Reflections on life under quarantine...
wednesday, july 1, 2020
Well, here we are. Day 100 of the blog. Day 1 of July.
This has been some year, huh?
Looking at the first few posts on the blog is strange. It does seem like I was a little less dejected about the whole situation, moreso interested in the unprecedented circumstances I now found myself in. Quarantine isn't interesting anymore, just dull. That's why it was so much easier for me to write paragraphs upon paragraphs about the rapidly changing world around me. I could do that today, I guess, but it seems so much less necessary.
One thing I've been thinking about a lot is the last day before quarantine. I wasn't taking it seriously. I had acknowledged the possibility of it lasting until the end of the school year, but it didn't really register in my mind as something I had to genuinely consider. I fully expected it to mostly blow over in a couple weeks - for all I knew, it was just a short break from seeing others. Fuck, I hate myself for thinking that. That was the last day. That otherwise boring, shitty, unremarkable day is my most up-to-date reference for what normality is like. I miss that day. After life goes back to normal, I will never take a boring, shitty, unremarkable day for granted again.
I'll keep updating this blog, just not daily. Thank you, to all of the 8,000 views and 20 followers who have taken an interest in my whining for some reason.
tuesday, jun 30, 2020
Tomorrow is the 100th day of this blog. God, I've come a long way. I can't believe this used to be a school project.
Went over to a friend's house today and did another movie night. Cool. I wish we could see each other again without having to stay outside or 6 feet apart, though.
monday, jun 29, 2020
Went to my first class for that summer program today. Strange experience, but I think I liked it. Everyone seems really passionate about it and the lecture was interesting, although it's still disappointing how it's all online.
Random thought: music, to me, is something I use to ground myself. I've been sort of on edge all day, and I only just realized I haven't listened to any music since I woke up. Right now, it's 11:00 PM and I'm listening to my favorite songs, and things feel like they're going to be alright. It helps me disconnect from the immediate surroundings of a Bad Day, or whatever else is going on.
I think I should start going to sleep earlier again.
sunday, jun 28, 2020
Today, I started putting together a list of colleges I was interested in applying to, with some stats for each one, and my god, college is so fucking expensive. It's getting to the point where I'm not sure I can morally justify going somewhere other than a CA state school unless I get really good financial aid for somewhere else, especially considering how good our state schools are.
saturday, jun 27, 2020
About two and a half months ago, I wrote that I would continue posting daily "until quarantine ends, or until my 100th blog post — whichever comes first". Well, quarantine still hasn't really ended, but my 100th blog post is coming up soon. Exactly on the first day of July, in fact. I think I might keep posting past then - just not daily. Which is good for me, because it is quickly becoming really difficult to do that, especially after school has ended.
Looking at my old posts is so odd. The number one difference is the length of the posts - I used to write several paragraphs a day for this, and I haven't done that in a while (just look at my last post). Maybe I'll try to write some longer posts for these last couple days of the daily blog updates.
friday, jun 26, 2020
Please let me go to sleep it is 2:00 AM and I am so very tired
thursday, jun 25, 2020
I've warmed up to the idea of starting the college process early. I even got one of those giant college guide books and everything. In the end, starting the college process early on, even if it's at an awful time, is probably better than starting it a week before the deadline.
Went on a walk today for the first time in a couple weeks. Good to clear my head.
wednesday, jun 24, 2020
Today was better than yesterday. I'm still doing a bad job at getting enough sleep. It's 2:00 in the morning.
I watched Heat. Pretty cool movie, perfectly encapsulates the feeling of L.A. Amazingly satisfying ending.
tuesday, jun 23, 2020
I don't think I'm in the best place, mentally. I've been having more and more anxiety attacks lately, and I don't really know why. Today I had some dumb thing to decide about my summer program. I don't even want to describe what the issue was, it's not important. Either way, I freaked out and basically shut down for an hour. I've had trouble sleeping lately because of anxiety. It feels like it's just going to keep getting worse until school starts again, and for that reason, I am more excited for the end of summer break than I have ever been in my life.
In other news, End of Evangelion is still dominating my thoughts in a way very few things have before. I'm so anxious to watch it again.
monday, jun 22, 2020
I watched The End of Evangelion. I think it might be the greatest thing I've ever seen, but I feel like it gave me a panic attack at the same time. I wish I had more to say about it. I feel like I watched it at the worst possible time - I was hungry and tired, and EoE is totally overwhelming. There were times when I had the urge to turn it off. Nevertheless, I think there's a strong possibility it's perfect. I'll try to watch it again sometime this week, and talk about it more then.
I'm sorry if this doesn't make any sense. My brain is not working right now.
In other news, I got accepted to that USC program. It's disappointing that it'll be online, but I'm excited to participate anyway.
sunday, jun 21, 2020
Went to the pool today. It was very safe, not just because of the chloring, but because people reserved their own lanes - I don't think I ever got within 6 feet of someone else (excluding my family). Before the quarantine, the rest of my family went to the public pool pretty frequently, and I always declined to go (I'm not very good at swimming and I don't like public pools), but I went this time, just because it's nice to experience some kind of normality again in a safe way.
I finished watching Neon Genesis Evangelion (the show). I have so many things I want to say about it, but I'll save them for after I watch the movie.
saturday, jun 20, 2020
I've been thinking of getting tested for COVID with my friends, so we can be sure it's safe to see each other without wearing masks. My dad took a test recently, and it was really easy. I'm really excited at the prospect of seeing people in a normal way again.
friday, jun 19, 2020
Managed to apply to that USC program on time, although it was really a nightmare. A spot opened up for a course I was on the waitlist for, and I was told if I replied to the email notifying me of that, I would be given further instructions - but those further instructions ended up being sent 2 hours before the deadline, well over 24 hours after I replied to the original email.
Finished my health course and got an A, so that's one more weight off my mind.
Officially gave the Discord server I mentioned yesterday to someone else. It's hard to convey what this moment means to me to other people, but I promise that it does actually feel like the end of a chapter in my life or something, you know? I credit it with getting me interested in art in general.
thursday, jun 18, 2020
Today felt important. Said goodbye to a bunch of seniors I was friends with over a zoom call. Depressing to think that March something was the last day i'll have seen them for a while, and I didn't even know at the time. Also, decided I will be stepping down from being the owner of this Discord server. Sounds like a stupid thing to get upset over, but man, this place meant a lot to me for a while. I haven't been active on it for a while, but I've been a part of this community for three years, almost exactly, and it has shaped my life in a very real way. Really is the end of an era. Change is strange.
I have my final exam for this health course tomorrow. It probably doesn't matter that much, but I'm going to go to bed a little earlier than normal, just in case. Would be annoying to have my GPA go down over some dumb health graduation requirement. Good night.
wednesday, jun 17, 2020
I keep waking up earlier than I mean to. Last night I went to sleep past 3:00 AM, but woke up at 9:00. Not a fun time!
My teacher still hasn't gotten back to me on the recommendation form, but I found another teacher to do it for me just in case, so I think that problem is solved.
Watched the film adaptation of American Psycho and was a little disappointed. It's good, but though it sticks VERY close to the book (the vast majority of the dialogue and narration is taken straight from the novel, verbatim), it just doesn't get it quite right. The book is good because it captures this emotion that Bateman's life brings, of such intense monotony that it drives one insane. The extra length of the book gives it time to really go all in on Bateman's soul-sucking daily activities, creating this powerful emptiness. When the (astonishingly graphic) violence happens in the book, it doesn't even feel surprising, it just makes sense for his character. The movie has the humor, but lacks the nuance of the book.
tuesday, jun 16, 2020
I'm a little worried. I only have a few days left for this summer program application and my teacher still hasn't responded to my request for a recommendation (it's not really a "letter of rec", just a form that can be done pretty quickly).
Weather seems to be pretty nice this week. Maybe I'll go on another long city walk. I've been thinking about taking walks during the night, but I can't imagine my parents would feel comfortable with that. Maybe just short ones around the block.
monday, jun 15, 2020
Meant to write this blog post and go to sleep about an hour ago, but then I ended up doing a bunch of stupid shit for an hour, so here I am.
I finished Grand Theft Auto V today, a couple weeks after getting it for free as part of a sale. Fun game. One of the coolest, most vividly detailed worlds I've ever seen in a game (although to be fair, I haven't played a ton of games). The story is kind of dumb, but it's enjoyable enough.
sunday, jun 14, 2020
I know I was just talking about how adamant I was about not wanting to do anything over break, but I've been having second thoughts. I found this interesting-looking USC film program, with application requirements that seem totally doable for me in the 5 days I have left to complete them. I don't plan on majoring in film, but I think it might be fun, and having something like that on my transcript wouldn't hurt my college applications.
saturday, jun 13, 2020
My first day of summer break was disappointing. I hate to say it, but I really wish I had more time alone during the day. I have nothing against my family, but it's getting to the point where just being reminded of their presence makes me irrationally annoyed. I guess I rely on having a certain amount of total solitude to function normally. Anyway, today I spent about half of the day with them, for various reasons. I was hoping my first day could be entirely to myself, but I guess I shouldn't really complain, considering I have two and a half more months of this.
I finished American Psycho (the book). It was pretty good! Very funny at times, and Patrick Bateman is a perfectly hateable satire of soulless Wall Street ghouls - even ignoring the whole Depraved serial killer thing.
Even though I did enjoy the book, I have reservations about the sheer amount of hopeless, mean-spirited cynicism in it. Yeah, it's funny, but what is the point? At some point in the book's 400 pages, I realized it wasn't going to be the kind of book that points out problems in society and addresses them in a helpful way, but rather one that points out the problems in society and repeatedly mocks them for how evil they are. Which can be fun, but there were times when the book left me feeling hollow and hopeless. In all fairness, that was essentially the point - Bateman's very existence is hollow and hopeless - but I'm not sure of how noble a goal that is for a work of art. Nevertheless, I had a mostly good time reading it, and towards the end it begins to redeem itself, with the more regretful, somber chapter of Bateman's life. I'll watch the movie adaptation with Christian Bale sometime soon.
friday, jun 12, 2020
School is over.
What the fuck happened, man? I want to go back to February.
thursday, jun 11, 2020
I don't have much to talk about today. I started my online health course, and luckily it seems like it's going to go by quickly - today alone, I finished 20% of the course.
Then again, maybe it's a bad thing that I won't have much to do over summer. I've already begun to struggle with boredom and anxiety in the past couple weeks. Part of me wishes the beginning of the next school year was sooner. This summer break just seems so daunting - it's coming after I've already been at home for months, and I'm expected to start working on college applications, even though I've barely had a real conversation with someone since March.
wednesday, jun 10, 2020
Finished my last assignment of the year today, so I'm effectively done with responsibilities for a little while. Just a few more Zoom meetings, to say goodbye to teachers and all.
I'm feeling really optimistic about this Oxford-developed vaccine that's been in the news recently. Apparently, they've been working on the vaccine for several years, they just made some modifications to adapt it to COVID - and for that reason, they're far enough in the process for it to be possibly ready by September. One of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the UK has already spent billions of dollars on getting a head start on production, which makes me a lot less worried that it's too good to be true - if a major company is willing to take that kind of risk, then it probably has a pretty good chance of being successful. It's some of the best news I've heard in a while. The thought that this could all be over before winter is incredibly exciting.
tuesday, jun 9, 2020
I'm curious to see what school next year is going to be like. It kind of sucks that this all has to happen during my senior year, but I find the idea of this strange school year where we're only there half of the time interesting. It reminds me of the teachers' strike we had last year. Although you technically had to go to school, maybe a third of the students were there, and the volunteers they had running the place barely enforced anything.
I still remember the first day of the strike, when I went to school. It was pouring. School was in session, but it felt like a ghost town. I spent the whole day with my friends, wandering around the near-empty campus.
As my failed attempt to write a personal statement reminded me, I struggle to think of any specific experiences that really define my life. Very few individual moments or memories from my life stick out to me, and that's always been a bit of a downer for me. But that memory, of exploring the empty, rainy campus of my high school in the winter of 2018, is my favorite memory ever. I still think about it all time. In its own way, it really has shaped my life and interests since then. In the corniest way possible, I'd like to think that single experience gave me an entirely new appreciation for the world around me.
monday, jun 8, 2020
It is now Officially the last week of school. I have two more assignments, both due Wednesday, and then I'm done.
Today was oddly stressful, for some reason. I felt unmotivated to do anything, not in a lazy way, but out of some kind of anxiety that doing something would piss me off? Weird. I spent a good portion of the day lying in bed.
I wonder if school being "out" will change my day-to-day routine, or even my state of mind, all that much. I have to take this online health class so I can graduate, so probably not much. The biggest change I can imagine (and what I'm most excited for) is not having to wake up early for online meetings. I'm very worried that having a summer vacation with limited visiting of friends and other people is going to be awful, especially after a few months of quarantine. At least until now I've had chores, things I needed to do for school that would give me at least some kind of variety in my daily activities. If life has felt repetitive these past few months, imagine how it'll be once all I have left to do is watch TV and play video games and read books at home (it's too hot out to take long walks).
sunday, jun 7, 2020
Not that you're reading this, but happy birthday to my brother. Sorry it had to come during all this. Weird to think you're a teenager now.
Last week of school starts tomorrow. Cool.
saturday, jun 6, 2020
Internet seems to be broken again, so I guess I'm publishing this tomorrow morning.
Went over to my friend's house and watched a movie with a few other people I haven't seen since quarantine started. Don't worry, we were sitting 6 feet apart outside and with masks on.
The movie we watched is Police Story with Jackie Chan. It was pretty fun, and totally ridiculous. Good movie to watch with friends.