Gold Bar Lockdown: Week 5

We hit the one month mark of sheltering in place and it’s going about as well as you’d expect.

Day 28: Monday, April 13

I woke up to a musical preview from Alex, the DM of this week’s Pathfinder session. This turned into me starting to build playlists for Sariel, my character in that campaign, and Dawn, my character in our D&D 5e campaign.

I made French toast from my mom’s massa sovada for my and Jim’s breakfast. I left his at his work station with a French press full of coffee and then went into the dining room at the back of the house to eat my breakfast and chat with my D&D group.

My dad texted me about how Sunday night’s dinner went (a success!) when Jim came in with his breakfast dishes and a package for me (joggers, woo!). This somehow turned into a dumb minor spat on both our parts that ended with me telling Jim to go away.

After breakfast, I did the dishes and listened to Last Week Tonight. The weekly coronavirus updates are how I’m doing my best to stay informed without launching myself through the TV to strangle the president. Also, John Oliver appreciates Adam Driver just as much as I do.

I spent the day in the back of the apartment to stay out of Jim’s hair. First I tried editing together last week’s vlog, realized that it was a mess, that it was too long, and that it wouldn’t export. So I rage quit and decided to do something only slightly less infuriating: check in on my unemployment benefits.

It had my income set as zero for last year, which is absolutely not true. Couldn’t figure out where on the website to fix that, so I rage quit that, too.

Eventually I stress baked some lemon biscotti, stress napped, and texted my friend Caroline for a bit.

Jim woke me up after he was done with work to say that the biscotti smelled good. Bridges were mended and we made dinner (salmon from the night before with pasta) and watched Westworld.

I built my maid of honor Gina a care package to take to back to school with her and then scrolled TikTok mindlessly before bed.

Day 29: Tuesday, April 14

I slept in a bit but threw on a pair of the joggers and a quidditch shirt when Gina texted me to say that she was en route. I left her care package at the bottom of my steps, she grabbed them, and we had some socially distanced face time before she had to head back up north.

Seeing my loved ones but not being able to hug them sucks. But honestly, I like it better than video calling. Zoom, Google, whatever the platform, they exhaust me.

After nearly a month of wearing normal clothes almost every day, joggers put me in a very leisurely state of mind and I blew off my entire to do list for the day to reorganize my gardens in Animal Crossing.

Against my better judgement, I did a quick Twitter peek: Governor Newsom’s updates continue to be reasonable, Trump’s pulling funding from the World Health Organization in a massive act of projection, and Obama endorsed Joe Biden but I did not give a single fuck.

Most useless endorsement ever. Way to wait until it didn’t matter, Barack.

My corona bucks arrived once I’d gone to bed, my first income in a month. I ordered more joggers from Target. Around midnight, I deliriously told Jimmy I’m gonna dye my hair since it’s not like we can have a big wedding this year before passing out.

Day 30: Wednesday, April 15

I woke up to the announcement that the IQA World Cup is being postponed to next year and a reminder from my phone not to miss what would have been my flight to US Quidditch Cup.

So yeah, that was a great way to start my day. I got up, put on a little makeup, and went for a walk since the weather was nice. I grabbed a lavender iced latte from Peet’s (I’ve been trying to stick to local coffee shops so kindly point me towards a Downtown or Rose Garden location that does lavender lattes, plz and thx) and tried not to be sad about missing out on quidditch.

I find myself being less invested in quidditch the longer that I’m not playing. I think my community team not existing anymore plays a big part of that, but it’s also exhausting to keep up with everything all the time? Don’t get me wrong, I love my precious nerd sport and all the opportunities and friends I’ve gained because of it. It just doesn’t consume me the way it used to and that loss of passion makes me sad sometimes.

However, I had Pathfinder with some quidditch friends that night and it was the highlight of my week. Alex used a tabletop simulator for our combat that was really cool! We also had a brief video chat to check out how fluffy most of the guys have gotten in quarantine. Having something routine from the before times continue into corona time has been such a bright spot over the last few weeks and I love those boys to death.

Day 31: Thursday, April 16


Sooooo… I didn’t take notes this day and I honestly can’t remember what I did? According to Instagram, I made breakfast tacos again. Every day blends together if I don’t take notes.

The one thing I do remember is that my buddy Gil hosted a Google Hangouts call that turned into a mini SJSU Quidditch reunion, which was lovely. I miss playing with those folks.

Day 32: Friday, April 17

Grocery shopping day! The masks we ordered from Classic Loot in Japantown had arrived earlier in the week and this was my first time wearing it out in the wild. Breathing is difficult and they make my glasses fog up and slide down my nose, but those are minor inconveniences in the greater scheme of things.

My first stop was Academic, where I got coffee and breakfast for Jim and I as well as some groceries from their bodega. On my way through the neighborhood, I saw the two kinds of corona signs:

As usual, my first stop was Zanotto’s because they finally had toilet paper in stock! The store’s layout is a bit cramped but they have tape on the floors every six feet in the aisles, so it’s easy to stay in your own space. They announced that starting next week, you’ll need a face mask to come inside, but most people are already wearing them.

Most. After waiting my turn to go from the milk to the cheese section of the refrigerated aisle, some dude (who wasn’t wearing a mask) turned the corner and practically hip checked me to get by instead of waiting or going around. So if you heard someone snap, “What the fuck, dude?” at the grocery store last week, I apologize for my frayed nerves but not as much as that fucker should have apologized to me.

Anyway, I went to Target after that to get what was still missing from our list. Part of me is concerned that I need to go to two stores to get our shopping done, but each one has what the other lacks and I take every precaution possible. There isn’t maskless asshole repellent yet, but other than that, I haven’t felt unsafe. I use my phone to pay without touching any screens, I keep my distance, and I wash up as soon as I get home.

Once I got home, it was time for a Ref Haus Zoom call. Not quite a replacement for the week I was hoping to spend with them, but better that than nothing. I had a drink on the front porch so that I’d be celebrating the Haus spirit while staying close to the router (WiFi is an undependable mess in our apartment) but our front door wasn’t thick enough to muffle my voice from Jim and apparently I was too loud?

The rest of the afternoon was spent on eggshells, ending with me hiding out in the back of the apartment again. Lou and Arthur came by to drop off some sourdough starter, extra baking supplies, and a monitor for me. Seeing them was a nice reprieve, but the day ended with a minor meltdown as I realized that today marked a month of us being in lockdown together.

I’m trying not to focus on the negative too much here, but I feel like it would be irresponsible to write that everything is fine all the time. This goes double for when I talk about our relationship, because this is my blog and not Jim’s.

Our relationship is solid and I am very much looking forward to making that delightful nerd my husband this fall. But navigating the combination of a small space, a loud extrovert with nothing urgent to do, and an introvert who needs quiet because he’s working every day during the busiest part of his department’s yearly cycle is not easy.

There are no bad guys here. Just bad days sometimes.

We watched The Death of Stalin on Netflix that night and got some much needed laughs. The subject matter is a little dark (the aftermath of, well, the death of Stalin and the scramble for power that followed) but the writing was hilarious.

Day 33: Saturday, April 18

Jim accidentally had something he ordered shipped to our old apartment, so I had to leave the house for a second day in a row. I went to Pastelaria Adega first to pick up our lunch order. Arthur was there too, and he handed off some lunch for me to take to our in-laws since we live closer to them. Then I grabbed Jim’s package and ordered from Academic again because it’s the weekend, so why not? Even if Jim did have to work again.

Lou warned me that her starter had gone off and started growing mold. She told me to check mine and unfortunately, it had also turned on me. Alas.

My mom called to check in and tell me off for going outside two days in a row, but errands aren’t going to run themselves and I did my best to tell her I was being safe. I totally understand her worry, though. That’s what moms do, especially in times like these.

I spent the afternoon not doing much, not making much noise, and then we picked up SuperGood for dinner again. Knowing how helpful watching a fun movie was from the night before, I suggested that we watch the best Indiana Jones movie: The Last Crusade. We laughed and quoted the movie relentlessly and had one of our better nights in a long time.

Day 34: Sunday, April 19

Jim worked again today. I slept in and barely got into Animal Crossing on time to buy turnips and then made more massa sovada French toast for… brunch. It was too late in the day to properly call it breakfast. A couple of my friends were playing Civ 5, so I jumped into the Discord to chat with them a bit.

After food, I told myself to stay off the Switch or I’d lose another day to my Animal Crossing island. Instead, I moved an underutilized shelf from the living room to my desk corner. I unpacked a few more boxes of my office stuff. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s getting there.

That afternoon, I took three different recipes for carne guisada (Portuguese beef stew) that I found over the week, picked and chose what I liked from them, and made my own version from what we had at home. (Recipe to come later in the week.)

She’s not pretty but she tastes pretty damn good.

The #savequidditch campaign launched and I told myself I needed to write a blog post about it. I stared at my screen, pecked at my keyboard a bit, but I just couldn’t come up with anything. I can’t tell you how many words I’ve written about this sport and what it means to me, but right now, I feel paralyzed.

I closed my laptop and focused on the smells coming from the kitchen. The stew was a success. We spooned it over some bread that was starting to go stale and it was the kind of comfort I needed in that moment.

We had a Zoom call with Jim’s family, watched Westworld, and then I tried to go to sleep. Like most nights I kept waking up at random intervals for no real reason. If I’m having dreams, I don’t remember them. I just can’t stay down for long.

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