Saturday, August 01, 2020

July - the Coronavirus Diaries

Wednesday, July 1

I'm starting to lose track of days. I haven't worked in a month, the 'rona is spiking again and places and re-shutting down, and there's not much to do except wait on job interviews. I've got about ten companies in the mix and I'm reluctant to start more, because it's getting harder to keep track of who is who and where I'm at with each company. Maybe worse than trying to date lots of people at once.


I procrastinated the interview project that was due at 5pm but managed to get it sent over an hour late. To be fair, I had a week to work on it, but I was in a remote place for 4 days without cell service during the first four days when I received it.

And I got a request this morning to interview with an ed ech company in the area, they wanted to have an informal chat same day if possible, so I made that happen. I thought it went well and felt like it could be a good fit.

I've got two interviews Thursday and two on Monday, with a long holiday weekend in between. Fingers crossed for something.

Thursday, July 2

Had a morning first round quick interview with a national mortgage company. I thought it went well and sounded okay, so I'd keep talking to them.

In the afternoon I had a team interview with a company that I would take an offer from. I thought it went great! Was a little intimidating to join and see 6 faces on the screen, but everyone was really nice and I could tell they have a nice team vibe. Afterward a few of them added me on LinkedIn and messaged to tell me that it was great to meet me, so I'm taking that as a good sign.

And then I was exhausted and passed out like Leo.


We made some salmon for dinner and watched Bosch.


I went on a long walk while Anthony went to get some ice cream, cause I wanted some. Anyone else hate messing up the top of perfectly packaged ice cream?


Friday, July 3

We woke up early-ish to meet Cher for her 6-mile Midvale loop walk. I did it once before, but today felt extra hard because of the heat. I don't think I wanna do it until it's much cooler.

Maybe you can see a bunch of cats in this photo. They're all living on the Jordan River Parkway and they have some skunk family friends.

After recovering in the cool air with lots of water, I made the trek south for Carisa's cake truck again. This time I picked up Lacey and Rosie halfway, so we made the cake journey together. Her food is just so good, mostly worth a drive all the way to Payson.


Homemade pizza for dinner with cats basking in the sun. And now fireworks going off all over the neighborhood. Joy.



Saturday, July 4

It's the 4th of July! Except our country is a mess and doesn't feel like it's totally worth celebrating right now. We've got a ways to go to clean things up. I ate cake for breakfast to feel better.


And then I created a delicious dish from Trader Joe's lentils. Fresh tomato and cilantro with a dab of sour cream.


We made zero plans for the day, kinda leaving it open in case other people did things that we wanted to join. Except that didn't happen. Also, coronavirus is everywhere and we don't want that. We did venture out to a very quiet Target to get some groceries. I have a couple gift cards from work, so it was $0free. I haven't been to Target since February!


We ended up driving over to see Anthony's family. They grilled burger and have access to Hamilton, so I watched the first bit of it. Driving home we saw lots of fireworks around the valley, even though all the official shows were cancelled. Glad they don't scare the kitties. They were totally fine when we got home.


Sunday, July 5

Cousins Julie and Jesse just got a new puppy, so we made plans to see them and meet little Merlin. First I had to get ready for the day, and Miriam just stared at me.


There's Merlin! All 7lbs of him tried to be fierce and bark when we met him, but soon enough he let us hold him and play.

I love having a close cousin close by. We hung out for a few hours with lunch and dog and hummingbirds and playing some Jackbox games.


At home I got a video call from the kiddos. Hallie pretty much took the phone and told me all sorts of things for most of the call.

Cooked up some delicious grilled tacos again for dinner and then prepped for a big day of interviews tomorrow. Ugh. Can this be over yet?


Monday, July 6

Big day of interviews. Started the morning off presenting my 'week-long project' to the company that's third on my list of interests. I was supposed to meet a team of people, but they had conflicts so I only met with the same guy I'd already met. I was relieved to have this part over, and I think it went okay considering that last week I completely fretted about it. And now they have four more hours of interviews to go if I move on....

In the afternoon I met with a top choice for a third round, after a weird second round. I thought it went well and I liked the people I met. Right after they asked my availability for the final rounds, so that's a great sign.

And then in between those I got a call from the recruiter after my great interview last week with another contender, and they told me I'm their top choice. So that's really good news!


I think we scrounged up for dinner and then I went on a long-ish walk to decompress. Interviews are just tiring and I don't know what I'd do if I got two offers.

Tuesday, July 7

Totally slept in and didn't know what I was going to do with my day. I called Courtney to see what she and the kiddos were up to, and they were on their way to the pond. I quickly packed up to join them.

This kid continues to be a delight. Except when his mom leaves him with me and then he loses his mind.

Little Q is the best. Swimming and pizza is childhood summer.

Hal apparently is into little kayaks, so that's good.

While I was down south I popped down to see Erin and Todd's new furniture and new puppy, because both those things are worth celebrating. I'm really glad I could get out of the house and find something to do. It's getting boring.

Wednesday, July 8

A neighbor friend dropped off some delicious homemade bread at our door, so I found some jam and made a breakfast. How long can jam last in the fridge? Cause I'd had it for quite a while....tasted okay though.


It was another big day of interviews, a follow-up from Monday. I met with a couple people I'd be working with in the morning, then a company co-founder in the afternoon. Pretty chill, even though I was pretty worked up about it. Very relieved to have this all coming to an end!

Miriam doesn't get worked up though. She's always chill in her new spot on the couch. 


Celisse was in town, and stopped by for a backyard hang on her way between errands. She didn't bring the bf with her to my house, so I still have to meet him this week.

Anthony and I needed a date night/escape, so we ordered from Laziz and popped over to Liberty Park for a picnic. Their zatar fries are amazing, and so is the cauliflower. It traveled pretty well. We stopped by to see Sergio after, for a little hang out in their backyard.



Thursday, July 9

I took zero photos today. Nothing to do since job interviews are coming to an end and I don't want to start anymore. 

I did get up to mow the lawn and do some yard work. Pulled some weeds, shoveled up some dirt, watered a few plants that don't get sprinklers....

Then I got a text from yesterday's job recruiter, asking to catch up via phone in the afternoon. And that turned into an offer! Hooray! I told them I'm still talking to another company where I am the top choice, and they're trying to extend an offer as well, so can I please have a couple days...

I've never quite been in this situation and just want to be candid with people. Certainly didn't expect to have two offers during a pandemic slow-down, but I'll take it! Such relief. I think I could be happy at either spot.

Friday, July 10

Finally I can stop fretting about interviews and get to housework. I finished mowing the backyard, did laundry, washed blankets, did dishes, went grocery shopping. Go me!

I saw Celisse before she left town and officially met her bf. We both like geography and travel, so I approve. Shopped smart at Target and used up my gift card to almost the exact amount.


Anthony started our delicious pork roast and veggie dinner while I was out. Turned out really good. Then we had to debate camping this week. Our friend Rachel has an annual Uintas trip with her family, which we attended last year. But covid is rising and we maybe didn't want to camp and get all the stuff together.

But then maybe we should camp and do outdoor things, so we were gonna go to central Utah near the Manti Forest in a remote spot. But it's a heatwave weekend and neither of us have been there. So much debate to do something, but what can we do safely outside away from people?


Saturday, July 11

Up early to head to the mountains. We settled on the Shingle Creek hike in the Uintas, just under and hour from our house. It's 5.5 miles up to East Shingle Lake, and I didn't think we'd make it that far, mostly due to heat. But we enjoyed the journey and hanging out in nature.







Found a small group of cows on the way down. Sometimes I really want a pet cow.

We took a backpacker meal with us for lunch, but someone forgot a kettle to boil water, so no lunch for us. We lived on a little beef jerky and some nuts. And thankfully had adult lunchables and candy waiting in a cooler in the car. It was pretty toasty, but Anthony's got a nice water filter so we could drink from the stream and refill our bottles.





Sunday, July 12

Today is the first day our ward is going back to church. Half the people on the 1st and 3rd Sundays and the other half on 2nd and 4th. I am still wary of going, but I feel better that masks are mandated in Salt Lake County now. Curious if church folks will still wear them, so I opted out this first time. I'll get some stories to see how it is before I go back. I don't have health insurance, so I can't get sick or injured. COBRA is so expensive!

I woke up from a dream that I did go back to church, and the building was packed with people from another congregation. There was no social distancing, so I went to sit in the front row, which was the only empty row left. Then a woman sat next to me, close, without a mask and started to talk to me. And there was a choir singing without masks on the stand in front of me. Yikes! I'll take that as a sign that I really am not ready to go back yet. I think the worst of covid in the West is yet to come. Doing home church next to Leo is pretty good.


Monday, July 13

Today marks a year with our little kitties! I'm still obsessed with them.



I've got about 8 books to read at the moment - they all pile up from the library. One more week of vacation before work, so I'd better get on that. I had to go get a drug test for my new job, and even with an appointment the lab was running way behind. And the whole - wait in your car and we'll text you when ready - totally didn't work. At least that part is over and done.


Saw the bishop on my walk and asked how it was to start back church yesterday. He said only 16 people were there, so I figure I could probably go next time. That might be nice.

Tuesday, July 14

Got up relatively early (9ish) to spray the next round of Sunday lawn stuff on the grass before it got too hot. Then time to get ready for a hair cut in Orem. I went a tad lighter, cause it's summer


Came home and cooked a delicious stuff salmon dinner. Did not share with the cats. Also managed a grocery run. I'm glad masks are mandated now. That does help me feel better.


I've got a few boxes of old photos that I want to scan and properly document. I've done a couple rounds of this before but didn't totally get them into Google photos in the right way. So fixing that now. Leo is helping.

Some of those old photos from college!



Wednesday, July 15

Slept in til forever, because why not?

I started to do some new job paperwork. It still doesn't feel real. But orientation is next Monday at 9am sharp. Eeeek.

I did more photo scanning today and then a long walk. I saw the comet! Neowise! That little tiny streak under the tree branch.


Little weirdos.


I went back to the store tonight because I wanted something cold to go with dinner. Pasta salad! And Harmons has it already made.... Anthony cooked us up a steak with mushrooms and we had a nice dinner outside.


Thursday, July 16

Didn't do a whole lot today. I was craving a panzanella salad, and I grabbed all the goods to make it the night before. First thing I did was make it using a recipe from What's Gaby Cooking. Recipe time said 30 minutes to make, but it was closer to an hour after toasting bread and roasting the peppers on the grill. This all I ate all day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. So good. And best day-of.


In the evening popped over to see Christi, my old boss from Inst. She left about 6 months into my tenure, and I don't think I'd seen her since. Her backyard is rad, and it was really nice to catch up. Plus she made some blackberry mint mocktails. Sign me up.

Also did more old photo scanning.


And a sleepy Leo.

Friday, July 17

Woke up to these two at the top of the stairs.


It's exciting to have a new job but hard to figure out a proper way to celebrate. No restaurants to go out to, no parties to throw, but we did manage to order a nice dinner from Pago and eat in the park. Most of the stuff traveled pretty well.

Burrata and zucchini - perfect summer starter.

Our views.

These pickled corn pancakes were bomb. With a buttermilk dressing and a chile honey syrup. Amazing.

I had the classic burger which was a tad soggy on one side, but great flavor. Anthony had fish and chips. The fries were solid.


We walked a loop around the park after dinner and it mostly felt okay, except for one crowded part near a pop-up market. Definitely should have masks outside here. We walked way around all the people.


Saturday, July 18

A pretty lazy Saturday. I scanned more photos and found this one of my childhood cat, Sugar. I asked Santa for a cat for Christmas when I was 6, and he delivered.


Junior year of high school.

My old school ID from Spain.

Maybe my 11th birthday?

Anthony's brother had a birthday, so we headed north for steak and shrimp, as requested by Brandon. Except the chef forgot the shrimp part.

I took a walk around their block for dinner and for some reason a few things were starting to get to me. I couldn't handle some of the political discussions, so I tapped out.


Sunday, July 19

Nature church today. Today is the A-L group in my ward, so I'm off the hook this week. Meghan has two paddle boards, and I had yet to try them out, so we planned a morning on the water. We drove out to Smith and Morehouse Reservoir, about an hour from home. It's really beautiful and no motorized vehicles are allowed.


Meghan's brother was in town, so he and Anthony took the boards out for awhile and then we switched places. We let ourselves drift pretty far down, and then had a solid 25-minute paddle back to shore against the wind. Couldn't stop or I'd lose momentum! Glad my shoulders and arms could hold out.




We brought good snacks, including kid snacks.

As we packed up to leave in the parking lot, there was a woman who stopped to talk with someone she ran into. She had a dog, but it wasn't on the leash and it was running all around. Suddenly a car zoomed past and she was yelling at the car to slow down as her dog bolted out of some trees. I quickly turned away to avoid a horrible scene, but somehow the dog managed to slide under the car unharmed and everyone was okay. But man, did that make my heart race and it took me awhile to calm down. Keep your dogs on a leash, folks.


It was definitely getting more crowded as we headed out. It does pay off to get up early sometimes. And we still had lots of hours of daylight to get things done. Including prepare for the first day of new job!


In the evening, Adam and Dana came over for a walk around the neighborhood. Lola told us all about Star Wars; she's been reading the books and remembers way more than I do about Luke and Leia and the sandpeople. She looked at the kitties through the window.


Monday, July 20

First day at the new job! Everyone is working from home, but we had orientation in the office so we could pick up laptops and such. It's a little bit longer of a commute for me, and I had to be there right at 9, so I was worried I wouldn't wake up on time. Six weeks of doing nothing was not helpful for a decent bedtime hour. But I managed to be on time, even a little early.

Two other new people started today, so us and the HR guy hung out for a couple hours chatting about benefits and all those things. It's all pretty much the same as my last gig, and the office feels exactly the same.

I brought home with lots of company swag, and the cats are certainly enjoying the bag. They also are fascinated with the fidget spinner. I came home for the afternoon and worked on employee training. Not a lot to do yet, and I'll meet with my boss tomorrow to get a game plan together. I'm a little nervous about coming on board remotely. It's going to be harder.



Monday night I finally had a musical event to attend! My friend Jeff is also a massive concert lover, and he's hosted a house show with Williams McCarthy once or twice over the years. Bill is doing an Anthemic Pandemic tour around the country on his motorcycle, playing tiny spots, including Jeff's backyard, so Katie and I snagged a couple spots and went. Jeff and his wife, Shana, even fed us - with individually wrapped hot dogs, tiny containers of pasta and fruit salads, and separately wrapped brownies. Then we sat all spread apart, masks on when not eating, and had a great time listening to music. Show started at 7 and I think I finally left around 1030. Really great summer night!




Tuesday, July 21

Today felt like the first real day of work. I met with my boss in the morning and she's got a 30-day onboarding plan for me, so that's good. I've been worried about how to figure out what I need to know and start doing. I've got a list of people to contact and meet, so that'll fill up a good part of the rest of the week.

Tonight my friend Jessica put together a reunion for people from the LA 1st ward. A good crew of people have moved up here, and some had planned to be in town for the summer, so it was supposed to be a grand gathering. Of course, covid got in the way, but we moved ahead since Jessica had planned this since January. It was outside at a park in Utah county, so not the closest, but Anthony and I drove down for a little awhile and had a good visit with some friends. I wasn't in that ward for too much time, so not a lot of overlap with other attendees, but I'm still glad I went.

Not a related photo, but here are cats.

On the drive home I was really distracted with thoughts about work and worries about getting to know people. It's hard to do remotely. The casual interactions that happen when you sit next to someone are now gone, and you only talk when it's intentional or scheduled. And getting laid off made me feel a little like I didn't matter to people, because no one really said anything to me when I left, so kinda what's the point of getting to know people at work? Of course I don't want to feel that way, and I'm hopeful these feelings will pass and sometime I will feel part of the team.

Also today I accidentally stepped on Leo while walking backward, and naturally he attacked. Ouch.


Wednesday, July 22

Not too much to report today. Leo loves this bag.


We were supposed to get a Hello Fresh box this week but they had delivery issues, and we'd eaten up all our groceries by today. So what's for dinner? Feldman's Deli! Anthony had a Reuben and I had a Rachel : ) With some latkes, of course. Sour cream, please.




Thursday, July 23

Furniture delivery day! Except I had selected the afternoon time slot, and they called me at 9am and told me they'd be at house in 15 minutes. Whoops. We jumped outta bed, threw on clothes, locked up the cats, and cleared the way. Initially our delivery email said they would not be doing white-glove delivery, but thankfully they had masks and did bring everything inside. These chairs came in massive wooden crates, so I'm glad they took all the packaging away.


These are from Interior Define, and I think I love them. Might be a smidge dark on the fabric, but who can even choose from a tiny sample? The frame design and quality are really good. And I think once I get the rest of things set up in here, it'll look amazing.


Kitties bounce between the chairs and the couch for naps.

We managed a somewhat fun evening of errands out on the town. I feel better about venturing out now that masks are required everywhere. It was time to stock up at Petco, and then we went to Walmart on a mission for a Roku. We just upgraded our internet to better speeds since both of us are home and it's not the best on the cheap-o plan we've been on. Sucked it up to pay too much for internet. But with that comes lots of TV channels, so why not watch them? I didn't want to pay $5 a month to rent a box from Comcast, so a Roku lets my TV upgrade easily. The TV is just a tad too old for the app to be built for cable, and it's too old for Disney+ if we ever decide to get that. Thanks, Roku. Except Comcast is still dumb and didn't let me opt for that when ordering a new package, so they still had to send me the box, and now I have to take it back to a store to get the charge removed from my account. Inefficiencies drive me mad.

Squeezed in some delicious fish tacos for dinner, complete with an awesome slaw. Yum.


And then a walk.


This meme is killing me right now.


Friday, July 24

Ugh, what a day. So earlier in the week after new job orientation, I got a message that there was a mix up with the monitor I got to take home. I made a plan to come back in Friday to swap it, so I planned to hang out in the office all day since it's a bit of a drive. It's technically a state holiday in Utah which I almost always forget, and not everyone takes it as a day off. The company was not closed today. But when I sent a message in the morning to confirm where to meet and the guy was not online, I knew the swap probably wouldn't happen. But I wasn't 100% sure, so I still drove in. And of course it didn't happen.

And I didn't have lunch with me and didn't eat much, so of course I got hangry. Finally at 2:30 I decided to leave and go to Taylor's house. On the way I stopped at a McDonald's, at least the Dr Pepper would be good. Except it was the worst McD's I've ever gotten. It was even busy, so you'd think the fries would be hot and fresh. Nope. Lukewarm and soggy. And the Dr Pepper cartridge needed to be changed, which I discovered a mile down the road, so I had to sip on a bitter terrible thing because I was so thirsty and didn't have anything else. Taylor even said the chicken nuggets I got for him were soggy and bad.
Still hangry. Ugh. And I saw the nieces for a five minutes until they ran away to a friend's house. Arch was asleep and I went to look at him before I left, and he work up and lost his mind crying, so I felt great about that too.

When I drove home, I just gave up on the day and watched bad TV until I fell asleep. Tomorrow is a new day.

Saturday, July 25

We finally cleaned out the can of tomato juice in the vintage fridge downstairs in the basement. I had an idea to make that fridge our beverage fridge, which feels fancy. This can is only 3 years expired.


I ventured out for the day to run errands and go shopping. Covid and not having a job really limited that over the last few months, but with masks required now, I feel much better about venturing out. Plus our house still needs furniture! I started downtown at West Elm, which sadly didn't have anything I need on their massive summer clearance. But it was fun to look. I got a couple things at Gap for niece's birthday coming up. Apparently she's really into cute t-shirts right now.

Then off to World Market, Target, and Home Goods, where I had some luck with a laptop table and some pillows. It's really nice to have an extra table for a computer if one of us wants to sit on the couch.

Once again our HelloFresh foodbox didn't make it to us, so we grilled up some burgers. And lucky timing, Nathan was free and he came over for a backyard burger. Hadn't seen him in months! We had all the toppings, including bacon and mushrooms, and Nathan gifted us with some thrifted finds, so it was a great night. I now have all the Harry Potter DVDs!



Sunday, July 26

Church opened a couple weeks ago, and I decided to try it out. About 25 people were there, everyone was in a mask and very spread out. No singing. I was really glad to go, even if it was a short meeting.

I came home and made guacamole and that's about all I ate for the day.



Monday, July 27

Second week of work! Cat really likes the new table and cramming himself on the tiny part that's left after my laptop is there.


And this cat laid by me all day on the couch.

Another round of fish tacos for dinner. Solid spice rub and great cabbage slaw. Mmmm.


Tuesday, July 28

Time to try the monitor swap again, so I drove into the office. Confirmed with the guy yesterday, and he was actually really funny and apologized, and it's all good. I don't have a desk there, so I mostly sat in the open cafeteria area. I did get some Coke from the fountain machine and it tasted so amazingly good. And then I managed to meet a couple people in person, including one of the company co-founders that I interviewed with. So a fruitful visit. Feels a little more like I work here.


Since we didn't have HelloFresh and didn't grocery shop, we ordered Indian for dinner. The place in our neighborhood is pretty solid. And right now we're watching Last Dance while we eat. Feels like everyone else watched it last year, even though it came out in late April.


Went on a walk with beautiful skies.

All the mess about the "Frontline Doctors" stresses me out and makes me sad that people so quickly share things on social media and don't really do any cross checking or critical thinking about people who claim quick cures. Go read up on some other claims from the main doctor lady, and whoa. I've been following Laurel - aka kinggutterbaby - on Instagram, and she's an infectious disease researcher and is studying covid vaccines and immunology at Emory University. She's always got good info to share.

Studies with actual data (randomized control trials, gold standard for treatments) aren't showing the hydroxychloroquine is helping much in hospitals. There are better options so that's why docs have stopped using HCQ. And the frontline folks have been treating outpatient people, who likely would have gotten better on their own. Or because they're outpatient, if they did get sicker and went to a hospital, the outpatient doctor likely wouldn't know and would consider that their treatment worked. There are still ongoing studies about using HCQ for outpatient care, but the data isn't back yet, so TBD. We don't get answers overnight with proper studies. All the good data driven trials are listed here at ClinicalTrials.gov.






Also this from another covid researcher:


In better news, Miriam loves the paper that we got from our Grove Collaborative order.

Wednesday, July 29

Kitties in the window, hanging around me while I work. It's to sit in the front room with more light, now that we've got more chairs and one table in here.


Finally had to remedy the food situation. And take a TV box back to Xfinity so I don't have to pay for it. Still so silly I couldn't opt out while signing up. But I was impressed with their in-store operations and covid safety when I showed up to drop off the stuff. Anthony came along too, and we managed a solid trip to Trader Joe's. I always like doing errand things together. And on the drive back home - the horror.


Leo's been nutso running around lately, and then he runs and squeezes himself into a too-small shoe box. Cats are weird.

I needed to get in a workout tonight, and I signed up for Peloton since my covid trial ended. It's so worth it. Someone telling me what to do while I run makes me actually run and run faster than I would on my town. It's worth $13 a month while I'm waiting for OTF to kick back in.

Thursday, July 30

Solid day of work meetings, and I'm starting to see and feel where I can contribute and really make a difference. That's nice.

Buttered Bakeshop is a new gig started locally and sold via Instagram. They post a menu on Saturdays, do delivery on Tues and Thur, and I managed to snag a spot this week. Delicious! Those pop tarts are really, really good. Showed up at my door around 11am. Genius.



More from my fav Instagram covid professional.



Also, this is Anthony lately (and me, but he takes it harder), so we're gonna bow out of a social media platform for awhile....it's too much and makes us both sad and frustrated.

Leo's favorite afternoon spot. He's just so great.

Friday, July 31

Another month gone by. Year is more than half over and we've got little to show for it. Sigh. But I've got my little buddies helping me out during work.



Now that I've got a job again, I felt good making some dents in student loan debt today. That's nice. Going to get rid of as much as I can before I need to buy a car next year. Which feels silly, since I don't really drive much these days. So I'll wait awhile yet. Just want to have funds ready to go when the time comes.

We also booked a stay-cation up at Snowbird next month to celebrate our anniversary. And sorta my new job and upcoming birthday. Sadly, we should be leaving for the Stans trip next month, but instead we'll drive 20 miles up the road to hang out. Not that it's bad. Utah is awesome. I just wanna travel again.

Made a Trader Joe's curry salad thing for dinner. It was alright.

Harry Potter's birthday! Yeah, I have all the DVDs now, but it's also on cable TV which I now have, and for some reason it's a little more fun this way to just run into an airing.


Managed to mow the lawn and then go on a little walk. Pretty skies tonight.

Adios, July. You brought me a new job, and for that I am thankful.



July - the Coronavirus Diaries

Wednesday, July 1 I'm starting to lose track of days. I haven't worked in a month, the 'rona is spiking again and places and re-...

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