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  • Remus’ Journal

    Posted by Remus on March 12, 2021 at 1:48 am

    Hey there, everyone!

    I’m Remus, and this is my journal. I joined the forums in June of 2017 which was during the third assessment and just after the book got crispy. I’ve been hooked in ever since ave love being a part of this community. I’m not exactly sure what I’ll post in here, but I’ll probably post updates on my different goals for each year and any fun things that I end up doing. But first…

    • My pronouns are he/him
    • I’m a Celestant-bearing Weatherwatch and one of the guild’s captains
    • I currently live in the Des Moines Metro area in Iowa, USA. I’ve moved a lot, though: I was born in Western Colorado, grew up in Southwestern Missouri, went to college in Southeastern Wisconsin, and now I’m in Iowa!
    • I’m really interested in languages and anthropology. I graduated from my undergraduate program in Anthropology and Modern Languages and Literatures in May of 2020, and I’m going to start an Anthropology Master’s program in Fall.
    • As for languages, I speak French (but I’m rusty since there aren’t a lot of French speakers in my life), a bit of German and Scottish Gaelic, and I used to be able to speak some Wolof.
    • I’ve been trying to get into more hobbies since I graduated. I enjoy reading, video games, and TTRPGs (which I was able to keep up while in school), and I’m hoping to get into more creative hobbies this year. I’ve started picking up the melodica this year, and once it’s consistently warm, I’ll try to get into wood burning.
    • I’m also trying to make exercising a more regular part of my life. In addition to using RingFit Adventure, I’m trying to take daily walks or bike rides, depending on the weather.

    And I think that’s it (for now). Feel free to comment if you’d like to know more – I’d be more than happy to talk about stuff!

    Remus replied 6 months, 2 weeks ago 6 Members · 15 Replies
  • 15 Replies
  • Remus

    Member
    March 12, 2021 at 2:04 am

    Since I got married last August, I’ve been cooking a lot. Part of that was because I lived on a meal plan during college and didn’t cook a lot when I was at home. The other reason is because I work from home and my wife commutes almost an hour, so it makes more sense for me to cook.

    Tonight, though, I got to cook WITH my wife which was great. We made Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes with Asparagus which is one of our favorite easy (though a little time consuming) recipes. Here are the results:

  • Remus

    Member
    March 20, 2021 at 9:45 pm

    This week has been pretty chilly and dreary, so I haven’t been motivated to go out and walk or ride my bike. On top of that, I started teaching a class at the community college I work at (which has been a wild experience and will probably be a separate post in the future). That wouldn’t be too big of an issue, but since my class ends at 5:25, it often feels too late to go out (plus, it’s tiring, even for an extrovert like me). However, it cleared up at the end of the week, so I got to have a quick wall around yesterday afternoon.

    Today was even nicer, though, so I put on my hiking shoes, WW beanie, and mask, and hit the bike trails in town. It was gorgeous, so I ended up walking almost 5 miles (I actually walked about 7 Km for the non-US Mounties). I didn’t do any waking between late November and mid-February, so it’s been really nice getting out regularly.

    What was ideal were the number of other people out without masks on. For context, I live in Iowa, a state in the middle of the US that doesn’t have a huge population, though I live in the largest metro area of the state. Unlike some of the other small population states, like Maine and New Mexico, Iowa’s vaccination numbers are fairly low and it’s pretty hard to get them. It’s very disheartening, then, when only 11 of the 121 other folks I saw walking or cycling around were wearing masks.

    Now, I get it: face masks aren’t the most comfortable. If they don’t fit right, they can dig into ears and breathing through them isn’t exactly like breathing “normally.” They can also fog up your glasses (not as much of a problem as we move into spring), and I’m sure people have other complaints about them. BUT, they have been shown to help prevent transmission of the pandemic-causing virus we’re living through which is pretty important in a state with low vaccination rates.

    This isn’t new: this was the case before the vaccine was even announced, it’s just upsetting when only 1/11 of the people you see outside seem to remember that we’re in the midst of a global and deadly pandemic. One of the complaints I’ve heard is that it’s “too hard to breath” when jogging, running, or biking, but my biggest issue with that it’s… Not? Like it’s certainly different, as I noted above, but if I, as someone who’s not in shape and has asthma, can wear one while riding a bike for four miles, then I feel the majority of the population who doesn’t have a breathing condition can? I’m definitely thankful I got to go out today, but it was also pretty frustrating, too :sleepy:

    • Ashburn

      Member
      March 21, 2021 at 2:03 am

      I feel this on a visceral level.

      Every time someone pulls down/away their mask in the craft store because it’s so hot and they can’t breathe… Not to belittle anyone’s health issues, I’m sure you are having a time, but be cognizant of the fact that you’re saying this in front of someone who’s been wearing theirs for several hours, slinging an unending flow of fabric (even longer if I’ve been at my other job beforehand)… :bashfacepalm:

    • Nimueh

      Member
      March 21, 2021 at 2:24 am

      I feel this on so many levels. As someone that dislikes wearing a mask as it really makes me feel breathless (probably a mental thing rather than an actual issue), I’ve been only going out when I absolutely must, and then that’s only been to like the corner shop when I can walk without it to the shop, put it on, and take it off as soon as I’m clear out the door. At this point, I think I’ve spent less than 24hours out of the house over the full year-long lockdown, and I don’t see much change in this behavior before at least summer, if not September. I’m so sick of all these people that just seem to either not care about their/other people’s health or think they’re invisible. They’re the main reason this is still going on a year later and why we didn’t manage to starve the virus out 6 months ago…

  • Remus

    Member
    April 11, 2021 at 11:12 pm

    It’s been a minute since my last update, but there hasn’t been a lot going on recently. The weather is finally starting to turn to something more appropriate for spring, I’ve gotten better about walking and working out, but otherwise, it’s been very…chill? This past week was different (in good and bad ways) though, so I wanted to sort of reflect on my experience. For context, I got married during the pandemic to my partner of several years, and it’s been great! While we were living with each other (officially and unofficially, college dorms sort of complicate that dynamic) for a lot of our relationship, but being married and living together (but separately from anyone else) has been a really wonderful experience :blush: This week, though, it felt almost like we were living separate lives for a lot of the week.

    My spouse is currently studying for her national certifying exam to become a funeral director and has been really stressed about that as well as some other things (having a valid photo ID for her exam, new housing, chronic illness, and more). To help her studying, she’s been going over to her parents’ house directly after work for most of the week – she’d eat dinner there and usually wouldn’t get home until after 9 PM which hasn’t been normal for either of us since we’ve been married. Meanwhile, I’ve been working at home, and other than walks around the area, I usually don’t get to go out and do anything other than getting groceries or takeout. Because of this dynamic, we ended up only seeing each other a lot less than we normally do which lead to this feeling of living separate lives.

    On Wednesday, I took her to work and got my first Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (yay!) and then drove for an hour back home. Since it was such a long drive, I just randomized all of the music I had and let it play, and it was honestly one of the most relaxing experiences I’ve had in a while. This might not be relatable to some, but I love driving, especially when there’s good music to sing along to, and I haven’t gotten to have that experience in a while. Part of that is because I haven’t driven much over the past few months, but it’s also because my spouse isn’t familiar with all of my music, so we tend to talk or listen to her music instead. It was a really nice experience that I haven’t had for a while and I kept listening to the mix even after I got home. Wednesday night was also exciting because I tried my hand at making homemade ramen, a dish my spouse isn’t a super big fan of, so this was the perfect time to try it out! It was really exciting to try my hand at something new and I’m really thankful I got the chance to try.

    While these were some of the positives of my spouse and doing separate things this week, my time alone also pushed me to realize how much my quality of life has improved with her in my life. While it was really fun to have “full autonomy” over my food and activities, it was also really boring and emotionally draining for me. Other than Wednesday, a lot of the week felt like a haze of sameness, and I was thrilled when my spouse decided to come directly home on Thursday. It didn’t fix everything – she still fell asleep really early, and I ended up letting her sleep on the couch because she was so tired and achy (she likes the couch more than our bed, anyways :joy:), but it was nice to have her home. Because I had that time alone this past week, I started to realize more of what I needed from our relationship and all the amazing things I already get. Over this weekend, even as she’s been studying, we’ve had the chance to have some really positive (though not tearless) conversations on what we want our lives to be like together, especially after she’s done with her exams.

    I’m not really sure where to end this, but I just wanted to share because I think it’s important to always reflect on what we’re doing in life and whether it’s what we want and need. While this was definitely true in my pre-marriage life, I think it’s almost more important after you make a long-term or lifelong commitment. We constantly are changing, but we have to make sure and work (with our partners especially, if we have them) so that our needs are still being met.

    Sorry for a bit of a downer, so to make up for it, I’ve included a photo of the first bowl of ramen I made last week! Also, I’ve been working all weekend on a mixtape (of sorts) that she’ll get next week as a birthday present. I’m sure she’ll like it, and hopefully, she’ll appreciate hearing all the music I’ve accumulated for her (especially my two “musical biography” playlists – my bopograhpies, if you will)! Until next time!

    • Remus

      Member
      April 11, 2021 at 11:14 pm
      • BrokenVoid

        Member
        April 11, 2021 at 11:38 pm

        Oh that looks fantastic!

      • EternalHearts

        Member
        April 12, 2021 at 3:30 pm

        Now I really want some ramen – and not the kind I can get from a packet in my pantry!

      • Remus

        Member
        April 23, 2021 at 2:32 pm

        Update: My spouse’s birthday present went over really well! We’ve had issues setting up the music on her phone (iTunes is a difficult beast when your computer is overflowing with other data :joy:), but we’ve been able to play it through the USB I gave her in her car. As of this morning, she has also passed her Board exams to become a funeral director! She still has to finish her law class for the state and complete her 1-year internship, but she’s that much closer to be a fully-fledged funeral director!

    • EternalHearts

      Member
      April 12, 2021 at 3:39 pm

      Thank you for sharing this with us. Establishing a formal partnership is strangely different than cohabiting. There’s (for me and anecdotally from friends) a sense of no longer being totally separate identities.

      I’m beginning to learn, even moreso since the pandemic, that partnerships need to find time to be themselves individually, preferably physically separate from each other. when I was able to go to my Girl Scout meetings each month, or to a professional conference each year, I was better off and so was my relationship.

      I hope your spouse enjoys your musical biography, I think that’s an excellent idea.

      And good luck to her on her exam!

  • Remus

    Member
    May 26, 2021 at 8:06 pm

    Whew, it’s been a long couple of weeks :sleepy:

    First, some positives to start this (probably lengthy) post:

    • As of last Wednesday, it’s been two weeks since my second COVID vaccine (Moderna side effects were a time), so I’ve got the full coverage of the vaccine! I’m still planning to wear a mask because I can still get (and spread) COVID, but it has definitely lifted a weight from my shoulders.
    • That was really good because it helped me feel safer attending the wedding of my best woman! Not all of the guests were the best about following social distancing and the masking rules that the couple put forward, but it was still great to celebrate with them.
    • Lastly, I registered for my Fall 2021 graduate school classes. I’ve been planning to attend graduate school since my sophomore year of college and was accepted into an Anthropology MA program (with funding) earlier this year. However, I’ve been pretty nervous because I haven’t had a lot of direction of what to do next since late February or early March. However, I’ve got everything settled now, so I’m just waiting until orientation this summer!

    There’s definitely been a lot happening, but while all of those are great, they’re currently being overshadowed by something else in my life: moving. As I mentioned in the Shelfie Time! thread, I’m currently in the middle of moving from one apartment to another. My spouse and I have been trying to move for a couple of months because she’s a funeral director and needs to be closer so that she can respond to calls for removals when she’s on call. Right now, though, we live an hour away, so she hasn’t been able to fulfill that obligation, so we wanted to move closer. Plus, she’s having to commute an hour back and forth every day which leaves her exhausted when she comes home (hence the reason we wanted to move closer).

    The process of finding a place to live has been really challenging in the town (or even area) we’re looking at. There’s a population of 15,000 which isn’t small, but it means that there are limited renting options. Buying was potentially another option for us, but all of the houses in our price range were selling really fast (some of them would have multiple offers in under 24 hours), so that left renting as our only option. After finding a place that fit our budget and needs, we applied to an apartment in March and then waited – for weeks. We finally had to reach out and ask what the situation was only to find out that they’d never processed our application. After asking them to go ahead with that, we got approved and told we could move in mid-May. After several lengthy email chains, we got a finalized move-in date and the unit number (we only got this two days before we started moving in).

    Fast-forward to this past Saturday, our move-in date. With the kind help of my father-in-law, my spouse and I were able to get several boxes to our new place, including some new pieces of furniture that we had to buy for the new place. As we prepared to leave for the day, though, we realized the keys (which had been left in the unlocked apartment) didn’t work on the doors. After several hours of agonizing about what we were going to do (and being unable to get ahold of the apartment’s manager), I ended up driving back to our old place to pack an overnight bag, an air mattress, and some of the other boxes we’d already packed. I didn’t get back to the apartment until after 11:30 PM :sleepy: Sunday was better because my spouse’s sister was able to stay at the apartment during the day while we went back home to pack more things up. While still a long day, we got a lot of our stuff moved with the help of my family-in-law, and we were never without power or water because they were on when we started moving in.

    The last three days have been rougher, though, because both my wife and I have work. We were able to get the correct apartment keys (although our mail key still isn’t working), and we even got a hot spot from a library so I could keep working from home! However, once our workday is done, we have to go home and continue packing so I can unload things the next morning. This has meant that for the past two nights, we’ve still been packing boxes or loading the car after 10 PM, then had to get up at 7 AM to get ready for another day of work (and unloading for me). It’s definitely been tough (especially with the coming heat and humidity), but hopefully, it will all be over after this weekend (when we’re moving the big furniture). It’s sapped my physical and mental energy (which has made it hard to do more than like things on the forums), but I know it’s going to be for the best! Hopefully, I’ll be able to be on the forums more soon once we’ve got it all figured out to hang out with all of our new Mounties!

  • Remus

    Member
    July 30, 2021 at 5:02 pm

    Wow, it’s been a bit since my last post :grimacing:

    I just wanted to give an update because the last few weeks have been a weird time for me because for the first time since the summer before my sophomore year of high school (for context, I’m 23 now), I feel like I’ve had a genuine break from, well, everything. For the past year, I’ve been working from home in an AmeriCorps position which was challenging for me because there wasn’t always something to do, which left me a lot of “free time” that was still mediated by virtual meetings, events, and the hour quota I had to hit by the end of my turn. I still did plenty of things I probably shouldn’t have – practicing melodica, reading books for pleasure, playing video games – but those never felt restful because I was always waiting with bated breath for the ding of an email to respond or a meeting to attend.

    Then, on June 10th, my term ended (in the middle of my institution going through a cyber attack which meant I did nothing my last week). After that, I kind of spiraled (and if I’m being honest, sometimes still am). I still get up at a reasonable time with my spouse (who hasn’t worked at home the entire pandemic), I’m eating fine, and I’m even improving when it comes to daily exercise (it’s mostly just walking, but it has the added benefit of helping me learn more of local geography – a very :weatherwatch: thing to do after moving). And while I felt some of this spiraling towards the end of my term, I feel removing all structure other than the stuff at the start of my day has really done a number on me. It’s continuing to show how much I need structure which I’ll hopefully have soon with the start of graduate school. In the meantime, though, I’m hoping to add more intentional activities like I was supposed to be doing all along (like working on my D&D campaign, practicing my melodica, reading, woodburning, etc.).

    On a more recent note, here’s what the sun and sky looked like on my walk this morning. When I woke up, I thought it was just cloudy (that’s what the weather had been saying it would be), but when I noticed that I could see the sun and it was orange that something else was happening. It turns out we had a northwestly wind blow in bringing in some cooler temperatures, but also the smoke from the Canadian wild fires. I can definitely feel that the air quality was lower, but I know it’s nothing on what our BC and Alberta Mounties are going through. I hope you’re all staying safe and that clear skies and air visit you soon :purple_heart:

  • Remus

    Member
    August 12, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    In a shocking turn of events, I’m making a more regular post :scream:

    Things have been really good over the past few weeks, so I wanted to share because I feel that my journal hasn’t really been super happy even though there are some great things happening. I think it’s really easy for me (and I’m sure for others) to only focus on those negative things. And sometimes that’s necessary – life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows and happy days and its good to recognize that life comes with bits of good and bad. However, I know I tend to focus on less positive things, so I want to post about some of my big wins over the past few weeks.

    First, my spouse and I made our first big purchase by buying a new (to us) car! We had to get it so I could commute to grad school this coming fall (more on that in a bit), and while I really didn’t want to get one, it’s definitely been nice to not feel so housebound and feel more secure about getting to class this upcoming semester. It’s a lot newer than our current car or any other car I’ve ever driven, so it’s still kind of intimidating for me to drive it, but I’m happy with it!

    The second cool thing that’s happened recently was that I was able to see my mom for the first time in almost a year. We didn’t go a whole lot of places even though we were all vaccinated, but it was still fun to spend time with my mom and show her around our new town and apartment. The two of us even got to spend a day just walking around one of the local towns which is very connected to its Dutch roots, and so it has a bunch of bakeries, a chocolate shop, and even a yearly tulip festival. The tulips have since died for the season, but it was still great to wander around and grab some treats for later! We also went on a walk around the campus where I’ll be going to graduate school starting this fall and it was nice to share my “first time on campus” with her.

    Speaking of graduate school, that’s coming up really fast; we start in less than a week! However, I finally feel more prepared. After months of being unsure if I was just really behind or on track, I was able to get my Student ID card and keys earlier this week which let me into my graduate office (which is a nice room with cubicles, couches, and a coffee maker). I also got my TA assignment and I get to work with the professor that I’ve been in touch with throughout my application process (who’s been really great, so I’m excited). It’s been really hard to be excited about graduate school even though I got in nearly 6 months ago because it always felt like everything was out of my control once I submitted my application – I haven’t felt like I could do anything to make the transition easier since then. But now, even though I don’t have my books and still need to get a couple of things in order before everything starts on the 23rd, I feel ready, which is refreshing given the past year and a half of uncertainty and confusion since the beginning of the pandemic.

    That’s all I have for now! I hope you all are staying safe and healthy and that you have a great weekend (I know I will – it’s my first wedding anniversary)! See you, Mounties!

  • Remus

    Member
    January 24, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    Wow, it’s been, well, a while. I’ve been doing well, mostly, and I’m starting to feel more settled in my graduate program. My current thesis research, which I developed last semester, will look into ideas of the nation and local political organizations and how they conflict/agree with each other. While I still have a lot to do, I am excited for the coming months of research and writing! I also maintained all As last semester, which feels like a great accomplishment, especially because I was commuting 8 hours a week last year :laurencry:.

    This semester is starting pretty well: I’ve got an anthropology theory course and a linguistics course on gender and language, which I am excited about! I also get to TA virtually this semester (yay for less potential COVID exposures), and it’s the course on linguistic anthropology (which is the subdiscipline I want to go into). Unfortunately, COVID is still a big issue here (limited masking, little regulation from the Board of Regents), but people in my office and classes seem to be taking things seriously, which is all I can ask for. Both of our cars also broke down today, which is a huge problem when you live an hour away w/o public transit, so I had to miss one of my classes – but it seems like we’ll have at least one of them by the end of the day! It’s been a bit of a rough start, but I am excited to see where the semester takes me! I’m sure it will work out okay.

    Until next time, Mounties!

    Remus