Self-Isolation Diaries – Week 74

Greetings, Internet! I hope everyone’s staying as safe and sane as can be. This week, I watched Allyson Felix become the most decorated American track and field Olympian (of course I was tearing up because she is a legend and we are all witnesses), made a significant improvement in my harsh singing, and had the first ever game night at my apartment! Daily summaries below!

Day Five Hundred and Twelve (8/6/21)

  • Push to Walk got rescheduled. Ish. Alas.
  • You know I woke up early so I could see ALLYSON FELIX GET THE 400M BRONZE! YASSS, TRACK QUEEN!! I’m just going to sob quietly at how much of a queen she is and we are not worthy.
  • My oven might be breaking again. Egad.
  • My advisor sent me a 900-page PDF volume and insisted it wasn’t that long. #phdlife
  • Tidied up my apartment. Which, er, was kind of a mess and not fit for mixed company.
  • My mother baked some cherry muffins ^_^
  • Who had “Mets tank in the first half of August” on their Tortured Mets’ Fan Bingo card?
  • Should I stay up to watch the basketball final? Yeah, probably. Because patriotism? Nah, who am I kidding, I’m just a KD fan.
  • Total videos watched from other YouTubers: 19.
  • Currently feeling: The eternal question of practicing vocals or sleeping at a reasonable hour. Eh, you can guess where this is going.
  • Currently looping: Cher’s rendition of “Mamma Mia,” because it’s a delight.

Day Five Hundred and Thirteen (8/7/21)

  • Got up a bit earlier to see one of the most epic women’s 4x400m relay teams win gold. Seriously. Came very close to sobbing tears of joy for Allyson Felix’s incredible Olympic career. She is iconic and amazing, and I’m sorry, who is cutting onions? IT’S ALLERGIES.
  • Did the FES cycle.
  • GAME NIGHT! It’s late and I need to go to bed, but gosh it was so much fun ^_^
  • Total videos watched from other YouTubers: 4.
  • Currently feeling: Ahh, first multi-friend gathering!
  • Currently looping: Sarah Jarosz’s “Up in the Clouds.” It’s so mellow and sweet, like a hug of a song.

Day Five Hundred and Fourteen (8/8/21)

  • I think I got four hours of sleep last night? Maybe?
  • Ugh, my stomach hurts. That’s what four hours of sleep can do. <chugs rose tea>
  • Time to tackle this fifty-page article in German! Two hours later, I am fifteen pages in. Send help.
  • Okay, stop what you’re doing and watch Daniel Radcliffe dance in assless chaps in “Miracle Workers.” He looks spectacular with winged eyeliner and glitter.
  • Vocal practice! I’m noticing some improvement in my clean singing (I can sing the heck out of “Satisfied” from “Hamilton”). My harsh vocals sound awful, still. It’s like I can’t do harsh vocal exercises without hurting my clean singing, and then when I try to apply the exercises to a song, it sounds horrendous. I think once I’m done with my harsh vocal lessons in a couple of weeks, I’m just going to stick to clean singing (at least with some background knowledge of how harsh vocals work, in theory).
  • Total videos watched from other YouTubers: 0. I’m really behind, in part because I was responding to comments on my own channel. Maybe I should stop doing that.
  • Currently feeling: One of those days where you keep drinking tea hoping that the caffeine will kick in, but then realize that the caffeine will probably just end up preventing you from falling asleep. Whoops.
  • Currently looping: Taylor Swift’s live performance of “Ours.”

Day Five Hundred and Fifteen (8/9/21)

  • Did the FES cycle.
  • Music lesson! Worked on how to compose basslines for songs. Guitar instructor was still on his quest to boost my confidence. I respect the effort.
  • My favorite UES bakery is relocating! Oh please oh please oh please move somewhere within delivery distance of my apartment.
  • Total videos watched by other YouTubers: 22. Still have a number to go.
  • Currently feeling: My Spotify end of year playlist is going to be Sarah Jarosz, Taylor Swift, and a mess of metal. Tay Tay wasn’t initially in the running, but I’ve been listening to a lot of her the past couple of days.
  • Currently looping: Sarah Jarosz’s “Eve.” Ahh, I cannot wait to see her perform live!

Day Five Hundred and SIxteen (8/10/21)

  • My mother’s here! She brought cinnamon walnut rolls!
  • Went to PTW and got my ass kicked (in a good way). I am tired.
  • My mother and I got takeout on the way back to my apartment.
  • Total Times Outside: One Hundred and One!
  • Total videos watched by other YouTubers: 1. I’ll catch up tomorrow.
  • Currently feeling: I am going to be so sore in the morning. It’ll feel awesome, though.
  • Currently looping: Sarah Jarosz’s cover of Radiohead’s “The Tourist.” That’s right. There’s a bluegrass rendition of a song from OK Computer (my favorite Radiohead album) and I am SO HERE FOR IT.

Day Five Hundred and Seventeen (8/11/21)

  • Started watching Marvel’s “What If…?” on Disney+ and it was Peggy Carter/Steve Rogers-centric, so you know I loved it and cried a little. Basically, what if Peggy Carter was given the super soldier serum? And you know what? <Spoiler Alert> Steve became her biggest cheerleader. BECAUSE HE’S ICONIC LIKE THAT.
  • Trudged a bit more through the very important and very long German article. Send help.
  • Someone came by to check out the oven, because it’s been a bit wonky. He may have figured out the issue. Here’s hoping, because wonky ovens are no fun.
  • Metal vocal lesson! You know, after three lessons, I was ready to be like, “This isn’t for me. I don’t think I’m doing this correctly, and most of what I try to scream along to sounds terrible. Maybe I should just work on jazzing up my clean vocals, which have been improving, oddly enough.” And then, a breakthrough. Yup. Your girl has screaming potential. Spiritbox cover band, here I come! (Or, better yet, Valkyrie and the Pyros, a pop rock band that occasionally does metal Disney covers!)
  • Writing workshop! Might get a fiction series eventually.
  • Total videos watched from other YouTubers: 17. And then three more ended up in my subscriptions feed. Egad.
  • Currently feeling: I was so close to giving up on metal vocals. I had this whole monologue prepared that I was going to say to the vocal coach about how maybe I should work on some vocal fry in my clean singing and stick with that. And then I projected a scream that felt like my own personal scream. Oh, what a fool I was to want to throw in the towel so soon. Don’t give up on your scream-based dreams, folks.
  • Currently looping: Lorna Shore’s “To the Hellfire.” This is the song that showed me how freaking amazing deathcore metal can be. Will Ramos’ vocals are just, holy cow. I did not think humans were capable of that.

Day Five Hundred and Eighteen (8/12/21)

  • Did the FES cycle. Am almost caught up with “Legends of Tomorrow” (fell behind when I was on my “The Wire” binge).
  • Posted a “Dream On” collaboration I did with this one YouTuber who specializes in Aerosmith guitar covers. Definitely outside my comfort zone.
  • My mother’s here!
  • It’s set. I am presenting a dissertation chapter to a workshop of peers in a few months. Definitely incentivizes me to trudge further into the depths of this dense German article.
  • I had 364 subscribers a couple of days ago, and now I’m at 390. Dang. I think this was mostly to do with my “Reflection” collaboration. I’ll probably lose a bunch of them because I’m so bad at sub-for-sub.
  • Total videos watched by other YouTubers: 14.
  • Currently feeling: There is a rocking chair in my apartment that takes up a lot of space, but I don’t have the heart to get rid of it because it was my Nana’s, so now it’s just really inconvenient. But it’s a nice chair and it needs a better home than I can provide (I mean, I could give it a lovely home if I didn’t have all of this PT equipment taking up space). Does anyone want a rocking chair? At this point, I will pay to have it moved to your place (if you’re in the NYC area).
  • Currently looping: Sarah Jarosz’s “Hometown.”

Thanks so much for reading! Stay safe, get vaccinated, and don’t give up on your scream-based dreams!

3 thoughts on “Self-Isolation Diaries – Week 74

  1. “Time to tackle this fifty-page article in German! Two hours later, I am fifteen pages in. Send help”

    Very interesting that you read German, Val. 🙂

    I was born in Berlin. So, I grew up in Germany! Didn’t leave till I was nearly 25. My husband and I migrated to Australia in 1959, We had already two children, two girls. Then a son, who was born in Australia, and then 18 years later another daughter. There are lots of grandchildren and great-grandchildren now! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I had to learn it for my program, because there is a lot of scholarship about the Middle Ages that’s been written in German. I’m still in the middle of several articles and a book! That’s awesome that you grew up in Berlin! I’ve wanted to go there for quite some time. Australia sounds lovely!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, Life in Australia was good for us. Sadly, my husband, Peter, died last year. I find it difficult to adjust to a life without him, especially now with NSW having a severe outbreak of the DELTA variant of the virus. The lockdown seems to be unending. So many restrictions, and still the virus keeps on spreading. Australia, being a fairly isolated continent, was comparatively free of the virus until this year, when we were invaded with DELTA, and we had not learned yet, how to protect ourselves against it. So far we have not had many Covid deaths, but there are probably quite a few coming up in the near future.
    Peter and I, and some of our family, did visit Berlin a number of times over the years. All these visits to
    Berlin were very enjoyable. But we were always very happy to be returning to Australia. 🙂


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