Wednesday, July 01, 2020

June - the Coronavirus Diaries

Monday, June 1

Applied for a couple jobs last night and sent off my resume to a few people today. Fingers crossed for something. My laptop charger broke, the prongs in the middle box receded into it, so of course that's great timing as I'm about to turn my work laptop in and I clearly need one to keep applying for jobs. Luckily Taylor has the same model computer as I do, so I drove to his house for a spare. Anthony came with me, and we hung out for a couple hours. 

Little Q is a Candyland cheater. She kept telling Anthony that she just forgot to let him have a turn. 

Little buddy wanted to drag me around for awhile. I'll let him.

Came home and made our HelloFresh meal - beef bulgogi meatballs. Really good! I was a big fan. 

Quick evening walk in the neighborhood. I saw a couple people looking at the house next door that's for sale. Gave them the neighborhood rundown. Hoping we get some nice new neighbors in. 

Tuesday, June 2

Exciting news this morning - the shelf from my Modsy design was finally delivered! It was backordered when I bought it weeks ago, and I purchased via Modsy because they had the best price. It was delivered through a local furniture store, so I found that interesting. 

Had a couple calls today around potential job leads, which feels good. But I don't know if they'll actually work out. I just need one though. Just one. The cats came and napped with me on the couch, which I just love. 

I wrangled Anthony into a longer evening walk, and we meandered through the nearby cemetery. 

Wednesday, June 3

Had my last official early Wednesday call with Zsofi in Budapest. We've had a friend chat on the calendar every week for probably a year now. Then a couple job-hunting calls. One that won't pan out cause it's not a good fit and one that kicks off the interview process tomorrow. We'll see.

I ventured into the office for one last time to drop off my laptop. Felt super weird to be in there alone, and I almost forgot where my desk was. We'd moved right before everything shut down. Grabbed a few things I'd left on my desk, and just like that, this chapter is over. It's a shame, really.

Finally got the Ikea cushions I'd ordered for our chairs weeks and weeks ago. Cats loved the box, as expected.

Made another HelloFresh meal and sat outside in the perfect weather. This time it was a tagine cous-cous thing. Pretty good.

Then a long walk to call the parents and soak up some fresh air.

Thursday, June 4

Another day of hanging around the house. I should start painting the guest room, but I'm waiting on phone calls from people and don't feel like I have enough uninterrupted time.

I had a first round interview for a job that I thought I might like, based on chatting with the recruiter. But after getting more info, I realized that the type of work doesn't line up with what I want to do, and it's a long commute for a slight pay cut. I feel like I should bow out, but maybe I can't afford to be picky in a pandemic? I did enjoy the chat with the hiring manager, I just don't think it's right for me. I did manage to reduce our mortgage payment for the next three months, so that gives us more room. And my gym membership is on hold til mid-August. Hopefully I can land something and start by August 1.

I wanted to get back into Millcreek Canyon after work, so Anthony and I headed up around 6pm for a leisurely walk down the Pipeline Trail.

On the way down Anthony spotted this little guy on a long. Good thing it was little.

Came home and kept mulling over the job interview and moving forward in the process. Called a couple friends to chat and process their advice. And when in stress, eat an ice cream sandwich. Try not to share with cats.

Friday, June 5

Had a call with the recruiter in the morning and turned down moving forward in the interview process. Feels like the right call. I know I wouldn't be happy driving nearly 2 hours a day and changing a lot about my life - trying to fit in gym and cooking dinner and spending time with family and friends.

Ran some errands in the afternoon - kitties needed restocks on food and litter, plus I got them a new mouse toy that they seem to like. Also a Home Depot run for some random supplies. Still trying to gear up to paint. I know once I get started it'll be good. Just need to start.

Finally got to try Hector's for dinner. It was recommended by neighbors, and when we drove by last time, they were completely closed up from covid. But they're open now and we waited in a long line of cars, just after a family of four on bikes. Hello, carne asada frieds. I thought everything was pretty good.

Later in the evening I heard some strange sounds outside. Birds or something. I cracked open the back door and it sounded like two birds were calling and answering to each other. Then I noticed a little owl on our tree stump! Hard to see in the photo, but it's there. So cool. We watched for awhile through the door, trying to keep the cats from running out. Eventually another little owl landed on the stump. I hope they come back.

Saturday, June 6

Anthony had an early morning doctor's appt, so I dropped him off since he can't drive after. I came home to make those awesome sour cream pancakes again, then picked him up around 10:30.

He slept, I napped, hung out with cats, and still didn't paint. Then it was time to pick up the grocery order. Everything in stock this time! It's really windy this afternoon and thunderstorms are supposed to blow in. That would be great.

Out little owl friends came back in the evening! Two landed on the fence (one in the photo) and they were calling to a third in the next yard over. Really cool.

Cats run for my ice cream sandwich anytime they hear the wrapper.

And Anthony's hair is getting out of control. Not cut in months. At least he does wash it.

Sunday, June 7

It rained pretty much all day and dropped the temps! Didn't quite have to turn on the heater but we stayed bundled up and inside most of the day. Felt like a waste of a day, but if you can't be outside there's not really any place to go right now. Boo.

I managed a lunch of nachos. Had lots of ingredients to throw on and mix in. Also we've been eating lots of sour cream during this stay at home order.

It's been a few weeks since I made cookie dough, so I whipped up a batch. We'll see how many cookies I actually bake.

When the rain cleared in the evening I did a quick walk in the neighborhood. It was pretty cold, but I had to get out of the house.

Monday, June 8

A new week, time to apply for some jobs. I did snag a first round interview from an application last week. It's on Thursday.

I've been gearing up to paint for days now, and it's finally time. Leo's been waiting in the drop cloth for me to start.

Here we go. Ladder is ready. I'm so glad a previous owner left it for us. It's come in handy a lot.

The plan. I had our trim guy paint when he was here to complement the color Views by Clare that I've had sitting around for months. This is gonna be good.

Look at that gorgeous color.

Mostly done with coat one and calling it a day!

We grilled up some burgers. First time I think I've ever actually made burgers for myself? And by made, I mean we bought the patties.

Gotta have all the toppings or it's not even worth it.

Went on a quick walk in the good light. It rained off and on today and everything is still wet and strewn about from the weekend storms.

Tuesday, June 9

I'm getting lazy. Woke up around 10 and stayed in bed reading until noon. Whoops. The day went by so fast, but I guess that's what happened when you spend most of it downstairs in a cave. I don't like that feeling so I'm going to try and do better the rest of the week. Except who can get out of bed when you have two cats around your legs?

Got to work in the afternoon on coat two. Looking SO good!

Did a Peloton run in the evening, which felt great. I haven't done a run in several days. Someone has pretty purple flowers in their yard.

Still a little chilly today, but windows open for the cats. It's their favorite spot.

Wednesday, June 10

Woke up to find two little creatures under my bed.

Anthony and I went on a walk up to the neighbor with the great signs. And another neighbor with incredible flowers.

Spent the day cleaning up the paint supplies and replacing the air vent and door hinges. The guest room is nearly ready for occupancy again!

The previous old very painted over vent was so gross. Money can buy some happiness!

Thursday, June 11

This morning I had an initial interview with a recruiter from an online school. I heard about them via a coworker and was pleasantly surprised to get an interview. They liked me well enough to ask if I could meet the hiring recruiter that same day, so we set up an afternoon interview with her.

In the meantime I started to put the bedroom furniture back into place. Cats were not helpful.

And then I wanted to tackle the hinges on the closet door, which have been painted over for roughly 80 years now. Wasn't sure how I would get them off. By a miracle, with a blade and some muscle, I was able to get the door off the wall, then I could sweat even more removing the other side of the hinge.

Finally, success! I have one other door like this in the house, but I think I'll wait awhile to try and update those hinges. This was enough to scare me off for awhile. But I did it! Then I tackled my second interview. Turns out there are two positions open, so hopefully that helps? I thought it went well and the more I talked to people at this job the more I would like it. Fingers crossed I'll hear something soon-ish.

Cher invited us over for dinner. She moved here right as corona started, so I hadn't seen her house until today. It is a vintage gem! I honestly think she should leave most of it alone.

She made some incredible chicken from the Jerusalem cookbook, plus a super great panzanella, and I brought a massive bowl of pasta salad and sparkling lemonade. A true feast in a lovely backyard.

She even has glowing grapes!

Friday, June 12

Slept like a rock last night. Woke up to do a phone chat with my old team at AMEX that might have some contract work for a few months. Then I got busy with all sorts of stuff. Did our next lawn treatment. Went to Home Depot for one more new door knob, came home and swapped that out. Repotted two plants. Washed dishes, cleaned the patio, put tools away, cleaned up my painting supplies, vacuumed, cleaned the vacuum. Amped up my pasta salad from last night and then a work friend came over for a porch sit. She brought ice cream stuff and we hung out for a few hours on a perfect summer night.

And here's the final finished bedroom! New trim around window and doors, new air vent cover, new door knobs and hinges, plus the most beautiful paint color from Clare. A couple before photos for reference.

Also today was my official last day of work and it felt like a big ole nothing since no one really acknowledged it. Except for all us in the shadow slack channel of former employees...

Saturday, June 13

Anthony got up early-ish to head out to the west desert. Leo came to take his place as my cuddle buddy. I love that he comes in most mornings to lay on me and get some loves. He's really cute.

Meghan and I had talked about doing a short hike in the afternoon, but she was helping her friend move in the morning. Said friend lives two blocks from me, so I went over to help. Mostly just ate bagels, chatted with a few people there, and did some light cleaning. All the heavy stuff had already been moved! And then we just kept talking and didn't really feel like finding a short hike, so we scrapped it.

I came home to nap and read, then when Anthony got home we went to a lawn games gathering with friends in a park near my old office. I will probably yell at the building every time I drive by now. And sadly someone lost a frisbee in the rushing waters in the park. Ha! Nice group of friends that came with some yummy snacks to share. Finally got rid of the pasta salad.

As we got home we saw a little quail in the yard! I love all the birds and such around us.

Sunday, June 14

Slept in for awhile and got out of bed around noon. Kind of pathetic, but also I'm sometimes feeling drained. Stress is a real thing and sometimes you just need to rest. And I have lots of books to read!

We made pizza for lunch from Trader Joe's items - have a huge container of fresh basil to use up.
I went on a long walk, made curry, put the bed back together. Cats immediately burrowed into the covers.

We watched 13th on Netflix, which is all about the 13th amendment, and if you don't remember, that's the one that abolished slavery. Except in the case of a crime, and then the documentary talks all about mass incarceration and its growth since the 70s. Our country has some stuff to clean up. 

Monday, June 15

I got up early-ish this morning to go on a walk with Cher. She's got a 6-mile loop that she does on part of the Jordan River trails and into old town Midvale, which is kind of a cool little strip that has potential for new business to move in. Someone comes to feed cats on the trail section, and I saw at least a dozen cats hanging around. If you want to adopt a kitty, that's the place to go.

And we saw ducks and a beaver in here.

Made a pizza for lunch, took a shower and a nap, and applied for another job that a recruiter friend sent me. It's back in marketing and a 6-month contract gig, but that could be alright.

Carol and Geoff are in town from Hawaii, so we had a lovely dinner meet up with them and Francesco and Evelyn. We grabbed food from the newly opened Vessel at 9th and 9th, then popped over to the Garden Park Ward grounds for a picnic.

Tuesday, June 16

We were up late into Tuesday morning and our owl friends came back. Anthony went outside to try and get up close. Really cool to see.

Woke up to a rejection from the online school interviews and spent the rest of the day in a bit of a funk. I didn't think I was super into that role, but it still weighed on me a bit. At least the bedroom is put back together and every time I peek into the room, I love it.

Did a decent long walk and found great purple flowers.

Miriam loves laying on the paper bag. Anything with texture.

Anthony played video games after dinner and I made some progress on my puzzle. It's 1000 pieces, but with cats it's probably closer to 993. I keep finding little pieces around the house. Sigh.

Wednesday, June 17

A little bit of hope this morning with replies from a couple job applications. I replied to an online pre-interview thing and applied to a couple more gigs. I also heard from a friend whose company decided today they need help in the marketing realm, so I sent my resume over for that. It's momentum.

Cher and I went on another walk in the afternoon at Dimple Dell Park. I'd never been in this park but driven near it many times. It's a pretty great spot right in the middle of a city, especially since we basically parked at a grocery store.

In the evening I started to tackle this mess in our yard. It seems like it had nice vines in it at some point, but now there is morning glory weed, other weeds, and shoots from the tree over the fence popping up. I don't know how to tame it, so I'm going to rip it all out now and plant new things, probably next spring.

Cats in the window. Miriam always flips her head over like she's inquiring if you'll come to pet her. And if you walk towards her, she will finish the flip and flop down so you can get her belly.

Since I did back-breaking work in the yard, Anthony scrubbed the tub so I could take a bath. The cats were fascinated. Miriam plays in the water all the time, and even got her tail wet and didn't care. She's been flipping over the water bowl lately too, so sometime I should try and bathe her.

She stayed with me the whole bath, I guess she just likes water spots.

Thursday, June 18

Heard back from a company that I applied to a few weeks ago about a new role they opened up. I'd be a good fit and I'm excited. I'll talk to the recruiter tomorrow.

Mostly a lazy day. Usually this is Miriam's spot in the window in the morning but Leo came to bug her.

I went on a walk and then we got Cafe Rio for dinner and it was terrible. I have a couple gift cards to use up, which is great when you don't have a job. Except you can't pay on the mobile app with a gift card so we waited for ages in the drive-thru. And then the gift card didn't work, despite the fact that I checked it before I went. And we got home with the wrong food. I sent Anthony back. And the food tasted like they dumped a ton of salt on it. It was horrible. When I called the gift card number for help they said it probably was flagged for fraud and I need to email the info into customer service. Which I've done (and now writing a week later, have had zero follow-up from them). I'm done with that place.

Friday, June 19

Meeting with recruiter was good, so I'm moving on! I just wish things moved a little faster.

We were planning to go down and see Christian and Chrissy in Provo for dinner. We last saw them in March right as things shut down. They came to Utah to drop off their kids with family and go on vacation to Asia, which lasted four days before they came back. And they live in Ohio but have been here ever since. Christian called say he wasn't feeling well, so we cancelled that visit. Bummer that we couldn't see them, but he was super kind and sent us Bombay House for dinner.

Anthony and I walked after dinner and ran into some favorite neighbors outside. We made our walk a shorter one and then came back to their front lawn with camp chairs and settled into some good convos with folks from six households. I love our street. We stayed late until it was dark and cold, talking about all sorts of stuff. I'd take nights like this any day of the week.

Saturday, June 20

Lazy morning, reading in bed. Then I did a Trader Joe's run for some goods to get us through a few days before we go to Idaho next week.

We went up to the in-law's house for a Father's Day dinner with pulled pork and yummy sides. We weren't expecting quite as many people, so the larger gathering and someone shaking my hand made me a little uneasy. Utah's covid cases are rising a lot, and I'm about to lose my health insurance, so I want to be careful and not have to pay for COBRA. They just installed a new back yard patio with a firepit and a hot tub coming soon, so that was exciting to see.

Came home and read on the front room couch while Anthony played video games. Typical.
Cats picked me to hang out with.

Sunday, June 21

Leo hangs with me downstairs most mornings. And if I get up and use the bathroom downstairs, he stays. If he hears me go upstairs, he'll usually beat me to the top. I love that he wants to hang out.

Quiet Sunday - a little church and books and I don't even know what else. We grilled burgers for dinner and made fry-like things from potatoes.

Then a walk in the nearby cemetery. And a phone call to my dad for Father's Day. Which was a Facetime while mostly looking at their bed's headboard since it was in between mom and dad.

I wanted to finish my puzzle, and once again like last month's puzzle, I had extra random weird pieces! I don't understand! The cats got into this one a couple times and I found pieces in the water bowl more than once. And I figured the stripped white pieces were damaged and would fit in somewhere. Nope! They are just extras! It's SO weird.

Monday, June 22

Big interview day - two second rounds. These two are thrilled for me.

I ended the day feeling frustrated and at a loss. I joined my first interview online meeting at the scheduled time, only to wait and have no one show. About ten minutes in I got a text, asking to reschedule to 5pm. That's cool, stuff happens.

So then second interview happened and felt pretty intense. Most have felt pretty conversational but this one felt a little more grilling, which is also fine, and I feel I did well. But it's a company that doesn't have a strong history of stability, which scares me. And when they told me their whole interview process, it is the most intense I've heard. I'll keep going because why not, but it's a bit daunting.

Finally time for the reschedule, and it got switched from a video call to a phone call. Totally changes the dynamics. I couldn't read the reactions and kept trying to make a connection. Couldn't tell how I was doing, or where to give more info or stop talking. I felt I needed to be accommodating though, but wish I'd asked to reschedule for later. It'll be a disadvantage if all other candidates get video, I think. But what can I do?

I went to bed feeling confused and defeated. Kinda like Miriam when she just sits here and hopes to find a bug.

Tuesday, June 23

Another day of frustration. Someone reached out to me via LinkedIn last week and wanted to chat about open roles. Sent me an appt link to schedule a time, so I did. And that time was today on video. So I got ready and waited, and no show. And the next open slot on the calendar isn't for 2.5 weeks, which feels like an eternity and the opportunity will have passed. Worth reaching out? Or do I even care? I don't think I do.

More burger grilling and the tasty lemon arugula salad kit from Trader Joe's.

Then a run to Smith's to make spare keys for our cat sitter and they don't have the machine anymore. Grrr. Bought ice cream instead and then tried Walmart. I didn't enjoy the run-around. Called a friend to vent while on a walk and then settled into NY Super Fudge Chunk. It's the best.

Wednesday, June 24

Chore day! Laundry, mowing the lawn, trimming back the rose bush, pulling weeds, putting away the card table, doing dishes, picked up groceries, setting up the cat cam.

Moved to round three of the super long company's process, but I will press on. Got a request from another company. And had a first round with a financial company that I would be excited about. It went well, and I'll do a second round next week. Movement keeps me hopeful, despite Monday's mess. I just hope it doesn't all dry up. My goal is to start something by August 1. 

We had YW tonight in person for the first time. Went to a field at a school to play kickball, but not enough girls came so we just sat far apart and talked while eating popsicles. It was nice to be outside.

Thursday, June 25

Thursday morning we packed up and headed up to a cabin near Cascade, Idaho to hang out with our friends Lacey and Ian and their sweet baby for the weekend. A few weeks ago we all talked about trying to do some sort of summer trip, and a remote cabin that's professionally cleaned seemed okay. I was paranoid about public restrooms, so I was a camel on the drive up.

We arrived around 4:30, first ones to get there. We claimed the loft for our sleeping quarters.

Right on the banks of the Payette. We saw lots of rafting happening down the way, but the water next to us was shallow and calm. Anthony swam every day. Too cold for me!

Chill evening settling in. Anthony and I had dinner duty, so we did grilled chicken tacos. And you gotta have alllll the toppings.

Friday, June 26

We had a lazy morning at the cabin but ventured out to Lake Cascade for the afternoon. It's at a state park, and they really need to update your ability to pay the day use fee. Who carries around cash in exact amounts or checks anymore?

Water is a little warmer than the river, but I still didn't get in all the way. I'm cool to hang with baby Rosie.

We stopped at a pizza joint in town for dinner. We were the only people who sat outside and definitely no one with masks on the inside.

Another evening venture down to the river.

Everyone got in.

And I had a book and the baby.

And then I checked on our fur babies at home with our new camera. I called to them and Miriam came to look for us. Sorry we confused you, sweet kitty!

Saturday, June 27

On Saturday Anthony and I went in search of ghost towns. We knew of a few from the cabin's 'things to do' book, but Google Maps said it was a 3+ hour drive, despite it only being 75 miles or so. Boo. We still drove in that direction through a beautiful area, and then we found open meadows with an old settlement.

There are several structures still around, and lots of farming equipment left behind. And an old stove.

The tree grew up between this old bed frame.

This one was a stable.

We drove a little further down the road into Warm Lake. Lots of people there. Then we drove home.

Post-dinner river swim. Anthony carried a chair down the embankment for me.

Sunday, June 28

Got up the earliest we had in days so we could check out by 10am. Ian made a great breakfast and we said goodbye to Rosie.

Bye bye, little quaint spot.

It poured on us during the drive home. It's been a dry summer, so I'm happy to see some rain.

Kitties were happy to see us, I think. They slept downstairs with us and stayed close.

Monday, June 29

Back to the grind. Job stuff is a little stalled - I'm waiting to hear from people. This article from the NYT summed up well what it's like to be laid off. Especially the part about diminishing trust in others. My last two jobs have ended in layoffs, though the first one had a long runway and a massive severance package. This one was a surprise and I've got all sorts of feelings still. And job hunting is emotional and exhausting, especially trying to prove yourself via a phone call or over a Zoom chat.

I managed a decent run in the morning since it was still cool from the rain. Then got on the computer and applied for more jobs, because what else is there to do?

Tuesday, June 30

Lots to do this morning. Mostly finish up the interview project that's due tomorrow before my next interview. Got some more hits back with interview request to keep moving forward with a few places, so that's good.

Cats nestled into me while I worked, so I really do think they missed us while we were gone.

I braved Trader Joe's so we won't starve. Our fridge was bare. And now we have a cat in a bag.

Cher and I went on a walk, this time up Bonneville Shoreline. I'd never done this stretch of it before, and I thought it was nice.

Kept procrastinating my interview project, so... let's clean out old boxes of stuff! High school band pictures!

One of my favorite jobs. Proof I worked at Nat Geo!

That's June. The year is half over. And it mostly sucks. July better be chill and land me a job.

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