Self-Isolation Diaries – Week 36

Greetings, Internet! Hope everyone’s staying as safe and sane as can be. This past week, I went to my last Push to Walk session for a while (blast you, second wave), revisited the amazingness that is “Legend of Korra,” and posted another original song. Daily summaries below!

Day Two Hundred and Forty-Six (11/13/20)

  • Went to Push to Walk!
  • My mother and I got some dumplings on the drive back.
  • I’m in New Mobility! They did an issue on wheelchair accessibility on college campuses, so I talked a bit about my own experiences.
  • Started rewatching “Legend of Korra.” I forgot how much I loved the show. Also a number of storylines have hit me a little too hard in the feels.
  • Tested out a hairdryer brush. There’s a way to give yourself a blowout with it, but all I could figure out was how to brush and dry my hair at the same time. #futurebeautyguruhere
  • Total times outside: Twenty-Eight!
  • Currently feeling: Oscillating between “everything I do is meaningless, I’m so tired, I feel so unaccomplished” and “should I buy a guitar that’s slightly larger than a travel guitar, but still not full size?” My feelings make absolutely no sense.
  • Currently looping: Jaymay’s “Autumn Fallin’

Day Two Hundred and Forty-Seven (11/14/20)

  • Went to my sister’s apartment for my niece’s birthday party! And by “party,” I mean that there were six people there total. Come on, my family isn’t going to violate covid guidelines. There’s a second wave coming to the NYC area, after all.
  • When my sister and brother-in-law lived closer to my apartment, I used to read stories to my niece nearly every night. This was before her first birthday. Now she’s two years old, and she still runs over to me with her board books and asks me to read to her. My ice cold heart melted into a puddle.
  • My niece can talk in complete sentences. #proudauntie
  • She also calls me “Wheels.” She’s so cute.
  • Okay, I’ll stop gushing about my niece.
  • No, I won’t, she’s the cutest toddler on the planet and she’s sassy AF.
  • Virtually hung out with my bestie. I can’t wait for the day when we can hang out in person.
  • Total number of times outside: Twenty-Nine!
  • Currently feeling: Yup, happened again where I’m probably going to go to bed after midnight. I’m getting better at going to bed before 1am, but now I need to work on going to bed before midnight. I’ve been feeling rather tired when I get up in the morning, and I’m starting to think that I may need more than 5.5-6 hours of sleep per night.
  • Currently looping: Jaymay’s “Blue Skies.”

Day Two Hundred and Forty-Eight (11/15/20)

  • Did the FES cycle. Started season two of “The Mandalorian.” Am I watching more out of an obligation for the “Star Wars” universe than out of sheer interest? Meh, probably. It’s not bad, it’s just that I get to the end of an episode and feel no need to continue immediately onto the next one.
  • Music things! Some recording for something that might go up this week. We shall see.
  • I love when Monty Python fans keep things relevant.
  • More rewatching of “Legend of Korra.” I just love it so much and it’s been hitting me with life lessons like whoa.
  • Washed my makeup brushes. That was a long time coming.
  • Is it weird if I crash a medieval history workshop Zoom event at a university I no longer attend? I mean, I’m on their mailing list technically, but I feel like that’s because they never removed my email address.
  • Lol-ing at the three subscribers I lost today because I didn’t subscribe to other people’s channels. I’m totally okay with the fact that I will forever have a low subscriber count because I refuse to subscribe to people who expect (i.e. demand) that I subscribe to them. Especially when their channels have nothing to do with my interests (a diving channel? really?).
  • Currently feeling: My seventh grade English teacher subscribed to my YouTube channel and she said she’s a fan, which warms my heart like you would not believe. She ran the talent show at my middle school, which you needed to audition to get into. I tried in sixth grade and didn’t make the cut. Didn’t bother in seventh grade. But then in eighth grade I tried again, and succeeded. Long story short (too late), she was the first teacher to let me sing a solo on a stage, and provided some of the earliest external validation that I had a singing voice worth listening to. So, yes, I’m ecstatic. I should probably also send her a note where I basically say this, because we don’t thank our teachers nearly enough.
  • Currently looping: New Found Glory’s cover of When in Rome’s “The Promise.”

Day Two Hundred and Forty-Nine (11/16/20)

  • Had to cancel PTW workouts for the foreseeable future. Effing second wave.
  • Went outside to pick up lunch. And get some pastries to freeze for later in the week. Also, I needed some sunshine before everything turns to winter.
  • Tinkered with some audio recordings.
  • Latin tutee was a no show. Harrumph. Should’ve done some guitar practicing while I waited. Although I guess I did get some holiday shopping done in the meantime.
  • Finished rewatching season four of “Legend of Korra.” Cried. Such a good show.
  • While reading my New Mobility article thing, I realized that I often talk in sentence fragments. It doesn’t translate well to print. Whoops.
  • I would be so much more excited about this if it didn’t mean that I’d have to take a bus to get there.
  • Who’s seeing this movie with me? Everyone? That’s right, you’re all seeing this movie with me (I mean, not actually, because second/third/still in the first wave). It seems more psychological thriller than horror, so I think I’ll be able to handle it, but EEEEEEEK THERE’S AN ACTUAL WHEELCHAIR USER PLAYING A WHEELCHAIR USER IN A HORRIFYING SCENARIO THAT IS STILL WITHIN THE REALM OF IMAGINATION AND I AM SHOOK.
  • Total times outside: Thirty!
  • Currently feeling: I want to see more wheelchair-using actors playing wheelchair-using parts! Next, I want a rom-com with a female lead in a wheelchair. The male lead will be played by Chris Evans. Then Jason Statham will play her random ex who tries to win her back. But Val, isn’t that just wish fulfillment? Why, yes, but I’d counter that all rom-coms are wish fulfillment. And the most recent rom-com-esque movie with a wheelchair lead featured an able-bodied Sam Claflin playing a wheelchair user who opts for suicide even though he has basically everything (including the love of his life, who is played by Emilia Clarke! Who doesn’t want to be with Emilia Clarke?!).
  • Currently looping: Halsey’s live version of “Without Me.” Yes to angry breakup music.

Day Two Hundred and Fifty (11/17/20)

  • It’s day two hundred and fifty of self-isolation! Holy mother of pie.
  • Did the FES cycle.
  • Music! More music! Don’t I have a dissertation to write? Sure, yes, but also, covid is spiking again in NYC and I’d like to keep my sanity.
  • Reading group this week ended up getting postponed to next month. Alas.
  • Currently feeling: Probably should’ve been getting ready for bed sooner, but I got caught up recording things. I had a terrible work-life balance in college, and I understand that when most people say that, they mean that they partied really hard in college. I say that as a recovering workaholic. If I wasn’t working my ass off on something related to school, I felt like an absolute failure. I needed to distract myself with work because I was still figuring out my life with an SCI. It’s not an easy adjustment, and I’m prone to emotional crutches. But now, I have a hobby that lets me actually have that work-life balance! In that I have a life and I get my work done! I’m still not going to bed at a responsible time, but still! Progress!
  • Currently looping: One of Spotify’s Daily Mixes has combined tracks from Evanescence, The Pretty Reckless, In This Moment, Halestorm, and Avenged Sevenfold. So I actually made an effort to listen to as much of the playlist as possible (I’m definitely two hours through the three-hour playlist). Thanks, Spotify!

Day Two Hundred and Fifty-One (11/18/20)

  • Music production lesson! Ableton is still confusing, but now less so. And I shall be posting a video tomorrow (that I recorded today) with audio I produced in Ableton, so that’s exciting. Although I’m pondering whether I should tinker with the audio a bit more, because upon re-listening, the backup vocals aren’t coming through as strong. Hmm.
  • Should I start “The Crown”? I do love Matt Smith.
  • Finished Gregory of Tours’ Lives of the Fathers and moved onto The Miracles of the Martyr Julian. Still finding more and more dissertation material that derives from the sixth century. Will I ever get to the ninth century? Stay tuned, I suppose.
  • New quarantine life hack: boil water, pour into mug (tea optional), wash dishes, then enjoy water at the perfect temperature after dishes are done. Hey, it’s cold in my apartment and heating is expensive, okay? Or maybe it’s not cold, but I just get cold easily on account of limited mobility.
  • Currently feeling: My insistence that I’m not going to get that fancy with audio effects is often met with my guitar instructor’s reply of, “You will.” Upon relistening to Jaymay’s “Autumn Fallin’” album, it’s definitely possible to add a number of effects to a very simple song. <sighs> This is where I would probably benefit from in-person lessons.
  • Currently looping: Is it a copout to say I’ve been looping my own song over and over because I’m trying to get the volume automation just right? Because I’ve been doing that like all day at different points of the day. 

Day Two Hundred and Fifty-Two (11/19/20)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • Posted my original song, “It Only Got Worse From There.” Honestly, it’s not performing as well as my overly elaborate covers on YouTube, but I don’t care because it’s my song and I love how silly it is.
  • My mother’s here! She went to go see my niece, and then came over here. She baked a cranberry walnut orange loaf. Very excited for breakfast tomorrow.
  • Oh gosh, there are too many sales happening right now. I’m so close to finishing up holiday shopping. Also, for some reason Etsy seems to think I’m one of my friends from college? I mean, to be fair, I often get her birthday gift on Etsy, but that doesn’t mean I am her!
  • Therapy! Struggles with internalized ableism. Awesome.
  • How did my fancy hair dryer break in about a week? My hair isn’t even that unruly. <sighs> Okay, who do I have to call to sort this out?
  • Currently feeling: I’ve been trying to go to bed before midnight for the past few nights, and somehow I wake up even more tired than when I went to bed before 1am. I don’t get it.
  • Currently looping: The Pretty Reckless’ “25.” It sounds like a Bond theme. I freaking love Taylor Momsen’s vocals. The grit. The way she basically seduces the microphone. So here for it. I’m so excited for their new album.

Thanks so much for reading! Stay safe, wear a mask, and change your mascara if you opened a new tube at week twenty-four!

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