Self-Isolation Diaries – Week 60

Greetings, Internet! I hope everyone’s staying as safe and sane as can be. This week, I started using singing straws, am on a metal kick, and am seriously outlining my second chapter. Daily summaries below!

Day Four Hundred and Fourteen (4/30/21)

  • More work on my dissertation chapter outline.
  • Attended a Zoominar on teaching medieval global history. One of my college blockmates was there ^_^
  • Review session for my course’s final exam!
  • Opened up a pack of singing straws to work on some SOVT (semi-occluded vocal tract) exercises. I’ll give this a week or two to find out if these work.
  • FaceTimed my sister!
  • Currently feeling: Singing straws take a bit of getting used to. I wonder if I can use them throughout the day while I do dissertation stuff. Or would that be an unrealistic way to juggle things? We shall find out.
  • Currently looping: Melissa Bonny’s cover of Kamelot’s “Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife).” I just really like this song, okay?!

Day Four Hundred and Fifteen (5/1/21)

  • Did the FES cycle. Am two episodes away from finishing “Fleabag.” It’s pretty amazing.
  • A screw popped out of one of my front casters (i.e. wheels). Panicked, transferred into another chair, and then, with my mother on speakerphone, tightened the screw back into place while keeping the chair with the loose screw in place. Going to take it for a spin run outside at some point to see if my maintenance attempt was successful.
  • I think I just have to read one more chapter of someone else’s dissertation, then a couple of chapters in a different dissertation, and then I can put together this outline for my advisor.
  • I’ve been learning phonation for my vocal lessons, and it’s kind of amazing. Range? Wider. Belt? More confident. Just, wow.
  • Practiced some guitar and attempted to mentally arrange a cover.
  • Currently feeling: Is it so wrong that I want to cosplay as a symphonic metal lead singer most days? I mean, have you seen their outfits? Just google Floor Jansen. I want 90% of her wardrobe. That’s the appeal of symphonic metal. There’s an incredible diversity of vocal styles, along with the power of all of the instruments behind you, AND you’re dressed as a warrior goddess.
  • Currently looping: Kamelot’s live performance of “Phantom Divine (Shadow Empire)” feat. Lauren Hart. I’m just really into Kamelot at the moment, okay?

Day Four Hundred and Sixteen (5/2/21)

  • Well, the refrigerator leaked, and now my kitchen floor is warped from the damage. Ugh. Between that and having to fix my front caster yesterday, not an ideal weekend.
  • Finished “Fleabag.” Really fantastic show. Makes me never want to fall in love. Thank goodness for that.
  • Vocal lesson! Followed by a vocal masterclass!
  • Okay, so, turns out I needed to submit a recording to my vocal teacher by the end of the night. Wish I had been reminded of that before I had practiced in the morning. Trying to record in the evening after practicing in the late morning is having…predictable results. Dangit. #tiredvocalcords #iswearicandobetter
  • Finished part of a dissertation that I needed to read. One more to go, and then I can start outlining.
  • Currently feeling: Having one of those days where everything feels like it’s going wrong and I’m just so tired. So very tired. Sometimes I think about how it seems like I have to try harder to get stuff done (you know, SCI life and all that), and it takes even more effort to get stuff done at the level I find acceptable (i.e. I have standards). And then I’m reminded that Jacob DeGrom only wins games when he gives up (at most) one run, and then bats in (at least) one RBI. Some people just have to work harder, but at the end of the day, that work is impressive. Yes, I just compared myself to Jacob DeGrom. If you don’t aspire to greatness, what are you even doing?
  • Currently looping: Fiona Apple’s “Left Alone.” She gets it.

Day Four Hundred and Seventeen (5/3/21)

  • Did the FES cycle. Watched the season premiere of “Legends of Tomorrow”! That’s right, my favorite superhero television show is back for another season! I laughed, I cried, I wondered when I could purchase a Beebo t-shirt.
  • Had the icemaker disconnected from my refrigerator. Here’s hoping that’s what caused the leaking.
  • Went outside for a matcha latte!
  • Teaching meeting! The final goes live later this week.
  • Did some drum programming for a cover. Practiced guitar. Thought I could also get some guitar recording done, but alas, I did not have time.
  • Did some source-hunting for my dissertation. After I do some Latin translations, I’ll know whether I’ve found enough for a chapter.
  • Mets. Why.
  • Total Times Outside: Sixty-Five!
  • Currently feeling: Someday, I will acquire a Time Turner. And I vow to use it for good. And for overproductivity.
  • Currently looping: Kamelot’s “Phantom Divine (Shadow Empire)” feat. Lauren Hart. Yes, I loved the live version so much that I wanted to hear the studio version.

Day Four Hundred and Eighteen (5/4/21)

  • May the Fourth be with you!! Um, yes, of course I had “Star Wars” movies on in the background for much of the day. I wanted to watch the first episode of “The Bad Batch,” but did not realize it would be over an hour long. Perhaps I shall save it for a bike session.
  • Lots of recording today! I’m talking guitars, vocals, and some flute, all in one afternoon.
  • Music lesson!
  • Writing workshop! Huh, I haven’t had any alcohol at writing workshop in a while.
  • Currently feeling: I love “Star Wars,” guys. I mean, in case you haven’t noticed from the fact that I binged the entire “Clone Wars” and “Rebels” series over quarantine, rewatched basically most of the movies (I’m sorry, I refuse to take ⅔ of the prequels seriously).
  • Currently looping: John Williams’ “The Rebellion is Reborn” from “The Last Jedi.” If I had to rank the movies: 1. “The Empire Strikes Back”; 2. “Rogue One”; 3. “The Last Jedi”; 4. “A New Hope”; 5. “Return of the Jedi”; 6. “Revenge of the Sith”; 7. “Solo”; 8. “The Force Awakens”; 9. “The Phantom Menace”; 10. “Rise of Skywalker”; 11. “Attack of the Clones.” The rankings change all the time, but the top three are pretty solid.

Day Four Hundred and Nineteen (5/5/21)

  • Happy Cinco de Mayo!
  • Did the FES cycle. Watched the second half of “The Nevers” premiere. It’s pretty good! I kept thinking I recognized one of the lead actresses, so I IMDB’d her and yup! She’s in “Outlander”!
  • Recorded the video portion of tomorrow’s cover. I’m not sure if I did all the proper mixing, but this is what happens when you try to put out a video a week.
  • Vocal practice! I slacked on it for two days, and now it’s more difficult. Oof.
  • Okay, I spent well over an hour watching and commenting on other people’s YouTube videos. Is this really what everyone does? It’s exhausting. And an unusually high number of people uploaded videos today. Wednesday is usually the calm before the storm (Friday and Saturday are the highest traffic days). And I get it, Billie Eilish put out a new song, but there are at least five covers of it in my YT feed and I haven’t even heard the actual song yet. I’m on a metal kick right now. Eilish can wait.
  • It’s always nice to have a double header on television.
  • Drafted an email to my advisor. I will send it. Tomorrow.
  • Currently feeling: Okay, this weekend is going to be hardcore dissertation chapter planning. Because it needs to be.
  • Currently looping: Kamelot’s “Liar Liar” feat. Alissa White-Gluz. The music video is ridiculous (which is like a staple of metal), but dang, Alissa White-Gluz.

Day Four Hundred and Twenty (5/6/21)

  • Went outside for pastries! And what a surprise, I have zero self-control in a bakery.
  • My parents are here!
  • Posted my cover of KT Tunstall’s “Universe & U.” “Eye to the Telescope” was a phenomenal album.
  • Therapy! Who’s a coping mechanism master? <poses> This lady. Right here.
  • One of my college blockmates started a photography and videography business with her husband! Go check them out!
  • Graded some assignments. Then wrote out a letter to my advisor that was basically, “Do you want an outline in a few days, or a chapter at the end of the month?” and he replied with, “Send a chapter” (okay, there were more words to the email, but that was the vibe). And my outlines are kind of all over the place, so he definitely made the right call.
  • Dissertation chapter research! I feel like the chapter-writing process is when the real work begins.
  • Total Times Outside: Sixty-Six!
  • Currently feeling: Cue the movie soundtracks for dissertation chapter two! Do I know what I’m writing? Kind of. Basically, I have ideas, some evidence, some deep dive plans, and a genuine curiosity for where this all takes me, research-wise.
  • Currently looping: Ramin Djawadi’s “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” from the Game of Thrones: Season Eight OST. You know I’m getting back in that dissertation-writing mood when I break out the GoT soundtrack.

Thanks so much for reading! Stay safe, wear a mask, and get vaccinated!

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