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2020

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12/04/2020

Whoops, schedule slip because election is nerve-wracking. ANYWAY! We at least have solid results now. Cheeto man and his lawyers are trying very hard to get votes thrown out, but the courts are by and large dismissing them on the basis of being obvious bullshit, which is very comforting, although I'm still nervous saying anything too confident in this time, with how batshit both the last four years and 2020 in general have been.

I made it to 30k on Nanowrimo, and I'm proud of that! Having a good time. :)

(Amusing Supernatural update: the m/m ship got recanonized as requited in at least two different dubs, and there's fandom conspiracy theories out the caboose about what was happening behind the scenes for that. Current major theories are either that it was originally requited, but censored in the US and the translators got the uncensored version by mistake, or that there was at least one rogue shipper on the translation team. It could honestly be anything at this point, and I don't know SPN well enough to dispute any of it.)

Having Gender Feelings, such as the fun crisis of knowing that until you're living independently, you will constantly be percieved as your assigned gender, no matter what, because the people you live with and can't avoid (thanks, pandemic) will never see you as your actual gender, no matter how you present yourself, unless you literally tell them (which you can't, because they're Transphobic!)

Ughghg. I just. I hate this. I want to be able to feel the (metaphorical, if not maybe someday literal) weight off my chest of coming out so badly sometimes, but I know that's not remotely an option. I can't do that. I can't risk that. Even if I wouldn't be kicked out or anything, I would be ignored at best, and more likely belittled, denied, ignored, and forced back into the closet.

God, sometimes I just want to be around people and not be reminded that as far as they percieve me, I'm just a woman who dresses a little masculine and has shorter hair. The fact my short haircut has grown out over a year of quarantine isn't helping. I'm planning to ask my dad to cut it in the spring, the same way he cuts my little brother's hair, but considering his "but that's a boy's haircut, are you sure" reaction to my getting a pixie cut, I might end up having to do it myself. I probably will, if he refuses, and the feeling gets too unbearable.

Also, my sleep schedule is still fucked. I'm working on it. In other news, the tomatoes are decent! A bit mealy, but decent. :)


11/06/2020

What the hap is fuckening.

So! Election is ongoing. Results still unclear, but it's looking more and more like Biden actually stands a chance. Some surprise states may have flipped blue? But we don't know yet, so the mood is Cautious, Terrified Optimism at this point right now. Counting will obviously take a while longer.

We're basically down to four states that haven't been declared either way yet. I think more are still counting, they're just skewed enough one way or another that further counting is extremely unlikely to change anything. Either way, I'm not relaxing until that guy is physically removed from the White House in January, so it'll be a while, if we're even so lucky at all.

In the meantime fandom has been batshit, which is made only better by the timing. My Hero Academia finally revealed a major twist that the fandom had been predicting for literal years and they're losing their shit, but more than that, the Supernatural fandom just got their big m/m ship canonized (and immediately smacked with Bury Your Gays and unrequited love nonsense, but given what the showwriters are like, the fandom is taking what it can get and laughing their collective ass off.) Apparently tumblr looks like 2013 again right now. (There was also some misinformation about Putin "resigning" that got tied into it somehow, due to the timing? Anyway IDK what the fuck Russia is doing, but it sounds like he's just trying to avoid consequences for his crimes when he finally retires. He is not stepping down currently, as vaguely hilarious as that might be.)

In local news: tomatoes! We've been growing tomatoes in our house in a planter for the last few weeks since we brought them indoors from the cold, and they're finally ripening. One of them is nearly red. My parent has been cheering them on daily.

I am also attempting NaNoWriMo, although I don't expect to hit anywhere near the actual 50k goal. My current pace has been around ~1k words/day, so I'll be probably around 30k by the end, but it's the journey that's the fun part anyway, I think. It's a good distraction from the nail-biting and number-crunching of the election.


11/02/2020

Things continue. Regrettably, the cheeto lives on.

I've voted, for the first time in my life. Tried to make sure I put something for the downballot elections, too, and the referendums and other local stuff. That's just as important, really; the smaller levels of voting change what's possible at the higher levels of it. The experience was nerve-wracking, but I've done what I could there.

I'm making one last entry before the election day proper. Votes have already begun to roll in. The headlines say this is the set to be the biggest voter turnout in a century. The number of votes so far, the day before election day, is nearly 3/4 of the 2016's total turnout. There's something heartening about it.

I'm terrified nonetheless. I know no matter what the results are, he'll be awful. He's been telling his audience for the last year now that he'll only lose by foul play (like his side isn't employing it themselves, in voter disenfranchisement and mail disruption and so on), and he's been pumping up his gun-toting, most violent factions of followers to support him on election day the exact way their description implies. Either they'll be marching fully armed and screaming about rigged elections, or they'll be running shitty hate-crime-filled victory laps like they did in 2016.

The pandemic will still be here regardless.

Sometimes I've had days during this year where I've just wanted to go back to bed and not come out. And just stay there and keep sleeping, instead of making futile attempts to continue anything in these conditions. I suspect these are depression feelings, but I don't want to call them that because it's one of those things where as long as you don't say the words, maybe you can still pretend they're not true, and I don't want to think this way, or feel this way, at all. I'm still so tired, even though I have no right to be. I am safe and comfortable in my home. I may still have financial worries some months down the line, and maybe I still hate being in the closet, and maybe I'm still afraid too often for my family's health and for whatever the hell is going on in this country, but I could still have it worse, I guess.

It's late. I should sleep. I'm going to try and not think about any of this too hard for a while, I think.


10/14/2020

Whoops, forgot to update for a while.

Anyway, infodump.

Uh, lots of miscellanous events. Neighbors have so much construction going on and are only around during intermittent hours, so we think they might be moving out? High holy days came and went. (We did tashlich with the hose in the driveway, for running water. Sort of entertaining, to watch it all run down the road.) We found raccoon scat in the yard and had to go through the whole production of disposing of it (roundworms eggs are awful and hard to kill, so we carried out pots of boiling water to dump on the surrounding soil after bagging to be safe) and are currently dumping cayenne powder and homemade Extra Spicey Anti-Raccoon Hot Sauce to deter them. Uh... the worst of the smoke is over with, and has been for several weeks, so that's nice. Also, it's colder now. I am taking 0 classes this quarter and currently studying independently with a math textbook. Also might do NaNoWriMo. I haven't decided yet.

Politics is a surreal dumpster fire as usual, and just keeps throwing new things at us. Trump got COVID, and watching people's reactions on Tumblr was a definite bright spot (some people commented about the difference between Twitter and Tumblr there -- Twitter was apparently all "oh, you shouldn't wish death on anyone no matter how bad~", while Tumblr was like "[obama 'then perish' image with no caption]".

TL;DR The Cheeto got infected (along with a bunch of other right-wingers because Wow It's Almost Like Flouting Quarantine And Disease Precautions Puts You At Risk Of Infection), he's still sick, but he's hyped up on some serious steroids and acting like he isn't, both because of the aforementioned steroids, and because he's put a huge stake in appearing strong and in spinning it as "not that bad" to push reopening.

I'm not liveblogging that any further right now though, because it's all wild as fuck and I don't have the energy half the time. I'll be voting in the election this year, though! For the first time ever, haha. It's certainly... a year, for that.

My executive function keeps taking wild nosedives at the best of times, but at least I'm getting better about laundry, cooking, etc. I made nachos last night for dinner. That was nice. A sense of accomplishment.


9/12/2020

Much is happening, in a bad sort of way.

We are a little less financially stable than we were a month ago -- thanks, pandemic economy! Really appreciating that! /s

We're fairly okay still, because of where we started, and we have a cushion, but it's definitely a background worry now to be considering. Makes community college all the more a good decision, because no way in hell am I going to try for anything with standard college tuition rates right now.

However, more immediately: as I've mentioned before, I'm on the West coast. So right now? Um. Well. There's a reason we're not going out without masks, and it's not just the pandemic anymore.

The smoke smell has gotten worse in recent days, but today was the worst so far. The sky is yellow, and the windows look like they're filtered by a fake anime sunset, but sicklier and generally more worrisome. We've used masking tape to cover the front of the fireplace in insulation plastic to reduce the air coming in, and closed all the bedroom doors, but the circulation is inevitable. My throat is already scratchy and unpleasant.

Cough drops, hard candies, and tea all apparently help, so we've been making use of those. I found mint gum was also nice for giving a smell other than smoke, although I'm pretty sure my nose has already grown acclimated to the latter, at least for the levels indoors. Nobody's running around or doing much active, though our neighbors' ongoing home remodeling project continues. I feel bad for the workers out there on their roof. They're stuck as any other of our so-called essential workers, and I hate our neighbors a little for putting others at risk just to keep going with their worthless vanity project during times like these. Our current air rating today, depending on your source, is either "very unhealthy" or "hazardous".

If nothing else, I am aware we are still fortunate. We aren't in the fire zones. We haven't been forced to flee, or left homeless during a pandemic. We're unlikely to be directly touched by the fire, all things considered, only subject to the byproducts of it. I'm glad of that. I still worry nonetheless. I know people who are probably in those places, and I can only hope right now they're okay.

Sometimes I like to look at my journals thinking of them like historical documents for far-future historians or something equally silly and self-important. Of all the years to keep a semi-consistent record of, though, I suppose this was an appropriate one. It's no Diary of a Plague Year, but 2020 seems determined to keep throwing new shit at us every time we grow even slightly complacent with the disasters already ongoing.

(And to think, voting is in less than two months.)


8/12/2020

Whoops, schedule slip.

Lots of shit still going on, I guess. Even though at home I'm not doing much.

I've gotten back a lot of energy to make stuff, at least, now that I've had time to recharge a bit. Sleep schedule is still a disaster, but with effort it's beginning to improve.

Making some more donations, signed some petitions, and I've been streaming a lot of those "watch to donate with ad revenue" videos in the meantime. It's fairly easy to just have one running in a muted tab, and with a dozen or so bookmarked, plus private browsing to confuse the system, I've been able to do that fairly regularly while online. I know the amount donated is small in practice, but it's nice to feel like I'm doing something.

My brain is in less of a funk than it might otherwise be, but obviously pandemic conditions aren't exactly conducive to good mental health. At least I'm not alone; I've got just enough consistent contact to get basic social fulfillment, but without feeling drained and overwhelmed either, which is good. I even finally managed laundry.

Sometimes I think about contacting friends, but I feel increasingly uncomfortable in the closet now, even though I know full well why I can't come out. On top of that, there's the cold-sweat-nightmare scenario of coming out and some point and just completely tanking the friendship, which. Considering how bad I am at forming friendships to begin with, it's a really stressful thought. I'm mostly ignoring it right now and trying to tamp down the lowkey dysphoria because I cannot deal with that at this point, but it's definitiely unfun to have hanging over me in my brain.


6/30/2020

Another two weeks. Happy pride month, by the way. The rainbow flies high even in sorrow.

Happy pride month to all the people who can't celebrate because they're stuck at home with people who might never accept them, to people who don't know themselves yet, to people whose chances to become themselves have been stolen and delayed by an unkind world. I'm the first, and I've been the second, and my heart aches for all the third and more.

Happy pride to the people who would be wiping away their makeup and hiding their flags before they came home, if they'd gone; to the people who secret away little pins and stickers and well-wishes into the bottoms of drawers and backs of closets; to the people who couldn't go this year not only because of the virus, but also because someone would ask, someone would find them, someone would know.

Happy pride to the people who spent this month aching at the blows aimed at them through the target of someone else's face, and to the ones who stepped out the closet door and into an ambush. To the people who spent this month answering to a stranger's name, to the people who spent it longing for a love they couldn't speak of or lying for a love they lacked. To the ones who faced the worst, the ones hurting, the ones afraid, the ones whose parents' faces are not their parents' anymore, the ones whose homes no longer welcome them. To the newspaper obituaries with the wrong pronouns. To the desecrated graves.

I am sorry. I am sorry I have not helped you. I am sorry I was not there. I know these are pointless things to be sorry for, but that's the funny thing about apologies; they're not necessarily an admission of responsibility. They're sorrows -- sometimes an admission of a mistake, sometimes an irrational guilt you can't explain, sometimes a wish that something could have gone differently. They're feelings, and sometimes they're stupid ones, but they're something, and somewhere to start.

This all grows more dramatic the longer I look at it, but I don't want to cut it out either. It feels important, however somber. And the guilt spills over from so many things I don't help with, that I can't help with, that I could be helping with if only I did the work, if only I got my stupid brain together and acted, if only I didn't blame some other thing for my own inaction, and this all downturns into a rant and a pity party I don't know how to break out of, but nobody should have to break me out of, either. This doesn't seem like a good ending for this piece, though, but maybe it'll just have to be. Sometimes the important things are the ones left half-finished.

I wish had made something. Could make something. Something finished, complete, permanent, something I could point to and say, look, I've done something worthwhile. Then I could feel bad about it not being useful enough, which I guess would just be a break from the monotony of feeling bad about not doing anything. I hear about burnout and stress and activist's guilt but do any of those concepts really apply to someone with the privilege to stop caring and disconnect, already probably half-doing it without realizing? To someone who's already doing nearly nothing at all?

I don't do enough, so I don't deserve to have a breakdown or an emotional mess. I am not under any of the kind of stress to justify it; I'm just passively existing and being an oversensitive inexplicable piece of garbage with the emotional resilience of a paper napkin and I don't know why because, nothing, nothing that I've lived with actually justifies that kind of inability to respond.

Hell, the actual terms I'm using are an exaggeration. I'm not crying. I'm not hurting, at least not in any way I can consciously recognize. I'm just rambling on the keyboard about a formless blob of guilt and vague badness and discomfort that apparently stifles any attempt at improvement whenever certain topics come up, like that's somehow a fucking excuse. And being introspective, apparently, like this stuff always seems to go. Ugh.

Anyway. On more recent small-scale events, I've been playing in the backyard with little sibling. All of us play badminton in the back yard sometimes, because my dad got rackets and birdies a week or so ago and set up a net. It's been good for excercise, I guess.

My sleep schedule is currently a mess. I had shades of this over Spring Break, but it's only gotten worse. I fell asleep at 6 AM today and woke up around 2:30. I still need to take a shower. My shit executive function is Not Helping, and I lowkey hate myself a lot right now.

I've spent a lot of time web-browsing, watching LPs, attempting to compose music, and very rarely working up the brain energy to do art. I don't know what I'm doing anymore honestly and I'm afraid to ask.

Oh, and I'm doing my own laundry now, which currently means I'm wearing everything more times than necessary and keeping a slow-building pile of unaddressed laundry in the corner I'll have to deal with eventually, because, again, crap EF. Hahaha. I hate myself. And I need to stop saying that because every time I read it it feels a little more true and hard to brush aside and forget. I say it too often already. I don't know what to do about that. Sometimes I just want to sleep and sleep and sleep.

Anyway, for my own reference and on the off chance anyone ever reads this (slim, but theoretically plausible), here's a donation link for a bunch of bail funds, racial justice orgs, and mutual aid funds, because I think that's important right now.


6/16/2020

Wow. So, uh. Current events sure have been something, alright. I haven't updated in about three weeks, but, uh. Yeah.

Here we are, on the one-year anniversary of this journal's beginning. It sure has been a year, hasn't it? And it still is.

I've been trying to make donations to various relevant funds and organizations in the last few weeks, mostly since I can't really go out in my current situation and do anything in person. (There's a whole complicated situational and personal clusterfuck behind that, one I still feel guilty about, but I want to try to do what I can.)

Schoolwork is finishing up, so I'll have more time to devote to... uh. Worrying a bunch, I guess? And maybe trying to do things online. And household tasks. I don't know.

I've been kind of mentally exhausted, and generally nervous about putting stuff about this in a space so full of personally identifying information, which I think is part of why I didn't write about this sooner, but fuck it. I'll keep some stuff offline, but I want to at least acknowledge what's going on.

(It's amazing.)

Watching people come together, work together, watching them establish their demands and get shit done like this has been honestly pretty heartening, after the depressing slow-motion collapse of this spring. I mean, on the scale of the country and political and social institutions and stuff, the attitudes of some groups are frankly a little concerning, sort of a fall-of-Rome feeling going on, but the actual specific accomplishments? The social and cultural shift? The change in public views on things like police and racism? It's huge, and it's a step in the right direction.

I'm changing too, I think, as I learn more about these things. The sheer corruption of the police system itself is something that only more recently came to light for me, along with the increased awareness that being on the so-called "left coast" absolutely doesn't stop our state's systems from being as shitty as anyone else's. Maybe I sound wildly naive, or like I've been living in an oblivious, pretentious blue bubble (and I mean... societally speaking, that might not be wrong), but I want to be better, and I want this world to be better, too.

I guess I'll leave off with this video I watched the other week, because it's been sticking with me and rattling around in my head for a while now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sb9_qGOa9Go


5/23/2020

Welp, been a while.

Neighbors have finished the fence mess, so we now have a newer fence for half of the back of the yard, and nobody else's kids intruding (don't worry, they weren't there when we were, just passed through to retrieve their dogs sometimes.) We've settled into a weirdly calm routine of day-to-day life once more.

College has been a clusterfuck. Classes are fine, but basically something in the system got messed up and thanks to the virus and legal nonsense, the odds of fixing it are looking worse and worse with each move we make. Nobody at the college answers their phones, the ticket system is breathtakingly unhelpful (even with the right department), alternate methods of contact have had no luck, and obviously coming into office isn't an option.

All our alternatives look like they would make things worse or be more extreme than I'd particularly like. We have non-jokingly discussed taking a gap year or enrolling to a different college because this is actually that much of a beaurocratic shitshow.

At least this wouldn't be a bad year to stay home for. Anyway, I just wanted to vent about that.

On the brighter side: I wrote an essay, and didn't do badly, except for the part where I submitted literally at the last minute like an action-hero sliding impossibly under a dramatic closing door. This professor doesn't accept late work, so I should... probably be more careful in the future.

We found a very big ant in the house the other night, which we trapped under a glass to examine. It was actually the second time it happened in a few days' span, but we think it may have been the same ant, because it looked the same. Online research suggests it might have been a carpenter ant (and possibly a queen, but it had no wings?) It was huge, and little sibling got pretty stressed out about the whole thing.

I actually enjoyed researching it, and found it kind of cute up close. I've been doing entemology research for fun related to a fandom thing, so I guess I'm a little less freaked out by bugs than I used to be.

Anyway, once we took some pictures and I wrote down a sheet of notes, and we did what research we could, Dad took it outside and smashed it inside a towel. Last time, the ant had been carried out of the house and dropped off a block away, but it seemed better to make sure it wouldn't come back (assuming it was the same one.)

(I sure hope it was the same one, because again, this thing was huge. Probably 3/4 inch in length. What the fuck.)

Anyway, the only ants we've seen since have been the usual tiny ones that try to get into the kitchen. But we're still keeping an eye out. :/

All in all, though, there's surprisingly little to speak of. The disease situation is still fucked up. Things in life are frustrating, but strangely small and insignificant by comparison.

That's all for now. Despite the lack of realtime, and the semipermanence of text, signing off for the afternoon.


5/7/2020

It's been two weeks, so it's about time to update, I guess.

Things have settled into a strange routine. I avoid the pandemic news save for a short sprint of statistics and browsing once every day or two, because I don't have the brainspace to deal with most of it right now, but the whole situation is weirdly serene and calm at home. We've all just sort of gotten used to it, I guess? The threat of disease looms over our heads, and we still know better than to go out or anything (we've been getting indirect pickup stuff and deliveries for groceries, so we haven't had to make a proper store trip in quite some time, thankfully) and are still taking basic precautions, but at least it's less stressful, by some small measure.

Things have grown a little more tense in other ways: little sibling, in particular, has been more stir-crazy as of late. They can't go see friends or go out (though they get to go on car rides to play Pokemon Go, and they can hang out with myself or sister), and we're all often busy and unavailable to entertain them. They've taken to playing more out in the yard with the nicer weather, which helps, even if it introduces other concerns.

Our neighbors have been having some kind of construction project going on at their house, and as part of it, they have removed roughly six feet of our back fence (apparently it's technically theirs?), which means our yard is now contiguous with the other neighbors behind us (who have several dogs and children.)

Luckily, the family on the other side of the fence has kept away from us, so we haven't had to worry about breaking distancing yet, but little sibling has tried to strike up conversations at a distance, in the way of any child left unsupervised, which has been a little nerve-wracking even if they are staying more than six feet back at all times.

I worry about them a lot, honestly. They get mad at me for fussing or not trusting them to be careful, but they still have to be pestered to wash hands, wipe their runny nose constantly on sleeves, often forget to cover sneezes or coughs... I'm nervous they'll forget the rules or do something stupid or ill-advised and put the rest of us at risk, because they don't seem to take this as seriously as the rest of us but I can't do anything about it that wouldn't be counterproductive because of their stroppy indignation over the whole thing.

Anyway, that's enough venting for now.

Classes have been plenty of work, as expected. At least the Zoom conferences are mostly a consistent arrangement now, so no frustrating games of guess-what-the-teacher-is-trying-to-do-today, just normal internet issues. I should probably get back to work, though.

Looked at some stuff about the Spanish Flu out of curiousity. Some parts are weirdly heartening -- comparing the total deaths of then and now at a given point, and then remembering that we have about four times as many people on the planet right now as they did then, for example.

(The second wave event, of course, is absolutely not. But if we can avoid having massive parades and parties in the streets, that could make quite a difference. Then again, with this shitshow of a government response, I wouldn't discount it. A second wave is very likely, and we can only do what we can to prevent it and pray it won't be worse than the first.)

But as much of a nightmare as this all is, though, one thing is comforting: humanity survived. Even with all this death, even with all this horror, we are not doomed. People sometimes panic and go completely off the deep end of catastrophe and like to claim that we're all going to die, that this will be the end of civilization, but it's not. We have survived far worse with far less. The world has always had diseases and plagues and pandemics, and as incredibly fucked up as they were, we're still here. This will be tragic and it will be horrifying, and we need to to everything we can to slow it down, to keep people safe, to keep people healthy, yes. But at the end of the day, the world will survive.


4/21/2020

Haha, wow, that update speed disappeared really quickly.

Anyway, classes are a thing, and oh dear goodness one of my professors is... bad at this. Took him until the end of last week to learn to record lectures, and he originally wanted to do quizzes using Zoom. He also keeps us in a waiting room before class, and if you're even a few minutes late due to technical issues (and oh boy are there issues, especially as the college repeatedly changes its mind about how Zoom should be handled), you might miss 20 minutes because he's on the whiteboard and doesn't see anything. Due dates are announced pretty much as we go, because he has no idea how things will go in the future and doesn't really know what he's doing.

At least the homework site functions okay?

I'm a lot less anxious, I think, than I was a few weeks ago. Not that I'm dropping precautions or anything -- I'm still regularly washing my hands (even though I don't go out and we only rarely have anyone go get groceries), and trying to be careful with touching my face, disposing of tissues, etc -- it's just how long this has been going on.

At some point it just reached a level of normalcy, like: yep, not going anywhere, taking all classes from home, wash your hands extra properly every time with thirty seconds of soap and water. It's a part of reality now. I don't want to become complacent and risk something, and honestly even just writing this makes me a little on edge, like I could invite something. But. I can't keep thinking like that forever.

If there's one thing that sucks about this whole situation especially right now, though, it's the psychological aspect. It's one thing when a single big event happens and screws it up for you, but being stuck having to deal with the situation as a constant uncertain danger that could strike at any moment, for months on end... I wouldn't dare call it worse, but I'd call it noteworthy.

I'm just glad I'm in a situation where I don't have to keep going out and risking myself, like so many people are. My heart hurts for them. It sounds stupid to say it like that, and I feel awful not knowing what to give beyond meaningless platitudes and condolences into the void. If nothing else, I guess for the first time in my life I have a vote.

Anyway, that's enough heavy stuff for now, I think.

I have a work desk in my bedroom now for schoolwork, which is ironically not as useful this quarter as it would be otherwise because virtually all my work is online, and dad refuses to let us take our laptops back to our bedrooms because he's a controlling tightass. The internet's not really any good in there anyway, but I'll probably start doing it over the summer just because.

Our neighbors are replacing part of their roof (and possibly more) in a construction project that's been going on since yesterday at least, which I have a very good view of from my bedroom window, so it's cheap entertainment, I guess. Definitely weird to wake up to the sound of large chunks of roof being thrown ten feet down to the ground, though.

Not much else to report for now, and I have homework to be doing. Signing off. See you later, vast and empty internet void I pour my life and feelings into.

See you later.


4/06/2020

It's a beautiful day outside. The sun is shining. Birds are singing. Flowers are blooming. On days like these, kids like you...

... are all stuck at home, but hey!

But seriously, it is actually a really nice day out today, and I've been enjoying it even though I haven't really gone out. We opened the bathroom window and even just feeling the air and hearing birdsong was a boon for my mood. It almost felt normal, I guess.

We did a bunch of cleaning today, since certain holidays are coming up. I also excercised and took a shower, so I'm calling that successful. My haircut has begun to grow out a little, but I'm cool with that. (Not like it matters, anyway.)

No major updates from the last few days, really. Classes are starting again soon, this time online. Luckily, two of my professors are pretty online-learning savvy, but the third is shaping up to be a doozy. We'll see how the next few weeks go, I guess. Not much else to do.


4/01/2020

Not gonna bother with April fools. I don't have the time or energy, and I don't usually give a fuck. That said, I'm not planning to be all doom and gloom. I'm just a little tired, even if I don't want to admit it. I'm not going to get into that, though. (It's the mentality again. Facing it, talking about it, saying it's so makes it feel more so. The best way to drown out the cycle is to sometimes step away and ignore it.)

Worked on some music and coding this week. Been a little emotionally and mentally bluh, which of course got me anxious about all the what-ifs and maybes, but I can't deal with that right now. As it stands, I'm fine, as far as I know. I have my usual allergy nonsense, and I'm vaguely stressed and probably need to eat less of certain foods that don't agree with me, and my period is suspiciously near due enough to explain a lot of what simple nerves and stupid brain nonsense doesn't, that even though a part of me fears I'm just piling up excuses to cover for something that could be a real concern, I'm fairly sure it's actually okay.

(Either way, my brain needs the reassurance, for now. It's okay. It's okay. It's okay.)

Helped iron some fabric. Masks are still in prototype phase -- my parent has tested and adjusted about half a dozen patterns now, both for herself and my father. (She has to adjust hers because of her face size, to be clear, and she knows what she's doing.) Father has added some levity by dressing dramatically with his masks, wearing his old Doctor Who style hat and a leather vest and at one point carrying a long wooden pole. I don't remember where it came from but can relate to the near-universal urge to pick up a long wooden stick and pretend to be a wizard or something.

(Is that universal? Is my family a bunch of weirdos? These aren't mutually exclusive, to be clear. I just wonder about both.)

Haven't spent much time looking at news. I know my father still does, but I mostly can't bring myself to spend long on it or dwell. It's not getting any better by me watching it, after all. The biggest contribution I can currently make is sitting tight and trying to stay healthy, and the likeliest source of infection is from outside the house, so it's not like there's a great deal of benefit in constantly poring over the numbers and infections and death counts.

(Still so surreal to say and to see it. I wonder what it'll be like to think about this in a few years? In a few decades? Our adulthoods never planned for this. None of us could have.)

Finally starting watching Steven Universe: Future properly with family. I've been spoiled on the whole thing, but am currently keeping little sibling in the dark, save for a teasing game of two truths and a lie, in which all three are true (Robot Chicken Yoda voice) from a certain point of view.

Will anyone get that reference? It doesn't actually matter, because this is my journal (diary? blog?) and it's not especially written for anyone else anyway, and I'll reference whatever I fucking want to.

I sure am making a lot of these little asides.

Food situation has grown interesting as we've been avoiding grocery runs for as long as we can reasonably hold off, just sort of... using what's in the chest freezer and also in the pantry and the kitchen in general. I've been trying new and creative variations on instant ramen, partly because I already liked to doctor my ramen with DIY seasoning and added low-effort vegetables like frozen peas and corn, but now more because I'm bored and eating it multiple times a week.

At this point, my preferred approach involves adding the fried onions (from Uwajimaya) and the frozen peas and corn directly to cook with the noodles, and basically pan-frying some thin sliced baby carrots, a little broccoli, and often sliced mushrooms and whatever meat substitutes are easily found in the main freezer. However, the other day I tried out approximating Phad Thai with whatever I could find -- basically Phad Thai on a serendipitious budget, because I found the jar of sauce for it in the fridge. There's plenty there, and it's very strong -- I only need a little for flavor -- so I basically shook off most of the seasoning, cooked the noodles normally, fried some mushroom and scrambled an egg, then added that in with a bit of sauce.

We didn't have any peanuts or peanut sauce, so I added a spoonful of cashew butter and some chopped up cashews from trail mix (rinsed of seasoning), and the end result wasn't all that bad. Definitely should have been more thorough getting rid of the original seasoning, though. I think next time I'll use the pack style instead of cup, and cook it in a pan or something so I can drain it; the consistency was way too soupy, and if I'm leaving off seasoning until later, I don't really need to keep the broth.

I meant to update this sooner, to be honest. I keep forgetting -- the table is often full, between jigsaw puzzles, sewing, a whole household often eating asynchronously, multiple people doing work or schoolwork, and so on -- and so I end up not getting the computer out, and then not updating, and I don't actually care about maintaining a strict schedule or feel especially obligated to anything more than updating maybe at least once every two weeks? So, y'know. It happens.

One thing that did fall by the wayside was probably yesterday, though. March 31st was Trans Day Of Visibility! Which normally would have been a much happier, more exciting day for me had I not been stuck at home, unable to go anywhere. Also, I am not out at home, and don't expect to be able to come out any time soon, so, uh. Yeah.

I'll be honest: I actually kind of forgot about the holiday. If I was in college right now I would have seen something on campus, probably, but as it is I had no such reminder, and I had a lot on my mind yesterday, so it all kinda faded into the background. It would be the first year I had anything to celebrate or personally connect to, too. I still haven't reached that one-year mark yet, though it's coming up. It's been *checks calendar* over nine months since I started this blog, though! Which is pretty impressive for me, now that I think of it. I have a bad track record with diaries. Might have mentioned that before. I don't tend to keep them well.

Then again, this hasn't been all that frequently updated. I suppose what's important is that I keep coming back.

Two and a half months to this diary's first birthday. (Time's really flown, huh?)

I hope it'll last many more. I hope that I'll see another year here, and another, and another. I hope one day this will have archiving pages by year: 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022...

I hope that one day I'll be able to come back to this entry and think about what a wild and topsy-turvy year 2020 was.

And in the end, hope is all we can really hold onto, isn't it?


3/23/2020

Whaddya know, here we fucking are.

I'm not even really going to vent about it here. Doing so just feels like invitation for things to get worse. I don't even know. I'll write about the better parts of it instead, I think, or better yet, not about it at all.

(It's a funny bit of human psychology, that idea. An assignment of significance from the pattern-recognizing brain, a bit of solipsism or hubris or something like it to feel as if your tiniest actions and intentions might change the course of history so deeply for no other reason than some higher power deciding it particularly disliked you. If it were the case, by all means, the pile-up of every other human carrying that same narrative weight should still balance out rather nicely, and lead the world to progress in far stranger ways.)

Since we have a sewing machine, and my parent and I can both sew (her better than I, but I know basics from learning to make cosplay and simples things), she's planning to try sewing facemasks for us at home, and I'm hoping to help. It'll take time to go through fabrics and spare shirts to find the right materials, and to decide on a pattern, but since we don't have any hospital-style masks at home (and the hospitals need them far more than we do), it seems a practical option to ensure we have at least that much. Something is, after all, still better than nothing.

Since I've actually had time, and my quarter has ended, I've been watching Fullmetal Alchemist. I've already gotten several episodes further, and I'm thinking of starting Assassination Classroom (and continuing Boku No Hero Academia) once I'm done with that.

I've also been writing and drawing a bit more -- I cracked open a sketchbook for the first time in weeks yesterday. It was glorious, sitting in the daylight from the window late in the afternoon, drawing by the sun and not a lamp. (We've been staying isolated, of course, but my mother still gardens and my little sibling plays in the backyard, even though he'll have to remember to keep away from neighbor's little girls if they appear on their side of the fence.)

Today's weather was greyer than the last few days, but comforting in its own way, and still letting the sun in intermittently. A nice change of pace, all things considered.

I excercised more properly today, a solid fifteen minutes, as my legs have been more cooperative. I'm probably just being overly cautious, to be honest, but I don't yet trust my ability to get down on the floor and get up again without setting something off, so I think it's a reasonable achievement to mention. I also took a shower, which was actually pretty nice. Adding in the short work of writing I finished, all in all, I feel quite accomplished for somebody who got out of bed not even half an hour before noon.

(That's been the one downside of nobody going anywhere, and the quarter being over: my sleep schedule has fucked itself up spectacularly. I haven't gotten out of bed before eleven in close to a week now. I can't say I'm entirely unhappy with this arrangement, but I should probably work on fixing it up a bit.)

Anyway. I meant to update this sooner, but I'd been a bit distracted, ironically. Despite the relative lack of important things to do, I somehow am still terrible at maintaining a regular diary. There's something nice about weekly updates, though. Takes the pressure off a little bit.

Not that I plan to keep a schedule like that. I'll post when I feel like it. That's just more often than biweekly (fortnightly?) these days. Maybe at some point we'll get multiple updates in a week. (Haha, I wish.)

Well, I've rambling long enough. Until next time.


3/16/2020

Another update, within less than a week? What is this sorcery?

ANYWAY. So. Everyone's home, and staying there. My physics teacher gave up the ghost on trying to have people attend in-person last week, and even the closest thing we have to a final is being submitted online. Considering her displayed level of tech savvy, I'm just hoping it works.

Little sib has, unsurprisingly, gone cabin-feverish over the last week and a half. They're way more manic than usual, though today they actually stayed in bed and read until noon, so maybe it's more about the change and upheaval than being cooped up, per se. (It's probably being cooped up, too, though.)

I only have a few more days worth of schoolwork before I'll be set adrift to relax and prepare for next quarter. No idea how exactly that'll go down: current plan is online classes, so it might not be that weird, but who knows where we'll be two weeks from now.

My hair has finally grown out and my current cut enough to feel like what I originally wanted from it, which is really nice to spot in the mirror -- shaggy enough to start hiding my face shape a little again, and not puffing upwards as much. Only took the whole winter quarter, but it looks nice, so I'll call that a small victory. Not having to go out into the cold has given me a little more stylistic freedom again, which I'll probably see more of as the weather warms.

Speaking of which: our house. Is getting so fucking cold at night. I had been worried about it because I always seemed to get shivery and generally tired-and-malaise-y feeling in the evenings, but hadn't been feeling sick or anything the rest of the day, and it turns out, surprise surprise, our house just happens to be less-than-spectacularly insulated and our thermostat bases its temperature readings off of one of the warmest rooms in the house. And wouldn't you know, when you're on the computer all day and staying up into the wee hours of morning working on schoolwork or browsing the web or whatever on a near-nightly basis, you feel those cold nighttime temperatures, and also kinda feel like garbage! Yet another reason to look forward to the end of the quarter.

Excercise routine has pretty much deteriorated into nothing lately. My legs are being all weird and uncooperative -- they're prone to charley-horse kinda cramps lately (don't worry, it's a hereditary thing, one of my parents gets them too), and every so often I'll make a wrong move and get a little twinge that reminds me of my likely limits. I've been more careful than usual to try to avoid setting anything off. Last time I excercised I made it to about 15 minutes before my legs were threatening to cramp enough that I had to cut it short. I might try again soon, though, since I have plenty of time, and it's been a while since the last one.

Well. I'll just have to keep moving onward. I've got work to do.


3/11/2020

Well then. This has been, um. A lot of change. And a lot of things all happening at once. I feel like I should have updated more recently or frequently, but current events have made academics only more of a shitshow, so I've been a little short on time.

As you may have noticed on my about page, I live in the Pacific timezone. In the US, specifically. Yes, I am in one of the states currently dealing with the virus. (It's also flu and allergy season, so I'm sure that's been making healthcare folks' jobs that much harder, too.)

Due to general concern (nobody infected, but the school wants to take precautions and whatnot), pretty much all classes have to switched to function online for the last few weeks of the quarter. No idea how this'll carry over into spring quarter, given the whole situation being so chaotic, but. Uh. It sure is a thing that is happening.

One class of mine has switched to conferences, but the other teacher, after some trial and error, seems to have given up on fumbling with web stuff and instead set up a system of dividing the class into groups of "10 or fewer" students, calling us in for separate one-hour sessions during normal class hours, presumably trying to skirt around the gatherings-of-10-or-more thing. Our normal classes were two-hour blocks only a few days a week, though, so at least it's not a daily commitment. Also, finals week is shaping up to be... eccentric, to say the least. I'll spare you the details of that, though.

Because so many places are asking people to stay home, we've got a weird situation now where my whole family is at home nearly 24/7 -- Dad works from home, sibs aren't going to classes or playdates or anything. About the most we're doing is grocery runs (stores are a bit less hectic than they would have been a week ago, thankfully.)

I don't know how long this will go on for. We live in interesting times, I suppose.

On a lighter note, I forgot about daylight savings time, but now I celebrate (after regaining some lost sleep.) My class hours! Are daylight! Warm, beauteous afternoon gold! (A shame that attending is such a loaded action, now.)

The full kindness of daylight doth slowly return.

(Is that... grammatically...?-- You know what, I don't care. Have a nice day, everyone. Or night. I don't know where you live.)


2/26/2020

*looks at torque* what the FUCK is THAT

In other news, I'm probably not getting an A in this class, haha. At least the rest is going okay. (And it's not exactly my fault the teacher screwed up, couldn't keep to the schedule, and is currently trying to cram the second half of the quarter into half the time originally planned.)

Cold's gone, but has been rapidly replaced by WARM-WEATHER EARLY ALLERGY SEASON, so that's been fun. Thankfully, it's mostly simmered down into mild annoying congestion, but, y'know.

Swung by the college's LGBTQ resource center the other day out of curiosity (and also because I was passing through and remembered), and it was actually really nice. I caught the tail end of a discussion thing, and got to say hello. I've been there once before, around Pride last year, but this is the first time I've really spent long there. Stayed around, did some homework and didn't join in the chatting too much, but it was pretty quiet already, so probably nothing lost there.

(Also it was nice and warm and had free food, and I am but a cold fool in three layers of shirts and a sweater.)

Anyway, it's mostly been school and worrying about school this past week. Dad is trying to help but mostly just provides a crapton of resources I don't know what to do with and will almost certainly never use, and also nags about going to office hours (aka two timeslots that don't work with my schedule in the slightest, requiring an entire extra round trip to college for at most an hour of help, which I usually don't know I need until after the opportunity has passed.)

A month left. Buckling in, and signing off for tonight. Next quarter: classes that regularly finish before night falls upon the land, cloaking it in seasonally depressing shadow!


2/16/2020

Whoops, classes. Guess that was a given, though.

Got a cold, so I'm snotty and stuffed up like a dumbass. I blame little sib, our usual patient zero. At least they own up to it.

Been working on a research project, and can't help but be reminded of high school science fair. It's a surprisingly similar structure, in this case, since we're required to do firsthand research instead of just looking stuff up. Already working on my beta-test, so that's fun.

It's really weird to realize I won't be at this place that much longer. The first year and a half have flown by so fast. The idea of applying to a university both terrifies and excites me. I don't know what to think, and sometimes I worry about how aimless I might be, but these are the years I'm supposed to use to figure things out, so I guess that's not unreasonable.

Even if I fuck up, this isn't the be-all end-all. Some people don't find their niche for years. Decades. I'll hope to live that long. Long enough to find it.

How the fuck are we already more than 10% through the year. How the FUCK.

I'll finish off tonight with something I WISH I had found through algorithm recommendations. How do I convince the tubes I want to see this.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/2q82bGtujFA


2/1/2020

It really is this second month of 2020 already. How the fuck.

Welcome to February, everyone. Getting a feeling this is gonna be one hell of a year.

Not much to report. It's been pretty quiet, just classwork and homework and day-to-day nonsense, rinse and repeat. Dad's getting nervous about nCov, little sib is irreverent as usual, the rest of us are cautious but somewhere a little more in between (and trying to get little sib to wash their hands.)

Slept in late today, so I'm gonna be kicking myself later when it's 4:00 and I have 10+ long-ass physics problems left, haha.


1/18/2020

Whoops, meant to write sooner.

Classes are going well. Well, one of them. The other has been difficult, but it's supposed to be, so that's not too surprising. Also learned the joy of group projects, and how to smile and be polite while learning an hour before said project is due that you were right to assume you had to carry the team because literally nobody else in the group had actually done the assignment.

We got some snow, so that was fun. Got to go sledding in the front yard, and couldn't get my brain to stop regurgitating half-remembered physics problems after misjudging when the acceleration on one part of the slope and nearly crashing into the neighbor's front bushes.

Got a binder! I'm wearing it for classes and sometimes just around the house because HECK YEAH, and I'm so glad I did this. Also realized that you can put flannel under sweaters, and a whole new realm of possibilities was opened (or at least, this particular clothing combination which will definitely see more wear in the future.)

We got a case of cup ramen the other day ("for lunches at school"), and I can only hope it won't become a habit to have those for lunch this quarter. Even if they're great, and nostalgic. My sister was appalled to discover I regularly ate them uncooked and plain. High and mighty words from someone I've seen bite into them in noodle-brick form.

Anyway, I have schoolwork to deal with, so uh. Signing off for now.


1/5/2020

Welp! New year, new decade. 2020. How about that. Fuck.

School is back. Gotta reread some math stuff because Physics. Thank goodness I don't have too much to do yet.

Things are looking up, I think. (I hope.) I'm feeling better, my new binder (!!!) is in the mail and soon to arrive, my hair is short again (even shorter than before!), I got to make some donations and see some family, and I think I'm doing pretty okay.

Didn't mean to disappear for two weeks straight, though, I gotta say.

Going to new classes has been a little weird. I considered introducing myself by a different name, but I chickened out because 1) I couldn't think of a good name and was irrationally terrified that I would forget to respond to it and would "expose" myself somehow, and 2) as cool as coming out sounds, I am still terrified and in the closet most of the time, not to mention grappling with my identity and understanding of myself!

Anyway.

I'm actually supposed to be doing schoolwork right now, but the last quarter should show you all that that does nothing to stop me from being a mess. I suspect I'll be in a worse place soon once the EF issues come back to the forefront and I have my inevitable "why can't I just stay on task and DO THE THING?!" breakdown, but I've been there before, and I understand that it's (thankfully) not the end of the world if I end up having to withdraw from this class if it's too much. I do really want to do it, though, so I don't plan on just giving up.

I'll sign off for now. What a strange feeling it is to hesitate after the first "20", to for the first time in a decade to have to change both digits instead of only one. What a strange feeling that is.

I wonder what the new 20's will be like.

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