week 2 – shelter in place

“nous sommes en guerre” (we are at war). these were the words the french president macron pronounced, just after he announced the lock-down of the entire country. as i was watching the news, i got up to cut myself a piece of bread and ate it compulsively with some cheese. and then i cut another one, still eating it without thinking.  then i started biting my nails and felt my chest tight, and it reminded me of my not-so-old anxiety days. as the boy was watching news with me,  he was also talking on the phone with his own families, trying to manage his own stress. that restlessness feeling was growing stronger, my headache got worse, and this is when i realized that this whole situation was giving me too much anxiety. that’s when i realized i had to do something about it.

this situation is, to say at least, historical. the whole world is concerned. i mean, the last time something this huge happened was during the war ! and feeling a little (or really) overwhelmed is more than normal. however, i think we can all do our best to calm down and focus more on what’s important. so if you’ve been feeling really nervous lately, this post is for you.

watching the news is important for updates, but spending all of your days in front of the tv can quickly become overwhelming, especially when you’re also spending time on social media which is also full of (sometimes fake) news. try to turn off the tv and limit the time you spend on social media.. it’s ok to feel a bit of fomo when not being online 24/7, especially now that everyone is having a huge party on social media, but since we’re all going to spend the next weeks stuck at home, putting yourself a limit when it comes to social media is crucial if you don’t want to be nervous and bothered by the general atmosphere.

it is important to remember that even if the world outside is shut down and seems scary this is temporary and that we all should take this time apart to pause our lives for a moment. when we’re used to running from place to place and working with other people it can be quite difficult to slow down, but right now is a great time for introspection, and for raising self-awareness. so accept what is. literally, everyone is in the same situation as you.

use this time to get some rest. try to wake up naturally, take your time, don’t rush anything. you’ll be fine. be aware of your emotions. listen to what they have to teach you. you have now the time to get to know them better and working on letting them go.

remember the good news. 42% of confirmed cases of covid-19 are healing, which means that approx. 90.000 people in the world are doing great. and so are you.

today it was very foggy / misty and a bit chilli but i loved every moment of it.

this week was very productive. not having someone to clean the house was inconvenient and unfortunate but necessary is mother of invention (in my case, buying the already invented) and bought two robot vacuum cleaners (one for upstairs and one for downstairs) and they are fucking worth every penny i spent (i bought a bit expensive version which mops as well) and i highly recommend these appliances as oh ma god ! they are super efficient and cleaned the fuck out of my house. the only downside (?) was i had to put things in an order so that the robots have unhindered pathways. my wee units had different emotional response; some freaked out, some wanted to fight, some were curious, some (deaf ones) didn’t give a toss.

bought more plants and my landscaper will be dropping in sometime next week and so i can design a rain garden.

this week, i was asked to join a crowdfight covid19 research program where all the scientists volunteer their services and work on research/data. after my work, i chill watching news, have dinner and then work on the data analysis into wee hours in the morning which works fine as i don’t have to get up early to run to work. as i don’t belong to any lab, i am analyzing the data and making my observations, and recommendations and i feel awesome and totally useful to the society and not just occupy space and skin.

i probably put on more weight (if that is even possible as i already weigh a ton) thanks to regular meals the boy is cooking.

this afternoon after i came home from my run of picking up groceries from store, my kitty sonu ran off and jumped the fence to my neighbors, which was stressful to me and once he got back home, i had to stifle my urge to whup his cute little tush but instead gave him some roast chicken which i picked up for them anyway.

the relief of hearing rain and knowing the scent that will rise from the earth’s rich and sharp soil.  when the sighing has gone on so long that you wish you had bottled the rain that had fallen last time (last time, last month, last year) and the rain falls like this: a rhythmical silence on the grass but a constant reminder on the window pane like true love giggles, wiggles and then fades like the smoke against the glass.

week -1 shelter in place (sip)

everything feels really fragile right now. i know that everyone is scared, anxious, unsure about the future. and rightfully so. but if anything, let the current moment serve as a reminder for all of you social beings, of how much humans need each other, of how much they rely on each other, and more importantly what our duty is to each other. if we practice social distancing and maintain good hygiene, we both protect ourselves from catching the virus and also protect others by reducing our chance of carrying it and passing it on. wishing all of you health and happiness in these uncertain times. may we all, even if not literally, be there for each other.

not that much changed in terms of my schedule except that i don’t have to get out of the bed at a god awful time to get dressed and run to work. this is a great change and i welcome it. and oh, of course, i still take a shower, and put on a clean shirt… oh the other advantage is that the break from the bleating of terry at work regarding his dietary habits and other crap. he would complain on and on if there is someone to hear it. there are two people he complains to a lot and unfortunately i’m not deaf and so i can hear every single word & he almost became a white noise; he is a very flaky person with no substance & who puts on airs of someone who is intelligent when clearly he is not and  every fucking day, he would complain on and on about this & that and i would just shut him off by listening to some music and my poor boss, started thinking that she is the reason (as i can hear her as well when she is on calls for her meetings) that i’m putting on headphones.

watched a couple of movies vincent and the end of the world (flemish / french), el hoyo (spanish) watched my sci-fi shows. read & reading books; ordered the new asterix comic books; bought more stocks and now debating if i should buy more of my company’s stock; don’t feel great about my company’s performance tbh; waiting on the temps to get warmer so i can plant stuff in the garden;

my church started airing services online and for the first time since i became a seventh-day adventist, i kept sabbath as god intended. i attended the church services without wasting time to travel to church & enjoyed services because of the technology. when the directive came to not have crowd gatherings of 50 (and then 10), my lover was extremely rejoiced and his happiness was short-lived and now he must attend services if he spends time with me or he must go home.

oh, all my kitties came down with sniffles and as a scientist two things i observed; my kitties all came down with upper respiratory infections and currently being given the medications and wondering if there is any bearing with covid (indirect, like something i brought into home has corona virus strain b or i may have already been exposed to covid but as i expected it just passed through me quickly); as almost all my kids are senior kitties, i have a tendency to leave their wet food around in bowls, & plates around the house whether they eat or not; i feed them in the morning and before i leave for work i put out more food and once i get home, throw out the remaining food, and feed them their evening meal, and put out food for the night. you see, my wee units are very picky with their food like their mama and they take a bite and go away and few mins later they come back and eat more. because of this constant food supply, and the windows of my house are always open, there are many flies buzzing about in general to my disgust as the trash in the bins attract flies; but since this covid saga started, no flies can be seen and am wondering if there is a correlation. scientist me, making notes of my observations !

i’ve been stocking up on my kitties’ medication (for minor fevers & ailments, etc, i diagnose and treat the kitties myself). also, last sunday, one of my cats had a huge asthma episode, and after subsiding her attack with albuterol and starting her on prednisolone, i ran to cvs to buy her the inhaler (as it’s no insurance it was bloody expensive $300). and to get more prednisolone for my wee units, on last friday (day before yesterday) i was driving to my vet, and i thought there would be no one on the streets, or to an extent less people. believe it or not, my neighborhood is somewhat quiet but as i was coming towards philly, i saw huge numbers. and i was a bit shocked to say the least. i went and i got the medications, and my vet and i were talking about groceries. so, as i am a vegetarian i have no problem getting fresh veggies & fruits. i had some difficulty finding half & half for my coffee & i was bleating that i may have to start drinking black coffee and my vet told me go to shop-rite, that they are well stocked. so i dropped by the shop-rite, and what a fucking mistake… it was teeming with people. i turned around and fled as fast as i could.

the stupidity of people is beyond my comprehension. i keep thinking that i have come to grips with the human pettiness and stupidity, and then someone goes and does something even stupider, surprising me. case in point, people are dying by thousands and we are still not even at the peak ! and the disease is spreading exponentially and still people are behaving as if there is nothing going on or as though it’s mild case of flu outbreak; stupid teenagers on spring breaks and the partying on the beaches and what not ! honestly, they should be shot !! i actually was dumbfounded when my colleagues at work behaved as though this won’t touch them ! and then there are a few who keep forwarding me “fake news” just ’cause i was being unfortunate to be included in these group texts; and then there are this other category of people who pile up on toilet paper and i’m like why ? this is not cholera ? and even if you run out, that is not the end of your fucking world as all you need to do is jump into shower ? and i have seen this before when people hoarded stuff at the mention of snow; to be fair as i don’t have human children, i’m not hoarding that much and i also think that me being vegetarian doesn’t help in hoarding. so i go out late every other day, to get some veggies and fruits and i would be the only one who would have two or three items 😊

i have so much stuff i need to do around the house, ugh. it’s been weeks of just kinda… maintenance mode. and now i can’t even get a fucking cleaning help. which i know is okay, considering all that’s going on, but it doesn’t really help stave this restlessness, you know ?  i’m incredibly fortunate, especially since both me and my boy can work from home, so i try to focus on that. it has been nice, all things considered, to finally have more time with my insanely overworked lover. it shouldn’t have taken a crisis for his hours to be more liveable, but we live in a capitalistic landscape.

anyway…

pace yourself people ! we are in this for a very long time and so no need to go through all the things which you need to do. if you haven’t already grasped reality, let me explain to you. we may never have normalcy till they find a way to eradicate this virus. not two weeks, not two months. this virus, if it is anything like it’s zoonotic sister variation, if you are exposed, and lived, it will stay dormant in you and will become active when your immunity is down and then kills you. i’m also predicting that if you got infected, even if you live, your lungs may severely be damaged, with lesions, probably scar tissues, and may even end up in getting cancer. it is very tricky virus and it knows how to survive. this is a single strand rna virus and i’m pretty sure is is mutating from person to person and so the genome of this virus is not the same in any two people. and so, no chance of having a good cure.

so stay the fuck home if you have no business to go out ! if you must, wash your hands every time you touch something.

like elnor says “choose to live” !

(star trek: picard)(goddamn proud to use this reference)(waiting to use it for ever !)

life in the time of covid-19

camus’ “the plague” is absurdly relevant these days…  hence forth, year 2020 shall be called “the year of the plague”.

on a reflective sunday morning, looking out the window at a beautiful sunny day, i was thinking about our life as it is these days…. but first things first ! thank the god almighty, who protects those who chose him. he gave me this promise when i was staring into the abyss with no direction and i would like to share this with you all. “he that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the almighty. i will say of the lord, he is my refuge and my fortress: my god; in him will i trust. surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. he shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” psalms 91:1-4 kjv

i have been preparing since january and still got overwhelmed with all this mostly because people are idiotic and came to office sniffling & with sore throats; and yes a tiny little virus, has brought down the entire world to halt and on it’s knees. and there is rampant panic and i admit it that i am anxious because i am in the high risk category as i’m asthmatic and i don’t want to tempt fate. of course, me being scientist who worked with various pathogens before i know how to take care of myself but that’s a lab setting, and this is real world. i am taking precautions when i go out and as our company encouraged it, i am working from home.

we may be heading for the complete lock down and staying home for months, may be a year if we are lucky, but i’m thinking probably 18 months and being home doesn’t phase me at all on account i’m a born antisocial and so i’m in weirdly privileged position of not being heavily affected by all this social distancing in terms of mental health as i would rather stay home than converse with idiotic people.

how am i spending my days you ask ? i’m chilling with my wee units / i’m reading books / working while listening to classical music /  exercising / making art / playing games / learning new things / investing money & buying stock (perfect time as we are in bear market) / researching stocks / buying objet d’art / buying books / organizing my house & cleaning / i spend more time for morning family worship with my wee units and the boy (when he is around) / cooking meals / debating (and fighting) with my scientist colleagues on facebook about everything and honestly i am happy because this gives me so much of intellectual stimulation. on the whole i should say i’m more productive than before.

and also tom brady left patriots & oh well, life goes on… while i’m really pissed but i see the hand of his wife behind this or he just may realized that he is getting old. who knows.

for those who need social interaction to have a good mental health, here’s a little list and you may add to it

  • clean. being in a clean house will make this so much nicer. if you’re stuck in your house all day, being in a clean home will help. plus, it’s a good exercise (i’m motivating myself).
  • if you have a garden, plant some stuff for spring, tidy it up, feed the birds, whatever.
  • if you have a netflix watch list, go through it.
  • if you’re sick, change your bed. i’ve been cleaning my sheets every other day. it’s nice to have fresh sheets.
  • watch documentaries
  • change out of your pyjamas, even if it’s just into a hoodie and some sweats. you’ll feel better.
  • be creative… paint, collage, sketch. try and improve your skills. get creative!
  • call your family and friends! facetime or phone.
  • rearrange your furniture, create a new ambiance.
  • have a clear out of clothes you don’t wear anymore
  • read !! read books you haven’t read yet or reread your favourite books. get lost in a different world.
  • teach yourself something. i like to study stuff in my own time. botany, human evolution, space, anything. learning stuff is fun when you’re not getting graded on it.
  • fuck it, learn a new language. i’ve been polishing my french, hindi, spanish language skills while learning german & am snoozing my way to the top.
  • bake, cook, make something. create new recipes.
  • if you’re sick, open the windows. its recommended for covid anyway but its nicer to be in bed with the window open.
  • watch nature outside your house. for like half an hour today i watched birds. i counted about 37 this morning.
  • nap
  • journal how you feel or vent to someone. its frustrating being stuck inside
  • make a bucket list

bliss, french roast style !

wake up, here’s coffee, the boy said and how can one not listen to someone who is warm and soft and bringing me a cup of coffee ? and off he went after kissing my forehead as i stayed home to rest and recover. yesterday (sunday) i came down with sudden fever and runny nose and i decided i will stay home as i thought i would get worse. but by this afternoon, i started feeling much better and i started wondering if my asthma condition is actually working for me instead of against me as i had had a few cold / flu episodes but they didn’t last more than couple of days and yes these episodes onset suddenly and violently but they are gone before i could say to myself “i should go to a doctor”.

when i got my asthma episode a few years ago (2011), i begged and prayed to god to make my lungs stronger but i think as it is always with god, he knows what’s best for me and now i’m convinced that he is delaying in order to prepare me for corona virus.i am thinking that corona has no chance with me and in all probability i would be susceptible but i think it would pass through me quickly as i’m an asthmatic and because of asthma, my lung architecture is already changed and my body is used to coping with little oxygen, fluid in lungs and all that good stuff, asthmatics regularly put up with. also, as yours truly is a very wise woman, since the first news broke about wuhan pneumonia like disease way back in january, as a scientist i knew it’s only a matter of time it will spread and get to the states (but i didn’t think it would spread this fast) and i started on an immune boosting regimen and thus i’m quite prepared for the eventuality of covid 19 infection (including updating my beneficiary list).

as the market is in free-fall i have spent the last few days moving around the stocks and monies and adjusting the money i save every month. i think i will probably diversify into precious metals and need to research the coming days.

i spent the weekend putting together the gorgeous lamp and trying to organize the shit i dragged home from the storage to sort out and throw out. i made few appointments for next sunday to interview for a housekeeper. the day light savings time is upon us again to my distress and we lost an hour of sleep. i have been getting up an hour earlier than necessary for my kids’ sake as my kitties have been needier lately, and want to cuddle me when i’m trying to get ready. so i have been getting up earlier so i can give them enough cuddle time before i leave.

the dinner-date we had the other night was the best since i have ever had in since the past few years. date nights are nights where couples go out and try to keep the spark alive or have some “we” time. even though we don’t need a “spark” to keep our fire alive as we combust the moment we touch, i discovered that the boy is my best friend. and during that time, we bonded, we talked, we laughed, and we discovered that we both are vulnerable. the whole time we only existed for each together. no phones, no distractions. from the beginning till the night ended our bubble was not disturbed. the energy of that night are what dreams are made of. we had dinner, then went dancing all eyes were on us, some good lol some bad but they still wanted what we had. we kept smiling and giggling.  smiles and giggles and here i go again. that i want to trust him but i’m scared not of vulnerability but of his looks of love.

it’s amazing really when you find this one person – the one you never thought would fit quite nicely in the space of your heart as if it’s meant to be there. though as far as you’re concerned, your heart has always known – it danced before you even took the first step forward. it’s beautiful and it fills you with so much love that you don’t know whether to burst and or to run far away so i won’t go through a free fall.  and then he  reaches down and brushed a strand of hair off my face and it felt like butterfly wings fluttering against my cheeks and i was muttering to myself, “stay, stay, stay” because that, i’ll never get used to that and i hope he doesn’t either. i hope i fill him enough because he fills me enough. because this beautiful boy who touches my dark parts like they’re light, who explores me with such curiosity and vigor that i’m breathless each time he drags his fingers over my skin and it responds in goosebumps. and i kiss him with feelings of gratefulness because sometimes words aren’t enough.  and thus i’ve learned the language of his touches and he has learned the definition of my sighs and i nuzzle closer  because he’s there, with his smiling eyes and gentle hands, giving and showing me love the way he knows how. and i’m teaching myself to stay and not run away. fingers tightly crossed !

sofa & lamp

i finally got to put together the lamp with the help of some very hard working kitties and i’m goddamn pleased. i still have to hook up to a dimmer switch so i can have romantic date nights !

the sofa is covered by a kitty blanky so if humans come by, i can offer them the sofa without them completely covered in kitty hair.

i still have to organize my living room as it’s now quite crowded with an italian furniture set.

i will be busy playing house this summer and i just can’t wait !!

waiting

 

this year i’m planning a rain garden and plant some flowering plants which attract butterflies and humming birds. a peak into my messy living room and more plants are arriving via post shortly.

my baby plants are waiting indoors as i’m not skilled to knit them some tiny sweaters..  and seeds / bulbs still in boxes awaiting to be planted at the right time… but we are waiting…..

with spring’s arrival we too are re-birthed. begin the rituals of leaving cramped spaces to stretch and breathe fresh air once more. no longer frozen limbs need to be covered in layers of fabric. cast off the blanket, as a snake sheds it’s old skin. take time under the sun to warm and bronze thyself once more. we are like all those who exist during such a time must rejuvenate or be lost to continuous nights of cold. big flowers on twigs in sunlight and spring season in the garden

nature’s spring fever is infectious, yet you have no fear of catching such a bug… the world now wrapped within life’s ultimate hug.

hello march

february, you were a heavy and unforgiving veil, enveloping me and choking out my tired, burdened breath. welcome march, unearth me.

it’s march and let spring begin. it’s three weeks to vernal equinox, well it’s actually 3 days short of three weeks, but what’s three days between friends.

my cozy little house has gotten quite comfortable and conducive to laying down roots. i used to think to never buy furniture because i was scared of settling down and not get my own house. now that couldn’t be further from the truth, i feel very lucky to have this little haven.

“true self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from. — brianna west, from “this is what ‘self-care’ really means

this weekend has been a great to do as the international orders i placed, got delivered so fast which was really astonishing and exciting. i am a sucker for beautiful artistic things and i don’t mind how expensive they may be. in fact, i would rather buy quality pieces which may be expensive than buy things of no value. when i left my old house, i threw out a lot of things which were not that expensive (most of them were like $1000 or so) plus they were destroyed by my kids who clawed at them and as my husband was a neanderthal with no artistic bone, he didn’t want us to pay a lot of money for things and yes of course he did have a point, in that they completely destroyed our very expensive furniture after which, he put his foot down.  now i am an artist, i like to surround myself with aesthetically pleasing stuff and beautiful art, but i put up with this shit and nonsense, primarily because he was the bacon bringer aka he worked while i was pursuing my ph.d. now that he isn’t here to stop me, plus i’m bringing the vegan bacon home, i got back into acquiring stuff. i thought i wouldn’t buy things till i bought a house, on account that i don’t want to have a lot of things to move, but recently i realized that if you pass up on a chance to get something you may lose them as i had my eye on this really rich french draperies which i loved to bits and i put them in my wish list but someone bought them. so i adjusted my thought processes and decided i will buy the things which i fall in love with even if i have to put them all in storage. hence when i saw this beautiful french provincial sofa, i ordered it as well as a beautiful mosaic lamp from turkey and goddamn, fedex was pretty fast in delivering but they were supposed to be delivered on a weekday and so i had to actually convince fedex to let me pick them up on sunday (on account saturday is sabbath and we rest). the boy borrowed a pickup truck from a friend (he drives porsche cayenne, which is like really sexy) and we went and loaded the sofa from france and the lamp from turkey.

so the sofa and the lamp are sitting in the living room, all out of the box but my downstairs currently looks like a tornado ripped zone on account that in anticipation of spring, i have been buying all kinds of plants, indoor and outdoor but they are all currently indoor and i also order things online (pet food, other stuff) and they are all sitting in unopened boxes as yours truly is not very domestic at all and i would rather read or frolic with my cats or play games or watch movies or have sex and not interested in cooking or cleaning and also my maid has gone to her country for a vacation and she would have put them in a neat order and in the meantime, i have been lightly cleaning around the house with a broom but i really need to get someone to come and mop the whole house. i think i need to hire a housekeeper so he/she can also do my laundry and do my grocery shopping for fruits and veggies.

once i assemble them and have my living room to some semblance of an order, i will post the photos as i can’t tell you, how pleased i am with my finds.

this weekend we sat and watched some true crime shows and the

life lessons from true crime shows :

your spouse will murder you / if you’re not married, don’t worry, your lover will murder you / single people shouldn’t feel left out: the stalker, the checkout boy — even the cop who pulled you over — these are only a few of the countless local creeps just dying for a chance to murder you ! / yes all men, statistically speaking, are probably going to murder you / if anyone other than your insurance agent inquires about your life insurance, they’re definitely going to murder you / don’t live in midwest, lest you die violently in midwest, where everyone gets killed by murder / just don’t be a woman

i love murder mysteries (agatha christie being my favorite) and i’m partial to bbc series and i pretty much am in love with a lot of bbc detectives like, poirot, morse, endeavor, and recently i was watching vienna blood (a murder mystery on pbs masterpiece) and this was set in the late 18th century / beginning of 19th century where there are a few references to sigmund freud, beethoven, mahler and i was watching with the boy and i was pretty much orgasming aloud and cooing at the show and how much i would love to live during those times in vienna and being able to attend those concerts (assuming i have beaucoup d’argent) and boy was nodding his head in agreement, and as we got deeper into the story they were showing how they treated patients and we both looked at each other and went”NO” uh, huh, scientifically speaking those were dark ages and yes, i agree that we made lots of progress but man, they were barbaric in their practices. i think eastern medicine during those times was way better and actually i prefer natural remedies anytime and if i haven’t already said this i am a vegetarian for that sole reason and i am careful with my eating habits.

also pbs airs a lot of ‘walter presents’ (i often wondered who this walter may be & i googled and i question his taste in murder mysteries as they are pretty much made for people with low iq) which are very comical and they are usually either french, spanish or dutch.and i usually watch them my language skills for spanish and french) and one time i watched this french murder mystery and it was ridiculous as they kept trying to twist the plot over and over again i was having giggle fits but i did finish watching it.

i’ve had a long and strange unsettling week. but also had a few strong moments of positivity which i’m holding on to. grateful for my safe home, fabulous sunny weather, cats, friends, laughter and for doing years of often hard ugly boring self-care so even my bad weeks are easier to turn around. everywhere i go i live in peace

i’m known for being upright, raw, deep, caring, fearless. i’ve been through hell numerous times and kept fighting (let it be suicide, anxiety, fear) when giving in would have been so much easier. i change constantly. after all that time, i trust, love, care for myself, deeply. i’m so proud of who i am. i have no idea where i’m going, but i’m on my way. and i’m not going to let my fear stop me.

and, good lord, what a fantastic feeling !

je t’en brasse !