Self-Isolation Diaries – Week 26

Greetings, Internet! Well, we’ve made it to the half-year mark. I hope you’re staying as safe and sane as possible. This week I can finally share a song I wrote (here’s the SoundCloud link!), finished “The Umbrella Academy,” and finally got to see my bestie in person after six months of only seeing her on a computer screen (we got tacos and I nearly cried from joy). Daily summaries below!

Day One Hundred and Seventy-Six (9/4/20)

  • Did the FES cycle. Watched more “The Umbrella Academy.”
  • Audiomixed “Jackass.” It’s on Soundcloud. Here’s the link. Go and listen to my overdue teenage angst!
  • Side note: I might do a bit more mixing. My guitar instructor gave me some hella good suggestions.
  • Gregory of Tours’ book is staring at me like, “You know you have to open me like yesterday, right?” And I’m staring back at the book like, “But…I still have a couple of secondary sources to get to first…”
  • Currently feeling: You know you’re a moon Gemini when you follow Avenged Sevenfold’s “Nightmare” with Boys Like Girls’ “The Great Escape.”
  • Currently looping: Sara Bareilles did her own versions of all the songs from “Little Voice” and I am overjoyed. Of course I’m listening to her rendition of “Simple and True” on repeat. It was made to be belted. And maybe covered. I don’t know. I’ll think about it.

Day One Hundred and Seventy-Seven (9/5/20)

  • Watched more “The Umbrella Academy” and did arm exercises.
  • Worked on an original song. I think the genre I’m most comfortable in is, “Hey, boy from my past, remember how much of a dick you were? Because I sure do.” Sara Bareilles encourages singing what you can’t say, but I’m more of a “sing what you want to say in retrospect after you’ve spent way too much time thinking about it” type.
  • Recorded some of a cover. Something about the lighting in my room will make some recordings seem like I’m paler than I am, or slightly more tan than I am. Lighting will always be a mystery to me.
  • Did my part to help the USPS by ordering hella merch from their site. Do I have any intention of getting a Christmas tree this year? No. Did I order some Christmas tree ornaments anyway? Yup yup.
  • Did some dissertation-based reading. I know it’s important to read primary sources, too, but the secondary source reading tells me in which direction my research needs to go (like, what’s missing, what are some questions that scholars have neglected that need some attention?).
  • FaceTimed my sister! I’m out of wine, so I had cider. I should probably restock. I swear that I’m not even close to alcoholism. I’m just a poor planner when it comes to wine consumption (and I’m waiting for a sale, because I don’t need wine enough that I’d pay retail for it).
  • Currently feeling: There aren’t enough hours in the day. There really aren’t. The days keep speeding by.
  • Currently looping: Lacuna Coil’s “Our Truth.” I was imagining this one guitar part in my head, and I kept thinking, “What is that FROM?!” and it was bothering me for two days straight. Then I remembered it was from this song. And then I repeatedly listened to it.

Day One Hundred and Seventy-Eight (9/6/20)

  • Did the FES cycle. One episode to go for “The Umbrella Academy”!
  • Met up with my bestie in the park near my apartment. We hadn’t seen each other in six months. I got to the park entrance and very joyfully yelled her name. Then spent the next seven hours catching up and eating tacos. I came very close to happy crying.
  • Currently feeling: Best friend! Tacos! Going outside for the tenth time in a hundred and seventy-eight days! <sobs>
  • Currently looping: Avenged Sevenfold’s “The Beast and the Harlot.” Weirdly fun song to play while applying eyeshadow.

Day One Hundred and Seventy-Nine (9/7/20)

  • Finished “The Umbrella Academy”! Who knows when season three will be possible?
  • Did arm exercises while watching the U.S. Open. Always grateful to be able to watch Serena Williams play, for she is a tennis goddess and we are all witnesses.
  • Guitar got postponed. Spent the time finding guitar exercises to do to improve hand dexterity. I really wish I had tried to learn all this stuff sooner. Ah well, better late than never.
  • Socially-distant park hangout with writing buddy, his girlfriend, and his girlfriend’s friend! I think if someone had told me that I’d meet more people (outside of my program) in quarantine than I would pre-quarantine, I’d have called them ridiculous. Folks, I give you 2020. For those keeping count, I think this was my eleventh time outside since quarantine began.
  • Did some dissertation reading. I think I’ve got a decent amount to discuss with my advisor tomorrow, because the secondary literature is leaving a few knowledge gaps.
  • Currently feeling: Guess who’s continuing to go to bed after 1am? I had one week where I was so good at keeping to a reasonable sleep schedule. And then I went back to this. But as long as I get to 1am and I think, “Ah! Already?!” I consider it a delightfully productive day.
  • Currently looping: Avenged Sevenfold’s “Sidewinder.” There’s a really nice guitar part at the end.

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

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • I told my sister that I was out of wine, so I got an email from her this morning letting me know that she had placed an order for wine that she thinks I’ll like. I have a very limited understanding of what I like in terms of wine, so this was a delightful email.
  • Had a meeting with my advisor. He took my complaining about secondary literature as a sign that I was doing well. He also seemed impressed/concerned that I had left my apartment only eleven times in a hundred and eighty days.
  • Burned grilled cheese. This is what happens when you get distracted by tennis. But I mean, how could you not focus on Naomi Osaka’s dominance?
  • Did some work on my writing workshop draft.
  • I’m doing an Instagram Live next Wednesday at 3pm for MIGA Swimwear! I’ve written a couple blog posts for them in the past, but it’ll be neat to do a live. September is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month, so we’re going to chat about all things SCI. Go follow them on Instagram!
  • Currently feeling: That feeling when you realize you actively sought out relationships with people who made you feel miserable. Because they said that they cared, the terrible behavior felt excusable, even deserved at times. All this time with myself is teaching me that I deserve better. I spent the entire day listening to my breakup playlist (yes, I have one of those) and thinking about all the toxicity I’ve cut out of my life since quarantine started. Good riddance.
  • Currently looping: Sara Bareilles’ “More Love.”

Day One Hundred and Eighty-One (9/9/20)

  • For once, I’m actually on trend. Except I technically learned guitar like, ten years ago. I mean, sure, I had less than two months’ worth of lessons and could barely sit up straight while holding a guitar, but that counts, right?
  • Did arm exercises while watching the U.S. Open. Serena Williams is #armgoals. And just #lifegoals in general.
  • Guitar lesson! Instructor approves of an angry song I wrote. Also gave me some tips for further things to do with “Jackass.”
  • Recorded the flute part for a cover. Cutting it close because it’s supposed to go up tomorrow.
  • Currently feeling: I’m a mess. No need to send help because I have therapy tomorrow. Very much looking forward to it. I’m going to process the mess, and then I’m going to buy myself flowers. I would very much like flowers. Unfortunately, I have to be as vague as a teenager’s weblog here. Just sorting through baggage. On the bright side, I figured out why I had panic attacks for a month during the first year of my doctoral program.
  • Currently looping: Coheed and Cambria’s “Welcome Home.”

Day One Hundred and Eighty-Two (9/10/20)

  • Did the FES cycle. Tried to help a friend bake a cake via text. Not the greatest medium through which to assist with cake-baking. Oh, the ‘Rona.
  • Therapy! Learning things about yourself is as productive as it is heavy. Oh, introspection.
  • Posted my cover of Annie Lennox’s “Into the West” from “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” soundtrack.
  • This Osaka/Brady match is fire. Just saying. I know Serena’s going to get to 24 someday.
  • Love this article by Maysoon Zayid: “Misrepresentation of disability on screen is a reflection of the lack of disabled writers, producers, and directors behind the scenes. Disabled voices backstage are just as crucial as those on the marquee. Without them, our stories will continue to be told through an ableist lens. The need to cast disabled actors and employ disabled crew behind the scenes goes beyond authenticity. The disabled community has $8 trillion worth of buying power. One in 3 households includes a disabled person. We are a fantastic investment. The myriad of competing platforms want viewers, and disabled stories draw them in. Need proof? Disabilities win awards. Casting authentically will make bringing home the gold a sure thing for the networks that dare to put us in the spotlight.”
  • Currently feeling: Well, it’s been twenty-six weeks. Half a year. Countless protests. Weeks of Cuomo briefings. Hundreds of articles that could articulate what the dickens has been going on far better than I ever could. Personally? Twenty-six blog entries. Eleven times outdoors. Reading groups and zoominars. Therapy. A spreadsheet dedicated to Gregory of Tours. A writing workshop. Work dates. Long overdue catchups. Wine and FaceTime. Songwriting lessons. Forty-three covers. One original song. Oh, and trying not to get sick and die. That, too.
  • Currently looping: Sara Bareilles’ “City.” I’d like to think of quarantine as the time when I binged the corpus of Sara Bareilles’ discography.

Thanks so much for reading! You’ve made it to week twenty-six! Go treat yo’ self. And wear a mask.

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