What Are You Doing

Just genuinely wondering!

A woman sits cross-legged on her bed with a laptop. She is dead inside.

Note the hollow eyes, yes, but also the hard pants and what’s that? A bra? It is.

Lmk.


How To Post A Photo In The Comments:

Find a photo on the web, right click (on a Mac, control+click), hit “Copy Image URL” and then…
code it in to your comment like so:

<img src=”//imagelink.jpg” />

If you need to upload the photo you love from your computer, try using imgur. To learn more about posting photos, check out A.E.’s step-by-step guide.

How To Post A Video In The Comments, Too:

Find a video on YouTube, copy the URL, and paste the link on its own separate line in your comment. You no longer need to use the embed code!

Related:

Laneia is the Executive Editor and founding member of Autostraddle, and you're the reason she's here.

Laneia has written 927 articles for us.

171 Comments

  1. I’m eating vegetarian chili that I made last night and thinking about how happy I am that I’ve learned how to cook because growing up all my mom knew how to make were thinks like Hamburger Helper and Shake & Bake and I wouldn’t have survived this quarantine without the cooking the skills I’ve learned on my own over the past few years.

      • It’s interesting to me and I think I noticed it more because of people talking about family recipes a lot lately or comfort foods, and I found it interesting that I have zero (0) recipes handed down from my parents or grandparents (my Papa made the only tomato-based pasta sauce I’ve ever liked but it wasn’t a recipe he just…did it, and no one learned it well enough to recreate it before he died) and the only comfort food that I have that’s from my childhood and not more recent years is Kraft mac & cheese. Which, don’t get me wrong, is extremely comforting haha

  2. Laneia, hi! Great work with hard pants, yay! I also achieved putting them on today, Im very proud of myself. Beside that and as a part of a self-care routine I decided to have a rather complicated meal and managed to prepare all parts of it one by one and separately, so it takes the whole day today. So what! Still counts.

  3. I tried to make crackers from scratch. They turned out like dog biscuits / flour jerky. I am eating them anyway because salty carbs.

    My friend commented that it sounded like hardtack…
    I MADE PIRATE FOOD.

    Also, protein brownies (add protein powder to brownie recipe).

    Painting the house exterior; thank you landlord for paying me monies for labor in these trying times.

    Planted arugula that is probably doomed but shoveling dark loamy soil is a nice afternoon anyways. W California is nice for growing things.

    Watching The Matrix on Netflix (‘humans are the virus’).

    Playing trivia online (Zoom); organized via twitter.

    Applying for Medicaid and trying not to be unemployed every day but failing every day so far.

    What are you up to these days, Laneia?

  4. Sitting in bed in my sweater that’s really basically a blanket, drinking coffee and resting after taking a shower. I’m feeling extra fatigue and weakness today so my only goal is to get to the mailbox and get some medicine waiting for me at some point in this day that feels like every other day. I am dreaming of being able to make naan! I just need a small window of energy to open up!

    • jay i’ve been sending you bright energy and hoping you recover soon! taking a shower is EXHAUSTING when you’re sick. i’m so glad you have a blanket sweater.

      remember in you’ve got mail when she’s sick and in her enormous bed and just looks adorable? that’s how i’m picturing you in your sweater.

      • Thank you <3 Bright energy is very welcome rn, very appreciated! I hope I recover soon too, but I'm honestly reaching the point of disbelief in that happening any time soon. At this point, even when (if?) the rest of the symptoms stop, its gonna take a while to recover from this level of exhaustion. I've never been so tired or so sick.

        YES! lots of lying in bed all cozy

          • IT IS! I thankfully had somatic therapy today (usually a more physical body-based therapy; rn video call and talking through visualization of normal process but still effective)! So I am currently feeling a little better, a little lighter!
            Not quite garlic naan making level, but great suggestion Rey! It’ll be worth the wait once I can make it!

            Sweetums also really enjoys somatic therapy btw, they get very relaxed!

  5. Thank you for asking!

    I just finished replaying a videogame I love! I’ve been trying a thing where I attempt to romance a different character than I usually do in my favorite games but sometimes I just can’t do it!

    I’m also waiting on the first delivery meal I’ve ordered while under quarantine thanks to the stimulus check that got dropped into my bank account this morning. It’s a beautiful feeling to splurge a little after feeling so uncertain for so long. It isn’t the end of that feeling but I’m going to take this moment and enjoy it while I can.

    AND I’m picking up a grocery order this afternoon so it’s a big day, Laneia. Big day!

    • what did you order!!! i budget out 2 deliveries per paycheck and they are the light at the end of the tunnel. my favorite is a pizza place called bella gusto bc their crust is INCREDIBLE. eli calls it ‘fancy floppy pizza’ and i don’t argue with him bc it’s true.

      i have to place a grocery order TONIGHT so i can pick them up hopefully this weekend! also target.

      i read a tweet the other day that was like “i miss wandering aimlessly around the grocery store in a fog” or something like that and anyway i was like holy shit, yes. when was the last time i wandered around somewhere in a fog? those aimless time-sucks are actually really important and i’ve been thinking about how i could recreate that kind of break in thinking — besides meditating — that’s basically just ‘browsing’ i guess. no ideas yet.

      • It was buffalo wings and they were everything I dreamed of! I tend to order trash food when I splurge because it feels more fun to me for some reason? I’m only realizing this now!

        I ended up going to a bulk grocery chain to pick up a few things that they didn’t have for me with my pickup order, and because it was a slow afternoon and a huge store I got to feel that sense of wandering (though not too aimlessly of course, I was being responsible!) It was really very healing in a way because it’s the first place I’ve actually gone into since all of this began and it was a reminder that there’s still so much available out in the world. I didn’t realize how much space that fear of scarcity (or more specifically the inherent implication of larger scale problems that come with it) was taking up in my brain until I was able to let some of it go. Also I really love drifting through bulk stores in the first place so it was extra good for my spirit.

  6. Just got off a call with my workstudy supervisor about helping students design Digital Humanities projects, now lying on bed considering the pros/cons of playing some Animal Crossing versus crying over the fact that I’m graduating in less than a month and don’t have a job and I can’t seem to be productive but I have deadlines I NEED to meet so I have to be productive somehow.

    Thanks for asking!

    • robin hold UP you are GRADUATING in less than a month! THAT IS SO EXCITING AND IMPORTANT. you fucking did that, all those credits and all that time and all that thinking and pushing yourself and you did it. i hope you’re really fucking proud of yourself.

      i jusssst made a character in slade’s animal crossing town and had to use my own name bc i didn’t have time to think of a really good one bc i was being RUSHED and truthfully i think i’m going to delete her and start a new one once i have a better name in mind.

  7. I just ran a 5k in 30 minutes! I used to be a marathon runner, but have gained 50 lbs and gotten completely out of shape bc depression and injury over the last few years. My 5k PR is closer to 22 mins. But I only started running again a week ago! I’m very proud of myself!!!!! !! ! !!! (!)

    • ABENI HELL YES !!!!! !!! !!!

      is running as zen-inducing as it looks like it would be? the suburbs around here are full of runners and it just seems like a great way to empty your mind and be free of ping-ponging thoughts for a while. i’ve been too self-conscious to try running (??? i don’t know why???) but i really want to!

      i’m so so excited for you 💛

      • Laneia: it IS. The “runner’s high” is a real-ass thing. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for my mental and physical health (other than rock climbing, which I can’t do rn because of ANOTHER injury). To get the clear-mind effect, long-distance running is especially excellent.

        The thing is, it can be bad for your knees and joints and stuff if you don’t have good form or good shoes or whatever. It’s definitely high impact. I think joining a running club or something when this is all over and talking to some experts about form and stuff would be a great thing to do! Cycling and swimming are similar long-distance type activities that are lower impact but that you can also get the same effect from, too!

        Of course, just getting out there and jogging leisurely is also dope :)

      • ok i gotta comment on this too bc Laneia and I both lived in Phx at one point and L might still be in Phx. Which is where I started doing some barefoot running in the early mornings / late evenings.

        It’s totally heaven (if you like running) and lower impact because I ran in parks / on grass. You might be able to find a rubber track to run on at a nearby school. Watch out for ants in the grass; try to run on grass that’s been recently watered. Use the couch-to-5k app/info to make sure you don’t over-do it, bc it takes a lot longer for bones/tendons to get strong compared to muscles, regardless of footwear.

        Also you don’t have to shell out for $$$$ shoes with bf running. If you want a foot covering, you can make a DIY rubberized running slipper using a pair of socks and a product called plasti-dip.

        Hope you find a new thing you love!

  8. I’m working from home, or more accurately, trying/pretending/sort of working from home. More importantly, tonight I’m going to watch Saving Face for the first time and then the Queery podcast episode with Alice Wu, all because I saw the trailer for The Half of It on this very website and can’t wait to see it! :)

  9. Hopefully my first featuring a typo attempt at this post will eventually be deleted, so please only read this one:

    Doing some WFH annual self-review for work (always a catalyst for inflaming my self-esteem issues), having a cleansing cry thanks to the Fleabag Live video and the audiobook “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo”, and taking my cat on her daily walk (aka carrying her like the pasha she is down the block so she can observe the neighborhood birds she would rather be killing).

    FWIW, Laneia, your eyes may look hollow to you, but from my perspective you have gifted us a brooding thirst trap. Just sayin’.

  10. i’m in a webinar with some of the most famous theatrical sound designers in the industry which is making my lil queer heart sing

    also i stayed up until six am making kid-appropriate drawings and explanations of ramadan and holi! because it’s spring holiday week for my preschool youtube!

  11. I work in the pharmaceutical industry which is weird right now for a lot of reasons, like the unspoken irony of every announcement about which company has gotten into the race for a treatment/vaccine. I listen to WHO’s press conferences and WHO newsletter as my sole source of COVID-19 information. The WHO conferences are oddly calming. I listen while I work from home. I also volunteered myself to lead a quick exercise class 4x a week so we can feel like we’ve moved around a little.

    I finally got around to sewing menstrual pads! Luna Wolf’s pattern is the best. Because my state had started doing county-wide orders to shelter-in-place in place as early as mid-March, I’m still able to go outside and even go to the store as needed, so long as it’s open.

    My task for this month is sending care packages to friends. I baked an aggressive amount of cookies that I’m divvying up and will probably make more after scavenging for discount Easter chocolate.

    It feels like I should be doing more, but I then remind myself that, actually, I am. And even if I wasn’t, that’s okay.

  12. Just finished the last of my work for today (hopefully), so checking autostraddle and building up the energy to start cooking dinner.

    How does your hair still look so good?! I’m spending half of my days touching the sides of my head and fretting about how long my hair is getting. I’m thinking after my last Friday zoom meeting ill have my gf shave the sides. Terrified to try cutting the top, but it’s getting so tall. 🤦🏻‍♂️

    • dinner! what a concept! i said this upthread but for dinner tonight i’m making chocolate chip cookies and everyone is fending for themselves and i’m thrilled about this plan. maybe the best idea i’ve ever had.

      as for my hair, i’m very lucky in that i had my last trim just a couple of weeks ahead of the lockdown, so it’s not dire YET. but it will be! i’ve ordered clippers but they haven’t even shipped yet. i am utterly terrified to cut my own hair and i’m trying to see it as like a living art project? experimental??

  13. It’s 22:17 here and I’m still working (from home) because I have been panicking the whole day and did very little work during the 9-to-6 schedule. Thankfully I’m almost done. Because I saw the link to the “yearning” playlist, I’m low-key remembering a particularly painful crush on a woman with blonde hair, a square jaw, and too little empathy.

  14. I’ve been marathoning television on Crave (Canadian streaming service). I plan on going to get groceries tomorrow since I don’t have much left.

    I also been thinking a lot about my life and my future. I really want to make a push to live my life once this is over. I’m so tired of being alone and not happy with myself.

    Finally I think I’m going to get a prepaid credit card tomorrow and give Cameo a try. It might sound silly but I think getting a message from someone will bring a smile to my face.

    I hope you are doing okay Laneia. <3

    • when i have to remove myself from a blanket nest, i do so by promising to come back to it with the food that way i have the best of both worlds.

      my to-do list looms and looms and things keep derailing my plans to actually DO. it’s demoralizing quite frankly and i want it to end!

      • Alas soup is just not blanket nest friendly the way trail mix but now I have done some chores at least.

        That is the problem with long lists, I have learned to make short ones unless it is travel checklist.

    • would LOVE to see this container garden if you’re so inclined.

      i’ve been having a weird time with reading? like my brain just wanders away and i keep genre-jumping trying to find something to keep me interested. last night i bought the audio version of the new samantha irby book and listened while i put together a puzzle and honestly? i think that’s my answer for now! audiobooks.

      ANYWAY BIRDS, do you follow https://www.instagram.com/ostdrossel/

    • Yay sourdough! If my schedule eventually changes (parenting so I feel underwater every day) and I can find whole wheat flour again I’m sure I’ll be feeding that addiction again. I made bagels today but taking that time resulted in major chaos. Enjoy!

  15. Just got finished cramming a day’s work into four hours while listening to my kids scream downstairs, and wistfully reading you all write about how my life could be should I have decided not to reproduce when there was a possibility that all childcare could be cancelled for 2 months or more.
    I did get my sourdough starter out last night and made bagels, and also turned the dozen colored easter eggs into egg salad before they went bad, while my kids dumped snacks on the floor and crushed them as if they were ancient Romans crushing grapes for wine, which I can’t wait to drink shortly.
    Yall I have never felt like my life has digressed so severely from the lives of my childless friends
    Signing off for now

    • wow i know this exact level of exhaustion, questioning, and resignation. WHEW. i hope the wine is fucking LOVELY tonight 💛

      how was making bagels? do you make them often? i’ve been flirting with the thought of the idea of making pasta, which i have never attempted.

      • Laneia, make bagels mate. They are easier than normal bread and very satisfying.
        The recipe will tell you that properly you roll them out into sausage shapes and join up the ends to make an o, however if you make them into bread roll shapes and stick your thumb through the middle they’ll be less likely to unroll into dog poo shapes mid boil.
        You’ll have to find flour though, and at the moment, in the North of England at least, that is somewhat impossible.

          • I’ve made them twice and the first time they were the best thing I’ve ever made. This time they were good but my starter is suffering from neglect and the unpleasant shortage of flour. Definitely make them into a ball and poke your finger. They are amazing made fresh.
            I’ve been working on my sense of overwhelm but It’s just… a lot right now. I don’t know why I wanted to read about all the downtime people have. In early March I was working so hard and was pushing my social and relaxation time to spring break and then it was railroaded. I’m so privileged too. Most of the parents I know are working with tighter constraints than me. Have to get these monsters out of the bath but in the meantime I hope you are hanging in there! It is oddly hard to see beyond my personal situation but really I don’t envy the people who are alone and I appreciate the hugs and laughs, even with the mess and the noise and the relentlessness.

          • i feel like it’s incredibly difficult to take in other perspectives right now bc we literally can’t escape our own immediate circumstances, not even to wander around a gas station and think about twizzlers, so it’s just a constant mental exercise and that’s exhausting on top of everything else! i do believe that we’re all doing our actual best, though, and that’s helped.

            ugh i can’t wait to make bagels and put them on instagrammmmmmmmmmm

  16. Hi, big fan here. Long time reader, first time commenter. I feel compelled to tell you, specially what I’ve been doing. Here it is:
    Talked with a *super hot* girl for a couple hours.
    Cleaned all my windows.
    Sorted all edge pieces of a puzzle out.
    Started Star Wars IV with loose plans to marathon the crap out of the series. Maybe even the prequels – it’s a desperate time.
    Bookcase browsing. As in buying a new bookcase not browsing my own, but good idea, thanks.

    • WAIT wait wait waitttttt what if bookcase browsing — as in browsing our very own bookcases — is the new ‘aimlessly wandering around a store’ ???? i think it could be a contender, i really do.

      also question: will SOLO be included in this marathon? what’s your stance on that one? i personally loved it.

      you’re so fucking lucky to have a super hot girl to talk to!! wow

      • as the kids would say, i am hashtag blessed with this super hot girl, who also bakes. it’s an embarrassment of riches, it really is.

        maybe you could FaceTime browse someone else’s bookcase aimlessly? it’d have to be a really patient person. but anyone with a worthy bookcase is nothing if not patient.

        solo will absolutely be included. the plan is to watch in release order, not canon order. i also really loved solo and do not understand the backlash at all. it has the most important feature of any great star wars movie – practical effects. #rollsafe

    • nell fucccck i am so, so fucking sorry. i hope you’re able to make it through the unemployment process as painlessly as possible 💛 and a run is such a great idea. YOU’RE DOING GREAT i know you didn’t ask but you really are.

  17. Mostly just watching the local news, Hulu(re-watching Broad City & Living Single) & riding my bike in my neighborhood.

    There were so little cars on the road I able to get to Hollywood BLVD in the same time frame it has taken me with a car in light traffic. Despite all the AS they/them pins on me someone still shouted, “hey man got some spare change hiding.” Did get sparkling lavender cbd water, it was good.

    • hearing stories about how quickly people have been able to make it from point A to point B in the LA area has been FASCINATING. so much of this is fascinating, really. i mean, when it’s not a primal terror scream of the absolute worst, and when i’m able to dial out of my feelings for a blessed minute, it’s fascinating.

      lavender cbd water sounds so special and delicious.

      • I lived here a good part of my life & I too get fascinated when someone tells me who fast their commute was. Plus, the fact there is no haze over the Santa Monica Mountains & the Hollywood sign. Going to be fun while it lasts, but I also hope this gets people to use cars less & uses other methods to do short trips.

  18. Crying bc I just learned the money I was expecting to inherit from my grandmother is probably going to be 40% of what I had thought, due to Canadian taxes and covid economy crash, and bc even though I know I am incredibly privileged to have any generational wealth coming to me AT ALL I had been planning and dreaming and scheming for all kinds of things (like, adoption! giving $$$ to indigenous folks as reparations! accessibility updates like a ramp for my house!) and now those dreams are scaled way back, to paying down debt.

    Again, I am still incredibly fucking lucky to get anything! I just generally don’t have the emotional bandwidth to handle disappointment right now so am weepy while I try to concentrate on my work.

    Thanks for asking.

    • you are incredibly lucky but it’s very valid to be disappointed by this, your plans were so fucking good and would’ve helped so many. i hope you feel some relief and accomplishment in paying down debt though, that’s a huge great thing!

    • I know this “I wish the forces of capitalism would make me richer so I can fight the forces of capitalism” catch 22. It sucks, but I do hope you’re able to make some personal good from what comes your way.

  19. I’ve been stuck at work (on a ship) for the past month and right now I’m enjoying a rare day off (still can’t leave the ship). But I do have a cell signal, so I’ve been listening to podcasts, scrolling the internets, and talking with family.

    • that’s fucking terrible and i’m so sorry and so mad on your behalf. please accept this hypothetical but real-in-my-heart conversation that i would have with a friend about you today, ahem:

      “did you see lillie’s comment today? i love their haircut so much. i hope they get all their homework done and can watch a show they love or read a book they love. i just want the best for them!!”

  20. Stressing about whether and when I will have energy today to complete my physical therapy exercises. (This stress takes place in the background of approximately 50% of my life. I should probably work on that…)

    Enjoying the sunshine coming in through the window.

    Appreciating this space for all of us to share (thank you, Laneia!), and appreciating reading what everyone shared about what they’re doing.

    Feeling guilty because this month I read (well, listed to the audiobook of) Parable of the Sower instead of the book for the book club I’m in with my friends, and I am just now accepting the fact that I do not have the time or mental capacity to read the latter before Sunday :( But like, I don’t regret reading Parable of the Sower. I loved it.

    I recently started listening to Autumn and adrienne marie brown’s podcast, How to Survive the End of the World, starting at the beginning (2017). For me right now, it feels like the right level of being applicable to the current situation without being overwhelmingly, directly about the current situation. The third episode inspired me to set up an altar for grieving and mourning the people dying in this pandemic–from the disease itself and from the broken economic/social/whatever systems that are falling apart right now. It’s felt helpful to have a physical place with material objects to hold/express/connect with my own grief and the collective grief. Idk.

    • physical therapy at home is not an easy thing to keep up with! i think you’re doing great and i hope you’re not being too super hard on yourself! also i bet your friends will just be happy to hang out with you on sunday, even if you didn’t read that book.

      this is such a good podcast recommendation!! i’m having a hard time focusing on podcasts, books, and magazine articles that were made before lockdown, but i love what you’re saying about their focus being applicable w/out being overwhelming.

    • it’s comforting to know that whenever i’m washing the dishes or thinking about washing the dishes or avoiding washing the dishes or crying about washing the dishes, there is absolutely FOR SURE at least 300 other people across this country experiencing the same exact situation.

      i hope you love and agree with all of your personality test results!!

  21. I had to take my cat to the emergency vet this morning and he has a blood clot and congestive heart failure and the prognosis is grim. The worst part is, because of covid-19 guidances, I couldn’t even be with him in the hospital. I understand why, but it’s rough wondering if I will ever see him again.

    • Ugh, I feel this so hard. I made myself a mantra for when I get stuck on my ex. I just say it over and over and think about why those words are important to me, and usually that’s enough to redirect my mind on some other mental tangent. Usually.

  22. I’m sitting at my desk in an empty school developing writing samples for my freelance writing business. Well, technically I WAS doing that before I hopped on AS. Now I’m here reading articles and leaving comments…all because I want to be a writer for AS. So, so badly. AS is the first place that made me feel special for who I am, as I am. I want to write for AS to make others feel what I feel. I know I belong here in this community so for now I’m contributing by reading and leaving comments. Hopefully this will turn into being a staff writer. I applied nearly a week ago. So now I wait…so yeah. That’s what I’m doing. Waiting. Waiting patiently. :)

  23. It’s five am here, so lying in bed wondering what just went clunk and if I need to get up and investigate.

    Other than that, doing my day job as usual online and also working through my outstanding diy jobs. So far, I have made three drawers, one wooden crate, a shelf, and a framework for yet more drawers to fit in. I have also sanded four square metres of wooden wall followed by painting and varnishing.

    Normally I’m a hermit who doesn’t go out and just reads AO3 for hours on end. These really are weird times.

  24. “Working from home” – but I have no work to do so my boss has tasked me with the job of “enjoy being home alone” as my girlfriend has gone back to work for the first time since having (and recovering) from Corona Virus. So actually just doing all the personality tests.

  25. I am teaching middle school science online :( It’s about as fun as it sounds. Most of my day is spent emailing students “you turned in a blank document. Did you think I wouldn’t notice? Quit marking ‘turned in’ if you didn’t actually do any work.” If I were in the classroom with them- we would NOT be using computers, but instead I would be making them build model cars and testing them for speed.

  26. Currently I’m watching The Wizard of Oz, which I recorded Monday and I’m looking online to order baking mixes cause I have no intention to go to any grocery store anytime soon. I recently tried to make 3-ingredient cookies and they were so awful, I’m sticking to mixes.

    Other than that I’ve been cleaning, painting, coloring adult coloring books, doing puzzles, reading and watching a lot of Disney+.

    I’ve been home since the end of last month and I’m continued to be paid but technically I’m not working from home.

  27. Sitting at home, looking at job boards in despair at the few there are to apply for with just an undergrad degree and no experience in my field yet. Plenty of post-doc jobs, but pickings are slim on my end.

    So I’m doing the same as I was before the pandemic, really.

  28. listening to my father and brother play guitar together. snuggling my cat. debating whether or not to do my homework, and ultimately deciding to half-ass it. talking to my friends about a zine none of us are ever going to make. feeling weird about having gained weight– i like how i look but i feel bad about gaining weight? teaching my mom tiktok dances. wondering why my cat licks blankets. knitting.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!