Self-Isolation Diaries – Week 19

Greetings, Internet! Hope everyone’s doing as well as they can. I’m continuing to juggle two reading groups, music, and oh, BASEBALL IS BACK. I’m also trying to find a volunteer tutor service that could use a tutor. I figure my skill set is basically just writing and college counseling, but if anyone has any recommendations for places that do good work, please send them my way! Daily summaries below!

Day One Hundred and Twenty-Seven (7/17/20)

  • Went outside for about fifteen minutes! The sidewalks near my building are kind of gross, so there’s some disincentive to go outside. But hooray for going outside twice within the span of seven days!
  • First meeting of a reading group with a professor and three other grad students. I knew the professor back when she was a graduate student and I was an undergrad. Dang, time really flies. Fun discussion, though! It’s nice to read things that are actually in my field of study.
  • I was supposed to see a comedy show with one of the PTW aides back in March. The show got rescheduled to August, and is now rescheduled for next year. Egad.
  • Watched “The Old Guard.” Intense, but really good. I’m biased because I love Charlize Theron in action movies. Followed that with watching an episode of “The Great British Baking Show” while drinking half a bottle of wine. So much fun.
  • Currently feeling: Bit tipsy, still. But that’s all good. Gosh, I’m going to bed late tonight. Whoops.
  • Currently looping: “Who is She” from the Cinderella (2015) original motion picture soundtrack, composed by Patrick Doyle. Of all the Cinderella interpretations, “Ever After” is definitely my favorite, but the OST from this movie is the best. Also, Richard Madden as the prince? Be still my Scottish-loving heart.


Day One Hundred and Twenty-Eight (7/18/20)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • And Cornel West has convinced me to read Jane Austen’s Emma. Not sure why I haven’t read it yet.
  • That emo song I’m working on needs a massive overhaul. Ugh.
  • Watched a compilation of Allyson Felix’s Olympic medal races. She really is the GOAT.
  • I’m starting at season one of “The Great British Baking Show.” I’ve seen seasons five and six, and feel like I need to go back.
  • Movie night! “Galaxy Quest”! Such a classic. Like, you don’t have to be a Trekkie to appreciate it.
  • Currently feeling: I have no idea what I’m doing, but I have a lot of reading to do for reading groups on Tuesday and Wednesday. And a draft to write for writing workshop. And a cover to film. Gosh, I love being in control of how busy I am.
  • Currently looping: “Satisfied” from Hamilton. The whole soundtrack is just incredible.


Day One Hundred and Twenty-Nine (7/19/20)

  • Fixed up the emo song to make it way less emo. It feels better.
  • Work skyped with a friend. Got some reading done for Tuesday’s reading group!
  • Hangout with writing buddy! Got to watch a fantasy baseball draft. DeGrom’s on the team, so I’m really stoked about that. There are other players too, but, DeGrom.
  • There are some baseball exhibition games on SportsCenter leading up to Thursday’s scheduled first game of the season. I’m cautiously optimistic.
  • Currently feeling: Dear Baseball, please stay safe and don’t break my heart. I was preparing myself to go the whole of 2020 without watching a single regular season game, but now I’m letting myself hope that a 60-game season might actually work. But also, it might not. But I really hope it does, because we could really use some baseball right about now. Signed, An honest baseball fan who loves you. (Am I paraphrasing a line from the live-action Cinderella (2015)? Yes, yes I am.)
  • Currently looping: Ben Folds’ “2020.” This line: “We’re not repeating history / just the parks that sucked / 2020 what the actual fuck?”


Day One Hundred and Thirty (7/20/20)

  • Did the FES cycle. Watched the pilot episode for “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” because a number of people have told me that I would like the show. I can say, one episode in, I think the songs and musical set pieces are really good. The plot? I feel personally attacked. Thank you, next (unless someone wants to tell me that it gets better). Imma just stick with “The Great British Baking Show.”
  • Songwriting lesson got postponed.
  • Recorded a bit of a cover for next week. Just have to attempt an audio mix and add in a flute.
  • Wrote a draft for writing workshop. Will probably spend the next two days editing it down because, whoo boy, I wrote a lot.
  • Currently feeling: I’m one of those people who listens exclusively to holiday music from the day after Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day, but listens to none of it during the rest of the year. But today I was so very tempted to listen to Ingrid Michaelson’s holiday album.
  • Currently looping: The White Stripes’ “Icky Thump.” It’s used when Aquaman is introduced in “Justice League” (and of course, Jason Momoa chugging whiskey in slow motion as waves crash around him are all cool person goals), and it’s been stuck in my head for days now.


Day One Hundred and Thirty-One (7/21/20)

  • My mother’s here! She’s in the phase of quarantine where she’s trying to make cinnamon rolls. I am a happy guinea pig.
  • Reading group! I should call it the Oregon Reading Group, even though only one person is based in Oregon. I have to mute myself on Zoom because I’m taking notes the whole time. Such lovely discussion about a fascinating book (Alice Rio’s Slavery After Rome).
  • Did reading for tomorrow’s reading group. Yes, I’m doing a lot of reading, which is good.
  • Currently feeling: You know when you think your desk is a manageable level of mess, and then you look a wee bit closer, and you see there’s a corner of the desk that is an absolute mess? And then you realize that mess has been there since before quarantine? Yeah, that’s where I am right now. Where did all this clutter come from?
  • Currently looping: Audrey Hepburn’s “Moon River.” It’s so pretty.


Day One Hundred and Thirty-Two (7/22/20)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • Finally sorted through weeks’ worth of mail. Most of it was junk.
  • Started looking into virtual tutoring volunteer programs geared towards low-income students. So far, there’s Upchieve and Learn to Be. Anyone know anything about either? I really can only offer my services when it comes to SAT prep/college counseling, and I don’t know if people want to go to college anymore, but I guess it doesn’t hurt to apply.
  • Reading group! It was one of those articles that’s a classic and universally lauded. So of course I didn’t understand the entire first half of the article (which was very theory-heavy) and then everything clicked in the second (which was the application section). If you throw a bunch of theory at me, I’m going to ponder what the application is until you tell me why the theory is necessary. Because otherwise I shall be really confused.
  • Currently feeling: One of the pieces of mail I threw out today was from HGSE, which was asking me for a donation (as all programs do). I always find it hilarious when HGSE tries to hit me up for money. You jerks, I paid full tuition to go to your institution, and then you went and cut the Access and Disability Services Office (right, because “Student Services” is the umbrella substitute that everyone asked for). You cut all disability-related student programming. You basically tell my demographic to go screw ourselves and then have the audacity to ask me to be a supportive alumna. How dare you. Don’t think I haven’t been keeping tabs on what you’ve been doing since I graduated.
  • Currently looping: Evanescence’s “Imaginary.” Ah, brings back memories. Somewhere out there, there are two recordings of me performing this song at two different talent shows (one of which included piano accompaniment!). I do not have either recording. One might be at my friend’s house. The other might be somewhere in my middle school (although it might have been damaged during Hurricane Sandy).


Day One Hundred and Thirty-Three (7/23/20)

  • Posted my cover of The Killers’ “Change Your Mind.” It’s out of my range vocally, but I really wanted to experiment with the flute. And also I just love the guitar part.
  • Talked to a member of Princeton’s Graduate Student Union. Things are a bit of a mess at Princeton, in case I haven’t mentioned that in an earlier post.
  • Attended a Zoominar about teaching the Middle Ages (and about some spiffy resources).
  • Songwriting lesson! Learned about guitar riffs.
  • Worked on the flute part for next week’s cover.
  • Therapy! I wonder how much being in quarantine has affected my therapy progress. I’ve been spending a lot of time with myself, which has been speeding up the progress a bit.
  • Currently looping: “Leave” from “The Motion Picture: Once.” Iconic break-up song. Cristin Milioti also does a spectacular cover of it.

Thanks so much for reading! Stay safe out there.

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