Self-Isolation Diaries – Week 63

Greetings, Internet! I hope everyone’s staying as safe and sane as can be. This week, I mostly wrote my dissertation chapter draft, started back at Push to Walk, and had my first in-person maskless reunion with the #triotime ladies!

Day Four Hundred and Thirty-Five (5/21/21)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • My mother’s here! She brought walnut maple sticky buns (Claire Saffitz’s recipe)!
  • Student evaluations are up! Overall, it looks like my students thought I did well. Except for one student who gave me a 1 out of 5 rating and didn’t leave a comment to explain why. Either tell me how to improve as an instructor, or don’t troll me. And my students don’t even know I use a wheelchair (it just never came up), so you know this is most likely sexism and not ableism.
  • More dissertation writing. So much more. You’re not doing it right unless you doze off in front of your laptop at least once.
  • The Mets just love making their fans squirm.
  • Currently feeling: Almost halfway through the dissertation chapter. And I still haven’t gotten to the ninth century sources (I’m still building it up). Can’t tell whether that’s a good thing.
  • Currently looping: Sara Bareilles put her whole “Amidst the Chaos: Live from the Hollywood Bowl” album up! I’m so excited. Today I kept listening to, “You Matter to Me.” That’s a first dance at a wedding song.

Day Four Hundred and Thirty-Six (5/22/21)

  • Went to Push To Walk! And I got to work with a trainer I haven’t worked with in…years? Holy cow, it had been a while. Also weighed myself on the scale there (it’s the only one I know that will accommodate a wheelchair). I have gained five pounds over quarantine. Honestly, not terrible, but also, wondering how much of that is leg muscle from frequent FES cycling. Seriously, my right leg is noticeably more buff than my left leg (they pedal at different settings).
  • My mother and I picked up some food on the way home, and later got some cream puffs. Eh, maybe some portion of the five pounds is comfort food weight.
  • Mets, why.
  • Rehearsed for my final vocal class tomorrow (everyone’s getting a chance to sing!). I can’t believe how much I’ve improved in eight weeks. Highly recommend The Charismatic Voice’s “Demystifying Singing” course.
  • Wrote another 500 words (ish?) of my dissertation chapter.
  • Total Times Outside: Seventy!
  • Currently feeling: If someone asks, “How do you get all this done?” and my response is, “I sleep five to six hours per night,” they immediately go from being impressed to being somewhat concerned. This has happened multiple times. What do people expect my answer to be? I am genuinely curious.
  • Currently looping: Sara Bareilles’ live rendition of “Someone Who Loves Me” from her “Amidst the Chaos: Live at the Hollywood Bowl” album. I will be listening to this album all week.

Day Four Hundred and Thirty-Seven (5/23/21)

  • Last vocal lesson! Performed with far fewer nerves than last time. I just need to keep practicing.
  • #triotime dinner!! Our first maskless meeting in over a year! Wahoo!!
  • Recorded some guitar for this week’s cover, although as I type this, I’m seriously thinking of changing the electric guitar part. We shall see how it sounds tomorrow. Why did I stay up until 1am for this if I’m just going to change it tomorrow?
  • Total Times Outside: Seventy-One!
  • Currently feeling: Anyone who’s been keeping up with this blog, even casually, knows that I write a lot about music. Who knew going into quarantine that I’d get a bunch of instruments and recording equipment and see where the wind took me? And now I feel like I’m playing catchup to an imaginary version of myself that never stopped playing music in my late teens. Nevermind that I couldn’t hold a guitar correctly immediately following my injury (or hold myself up correctly for that matter). I hate to say it because this was during a freaking pandemic, but I’m grateful I took advantage of the lockdowns to do something more than my dissertation (i.e. something that never stopped bringing me joy). (Although, to be clear, just surviving the lockdown is enough activity for the lockdown.)
  • Currently looping: Sara Bareilles’ live rendition of “Orpheus” from her “Amidst the Chaos: Live from the Hollywood Bowl” album. I told you I was going to listen to this all week.

Day Four Hundred and Thirty-Eight (5/24/21)

  • Got somewhere between 3-4 hours of sleep last night.
  • Did the FES cycle. Watched “Legends of Tomorrow.” Even their more ridiculous episodes are amazing. I’m so biased. I love these characters.
  • Recorded vocals for this week’s cover. Did some audio mixing.
  • The Mets got my hopes up. And then those hopes were dashed. Alas.
  • Dissertationing! I’m more than halfway through the chapter (so I’ve got anywhere from 1500-2500 words to go for a respectable draft length), but I’ve yet to, um, get to the main thing I wanted to talk about. Or, no, I’ve just gotten to the thing I wanted to talk about. We shall see how that goes. There was a lot I had to set up, in my defense. Also I ended up listening to a decent amount of metal during the actual writing because, again, I got maybe four hours of sleep last night.
  • Currently feeling: Yeah, I’m definitely going to bed after 1am again tonight. And I think I’ve been running on adrenaline all day, because this lady did not ingest any caffeine.
  • Currently looping: Lake Street Dive’s “Good Kisser.” Such a fun and sad song.

Day Four Hundred and Thirty-Nine (5/25/21)

  • At 12:30am last night (so, this morning?) my body went into, “Bitch, I slept for like three or four hours last night. I am about to make you feel so freaking tired that you will collapse in TWENTY, NINETEEN, EIGHTEEN…” mode, so then I bolted into bed. And passed out for 6.5 hours until my alarm woke me up. It was necessary.
  • Recorded the video for this week’s cover. And because I’ve finished it a day early, I have a sneaking suspicion I may chicken out over the audio and start fretting, “Why didn’t I do another take?!” Alas.
  • Well, this is terrifying. Glad to know I wasn’t overreacting with my intense hermit habits.
  • Hey, look, another DeGrom ND. But the Mets won at least? Also Mets Thor is making everyone worried.
  • More dissertationing. Attempting to cobble together a bunch of different ideas, while also gaining a particularly terrible impression of the administration of Carolingian monasteries. In other words, it may be worse than I thought (at least with regard to the care of the poor). I also have more things to translate. I figure if I hit the word count I’m imagining, but still have a ways to go, I can still email what I have to my advisor like, “Here’s where I am, and here’s where I want to go. Let’s chat.” Better to hand in something than nothing, am I right?
  • Currently feeling: It’s like the dissertation is moving along and I still have no idea where it’s going. Just one chapter at a time is all I can hope for.
  • Currently looping: Lake Street Dive’s live performance of “Hypotheticals.” But I’m also listening to a bunch of Ad Infinitum while I write this chapter.

Day Four Hundred and Forty (5/26/21)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • Heated up a matcha latte (slowly getting through my matcha stash).
  • When both NY baseball teams have rained out games, the only sports option is NBA playoffs. The Knicks just had one hell of a third quarter. Wow. And then they won.
  • More dissertation! Translating Latin on the fly and picking up where other articles left off (would it have seriously inconvenienced these scholars to quote the Latin so I didn’t have to go hunting for it? If you’re going to say someone from the ninth century said something, just quote them in the footnotes! <grumble grumble>). I just have to add a few more things before I have to change the introduction (because, shocker, the chapter morphed as I typed it out. Why do I even bother to start with the introduction?).
  • Currently feeling: On the bright side, this chapter will definitely hit my self-imposed minimum for a chapter length that I shouldn’t feel embarrassed to hand in. But also, I think Monday may be a scramble to get this sent to my advisor (I told him “end of the month” and I plan to keep to that if possible). I really need to figure out a better way to plan out my chapters.
  • Currently looping: Spiritbox’s “Rule of Nines,” except it’s a live vocal performance by Courtney LaPlante, who is so talented going between clean and harsh vocals that I can’t even.

Day Four Hundred and Forty-One (5/27/21)

  • Went outside for a bakery and chai run. The bakery was, again, out of cinnamon rolls. Le sigh.
  • Caught up with “The Bad Batch” while I had my chai.
  • Posted my cover of Sara Bareilles’ “She Used to Be Mine.” I did a ukulele cover of it last year, but I love this new rendition. I also lost three subscribers after the video went up (um, rude), so now I’m at 250.
  • More dissertationing! Had the Mets on in the background (gotta love that doubleheader scheduling).
  • Therapy!
  • More dissertationing! I might have a mini-section and the conclusion left, and then I need to rewrite the introduction. #almosthere
  • Guitar and vocal practice!
  • Total Times Outside: Seventy-Two!
  • Currently feeling: Do you ever think about the pile of work you have to do and just imagine, “Ah, once I have that very sizable task out of the way, I can do all the other tasks I’ve been setting aside!” or is it just me who is delighted at the prospect of getting more things done after priority items have been completed? Maybe it’s that Virgo rising energy.
  • Currently looping: Sara Bareilles’ “Eyes On You” from her “Amidst the Chaos: Live From the Hollywood Bowl” album.

Thanks so much for reading! Stay safe, get vaccinated, and enjoy the unofficial start to summer!

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