Self-Isolation Diaries – Week 38

Greetings, Internet! Hope everyone’s staying as safe and sane as can be. This week, I’ve been going outside more frequently (the lure of matcha lattes is kind of too strong to resist), watched “Run,” and the slew of holiday music has begun! Daily summaries below!

Day Two Hundred and Sixty (11/27/20)

  • Did the FES cycle. Did some Black Friday shopping. Kind of glad that I was a bit late to some sales, because things sold out before I could get them. Probably for the best.
  • Found out that my Latin tutee aced her class. Wahoo!
  • Went outside for a matcha latte! I don’t have a cupholder yet, so I brought my thermos and poured the latte into the thermos. We shall see if this continues into the winter.
  • Talked to my parents on the phone. We’ve got logistics to plan out for holiday shopping.
  • More online shopping. Promise I’ll be more financially responsible next month. Maybe I should cancel Hulu after I watch “Run.” I barely use it, especially in comparison to Disney+ and Netflix.
  • Fiddled around a bit more with the audio for next week’s cover. I think I can start filming the video soon.
  • Total times outside: Thirty-three!
  • Currently feeling: Feeling…chill? I don’t know, I was pretty content drinking my matcha and re-watching “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” today. Even though I did burn my tongue on the matcha (my thermos did its job a little too well, ha).
  • Currently looping: Christina Perri’s “Merry Christmas Darling.” I first listened to her “a very merry Perri Christmas” when I was in England. Holiday music got me through the homesickness I felt an ocean away from home. It was too difficult logistically for me to go home for the holidays, and so I stayed. It seems fitting to listen to all of the holiday music this year, especially (even though I do it every year).

Day Two Hundred and Sixty-One (11/28/20)

  • Did some arm exercises while I finished this season’s “Great British Bake Off.”
  • Recorded the video for this upcoming cover. I wish there was a way to do the video live and then mix the audio effectively, but it’s just so much more efficient to do audio and then video.
  • Streaming services are really pitching hard on cable networks. I’ve got DC overload on TNT and Disney+ on FreeForm. I mean, if it means I can rewatch “Wonder Woman” and “Moana” on the same night, I’m down for it.
  • Currently feeling: Was feeling really negative today. It just hit me like a wave. I thought about how I spent all of college obsessed with my work, and here I am at twenty-nine with no clear career path in mind (to be fair, the pandemic hit the academic job market pretty hard and it was quite sudden, so I’m trying to be realistic about that). I have a versatile skill set, but no direction beyond “let’s get this dissertation done.” And then I thought, “Shouldn’t I go full steam on the dissertation so that I can move onto the next professional chapter, whatever that may be? If so, why am I recording myself for YouTube? Sure, I love music, but I’m starting on this way too late.” Then it spiraled. It spiraled really hard. Ugly thoughts were thought. I should’ve spent my twenties strategizing, and I didn’t. And then my bestie shared a thing (unbeknownst to my spiraling) about how we need to normalize chasing new dreams in our 30s and I felt so much less like a failure.
  • Currently looping: *NSYNC’s “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.” This music video is pure ‘90s joy and I am so here for it.

Day Two Hundred and Sixty-Two (11/29/20)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • Okay, this is really cool. Like, seriously, the guitar-building process is so nifty.
  • Went outside to get myself a matcha latte. Talked to the barista and found out that the date on all the matcha drinks I ordered last week were the production date, and not the expiration date (he didn’t know that at first, either). Now I feel bad for insulting Cha Cha Matcha on the blog. But also, why didn’t you just say it was the production date on the container itself?!
  • Also went over to the nearby Italian store to stock up on some antipasto treats, because it’s the holiday season and I want some olives.
  • More rewatching of the most recent live-action “Cinderella.” ‘Tis the season for kindness, goodness, and magic, okay?
  • Total times outside: Thirty-four!
  • Currently feeling: Going between my Harley Quinn impression (was rewatching “Suicide Squad” after “Cinderella” ended) and singing holiday music. Kind of want to order a choker that says, “PUDDIN’” and some spikey bracelets. It’s just one of those days?
  • Currently looping: “When We’re Together” performed by Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell (from “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”). Does anyone else envision an ice dancing routine set to this music? Just me?

Day Two Hundred and Sixty-Three (11/30/20)

  • Zoom meeting with my History cohort! It’d been so long since I’d seen them. Turns out we’re all like, “dissertation? During the pandemic? And you [our department] expect us to finish on time even though you’ve made clear that we should find alternative careers to those in academia?” Well, almost all of us. The minority opinion is to still go an optimistic full steam ahead. A few of us referred to the meeting as a group therapy session, which reminded me of this article that just came out today.
  • My mother stopped by briefly to drop off some things (including a cookie from Burdick and homemade apple oat squares!), and then drove over to play with my niece. The move is in about two weeks. Am I ready? No.
  • Music lesson! After I professed my love of holiday music, I was tasked to write a holiday song. Except I’m such a fan of the sad holiday songs, so, this’ll be a challenge.
  • Watched the pilot for “The Crown.” Meh. Modern history just isn’t as interesting as medieval history.
  • Currently feeling: Yes to more zoom cohort meetings! It was just so lovely to see all their faces and hear about how their lives are going. And it’s also great to know that we’re not alone with the whole, “Egad, how do we get work done during the pandemic?!” Because I was feeling hella unimpressive and unaccomplished with regard to dissertation progress. It’s also refreshing to know that some people are just doing massive lit reviews as a significant part of their dissertation (because what else can you do when you don’t have access to archives?). I think I’ll have enough primary sources (and I’ve adjusted my plan so that all my primary sources are online), it’s just a matter of starting the writing process (which I suppose will have to start in the summer).
  • Currently looping: Mindy Smith’s “Snowed In.” Yes, I like some country holiday music (the whole Nashville Indie Spotlight Christmas album is quite nice). Might have listened to this as I stared out at the dark rainy sky and thought about happy things. Don’t judge.

Day Two Hundred and Sixty-Four (12/1/20)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • Did some recording. Barre chords and I still don’t get along, especially when I have to go higher up the neck (or lower? What’s the terminology when the frets are closer to your body?).
  • Watched “Run.” I thought about watching it with at least one other person, because I tend to freak out with the whole horror/thriller genre. But then I thought, “disability representation!” And holy cow, that movie is TERRIFYING. I was screaming a lot. Kiera Allen is a freaking rock star. And Sarah Paulson knows how to be scary, but we already knew that. I’d be curious how able-bodied people feel while watching, because there are scenes that scare me because I immediately can relate, and I’m not sure how quickly I’d understand the gravity of a scene if I were able-bodied. Maybe I’m projecting?
  • It was Giving Tuesday, so I gave to my gym, Push to Walk. Also gave to food banks.
  • Currently feeling: Everyone needs to see “Run.” It’s the best disability representation I’ve seen on film. And it was amazing to see a wheelchair user as the protagonist, who is played by an actress who has a mobility impairment. This means that the film gets the little things right (e.g. wheelchair transfers, the locking and unlocking of wheelchair tires). The protagonist is brilliant, inventive, and a total badass. Not gonna lie, watching a wheelchair user be a badass on screen (just the idea of normalizing wheelchair badassery) made me feel like a badass through association. Disability representation in film/pop culture usually goes one of two ways: the disabled character is either healed or dead by the end of the movie (the latter is sometimes by their own volition). Watching this film, you don’t really think of either option. You just want her to survive.
  • Currently looping: Go Radio’s “O Holy Night.” I mean, sure, Céline Dion has one of the most iconic renditions of “O Holy Night” ever (and I will very likely listen to it on repeat as the holiday season progresses), but Go Radio took one of my favorite holiday songs and gave it some quality emo treatment.

Day Two Hundred and Sixty-Five (12/2/20)

  • Did some arm exercises while catching up on late night talk shows.
  • Did some reading for a graduate student group this Friday.
  • Went outside for matcha! Brought a different thermos this time, so there was no leaking.
  • Did some recording. Just some automation to do, and then lots and lots of listening to make sure the harmonies aren’t out of tune. There might not be any flute in this cover. I know. Le gasp. But it was another one of those recording sessions where I told myself, “Okay, just one hour,” and then went to two. Whoops. And I finally learned how to punch-in!
  • Realized that there are some plotholes in “Run,” but I’ll suspend disbelief for now. Also I realized something about the ending just as I was falling asleep last night, which then made it slightly harder to fall asleep. Why do I watch thrillers alone?
  • Total times outside: Thirty-five! 
  • Currently feeling: Going to bed late again, but it was in the name of music and quests for matcha lattes, so I guess that’s okay?
  • Currently looping: Lindsey Stirling’s “Warmer in the Winter.” I love Lindsey Stirling’s holiday album. And I love dancing to this. How often do trombones get solos in pop music?

Day Two Hundred and Sixty-Six (12/3/20)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • Posted my cover of “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Of course I took a happy-sounding song and made it sound sad.
  • My mother’s here! She made granola.
  • Therapy! Hadn’t had a session in about two weeks. Vented.
  • J.Crew discontinued the only leggings I wear, so I had to branch out. Tried on new ones today that seem to work and I’m always super jazzed when I find pants that work while sitting down.
  • My sister sent me an early Christmas present in the form of eight bottles of wine. I have the best sister ever.
  • Currently feeling: Was feeling in a bit of a rut this past week, but therapy helped with getting to the root of it. Now I am pulling myself out of the rut.
  • Currently looping: Lindsey Stirling and Darius Rucker’s “What Child is This” from the CMAs. Her violin solos are just gorgeous.

Thanks so much for reading! Stay safe, wear a mask, and if you haven’t given to anyone this Giving Tuesday (and if you have the means to), please give. There are a lot of organizations that could really use it, especially now.

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