Self-Isolation Diaries – Week 22

Greetings, Internet! Hope everyone’s staying as safe and well as they can. I’ve been continuing to binge “The Great British Baking Show,” have eaten more pastries and pie slices than I normally do in a given week, and went outside TWICE (once for some much needed #triotime). Oh, and we’ve passed the one-hundred-and-fifty-day mark (yay?). Daily summaries below!

Day One Hundred and Forty-Eight (8/7/20)

  • Awoke at 7:30am to find that the blackouts on the UES, UWS, and Harlem all caused a second power surge. Again, the A/C vanished and was replaced with heat blasting into my apartment. This time I remembered how maintenance reset the HVAC unit and so I reset it myself. #selfrescuingprincess
  • Did the FES cycle.
  • My sister’s here! She took the ferry. She brought baked goods from Bourke Street Bakery. Their cinnamon buns are amazing.
  • Princeton finally realized that it shouldn’t welcome back undergraduates in the fall. The plan for graduate students? Exactly the same as before (we’re “invited” to campus). I’ll stay in my apartment and continue to tinker with my dissertation, thank you very much.
  • Remember that terrible NYT column that advocated for ableism in dating? This was a nice response to that.
  • I went outside!!!!! My sister and I took a turn about the park (that saying needs to make a comeback, for reals), and then we got some treats at Eataly. My chocolate stash was running dangerously low.
  • Watched “The Great British Baking Show” with my sister while drinking rosé. Odds are that she’ll google the winner of the season we were watching a bit of tomorrow.
  • Currently feeling: That feeling when you’re not sure how much you’re juggling. I feel like I need to designate which days of the week are for what. Like, one day should be hardcore dissertation stuff, and another day should be for music, and another for administrative stuff and catching up on email. Or perhaps that’s too scattered and everything should just be for a couple of hours each day. Except then I feel like nothing’s getting enough time. Schedules, am I right?
  • Currently looping: Boys Like Girls’ “Two is Better Than One” (featuring Taylor Swift). It is schmaltzy? Yes, absolutely, but I adore how cheesy it is. 


Day One Hundred and Forty-Nine (8/8/20)

  • Recorded the main guitar/vocals and backup vocals for a cover. Now to add flute.
  • Did some arm exercises while watching “The Great British Baking Show.”
  • Cleaned up some of the messier parts of my desk. Still not totally tidied up, but it’s getting there.
  • Revised a song I’ve been working on.
  • Currently feeling: I wish there was a way to figure out whether you’ve come up with an original tune, or if it’s basically already been written and you’re ripping off someone else’s melody. It’s probably the academic in me, but I’m terrified of plagiarism. And so many chord progressions are so common, it’s like, there are bound to be repeats of melody. I guess that’s where lyrics come in? I don’t know, my biggest fear (with regard to original stuff) is to post an original song and then have a bunch of hate comments like, “YOU STOLE ARTIST SO-AND-SO’S MELODY!” And I’d be sitting at my computer frantically typing that I had no idea that artist so-and-so even existed. Or maybe I’m overthinking it.
  • Currently looping: Katy Perry’s “The One That Got Away (Acoustic).” This video even has the guitar chords included in the video. I mean, it’s just asking for a cover, right?


Day One Hundred and Fifty (8/9/20)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • Went outside to be socially distant with two of my HGSE besties!! We sat in the park near my apartment and people watched for a couple of hours. I cannot overstate how amazing it was to see them both. We also got to watch some people dancing and caught a bit of a jazz performance. And of course there were numerous dogs. Perfect Sunday afternoon ❤ #triotime
  • Finished my reading for Tuesday’s reading group. So much delightful material for my dissertation!
  • Tidied my apartment a bit while listening to some classical music. Because it was just one of those nights.
  • Currently feeling: Still smiling after some much needed #triotime. ^_^ What a delightful way to, er, commemorate (?) one hundred and fifty days of being socially distant.
  • Currently looping: Lzzy Hale and Amy Lee put out a new version of “Break In,” so you know I couldn’t resist.


Day One Hundred and Fifty-One (8/10/20)

  • Recorded the flute part for next week’s cover. Then did the audio mix. Realized that I did the cover at a noticeably faster tempo than the actual song. The flute part sounds rushed. Ack. But it’s not bad.
  • That moment when you decide dinner based on which jar of tomato sauce/canned tomatoes is going to expire first. Then you read in your costar daily reading not to do tomatoes today. Serves me right for waiting until the end of the day to read my horoscope (also, what an oddly specific horoscope).
  • Finished another season of “The Great British Baking Show.”
  • Currently feeling: My laptop is constantly running out of space because I keep recording video and audio files. I should just get an external hard drive for all the files. I already have an external hard drive that I use to backup the whole laptop (because dissertation), but I think video/audio deserves its own drive. I mean, I’ve been using a 32GB flashdrive, but it’s rapidly running out of room (which is what happens when you record three videos and put them into one video, and then create an extra video with an audio mix). There’s room for maybe five more covers on the current flash drive?
  • Currently looping: Halestorm’s “Here’s to Us (Live).”


Day One Hundred and Fifty-Two (8/11/20)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • My mom’s here! She brought a peach pie and croissants. She’s always loved to bake treats, but I think quarantine has put her baking into another gear, because she’s not spending three days a week driving me to Jersey.
  • KAMALA! Cue all the Maya Rudolph gifs. This is my favorite.
  • Went to a reading group. I wish I could spend this much time on all books that were relevant to my dissertation and get to discuss them with brilliant people. I’m still terrified of actually starting the thing (mostly because I’ve given myself oh so much to read for the upcoming academic year and probably am not expected to start writing chapters until next year? Maybe?), but I know it’ll get done.
  • 31 YouTube subscribers!
  • I’ve been trying to wean myself off of ordering non-medical supplies on Amazon, and have been looking into whether I can order certain things, like snacks, directly from the seller. I have a mild addiction to KIND snacks, and only found out today that you can actually order directly from their website, and that they do subscription boxes where you can pick every snack in the box. So of course I signed up. Hello, nut bars!
  • Currently feeling: Here’s hoping that all of the media doesn’t attack Kamala as much as they attacked Hillary (i.e. pick at things that have literally nothing to do with policy). So, for those who thought she was too harsh as a prosecutor, I thought this article was super interesting. And for those who think that she lacks charisma (whatever on earth you mean by that), here’s a video of her cooking Indian food with Mindy Kaling. And for those who just don’t like her, and nothing will ever change your mind, well, this isn’t a political blog and I’m not here to sway anyone’s opinion. Just, gah, I know right wing media outlets are going to demonize her. I just hope I don’t see similar levels of demonization on the left (because you know how certain people are all willing to vote for a woman, but like, maybe next time). I understand the article I just posted is satire, but satire is based on truth, ‘kay?
  • Currently looping: Halestorm’s cover of AC/DC’s “Shoot to Thrill.” You know I love Amy Lee with all of my musical heart, but Lzzy Hale is a freaking beast on vocals. BEAST.


Day One Hundred and Fifty-Three (8/12/20)

  • Recchiuti has closed one of its stores. <sobs quietly> #howwilligetthroughthepandemicwithoutfancychocolate
  • Watched the Biden-Harris news announcement. Where was all this positive coverage of Kamala when she was a presidential candidate?? Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled about it. But why am I learning so many cool things about her just now?
  • I have a non-academic writing assignment! Very much looking forward to it.
  • Virtual hangout with writing buddy!
  • Currently feeling: I got another Gregory of Tours book today. I’ll read through it, of course, but at the same time I just have to keep repeating to myself, “The dissertation will get done. It’ll get done.” Seriously, Princeton History Department, can you please get like the Sociology department and just give the grad students that extra year of funding? It’s not that I don’t think I’ll have an issue finishing this dissertation on time. It’s just that I feel guilty for working on my dissertation when others literally can’t. It doesn’t feel right. The pandemic is putting life on pause for everyone, and we’re all stressed out because basic human interactions have been reduced to virtual hangouts and calls, and in-person interactions have to undergo some form of logistical gymnastics to plan. Just call the year a wash, Princeton, and let the grad students take a year not to stress about their financial futures. #rantover
  • Currently looping: In This Moment’s cover of “We Will Rock You” (featuring Maria Brink, Lzzy Hale, and Taylor Momsen). Basically three goddesses of rock in one glorious cover.


Day One Hundred and Fifty-Four (8/13/20)

  • Posted my cover of A Fine Frenzy’s “What I Wouldn’t Do.”
  • Did the FES cycle.
  • Watched more “The Great British Baking Show.”
  • Therapy! I have been told to go outside more (taking the correct precautions, of course). <sigh> Challenge accepted.
  • Read what turned out to be a super helpful article for my dissertation that I wish I had read while I was doing my MPhil dissertation.
  • Currently feeling: The latest in #firstworldfakeconundrums? Wondering if I should sign up for one of those flower delivery subscriptions (provided the company is local/gets flowers in an ethically responsible and sustainable way). Flowers were never really a thing growing up. But neither was pandemic-induced isolation. And I can’t even take care of a succulent properly, so perhaps it’s best to have something that I’m not meant to care for longterm.
  • Currently looping: My Chemical Romance’s “The Light Behind Your Eyes.” MCR’s later stuff really doesn’t get a lot of attention, but I like this one. It’s sweet.

Thanks so much for reading! Stay safe out there, and fight the power. And do what you can to save the USPS. For reals.

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