COVID 19 Journal Entry 27

It’s been a while since I’ve kept a regular journal like this. I was looking back in my archive the other day (looking for evidence of the last time I read Mrs. Dalloway – there was none) and I was reminded that I used to practice my journal writing on a far more regular basis than I do now. It wasn’t daily, but it was frequent. It reads like I was writing for an audience of me – my voice and sass is clear. I still try to intill my entries with these, but I also try to make them intelligible to other readers – maybe not so many inside jokes – that is, jokes that are only jokes inside of my own head.

Writing a regular journal of my daily life is different than writing a journal when I’m travelling. With travel journaling I can fall back on just expanding my daily itinerary if I can’t think of anything else. Or just describe the scene around me. Everything is interesting when I’m on adventure.

At the beginning of COVID, when we had all just gone into lockdown, we were all on an adventure. Lots of new experiences to reflect upon. Now as I settle into the new normal, it’s less an adventure (ok, “adventure”) and more routine – and routine was what I didn’t want to be writing about when I stopped journaling. Routine isn’t interesting. I’d be writing the same thing everyday. Ironic maybe that I have even less to write about now that I’m at home most of the time, and yet here I am still writing about it (with, admittedly, some breaks). It’s like phone calls with my mum. We decided to up our weekly phone calls to twice a week, and we make fun of how we shouldn’t have anything to talk about since we aren’t doing anything. But one weekly one-hour call has turned into 2 two-hour calls per week. We still manage to find things to talk about.

Since I’m writing more regularly now, I’ve remembered some habits I should be following. I don’t know if I’m just older now and forgetful, or if i’m just way out of practice, but a really god habit I need to reintroduce is to write down any idea that comes to me right away. I keep thinking of really good ideas and then forgetting them, but not forgetting that I had an idea, just what it was. Then I get that hollow weird brain feeling where I know I’m missing something but can’t remember what.

I did this last week during lunch break during one of my office days. I was walking back along Cook Street after buying ice cream and had the greatest idea for a journal entry.

“This would make a good journal entry,” I thought to myself, and started composing. But then I was distracted by walk signals, and navigating around people on the sidewalk. I was even distracted by my organizing the rest of my work day – should I write said journal entry during my break later or save it for after work?

By the time I was back at the office, and stored my ice cream in the freezer, the idea was gone. I was back at my desk for a while before I remembered that I’d had an idea. But what was it? Nope. Gone.

I never do this, but I totally retraced my thoughts back to try and retrieve it. It was just that good of an idea. I had it before I approached the intersection with Pandora Street. Then I passed the man with the beard, turned my head away from him because the sidewalk was narrow and there was traffic. I crossed Pandora even though the light was flashing don’t walk, but I made it ok, and it’s a one-way street so no one was turning right. Then just a short wait for the next light to turn – I stared over a the bus stop and that’s when I decided I had a good idea for a journal entry. When I crossed Cook Street, a truck had to wait while I crossed – if I hadn’t crossed at the last minute across Pandora he wouldn’t have had to wait. There was fencing up around the grass along the parkway along Pandora. Was this where people had been camping at the start of lockdown? I hadn’t been over here to see. Then passing another pedestrian, but the sidewalk got wider along side the new condo building. There’s a new daycare on the lower level of that – I think that’s the one I read about because the residents of the condo are annoyed that the daycare kids can use their outdoor common area upstairs. Should I work of my journal now when I get back? I might have five minutes left of my lunch break. Or I could use my 15 minutes now instead of later…

I think by that point I had stopped thinking about the idea and then lost it. And I still had that feeling of a vacancy in my memory. (That’s a better way of expressing a “hole in my head” isn’t it?) I replayed my steps a few times. Was I thinking about it before my approach to Pandora? What was I thinking as I left the ice cream store? As I rounded the corner back on to Cook? When had I started thinking about it?

And the *POP* there it was. My fully formed idea. I typed it into the notes on my phone with an exclamation mark! I plan to write about it soon.

October 17 – Two more sleeps

I left myself many chores to do tonight after work. It is my only free evening this week, so I wanted to dedicate it to my final pack and to finish up tidying my house. I predicted I would get frantic with nervousness doing this, finding the last things to do before my trip. I leave early on Saturday so there won’t be much time for last minute dishes, etc, while I wait to go; but, thusly, I am anxious to be ready to go. I get fussy before a trip, making sure my house will be left clean: recycling out, kitchen counters wiped, bed made. These are things that I don’t care about on a day-to-day basis. But when I’m leaving for a big trip, I like to look around before I leave and know I’ve left things in order. Extra especially, I love coming home to a clean apartment.

Secret: I could have left that sentence as “I love coming home.”

This week my excitement for my trip has turned into anxiousness and a sort of pre-homesickness. It started last Friday when Susan and I were deciding where to meet for dinner. I had suggested something new, but then realized I was craving a familiar location, in anticipation of all the new places I’ll soon be visiting. And all of the situations I would have no such control over.

I wrote in my last post about how much I enjoyed spending Thanksgiving with my family, and that was part of this need for the familiar, or in this case, the hyper-familiar, the very foundation of familiarity. It was hard to leave.

I’m not sure why I’m so pre-homesick this time. I keep reminding myself that three weeks, while a longer trip than I’ve been on for a while, isn’t that long. I wrote as I was leaving for Mexico last year how homesick I felt – so it’s part of the trip, and I know it goes away. I have some ideas of why it hit me early this time:

  1. I’ve been on three airplane trips this year! So fun! But I haven’t had enough time to forget how much waiting and impatience there is to airplane travel. I usually plan trips with more of a gap in between to fully recover. (And to save up money again…. but I’m not thinking about that part right now.)
  2. Travelling somewhere completely foreign all by myself! Scary!
  3. It’s October and I should be getting ready for cold-weather hibernation – I’m leaving a bit later in the month than I usually do. I’m looking around my tidy and cozy house and thinking I would be a better choice to just stay here for three weeks.
  4. The anticipation of not having control over things while being on a tour: most days are planned with sightseeing, accommodation is pre-planned and assigned, restaurants are usually chosen by the guide. These are all things that I am happy to have organized for me, and is why I like to pay to go on a tour! But I live alone and is pretty much do as I like in normal life, so following along takes a little adjustment, even if it does make complete sense and I’m so glad to be traveling this way.
  5. I think too much about things.

I planned to fret and pack and clean tonight, Thursday, because still have one more sleep after this before I go. My plan for Friday night is to relax and be calm.

Truth: I am only ever nervous for a trip until I get on my first form of transportation. Then a little bit just before I meet with the rest of the tour group. Then I’m fine.

***

My List of Thursday Evening Chores

  • Clean bathroom sink and toilet
  • Do dishes
  • Pack few remaining items
  • Water bottle in suitcase or carry-on?
  • Long or short phone charger cord?
  • Have a bath
  • Bump elbow against corner of towel bar
  • Weird arm-wriggly cry-dance of pain
  • Is lower arm paralysis a thing?
  • Cut nails
  • Study peeling blisters on the bottoms of my big toes
  • Bandage new blister on back of right heel
  • Have maccachee for dinner
  • Finish yogurt
  • Write for Puddlelillies.com
  • “Chores”

October 9, 2019 – China in Ten Days

I’m going to China in 10 days. Here are some things.

A) I have to remember how to do blog posts because I haven’t written any for a year. I’ve noticed that if I want the date to show at the top of my post, I have to enter it in the section marked “title” in my template here. I have always resisted using “titles” for my blog posts due to being lazy: e.g. it’s hard to summarize a post into a few words. Also: labels, schmabels. I seem to have done it today with little to no fuss on my part. We’ll see what happens in editing.

B) I am remembering how to blog, and setting it up for people to read even though I may not be able to post anything from China due to their unique internet strategy. I may end up writing some things and then posting later.

*** Note that blog posts, however, are separate from being able to contact Mum to assure her I am safe. I have several methods to to ensure this happens.***

C) I learned today that I can ask to refill my prescriptions early so I have enough for my whole trip. It’s not that I wouldn’t be allowed at all, but the question was whether my insurance would pay. All it took was for my pharmacist to enter a code in their computer, and me signing a wee disclosure and now I am fully stocked and will be able to breathe for the duration of my trip. Speaking of breathing, I forgot to ask about getting a mask in case the pollution in Beijing is a hindrance. I’ll go in and ask about it tomorrow or the next day– I’ve been in around 6 times now asking about travel things. One thing at a time, as I think of them or remember. I know I should have made a list, and made one spectacular visit, but the pharmacy is right across the street from my workplace, and I need things to do on my breaks.

I'm not taking the basket. Also I think you can see my underpants.

Familiar, well-travelled suitcase.

D) I’ve been packed since Saturday. Partly this is because I’ll be in Duncan over Thanksgiving weekend and I wasn’t sure I’d have time to pack next week… but more I love packing and I’m impressed I could even wait that long.

P.S. If you keep reading down my blog you’ll find my Mexico trip from a year ago. I know this isn’t made clear or obvious, but I wasn’t into using descriptive titles as much last year as I am now.

It’s travel day today.  I’ll start leaving Victoria around 5 this afternoon to catch a 2am flight to Taipei, with an additional flight after that to Hanoi.  I’m going to be messed up after this.  I hope greatly that I sleep on the plane.  (In the middle of this itinerary I’m goint to meet Julie at the Vancouver airport, where we have planned to get up to hijinks, but this may devolve into her poking me to stay awake.)

Here is a list of things I’m taking to amuse myself when I’m not asleep:

  1. 2 young adult fantasy novels (the Seven Realms series numbers 2 and 3)
  2. Knittin’
  3. new playlist of music made up off all the old random songs I have on my computer (this was a good idea! – see below)
  4. Movies: Capt’n America 2, Thor 2, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensiblitily, and 2 episodes of Endevour

I was super nervous yesterday, to the point of panicking.  But I went to a flamenco workshop around mid-day and this helped a lot.  I had pre-registered for this in hopes that it would be a good distraction, and I was right.  Not only is physical activity good for nerves, I also saw some dance friends there.  Friends are also good for nerves.  By yesterday evening, after flamenco and then pizza for lunch, my anxiety had advanced to the “dance party phase” thanks to my new playlist. The dance party phase is FAR SUPERIOR to the nervous-panic phase.

Today I wait.  I’m spending this morning puttering around and tidying. Trying to be calm.  This afternoon I’ll go to accupunture, come home from that, and then leave.

PS. I had almost finished consuming all my perishable foods when I noticed that I had 2, nearly full, cartons of rice milk in my fridge! I’ve been spending spare moments eating cereal.

I was sick last week. Nothing gross really happened but I didn’t really feel like moving a lot for about five days. I could tell sickness was looming on the Friday but I swallowed a bunch of echinacea and drank a lot of water and went to dance class anyway and that felt fine. Maybe a little more tired than usual after.

I was meant to go to Vancouver the next day to see West Side Story with Julie. However, when I got home from dance I got a text from her saying she’d been injured on the bus. So we planned to take it easy while I was there.   But then when I woke up sick in the morning I cancelled my going. It was for the best anyway since she wasn’t feeling very good either. She was able to find someone who was not as cursed as we were to take the tickets, so that’s good. 

I was sickly for five days after that. Seven really, but I managed to go to work on the next Friday. During my sick time I spent a lot of time on my reclining chair, eating various types of porridge (cornmeal, Scottish oats, regular oats with flax seeds). I ate other stuff too.   My throat was sore for maybe a day, but it didn’t prevent me from eating, thank goodness.

I watched all the streaming TV shows that I could on my computer. Now I’ve watched all the shows and there’s no more due to the Olympics.   I only watched one Olympics and that was the men’s short program for figure skating. I read my book during the parts where there was no skating.

I read the Divergent series of books. I had bought one on sale at walmart a few weeks ago and read it and it was satisfying enough so I downloaded the others on to my old phone and read them while I was sick. They’re young adult books in a post-something-happened-in-America-to-make-it-significantly-different type setting. You know. And the kids living in it are part of the changing it. *You know*. There is a healthy dose of boys and girls getting together and touching and kissing and relationships and blah blah blah. I wasn’t turned off by the first person narrative this time (like I was with Hunger Games) but the last book gave a hint of what was to come when it was split into 2 points of view. I didn’t catch on until the main characters seemed a little too happy in their relationship late in the book. A definite give-away with so many pages still to come.   Also, the lesser characters maybe weren’t developed as well as they might be (for one of them I just pictured Draco Malfoy).

New Year’s!

I am making resolutions.  They are as follows:

1) Be nice

2) Travel

3) Wear skinny jeans

4) Write in my blog every day more than last year semi-sporatically.

That’s all I can think of for now.  Last year I made a springtime resolution to be brave, and that went well.  So you know, I’ll set goals as they come to me.

Valerie (Naomi’s mom – N’s blog is listed at the side) invited me to Vietnam, so I could go there.  I want to learn some things about it first.  Like, anything that isn’t war related, because that’s the only reason I’ve ever thought about Vietnam, and even that isn’t very much.  More passive paying attention (media) than active engagement in the topic.  Not like when I visited England, which I spent much school time studying.

I’ve been in Duncan since December 24.  Mostly eating.  I also went through all the junk I have left here.  I have three piles now: take with me, keepsakes, and recycle.  Mum says I’m just like the shows on TV.  I say those shows are just like me.  My recycle pile isn’t as big as I’d like, but to be truthful, much of my stuff was already pretty organized (by me! previously) and just needed a little consolidation.  What I had to go through were the boxes that Mum dumped my stuff into when she emptied my room.  (Which is where I finally found my tiara!) I have now a bunch of stuff to take home with me to use up (things I’d abandoned when I moved and hadn’t gotten around to again).  I feel consolidated.

Other places I want to travel to:

France
China
Antartica
Italy/Greece
New York/Eastern US

Places I don’t want to travel to:

Outer Space

Places I’d like to return to:

Austria
Finland
England

Yesterday I didn’t want supper, I wanted shredded wheat with raisins.  And that’s what I had!  Tonight I was grown up and made stir-fry from a recipe.  I even had to buy meat.

This weekend I plan to do nothing, or close to it.  Unless I find something to do.

I have to ice my knees.

Last year at around this time I got laid off from my job and *tippity-doo* started a new one.  That was a good happening.

It’s summer now and I have plans.  These plans no longer include going to see Simon and Garfunkel in Vancouver.  Rrrg.  But I am going to go over and see the Lion King in stage musical form.  I’ve also got tickets for several more plays in Victoria.  Em.  Also dance classes. But these things are later.  For now: nothing.

MmmmmmMMMMMMMMmmmmmMMMMMMM.  This isn’t a sound of yumminess, it’s a sound of frustration and discomfort.  I’m making this noise a lot today as I don’t feel very well, yet if I don’t clean my house today I will have no time to do it until much later.  Somehow I survive.  And somehow now my house is clean and almost tidy, too.

I was in Duncan yesterday to do taxes.  (I won at taxes.)  I also got birthday cake and presents.  I got rolly suitcases I will use in my travels about.  I received them just in time as I have 1) a trip to Nanaimo to visit Naomi next weekend, 2) a trip to Vancouver to visit Julie the weekend after, and 3) another trip to Vancouver at the end of April to visit Simon and Garfunkel.  I feel I have scheduled too much for myself and am getting worried for my sanity/health.  On the other hand, I like doing things.

I get to make the poster for The Carlson’s Dance Concert again this year.  Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

I have the song “Inside Out” by Eve 6 in my head. This is the first song that played this morning after the news on the radio that woke me up at 6:28. I was annoyed to hear it, as it is an annoying song, and I am annoyed that it is in my head right now, and that I know all the words. I can’t say I hate the band Eve 6, however, as they were named after a character in an episode of the X-Files. I didn’t have to look at Wikipedia to tell you that, but if you don’t believe me, it’s all there for you to see.

Naomi invited me to move to Burnaby with her in 2 years to pursue school (her – SFU, me – TBD). Both Naomi and I are fond of making such plans, but they don’t usually coincide.

Spring time is coming! And that means one thing: I have to scrub my deck. It’s grrrooooooooosss! I looked at it last fall and decided I would put cleaning it on my list of things to accomplish in the spring. I didn’t write it down or anything, but somehow, unfortunately, I have remembered. I won’t do it today though because it’s not spring yet, and also I don’t want to.