COVID-19 Journal ~ Entry 16

Socks of the Day

It has gotten warm the past couple of days. Yesterday was the day it snuck up on me and I wondered why I was sweating-doing-nothing in the late afternoon. The reason was that it was nearing 26 degrees and I was wearing heavy winter socks.


This morning I woke and it was already 24 degrees inside. I face easy, and so my apartment is heated by the the sun all morning. Conversely, my evenings are cool, and I thinks this to be a fine trade. As a bonus, I get the glare of the sunset reflected off the apartments across from me – all the light, but none of the heat.

My apartment was so warm in the afternoon yesterday that I had to escape for a while out to the balcony, which was equally warm but featured an occasional breeze. I don’t spend a lot of time on the balcony because it is quite exposed: neighbouring apartment buildings are quite close, but also I am a cool being and it’s too cold out there for most of the year. Generally I am out there only, as was the case yesterday, when the temperature is equal to or higher than it is inside.

I took a book out with me to read, and a tea poured into the right-sized travel mug so as to fit in the drink holder in my deck chair. The book wasn’t the one I’ve advertised here before (“Midnight’s Children” by Salman Rushdie), which is still on the go, but another – “Quicksilver” by Neal Stephenson, which I started last summer and never finished. I have read it several times before but I still would like to finish. It’s an easier read. It does, however, have two massive sequels, which I am debating getting on to when I am done. I was going through my bookshelves recently and I have many books I haven’t read yet, so I may conquer some of those first. Or I might get to the small stack I keep on my dresser that have bookmarks in them at various points of completion. This stack was moved from my bedside table when they got too dusty.

Yesterday, just before fully acknowledging the heat in my apartment, I prepared myself a cup of tea. It was decaffeinated English Breakfast, and I’ll provide some background on why I was so ridiculously excited to be drinking it.

About a 18 month ago, I noticed that I was getting really dizzy for no apparent reason. It would approach is a sudden wave and I would have to spend the rest of the day in bed, unable to do anything. While I am used to dizziness – it’s one of the symptoms of my dairy allergy- this was different. My usual dizziness was never do debilitating, as in, I could keep functioning with my day, if maybe taking a break from any turning exercises in dance class. Anyway, I eventually noticed that these waves of dizziness were occurring just after I consumed caffeine, and so as an experiment, I eliminated coffee, tea, and chocolate. Also, fun fact: there is still a wee bit of caffeine in decaffeinated tea, and yes, I was reacting to that as well.

Most people I chatted with about this were sad for me, but I have never been a big coffee drinker, and my tea and chocolate consumption had mostly been confined to treats on the weekend anyway, as they trigger my asthma, and I like to be able to breath during my dance classes during the week. And once gone completely, I didn’t miss the highs and lows of caffeine; that I mostly drank coffee for the masses of sugar I needed to drink it; and spending more than I should at Starbucks.

I’ve slowly been introducing myself back to chocolate for the past few months with not too bad reactions, and yesterday I had my first real, albeit decaffeinated tea in almost a year and a half. It was glorious and coated my tongue is that tea residue or whatever it is that I had forgotten about. Result: small woozy-headed reaction, but not the full on dizzy I’d experienced before. I’m pretty pleased. I’ve been enjoying no-caffeine-involved-at-all herbal teas, but they are not the same as a hearty Earl Grey or English Breakfast. I’ll try another cup later in the week or next weekend. I don’t want to overdo it and have to cut them out completely again. And I might not try the full caffeine versions for a while yet. Or ever?

COVID-19 Journal… Entry 14

These are the flowers I walk past on my way to work! They line the walkway leading to the main doors of the Empress Hotel. I love the colours! They look good as I approach, and then they look good close up too! Some of the tulips are starting to fall apart, but that adds to the chaos of colour that’s going on. Part of me wants to do a painting of it, but it is already beautiful and perfect in real life. A painting, even this photo, can’t recreate my delight of seeing these flowers every morning, in the context of the world right now.

Or maybe it can. Is that flower bed six feet across? To be considered later. Is that doorway always roped off? I think it is, but what if it wasn’t?…

Work has been happening, as regularly scheduled. I spend the first part of the week working at home, and then Thursdays and Fridays I’m in the office. This is my rotation so far – we only get a couple weeks’ worth of schedule at a time, because these are strange and unpredictable times.

Friday nights I’ve been getting take-out hamburgers for dinner on my way home. Earl’s has been good to me, but today I found that Bin 4 has a vegan dessert, so they win for now. They also have an app, so I don’t need to make a phone call* – though I did have some human interaction at the door of the establishment when I picked up my order. I think maybe I won’t be so interested in getting take-out if it’s raining, as both places I’ve gone to so far have us waiting outside.

*I don’t like making phone calls, even for burgers. However, making phone calls for burgers isn’t too bad. “I’d like to order a burger for take-out,” is how I started usually. And it went well from there.

Other things I’m thinking about:

I’m tired on the days I go into the office. My job can get physical on some days: I work with files- ordering them in to send to various requestors. These might be single files, but they might be boxes full, and moving them around for the day, or part of the day, can make for tired times. And then because I’m working at home for half the week, by the time I’m in the office there’s lots of files to organize. So it might be that I’m doing that for the whole two days. And then on top of this. I’ve been walking to and from work to avoid public transit (I totally meant to drive today but I completely forgot. It wasn’t raining, I guess? But parking has gone cheap downtown.) That’s about a 40 minute walk one-way. So I’ve been tired after work when I get home.

I keep meaning to watch Sense and Sensibility again. This BBC one. I will soon. It’s a good, meaty version. I keep finding other things to do instead of watching TV, like reading, writing, listening to podcasts, sitting and thinking, playing with my phone. New goal of trying to read book instead of playing with phone so much. Should maybe re-read Sense and Sensibility. I’m making my way through Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie. It is rich like black forest cake, so I only consume a little at a time.

Socks of the Day

I needed socks to wear for doing ballet barre exercises in my living room. These work very well- not to mention the colour coordination I’ve got going on there.

I bet you’re wondering: why is Lindsie so calm with just 20 days before her trip to Vietnam? Well I’ve been distracting myself by reading all of the young adult fantasy with strong female heros that have been published over the past ten years or so. I stopped reading this particular genre due to reading other things (and doing other things besides reading like dancing and working and talking to other humans) and I’ve found that in recent years, the female main characters of these books have changed a bit. Before the goal was to end up with the main male characters happily ever after and that. Now they end up with him but it’s extra to some other motivation, and maybe even they don’t end up together at all. Crazy. There are examples of this happening when I was an actual young adult, of course, but I always wanted more.

I have downloaded the last two books of one series on to my phone to take with me on the plane or wherever. I know I’ll like them because I’ve read the first two, and I know they’ll be a quick-fun-distracting read. Guaranteed time waster. It’s called the Seven Realms series and it’s published by Disney, so I’m suspicious but I read them anyway.

Review of “Everybody Has Everything” by Katrina Onstad. In the first pages we find that a man has died in a car crash and his wife is in a coma. Their two-year-old son is left to their (newish) friends to care for. This is the story of that couple, the friends, taking in the kid. They are otherwise childless. It’s simple, but the writing is beautiful. We read about people and their reactions and that is all.

My throat keeps getting sore. Maybe when I consume sugar? Not pleased with this. I’ll rest today as I have no plans for after work today. I’ve prepared myself an echinacea tea.

I watched a lot of TV on Sunday. As a result I went to the library yesterday and got a couple of books, one of which I plan to read. I tried one of them but didn’t like it much so I shall return it. Too American, but I half sort of expected to not like it because of this. It had a good premise, and from the point of view from a woman with schizophrenia, but no go. I know maybe I should read more than a chapter, or half a chapter before making my decision, but whatever. I don’t want to waste my time.

I want to watch a movie called “Hyde Park on hudson” this evening and eat salmon spaghetti. My mum bought me gluten-free pasta at Costco so I might try that. Yes. I’ve just decided that I shall, too super make sure that I feel good tomorrow.

They brought me some fruit bread, too, mum and dad. I was supposed to take it at Christmas but everyone forgot so I have it now. I had a couple slices last night after dance. They were covered in lots of luscious butter that coated nicely my mouse and chair when I dropped. Hoo. Still tasty. I’ll save the rest for next week when I have no dance and will eat what I please for several days.

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).

I couldn’t go to dance today because I’ve strained all the muscles in my left leg. I did this at the last class, of course, and I didn’t notice it was bothered until yesterday, and today it really hurts. Only when I walk though, and try to stand up from sitting in a chair. So lame. (Literally!)

I have no plans for the weekend except to clean my bathroom, which is getting crusty (I think that’s the right word for it…) Also I want to make something with the tomatoes that my parents brought me last weekend. A sauce, perhaps, or many many bacon and tomato sammiches. You may guess that I am leaning towards the later, and you would be correct. Or hummus and bacon sammiches, maybe, since those are, technically, healthy, and I enjoy them a great deal (though not as much as the bacon version). Pepper is an important ingredient in either recipe.

I’ve been reading “Divisidaro” by Michael Ondaatje. I compare all books by Mr. Ondatje to “The English Patient,” which I read when I was nineteen, so there’s never any comparison, really. BUT, he seems to get more “accessible” as he goes (from one book to the next) so that means that more people will want to read them. So that’s good. But for me it means that some of the mystery is lost. I haven’t read anything (ANYTHING) earlier than TEP so I should probably go back and see what he was like before. I’d give an example, but my copy of TEP is in Duncan (I hope). Later.

I’ve also recently watched “Still Life – A Three Pines Mystery” on the CBC television. I only watched it because it was flashed on their online watching site and I was all “hay! I like mysteries! And it’s Canadian!” (this is how I talk). It took me a few tries to get through it because I kept wandering off in the middle and/or going to bed. After watching a lot of British mystery shows of late, it was refreshing to have a similar set-up only with Canadian accents. (It was like that time I went to England and was so happy to hear Peter Mansbridge talking on the airplane on the way home.) But the novelty of this wore off pretty quick as I kept watching and noticing CBC obviousness (dude’s impatient… so he Looks At His Watch) and some overly dramatic acting.

I just remembered I had a blog.  I remembered last night when I stayed up late reading it.  I’m funny.  Also, fun fact: I used to review all the books I read.  Fun fact # 2: I used to read books.  The book I am reading now is the Reader’s Digest “Stories of Everyday Things.”  I love everyday things!  Like crackers and detective stories and eyeglasses and stuff like that.  I’m about to read about fads (I’ve just reached the letter ‘f’.)

Yesterday was one of those days where I couldn’t do anything unless I was dressed *just so*.  I had to wear my red floopy hat, for example.  Then I had to take it off in a hurry because my head was hot!  It’s summer and my red floopy hat is for winter.  I’m silly.

Problem. I need a hair cut but I keep getting compliments on how cute my hair is.  Oh, Dear Diary, why does life present me with such challenges?  I already cancelled one appointment twice.  The second time was definately not within the 24 hours the hair place “requests” they recieve to make a cancellation.  I was all “f-you, hair place!” I didn’t really say that but I felt like maybe I should since I was totally Breaking The Rules!

This is the day I put a new design on my website.  I must be in a bit of a mood.  The mood I am in is: I just had pancakes with lots of syrup. Mm.

I’m reading Cryptonomicon again.  I’ve written about this before.  A few times.  And here I am writing about it again!  I write about because I like it.  Although it does make a pretty good case for an e-reader, as it is quite heavy, even in the paperback version I now own (when I read it before I had copies from the library; also, when I read it before, e-readers did not exist, unless you count the books that my brother read on his laptop.  I do not count this.)

This is what I wrote before.  And also the time before that.

My review of the great gatsby (the movie): read the book.  It takes the same amount of time. It’s quite pretty,  though,  the movie.  Maybe have it playing in the background of a twenties-themed party.

In related news,  I seem to be watching a lot of movies that are either set in the 20s or 30s or were made then. People wore hats. Also: surprised to find that there are more than just musicals from this era. Imagine. But I still like the musicals best.  Also: Katherine Hepburn. Here she is knitting.

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