Self-Isolation Diaries – Week 14

Greetings, Internet! I’m posting this on Juneteenth, so go educate yourselves on American history/support a black-owned business. Hope everyone’s doing all right, relatively speaking. I didn’t go outside this week (I think there’s a bit of my tire that’s not quite where it should be?), but I did lots indoors, including recording, songwriting, and finishing my catalogue of Gregory of Tours’ Histories entries (it finally happened! Now to get to the Latin). I also read an infuriating NYT column thing (but you’ve probably already heard about it if you know/are someone with a disability). The nerve of that ableism, though. Daily summaries below!


Day Ninety-Two (6/12/20)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • Did a work hangout with a friend (although, who am I kidding, we spent an hour catching up from the last time we talked, which was on Tuesday…I got half an hour of reading in afterwards!).
  • Got a text from my parents that they found my old electric guitar (her name’s Luna) and my amp. Yesssssss.
  • Practiced with Fleur (my flute) and Ginny (my acoustic guitar). Fleur sounds great, but I think I have some tempo issues that need work. The guitar solo I want to use Fleur for sounds really rushed, but I’m not ahead of the beat, so I think I’m just playing the song too quickly. This is what happens when you introduce another instrument. Major kudos to those who play all the instruments on their albums.
  • Currently feeling: Okay, what is this nonsense? You know, articles like these, however brief they are, just take all the internalized ableism I have and justify it. For those who didn’t click the link, the NYTimes Ethicist advice column basically responded to a Karen (she’s a Karen and we all know it) who asked if it was okay for her to dump someone for a chronic medical condition. “The Ethicist”’s response? “When a potential partner is already seriously ill, committing to this person may be committing to a life as a caregiver. (The specific condition you mention has a wide range of severity; it can be mild and well controlled or genuinely debilitating.) You don’t owe it to anyone to accept that burden; indeed, if you think you don’t want such a life, you have a good reason not to enter into the relationship. It doesn’t make you a terrible person to think about the issue. The terrible thing would be to make the commitment and then to be unable to keep it.” WHAT THE DAMN HELL?! Where do I begin with this ableist BS? Okay: 1. No one with a disability/chronic illness is looking for their partner to become their caregiver. If we need a caregiver, we hire a caregiver. A partner is a partner. Don’t write stuff like that without doing your research; 2. I’m sorry, “burden”? How dare you imply that someone with a disability/chronic illness is a burden (or that their condition is, which basically is saying that the person is a burden, because you don’t get the person without the condition). That’s the ableist assholery people with disabilities are constantly combating every single day – that we’re not burdens, that we lead full lives, and that someday we won’t have to keep explaining it to (presumably) able-bodied pricks like you; 3. Yes, it does make Karen a terrible person for thinking about it. What about her? Anyone could become disabled at any point in time. This potential partner of hers has simply acquired theirs sooner. What if you, Karen, become disabled at an early point in a relationship? Does that mean someone can leave you? Or are you asking at what point it’s okay to leave your disabled partner? Honestly, her potential partner could do a lot better than this callous ho, so it’s good that she wants to call it quits early. BUT THE NERVE OF ASKING THAT QUESTION AND HAVING IT BE VALIDATED BY SOMEONE AT THE NEW YORK TIMES. I can’t. I just can’t.
  • Currently looping: “Wait for Me” from Hadestown: The Musical. I haven’t seen the musical or read the book, but the harmonies are beautiful. Also, I will forever be pissed at Orpheus for looking back. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?! Ugh, those Greek tragedies, still hitting me in the feels.


Day Ninety-Three (6/13/20)

  • Can a flute sub out a guitar solo? That is the question. I recorded for a couple of hours today to answer that question. I asked a couple of people, and opinions were mixed. I do not have a definitive answer. Alas. Flutes sound so dainty, it’s weird including them in most songs. I should listen to more Jethro Tull.
  • I think something died in the air vent that blows into my living room. Or maybe my mother forgot something in my apartment that needed to be refrigerated? I don’t know. I’ve been looking around everywhere and can’t find anything, so I’m burning through hella candles now.
  • 5:30pm: Chants of “No Justice! No Peace!” down my street, accompanied with what sounds like a large drum, and sirens.
  • Did a wine-and-FaceTime with my sister. She suggested I send a letter-to-the-editor for that NYTimes Ethicist piece I mentioned yesterday. So that’ll be something to work on tomorrow.
  • Currently feeling: Whoops, messed up my sleep schedule again. It’ll correct itself, eventually.
  • Currently looping: The “Mamma Mia!” soundtrack. We’ve reached that point of quarantine, everyone.


Day Ninety-Four (6/14/20)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • Started to write a “Letter to the Editor” for that awful Ethicist letter from two days ago, but writing buddy pointed out that there was an addendum. Whoops.
  • Writing workshop! Boy, do I feel inebriated. I think I know what I’m going to write about for the next workshop, but mostly I’m just trying to sober up right now.
  • Currently feeling: What are feelings, even? Oh gosh, I should’ve written this before I got drunk at workshop. How am I feeling? Currently feeling like I’m putting off sleep for the sake of sobering up.
  • Currently looping: Avril Lavigne’s “He Wasn’t.” How have I gotten to this point? I don’t know.


Day Ninety-Five (6/15/20)

  • Posted my cover of “Girl Crush.” One of my PTW trainers mentioned the song to me a few times, and I’d heard it once before, but once I gave it a proper listen I was like, “Omg, this song is amazing.” I feel bad now that I spent many years at PTW hating on country music, especially to one trainer in particular. In a post-COVID world, I won’t complain about country music at the gym anymore.
  • Recorded a birthday request that should go up next week. Looked at the camera during a harmonizing part and even though the harmony sounded fine, the look at the camera was creepy AF. But, the song is also creepy, so I guess it fits? On second thought, let me take that out. All the harmonies will be in the second half of the song. Hopefully people will listen to the whole thing.
  • Had to postpone my songwriting lesson for today. Rats. I was looking forward to playing my bumble-friendly song.
  • FaceTimed one of my elementary school besties. The catch-up was much needed. We both want to throttle the people in the East Village who aren’t wearing masks or social distancing. Those punks. I also sang the song I wrote, and she pegged it for the “Juno” soundtrack genre, which makes her the second person to suggest that. I’ll start calling it my “Juno” audition song.
  • Currently feeling: My goal tonight is to go to bed before 2am, because I legit went to bed around 2am two nights in a row, and it is not a habit I intend to continue with.
  • Currently looping: Tegan and Sara’s “Where Does the Good Go.” They are the ultimate in harmonizing and I aspire to their level.


Day Ninety-Six (6/16/20)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • Did a work Skype with a friend. Have now finished cataloguing all the Gregory of Tours’ Histories entries that I want to look at. Can I hear a wahoo? Now time to go through his hagiography. Or translate relevant Histories passages from the Latin. Decisions, decisions.
  • I got a birthday request for a couple of weeks from now. Played through it a couple of times. Still have to work on the strumming pattern and some eye-rolling (it’s kind of vital to the song).
  • Side effect of being a fan of music with vocal harmonies is that I’m venturing more into the country/bluegrass genre. I never thought I’d see the day, but here we are. It’s like every song is a duet!
  • I’m at 20 subscribers! 20!
  • Currently feeling: I mean, this country/bluegrass music I’m listening to is like, super cheerful-sounding (even though some of the lyrics are kind of depressing), so I’m singing along.
  • Currently looping: Gillian Welch and Alison Krauss’ “I’ll Fly Away” from the “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack. There is no way I can cover this song because I cannot play the banjo (yet?). Gosh, what a cheerful-sounding song about dying.


Day Ninety-Seven (6/17/20)

  • Recorded a birthday request that will be posted about a week and a half from now. I’m so happy with how it turned out.
  • Rerecorded the harmony for the birthday request I recorded on Monday (which will be posted this coming Monday). I was supposed to have my songwriting lesson today, but that got postponed, so, rerecording!
  • Then sent both birthday request songs to the birthday people early. Because I was that excited to share.
  • Got another birthday request (there is one week in June where three of my friends have birthdays; it’s almost as intense as that one week in April where four of my friends have birthdays). Get ready for some Lady Gaga.
  • Had a virtual catchup with a former tutor from Currier House. That was such a lovely community. How I miss C-Haus. Timete arborem, everyone.
  • My Guest of a Guest post is up!
  • Currently feeling: I miss having a coworking space. I used to go there and be productive. It’s really hard to be productive at home, which is what I’m sure everyone already knew after fourteen weeks of being indoors. But like, it’s hard to translate Latin unless I’ve got someone on Skype who is keeping me in check. Also it doesn’t help that I have all my instruments within easy reach of my desk where I work.
  • Currently looping: “All Through the Night” from The Goat Rodeo Sessions. It’s a gorgeous lullaby. The whole album is amazing (and Yo-Yo Ma does bluegrass? Since when?).


Day Ninety-Eight (6/18/20)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • Posted my cover of “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana. I think Melissa Villaseñor did it better strumwise and vocal-wise, but she also used a capo at the end, which is a wee bit awk, so I felt like I should contribute. It’s not as complicated as the covers I’ve been posting lately (and oh, those covers will resume on Monday), but I like the song and it’s my channel, so who cares?
  • Attended a Zoominar that had way more to do with city sanitation than I thought it would.
  • Got a wine delivery! I was running low.
  • Contemplating ordering more chocolate. I did buy a flute earlier this month, so, I should be responsible. But also, chocolate. I’m about to run out of cookies, so maybe I should look into replenishing that supply. But also, I have three seriously ripe bananas sitting on my counter and should turn that into banana bread. This is my favorite dilemma right now.
  • Had a songwriting lesson. Went through a chord progression and messed around with some potential melodies. After the lesson I wrote a chorus. Then a few hours later I put together verses, a bridge, and sorted out the bare bones of a chord progression. It’s a breakup ballad. I might just have to accept the fact that anytime I try to write anything, it’s going to sound less like a KT Tunstall song and more like a generic pop song. Or maybe, as one friend put it, I’m in my songwriting adolescence, so everything sounds like I’m a teenager.
  • Currently feeling: You know that feeling when you have eleventy billion things to do and then add something extra to the list that inevitably takes up three hours of your day? Yeah, that.
  • Currently looping: “Here and Heaven” from the Goat Radio Sessions. Guys, the bluegrass/country kick is real. Wish I knew how to play a fiddle.

Thanks so much for reading! Stay safe out there, and keep fighting the power however you can!

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