Self-Isolation Diaries – Week 21

Greetings, Internet! Hope everyone’s staying as healthy and safe as they can. Baseball is still around (for now), I am still all about the music (in part because I am dreading the coming semester), and power surges led to an interesting couple of hours battling with my HVAC unit. Daily summaries below!

Day One Hundred and Forty-One (7/31/20)

  • Did some arm workouts with my 3lb dumbbells. Gonna get swole. Lol. No, but actually, my arms are feeling a wee bit on the soft side. Can’t have that.
  • My mom’s here! And yes, she is baking a pie.
  • I am just racing through season two of “The Great British Baking Show.”
  • Did my reading for Tuesday’s reading group. Now to tackle Wednesday’s reading group article.
  • Even with a 10-6 lead in the eighth inning, the Mets can make me feel like there’s no lead at all. And then they lost. <headdesk>
  • Currently feeling: Three of my covers have been “partially blocked.” (“So Yesterday,” “I Wish I Was the Moon,” and “La Vie en Rose”) I suppose it’s only a matter of time before all my covers are blocked and I have to resort to original music only. Thanks, YouTube. Also, I know that no one is a fan of copyright infringement, but I always mention in the description box where the song is from, and (didn’t even think I had to say this, but) I make zero money off of my covers. Zero. I never posted my covers with that intention. I am stealing nothing from the artist. All I do is promote the awesomeness of a song (i.e. I am singing a love letter to the song by performing it). So, um, that’s not cool, YouTube. Let me sing my love letters to songs, okay? Also, this is coming from someone who knows next to nothing about copyright law, so maybe cost has nothing to do with it.
  • Currently looping: Regina Spektor’s “Samson.”


Day One Hundred and Forty-Two (8/1/20)

  • It’s August! That was fast? Or slow. I don’t understand the wibby-wobbliness of time anymore.
  • Did the FES cycle.
  • Finished season two of “The Great British Baking Show.” Onwards to season three!
  • That feeling when you really want a keyboard.
  • I’ve been fiddling with microphone placement. GAH. WHY IS THIS HARD?!
  • Wine and FaceTime with my sister! Gosh that wine was strong. Or maybe I ate dinner too early. One or the other or both.
  • Currently feeling: Wheeeeeee!
  • Currently looping: “Simple and True” From Little Voice. I haven’t seen any of the episodes, but I’ve seen a couple of trailers. Seems kind of like a cheesy “aspiring musician in NYC” show, but I’m sure if I had AppleTV, I’d find a place for it in my heart (because wish fulfillment). I love pretty much anything Sara Bareilles does, though, so I’ve been listening to the songs as they’ve been released with each episode.


Day One Hundred and Forty-Three (8/2/20)

  • Oh, I definitely drunk texted people last night. And I drunk wrote a song? Listened to the melody I recorded last night. Hoo boy. Why does everything I write turn into a sad ballad?
  • Attempted another cover recording. The strums seem off, but the vocals seem all right? I don’t know if it’ll work. Maybe I’ll add the backup vocals and flute and see if it sounds okay. And if not, back to the drawing board.
  • Virtually hung out with a friend. There was much to catch up on. So much.
  • Writing workshop! Oh, you know I got drunk. There was also writing. Because workshop.
  • My refrigerator appears to be leaking water. Goshdarnit.
  • Currently feeling: Trying to get in the habit of writing song lyrics at least once a day. A verse here, a line there. Feels like I’m in middle school again, when I used to carry around a notebook in which to write overly dramatic and not terribly good poetry. Very much hoping my writing has improved since then.
  • Currently looping: Kimbra’s “Settle Down.” I haven’t heard this song in years, and I’d forgotten how much fun it is to dance to.


Day One Hundred and Forty-Four (8/3/20)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • Songwriting lesson got postponed. So I worked on a song I wrote the lyrics for yesterday morning. It’s weird when you accidentally write the lyrics first. Then you just keep forgetting/reinventing the melody.
  • Added backing vocals to a cover. I should be able to add flute tomorrow, but we’ll see.
  • Started season three of “The Great British Baking Show.” This is the first time I’m watching where I know who the winner is already, so that should make things interesting.
  • DeGrom got a win! Baseball could end this week, or next week, or whenever, but I’m still going to watch while it’s on.
  • Currently feeling: Hey, look, another night when I could’ve gone to bed before midnight, but instead I did musical things. I’m all set for my reading group tomorrow, so it’s not like I’m slacking on my academic obligations. But also, feeling a wee bit overwhelmed with the dissertation (it’ll get done, I know), and also with the uncertainty of the academic year starting up again soon (every year, I forget that school begins in August). Things are weird in higher education.
  • Currently looping: Kimbra’s “Settle Down” again, but live, with her doing freaking amazing things with a looping device. (Side note: lol, I’m looping a performance with a looping device.)


Day One Hundred and Forty-Five (8/4/20)

  • Recorded the flute part of a cover. Then audio mixed. Both took a bit longer than anticipated.
  • Power surge from the tropical storm somehow ended up turning off the A/C in my apartment and turning the heat on. I can’t reach the thermostat. Maintenance came up here and was like, “Cold air is blowing out now, so it’ll be fine.” Then the temperature in my room kept rising, so no, I do not think cold air was blowing out.
  • Attended my reading group on Zoom with hot air blowing at me the whole time. I suffer for my learning, thank you very much.
  • Currently roasting in my apartment. Send help.
  • Turns out all that needed to be done was an A/C reset. Thank goodness. (Note: If you think I’m being all whiny because of a temperature change, just know that I can’t sweat on account of nerve damage, so an overheated room can literally give me a fever I can’t sweat out. That’s right. I made a Panic! At the Disco reference in my overheated state.)
  • Was supposed to do arm exercises, but then forgot.
  • Currently feeling: Got an email from Push to Walk about going back. I need to talk to my mother about safety protocols. There’s a part of me that’s in desperate need of a workout (well, all of me is), but then I start to think about how I’ve been avoiding people literally like the plague for the past one hundred and forty-five days. Is it safe for me to leave my apartment? Am I overthinking it?
  • Currently looping: Kimbra’s “Plain Gold Ring.” Yes, I’m on a Kimbra kick, and yes, it’s another live version with some looping. The vocal possibilities! One of the things I like about doing covers is figuring out where to throw in harmonies (if I deem harmonies even semi-necessary, they’re going in there). I also like harmonies for my original stuff, so that’s one possibility of a neat effect to look into.


Day One Hundred and Forty-Six (8/5/20)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • Did a work Skype with a friend. Got reading done for a reading group tonight.
  • Princeton loves to talk about how much money it has, unless its graduate students are suffering from ‘Rona-related logistics and can’t actually get their work done.
  • Starting to prepare pitches for an article. We shall see if anything comes of them.
  • Reading group!
  • I’ve gotten up to the quarterfinals episode of season three of “The Great British Baking Show.”
  • Donated to the Lebanese Food Bank.
  • Currently feeling: I sure hope Princeton has some idea of how to prepare its students for non-academic jobs. Also, Princeton’s plans for welcoming students to campus are so poorly thought out that I am 90% sure there’s going to be a ‘Rona outbreak this semester.
  • Currently looping: Hans Zimmer’s “Frameshift” from the Dark Phoenix original soundtrack. The whole soundtrack is pretty good study music, mainly because it’s so intense that you can’t possibly fall asleep while listening to it.


Day One Hundred and Forty-Seven (8/6/20)

  • Posted my cover of The Lumineers’ “Flapper Girl.” I added a flute. Next week’s cover will also have a flute. Flutes for everyone!
  • Did some arm workouts while watching “The Great British Baking Show.”
  • Reordered catheters. #scilife
  • Therapy! I think quarantine is speeding things up (i.e. progress) because I have to spend so much time with myself and my feelings.
  • FaceTime and Wine with one of my elementary school besties. We had a lot to catch up on. And she listened to my demos and told me to make them public. I might do that. I don’t know. I’m tipsy and shouldn’t be making decisions right now.
  • Currently feeling: Something tells me I’ll have to rerecord my demos, but do it in a manner where I have to multitrack. So, one track = guitar, next = guitar riff (if any), next = main vocal, next = harmony, and so on. Equal parts excited and nervous about doing that, because it’ll be one step closer to making original material public.
  • Currently looping: Sara Bareilles’ “Little Black Dress.” Such relatable songwriting. Like, I know Taylor Swift gets a lot of credit for her songwriting, and Fiona Apple is pretty much untouchable, but Sara Bareilles is like that midway point between Swift and Apple.

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

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