I think today was quite possibly the laziest I’ve been since this quarantine started. If I had to guess, it’s probably because I haven’t slept so great the last two nights. I woke up feeling tired today, just like I did yesterday.
I can’t say I was super productive at work, I did manage to do a few things but I will admit this to you now, I probably am the least productive member of my team. That’s just me being honest. There are many reasons for this but one of them is because of the work from home situation.
I napped from about 6pm until 7pm. When I woke up, I didn’t get up right away. For whatever reason, I just stayed in bed and looked at my phone. I think I might have drifted off to sleep here and there. I didn’t actually get out of bed until around 9pm. I did that because I was kinda hungry again and wanted to make french fries.
I can tell I am still tired because there are still dirty dishes and utensils in my sink and it’s time to go to bed. I normally wash all my dishes well before bed time but I’m just so fatigued today that I’m going to leave them for tomorrow. I hope to have a much better night of sleep tonight.
I understand it’s a difficult time for millions of people as jobs have been lost and many businesses have closed. I feel extremely lucky that my job is still stable and I’m able to work from home for a supportive employer. Even though I’m in this privileged position, I am not immune from feeling a bit of stress and worry about the current state of world affairs. I cannot imagine what others then are going through during this time, as they face much adversity.
I know it’s not a lot, but I made a small donation of $50 to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank a few weeks ago. It’s the least I could do. The purpose of this post, however, is not that I donated. I wrote this post to highlight that my employer, Electronic Arts, has a company-wide program that matches charitable donations made by employees. The program is great and doesn’t make you jump through hoops to get your charitable match. There’s a web site where I fill out a form and attach my donation receipt. In less than five minutes, I was able to request a match for my donation. This program is awesome on its own but during this extraordinary times, EA has decided to double the charitable match. Now, for every dollar an employee donates, EA donates two. As such, my donation of $50 to the food bank has now turned into a $150 donation, courtesy of EA. I have an additional $6,000 or so of charitable donations that EA will match for me for the rest of this fiscal year.
I will be the first one to say that EA is not a perfect company and there’s lots of stuff it gets wrong but this charitable program is a good one. I understand they benefit from some tax breaks (so do I if I may be honest) with these donations but the end result is that the food bank has an extra $!50 to spend on food for someone who really needs it.
For the last month or so, I’ve prepared every single meal and snack I’ve consumed. For a whole month, if I ate something, it was because either I cooked it or re-heated it myself. There has been no delivery or take-out for me. I have never prepared so many of meals myself consecutively. I can’t remember the last time I had take-out. I wish I knew at the time it would be my last take-out meal for a while.
Well, as such, all this home cooking produces a lot of dirty dishes, utensils, and cookware. Unless it’s a pre-packaged, ready to eat snack (of which I have barely any of), if I need to eat, I’m getting something dirty that needs to be cleaned. I probably do my dishes by hand at least three to four times a day. I’ve thought about just leaving all the dishes until the end of the day and just putting everything into my dishwasher. I’ve resisted because some items can’t be put into a dishwasher, like a wok. It also kinda irks me if I see a big pile of dishes in the sink. This never used to bother me pre-pandemic, probably because I was out of my apartment a lot more. Since I basically spend all day inside now, I’m forced to see dirty dishes way more frequently. With all this time on my hands, it just makes sense to wash dishes after every meal or when needed.
As a consequence of all this dish washing, I burned through a ton of dish washing liquid in the last thirty days. In fact, on my last dangerous run to the grocery store, I had to buy a new bottle of that stuff. Lucky I did, because the current bottle I was using ran out today.
I can’t be alone in the increased amount of dirty dishes people produce during this quarantine. How is everyone else managing this?
I took a glorious nap around 7pm this evening. I felt very tired and it was just so nice to be able to put my head down on my pillow and just sleep for about thirty minutes. There’s construction going on across the street and it starts early. I usually don’t need an alarm because the noise wakes me up far earlier than my alarms does.
One of the very few benefits of being home all the time now is that I’m able to nap whenever I want to. I think about all the times I’ve been sleepy at work and wishing that I could be at home to just slip into bed for a few minutes. Well, my wishes have come true. I can steal away for a nap pretty much any time of day now. You see, there are some silver linings.
With everyone stuck at home and trips outside restricted to a minimum, I’ve tried my best to not need to get groceries as much as possible. With that goal, I’ve been looking in my cupboards, fridge, and freezer to find things that I may have forgotten and that might still be edible. Borne out of necessity and possibly inspired slightly by “Jackass“, it’s been an interesting experiment.
In no particular order, here are some of the things I’ve attempted to consume. I wanted some crackers to put into a can of soup I heated up and noticed I had a box of saltines on my counter. The best before date on them was February of 2018. That doesn’t seem too bad right? One of the remaining sleeves of crackers was even unopened. I cracked open the packaging and smell the crackers inside. I immediately knew they were not good for consumption. The crackers smelled strongly of musky and old attic or basement. They had turned bad a long time ago.
I also found a package of blueberry muffin mix that I remember buying from the dollar store. The best before date was listed as 2016. This had the potential of being worse than the saltines. Upon opening the package up, the muffin mixed didn’t smell at all. It had the odour of flour or more accurately, muffin mix. I added some water, stirred it up a bit, and poured the mix into a cupcake pan. In it went into the oven. About twenty minutes later, I had fresh cupcakes. The cupcakes themselves were kind small, as they didn’t rise very much. They were also a bit dense inside, not as fluffy as I wanted them to be. I’m not sure if this was because it was just a cheap mix or that it was so far beyond the best before date. In any case, they were more than edible and I ate all six small cupcakes in a day and a half.
In the evenings, I sometimes have a large mug of green tea. I have a box of green tea bags which have a best before date of October 2018. The tea made from these tea bags tastes great, my very unrefined palate cannot discern much difference or detect anything off from these.
I don’t have a shortage of food products to continue to test. In my freezer are several containers of ice cream which I haven’t opened but some of them have best before dates that potentially go back to 2016. I’m a little apprehensive of trying this ice cream as I’m lactose intolerant and I’m not sure how safe old ice cream is. I have lactose enzyme pills but I will Google the safety of eating old ice cream before doing anything rash.
I believe this week is the start of my fourth week of working from home. It’s almost seems normal now, the ritual of waking up just before my daily scrum stand-up meeting conducted via Zoom. I roll out of bed, turn on my computer, and then make it seem like I’ve already been working for an hour. I’m pretty sure my co-workers know I wake up pretty late though. In any case, this is the new normal and I feel like I’m used to it now.
I know that when all of this is over and I will have to actually commute to work, it will feel completely odd and strange. Some people, perhaps myself included, might even prefer working from home at times. I’m hoping this experience might spur some discussion about it isn’t necessary to be at the studio all the time to be productive.
I hope everyone has a safe and satisfying week.
Since we’ve all been stuck at home, I’ve been really cognizant of what I’m eating. Being aware of what I consume is helpful for two reasons. First, I’m hyper-aware of how much food I’m consuming. It’s not wise to go to get groceries every day now. The recommendation I’ve heard is to get one to two weeks worth of food, so you can limit your exposure to the outside. If I just ate without restraint or ate whenever I was bored, I’d go through my food supplies in half the time or less. So, before I consume any of my food, I ask myself if eating this is really necessary. Second, knowing what I eat helps me analyze what I’m consuming so that I can try to be a healthy eater during these isolated times. I easily could have relied on cheeseburgers, pizzas, and fried chicken for the last few weeks but I knew my physical health would have nose-dived. I’m already doing so much less exercise now, it’d awful if I followed that up by eating junk and fast food every day. As such, I try to have some fruit and vegetables every single day. Today was particularly good day for me as I had an orange and some stir-fry bok choy.
Now having said that, the one item of comfort food that I’ve allowed myself is french fries. Since I’ve stopped going to fast food places, there has been a craving building inside me, mostly for french fries. Those golden and crispy fries from the before times are still fresh in my memories. When all of this kicked off, I had half a bag of frozen shoe string french fries in my freezer. They were good for two servings of fries. Using my air-fryer toaster oven, I finished off that bag over two separate times. The one thing that my air-fryer really excels at is making french fries. Man, they were tasty!
On the day that I went on my TP run, I picked up a one kilogram bag of crinkle-cut frozen french fries. My weekend indulgence will be to air-fry up some of these. I am looking forward to it!
So, this is what our lives has become now. My weekend plans revolve around making frozen french fries at home.
Yesterday I was down to three rolls of toilet paper and I decided it was not wise to wait until I was completely out to go find some. As such, I went looking for toilet paper this afternoon. I’ll cut to the chase but I visited the following stores in this order: Shoppers Drug Mart, Safeway, City Avenue Market, Pharmasave, and Save-On Foods. None had any toilet paper on their shelves.
I blame the idiots who began hoarding toilet paper in the beginning. It makes no sense to hoard toilet paper. We make an abundant amount of toilet paper domestically. Ironically, I can see from my window a paper mill that produces tons of tissue products in a month. There’s fresh meat, vegetables, and fruit in every large supermarket I’ve been in but for some reason toilet paper is the thing people have decided to make scarce. People could go buy enough toilet paper to last for two weeks and that would leave enough product for the rest of us. Instead, these morons are buying months of toilet paper at a time.
I was pretty bummed that going to five different stores didn’t yield any results, all the while increasing my chances of exposing myself to who knows what. I was about to give up for the day but I decided to try one last place. I sorta had a feeling that smaller stores would have lots more inventory because it seems like people have been flocking to the largest, warehouse-style stores instead. There’s a small convenience store about two blocks from my apartment. When I got there, it didn’t take me long to find that they had several packages of toilet paper available. I was limited to just one package of four rolls. It wasn’t ideal but better than nothing. Finding that package probably extended my toilet paper supply by another five to seven days, depending on how many poops on have.
I’ll probably have to go on another toilet paper run in a weeks time again but now I know that smaller store has some inventory.
It’s April now. What a month March was. The last thirty-one days have been long ones. There appear to be more long days ahead for April as well. The low temperature tomorrow is scheduled to be just one degree above freezing. I have mixed feelings about the chilly start to April. On one hand, it’d be more comfortable if it were a bit warmer but on the other, I’m thankful for the colder weather, because it might force some people to stay home. It’s so odd to think that potentially, the near freezing temperatures might actually save a few lives by keeping people indoors. How much easier would have all this been had it happened during blizzard season?