Monday, December 28

Thankful for these little fur babies who helped me through the holidays!

Merry (late) Christmas to my friends who celebrate the holiday, and to everyone, I hope you all had a happy, safe weekend with your friends and family! My Christmas was pretty up-and-down, but overall uneventful. Actually, the entire past week was so simultaneously bad and yet anticlimactic in a way I can’t describe. I guess the best place to start would be last Tuesday.

I went into work like any other day, and the plan was that I would work Mon-Thurs and then take the bus to see Nathaniel for Christmas. That whole fiasco was actually an entirely different stress in my life, but I’ll touch on that later. For now, let’s focus on Tuesday and onward.

My roommate texted me on my ten minute break to let me and my other roommate know he had tested positive for COVID, and that’s pretty much where things took a downhill dive. Honestly, though, I feel like I was so numbed out from the other things that were upsetting me in my life, I kind of just added the COVID stress to my mental tab and didn’t immediately get upset about it. I told my shift manager, who told me I needed to go home and quarantine for ten days in isolation (over Christmas, I might add.) Which I was more than happy to do for the sake of keeping everyone safe, and I agree quarantining until I had a negative test was a good idea, but still, it was such a bummer that Nathaniel and I had been racking our heads trying to work out a plan for me to come see him, and then once I did work something out, I had to stay home anyway. 

One of the biggest things that was stressing me out was the fact that I would not get paid for this quarantine time. The first thing I did was go to Tufts to take a COVID test, which literally took two hours because the line was out the door, and then I applied for a grant from Starbucks for the pay I would be losing by staying home. After I’d done pretty much everything I could do to make my situation less stressful, I sort of just accepted the reality that I was going to have a very lonely, isolated Christmas by myself.

By the way, my infected roommate DID go home to his parents so he could properly isolate, and my other healthy roommate was out of state, so it was truly just me and the rats in the apartment. And yeah, it was kind of awesome, being able to keep my bedroom door open and play music and walk around in my underwear, but it was still eerie and sad and weird to be so isolated for so many days. However, the good news is I did NOT have to be isolated for ten days! Because my COVID test came back negative (thank god) and my infected roommate isn’t coming back until he has a negative test, I was able to properly clear myself of all exposure and come back to work today, Monday the 28th. 

Actual Christmas Eve and Christmas day felt like any other day. I woke up, I did dishes, I played the sims, I hung out with my rats, and I mostly just hung around my room. It could have been a lot worse; at least I wasn’t sick, you know? Still, and I think a lot of people feel this way, I would have been so much happier if I could have at least seen my friends and family. 

I’m happy to be back at work again, because I really love my co-workers and it’s nice to be making an income again! My boss did tell me that I have 22 accrued sick hours I can use, so I just went ahead and used all of those to make up for the three week days I was out. It all ended up working out in the end- I’m still going to have a decent paycheck and pay my rent, I spent a lot of bonding time with Susie and Jenna, and honestly, I’m just going to look back at this as a winter vacation. 

I’ve been going through a bit of a funk lately, related to numerous things in my life, and having to rely on texting and social media to communicate with others hasn’t been helpful for me because it’s so difficult to really communicate with people meaningfully and effectively that way. I’m going to try to be easy on myself this week and focus on things that make me feel happy and productive- self care, keeping my room and my apartment tidy, staying on top of chores, and giving myself a lot of pet therapy. My mom always seems to know just what to say to make me feel better, and today, her advice was that I don’t have to make a decision about anything today, I can just let my life run its course and see what happens. I’ve felt a bit better since I’ve talked to her, and I think I’m beginning to remember who I was before this fog took over me, if that makes sense.

I hope you all have a great day and a great week. I personally am looking forward to brighter days ahead and I’m looking forward to continuing on this path to 2021.

If you clicked onto this article thinking reading four books was a lot, I have news for you: I’m actually reading twelve books. These are just the new additions to the other eight I was already reading. 

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I’ve always been someone who loved to read multiple books at once, and every time I find a new title I love, I’ll just throw it into the mix! Two of these books were sent to me from my favorite author, Wendelin Van Draanen, and the other two are books Nathaniel lent to me. I won’t bother going through the over handful of books I’m reading, because I already summarized them in another article. 


Hope in the Mail | Wendelin Van Draanen | Reference work, young-adult nonfiction

Like I mentioned before, Wendelin Van Draanen is my favorite young adult author, and she very graciously offered to send me some of her books after I interviewed her a couple of weeks ago. I was so happily surprised, especially when I discovered that she had autographed the books for me. Wendelin, if you’re reading this, thanks so much! Hope in the Mail is an autobiographical reference book for young readers who love writing. As a writer myself who has always wanted to publish my very own book, I have found Hope in the Mail to be so sweet and inspirational. Wendelin has a very strong voice in her writing, and reading this book feels like having a conversation with a friend. I’m planning to write a more in-depth review of the book after I finish it, so keep an eye out for that!


Road Rash | Mark Parsons | Young adult fiction

This was another title sent to me from WVD, but this book was actually written by her husband, Mark Parsons. She sent it to me because we discovered that Nathaniel is a drummer who loves to write, just like Mark, and she thought Nathaniel and I could have a cute little book club together. So Nathaniel has his copy, and I have mine. It’s not a book I would normally walk into a store and pick up for myself, but that actually makes me love it more. I’m really excited to see where this story goes, and I’m looking forward to hearing Nathaniel’s thoughts on the book as well. 


Cat’s Cradle | Kurt Vonnegut | Satirical postmodern

Speaking of Nathaniel, the next couple of books are ones that he has kindly lent out to me. He had previously given me Slaughterhouse Five to read, and I enjoyed it so much, he decided to follow it up with Cat’s Cradle to continue the Vonnegut streak. I never thought I would like Vonnegut, to be honest: I struggle with media and literature that is dark and bleak, but there’s something about this author that I (and so many others) love. He’s dark and bleak for sure, but Kurt Vonnegut also has an irresistible sense of humor that draws you in and leaves you wondering which direction the story will turn next. Slaughterhouse Five destroyed me in the best way possible, so I have high hopes for this novel as well. 


Lou Reed: A Life | Anthony DeCurtis | Biography

Last but not least, this is another novel from the Library of Nathaniel. As some of you probably know, I’m a huge fan of The Velvet Underground, and I’m particularly very fascinated by Lou Reed. Nathaniel dug this out of his closet for me a few days ago and I immediately started reading. He’s definitely the stereotype of a classic rockstar: damaged, entitled, and wild, but he’s also such a true artist with an incredible life story. I haven’t picked up a biography in a while, so this will be a nice expansion from my usual preferred genres. 

Anywho, those are all the new additions to my bookshelf this month! It’ll probably take me a few months to get through all of these, but that’s okay; I have all the time in the world to read. Let me know what books you guys are currently reading in the comments below!