Life

Inauguration 2021

I got woken up by an earthquake of all things. Hello Cali amirite? It was a small one so no big deal. And also the garbage truck kept beeping right under my window, but, anyway, the point is that I got woken up at spanking 8:30 am and so, decided to just get up and have coffee instead of rollover and go back to sleep.

Because of that, I caught the inauguration almost live! Almost because I went back to the very beginning instead of just watch the live feed so I can see the whole thing, which started I think half an hour before I tuned in? I don’t remember. Anyway, never in my life have I watched an inauguration of the presidency, voluntarily, in full. The only other time where I partially watched it was when Obama was sworn in since it was so historic. But these four years have tempered me from completely meh about politics into someone who actually turned into most of Biden’s many speeches, mostly after he won, and paying attention to state and local politics too. (I still try to avoid Trump talking as much as I can, so I did not watch the debates, but I did hear people’s reaction to it and I don’t think I missed much.) I voted for the first time ever. I obsessively followed Georgia Senate race and subsequent runoff; I think Stacey Abrams is just goddamn amazing and am going to check out her book from the library (I ain’t made out of money lol). I’ve also never had the desire to read any books written by politicians before. Not even Obamas, although maybe I should read Michelle’s at some point now. What a legacy, huh? (Trump I mean.) I’ve never had the illusion that America’s the greatest nation on Earth or whatever bs people get fed in elementary school, but now all the political decisions have such huge impacts on everyone that I feel like I must be well informed in order to navigate my life for the future.

So I watched all the speeches, songs, poetry, and of course Harris and Biden getting sworn in. I was truly anxious that there’s going to be a terrorist attack or something, but thankfully, nothing happened. Probably because there’re literally 25000 troops at DC right now, and social media kind of blocked people from organizing. It was boring, and normal, and bureaucratic, and I’ve never felt more hopeful. Later I was browsing more news and saw a headline that said something like “White House Believes Climate Change Is Real Again” and I was just facepalming so hard. Can’t believe the bar is set just that low but we’re slowly, slowly starting to climb out of the hole. So yeah, hopeful is definitely the right word. A hopeful 2021 is what I’m looking forward to.

(I don’t dare think beyond that let’s just get past the next few months first eh?)

Life

Vaccinations

So I called my parents yesterday and learned that they both got their first shot of the Pfizer vaccine!! Joy of all joys!!

Except, I also learned how they managed to get their shots, because they’re definitely NOT in the first group to be vaccinated (which is front-line workers and people in long-term care facilities, and I think also people over 75). The reason they got it was because, apparently, 60% of the medical personnel (nurses, mostly) TURNED DOWN the vaccine! Like, WHAT?? How can a medical person not believe in vaccines for whatever reason? So because the vaccines once thawed have to be used within a certain time limit, the facility’s just giving the leftover doses to whoever signed up. My mom not only got herself vaccinated, but she talked other people in her lab into getting them too, and they’re post-docs in their 20s – at the very back of the line, logistically, but they all got vaccinated. WTF? Here I am in a state where we actually have a shortage, and people in my parents’ state are having a surplus because of anti-vaccination ideals. Wow.

I would never move back to her state if I have any choice, but now I’m like, damn, I want my shots already haha. It’ll be like June before I can get mine, at the earliest, probably. It’s doggone crazy! Still, I’m so glad my parents are getting vaccinate, period, because no one around them wear masks and everything’s open. I worried about them every single day since March of last year. Now I can worry just a little bit less.

Life

Okay 2021

Well, I was going to take a deserved day off just chilling and playing video games and look what happened!

Had a call with my mom and had to translate nouns like “insurgents” and “certify” and “Congress” and “the central government building of the US” to her to describe what is currently happening. She’s working, you know, like most Americans on a Wednesday afternoon, so hasn’t been keeping up on the news. That was fun. She figured something’ll go down today but wasn’t expecting the results. I think people just underestimate a crowd if they want to be violent. A person is smart; people are dumb. And a mob can become friggin’ dangerous no matter what political affiliation they hold.

I also caught Biden’s speech and Trump’s video live during lunch. My impression of Biden was “you seem pretty mad and that’s good! Call on these people!” and then Trump came on and both me and my s.o. were like “WTF?????” by the end. It’s so stupid. This whole process is just goddamn stupid on all fronts. Except Stacey Abrams. She deserves a medal. They also just called Ossoff for Georgia. At least one thing went right and on time today.

Still better than 2020 so far.

Life

New Year Resolution Time

Yes, it’s time for the good old New Year Resolutions. To be honest, my track record with this is on par with the average person’s, which is basically abysmal. You set your goal to lose 20 pounds this year? Chances are you either didn’t lose any, or actually gained some, and you’re out of money because you signed up for that gym membership and you never went. Total cliché. So I really never bothered with this tradition. But that is not the case this year! 2021 – the year that I WILL get things done, one way or another.

So I had a serious talk with my s.o. last night and he’s rightfully concerned about my career progress. Or utter lack there of, as I still am nowhere close to finish my novel, five years in. We discussed it in detail and have decided that, I shall give myself six more months before considering switching course. So on June 30th I will give him a check-in. If I’m on track to finish the novel by the end of the year, great! Keep going! Writing is still my career. If I have fallen off course again, then it’s likely I’ll never be able to finish this novel no matter what I say – you know, the proof is in the pudding and all. Being a writer for me maybe is not the right path, and so I need to accept that and move on. So if by June 30th I’ve still got nothing done, then I will stop writing for a while, and find an actual job, by either taking a class in coding (something I always wanted to try) or see if a friend of mine can hook me up with one of those job-help programs that’s designed to help folks with giant gaps in their résumés (like women who took off 10 years to raise their kids, or they had to take care of a sick relative, etc. And no, I did not know this program was a thing either until my friend told me). Or just apply blind to any job and hopefully get something. Either way, I move ahead instead of dawdling in place. Still a good thing.

So yeah, my one New Year Resolution is write like my life depends on it until June 30th. Then depends on the outcome, I either still choose writing as a career or I go find another career before I become broke and homeless. The end. (Well I still might be broke even if I do finish my novel, but that’s a different issue requiring a different strategy. Right now I need to tackle this thing first.)

Life

Happy New Year!

Happy 2021 everybody!

Let’s leave the past in the past, and try to move on to a better future. I, for one, will definitely try harder to stick to my work schedule this year. I will try to exercise more, read more, be more productive, and all those obligatory new year resolution promises. I will not let another year pass me by in a blur with nothing to show for it. At least the parts that I can control.

And, above all, I will not let depression or defeat rattle me. I will try to be more positive and fill my life with more positive things. And hopefully, in 2021, everything will turn out alright.

Life

It’s the Holiday Spirit!

I have been doing nothing but buying things these past few weeks. It doesn’t help that everything is on sale, and sometimes the deals are just way too good. I know, I know, that’s how they trick you into spending. But for me it’s more like, well, I’m going to buy this anyway, so might as well buy it while it’s 30% off, you know? It’s doing trash to my wallet, but as we’re inching toward the end of this horrible year, I feel like I want to celebrate a little bit. And since we can’t go out and drink/eat/watch movie or anything collectively fun, online shop therapy will have to do.

It’s not all frivolous. I bought something for my parents for Christmas for the first time in a long time. We’re Chinese, so we never really celebrated Christmas as a huge tree-decorating/gift-giving holiday. Hell, in recent years I never really went home for Christmas or Thanksgiving – our family gathering day is Chinese New Year in Jan/Feb, and usually I couldn’t get time off work to go anywhere because Americans don’t celebrate that. My mom usually go back to China then, and she did this year too and almost didn’t make it back because of Covid. Anyway, this year I decided I should buy them something small at least – it’s the spirit of the thing. So I bought my mom a cute pair of house slippers because she’s cold all the damn time, and my dad wants some music CDs (yeah, so old-school, but I don’t think they know what streaming is, and I tried to convince them to buy an Amazon Echo over Black Friday but they’re like, we don’t understand this so, no). He also wants to buy a model kit for the Japanese battleship Yamato, which on the higher end is around 300 bucks. I mean, I could buy it for him, but both of them were like no, it’s a splurge and we really really don’t want you to spend the money. So, Tchaikovsky’s Symphonies it is.

Coincidentally, my iPad died last night. Completely dead – battery won’t charge no matter what, so it’s kaput. I’ve been eying the new iPad Airs this year. They’re so pretty and I think definitely worth the upgrade, but they also do cost a pretty penny so I was going to do it next year around my birthday or something. Well, looks like luck have other plans. My husband’s like, sure, I’ll buy you a replacement one, but it looks like the color I want is sold out completely, and won’t be back until January. Oh well. I’m going to go to the Apple store tomorrow to recycle my dead iPad, and I guess I’ll get a new one whenever it’s available again.

Yeah, a holiday of consumer consumption! At least I bought stuff on sale, though, including a new Steam game (Oxygen Not Included – been wanting this for years just waiting for it to go on a good sale because I’m cheap, and have a lot of backlog). It’s not like I can go anywhere because insane Covid spread Batman! But I have something to play over the break, eh?

Work

Be Gentle, Be Kind

I had a terrible day yesterday. And the day before, but more so yesterday. No, nothing significant happened, just that I woke up anxious and therefore couldn’t really concentrate on work. And then because I couldn’t concentrate, I got more anxious, and the spiral of anxiety just went on until I basically stayed in bed all day and didn’t do anything. And then one of my packages from USPS didn’t get delivered due to a mistake. Totally understandable, since they’re so overwhelmed right now, but that seemed to be just the straw that broke the camel’s back and I burst out ugly crying on my husband’s shoulder while talking about how this completely non-essential delivery is going to be a few days late. I guess it really was just one of those days.

I woke up today still feeling horrible, still worrying about that super stupid package, and when my husband asked me if I could make some rice I burst out crying again. Yeah… He then was like, um, are you okay? Is something else bothering you that’s not just this package being late because it seems a little dramatic, and of course I said “I don’t know whatever” when of course I knew exactly why. In fact, I could just say that “I’m terrified I’ll never finish my novel why is it going so slowly omg???” and “I’ll never make money and I’ll be broke and homeless when I’m old due to no social security payments” and “I might as well kill myself and end it right here the future is so bleak.” And of course that’ll only get everyone more upset so I didn’t say anything.

So we ate lunch and after that I forced myself to just follow a routine. Not even a good routine, just a routine, just so I can stop moping around in bed. I played some games, put on my usual skincare that I’ve been neglecting, cleaned up the dishes, listened to a podcast, and then took out my bullet journal and started my usual checklists and other planning that I always do before starting work. I’m writing this entry now also as part of the routine. After this I’ll start on my novel again. (I did call the post office before lunch and everything seems okay – I just have to wait for the delivery for a few more days.) I still don’t feel that much better, but keep working seems to be the cure for, well, I think all of my woes. So I guess no matter what happens I just need to keep working until I’m done. Easier said by a wide margin, for realz.

Life

Good Mondays – General Gratefulness

This is going to be a short one. I don’t have anything specific for today, but I do want to just express my gratitude for everyone fighting in this pandemic. The healthcare workers, the grocery store workers, the people keeping our infrastructures running, the USPS folks (who’re ridiculously overwhelmed right now due to all of our online holiday shopping), the people in the government who are trying and meeting slabs of brick walls from all sides impeding their progress, but still going despite everything, everyone who were actually social distancing and wearing masks and staying home since March, everyone who give a fuck about their fellow human beings and community outside their immediate families and themselves. We’re all stuck here together (well, most of us save the lucky rich few who are sequestered in their mansions with their concierge healthcare), and we’ll still be here in a few months time because vaccine distribution is probably going to be slow and very, very messy. I wish everyone well, and I hope y’all hang in there for just a bit longer.

Life

Hunkering Down – Again

I don’t know if you noticed, but Covid is rampaging right now through the US. In So Cal where I am, things are really coming to a head. Our ICU availability is now at only 10%, so our governor put a pretty restrictive shutdown in place. I mean, in theory, that is, because no cops are going to actually bust in people’s house to arrest them for partying. But the restaurants are only allowed takeouts, and all the barbershop and etc. are shut down. There’s an 100% mask mandate, but again, only works if cops enforce it. Gosh, Biden needs to be president already and start some stimulus talk going, because Trump certainly isn’t going to do it during the lame-duck period.

Our regional restriction starts tonight at 11:59 pm, so yesterday we went on our grocery run so we can have everything before people start hoarding things again (we’re not hoarders, we don’t buy pallets of toilet paper, but we do buy enough paper goods to last us 3-4 weeks). We went late last night instead of today to avoid the potential crowds. You know, my husband and I have both been pretty good with quarantining since March. I barely leave the house and he only leaves the house to go shopping for groceries. We wipe down all groceries with antibacterial wipes, keep hand sanitizer and wipes in the car, leave all packages alone for at least a day before opening, and wear masks almost every time we leave the house (almost because we take walks around our neighborhood for exercise, and if it’s late at night and few people are out we just keep our distance and don’t wear masks, although I’ve started wearing some anyway since it’s cold now and a mask keeps my face warm). We haven’t seen anybody except on zoom or when we had to go do medical check-ups at hospitals and IVF. So all in all the restriction doesn’t impact us that much, except we need to be extra careful to not get in a car accident, or fall, or have a heart attack, or many things that we can’t really control because if that happens, we won’t get care because the hospitals are overrun. It’s an extra layer of fear and worry, but I’m not going to let that impact me mentally because, realistically, there’s not much more I can do.

In other, slightly more cheery news, I’ve been fairly diligent at keeping up my work hours since December started. I know it’s only been 6 days, but it’s better than my track record before. So I guess that’s something.

Life

Flu Shots – Get Them!

I got a flu shot today – finally, after weeks of procrastinating. Got my husband to get them too. He was supposed to get one when he went for a physical a couple of weeks ago, and he forgot! Like, I scheduled one for him, and he was at the doctor’s office, and he friggin’ forgot. What the hell, man? But anyway, I scheduled one for both of us today, and so we went. Now my arm hurts and I’m sleepy and have a headache. Boo. But at least I won’t catch the flu this season, or even if I did, it would be milder compared to no vaccination.

I asked the nurse if she’s getting Covid vaccination once they come out, and she said that no, the hospitals are getting that first (this was just a private doctor’s office), which makes sense. I really hope the distribution of the vaccine doesn’t hit snags, or if they do they’re minor. Probably going to be front line nurses/doctors first, then other healthcare providers, then nursing homes and other older folks (which my parents are, I guess that’s something to be happy about?), and then immuno-compromised younger individuals, and then the general public. Which means by the time it gets to people like us it’ll be like, June, if we’re lucky. If I got lucky and got pregnant then I won’t be taking the vaccine at all. I’ll just stay inside the house and not leave until I give birth, or until the CDC or someone reputable tells me it’s safe for pregnant women to get the vaccine, as they were excluded from all trials. Also, this would be the Western vaccine, which doesn’t tell me how many people of East Asian descent was included in the trials. What if there were some complications that’re particular to Asians but only the Asian vaccine trials had Asians in it? (Same thing for Black folks, too.) So many questions, so little answers. I’m not anti-vax at all – I mean I just got the flu vaccine, didn’t I? But we live in times of uncertainty, so I’m just going to do my own risk management and hopefully everything works out.