In the garden

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
I miss teaching undergrads. I love undergrads compared to 13-14 year olds. Extensions were easy, they asked, they got auto 5 calendar days. If they had an actual legit reason for needing more than that, they got another 48 hours. I never got asked for grade reviews - people here just accept their grades. The worst part was marking so many of the same thing, often 2500 words, when you generally knew what the grade would be within the first paragraph. It would be very rare for the essay to get better after the first paragraph and unlikely it would get worse.

I just wrote a FB post and an old friend/lover liked it in under a minute so I sent a PM saying "hi, how are you." He said "not so good" so I invited him to message me. It's a 2 hour time difference so he said he'd be available later after kid drop off. I hope he still wants to chat later, it would be good to catch up, and I'm a good listener (it's a skill I've honed since I realised I did the ADHD thing of relating everything back to a personal experience - which actually, once upon a time, was taught as part of listening skills). I've mentioned him here a few years ago...I called him Sam. I'm glad we're still FB friends, definitely a comet friend, we can go for aaaages with barely a murmur and then a burst of conversation, then silence again. Still some of the best bedroom memories of my life when we first met.

I've been chatting with a guy on tiktok, I stumbled across him and somehow I was drawn to him. Rare. Very Rare. So I'm going to actively foster the conversation. You might be surprised to discover he lives about 5 hours drive away which has got to be a record for me for close proximity. So far I know he's a master of video transitions with a penchant for recipes that include sausages, and a Masters degree in chemistry with some time behind him teaching undergrads. And he's kinky because he did a tongue in cheek video about a safeword being the longest placename in NZ. I'm in the process of trying to memorise it.
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
OMG, I just talked to Sam for 3 hours. There was definitely flirting.

(He's in Australia.)
 

Eponine

Active member
The worst part was marking so many of the same thing, often 2500 words, when you generally knew what the grade would be within the first paragraph. It would be very rare for the essay to get better after the first paragraph and unlikely it would get worse.
Oof, I never had to grade essays that long, and even shorter essays were annoying enough. I also found it hard to grade essays by a consistent standard, since it was largely subjective. I've been a TA for graduate statistic classes, and grading those was easier, although could be annoying in its own way.
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
Well shit. I've got Covid.
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
It's Tuesday night. The days are passing slowly and I'm sleeping whenever I want. I have very few symptoms, but the couple of strange ones I do have are keeping me in bed almost constantly. Tinnitus is the biggest, both whistling and roaring. It's a weird kind of exhaustion that it induces. I'm being pretty good about the healthy things - fluids and food. Adam is having symptoms in waves, but hasn't tested positive. He's clearly sick though.

Puck is good to talk with, it's nice having someone else to chat with during this isolation.

Time for sleep again.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Well shit. I've got Covid.
Oh my god! Aries has it too! He came down with it last Saturday. We haven't seen each other since the prior Monday (when his cousin/roommate came down with it). It's been our longest separation yet!

I hope it's a mild case for you. Your symptoms are weird! Covid is weird! Aries has typical cold symptoms, that's it. No fever. Just congestion. I've brought him food a couple times and we've done a bit of video sex, since we're both horny as fuck.
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
Adam has been having it worse than me with both fever and major sinus congestion.

I'm back to normal levels of tinnitus, and not sleeping as much, but I'm constantly exhausted. I'm having some difficulty breathing that my inhalers are making a difference for in short bursts, and my O2 sats are fine even when I can't breathe comfortably. I'm already stressing about work but am currently unable to do the things that would alleviate the worst of the stress because I just can't face it. I'm grinding my teeth a lot, I'm not sure if that's just stress, or coming off some of the heavier drugs I was taking. Probably a bit of both.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to be able to make a real dinner tonight. Surely it will help to have better nutrition tonight.
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
I'm having another week off work as I'm having some significant breathing/chest issues. Adam is still suffering a sore throat and stuffy nose. Nova is being an absolute saviour with groceries.

Puck is having his own challenges as he focuses moving back into a healthy lifestyle (bye bye wine, cigarettes, carbs). He was still super supportive this morning when I was feeling awful (and a little scared).

It means I have had to opt out of a conference on Thursday and Friday, which is sad, but it was a flight away and that's just not a good idea even if I test negative; I haven't tested again yet as the general advice here is that you stop being contagious after 7 days from first positive...but who knows. I'm just going to use the week to get really well again, physically and mentally.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
I'm sorry about your breathing! Are you able to get antiviral meds in Aotearoa? Aries is taking them. Best wishes!

I'm congested still, so I overcame the side effects from my Covid booster (fever, increased joint/muscle pain) and have moved into this cold or mild Covid, or whatever the heck it is, that I probably caught from Pixi a week ago. She said that of the kids and others at camp who are sick, they all had the same symptoms, some testing positive and others testing negative. I just broke down and took a decongestant for the first time, since my ears were stopping up and driving me crazy.

Aries was still testing positive yesterday, a week into his Covid, but he had to go back to work. They only give you 5 days off now, even if you're positive, as long as you're vaxxed! Barbaric!
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
I guess more vulnerable people may get antivirals, but we don't. Thank you for using our indigenous name! Let's hope it becomes the country's official name soon :giggle:

I'm noticeably better today, like I have done quite a few chores and even left the house - twice - once for pharmacy supplies and once for milk (and to reccy oven options since ours has just decided to stop working properly). Both times I was made very aware that I'm not nearly as well as I first thought. I've honestly had a massive improvement since yesterday, but I'm tiring within 15 mins of moving around, so I'm comfortable I've done the right thing by taking more time on sick leave. I get 5 days courtesy of the government's Covid response, but I have more sick leave available as per my employment contract, so I can take that. I might run out next year, but that's future me's problem.

Adam also has plenty of sick leave so he can get fully better before he goes back to work. It's actually quite nice being home together, even though there were plenty of days where we hardly saw each other because I stayed in bed but he hung out in the library. Today we've both largely been in the lounge.

I spoke with Puck earlier today, and he's gone to visit Charli tonight. Also, good news, Iris and he seem to have actually seriously de-escalated their relationship and it's stuck this time (I've delayed saying that, but I think this is actually it). He's already clearly more relaxed, and he's moved into the part of his year where he tells himself he'll focus on personal wellbeing rather than dealing with the campground. He was musing during our call this morning (my time) about how he needs to get to know himself as someone now in his 50s as he's not really done that yet. I hope he does make healthy choices for a while; I'm trying to as well so I can recover as best I can from this. I have lost a couple of kg over the past 10 days and I swear it's really noticeable (since it was all bloating). So I'd like to keep it off.

The daffodils are starting to come out in droves. I love their yellow cheerfulness, I really feel like spring is here, although that means that soon we're going to enter a really rainy season which I'm not so fond of. But this year is 2/3 done, and I've really been wanting this year to be done for a long time.

I've messaged Sam and am hoping we can have another call this weekend sometime. I've honestly got butterflies thinking about that.
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
Well, Puck made it clear today that he's not coping with seeing my anxiety. The nice part about long distance is that I can insulate him from that very easily. I'm also beginning to recognise his own cycles throughout the year and August is a part of the cycle when he feels that people around him are holding him back from self-actualisation. Sigh. He'll take about a month to work through his current approach to recovering from his summer busy-ness. He's still seeing enough of Iris that she's the main target for his annoyance, but since I've been struggling with work and health, I too am getting it this year. It's rather simple to fix, being long distance. I'll just talk to him less.

Adam is one step closer to working here in town - he has to go for pre-employment drug testing tomorrow, yay! If (when) he gets the job, it'll be rather bittersweet since he likes his current colleagues and is thrilled with his new boss. But overall, he's looking forward to the change. I hope that it won't be a bad decision like my career ones have been.

My health backslid a little today. I spent most of the day in bed because whenever I got up I felt really wobbly, but I got some figurative paperwork done. At least today I wasn't reaching for the inhaler a lot, that seems to have passed, thank goodness. It was so bad that I was quite scared the other day.

OK, it's bedtime, with a little bit of book time before lights out - I'm trying to get back into reading novels.
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
I'm going to be seeing Ayin in October. I'm really looking forward to that, I think there's no doubt we'll take things a step further.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
I'm glad you're starting to turn the corner. I was worried about your breathing. I hope Adam feels better soon too.

Aries finally tested negative 3 days ago. It took 10 days. He's coming over shortly. I've turned the corner with my cold too, so we are both incredibly excited to get back together.

Yes, I saw in the news there's a push to go back to the traditional name for your country, which I totally support! New Zealand is Dutch, for heaven's sake. So inappropriate and a disrespectful reminder of colonialism. Aotearoa. So many vowels. I had to look it up to be sure of the spelling. But we'll get used to it. It's not easy like Fiji or Bora Bora haha.
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
I went back to work after 2 weeks off with Covid. That was 2 1/2 weeks ago and I'm still not 100%, not even close. Adam got the new job and is now sans commute. Puck is beginning to mellow out.

I am struggling with energy/sleep/thinking. I have nothing left after dealing with students.

I did manage to get to the spring street fair the last Saturday, it wasn't great, but I got a few things to support local businesses. I also popped into the op shop and got a pair of knitting needles to dust off some old "skills" (I was never very skilled, but I'm trying to remember the basics - I can do garter, stocking, and rib stitch).

The weather turned to crap after that, but oh well. It's weather. We're getting solar installed and there's just a couple more things to do before it gets switched on. I'd be happy if they didn't do those until after the weather gets a little better and the panels can actually do their thing. Also, bring on daylight savings - I love longer evenings.

I'm in a weird place. I want to "get better" and have a more fulfilling life, but I have zero energy to be able to do so. More and more I'm working 6 days a week, even if Sundays are just 3-4 hours, and lastly there are never ending expenses and I'm feeling overwhelmed by them, and I'm falling behind in everything. The hardest thing to do is make decisions, especially outside of work. Finding words is also hard. Doing healthy things ebbs and flows. Adam and I have talked about me looking for a new job. My self worth as a teacher is in the toilet and I don't feel like I would be able to get references that would give me a hope in hell of getting a new job. There's also either commute issues, or living away from home again. Both of which seem too overwhelming right now.

Poor Adam, he sees me struggling almost every day.
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
Since I got better from Covid things have felt a lot more manageable. Ok, so there's still stress, but I'm not desperate for a totally new job.

Puck has turned his own corner, or at least seen around it. He's finally realised that my visit can be an opportunity to dive deep into the chance to leave the mundane behind for a week.

Adam has people in town next weekend so we've rearranged the house a little to accommodate the gathering. We have such a little house that even having a dozen people here requires the use of at least two rooms. I don't know if we'll ever get a bigger house, I'd rather spend money on other stuff.

There's nothing else really going on right now. I have some conversations happening on that other website, including one guy just an hour away who I'm hoping to meet in a fortnight. I'll also be seeing Ayin in the school holidays all going well. I'm also messaging with Mike a little more at the moment and hope I can visit him again soon. I just need to get through these next two weeks and then there's a wee break.
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
I spoke with Lance tonight. We were reminded why we don't speak much anymore. We still love each other so fucking much it hurts, and this time I finally cried about it. Nothing will change, which is good. We're good, and probably always will be. We'll talk maybe every six months now. Send a few cutesy texts between times. Think of each other a lot more than we actually reach out.

He's seeing someone regularly on weekends, like for a couple of years regularly. I'll call her Lady. Not that I'm likely to mention her much, but I can quietly appreciate the play on words.

This conversation was different though because the connection was so crap and we didn't really share news as much as try and get some words around the lag and freezing. The frustration around that probably led to the emotional dam burst, and although he isn't a crier, his words told me that he was right there with me.
 
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