Friday, March 20, 2020


You'd think this working at home thing would be a breeze around here, but my number one priority these past several days has been finding a way to focus and do any work at all, given the distractions, the generalized sense of anxiety in the air, the limitations real and imagined caused by near-quarantine, and the fact that there are now four humans attempting to do this in the same house at the same time.

Still, my second goal is...not to accomplish anything in particular, but to focus on some things. I am hoping to read many books, catch up on my pile of New Yorkers, binge some good TV, cook and bake many delicious foods, buy a ukulele and learn how to play it, go for the longest walks. I have a couple of suggestions for you!

  • On SkillShare, you can take classes from experts on a nearly infinite number of subjects, from singing lessons to vegan baking to chair massage to how to do calligraphy. If you sign up for Erin Boyle's class, you can get two free months of SkillShare Premium (you can find this offer all over the place right now, this is just the one I actually clicked on). Even if you're not interested in minimalism, you can be like me and take a personal essay writing class with Roxane Gay or memoir writing with Mary Karr!
  • Joe Pera Talks With You is so odd, so quiet and strangely charming, so deeply calming. I find it just as good at reducing stress as The Great British Baking Show et al.
  • The YMCA has exercise classes and yoga classes online, as do lots of other places!
  • I made a Pinterest board for COVID-19 cooking/baking, and I'm keeping track of what we've cooked and adding notes. So far, I have done the lion's share of the cooking around here, which I am (thus far) extremely happy to do, since I find it really soothing. We'll see how long I can keep it up (last night Edna exclaimed over my soup and no-knead bread: "This is like a really expensive farm-to-table restaurant!!")
What else? I have a pile of books, but if I make it through them I'll probably check out the New York Public Library, which has 300,000 free books you can download (as well as the ebook offerings at my local library). We have been too sleepy to watch movies the last few nights, but we've got plans to view all kinds of good ones this weekend. The sun is due to come out any day now (I mean this literally). 

Thanks, neighbor.

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