a work hangout with a friend. Got through Book one of Gregory of Tours. Nine to go. I’m quite excited to get to Book 10, because I sense most of the material for at least one chapter draft will be there.
  • I really like preparing breakfast food for dinner. My inner Leslie Knope just comes into full force. If only I had a waffle iron.
  • Currently feeling: I have this irrational fear of opening the lone jar of tomato sauce in my apartment. Basically, I’m concerned that once I open it, I probably will have to eat pasta 3-4 times within the week because I don’t want the sauce to go bad. This is one of those moments when I wish I had a roommate. And yes, my roommate-based ponderings currently deal with the potential spoiling of a single (well, my only) jar of tomato sauce. This is a ridiculous problem to have. Although I do wonder, if I had a roommate, would we be eternal besties by now, or would we hate each other’s guts? I’ve been bursting into song a lot more often lately. That could get irritating.
  • Currently looping: Took a break from Fiona Apple’s album to listen to SAYGRACE’s “You Don’t Own Me (feat. G-Eazy).” So catchy. I’ve been singing this, and the original, loudly in my apartment.


Day Forty (4/21/20)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • My mother stopped by to make sure that I haven’t gone cray-cray just yet. She brought apple cake. I love apple cake.
  • Currently feeling: I am loving how many artists are performing from home for a few reasons: 1. I get to see their microphone setups, which is super helpful for me; 2. I get to see their equipment – which devices do they use, and where can I get them?; and 3. I get to see how they play their own songs acoustically, and you know what? They make mistakes. They jumble the words sometimes. Their strumming isn’t perfect. They overload their mics on high notes (for those who livestream using a computer mic). But they’re having fun while they play, and it’s such a joy to watch. I know I tend to be a perfectionist, and I rip apart my own amateurish playing even when I know my own singing and playing is just a hobby and maybe I’m performing for like ten people. I have to send my covers to my sister or to friends to get their approval before posting, because I worry that whatever I record is an insult to the original artist. How dare a note sound flat when it shouldn’t. But the point is to add something to the interwebs that might distract someone (or the creator) enough to forget that we’re all basically monks now.
  • Currently looping: Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” (Global Citizen edition)


Day Forty-One (4/22/20)

  • Posted my cover of Neko Case’s “I Wish I Was the Moon” for my bestie’s birthday.
  • Was going to record, but then just spent the day practicing. Awkward chord transitions will get you every time.
  • My audio equipment is officially all on its way! When will it get here? Unknown, but possibly some time early next week? Either way, get ready for better audio quality, brought to you courtesy of “Val has no idea how to use technology, but she knows at least one person who basically has an engineering doctorate, so stuff is going to get done.”
  • My sister sent me a bunch of treats from Tatte. Like, enough for a tea party. Alas, I cannot have tea parties. It was such a pleasant surprise to get in the mail though!
  • Got to FaceTime my sister and niece for a bit. My niece continues to be too cute for words. I’m going to miss her so much when she moves to California.
  • Currently feeling: Well, the main light just went out in my living room, so, that’s not great.
  • Currently looping: Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well.” Contemplating a cover, but the bridge has a shout-y part where my voice cracks, so, maybe not.
Tatte Treats
Treats from Tatte!

Day Forty-Two (4/23/20)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • Had a Zoom reunion (Zoom-union? There has to be an appropriate mishmash of a name for this) with my elementary school friends. One of my friends is having a baby in two months. Another had to postpone her wedding that was supposed to take place this Memorial Day weekend. Must be equal parts surreal and terrifying to have major life milestones planned for this year.
  • Got 80% of my audio equipment in the mail today! I cannot wait to set everything up and learn how it all works. I might have to take a mini-break from posting videos on account of the inevitable technical learning curve, but it’ll be worth it. Also, I have nine subscribers now! Nine! One away from ten!
  • Evanescence is releasing a new single tomorrow. The stars have aligned to bring epic music to those in quarantine. Thank you, aligning stars!
  • CUNY is offering language courses via Zoom over the summer. Should I take Greek? I mean, sure, it has next to nothing to do with my dissertation, but also, Greek!
  • Currently feeling: These days keep getting away from me. I know I’ve written that before, but it’s still true. I just can’t make a schedule and stick to it. I’ve been getting up at 7:30am, but maybe I need to shoot for an earlier wake-up time? But then I’d have to go to bed earlier. Sigh. Compromises.
  • Currently looping: Fiona Apple’s “Newspaper.” Oh, you thought I was done with this album? Not a chance.

Thanks so much for reading! Hope you’re hanging in there and staying as safe as you can!

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