Quarantine update

Some days are harder than others. Some days are very emotional and some are just very boring. Most days I don’t go outside. I now have a fear being around a lot of people. I used to be an anxious person in crowds, and now I’m just scared.

I’m not returning to the office until 2021. It’s official. It’s been harder lately. I have so little contact with others.

Most days are ok. My cat has become accustomed to sleeping with me. Now I can’t go back. It’s so cute to see how she’s snuggled up next to me when I wake up momentarily in the middle of the night. I feel lucky that she’s a good cat. At least I’ve done something right.

I bought a wedding dress. My mom hates it. She said my dad would never approve. It’s not traditional, but I never saw myself as a traditional bride anyway.

Speaking of, things have gotten weird about our wedding. Seeing how things are going I’m pretty sure we aren’t going to have a big wedding anymore. But we will have to reassess come November. I kinda wanted to have an elopement style wedding anyway.

Association problem

I have an association problem. Any kind of trauma I’ve had, I connect certain things. Or maybe I associate certain things with trauma? One of those things has resulted in me not doing music anymore. For a long time I thought it was because I have nothing to say. But now I realize that it’s because of certain events that are a result of trauma. In my years of therapy, I had never realized this until recently. Or maybe I wouldn’t admit it.

I don’t even like to listen to music much anymore. Even the stuff I liked. My car stereo is almost exclusively set to NPR (not even KCRW, but KPCC, which is entirely news).

This is something I have to work on. I think I could be perfectly content avoiding it for the rest of my life, but my partner is always trying to get us to collaborate. He always tries to make me play bass (which I’m terrible at). But what if he wasn’t making me? What if I dive in and enjoy it? What if I learned to stop associating a feeling with it?

I want to get to that point again. It’s been an inner struggle that I know has been there. I’ve gotten to the point where I just want to be free again.

Love in a time of quarantine

I’ve been lucky enough to be working at a time like this. I’m realizing now how accidentally strategic my choices have been.

We’ve been holed up as much as possible during quarantine. We moved house in the middle of it (couldn’t really avoid it), and everyone is happy, including the cat, but it’s strange to have moved at a time like this. You can’t really even get things you need to make it a home.

The new normal is so odd. Shopping with a mask is normal. I went to an electronics store to set up my home office, and we looked like we were going to rob the place while we walked around.

I have virtual happy hour with my friends.

You can’t find chicken or eggs. Who knew that chicken was the meat of the apocalypse? We’ve been eating tofu because it’s widely available. I would go back to vegan for now but I’m on a special diet. I’ve been losing weight even more so now, but I suppose that’s good. 

I haven’t seen my mom in ages, for fear of infecting her, but we talk or video chat nearly every day.

But the best part is I at least get to be holed up with my best friend, with whom I fight a lot, but he makes me better and still loves me with my lost logic. I am the worst person in front of the best person but it’s great. For someone as high strung as me, he’s wonderful.

All 31 in one go

I don’t really like to do these in my Instagram stories, but I’ll do it here. For a long time, music was my world. And now I don’t care as much for it as I did.

  1. A song you like with a color in the title: “Silver Springs” – Fleetwood Mac
  2. A song you like with a number in the title: “Thirteen” – Big Star
  3. A song that reminds you of summertime: “Motorcycle Drive By” – Third Eye Blind
  4. A song that reminds you of someone you’d rather forget: “A Case of You” – Joni Mitchell
  5. A song that needs to be played loud: “Sam’s Town” – The Killers
  6. A song that makes you want to dance: “Call Your Girlfriend” – Robyn
  7. A song to drive to: “Take Me Home, Country Roads” – John Denver
  8. A song about drugs or alcohol: “Black Balloon” – Goo Goo Dolls
  9. A song that makes you happy: “Breakin’ Up” – Rilo Kiley
  10. A song that makes you sad: “Evaporated” – Ben Folds Five
  11. A song you never tired of: “Terrible Vision” – Rhett Miller
  12. A song from your preteen years: “I’ll Make Love to You” – Boyz II Men
  13. A song you like with from the 70s: “What A Fool Believes” – The Doobie Brothers
  14. A song you’d love to be played at your wedding: “That One Night” – Hunter
  15. A song you like that’s covered by another artist: “We Will Become Silhouettes” The Postal Service
  16. A song you that’s a classic favorite: “The End of the World” – Skeeter Davis
  17. A song you’d sing a duet with someone at karaoke: “Jackson” – Johnny Cash & June Carter
  18. A song from the year you were born: “Total Eclipse of the Heart” – Bonnie Tyler
  19. A song that makes you think about life: “A Comet Appears” – The Shins
  20. A song that has many meanings to you: “Cruel World” – Willie Nelson
  21. A song you like with a person’s name in the title: “Helena” – Nickel Creek
  22. A song that makes you move forward: “A Better Version of Me” – Fiona Apple
  23. A song you think everybody should listen to: nature
  24. A song by a band you wish were still together: “More Adventurous” – Rilo Kiley
  25. A song you like by an artist no longer living: “Everyday” – Buddy Holly
  26. A song that makes you want to fall in love: “Sometimes” – Rhett Miller
  27. A song that breaks your heart: “Wheel” – John Mayer
  28. A song by an artist whose voice you love: “Fallingwater” – Maggie Rogers
  29. A song you remember from your childhood: “Bad” – Michael Jackson
  30. A song that reminds you of yourself: “Hand Me Down” – The Wallflowers
  31. A song that comforts your soul: “Round Here” – Counting Crows

Oops!

Well shit. This time I actually forgot. Last night we spilled red wine on our expensive sofa, and ended up going to Walmart late at night to pick up an extractor. Normally I wouldn’t go there but it was the only local-ish place (it was 3 towns over) that had what I needed and was still open at that time.

But really… I’m a little bit stressed at the moment. There are some things happening that are making me a bit worried about what’s going to happen. And I’m trying not to worry about it too much. I had an anxiety dream last night that was totally connected to it.

Sleep Deprivation, et cetera

I missed last Monday. I sort of didn’t know what to talk about that didn’t get too personal.

I took a sleeping pill just before I started this. I’m trying to get more sleep in my life. I have a feeling it will make my life better. I learned recently that because I can usually fall asleep within less than 5 minutes, I am severely sleep-deprived. So why the sleeping pill? My problem isn’t falling asleep; it’s staying asleep. There are various reasons I wake up in the night. I’m naturally a light sleeper. I wake up from pain. I wake up after every REM cycle. It’s not good sleep, ever.

I haven’t had a good night of sleep in years. I don’t know that I know what it feels like.

So anyway, let’s talk about what I’ve been listening to lately. I’ve been listening to the Red Dead Redemption 2 soundtrack. The one produced by Daniel Lanois.  “Cruel World” makes me want to die just so you can play it at my funeral. “Red” just legit makes me want to cry. Maybe it’s because of the context in which the song was written.

I really can’t wait for the next part of the soundtrack to be released because I (and the whole internet) want this song:

I’ve also been listening to Skeeter Davis a lot.

 

Earthquakes and Luck

I’ve been thinking pretty heavily about preparedness for that last year. The earthquakes from last week were nothing unexpected. I just thought they would have been bigger and closer to LA. And after one happens, you always feel pretty shook because you know it could have been worse. This is especially if you’ve ever lived through one. The San Andreas Fault is overdue for a large earthquake and it will happen, and likely soon. I feel like a doomsday prepper when I think about all the stuff in my Amazon cart waiting to be purchased. How devastating can an earthquake be? Northridge was pretty devastating for us, but we had shelter. I have tarps, bungee cords and duct tape in my Amazon cart. I have camping supplies, an emergency radio and solar chargers. I got glass tint so that if the window shatters, it won’t scatter shards all over my face.  I only have water for 2 days, a first aid kit for humans and one for the cat, non perishable food in the cupboards that I always make sure is well-supplied. The hard part is I also have a storage problem. But I have no idea if it’s enough. When will I feel sheltered enough from the thing I cannot predict?

————

As I was driving home from work today, I was thinking a lot about luck.  There is so much in the world that is determined by forces beyond our own control, so many things that have been given to us because of the decisions of generations before us, and the mere existence of humans as they are for such a short time in the history of the Earth and universe. I can appreciate how little control I have over 95% of my life. There’s something peaceful about that.

My Dad, His Gun and Two Swords

Some months after my dad passed away, my mom decided to move out of the home I grew up in. There were nearly 40 years of things hiding away in every nook and cranny. We finally started to go through my dad’s things. I knew what we’d expect to find for the most part (besides tools). But the things we weren’t expecting were even more puzzling. But it gave me some glimpse into what he did when none of us were around.

The things we expected:

  1. My dad’s gun. Yes he had a gun – and he always had it tucked away in his closet. It was a really beautiful, white, antique Colt 45 revolver with a pearl handle. I know he never intended to use this gun, even for protection, but my dad liked nice things. He liked things that were shiny and pretty.
  2. His Rolex. This went to my brother.
  3. His college ring.
  4. Old Playboys.
  5. A gold bracelet with his name “Tony” engraved into it. I kept this.
  6. Math and engineering books.
  7. His leather jacket. Now something about this leather jacket is that it still, to this day, smells like him. It’s the smell of tanned leather and tobacco. This was his “going out” jacket for as long as I can remember, even well into a few years before his death. It fit him perfectly and it was styled more like a Members Only jacket, not a motorcycle jacket. I remember the smell of it when he would carry me as a sleeping child from the car into the house and into bed. I find it funny that he had a jacket that was very specifically a jacket he never wore for working and only when he would go out to a party or to a nice dinner (that didn’t need a suit jacket). And now I have a jacket that’s similar. When I bought it, I vowed to never wear it to work – it was only for going out to parties and dinners.

The things we didn’t expect:

Two swords — one katana and one flame-bladed sword.

Like… why?

 

Are we there yet?

I feel extremely lucky to be where I am now. But why doesn’t it ever feel like enough? I wonder if I really know what it’s like to be happy. I think I’m probably happy, but is this what it feels like?

Professionally, I wish I had more of a leadership position. I’ve done it before, so I know it’s in my wheelhouse, but it’s not currently part of my job description. There’s no clear path for me to get there either.

I wish I was more of a social person. I wonder how different my life would be if I was more outgoing.

I wish LA wasn’t so damn expensive to live in. I feel like everything I want is always a little out-of-reach.

Today I bought a bottle of wine, and the cashier asked, “…aaaand can I see your ID.” Like it was a statement. A demand, not a request. He paused to look at my birthdate. The look on his face changed dramatically. “Oh. WOW!” he exclaimed. I laughed.

Funny thing is I feel about as old as I look. I feel as though my life has barely started. I’m not “old enough” for anything. I feel unable to be a proper adult. Yet here I am, far enough into adulthood that I should feel that way. But I haven’t felt like I’ve had enough rites of passage to be worthy of it. I haven’t been married. I haven’t owned property. I haven’t had children. I haven’t reached the point I want to professionally. I’m just not there, but will I ever be there?

K.I.T.

I have been thinking about the benefits of Facebook lately. In Red Dead Redemption 2, you run across some characters multiple times in the game, and it makes me consider that there are some people that I’m connected to on Facebook that I know I would have never ever seen in my life again if it weren’t for Facebook. I wonder about living in a different era with reduced communication and how there are probably many times in your life when you might meet someone and then never see them again. I’m sure most people lived their lives within a small range of miles, but I still wonder. Some people left home and never came back. And it wasn’t as easy to stay in touch. What is it like to leave like that?

For instance, my first Tinder date was a guy who had ONE kidney operating at about 15%, and he desperately needed a kidney donor. I still wonder if that guy is alive. I’m sure it would be easy if I knew more about him. I don’t even remember his name. He was a nice fella.