What a time it is!
Well, let’s see. Here are some life updates that have happened or started to happen when this whole thing started:
We are still in Hawaii. When things started taking a turn for the worse in the West Coast, we decided to cancel our spring break trip to Oregon. Between that, and now working from home, we are starting our 5th week at home today. I’m on my second week of distance learning, Cam is on his third.
Everybody in our family circle – and ourselves – is healthy and in their own homes.
Right now we are playing it day by day regarding summer plans. We would love to go to Oregon but have to assess whether we can go and abide by quarantines and everything else, depending on how long the pandemic goes on. We are hoping we can leave the islands soon and spend some time in the mainland closer to family and friends.
I applied for US citizenship back in February. Luckily, I managed to get my biometrics taken in early March, just before USCIS shut down in-person services. As part of this process, I’m doing exactly what I should be doing in the time between fingerprints and interview date: waiting. Originally, I had hoped to take the Oath of Allegiance by the end of the summer. Now, I’m not sure when that will happen.
Fortunately, Hawaii is a small field office, so my hope is that once things begin to open up, interviews and oaths start to become scheduled. My geeky history self wanted to naturalize before the general election in November – voting in the US for the first time on the year of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment is a dream when you love history and Girl Power. Hawaii is also moving towards all mail-in votes this year, so no risk in voting like in other places where mail-in ballots are not quite a given. I do hope to be naturalized by the end of the calendar year. We’ll see. I do have a lovely white blazer I got at Christmas I plan on wearing for the occasion.
We spent Christmas in the Dominican this past December. The goal: be with family. I read three books in less than a week to my mom and held her hand for some long stretches. I got destroyed at chess in less than 3 minutes in the only game I accepted to play with my nephew Christopher. We visited my oldest niece Lyan in her new place. We spent some time in our old favorites in the North. I drank multiple cups of coffee a day with my big sister. I joked around with my niece Paola and was pleasantly surprised to discover she loves Brooklyn Nine-Nine – which is hilarious in the best kind of way. I felt tiny but proud when my very tall nephew Luis Andres hugged me. We didn’t do anything fancy or special, but it was one of my favorite Christmases in a while.
As far as quarantine projects go, we’ve started watching all 92 winners of the Academy Award for Best Picture. We’ve watched many of them over the years, but as part of this project, we’ve watched (not in order):
- Parasite (2019 winner) – the latest winner. Weird but good-weird. We rented it on XBox Live. I think Amazon might have it for rental now too.
- The King’s Speech (2011 winner) – superb acting. And I always enjoy movies about real characters. Not sure where we watched it.
- Gladiator (2001 winner) – a great movie overall with an incredible main character and great music. Also those expansive, classic Ridley Scott shots. This one I think we had an old copy.
- A Beautiful Mind (2002 winner) – more great characters in the two protagonists, lots of good acting overall. Ron Howard is very skilled at making movies that move people. Not sure where we watched it. Maybe also an old copy.
- Driving Miss Daisy (1990 winner). Acting is good but the story wasn’t our favorite. Could be a Lifetime movie if I didn’t know any better. This one I think is on Netflix.
- Moonlight (2017 winner) – sad but gets better; like Parasite, it’s different. Took two viewings – it’s a sad movie! Available on Prime video I think.
- Wings (1927 winner) – the very first winner. Gets better by the end but as you can imagine from a 1927 silent movie, very, very slow. Took 2 viewings to finish. Or three? I dozed off for some stretches of it. If you’re curious, we rented it on Amazon.
- The Sound of Music (1966 winner) – Cam had never seen it, but knew some of the songs. The songs, and specifically, the songs in the voice of Julie Andrews, are what makes the movie what it is. This one you can see on Disney+ if you have it.
Next, I think we’ll try to watch West Side Story because neither of us has seen it but we don’t care much for musicals. We like the songs in musicals though.
Initially, I wanted to make a different dessert each week but have realized how dangerous that is. On that note, let me go eat the last two chocolate chip cookies we have left.
What have you been up to during this time at home? How are things where you’re reading from?
I’ll come back when we’ve watched more movies! There are definitely some movies on that list we are NOT looking forward to watching, but are hoping for the best. If you want to see the complete list, you can find it here.
Stay healthy and safe,