My Alternator Has Bit the Dust

Tuesday started out as a pretty average day for me. My girlfriend and I worked out, she went to work to train a new person (we are still working 90% from home), and I started my work day from our dining table.

Sometime in the late morning I realized that we had completely forgotten to pick up the Filipino food that we ordered over the weekend from a local small business. I emailed them to ask if it was still available and also if I could pick it up later that day. They said 5:30pm would be a good time to come over.

5pm rolls around and I make my way to my vehicle. It’s about a 20 minute drive and my GPS has decided to take me through parts of town I didn’t know existed. I notice that my battery light is on. My battery is brand new and the light doesn’t mean that my battery is dying- it just means that the voltage isn’t where is should be and that it is not being charged correctly.

I make it to my destination and just in case the battery is completely drained, I decide to leave my car on while I run inside. I grab the food and I come back to my car, which is thankfully still running. However, then my radio shuts off. Now, my radio hasn’t been working 100% in years, so I thought this was just the natural next step for it. It was not. My gauges and lights also would not turn on. Finally, my car did not want to move forward.

Must be the alternator.

So, I called AAA and requested a tow truck. I was told it could take up to 50 minutes and I said, “Yes, that’s fine.” (It’s not like I really had a choice) I also called my girlfriend and asked her to pick me up. I thought the tow truck would arrive before her, but she beat it. We moved all of my stuff into her car and waited for the truck.

While we were waiting, the people we ordered food from came outside and asked us if we wanted to come in and eat. I said thanks, but no thanks, and my girlfriend said the same. They insisted. So, we went inside and were welcomed to a true feast. It turns out that they were hosting a dinner for all the small Filipino bakers and businesses in the area, so there was a TON of amazing food.

Well, 60 minutes passed and I called AAA again. They said they’re really backed up and that I was next on someone’s list.

Long story short, 4 hours pass before I see AAA. It is 10pm at this point. I am exhausted and I feel bad for staying at a stranger’s house for this long, although I must say that they were very hospitable and kind and did not make me feel bad.

I had plans to walk at the park and maybe cook and spend some time with my lady, but by the time we got home I was drained. I was also stressing out about the high possibility that I would need a new car sooner than I thought.

My car is a 2007 Mercury Mariner. It has 216,000 miles on it. I’ve had it for 7 years and my mother had it before me. It has been through A LOT. It has some engine damage, the paint job is whack, and it burns oil like a mofo. The radio hasn’t worked properly since I was in high school and all the seats in the car are stained (the backseat actually has a huge oil spill). I just think I’m coming to the end of the road with this one.

I’m excited to get a new-to-me car, don’t get me wrong, but it’s the biggest financial step I will have taken thus far in my life. I thought I had more time and that I would have had a higher paying job by this time. I’m trying not to freak out too much; I am working from home and all but one of my classes is online this semester, so that helps.

I’m going to make a spreadsheet with my car options and we’ll go from there.

Anxiety Update

I am writing about my anxiety in this post; however, I want to take a moment to speak about John Lewis. He served in the United States House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th congressional district for 33 years and he was a huge Civil Rights Leader.

“Lewis was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Nonviolent Peace Prize in 1975, the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2001, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) Spingarn Medal in 2002. In 2011 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”  (https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Lewis-American-civil-rights-leader-and-politician)

John Lewis was a phenomenally important human being to Black Americans, but also to the LGBTQ Community. There is no doubt that he changed our country’s history and left an incredible impact that I hope will continue to ripple for decades to come.

Now, the current President of the US made less than friendly remarks in regards to John Lewis in an interview on “Axios on HBO”. In fact, he declined to comment on John Lewis’ legacy and instead chose to talk about how Lewis never attended any of his State of the Union speeches or his inauguration.

I try not to get riled up about anything that Trump does anymore because it’s all embarrassing, but I couldn’t help but feel anger and disappointment that he had nothing nice to say about a man who changed so many people’s lives. Other members of the government- both Democratic and Republican- offered condolences and shared fond memories they had with and of John Lewis. Our President is embarrassing.

While I haven’t mentioned anxiety thus far, talking about the POTUS is a great seg-way because the current state of things in this country give me a great heap of nervous thoughts and concerns.

I would say that most of my anxiety right now stems from government related things and also my family. Most of my family here in the United States are pro-Trump and it’s no fun being with them when they start talking about politics. They always ask me a question or two and I have no desire to engage because I’m not here to change their minds- they are already made up. And, furthermore, they are not going to succeed in pulling me to their side. Political views aside, Donald Trump is just simply not a nice person.

Growing up, we are all told as children to share, be nice, use please and thank-you. We are told to keep our hands to ourselves and not to be mean or rude to others. We are taught to exercise patient and honesty. I remember singing a song in 3rd grade about holding hands with all the children in the world. We were taught to be inclusive and to show everyone kindness.

When I look at Donald Trump, I don’t see the things I mentioned above. I see a bully, I see someone who doesn’t have a filter or boundaries. I see someone who lacks empathy and control. I don’t see someone I can relate to, look up to, or support as a leader of this country.

As a woman, as a lesbian, as someone who’s physical bubble has been wrongly intruded upon, as a partner to an immigrant, as a daughter of an immigrant, and as a best friend of several immigrants, I cannot and will not, ever, support him.

I believe this is all I would like to say on this topic. I hope ya’ll have a great day, and, remember that there is a person running for president that doesn’t have any sexual assault allegations against them: Jo Jorgenson. Just sayin’.

My work pants don’t fit.

I recently tried on my work pants that I haven’t worn since February of this year. To my horror, I could barely close them and sitting was not an option. I have come to realize that I have gained too much weight this quarantine season and I need to lose it.

My girlfriend and I started incorporating more fruits and veggies into our diet about one month ago. We don’t really eat out, but I love to bake and my pastries and cookies became a substitute for fruits and veggies, so we inevitably gained weight. We also started walking at a local park last week. Lastly, today we started participating alongside a workout video; we will do this every morning at 7 AM for 30 days (there is one rest day per week).

The video above is the torture we have decided to put ourselves through. I currently weigh 141 pounds and I am by no means heavily overweight. I’m not looking to lose a certain number of pounds- I simply want to fit comfortably into my work pants again. I’ve gained 90% of this extra weight in my belly/waist area, so that’s the region I’m trying to make smaller (currently 36 inches). We’ll see how this goes.

My summer class (Corporate Finance) has come to an end and I passed with an A. School starts on August 24th and my 4 classes are all classified as “blended learning”. I have yet to discover what that will actually mean, but professors have until August 10th to let us know.

That’s all for now, folks.

COVID-19, BLM, Working From Home and Virtual Learning

Much has happened since early May- the last time I wrote a post. I will bullet point some events below and expand on them further down.

  • My bosses moved back to France and I will probably be working from home through early 2021.
  • My university has announced a “blended learning” plan for the upcoming Fall semester. Some people will have mostly online classes, but I wasn’t as lucky. It is possible for things to change, but for the time being, I will be on campus as per usual. Woohoo.
  • Georgia is now #8 in the United States for highest COVID-19 cases and I live in the 2nd highest county AND I go to school in the highest county.
  • I am at my heaviest weight and none of my jeans fit. I mostly wear rompers because they are easy, loose-fitting, and breezy in this summer heat.
  • My partner and I participated in a protest in Atlanta in June for BLM. We went with some other friends and it was a really nice experience. So many people were there (all wearing masks!) with their animals and kids and homemade signs- it was truly a wonderful sight.
  • My sister has temporarily moved back to GA from FL (just in time, am I right??), but she will be returning in August.
  • I have finished the PS4 game Horizon Zero Dawn and I recommend it to everyone.
  • I got into a tussle on Facebook with my aunt. I am not one to engage with people on FB, but she commented on one of my posts and I replied.
  • I am set to graduate college next year (FINALLY!!!) and I am researching companies I want to apply at. I am also researching how much money people in HR normally make because I wouldn’t even know if I am being undercut.
  • I bought a new laptop (crying face) for $840 because my old one kept shutting down on me and I can’t have that happen during an exam or during something work-related.
  • I made the BEST strawberry cake last week and I am making it again in cupcake form tonight.

So, to expand on a few things:

In case there was ever any doubt about where I stand: Black lives matter. Black trans lives matter. Black lives matter. If you don’t understand those sentences, please see the image below:

Why you should stop saying “all lives matter,” explained in 9 ...
Kris Straub/Chainsawsuit

If you still don’t understand, I literally cannot and will not spend any more energy explaining this.

Moving on.

Overall, I don’t care about my weight until I hit the point where my pants no longer fit, and, well, we’ve hit that point. I don’t really know what my plan is next month; I’m thinking it will involve lots of leggings, sweatpants, and dresses. The wintertime concerns me because I need to dress a little more warmly and most of my comfy clothes are rather thin. I have a friend who was going to get married in September, but I think it’s being pushed back. I started trying to lose weight about one month ago, but I’ve seen minimal change. The wedding gave me a nice deadline and motivation, but I fear that that has now left. We’ll see what happens.

The Facebook Tussle: The post in question was a screenshot of a tweet that the GA governor sent out requesting for everyone to please wear masks. Above this screenshot I wrote something about how it was the dumbest thing I had seen all day because just hours before I had seen that Governor Kemp was suing Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms for issuing a mask mandate. My aunt got upset because she felt like the mandate was taking her rights away and also cloth masks apparently may be more harmful than helpful, so people shouldn’t be forced to wear them. I laughed when I read “rights being taken away” and “rights slowly being stripped away” because from an LGBTQ person’s perspective, I know much more about not having rights than she does. That was just a small portion of the thread of conversation, though. As mentioned above, she went on to say that cloth masks might not be as protective as we think. This prompted me to DM her for the sources that claim this. She sent me an email chain from a woman I assume to be part of her homeschooling group; this woman put together a very extensive document full of links to various articles and studies (some are pro-mask and most are anti-mask, or at least questioning-mask). I was intrigued and I started reading. I got through the first 6. I didn’t just read the summary and quotes that were pulled by the lady, I clicked on the actual links and read the entire article/study. And I found some issues. I didn’t relay any of my findings to my aunt because I didn’t want to argue about it any more and I’m not interested in trying to change someone’s mind who doesn’t want their mind to be changed. Anyway, there were a multitude of flaws in those first 5 articles ranging from the actual authors redacting what they had written to data being used from 1920 to describe the current situation in California. There was also a study that revealed the most promising results of the anti-mask argument, but then I saw it was only relevant to healthcare workers in Vietnam AND they did not monitor hand hygiene AND all data was self-reported- lots of space for human error. I then just stopped reading. Personally, I believe that a cloth mask does not directly prevent COVID-19; however, I do believe that a properly washed and a properly worn cloth mask will greatly reduce the chance of transmission. Ultimately, it is up to the wearer to regularly clean both the mask and their hands.

So, I was planning on staying with the company I currently work for for at least another 2-4 years; however, I am not making the amount of money I want to be making. If I left this company, I would be leaving a lot behind: flexibility, autonomy, fantastic bosses and coworkers- the culture is really amazing. The problem is that I am getting older and eventually (soonish) I want to rent/buy a house with my partner. I want to adopt dogs. I want to have reliable health insurance. I want more job security. Unless my company steps in up in the next 12 months, I am heavily considering going elsewhere. Of course, it could take me a while to get a job- I have friends who graduated two years ago who are still applying day after day after day and it is so discouraging. I hope I have better luck.

I think that is all the expanding I wish to do tonight. I hope everyone has been doing alright and while things are quick scary in the US right now, I feel that a great majority has come together more than ever before to not just take action, but also to listen and to understand people who they were previously indifferent towards. Support Black businesses, recycle your plastics, and don’t be an asshole.

My Sister

For those of you that don’t know, I have a younger sister. She will be 21 this July. We aren’t distant, but I wouldn’t say that we are super close either. We are definitely closer now than when we were young children, though. The fact that we can eat together or be in the same room is huge progress.

I’m not sure when our relationship improved, but it was definitely post high school (2015ish). I wasn’t an angry teenager anymore and she had matured enough for me to feel like she wasn’t a baby anymore.

My sister and I are very different. but I have noticed more similarities as we’ve gotten older. I have always been a super introvert, and while she has become one more as she’s gotten older, she used to be quite extroverted. I suspect that a depressed and emotionally exhausted extrovert might present as an introvert, though.

She’s currently living in Florida with another person she was recently in a long relationship with. I don’t think they’re good for each other. When I was in a questionable relationship I wished that my mom or my sister would have said something about what they saw and felt. I see my sister now in what I see as an unhealthy relationship and I try to tell her what I wish she would have told me: this isn’t good for you and you need to leave. Fortunately, she is temporarily moving back to GA in July. We’ll see what happens.

My sister had difficulty with our parents. It wasn’t entirely her fault. Personalities were all over the place and everyone was always yelling and not actually listening to one another. I tried to stay out of it and only interfered when I was fed up.

She struggled with making trustworthy friends and I disliked most of them because they ended up treating her like trash. She made some unwise decisions over the years and her life in general seemed reckless. I didn’t know how to help, so I just always tried to be there when she felt like talking. I also made sure not to contribute to any internal issues I felt she had: comparing herself to me and putting me on what seemed like an unattainable pedestal.

School was easy for me. School was not easy for her. I had great luck with friends. She did not. I never had any body image issues and I rarely got shit from family (other than the “you need to eat a sandwich” comments). I would say that she was made fun of and ridiculed for the way she looked by people we cared about. Even when I was at my most frustrated and angry with her, I refused to stoop so low as to make fun of her for the things she was most insecure about.

Anyway, the point of this post was to share Noah Cyrus’ new song:

I think this song resonates with things my own sister may have been feeling when she was growing up. As soon as I heard this song I thought of her.

I know I didn’t encourage the comparisons between me and her, but I still feel guilty. I wish things had been easier for her and I wish we were closer and I could’ve been more of a friend, but it is what it is. I can’t change the past, but I will try my best to be there for her when she moves back home.

4.21.2020

As many of you have heard, I’m sure, Georgia governor Kemp has decided to begin reopening businesses starting this Friday. Such businesses include gyms, nail salons, and hairdressers/barber shops. He also said that social distancing still applies. Now, tell me, how the fuck do you implement social distancing at the nail salon??

I will be staying at home for at least another 4 weeks. I will not be a part of the 2nd wave of cases. No, thank you.

Anyway, I’m approaching finals in school. I have 2 tests this week, 2 quizzes, 2 homework assignments, and 1 final team project with a bunch of guys who haven’t even touched it. Next week begin the exams. Woohoo.

Tonight I will be making a lemon poppyseed cake and I am so excited to eat it.

Old Navy is currently (4/21/2020) having a sale that includes $12 dresses and rompers/jumpsuits, so check that out if you have a moment.

Lunette Menstrual Cups are also buy one get one starting tomorrow (4/22/2020). Just use the code CUPTOGETHER and one cup will be free.

I get these emails, so I’m just sharing them with you.

If ya’ll haven’t watched the Netflix show Sense8, you are missing out, my friends. I am hard to convince to watch a new show and I’m super picky about the genre and acting, but my girlfriend came through with this recommendation. Give it a whirl.

That’s all I’ve got for you today. I’ve been procrastinating an essay all day, so I’m going to jump on that.

Please stay home, ya’ll. Don’t put yourselves or others at unnecessary risk.

4/9/2020

I just [successfully] made little dinner rolls from scratch for the first time. I have attempted them in the past, but they always end up very firm and dense; something with the yeast and rising process always goes wrong.

I spend most of my day listening to music, watching Netflix, playing video games, baking, and maybe a little bit of cleaning and laundry, but to be honest I haven’t even been doing that as much as before.

Although I consider myself an extreme introvert, I definitely miss just having the freedom to exit my abode. I’ve been living in my girlfriend’s clothes or in nothing at all- there’s really no in between.

I feel mostly unproductive, so that’s not good. Work is SUPER slow because the business I work for does 99% of their business with schools and they are all closed. Some are partially open on the admin side, but they’re not all accepting deliveries or processing invoices. If we don’t make a certain amount of money by May 31st, then us employees will have to take ANOTHER hour cut and possibly a pay cut as well.

I’m also not totally digging this whole “online school” thing. I don’t do well if I’m not physically in class. I’m not going to lie: When it comes to school, I’m pretty lazy and unmotivated. I don’t like school. I don’t like taking classes that are completely irrelevant to my major but required anyway. Going to school on campus makes listening to the lecture worth it; I paid for parking, the class, the prof, the textbook, but now I’m learning from home just through posted power-points and lecture videos. I should have the self-discipline and the motivation, but I just don’t. College has never been enjoyable and this is NOT helping.

Rant over.

On another note, I’ve been listening to childhood cassettes like Benjamin Blümchen, Bibi Blocksberg, and Elea Eluanda. They’re all German and totally for children, but I like them.

A COVID-19 Update

Atlanta, GA is in the middle of 14-day lockdown and my girlfriend and I are both working from home since a few weeks ago. My university has also moved to teach 100% online for the remainder of the semester. I’m not sure how the upcoming summer semester will go, but I’ve registered for a Corporate Finance class that I know will be a bitch. I’m due to register for fall classes in the next few days as well. Woohoo.

My girlfriend has exposed me to a variety of mobile games (Mario Cart and Words with Friends) and enlightened me to the fact that you can play Sims through your television and now we’re 2 minutes away from calling GameStop to see if they have any pre-owned PS4s.

The songs I am playing on repeat are Demi Lovato’s new song I Love Me and Ava Max’s Kings & Queens.

I have baked cookies cinnamon rolls and more cookies as well as quiche, pizza, and too-much-ginger-broccoli stir fry.

Lastly, my cohabitant and I were engaged in a 3 day monopoly game. I think I’m done with monopoly.

Honestly, I don’t go out much anyway, so this lockdown’s not that different from how I live my normal life; however, I did just recently discover the Atlanta Beltline and it is killing me not to drive there because the weather has been AMAZING (aside from the pollen that is suffocating my partner).

I need to complete my Marketing homework and maybe attempt baking a loaf of bread. I am also going to pick up my sewing hobby again and try creating a kaftan dress from a bedsheet. Pictures to come if it’s not a complete fail.

Date Night: The Science Museum

My girlfriend and I are going to the local science museum for a 21+ experience involving volcanos, so I am thoroughly pumped. I’m told there will be alcohol, music, movies, and “adult” experiments. I really don’t know what to expect.

I shaved my legs and armpit for the first time since October 2019 and I think I might have clogged the drain a little.

My mouth (FINALLY!!!) does not hurt anymore. I was taking 800 mg of ibuprofen every day for the past week as well as rubbing clove oil on my gums every morning and night. I didn’t attend classes on Monday and Tuesday and was unpleasantly surprised with a test when I returned to campus on Wednesday.

Today is Valentine’s Day, yes, but it is also my coworker’s birthday, so a few of us brought baked goods. I made vanilla macarons and vanilla cupcakes. My coworkers brought a chocolate cake with coconut frosting and raspberries on top. It was delish.

I had a meeting with my advisor and I will officially be graduation in May 2021. My body is ready. I will also be starting full-time at my current job this summer, so that will be nice to have a little more income.

For those of you in school and for those of you that haven’t done your taxes: make sure you or your parents claim the American Opportunity tax credit if you’re in your first 4 years of college. It could get you $1,000 and I know ya’ll need it.

I am currently baking sugar cookie bars. I’ve attempted to dual color the icing, so we’ll see if it turns out as I hope it will.

The Freedom of “Not Caring” (in school addition)

When I was younger (ages 10 to 14, I’d say), I had this idea that all of shirts needed to be tight. I also needed my shirts to be pulled down at least halfway over my bottom. I didn’t feel like I looked good if this wasn’t the case. I can’t really explain why I felt this way, but I did. This was only relevant to the clothes I wore when I went to school. At home, I was always in shorts and tank tops running around the backyard.

All throughout grade school and into my first 2 years of college, I would hold my pee until the end of class because I didn’t want people looking at me as I walked out the door and also when I inevitably came back.

While being early to anything is generally a good move, there might be such a thing as being too early. I am still this way today, but for different reasons. Today, I am early to all my classes so I can choose the best spot and have some quiet time before the lecture. However, in grade school I was only early to school/class so that there would be less people to look at me as I walked in.

I used to have SUPER long hair (I’m trying to grow it out again!) and when I wore it in a ponytail, for a period of time, I was convinced that I only looked good if it swung back and forth when I walked. Thinking back on that now, I laugh.

I used to not blow my nose in class because I didn’t want people looking or hearing the ungodly noises coming out of my nostrils.

Okay, so I will stop writing of all of my past insecurities to interject with this: Today, I don’t care about blowing my nose in class, getting up to pee, walking in a little later, the shape of my shirts, and whether or not my hair swings.

Between growing up a little bit and getting more comfortable with all parts of myself, I just don’t care about the general public’s opinions anymore. I figure if I don’t really pay attention to people getting up to pee in class, why the hell would they be paying any attention to me when I’m getting up? Also, I don’t care about people’s clothes- either I like them or I don’t. I don’t make any substantial assumptions about someone if their shirts aren’t tucked or shaped a certain way.

I mean this next sentence in the nicest and most reassuring way possible: The bottom line is that you and I are not of enough interest to people to be constantly judged or shamed or looked at. 99% of the time, people are thinking about themselves and if they are the ones looking weird. They don’t care about you in that way! So, please, just be yourself, look good for yourself, be nice to yourself, and give yourself a fucking break.

Go pee, ya’ll- no one cares.