I had vacation days left over from work last year, so I decided in January that I was going to use them up over March Break. I had grand plans of doing my taxes, attending medical appointments, and even seeing Hamilton now that it’s touring in Toronto.

Surprise! Almost none of that is happening. Instead, I’m staying home right now because of COVID-19, and will keep on working from home once my vacation is over. I’m not sick (yet, at least) but since the prudent thing to do is minimize contact with other people, here’s what I’ve been doing to keep myself busy.

TV & Movies

Mr. BooksandTea and I have finally buckled down and started watching Deep Space Nine. We’re not even halfway through the first season yet, but we’re already quite enamored with Quark, Odo, and Garak.

Oh, and a content warning for those considering doing the same: the very fourth episode of the show involves a virus infecting the crew, quarantines, and a race against time to find a cure. Not exactly the kind of escapism I was looking for.

What surprises me the most about DS9 so far is how uninteresting I think Jadzia Dax is. One of my friends is running a Star Trek RPG and I created a Trill character to play, so I was hoping that the show would give me some ideas. But so far, all she’s done is look pretty, fend off unwanted sexual advances, and be vaguely competent at everything. Hell, even in the episode “Dax”, which is all about her character, she mostly remains silent while the other crew members try to save her; we learn more about her predecessor Curzon than we ever do about her. I hope that changes in future episodes.

Other than that, I’m also making my way though old episodes of The Great British Baking Show. We just finished watching season 4 on Monday and started season 5 yesterday. Whether this will translate to me suddenly becoming a Bread Goddess remains to be seen.


I’ve been finishing books at an even slower pace than last year. I’m currently working my way through a Discworld book, a non-fiction book about cognitive fallacies, a book about baking, and a book about gardening. If I end up finishing those, I might continue my way through the Vorkosigan series, or through Squirrel Girl. One of the ironies of being at home indefinitely is that I could read anything I want, but there’s so much available that making a choice is overwhelming.

Other Stuff

I had hopes this year of starting up a small, contained garden on the balcony, and doing some shopping at nurseries. Those plans are on hold, but I did have some seeds I bought last year that I can sprout. Behold the beginnings of my herb garden!

12 small pots of peat and soil. Columns of pots from left to right: mint, basil, parsley, and lemon balm.

The lemon balm pots (right-most) are in the fridge because I need to cold condition them first before they’ll sprout. But I have high hopes for the other three.

And, of course, since I’m off work with nowhere to go, and I’m ridiculously anxious and feeling like I need to do something, I’ve been cleaning. Pro tip: your ceiling fan is probably filthy and you need to do something about it.