Journal: Thursday, April 23, 2020

In Personal

Quarantine Day 37. Compared to the Time Before The Coronavirus (and by extension, Self-Quarantine), my Thursdays seen the least change. That’s because before the Coronavirus, I was already working from home on most Thursdays, at least since last fall.

That said, before everything was postponed or cancelled, I still had some recurring events on Thursdays, like a brisk 7:30-pace 12-mile run with the Breakfast Club in the morning, or yoga with William Walsh either in the morning, evening, or both (!) at Ironworks. (For a while I was still going to the office in SF, to run to acroyoga at Mission Cliffs before Kathy abruptly quit teaching there.)

Now, the Thursday schedule that’s kind of settled down is kind of a groundhog day repeat of all the other days of the week (it seems like everyone’s describing their life with that term now). In my case, it’s pretty much (1) get up, (2) read the news or read a book, and (3) start working. I know I should go and run, but for some reason, I’ve almost completely shifted my running to evenings and nights (perhaps that’s my natural running preference after all). For some time, I also did a brief 20-min HIIT workout in the morning too, especially when Runner’s World held a daily Instagram Live workout session every morning (or 12PM EST) during the first week of self-quarantine.

Now, I’m getting slow and fat. I know this because there’s actually a Step 1.5 — and that’s weighing myself right after I get up. My weight’s been slowly creeping up. And it’s not muscle, water, or bone either; it’s fat (this is a nicer scale that actually can tell me those four quantities, and my last big purchase before this whole quarantine thing started.)

There’s actually been one more thing that I started doing on Thursdays: running around Lake Merritt at midnight. I’ve only done it twice before this week. I was kinda wrecked both times — not because of the run itself, really, but because of the sleep disruption (which affected me the following few days each time). But at least when I’d step on the scale Friday morning, I’d happily see a noticeable drop in weight and fat % each time…

For better or for worse, that run didn’t happen tonight. After I told Lucas that I planned on starting earlier (because I actually wanted to get some sleep), he replied that he had a presentation to give tomorrow that he was still working on.

When I ran the past couple weeks, I logged 22-23 miles each time, a lot of it in the “fat burning” zone. One pound of fat is about 3500 calories. Even though I did go on a shorter, 5.8-mile run tonight, this basically means I’m gaining some half pound of fat this week. Longer run this weekend, now, probably.

Incidentally, my sister called me today. She’s been at home with my parents. Early on in the quarantine, my parents asked me if I wanted to come home, rather than live by myself. It was an easy decision for me — NO WAY. I feel bad for my parents, especially my mom, since they seem a little lonely. But, when I spent a week with them last August (the longest time I’ve lived with them since college… or high school?), one week already seemed way too long. It’s not like I don’t like them; it’s more like I feel like I have children to take care of. Adult children, in a kinda good (?) way.

In any case, a couple weeks ago, my dad called me and asked me to buy him some headphones. A long time ago, when I was still in middle school, my dad would wear a Walkman to work. Then I think when I was in high school, he switched over to a headset with a built-in radio, which could receive Chinese(-American) radio broadcasts.

Then at some point, he was told he couldn’t wear over-the-ear headphones anymore for safety reasons. But he could wear earbuds.

I don’t know when this happened but I think it’s been a while (years?). So I think my dad’s been working only to the hum of packages being sorted, while his coworkers have been using earbuds.

Anyway, I ordered the same wireless earbuds I have (and could vouch for) for him. But I also knew that he probably wouldn’t be able to set it up (over a follow-up call, he didn’t know what Bluetooth was, whether his phone had it, and worse, how to download music or newscasts offline to his phone.) He told me he’d wait until I got home to help him set it up (or ask the local T-Mobile dealer for help — though I knew that that was probably not possible due to COVID closures.)

But now my sister was at home. And lo, she helped him set up the earbuds. The only problem now: getting my dad’s phone to actually play something through the earbuds. Streaming at work was out of the question, because apparently he didn’t get reception there. So we’d have to get some app with offline capabilities.

In the end, I gave my sister my credit card details, and asked her to do some research and sign us up for a family plan, probably on Spotify or Pandora (I later got an email from Spotify — I guess I’m a Spotify user again now after some 3-4 years of not using it due to them having way too many ads, and me not willing to pay!) We’ll see how this turns out!

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