Tag Archives: world of warcraft

COVID-19 Chronicles: Days 41 – 46

I am not an idiot.  I watch the news.  I ordered my face masks, and one has been delivered.  I know that this shit is real.  But I have been fortunate, in that personally, other than working from home and not being able to move around as freely as I have been in the past, but it has affected me, personally, very little.

Until this week.

This week Ormsby was laid off due to the virus.  And you know what’s ridiculous?  I’m not even surprised.  His industry has been hit very hard by the whole thing, and honestly I’ve been surprised that he’s been able to hold out this long.  Most others in his industry lost their jobs – or began not being able to find freelance opportunities – months ago.  In a way he’s been lucky… and it’s shitty to call all this lucky.  I do not know what he will do – he has a place of his own, a lease he can’t break, and even if he could… well… my apartment isn’t big enough for two people and (as awful as it is to say this, I know), I kind of am enjoying having a space of my own again.  He’ll file for unemployment and then… I don’t know… I guess no one knows anything.

I still have my job, and we are as busy as ever.  That’s a good thing.

They tested one of my cousins for the virus yesterday.  Thankfully that test came back negative.  But it was another reminder that I’ve been fortunate (and continue to be fortunate) when other families – some I’ve known since I was a small child – have not been.

I’m sorry.  I know I’ve been trying to put a positive spin on all of this… and I’ll keep trying to do that.  I guess everyone gets an off day once in a while.

Florida’s governor has decided to try Phase I of reopening.  I am personally going to continue to self-isolate for a while longer.  I want to see what happens as things get back to normal… I am not convinced that this is done, and I think, if anything, reopening this soon may make it worse.  In fact, I am more likely, now, to start doing grocery delivery, whereas I haven’t resorted to that yet.

Good Stuff That Happened:

My Build-A-Bear Baby Yoda (ok, ok “The Child”) arrived today.  The Star Wars collection that graces my living room now has its own Baby Yoda shelf.  The action figures I preordered should ship later this month.

I think Ormsby and I are going to turn my apartment into a photo studio this weekend to start working on a new portfolio for me.  It’ll keep his mind off of it, and give me a boost, now that I’m moving more normally again.

Today begins Children’s Week in WoW.  It’s a special in-game holiday for me, because it also marks 12 years since I first was introduced to the game.  Happy WoW-versary to me.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a book to write.  Or maybe just an in-game achievement to go for.

IMG_3174

COVID-19 Chronicles: Day 27-29

Yeah those loaves were NOT what I had in mind… I had to throw them both away.  There wasn’t enough starter to try again, so I’m replenishing it.  I’ve got a different recipe, its ratings are pretty good, and I’ll try again.  Note to self: whatever they say, I still need to add yeast IN ADDITION TO the yeast that’s growing in the starter.  (And no, the starter isn’t dead… it still bubbles when I feed it.)  Moving on…

Yesterday, Hillsborough County instituted a curfew (we’re still grounded, so it’s a curfew on top of being grounded).  They said that it was because too many people were still gathering together in private places.  In a way, I get it.  And it doesn’t affect me much because, well, I don’t have anywhere to BE after 9:00 anyway.  I’m in bed by 10 usually, since I log into work so damn early, but it’s the principle of the thing.  Like when my first grade teacher couldn’t figure out who was screaming in the bathroom and so she took the whole class out in the hall and paddled everyone (this was back in the days when corporal punishment was legal).  I was lucky enough to be sick that day, or I’d have gotten it too.  I WAS THE QUIET KID… though you wouldn’t guess that about me now, more than likely.

Anyway, along the lines of luck – I FOUND TOILET PAPER.  AND PAPER TOWELS.  That is a big deal because I was not one of those crazy people that bought a fuck ton of it as this got started (stocking up on food instead, remember) and as the shelves have been pretty bare since those days, I had begun to worry about having some on hand when I ran out of the little bit that I did have.  To the point that I was limiting myself to two squares per toilet use… and not cleaning things with paper towels (using washable dishtowels instead).  The dishtowel trick isn’t new… it’s just more frequent… and it doesn’t work on cat vomit.  At any rate, I went home from the store feeling pretty good.

It’s the last trip I’ll be able to make for a while because apparently as of Thursday the county is going to start requiring everyone to wear masks in public places.  I don’t have a mask.  It is impossible to GET a mask.  I don’t sew that well and couldn’t effectively make one if I had the material, so I’m fucked.  I ordered some off of Etsy last night (with a Star Wars theme, because I have to make something decent out of this shitty situation), but they won’t be here for a week or more… so what I got today (and what I already had on hand) is going to have to last until they arrive.  Mom said she’d sew me one, but I don’t know when she will get to it.  This particular thing… I don’t think is fair… I mean I get WHY you would do that, but it’s not like masks are readily available to people, and for those of us who can’t sew and who are literally having to order them, you have to give us some TIME to get them.  Or provide them.  Two days is not enough warning.  Honestly, I think this is particularly a little extreme.

Knee has been acting up again.. probably from non-use.  I started stretching and doing leg lifts (with weights) again today, then of course walked through the grocery store.. unloaded my car up two flights of stairs (four times).  Moving helps.  I have to stop being so damn stagnant.  That is the one thing I miss about the apartment complex I used to live in, because there’s no real walking path here.  I mean there’s a sidewalk, and it’s usually pretty deserted, but there’s some weird swamp property or something that’s on either side of it with no trespassing signs on either side and someone sits out there (on both sides) all damn day (always with a different license plate) just watching it.  It’s beyond bizarre, and I’m a little paranoid about what the hell is going on there, so I don’t go near it on foot.

Noblegarden on WoW.  Working on the achievement.  Been trying to get “What A Long, Strange Trip it’s Been” since I got the game and I always just kind of tire out before I can get there.  Oddly, doing the Easter Egg Hunt is kind of relaxing.  I mean I figure I can get half of it now, do the rest another year… you may ask how I know I will keep doing this… well… because I haven’t stopped since 2008.  I don’t see that changing.

Back to WoW, I guess.  I’m out of words.

Stuff I’m celebrating:

  • Got a notification that the Baby Yoda I preordered back in February is now processing.  (I know he’s “The Child” but until they give him a name, he’s Baby Yoda.  Even after they give him a name, he’s probably still going to be Baby Yoda.  Disney kind of screwed themselves, imho, by not giving him an identifier up front.
  • Found more bread flour.  That’s almost as difficult to find as the paper towels and toilet paper.
  • Tomorrow is Wednesday and I get to run a training.  That will give me a break from the writing projects I’m working on and it also helps me to break up the day a little.
  • After a day of seemingly continuous vomiting (yesterday), Milo and Cleo are both feeling much, much better today.  We had a very active game of fetch several hours ago (yes, they both know to bring their toy back so I can throw it again).

COVID-19 Chronicles: Days 10 – 16

Apparently I am now terrible at making a plan and sticking to it… I meant to update this thing every day, but I’ve just dropped the damn ball. Probably really because there’s not that much happening when you’re self-isolating that would make a good blog entry… I wake up, I log in to work, I work for 8+ hours, I log off, I make something for dinner, play some Fallout or World of Warcraft (or both), then I take a shower and go to bed. That’s my day.

But, I guess it’s worth mentioning that about a week ago Hillsborough County was put under a stay-at-home order. Today, the entire state of Florida followed suit. So it’s like being grounded… I never got grounded as a kid, so this is a new experience for me. I think if I had been grounded as a kid I probably would have been allowed to go to school and church and, since I now don’t go to either, I guess going to the grocery store is a lot like going to church – it’s the one reprieve I get from staying at home. And that’s fine… I’m an introvert with anxiety. I don’t want to get sick, I don’t want to have to worry about being sick… and since no one really enters or leaves this apartment except for me, it’s unlikely that I’ll get sick just by staying in here, three floors off the ground, working, playing games, binge watching Criminal Minds, making sourdough bread and patching up an old blanket that’s been in my life since I was a very small child. It could certainly be worse.

And I am glad I spent the first few months in this apartment diligently unpacking and putting things away and really making this place home-like (to me). I’ve got my Star Wars toy collection all over my living room, my big oak bookshelves bursting with books in the bedroom, enough toilet paper to last about three months if I’m careful, and a much larger kitchen than I’ve had since we left Louisville for Florida. And in that kitchen I am now making sourdough bread – partially because it’s a nice thing to do (and I like cooking) but also because bread can be tricky to find right now and I thought that if I made my own, that’s one more loaf at the store that would be available for someone who maybe can’t make their own bread.

This whole thing is seriously making me wonder if I really should just get it over with and buy a house in the country, get a milk cow and some chickens, plant a garden and just live off the land. I mean I doubt I’d do half of that… the garden is more realistic for me, because I actually know how to raise one of those. Cows and chickens… not a clue… but it’s an interesting thought.

Daily Developments:

  • This is Day 4 of the Sourdough Starter. It should be ready to bake with tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll have time and energy to do that after work.
  • I managed to sew up one of the big holes in the blanket that used to be on my parents’ bed when I was a kid. This thing is older than dirt and I could probably just get a new one and be done with it, but this one has sentimental value to me and it’s so freaking soft after all those years of use. So I’ll keep sewing it up until there’s nothing more to sew.
  • Florida declared its own shelter in place order today. It lasts until April 30. I think restaurants are still delivering, but several of my favorite ones have closed to give their workers a chance to stay healthy.

Things I’m Happy About

  • I’m back to giving webinars for the first time in nearly six years. It feels good to be back in that field again and I’m always excited when I do it.
  • I unlocked flying in Legion. Finally. One more day and I should be able to unlock the “Now I Am The Master” cooking achievement too.

COVID-19 Chronicles: Days 7-9

Been a little busy here the last few days. Work is going well… I get to start training people again via webinar… something I haven’t gotten to do since I left Tampa back in 2014. I’ve been trying to get back into it ever since and, despite many twists and turns and a series of moves that took me away from Tampa and then brought me right back and sent me down a rabbit hole career-wise (for a bit), it looks like I’m heading back into the direction I wanted to go. I give my first webinar tomorrow… and while I am (understandably nervous), I am also pretty at ease… I know the materials pretty well, and I’m good at improv for the stuff I don’t know.

But enough about that. The virus continues to spread. Most of the Florida beaches are closed… I know that some of the spring breakers have gone home (but not all of them… some of them decided to stay… I’m not sure what they’re really doing since they can’t DO anything around here except go grocery shopping now that the bars, clubs, and restaurants are closed). New Yorkers are also apparently flying into Florida to escape their stay-at-home orders and the governor finally mandated that anyone getting off of a plane that comes from New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut has to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Because the governor doesn’t want to issue a stay-at-home mandate for the entire state, some local governments are taking it upon themselves to issue their own. Honestly I don’t see how that can be effective because it’s not like the virus is going to come up to certain county lines and say, “Oh… I’m banned here… I’ll go somewhere else.” And also, especially in counties that comprise big regions like Tampa Bay, it would be difficult to enforce when you have a community that depends on its ability to commute to other counties for work. Is someone living in Hillsborough county who works in a non-essential job in Manatee county (which is technically outside the “Bay” area) supposed to sacrifice their job to stay home, or are they supposed to illegally leave and risk a fine so that they can keep their job? I get the need for effort, I do, but there has to be some kind of consistency or it simply doesn’t make sense.

But… I digress… the county I live in has proposed instating a stay-at-home order AS WELL AS a curfew. It hasn’t passed yet, but I expect it to tomorrow, which means there is likely more WoW and Fallout time in my immediate future.

Daily Developments:

  • See above information about the curfew… will probably pass tomorrow.
  • Milo likes to play fetch during the day. I cannot always play with him, but he makes a point of throwing his little toy around on his own (then staring up at me pathetically) when I can’t participate.
  • I finished the book I was reading in two days. It’s not because I have a lot of spare time (though I kinda do), but because it was a page turner and I didn’t want to put it down.

Things I’m Happy About:

  • Oddly, this virus is the reason I’m getting to start doing webinars again, because our other trainers are too busy to handle them all. Believe me, I wish that there was another good reason for this, but I told you, I’m trying to see the positives in this.
  • Slept pretty decently the last couple of nights. This is a true achievement for me.
  • Only about 1-1.5 more days until I’ll have unlocked flying in Legion. This is something I wasn’t going to do because honestly it takes forever to do now, and I didn’t have a whole lot of time but that, obviously, has changed.

COVID-19 Chronicles: Days 4-6

On Friday, I drove down to Bradenton to see Lord Ormsby. We practiced social distancing from within his apartment, except for when we used my car to go get him some supplies so that he doesn’t have to take his motorcycle for multiple trips to the grocery store (since it doesn’t haul as much as my bug does).

What’s nice about Ormsby’s place is that it is right next to Bradenton’s Riverwalk so, while the beaches were closed, we could still get outside and take a walk and enjoy some of the sunshine. I had no idea how nice that strip of walkway was… water on one side, landscaping and benches on the other, a marina so that you can look at all of the yachts that you’ll never be able to afford (and think how effective it must be to social distance on one of those things). We also discovered that he lives super close to an ice cream/smoothie place. We didn’t get any that day, but it’d a nice little tidbit of information to have in your back pocket for a later time.

The grocery stores are civil – some are more crowded than others – and depending on what time you go, different things are available (but not toilet paper). I finally found the rice I was looking for today when I went on a whim. Also got some deli ham (they’re putting it in regular ziploc bags now because they are out of their other ones) and some salad mix. The ham and cheese sandwich I had today hit the spot.

Tampa’s mayor was reported to have said that she is considered a lockdown of our county if the governor doesn’t lock down the state first. I expect that will likely be announced sometime tomorrow afternoon at the earliest. I told Ormsby that if there is a state lockdown and if he is not expected to work, then he is welcome to come here for the duration – since it will be a LONG quarantine for him to be stuck in a place with no internet or cable and a handful of dvds. I also told him to bring his own toilet paper.

Lots of domestic disturbances at my complex today… and I live in a nice area of town. People haven’t been stuck inside for even a week and they’re already starting to lose their shit. I can’t imagine what this is going to be like if things really do lock down, and sincerely hope this does not become some new nationwide rendition of “The Shining.”

At any rate, I got one more (large) bag of cat food today – they aren’t going to need food for another five months at this rate (which is fine with me… better safe than sorry, since I can’t get their food at a normal grocery store), and there’s not much else that I can do to be prepared at this point, so I guess whatever happens, happens.

Back in my good old Kentucky home, my parents’ church suspended its services for the first time in living memory. Their minister apparently delivered his sermon (like so many others have) via Facebook – this was a big deal, though, because their congregation is older and slower to change (though I think by now even the oldest ones have a Facebook account).

Daily Developments:

  • Ohio and Louisiana are the latest two states to enact the stay-at-home orders, joining a handful of other states.
  • Many of the Florida beaches are finally closed.
  • Miami Beach hotels are supposed to close on Monday.
  • The Hard Rock Hotel and Casinos here in Tampa finally made the decision to close – that’s the biggest deal because they probably had the most traffic now that Disney and Universal have been closed for so long.
  • Grocery store shelves are still pretty picked over when you go there, but they are better in the morning.

Things I’m Happy About:

  • I am playing a ton of World of Warcraft – more than I’ve played in years. The servers are getting populated again, now that no one has anything else to do, and I’m getting achievements that I’ve “not had time” to try for in a while… also I’m unlocking all the flying that I said I’d never actually do on principle because it was too difficult (but you know… now I have time… so…)
  • I have rice.
  • The book I’ve been wanting to read since the summer (“The Phantom Prince” by Elizabeth Kendall, about Ted Bundy) finally came off hold for me today… I’ve been on a list for freaking ever to read this one. This could not have come at a better time, since I am now stuck home for the foreseeable future.
Bradenton Riverwalk – Butterfly Garden
Bradenton Riverwalk
Bradenton Riverwalk

COVID-19 Chronicles: Day 1

I realize that COVID has been a thing for months now… but it’s affected me, personally, very little, except that I decided early on that this could be really bad and that I should probably go out and make sure my stock of cold medicines and tissues was stable.  I bought one package of toilet paper then (but because I was basically out) and a little bit of food, but left it at that because things hadn’t blown up in the US yet and I wanted to see what would happen.

As the news got worse, and it made its way over here, I’ve spent the last four weeks stocking up on non-perishable food items (they’ll also last through hurricane season), stuff I’ll want if I do get sick, and food and litter for the cats.  I was comfortably prepared for this thing before it got ridiculous.  I am proud of that.

Two weeks ago, at work, the order came for us to start preparing to work from home – there was no word on whether we actually would, but they wanted us to test our connections and apps to make sure we could if we had to.  Yesterday the order came for us to begin remote-working today, so this is it.

Working from home is not so bad.  I made the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made in my life on Saturday night, with some left over to snack on (and they need to be – their shelf life is only about 5 days).  I get up and log in at my normal time (around 6:45), but I do it in my fuzzy socks and with one of the cats in my lap periodically.  I miss my work friends, but I am also really digging getting to hang out with the cats all day, so I guess it’s the ultimate trade off.

Social isolation is not difficult for a lifelong introvert… I guess you could say that, in a way, I’ve been rehearsing for this my whole life.  Granted, I’ve gotten better about my introversion over the years, but I also have absolutely no qualms about binge watching an entire television series or playing four straight hours of World of Warcraft and getting achievements that I just don’t have time to go for during normal periods of my life.

I am, of course, worried about my family – but, most of them live in a very small town in a rural area.  They are pretty social within the confines of that town, however, people in that town don’t travel much and it’s not a bustling tourist destination.  You could argue that they practice a less extreme form of social isolation all the time.  And I call them pretty much daily now so I know they’re ok.

At any rate, because I find myself with more “downtime” than I am accustomed to and because I am a historian (seriously, I have a degree in this) with a fascination for social history and change – and in a weirdly twisted way, I am flattered to be living in the middle of it – I’ve decided to chronicle this all here.

I’m not doing this because I’m anticipating getting a lot of hits… I would imagine WordPress (among other sites) is FULL of posts like mine right now… (probably from people that are a whole lot worse off and, by proxy, more interesting) but because I really want to be able to come back to this someday and read about it all. If you do decide to join me for this series, please note that I’m not going to be getting engaged in scientific discussions (I am not qualified), nor political ones (not qualified for that either).  I think the best thing we can do for ourselves now, and for each other, is to remain as positive as we can.  And that’s what I’ll be doing.

With any luck, I’ll be able to post daily (or semi-daily).

Daily Developments:

  • Florida’s Primary elections are still taking place.  This is a big deal because other states have changed the date of theirs.
  • Tampa’s bars and clubs are closed. Restaurants are limited to 50% capacity (and are urging takeout).
  • People are still coming down here for Spring Break, which I find odd, but y’all also help ensure we don’t pay state income tax, so thanks.
  • The Clearwater Pier was recently closed (but the beach is still open)… South Beach, I hear, is closed, though.

Things I’m happy about:

  • I have food… enough to last through hurricane season if I’m careful.
  • Milo spent a good half of the day in my lap. He spent part of it watching a webinar.  If this is my new “normal” for work, I’ll take it.
  • Grocery stores here are still pretty much stocked with everything (except toilet paper and hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial soap)… so I can easily replace what I consume. This is what I plan to do until this either ends or I get sick and have to quarantine myself.  If I have to quarantine myself, I have enough supplies to get by on until that quarantine period ends.
  • I still have a job – seriously… I’ve already seen one major recession in my adult life, and I was unemployed and basically homeless during that one. I am thankful, THANKFUL that I have work, and that my employer lets me work from home instead of forcing me on furlough, and also that my rent is reasonable since I moved to another area of town.

— ‘Till tomorrow.