COVID-19 Journal – Entry 37

It occurs to me today that, if the world was operating as normal, I would be in France or Italy right now. I had a wee plan in my head at the beginning of the year to get to get to these places and look at the art from my art history books. That would have been three weeks starting this week – I had the time booked off from work. Instead, I moved my vacation days from this week so I could have time off in May. I still have two weeks off starting next week with no plans. No worry, no fuss. This is good too. Maybe I’ll start my holiday crafts. And by “start” I mean start doing holiday crafts at all, as I haven’t ever, really.

Some places I wanted to go:

  • Paris – the louvre mostly. Other galleries I can’t remember. Just to be in Paris for a bit.
  • Avignon/Arles – Van Gogh, and to be in southern France for a bit.
  • Nice – to break up the distance between France and Italy
  • Florence – the Renaissance
  • Rome – ancient Rome – day trip to Pompeii
  • London – I like London – some shows, some lunches from M&S. The usual.

That seems like enough over three weeks. London at the end because that’s sort of like going home – because I’ve been there several times now and it’s familiar, not because it’s actually home. Home is Canada where the trees are tall.

I usually have a trip to get excited for in fall, and that helps with the evenings getting darker. It’s fun to have the distraction of packing, and getting organized to go. This year I have other fun things to distract me:

  • Waiting for my flu shot! When will they be here? When can I go?
  • I need a new lightweight black jacket for spring and fall. My current incarnation was purchased during my first trip to Spain in 2012 and it shows. The fabric is fading. It’s still pretty, though. Maybe I’ll just Sharpie over the dull areas?
  • My mum gave me her silk blouse to mend a year ago. I should get to that.
  • Kimberly invited me to a Pampered Chef party a few weeks ago and I bought a popcorn maker. I’m going to have popcorn!
  • I need to buy popcorn!
  • The colours yellow, orange, red and green, all swirled together on the same leaf.
  • Candles
  • Sweaters, when it gets cooler.
  • At work today I learned about a massive hoodie-poncho-blankie thing with a pocket. I want one.
  • I’ve started scanning my paper archive onto my computer so that I might store it on a small external hard drive instead of in six boxes stacked in the corner. Admittedly this maybe become three boxes. Or four. I have much precious paper: schoolwork, writing, journals, travel ephemera. I just found the journals/scrapbooks (paper-based!) that I kept on trips to San Francisco (2005) and Toronto/Ottawa/St. John’s (2007) that I forgot about. I used to take a paper journal with me when I traveled, and also tape so that I could attach ticket stubs and museum maps to the pages while I wrote.
  • I have to clean up my flower pots on the balcony. There are some fresh buds appearing, so I should get rid of the dried up flowers to make room.
  • This is morphing into a list of things to do during my days off.
  • Feathers and brushes
Me! In what was then my new black jacket. Admiring the evening view of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, circa March, 2012.

COVID-19 Journal Entry 33

Light – Lighting / Dark – Darking / Cozy – Cozying

I went shopping today. At the physical location of stores. I visited Whole Foods for groceries, which was fine. I’d been a few times in the summer and they were early adopters of asking all customers to wear masks. Also I go right at the opening time, so there are just a few people, and they are all in masks. Also, in the summertime I would buy many many cartons of dairy-free ice creams. I didn’t feel like ice cream today, but I got some bread and yogurts (that’s right, many yogurts.)

Next I ventured to Canadian Tire at Hillside, which was also fine. They don’t ask that everyone wear a mask, but it was early and there were just a few people. Only one spot of bother when a gang of a family blocked my way at the end of the lightbulb aisle. Not just so I couldn’t keep my distance from them, I just really couldn’t get by. They were really excited about lightbulbs. Luckily I am adept (adept!) at driving a shopping cart so I turned it right around and left via the other end of the aisle. I know, “excuse me excuse me please” would have worked too but they didn’t look interested in keeping their chatty breath six feet away from me so whatever.

I treated/bribed myself with a Starbucks. Not only my first Starbucks of the pandemic, but my first (decaf) coffee beverage in nearly two years. It was tasty. I’ve said this before: the coffee part is nice, but what I really like are the pumps of sweet syrups that are used to make the coffee a product suitable to consumption. Sugar is my addiction, not caffeine. I know this because I went over a year without caffeine, no problem. But sugar, I think of you every day.

Canadian Tire! I needed a new floor lamp as my old one wore out. I wondered to myself if I really need a light source in my living room, and then the sun went down. I might not have needed one in July, but today I do. I had to track down a Canadian Tire sales associate because the box didn’t say if a lightbulb was included, or what kind to get if one was needed. According to her beepy thing, I needed a 40 watt LED lightbulb (quoted here because I committed it to memory). But when I got home and looked for a place to put said 40 watt LED lightbulb, there was none! In place of a light bulb there is sort of a circuit board that glows, or something? And I only know there’s a circuit board (or something) because I ripped off the shade part of the light that I guess wasn’t supposed to be removed? Because there’s no lightbulb needed… Magic?? I suppose. (The shade part fit back where it was supposed to go, BTW. I didn’t break my new lamp or anything.)

I also got some toilet paper while at Canadian Tire, because it exists there, and some cleaning supplies. And some hangers with clips.

I had to get hangers with clips because I recently invested in rain pants and I don’t know where to keep them.

I recently invested in rain pants because I plan to walk to work during the fall and winter months, and I expect rain. I can drive if it’s raining too hard. I did that on Friday, but it wasn’t raining as hard as I thought and it’s far more satisfying to arrive at work after a walk. Also, I had to pay for parking in a location that is about a seven minute drive from my house. Also, won’t everyone be impressed when I arrive at work after walking in the rain? I bet they will.

**

I put up my Christmas tree a couple of weekends ago, when the evening light started disappearing with the end of summer. Don’t judge. It was just the tree with lights for a while because the lights are the best part, and also because the decorations are kept in another box that takes a little more digging to access in my storage space. So I got those out today, along with my fall swearers and now I have sparkly-light and cozy warm.

Note: I have for some reason started calling any sweater/hoody/warm garment a “Cozy.” E.g. “Where is my cozy?” –> I said this today with nothing particular in mind, but I was cold and I found a sweater to put on. It’s a basic summoning, I suppose, of any item that might be around that will keep me warm. Like a tea cozy. A Lindsie Cozy. Whatever. A scarf, maybe, or a blanket.

When Susan and I travelled to England three years ago, I bought us blankie-scarves to take with us. We wore them on the plane, and I remember draping mine over me as a napping blanking in our AirBnb in York. They might also have been effective as scarves in the cool English autumn, but I don’t remember. They were definitely soft and cozy.

My mum bought me a new blankie scarf for my birthday this year. It’s a big woven square, and it’s got both navy and light blues, with yellow. Lightweight if spread out, but warm if scrunched up around my neck. It’s very soft. I didn’t get it until some weeks after my birthday due to the pandemic starting and all that. It didn’t matter, because Mum said it would be a nice scarf for the fall. And indeed it would have been if I hadn’t immediately adopted it as my item of comfort over the spring and summer. It’s a perfect weight for a summertime nap blanket, and is just big enough to cover me when I’m curled up. When folded in half (either lengthwise, or on the diagonal) it’s a cozy shawl, nice for cool mornings while working from home. I folded it up and put it on my chest to prop up my iPad while I was sick; also during this time I rolled it up and propped up my head to be more comfortable while watching streaming things on my laptop in bed. It will probably even make it into use as a scarf now that fall is here.

Socks of the day

My new blankie-scarf being used as socks. Or! My new cozy being used as a cozy cozy.
Circa August, 2020.

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.

COVID Journal Entry 26

Post about breathing number 2

I have a sheet calendar I’ve taped to one of my cupboard doors in my kitchen. I write numbers on it twice a day. Sometimes over the course of the day I ask myself “WHY CAN’T I BREATHE??” and I glance at this calendar and it tells me that I am yet to administer my asthma medication. On days when I leave the house in a regular routine, I will take my inhaler before I leave in the morning, and then sometime after getting home. When I have no particular place to be in the day, I will take it whenever I remember (noonish today for the first dose, marked as number 27 above – there’s a guage on my inhaler so I can keep track. You might wonder why the need to write down the number, and not use the guage only. The answer to this is No.). At the times where I forget completely, (e.g. when it’s the next day and I didn’t take my evening dose) I mark an X. As you can see, there are no examples of this here. “Good Lindsie.”

Fun fact: I get the sheet calendar in the mail every January from my MLA, Carol James.

Fun Fact 2: I sprayed it with Windex the other day while trying to shoot a fruit fly out of the air, so it’s a bit warpy now, but that’s not evident in the image here.

I have no idea what time it is right now. This is kindof a lie, since I just looked at the in-flight navigator that the passenger in front of me and to the left has up on their monitor (making it so I don’t have to turn on mine.) It’s 12:30 in the night in Taipei, and 9:30 of the morning at home. Currently I’m somewhere over Japan and trying to sleep. Also it’s Wednesday now, so I got a little bit of Tuesday, but otherwise it’s a day that didn’t exist. I wonder what the Lindsie in a parallel universe did on that day. Did it exist for her? Am I the Lindsie in the parallel universe? Probably.

I’ve slept 3 or 4 hours (can’t tell how long. Time is calculated different here.) which is the usual for me on a plane. I would love to sleep longer since it’s a 12 hour flight and time goes faster when you’re asleep.

2011 by Lindsie

January.
Nothing. I don’t remember. No wait. I started a new job. Did I report on this last year? I started a new position with Liquor Licensing (BC Gov) on Jan 4, 2011, the same date I started with them in 2008. It was a pleasant reunion with everyone (there was hugs!) and I’ve had a good year working there. It’s nice to have a permanant job*.

*For now**

**Mum doesn’t like it when I add that part. Hehehe.

February.
Nothing. February sucks.

March.
My birthday. Everyone celebrate!

April.
Nothing. Oh! Except I moved at the end of the month, so I spent most of April worrying about that and packing. Fun story: on April 29 I decided that I Would Watch The Royal Wedding (as this is something that Lindsie is meant to do, having memories of the other royal wedding that happened in 1981). In order to stay up that late- the thing started at 2 in the morning or something,-I needed to keep myself occupied. As I was about to move, the kitchen needed that end-of-occupancy clean out, so I watched the wedding coverage while scrubbing out my fridge and pulling out the stove. I made it all shiney. My landlord was super impressed, and also amused with my Royal Wedding Story.

May.

Dance recitals. I was in two this year, since I was doing classes with two studios. Fun and all but I’m only at one studio this year so hopefully only one recital. This year I did tap with the teacher I had in Duncan (Nanna!) at a new school. We danced to Michael Jackson. That show was at Victoria Event Centre, where they serve alcohol. Note: performing at a place where they serve booze the whole time makes for a fun show, especially if you are late in the line-up. The other show was at the Royal, which isn’t as intimate as the other place, but has a really nice backstage area. Mum and dad came and watched, and my friend Susan, as I did some flamenco and ballet. Good show. We went for dinner afterwards.

June.

Nothing. Actually I think in June I went to Vancouver to see Wicked. That was with my friend Julie, who is my musical theatre friend. We both bought t-shirts even though neither of us meant to. P.S. I love musicals. They make me cry and want to sing along and I love them.

July.
I watched the whole of West Wing and Knitted. Summer! Also, my friends Amber and Mia visited. In our second annual summer fun time, we did fancy dinner, and took double decker busses, and went Craigdarrough castle. We also ate cupcakes.

Aug.
Some summer dance workshops. Some moping around. Went to work. Benefitted amply from the wealth of my dad’s garden. (Speaking of which, did you know you can buy green beans at the grocery store? Both fresh AND in cans. *Why Would Anyone Do This*? Doesn’t your dad grow way too many and make you take them?)

September.
Whined a lot.

October.
This wasn’t that long ago. I should remember. I got sick around Thanksgiving, which was also exactly when I took my vacation time. I didn’t have any big plans or anything, but I was Quite Annoyed. All year my health has been really good. My doctor suggested, though, that I’m now just catching everything I hadn’t caught yet. I’ve also figured out my asthma so that it’s under contol. I puff a puffer twice a day, with an “emergency” inhaler for when I need it, most importantly, just before my dance classes. Breathing Lindsie is happy Lindsie.

November.
Seriously. I bought flamenco shoes. I don’t have a couch yet, but I do have flamenco shoes. Priorities. I realize that this letter is rather dance-centric, but I think about it a lot. That and how I’m going to feed myself around all my dance classes. Two of my favorite things are dance and eating. Another favorite thing is watching TV but that’s not really something one writes about in their Christmas letter. However, I’m only writing this right now because there’s nothing on to watch.

December.
Hasn’t really happened yet. So far so good. I just vacuumed a bit. I’m trying to make my house clean and tidy before putting up Xmas decorations.

January, 2012.
This hasn’t happened yet, either, but I want to keep going….

February 2012.
I’m going to Spain to take some flamenco workshops. I’m also going to drink sherry, and do other Spain things. Spain has never been on my radar of somewhere to visit so I don’t know what to expect!

And here is a bonus story .

I have neglected to vent about how my speakers are broken.  The speakers I hook up to my computer are broken.  The left baby speaker doesn’t work.  Although it could be the right one.  It’s the one with the power and volume buttons on it.  I keep it on the left side.  The big speaker on the floor still works, and also the one I have here on the right.  This means that if the volume needs adjusting, I am reaching for the right speaker, which has no buttons! but does have sound coming out of it, sometimes too loudly, making me want it to be quieter, and so I reach for the volume control.  It’s all very inconvienent.  It’s something to do with the plug-in cord, I think, because sometimes if I fiddle with that then the sound comes back for a second, all pleasant and rich in stereo.  But that’s only for a second.  Thinking about it, these speakers might be getting close to being ten years old, so it might be time for new ones.  Whatever.

I was productive/non-productive today.  I replaced the broken zipper on my hoodie with a shorter zipper and some stitching.  So now it’s a pull-over with a zip closure.  I designed it thus because the zipper I found in my recycle fabric-and-such box was about half the length it should have been and I chose to repurpose instead of new-purchase a long enough zipper.

I would like to purchase some kicking boots.  I have boots already, but they are either nice and grown uppy, or just cute.  I would like some boots I could use to kick my way out of situations, if needed.  Also, they should clomp in a satisfactory way, as well.  I will wear them with skirts and be mischevious.

*kick-kick*

I keep forgetting to make bread until it’s too late.  Brown bread needs five hours to cook and I got to bed around 10 lately.  I have to remember before 5 to set up my bread machine.  Maybe I could set the timer so that it cooks overnight, beeping around 6:30.  Only no, it makes disturbing noises while mixing, and would no doubt scare the bejezzus out of me in the midddle of the night.  Not cool, bread machine.  Not cool.

Movie Review: Sylvia starting Gwynnie Paltrow and Daniel Craig.

I like the name “Sylvia”.  Sylvie.  Sylf.  Sylvia.  Very pretty.  I’m in such a mood where I can imagine naming a girl child such.

I’m spending this movie thinking why bother.  This is Sylvia Plath.  She’s just going to kill herself.  And really, there’s no excitement to prevent me from thinking that.  And really, my attitude is just like, perhaps, that towards female writers of Sylvia’s time: why bother, she’s just a woman.  Rrrrrrrrrrrrr.  Stupid modernists.

Really, though, and this is something we’re taught at writing school, writers are boring.  Even if they are played by Gwynnie and Daniel “James Bond” Craig.  See, even now the DVD’s playing over there and here I am writing in my blog.  Hoo!  Now I’m going to shut it off completely, put on some Zeppelin and read my book (Illustrado by Miguel Syjugo.)

For someone who has sub-titled their blog “grandeur of summer” I sure haven’t written very much during described season.  The reason is thus: lazy and hot.  Today I have ballet class and then I’m going to get a Big Mac.  It is the last ballet class of this summer session and it has been well worth the time and money put in.  A good teacher and I am remembering how to position my body to do ballet.  Also, by ballet musles are reminding me that they don’t like to be used in this way, at least not after a year of atrophe.  It seems modern dance just doesn’t use them in the same way.

Next week I have five whole days of work, whereas this week I had only three (holiday on Monday and flex day today.)  Grrr.