Pandemic Diary #14, 11 Jun 2020

so much has happened in the last week

cat: ;12.6 lb, diet food seems to fill up a bit more, harness training was a failure, not sure why she’s so terrified but she is. diet: she does seem more frustrated / grumpy maybe due to hunger, and she KEEP SCRATCHING little tufts of fur out. got toys so she can entertain herself and not be bored instead of scratching (that’s the assumption) but no she only plays if you are playing with her… i have work to do! trying to reconcile that because i cannot control her itchiness not necessarily a bad cat caretaker… my friend says her cat from the shelter was pretty itchy too, and she gave some aloe vera shampoo bath and he stopped scratching, and that after a few years of baths he doesn’t complain anymore and they still are friends (thinking: eastern vs western attitudes toward pets as members of family vs pets. north american vs european attitudes of indoor cats vs outdoor cats). i guess toilet training kit will have to wait…got an automatic cat feeder finally, $60. still within budget of $200 startup, $70 monthly ($30 emergency fund monthly)

protests: eating a lot into my mind. so hard to concentrate. not sure why my life cannot be stable, bad luck or am i just a bad lazy person? my heart is in ai for society. hard to reconcile. need more skills. so burnt out of always being on the run. yet, trying to stay positive

oh my general drama. cross gender general is the woman artist type is the man. passes the bechdel test, in part because the male lead has three concubines in addition to the wife. strongly mixed feelings. good avenue for discussing gender roles nonconfrontationally and relaxed. (if general has kids that means she can no longer be a general – point out that clearly her dad was a general with kids). a lot of chinese terms. not sure how much is sticking in my head.

protests. i eat my words about not being sure about efficacy of protests. read dead aid, interest perspective, that billions of aid actually shackled africa. that socialist or democratic does not matter so much as free capitalist market for lifting people out of poverty. reflecting on covid – china surpassing usa in controlling covid – no longer the developing country of my childhood. rapid rise of millions out of poverty (still poor compared to us, but also quite modern – latest cities are futuristic compared to us). should be possible in sub saharan africa too. trevor noah born a crime – super interesting look at race relations in another country, that history of apartheid and having to hide parentage. and the perspective of wanting so badly to be black. having to pick sides. using language accents as a way to avoid confrontations and impress people. eating only caterpillars for a month to try to rescue a small business.

tired. protests: how public opinion swept me along into black lives matter. was less decisive. like how on this blog you can see my old post on trying to be less anxious by comparing covid to flu (!) and immediately eating my words two or three days later. painful to admit my ignorance at first. uncertainty where to begin learning. (google play books – quickly spent a lot of money… effective at getting me to binge read books, also has an amazing free read-aloud service). defund/abolish the police never heard of just 4 or 5 days ago, understanding now: redirect police funding to social services. makes sense. radical.

protests. as unity: the youth across races. hopeful for the future. seeing trump start being unpopular. of seeing the flaws in my own thinking until i replace the character: woman, chased by three men, two pickups back and forth on a road. men with guns, trying to round me up. dying like that, nowhere to go. actually having FOMO on history by not going to protests and experiencing or seeing tear gas. finding myself to be conservative compared to my friends. considering watching 13th with my parents to help them understand.

tired. saw dermatologist – schedule contact allergy tests.

tired. find a research direction – find funding – find energy. how did i burn out so fast? i was unconscionably excited four months ago. an uncritical mind. what do i gain from criticizing myself in my mind? paralysis. feel that i have no skills, don’t know how to make cs projects happen. somehow. so lost to be like this – treating this so differently than a startup, where i relied on my wits and networking and talking to people. feeling incompetent and unclear why.

roses need spraying, need fertilizer, weeding, things i’ll never get around to. need to fix sleep schedule. maybe find creative outlet to relax. or am i too relaxed. i’ve been running in circles for a long time trying to find what i would find cool to work on. is it just halloween candy? what of art, what of dynamic movements. learning, learning, why do i keep putting myself in painful situations where i feel incompetent? tired, tired, to turn around and be the one who cannot be an activist, when i had implicit criticism of those who didn’t do anything to act. yet, my own future. yet, i am lazy compared to my parents.

stop the noise.

icra conference – organized happy hour. vitac workhsop great. “online town – new friends – best part of the conference so far for me” – mostly first years – people still open to forming collaborations and friendships.

find a cs mentor.