After last week’s delirium-fueled post, my body decided to break down on me. Which was fair. I mean, I WAS overexerting myself. Karen Overexerting Bolipata is actually my full name.
I haven’t written about it here, though I’ve briefly touched on it in comics form, but Franco and I got Covid realllll bad in 2020. It took about a year for me to finally start feeling normal(ish) again, for my lungs to start processing air without me having to think about it, for the palpitations to subside, for my chest to not tighten up at random (Doctors ofc told me it was stress—spoiler: it was not). And though I’ve mostly gotten back to normal, I wonder if it truly is normal or if my body has just gotten used to a weaker state that’s become its new normal. Nonetheless nowadays at every point of overexertion, some Covid symptoms come back, with the most unpleasant being a multi-day migraine. The only treatment, according to Doctor DIY (me), beyond pills is rest. So, this week I had a migraine. And I rested.
It was a reminder that I should listen to my body. As someone who likes having 10 non-work projects going on top of 10 work projects, the hardest part has been slowing down and doing nothing. I hate nothing. Nothing bores me. But nothing is necessary. Nothing banishes all the things until there’s nothing left but peace. And who wants that?! Funny enough, it’s also when my subconscious serves me up some of the best lines and ideas for my projects. I wrote them down. I got a lot done doing nothing. Maybe I should do nothing more often. Nothing is the highest form of productivity! That’s what I was supposed to learn from this episode, right?
And with that, here’s this week’s Things That Happened recap.
THINGS I LEARNED
She treated it like many people approach their professional obligations when their personal life is calling: dutiful, lightly enthused, a little exhausted, looking to work the angles ever so slightly.
2. There’s a lot of us.
If you encounter them, remember that they are suffering. Remember that they don’t want to be pitied. Remember that they’ve each developed their own idiosyncratic strategies to cope, and that they don’t need to be told to do more or to do less or to approach things differently. Be gentle. Disease eventually ensnares all of us; when it happens to you, you’ll crave the same.
3. Austin’s now billionaire-weird, which sucks for the people who lived there and loved it when it was just weird. Yet they stay to live among the ghosts of their beloved city because it’s still better than elsewhere.
A person can live in many places but can settle in only one. You may not understand the difference until you’ve found the city or the town or the patch of countryside that sounds a distinct internal chord.
4. When it comes to finding a lifemate, not biking is a dealbreaker for a lot of New Yorkers. I’ve always loved biking but mostly biked in bike-friendly cities (like Amsterdam, Barcelona and Berlin). Being afraid of biking in NYC is reasonable. It’s smart. I actually didn’t get the courage to regularly bike in NYC until the pandemic, when I was doing a lot of cardio to get back into shape post-Covid while the streets were mostly empty and I was avoiding the whole Asian women getting attacked/pushed into the subway tracks thing. Now I’m one of those obnoxious people who have made biking part of her personality and whose life partner fortunately also bikes. Because, well, biking is awesome.
“I joked, ‘I guess that’s just an incompatibility,’ and she said, ‘Yeah, it’s not one you think about, like wanting to have children or religion or something, but I guess it does matter,’” he recalled. It was their third—and final—date.
5. Why my unprofitable, time-consuming tiny press project makes me happy.
If you’re not looking for, “Oh, I want to write a book, and there’ll be a movie, and I’ll become rich and famous,” you’ll be happy. There can be a kind of freedom, when the reward is itself the work.
THINGS I DID
I set out to document my office day but forgot as soon as I got to the office. Here’s the 7 a.m. sun piercing the dark cave that is our apartment.
My beloved ferry view. I always post the historic bridges and skyline, but this view is also iconic. It says: Queens, babyyyyyy.
I stopped wearing pants with fancy zippers during the pandemic, which worked really well for my Obnoxious Bike Girl transformation.
Though I forgot to take pics in the office, I remembered to do it on my commute home. Another iconic view. It says: You know what the city of glass towers needs? More glass towersssssss, babyyyyy!
After work I stopped by the studio to set up my new printer.
Meanwhile, Baby Bear was chillin’ at home.
SUCCESS. The printer looks cute on the shelf. I can’t wait to print stuff on it. I can’t wait to learn how to print stuff on it.
I came home to the most delicious Valentine’s Day dinner cooked up by Chef Franco. This pic spawned much talk on social media, with some commentary from some fools who were uneducated about the fine delicacy that is Spam. To Filipinos, spam is gourmet. Spam is divine. Spam is legion.
On Saturday, I emerged from three days of bedrest and walked to a neighborhood chicken sandwich (and more) spot. The counter guy was delightful. The music brought me back to my days growing up in the Bronx and Franco to the mean streets of Fairfax Station, Virginia. We danced.
Again, I forgot to take a pic of the actual sandwich, which was delicious. I’m kind of bad at this documenting thing, huh?
But here are my two cuties waiting for the foods.
Every fall we start our Gilmore Girls dinner rewatch, and now we’re at the horrible (or great, depending on your tastes) season 7. This one’s where Lorelai really wants Stars Hollow to like snooty Big City Chris (who actually lived in Boston, not NYC, so I’m not sure why they went with the SoHo beer bit but I guess that’s what happens when you fire the showrunners) so she makes him go on a man date with clout-filled Jackson, aka the husband of Sookie (played by Melissa McCarthy aka the greatest actress of our generation—I mean, she just disappears into the character. POOF).
Jackson: “You know what I love about farming? The commitment. No shortcuts, no quitting. You have got to be there for your crops morning, noon and night. I mean you can have the greatest soil and perfect seeds, but if you are not 100% committed, you might as well pave over those 32 acres and build yourself a strip mall. You know what I mean.”
Chris: “It’s a lot of responsibility.”
Me: I’d be a terrible farmer.
Franco btw would make an amazing farmer.
And so we left bedrest and entered BEDURDAY.
THING I WROTE
“Small Talk.” A comic about my awesome conversational skills that make me a great presence in the office.
Happy(ish) Monday ✌️