Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: Covid-19

Fearing the new and the After Times

In a few days, I will be fully vaxxed. And I’m still feeling the effects from the second shot. This is not to discourage anyone from getting the shots. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. It’s just that I am the type who wants to have all the information available so I can make a good decision and prepare for it. Because I knew the second shot was worse than the first for many people and I had looked up the possible side effects, I was prepared. It helped that I knew I was someone who reacted badly to shots in general. I had a reaction to the first shot and I had a small achy bump on the jab site until I got my second shot three weeks and one day later.

I bought easy-to-eat foods before the second shot (ha! I first wrote boss), including gluten-free crackers and Kite Hill Cracked Black Pepper soft spreadable plant-based cheeze (no dairy). I was prepared to do nothing more than feed my cat and watch endless YouTube videos, which was pretty much what I did. It’s almost two weeks after the shot and I’m still tired as fuck. My arm is a little sore and I get body aches randomly, but I’d say I’m 75% better. So tired, though. So very tired.

Veering wildly, I’ve been watching Eurogamer’s Aoife Wilson play Resi VIII because I like her and I like Lady D, even though I am not a Resi fan. I don’t find horror games scary at all. I don’t know why that is. Actually, I don’t find horror movies that scary, either–especially the kind with jump scares. Psychological horror is different. But, the last Resi, eh. It was just body horror, which I don’t like at all. I will say that PT by Kojima was very tense, but that’s probably the closest I’ve gotten to scared while watching a game. I’m squeamish in that sense. But scary? No. I didn’t find Resi 7 scary at all. Then again, I didn’t play it. But I like the aesthetics of Resi VIII and the vampire ladies, of course. Oh, who the hell am I kidding? It’s all about Lady D. I just adore her in a large part because she’s a middle-aged woman who looks her age* and she’s not stereotypically hot.

I just went down the rabbit hole of reading the tweets from Maggie Robertson who voices and did the mo-cap for Lady D. She is definitely not what I expected (blond and cheerful) and I am here for it. She’s a delight and so appreciative of all the Lady D love. I want to be Lady D for Halloween or some other time when I can dress up. I have the boobs to do her justice and she just ticks off all my boxes. For cosplaying, I mean. I still find it funny that people are SO thirsty for her, but I’m glad. Anyway, I’m tired. This is all for now.

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My body is not a temple

clyde wallace, the wolf-bear, introduces himself.
I’m a wolf! I’m a bear! I’m Clyde Wallace and I’m both.

In the weekend post at AAM, someone asked what you would wish for if you had three wishes. The twist was that the first wish had to be for yourself, the second had to be for everyone, and the third could be whatever. I thought it was an interesting question, so I thought about it a bit. The second one I waver between everyone not having to worry about the basic needs being met (housing, healthcare, etc.) and eradicating all isms. The reason I don’t make those the second and third wishes is because I want to make a good welfare to all animals wish as well. Oh, of course, there can be no wishing for more wishes.

The first was the most interesting because there were a ton of things I could have said–be a best-selling author, know all the taiji weapons forms, etc. Or be the best at FromSoft games in all the world. But the first thought I had and the one that stuck to me was good health, both mental and physical. That seems especially relevant now and I’m going with that one. My father ends every conversation with a pompous monologue about how health is the most important thing and as annoying as it is, he’s right. So much of my life has been shit because of my varying health issues. I would get rid of them in a heartbeat if it were possible.

Back to Cozy Grove by Spry Fox. The biggest tip I could give to a newcomer would be to take the game as it is. When I first started playing, I would get impatient because there was so much I couldn’t do at the moment. I didn’t like that the game would introduce things such as the brokenhearted imps without me being able to do anything about it (no cocoa beans). It stressed me out until I realized that there was no negative consequence to not being able to do something at the moment. I mean, I didn’t like it, but I was able to let it go.

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Nearly a week of feeling like shit (get vaxxed)

Nearly a week since my second jab and…it’s not going well. I wrote about the first few days in this post and I want to expand on that in this post. Sunday sucked. Was really bad. Woke up Monday (yesterday) feeling as if I had been hit by a pickup truck which was better than being hit by a semi. Still was exhausted and taking it easy, but I was cautiously optimistic that I was on the mend. Then, last night (evening) hit me hard in the face. I was smacked with a “I have to shut my eyes now” exhaustion that I have not felt in a long time. Woke up around ten or so feeling wiped out and moped about for a bit before falling back asleep. Woke  up today completely wrecked.

It didn’t help that I ate a big heaping of asparagus last night and paid the price this morning. To be blunt, diarrhea every ten minutes for an hour. That’s what happens when I eat something that doesn’t agree with me, but it usually happens immediately after–not the next morning.

The heat in my arm had lessened greatly then came back with a vengeance last evening as well. Now, it has lessened again but it’s still got slight heat. Also swollen and sore. I’m not a happy camper. This is all not fun at all. Still worth it, obviously, but I wanted to be frank about my experience because people have been pooh-poohing the possibility of a bad reaction.

Knocked out by the second jab (get vaxxed, tho)

Got the second Pfizer jab on Thursday (it’s Sunday as I’m writing this) and it’s been a trial. The first shot was like this. Day of shot, no reaction until around 11 p.m. Then, the injection site swelled up and my arm started aching. Next day, pure exhaustion plus the arm issues. Third day, less exhaustion, but still some and the arm stuff. Exhaustion lessened as did arm stuff each day. Still, my arm still had the bump and was sore to the touch by the time I went to get my second jab, three weeks and one day later. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting and except for the two days of exhaustion, more an inconvenience than anything else. Yes, the jab site was sore, but not enough to hinder me from my day-to-day activities. A week after the shot, it was only sore when I poked it (which was once every few days to see if it was still sore).

I went into the second shot cautiously optimistic. I was expecting a reaction, but based on the first shot, I was hopeful that it wouldn’t be too bad. The shot itself was no thing, much like the first one. I barely felt the needle go in (I have a high pain tolerance, though) and no immediate reaction. Well, a bit of sweating, but that could just be because I was hot. I get overheated easily and the temps have risen considerably in the last week. I waited my fifteen minutes then left, feeling as fit as a fiddle. Except the damn sweating.

Went through the day feeling fine. Then, at 11:30 p.m., just like last time, bam! My arm swelled up like a ballon and the jab site was hot to the touch. Very hot. My arm started aching and it was much more noticeable than the first time. Still, it wasn’t terrible. The next morning, I woke up not feeling great. I emailed my taiji teacher saying I was skipping class, but I was able to do my daily routine, more or less. I was dragging, to be sure, but that’s my normal life, anyway, and this was only a bit worse. I was optimistic that it wouldn’t be terrible.

Then, I crashed. Hard. Around five-ish at night, I was hit with pure exhaustion and fell asleep. I woke up around ten, chills coursing through my body. I don’t get cold so that was an indication that something was wrong. My arm was sore as fuck and I just wanted to sleep. I fell back asleep around two, then woke up at four. Fell back asleep around five and got up at eight-thirty in the morning. That really sucked, by the way. I hate stop-and-start sleep, which used to happen to me all the time. When I got up for good, I felt as if a semi truck had hit me, ran over me, and reversed before running over me again.

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New year, hopefully not the same as the old

A new year is a strange thing. We put all this weight on it especially after a year like last year. How many of us (including me) vocalized our relief at seeing the backend of 2020? It was as if we felt we could collectively turn the page once the clock rolled over from 11:59 p.m., December 31, 2020 to 12:00 a.m., January 1st, 2021. It makes sense emotionally because we’re apt to look for categories and we are the best at putting arbitrary definers on things. So, seeing the year roll over into a new one, our brains say, “New slate!” It’s natural and normal, but reality doesn’t work that way.

Side Note: See Boris Johnson abruptly putting country on Tier 5 lockdown. There have been a lot of issues with the tiered lockdowns and the abrupt announcement that the country was going to Tier 5 without the law actually put in place, well, that’s just Boris being Boris. Which is a lot like our president being our president.

Side Note II: Speaking of this president (two weeks now. Two weeks now), I don’t know how exactly to say this, but why is anyone surprised by what the president is doing? He’s a narcissistic, arrogant, ignorant asshole who cannot stand to look bad or to lose. He’s a vain, pompous jerkwad who believes anyone who’s flattering him in the moment. Of course he was going to do everything he could to take down the country before leaving. If anything, I’m disappointed with how pedestrian and mundane he’s being about it. Lawsuits and threats? Come on! That’s bush league. Kidding aside, I’m bracing for the reaction of his supporters when it sinks in that, no, he can’t bully his way into another four years.

Side Note III: I’m really just done. Not with this year, though that’s quite possible, but everything in general.




Holidays in a weird and wild world

Note: I don’t celebrate holidays. I feel the need to get the way before I go on my screed. 

Thanksgiving is coming up and it could not come at a worst time in terms of Covid cases soaring in America. In my state, you cannot gather with another household at all now because our cases peaked at 7,500 cases in one day. I don’t think the strictures have gone far enough even though I understand why the governor had to walk the tightrope. I really didn’t like the press conference, however, because it was definitely targeted at the yahoos who refuse to wear a mask because ‘MURIKA FUCK YA!

To wit, he praised everyone for doing so much and emphasized how hard it was and how unfair it was. I don’t disagree with the latter, but I am not at all down with the former. So many people have flouted the rules and/or don’t think Covid is an actual thing. Then, he went on to emphasize that this four week restriction was going most definitely going to only be a month because the vaccine will certainly be ready to go by then.

I mean, what. But that wasn’t the worst of it. He ended by saying he knew that come April, we would be sitting in that Twins stadium maybe without a mask, sitting with your brother-in-law having a hot dog and a beer. There is so many things wrong with this statement. One, the fact that he was so positive about the timeline. It’s one thing to say something like ‘with the information we have, it’s likely’ or something similar. But he phrased it in a way that made it inevitable, which I think is a recipe for disaster. I know he wants to keep people’s spirits up, but that isn’t the way to do it.

Secondly, the whole situation is aimed specifically at a certain type of person. I’ll just be clear–the Covid deniers. That’s not something I would do even in the Before Times, and it make it very clear that the press conference was not for me. It was for the recalcitrant assholes who whine about freeeeeedum and personal choice. Mostly Republicans, but not all of them. There’s a thread in Ask A Manager’s weekend post about Thanksgiving and whether or not to travel for it. Most people came down on the side of not traveling, especially as many states have come out with no mixing households mandates.

There were more than a few people, however, who disagreed. They were thoughtful about it and said that it was up to each individual (or family) to assess their risks and be careful when comingling households. They pointed out how devastating the lockdowns/restrictions have been to the mental health of people. They were right about the latter part, but so very wrong about the former. It’s part of why we are where we are right now–the emphasis on individual choice.

My parents bring up Covid every time they call. They say that cases have to be down, right? They can’t understand why the numbers keep going up. Their country, Taiwan, has been the platonic ideal of how you should deal with a pandemic. I’ve had to tell them over and over again that the things that worked in Taiwan wouldn’t work in America for a variety of reasons, but the biggest one is because  individual freedom/choice has become fetishized in this nation.

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50,000 ways to write a novel

Let’s talk NaNoWriMo for a minute. Or, in my case, NaNo Rebel. As I’ve mentioned, I have no problem writing 50,000 words in a month (that’s not a humblebrag. Just an outright brag) and I’ve long since decided to do my own thing instead of holding down the basics. Another rule of NaNoWriMo is that you start the novel on the first day of the month and not a moment before. I found that to be restrictive as well because I was usually in the middle of something by the time November arrived. This time, I already had 25,000 words written and I was aiming for 100,000 more. I’d done it before for NaNoWriMo before–and more–but this year is not like any other. *waves at the world around me*

My meta-goal is to finish this novel by the end of the year. The other two novels in this trilogy are roughly 230,000 words each and I see this one being similar. That means 100,000 words in November and 100,000 in December. I have a 20,000-word excerpt that I wrote during the last novel which I decided fit better with this one. I don’t know where I’m going to pop it in, but I’ll find a place for it. It’s not finished, either, and it has some implications for the bigger picture. I’m also going off on a weird tangent that may or may not make it into the final product. It’s interesting and sheds a light on a character who was minor in the second book, but is emerging as a main player in the third.

I’m interested in doing a side project that has a short story about each character’s backstory. I’m not sure I’m going to do it, but this weird side tangent is similar to that. While my original goal is to finish this novel by the end of the month, there’s another part of me that is more interested in going off on all these tangents. I don’t know if it’s because of my usual distaste for the end of things or because I truly just want to remain with these characters. They seem to have more to say and it’s not necessarily related to the main story. It’s like the sidequests in video games–they may not be necessary for the main game, but they certainly make things more interesting.

This book is really interesting in that I know how the last fifty pages are going to go–until the very end. I don’t know how I’m getting there and the motivation for the main character I previously mentioned has drastically changed. I had one idea in mind for her and then one day, another idea hit me. I liked the second idea better and could make it fit with the rest of the story. Now, I’m building for that end, but I’m not sure how it fits in with the bigger picture.

It’s good that I have this side stuff to invigorate me because I’m struggling with the main story. I don’t know how to get where I need to be, which is why I’m taking all these side trips.

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Fighting mad

I’m still feeling shitty. I’m doing another excavation as to what is causing my digestive issues. Strawberries for one. Also, berries are really frustrating in that they go bad in three days, but that’s not the point of this post. Strawberries are starting to hurt my stomach, which is a shame. Blackberries and blueberries are on the cusp.

I woke up feeling super shitty today and slammed down two migraine meds (non-prescription). I’ve been trying not to use them every day because I don’t want to blunt the usefulness, but that has meant white-knuckling a few days where I didn’t use them.

I’ve had to pare back on my taiji weapons because I just can’t do it all. I mean, it’s a lot to begin with, but my body is not up for doing the whole thing. I don’t like it, but there we are.

Slouching towards a new normal

It’s month…five? I think? of personal lockdown, and I’m pass the incandescent rage I was feeling a month ago. Now, it’s just resignation, almost fatal. A lot of numbness. My brain is still not able to be as productive as it was in the Before Times, but I just work around it. The outcome isn’t as good as it was before, but I’m trying to be forgiving of myself for that. I’ve set myself an ambitious goal to take me through the end of the year, and I don’t want to talk about it yet. It has to do with writing. I feel comfortable sharing that, but I’m going to keep the detalis to myself. I find that if I talk about a project too much as I’m doing it, I talk more than do.

This is a huge stretch for me, and I’ll be amazed if I accomplish it. I feel as if I need to set an ambitious goal, however, because I have no motivation otherwise. Wait. That’s not completely true. I feel motivated with my taiji weapons, but that’s it. I don’t want to talk to anyone other than a very few people, and I recognize that my depression is settling in. It’s not severe as it was before, but it’s there. I think back wistfully to the first two months of the pandemic when I was doing better than most people in general. I think it’s because I’m intensely introverted in general and work from home, anyway, so the physical ramifications weren’t that overt for me.

Now, however, I’m over it. I know there are people who are moving on as if the pandemic never happened. I can understand why because it’s draining. It’s awful to think about doing this for maybe a year or more. The thing is, though….Let me preface this by saying I understand that there are people who have to go out there for work, being on the front line, whatever. I also know that there are areas where the risk is low. Social (physical) distancing, masks, blah, blah, blah. I want to get that out of the way because I know it’s not everybody, but that said, fuck all y’all who are like, “100 people inside six foot dinner party LOL”. I can’t help thinking how much better things would be right now if we had taken this seriously from the start. I can’t blame people in general for the first few months because it was a shit-show from a governmental and public point of view. The government really fucked up how they presented it and dealt with it in the beginning. Now, however, it’s pretty simple. Don’t do anything that isn’t necessary. The more people and the smaller the place, the more risk. Masks help cut down on the risks. Don’t touch your face and wash your dang hands. Those are the basics.

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Slipping away

I’m done. My sleep has been a hot mess, and how the hell did I ever deal with this in the past? I can’t believe I used to get by on four hours of sleep and that I used to go to bed at eight in the morning. One thing I was working on before the pandemic started was getting my sleep on track. I wanted to be more like normal people because…I don’t even know why. I think because while I like being awake when other people are sleeping, I do feel like even more of a freak for being on the opposite side of sleep for most people. In addition, normal life was hard to navigate when I was on the late night tip. If I had any appointments, I tried to make them as late in the afternoon as possible, but it was still hard to make it to them. And it would throw me off my game for the rest of the day.

It’s not a matter of restfulness, either, because I’m always tired. It’s just a fact of life. Much like I used to always have headaches. They were lowkey and I was able to ignore them most of the time, but they were there. It’s the same with sleep. I’m always tired. It doesn’t matter how much or how little I get. There are days when it’s worse than others, obviously, but it’s always there.

Anyway, I was making strides in my sleep pattern before the pandemic hit. I started pushing my sleep time…back? Forward? Earlier. Since I was consistently going to bed around five-ish, I pushed it back to four. After a week or so, I pushed it back again to three. In this fashion, I managed to get it to one/one-thirty. My goal was midnight, but I was ok with where I was at. Then, during the pandemic, it began to become a bit more elastic. It was one-thirty to two, which, while not great, was fine. Then, the phone call. My meltdown. The immediate panic.

Side note: Briefly, my mom called, and I knew immediately that she wanted to say something she knew I wasn’t going to like. I could tell because when I asked how she was, her voice got that tone that it gets when she has something unpleasant to say and she added a little laugh, which is also a tell. Of course, that put me on guard, and I was predisposed to dismiss whatever she had to say. I tried to be patient, but let’s face it. Things were tense between us whenever we talked, and I was not in the mood for difficult.

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