Life

We caught Covid.

May 18, 2022

I didn’t catch it from HersheyPark last August, or the indoor wedding that I was advised to skip in October, or from the Walt Disney World trip in January. Or from going to see a show in February, or going back to the office 1x/week starting in March*, or from going to TNP’s giant conference in mostly-unmasked Tennessee. Not even the baseball game on Mother’s Day. Or from the now-dozens of times I’ve eaten indoors in restaurants.

I didn’t catch it from any of those bad decisions.

positive covid test
Look at that T line, brightly doing its thing.

Instead, I caught it from doing mundane errands on a Tuesday. Tuesday, the dullest day of the week. Tuesday, May 10th. I took BrunhIIlde to a NJ inspection center before work, stopping at Dunkin’ Donuts for a coffee and muffin on the way home. I worked at home all day and after work ran to Target for some groceries. I masked at Dunkin’ and Target, but not at the inspection station because it’s in a big garage structure with both sides open. But masking doesn’t work when you’re one of a handful in the store with it on, and we’re at a point where the only ones who can be blamed for this mess are the ones spreading harmful misinformation or the government that quit being proactive and forthright about Covid months ago.

Wednesday I was fine. Thursday night I was a little hoarse, but chalked it up to work’s HVAC, which sometimes blows the dust around. Thursday night into Friday morning, I laid awake in bed wondering if I was catching a cold. Friday morning I woke up with a cold. I tested negative, so continued about my day. I felt really run down Friday afternoon so took the afternoon off for a nap.

Saturday I woke up and was definitely unwell. I tested again Saturday morning, and if you’re familiar with an at-home Covid test, you do the snot collection, mix it with fluid, drop some fluid into a test cartridge, and wait for the results. As the fluid absorbs its way up the test strip the control line usually appears first, and if you’re positive, the test line will appear below the control line within 10-15 minutes. I have done this dozens of times. But on that particular Saturday, the test line showed up immediately, even before the control line appeared. I thought the test was bad, but when the fluid hit where the control line was, that line showed up immediately as well.

It was the only two line positive test I’ve ever seen. 😉

I didn’t even have the luxury of the 10 minute wait to worry. Done. Positive. I left a message for my doctor, and when he called back we talked about Paxlovid. He thought I’d get through this fine, so we didn’t go that route.

sofa with tissues, dayquil, snacks, and water in the background
My Covid Corner.

WM tested positive on Sunday, May 15th. His birthday. He didn’t catch it from the thousands of now-unmasked students at his high school. He caught it from me.

My MIL is still fine, and although we’re taking plenty of precautions, this is very contagious. But she has had her 2nd booster and I hope it’s doing its thing.

His and Hers matching positive Covid tests

And here we are, on day 6. To say that this strain of symptomatic Covid is “like” a cold or bronchitis or flu is wrong, because I know how my body works with those illnesses and this one is brand new. I had a high fever, but it didn’t give me chills like a fever does. And it disappeared without breaking. The fever just … left. I had head congestion so severe that my head and eyes throbbed for days. I experienced fatigue that was so deep that I couldn’t really sleep. My taste and smell are dulled but not gone. My appetite is non-existent. That is not me. I never lose my appetite. Bizarre. Like nothing else I’ve had.

I worked this morning and by lunch was pooped, so I took a half sick day to recuperate. Tomorrow I’ll aim for a full day.

My congestion is easing up, but my voice is shaky and I have a dry cough. Today is my last day that I have to remain in the house. Starting tomorrow, I can go out as long as I wear a mask for the next five days. I’ll take a test first.

With every ounce of sincerity, I am so thankful that I had the privilege to stave it off this long. Yes, this 2022 strain is rough, but Alpha and Delta were killers. I am thankful I had the privilege to buy time and get vaccinated and boosted, and I wonder what this would have felt like without.

In a very weird way, I’m glad to just get this over with. I’ve been so frightened for so long and when that second line popped up (first – it was really really fast!) I felt a wave of relief.

Looking forward to getting completely past this and enjoying my immunity bump this summer.

* My choice – TNP is bringing us back 1 day a month starting this summer. But we’re not banned from the office so I’ve been using it as my $7/day coworking space.


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Reading

Show Us Your Books – May 2022

May 11, 2022

I haven’t updated since last book review? And I have how many crummy drafts? Five? Do I even do the April Extras now that we’re 11 days into May? Eh, it’ll all shake out. It’s just a blog, not a job.

Three books read this month! Goodreads is still asking me to set a goal. Not this year.

Onto the books! I use the Goodreads rating system, which is:

  • One star: did not like it
  • Two stars: it was ok
  • Three stars: liked it
  • Four stars: really liked it
  • Five stars: it was amazing
show us your books title graphic

Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers #4) by Penny Reid– Okay, listen. I’m far past caring about any individual brother in this series. I am instead completely fascinated by the little town of Green Valley, Tennessee and how it’s just the epicenter of any drama you can think of. Shit goes DOWN in Green Valley. With this book’s Winston brother (Beau) finding his soulmate girl, it becomes FOUR Winston brothers finding twoo wuv in exactly one year. I figure this because their mother was already dead in book 1, and this book has the 1 year anniversary of her passing. So in this book, Cletus (book 3, hooked up with banana cake girl) hires Shelley to work at the Winston auto shop because Beau’s twin Duane (book 1) and Jessica are going to Spain. And in the background plans are being made for Jethro (book 2) and Sienna’s wedding.

Shelley has OCD and came to Green Valley to pull herself together and seek help from a local therapist. Shelley has actual, real, OCD and not the “tee hee I have to make sure the curling iron is unplugged 3 times before I leave tee hee” kind of OCD. Shelly has ugly, compulsive OCD and I’d imagine if you weren’t familiar with OCD it could be very tough to read. Meanwhile, Beau is having troubles reconciling that the Pain named Duane is traveling shortly into Spain. (I tried.) While Beau certainly supports Shelley’s efforts to cope with her illness, he does not rescue her from it. The progress she makes belong to her, and I appreciate that. There is also not a “I’m healed and all of my loose ends are tied up!” moment, which is also appreciated.

And of course the Iron Wraiths, the most evil Biker Club in the world is about to drop a family secret on Beau that will tear the Winston family asunder. Spoiler: it won’t. You know from the minute the secret is hinted (there is one moment early on in the book that jumps out and gives you a huge hint of what’s coming) at that it won’t.

My recommendation is to read the books in this series pretty close together because I haven’t and for me, the brothers all seem to blend together. Unless the passage mentions the girl they’re with, I confuse them. Also, this book runs concurrently with the Cletus/banana cake girl book.

Content warnings for domestic violence, self harm, and a very real and gritty look at OCD that may upset people. Three stars and I hope in book 5 the town of Green Valley hosts the Olympics.

Recursion by Blake Crouch – Holy wow. What if there was an invention that sent people back into a past memory and allowed them to change a decision? Terribad, right? RIGHT. This book was freaking amazing and I hated to put it down. Sci-fi thriller isn’t my genre of choice but once I told myself that I didn’t have to pass a written exam demonstrating 100% reading comprehension of the more neurosciencey parts, I was able to let go and allow the plot to swallow me whole. If you do not “get” some of the deep memory theories, you’re still going to enjoy the book.

She is forty-nine, and she wonders if this is what feeling old really means—not just a physical deterioration, but an interpersonal. A growing silence caused by the people you most love, who have shaped you and defined your world, going on ahead into whatever comes after.

Blake Crouch, Recursion.

This quote made me feel very seen and I do not like it.

Five stars and a standing ovation. Am I sci-fi thriller fan now? Content warning for suicide, murder, nuclear destruction, “I’m the government and I’m here to help,” and science.

Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting by Lisa Genova – I knew that I’d enjoy this book because it’s the type of conversational non-fiction book that scratches my non-fiction itch. In a very accessible way, Genova teaches the reader the different types of memory, how memories are stored, and a few tips on improving your memory that are proven by science . I really enjoyed it, but the anecdotes did become repetitive. Yes, okay, Yo-Yo Ma forgot his cello in a taxi trunk. Got it.

Takeaways: it’s absolutely fine to ‘offload’ memory tasks as calendar reminders, shopping lists, and other documentation. Sleep more. It’s perfectly natural to walk into a room and forget why you walked into that room.

Four stars! If you’re a little worried about your flaky memory, this book helps.

Currently reading: The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl. I’m really enjoying this memoir so far.

All of my book lists and reviews are on Goodreads.

This a part of the Show us Your Books linkup from Jana Says and Life According to Steph. If you want to read more bloggers gush about the books they’ve read this month, click the button below and have fun!

Life According to Steph

Other SUYB posts:

2022:
April | May

2021:
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October
2020:
February | March | Spring/Summer | September | October | November | Year-end review
2019
January | February | March |April | June | July | August | December
2018
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December


Good news! If you’re a regular reader but forget to check in, you can subscribe to a once-a-week email with links to that week’s posts! Click here to sign up!

Reading

Show Us Your Books – April 2022

April 12, 2022
show us your books

Guess who’s back?
Back again?
Kim is back…
tell a friend!

I did a lot of reading in prep for my CAE exam in December and it put me off from pleasure reading for a while. Which is okay! I knew the desire to read would return eventually and in March it quietly knocked on the door and I let it back in. While I didn’t even set a Goodreads goal for 2022 I’m just going to play this by ear. Don’t force yourself to do things you’re not into and call it pleasure, okay?

Goodreads, bless its heart, is still suggesting I set a modest 12-book goal.

Onto the books! I use the Goodreads rating system, which is:

  • One star: did not like it
  • Two stars: it was ok
  • Three stars: liked it
  • Four stars: really liked it
  • Five stars: it was amazing

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – I bought this book last year when it was on sale and I knew that if I had to get back into reading, a juicy Taylor Jenkins Reid book was the way to go. This is the story of legendary Hollywood actress Evelyn Hugo and Monique Grant, the young woman who Evelyn recruited to write her authorized biography. As in any story that features seven husbands, there are all sorts of scandals and terrible, complicated situations. And as in any Taylor Jenkins Reid book, there’s a “ooooooo” twist toward the end. Even though I knew it was coming, it still knocked me for a loop. Don’t let older people lie to you — all of today’s societal ills existed back in the golden days too. But it was so juicy. Evelyn was a gutsy dame. Content warning for domestic violence, homophobia, and suicide. Four stars.

The Lightmaker’s Manifesto by Karen Walrond – I have been reading Walrond’s blog Chookooloonks for a very long time. She’s one of the OG mom bloggers who managed to springboard herself out of that mom blogger pigeonhole and created another career for herself.

At this point all I look for from these kind of inspirational self-help-but-not-really books are a few gems that I can remember for more than an hour after I finish the book. And that’s what I got. It didn’t knock my socks off like it did for many on Goodreads and I think it’s because of the conversational first-person narration. I don’t need to know if the person she was talking to leaned in and whispered conspiratorially. But this was fine. Three stars.

Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedland – another entry in my favorite genre of “rich, privileged families and all of their trashy secrets.” Two men open a resort hotel in the Catskills which entwines their families for three generations. But like all Catskills resorts of that era, time was not kind to the Golden Hotel and in 2019 their families have to come together to decide on whether to sell to a casino developer.

It was sweet and sentimental and was cruising toward a four-star review but then she wedged in a “babies fix everything” plot device that wasn’t even necessary. It did nothing for the plot except artificially elevating a character to SAGE PARENT which made the family not think of them as so much of a sad sack anymore. It didn’t even do anything for the parents’ relationship. Person just continued making their side piece a main piece and had a bonus baby a few days a week. There were also some unsavory actions revealed that were handwaved away because it was “for a baby” and that didn’t sit right with me. But I understand I can be touchy about that kind of thing.

There were plenty of body-shaming comments too, which I know was meant to show how catty one of the characters was, but there are many other ways to show cattiness. She did this with the Floating Feldmans as well. Three stars.

Currently reading: Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting by Lisa Genova

It’s good to be back. 🙂

All of my book lists and reviews are on Goodreads.

This a part of the Show us Your Books linkup from Jana Says and Life According to Steph. If you want to read more bloggers gush about the books they’ve read this month, click the button below and have fun!

Life According to Steph

Other SUYB posts:

2022:
April | May

2021:
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October
2020:
February | March | Spring/Summer | September | October | November | Year-end review
2019
January | February | March |April | June | July | August | December
2018
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December


Good news! If you’re a regular reader but forget to check in, you can subscribe to a once-a-week email with links to that week’s posts! Click here to sign up!

Life

March 2022 Extras

April 4, 2022

Some photos and thoughts from March that were thin for their own blog posts…

This is the phone game of the moment and was my PC game of choice in the early 2000s back when Flash games were a thing. I had to pay $19.99 to shoo the ads away so I can play as much as I want.

Snood

I enjoy hard boiled eggs right at the spot when they are completely firm inside but before they get the green tinge around the yolk. I have legendarily been terrible at boiling eggs which is weird, right? Because it’s supposed to be easy. Two weeks ago I angrily (because we have far too much clutter in this house) bought this uni-tasking appliance and it happily gives me perfect eggs.

Be careful, though, because once it gets going it’s hard to see where the steam pours out of the lid and it’s very hot.

hamilton beach egg cooker
“Your perfect eggs, madam…”

Bridgerton is back and like last year I am watching one episode a week to stretch it out. I’m not a binge watcher. This season focuses on the older son, Anthony, and his quest to find a wife. I’m two episodes in so far and it’s a bit boring. Last year was much more scandalous and in a quest to make Anthony more likeable, they made some strange character changes. Last year Anthony LOVED somebody and this year he’s all “what is love?*” This may be addressed in future episodes.

bridgerton
Call me Lady Kimberly Anne-with-an-E of the Cool Ranch, please.

*baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more

Speaking of 2000s nostalgia, I bought a pair of Clippy earrings.

clippy earrings
You look like you’re an eccentric middle aged woman, would you like some help?”

And I think they’ll go really well with this silver and pearl necklace I bought for myself. It’ll go with anything from tshirts to formal dresses and will hopefully last me forever.

silver necklace with one large pearl
Chonky but delicate, like me!

I realize this is becoming a things I bought in March post, which isn’t the intent. Here are some things that aren’t purchases:

I’m making big salads for lunch lately with a lemon vinaigrette.

salad
This was too many onions for me, though.

I started going back to the office one time a week, which has been a boon to my mental health.

smiling at work
I was the only person on that side of the office, so I didn’t wear a mask.

I don’t know when TNP is bringing us back in officially. I’ve said this before, but I hope all of the people who want to continue to work remotely have the opportunity to do so. The flip side of that is that the people who want to go back in shouldn’t be ridiculed for wanting to do so.

The NYTimes crossword puzzle streak is at 1, DuoLingo is a vague memory, Wordle is fun, Worldle is tortuous.


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Life, Work

Friday 5: Nice

April 1, 2022

Rabbit rabbit! It’s April 1 and with the exception of the author, this post is 100% fool-free.

friday, april 1

I am a last-minute call-up to go work TNP’s annual conference in Nashville next week. This weekend, your girl here needs to buy a pair of black pants and possibly a pair of dark gray pants to tide her over until her current work pants are less snug, if you’re picking up what I’m putting down. I’m going to try to plan and pack this weekend so I’m not stressing Tuesday night. I’m also going to attempt to not check a bag. We’ll see how that goes.

This is our first in-person annual conference since 2019 and while the hours will be long (14 hour days woohoo!) I’m excited! Other than video calls, I haven’t seen most of my TNP coworkers in 2 years. I’ll try to post some photos and stories up on Instagram while I’m away.


Here is the Friday 5 – this week’s theme is Nice.

  1. What’s the nicest thing someone said to you this week?
    I was showing a group of coworkers some features of the AMS software we have and I was told that I was a good teacher! While I never wanted to teach children, I think I’d have been a very good software trainer.
  2. What’s the nicest music you heard this week?
    Nonspecific answer, but I’ve been really into listening to lofi music while I work. Here is a proper definition of lofi music but to me, it’s the type of music played in swanky boutique hotel lobbies, elevators, and sometimes their hold music. I discovered Spotify’s The Lofi Garden playlist and have been enjoying it.
  3. What was the nicest surprise this week?
    I said this in yesterday’s post, but my little outdoor seedlings survived a cold snap.
  4. In what way did you make someone’s day nicer this week?
    Person A messed something up but is fixing it. Person A says the mess up was because of Other Thing. Person K knows this isn’t the case, but Person K also knows that blabbing that to everyone will only make Person A look bad and won’t have the issue fixed any quicker. Person A’s day was much nicer because Person K doesn’t engage in character assassination.
  5. Who has a nice smile?
    Google images is not your friend for this, because it’s showing that all of the celebrity smiles I enjoy have been corrected & veneered. I think Queen Elizabeth has a great smile. I think Jason Bateman has a great smile.

Have a lovely weekend!