Saturday, July 4, 2020

100 Days of Staying At Home (and losing my sanity)

disclaimer:
(Due to my laziness, this post was not complete on my 100th day inside. My 100th day was actually June 29th, 2020. Let's just pretend it is that date, so I don't have to live with the guilt of living in a fake timeline. Thanks.

Hi.

*deep breath*

I'M GOING INSANE.

I have been at home for exactly 100 days due to the coronavirus. The COVID-19. The PANDEMIC. That's right. ONE HUNDRED DAYS. I've been through it all. Quarantine, self-isolation, shelter-in-place, a total nation-wide lockdown... EVERYTHING.

This means I have actually, physically, not stepped out of my house for ONE HUNDRED DAYS.

I think, in my entire life, this must have been the longest period of time where I have had to be at home (counting both voluntarily/involuntarily instances). I don't even think me being a premature baby stopped my parents from taking me out in the early days of my life. Or when I got typhoid as a toddler. Or when I broke my collarbone falling from a slide in a playground at age 6.

completely unrelated image. don't worry.

No matter what happened, I don't think I can recall a time when I've had to stay home for such an extensive period.

It's not even like I'm an extrovert that loves interacting with people who has suddenly got their entire life's purpose snatched away from them. I have always been happy to stay home most weekends, and keep my interactions to people IRL to a minimum. However, that was my choice. Once the choice to go out and meet people was taken away, staying at home stopped being fun.

It didn't happen all of a sudden. For the first month at least, I was pretty much all right. I found things to do, like reorganize the entire store room and whip up an ungodly amount of Dalgona Coffees.

I was (and still am) lucky enough to retain my job, and just switch over to working from home. This played a huge part in maintaining a semblance of purpose and routine throughout this entire time at home. Otherwise, I think my mental state would have devolved even further than it has currently.

So. With all this free time, and not being able to utilize it to have healthy interactions (not to mention just getting some fresh air beyond what I can have from sticking my head out a window), there are loads of things I have been doing at home to pass time.

1. Watching Shows

I was never really a big TV show watcher, so it's been kind of nice to immerse myself into stuff that I normally would not have had the time to experience had it not been for this pandemic. I have come to realize that I prefer shows over movies, for the sole reason of the investment in someone else's life for a change - and for an extended period of time - without having to worry about it ending too soon (LOL, that sounds so sad).

Anyway. Since I paid for PicCollage so that the terrible watermark would go away, I am now going to inundate you, the reader, with a collage of every show I have watched within these 100 days so far.


I know that watching eleven shows (with all their seasons) within a hundred days is probably nothing of note for some people (for example, my fiance blitzed through 400 episodes of Diriliş: Ertuğrul while also watching each and every one of the shows I watched PLUS lord knows how many more, all while holding a full time job and getting 8 hours of sleep - don't ask me how), but for me, this was a massive feat. I mean, back when I first got Netflix, I had literally spent one whole year of my life on Gilmore Girls and nothing else, so I've definitely stepped up my game.

I organized the collage as much as I could to depict the genres I was/am most interested in: Thriller/Suspense/Horror/Dystopia/Mystery, Comedy (with some good old representation) and Absolute Trash Reality TV. On a serious note, watching people being sexually charged imbeciles is a perfect palate cleanser in between shows with heavy themes or intense storylines.



2. Reading Books

Now, with the access to Netflix being available on every device I own, I haven't read nearly enough books during my time at home. Reading is something I have struggled with in my twenties, despite being an avid and insatiable reader throughout my childhood and teenage years. Being a huge Stephen King fan, I continued to purchase all his books as they released, but never really got around to reading anything of his (or of anyone else's, for that matter) since the past few years. So, I have a pile of untouched books that were waiting to be cracked open.


I did read one of these, which is The Outsider. I truly enjoyed it and it sparked my love for Stephen King again. I'm planning on reading the whole pile of these within this year. If you have any suggestions for what I should read next (from the above picture), let me know.

3. Creating edible things

I'VE BEEN COOKING/BAKING AS WELL. (I don't know why I decided to write that in all caps. Fake excitement to mask my disdain for suffering the heat of the stove whilst fasting for 33% of lockdown, perhaps?) Apart from the regular Iftar prep, I managed to make/bake a few things I'm proud of. Here's another PicCollage (seriously, I'm trying to get my money's worth of posting as many non-watermarked collages as possible at this point):


For anyone interested, the pics are of a typical Iftar, dynamite prawns, jalapeno poppers, peri-peri grilled chicken w/ baked wedges, brownies and a chocolate birthday cake. I made other stuff as well, but I couldn't be arsed to dig too much into my camera roll to find them.

But yeah.


Don't kiss the chef. We practice social distancing in these parts.

4. Working Out*

*trying to work out.

It's been a struggle, you guys. For the first month, I just let everything go. There was no physical activity whatsoever. My step count never even reached 100 on most days, since all I would do is roll out of bed to my laptop for work and then back in bed to watch a few episodes of the shows I previously mentioned. And not gonna lie, that certainly took a toll on my physical (and mental) health. I was feeling lethargic, irritable and bloated by the end of the first month.

That's when I got inspired to do...

The Chloe Ting Summer Shred Challenge.

I know this challenge became super viral this summer. I managed to finish 2 weeks of it before coming across a thread on how Chloe Ting wasn't a qualified nutrition/fitness expert. So then, that demotivated me to the point of giving up entirely, until I realized I had an old purchased program of FitnessBlender lying around - which I am currently doing. I'll let you know how that goes.


And yeah.

That's what I've been up to in this stay-at-home period. While it may seem like I have been getting stuff done and kept myself busy, it's still really, really tough some days. I know this blog is where I make light of many situations and don't really post about my mental health struggles (*COUGH* wewillignoreeverythingIpostedanddeletedlastyear *COUGH*) but I do wanna say that the title to this post holds some truth. I NEED THAT SOCIAL INTERACTION.

So. Please engage with me in the comments. How have you been spending your time at home? Has your lockdown lifted? Do you have a suggestion for what I should read? Do you want to be workout buddies? Do you wanna swap Money Heist memes? JUST TALK TO ME, THANKS.

Love you. I guess.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

The Most Terrifying Moment of My Life - 2 (yes, it happened again)

In 2013, I wrote a post detailing the most terrifying moment of my life. It is one of my least favorite posts - mostly because I do not like revisiting the horrors of  that incident. Never in a million years would I have ever imagined that something like that would happen to me...a second time.

For anyone who has actually read that post when I wrote it 7 years ago and still remembers what happened:

1. wow you're old. also, how on earth does your brain have that much storage?
2. it happened again, guys. it freaking happened again.

My day started like any other does in the current climate we live in. Waking up at home, eating at home, working from home, sleeping at home - rinse, repeat.


It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that I am spending a LOT of time in the kitchen these days (points at expanding stomach). Initially, it was because the quarantining pRoDucTiViTy that people were showcasing on Instagram seriously got to me. The amount of Dalgona Coffees and Banana Breads on every corner of social media made me want to pull my hair out - but also, made me feel like I was wasting all this extra free time I was bestowed with by not learning a skill.

So I baked and baked and baked and whisked and whisked and whisked.

I spent over one hour compiling these headlines and arranging them into this picture. Don't let it flop.

The Ramadan began, and if you know anything about girls in Ramadan, you know we are forced :) into :) the :) kitchen :) while :) the :) men :) sleep :) all :) day :).

I usually wrap up work at 5 pm and that's when my kitchen duty starts. It's my mum and me doing most of the cooking (with my grandma and aunt periodically assisting) - and after Iftar, it's usually me who does all the washing up. All in all, I get totally free from the kitchen around 9 pm - which would be fine, but...

We have roaches, you guys.

And they emerge at night.

Now, we didn't always have roaches. Okay, I'm lying. We always freaking had a roach problem. It's not just us though - our neighbors have complained of it too, particularly in the summertime. So please don't assume that we just breed those disgusting brown suckers in our cabinets. THE WHOLE STREET RAISES THEM TOGETHER. We got an entire extermination team in last year who absolutely ENDED those roaches' careers. But alas, the sweet relief was temporary. We had a good year without them... and now, they're back in full force.


The thing I hate the most about these scuttling pests are that they really know when to make an appearance. You need the cutting board? Oops, there's a roach stuck on the underside. Washing dishes? Oh dear, Mr. Roach seems to be having a swim - oh wait, he's being sucked down the drain! You're entering the kitchen for a midnight snack? Uh oh, you've busted the Daily Roach Gathering that congregates on the kitchen counters and table and disperses in 0.00005 seconds when you switch on the light.


Anyway. I digress. It was during one of these Ramadan days where (thanks to my completely messed up body clock) I found myself in the kitchen around 11 pm searching for a snack.

And that's when it happened.

It started out innocuous enough. I was rummaging through a cupboard, hoping I could manifest a sleeve of chocolate chip cookies into existence - if not cookies, then at least one of those mini Shahi Chilli Chip packets that simultaneously felt like birth and death when you ate them - when I felt something land on my face.

In that moment, I could not tell you if time stopped, or if I was the one who froze. All I knew was that there was a weight on my left cheek that felt abnormal and alien. From my peripheral vision, all I could see was a dark, unknown mass.

AND THEN IT SPREAD ITS WINGS.

You guys. It was a motherfucking FLYING COCKROACH.

AND IT WAS ON MY FACE.


As soon as the wings spread, I knew I was gone. One hundred percent a dead woman. Flashbacks from when the first time this happened to me kept occurring. At least this time, I had enough presence of mind to scream.

As soon as the aghast cry left my mouth, the cockroach flew off my face and left with the speed of someone that just realized their 4000-rupees-per-session therapy appointment started five minutes ago and they were still home.

In the flurry of thoughts that I had in that moment, one that particularly stuck out was that my first encounter with a flying cockroach was so many years ago and I was so little - maybe that's why it had looked so massive to me at the time? But judging by the size of the one that violated my cheek in 2020, the now - I was mortified to see that the species of flying cockroaches were as huge as ever.

Unfortunately for me, this wasn't the end of my encounter. The flying cockroach was still flitting across the kitchen. It was free to land on the multitude of surfaces in the room, which also included my face again. Thankfully, my banshee-esque scream had summoned half of my household who also ended up staring in horror at the mutated, winged creature for a couple of seconds before snapping into action with bug spray and a broom.


So yeah. This has been the most terrifying moment of my life 2. Here's to hoping part 3 never gets written, because it will never happen. Right? Right?

Sigh. If this incident has taught me anything, it's that I'm cursed and I am to expect another flying cockroach encounter in the next 10-15 years. I just know that this won't be my last rodeo. Oh, and availing extermination services annually is a great idea. Just saying.

Here's a picture my sister made to commemorate the existence of the flying roach. Trust me, it did not look as cute as this at all.

See you really soon,

Furree

Friday, May 1, 2020

Dear Colleague:

No, you did not reinvent the wheel by creating a folder on Google Drive for us to share documentation. Please stop seeking validation by spamming the work group chat with how your 'amazing idea' got 'approval from the boss' and how you can 'have a Zoom training session' to 'teach' people how to 'get used to' this 'new way' of sharing things.

No, you cannot message me at 11:37 pm. Working from home does not mean 'all hours are working hours'. You are 6 hours too late. Either wait for another 10 hours - or alternatively, write your question on a paper, fold it, and insert it any bodily orifice of your choosing.

No, I will not proofread your work - especially work that has nothing to do with our job in the first place! Any professional assistance I can give you only extends to that - professional. I will not spend an hour correcting your numerous grammatical and spelling errors for an essay in an irrelevant course you decided to spend your time on instead of doing your job.

Dear Me:


No, you will not validate your colleague by telling them that they have in fact, reinvented the wheel with their wondrous, innovative and never-before-used way of sharing documentation. You will not praise them for their masterfully quick thinking and their ability to right click and create new folders. You will not give them attention on their weak attempt to impress a bunch of cynical, tired and worn out colleagues who literally do not give two squats about any sort of file-sharing. FAILED 

No, you will not acknowledge any message outside working hours until the sun rises the next day. As the Michael Buble song goes: it's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life... and your life after 6pm and before 9am has absolutely nothing to do with any of your colleagues. In fact, you should reply snarkily! You should tell off your colleague for disturbing your peace of mind and invading the sanctity of (what should be) your private time! FAILED

No, you will not waste your time working for free on something that is completely unrelated to your occupation or areas of expertise. Something that you will most likely not even be thanked for. Something that will have all your effort go uncredited. You will not... correct that spelling error... the way that sentence is structured... that... apostrophe placement... FAILED

No, you will not just write this on your blog like a spineless, ball-less person. You will tell your colleague about how you will not be belittled, underestimated and taken for granted. You will stand up for your time, privacy and professional limits. You will!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

...

FAILED.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Update: I'm Engaged and Before You Say No One Cares - I Care. So There. A 12 Year Old Wrote This Title.

Before the coronavirus was out there destroying lungs, families, economies, livelihoods and mental peace, it was roaming around a random bat's intestine*.

Around this time of COVID-19's bat-intestinal-running**, something else was happening in the world.

MY ENGAGEMENT.

Yes. It happened. I finally became one of those godforsaken people who appeared in the sudden wave of yearly social media posts announcing engagements, weddings, pregnancies or childbirths. I was probably the reason someone rolled their eyes at their feed and scrolled a little extra fast that day. But it's okay.

Thankfully, it wasn't arranged. Lmao. That's all I have to say. Post over. Bye.



But no, for real. I dated my now fiance for many years before we got our families to make it happen. Since the engagement took place in January, it really felt like a great beginning to a new year (LOL at that now). Well. At least for me, my year had a good 3 month run before things started going south with the current situation of the world.

Preparing for my engagement was super fun. I knew I wanted to wear pink, so that's what I wore. I chose the exact color and the fabric, and got my outfit stitched by a tailor. While it was definitely not as convenient as picking something off a rack, I had the satisfaction of the dress looking and fitting the exact way I imagined. I got recommended an event planner who actually did a gorgeous job with organizing the decor, food and photography for the event. There definitely was stress in the process, but I tried to stay as calm and collected as I could. Partly because I didn't want my skin to break out. But mostly because I knew it wasn't worth losing my sanity and not being able to enjoy probably one of the biggest events of my recent life over some bullshit that wouldn't matter the second the ring was on my finger. Haha. Also, I was really unhappy with my makeup on the day.... But that's ok. The photos are fine so I'm not too pressed.

The engagement itself was quite a small function, as only our close (practically only immediate) family attended. I liked it the way it was, but now I'm actually looking forward to a larger function where I can go crazy with the guest list in the form of my wedding.

We plan(ned???) to get married early next year, but who knows if that will still happen. I'm optimistic based on the general statistics and projections as well as my faith in science and modern medicine - but nothing's for sure anymore, and that's a bit disheartening.

So yeah. It doesn't really feel weird being engaged. I don't know why I had thought it would feel weird in the first place. But yeah. It's the same as having a boyfriend, but... idk, having an extra sense of security in the relationship I suppose? Having more people know about us (especially family and community members) is definitely something I'm getting used to. I am so adapted to hiding every facet of my personal life from people that having someone (or everyone) know I'm officially with a dude is still pretty unnerving.

Oh well. I actually wish I had more to say. I'm still getting the hang of writing effortlessly on here. But that's about it. I'm ENGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGED.


*not scientifically accurate
** seriously, not really. please. don't come to me for accurate info. i don't even have a degree. any degree. lol