Distraction and Stuff in the Pandemic Age

Well, triscribe is still here and the triscribers are doing what we can. We are living in trying times, where the phrases “in excess of precaution,” “lockdown,” “shelter-in,””quarantine,” “isolation,” and so on – become part of our language because of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and the pandemic age. We have lost people; having our lives disrupted is preferable to further loss of life. Fear and unpredictability prevail, yet we have to have hope?

I put a question mark because I really find it hard to have hope, but can’t stop hoping. Fear the worst, hope for the best, and what else can one do, when there is only so much one can control?

I resent COVID-19 for ruining Lunar New Year, for being an awful bitch, and all that. Our public health is the priority, but we have an economy in free fall (so, I wonder if we realize: without health, do we have an economy? It’s really not an either/or question, folks). Do we have societal solidarity? What about xenophobia and racism, and who do we leave behind? We’re so focused on coronavirus all the time, but our world really still sucks in all kinds of ways (climate change is still real). YC and I end up posting all these articles on Facebook. There is so much to read and to figure out. There are no simple answers to questions.

After awhile, I have to do some self-care, and I do my breathing exercises and I think that I’m in the middle of another round of spiritual searching in the middle of a public health crisis. I look for ways to distract, because the ongoing news hits the anxiety to levels I could not previously envision. History is made when there is no precedence. The news can be – is – overwhelming.

So, I end up watching “Joy of Painting” with Bob Ross’s happy little trees; cooking shows, even though I don’t cook; and animal videos or images (cute kitties and puppies are wonderful). I’d watch cooking videos on Food52, marathon episodes of “America’s Test Kitchen,” and whatever illuminating thing that could keep my anxiety at bay. There are the even many videos of Chef John of Food Wishes on YouTube. I’d giggle over more marathons of “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

Back in January of this year, a friend of mine (L) shared this link on Facebook to the video of how to make no-bake cheesecake with a chocolate-covered strawberry, and I then saved it to share on triscribe and procrastinated. This seemed a good a time as any to finally share it, as it is very nice to watch because it looks very doable and yummy:

I have also appreciated that FC posted on Facebook photos of his progeny’s school lunch, as part of the remote learning program; they really do not make school lunches the way they used to when I went to public school. My ongoing Facebook addiction can’t be any good, but so that goes. I binged on podcasts, but I’m not going to pretend that I’m caught up on Star Trek or Doctor Who. (I’m still behind).

I am not feeling the desire to write fiction. The first idea I had in ages was inspired by the Spanish influenza, and I was somehow intrigued but then the mindlessness of technically working from home has been sucking me into blech.

On a happier note: John Krasinski (the ex-Jim of “The Office”) started “Some Good News” and the 2nd episode, the original cast of “Hamilton” returned. Some 16 minutes total; around 8 minutes in, Krasinski just happened to have his Mary Poppins connection, when his wife Emily Blunt appeared and then her Mary Poppins co-star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and his crew came on screen. The original Hamilton cast still looked and sounded so good! I embed the video below:

So, I’ll end on that happier note. Keep hoping for better. We need better and we have to be better.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Observed 2020

On this observed holiday today, remember to take a moment to reflect on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., and consider what we can do to do better to meet that legacy. The work continues.

As a relevant item as food for thought: a Story Corps oral history dialog with US Congressman John Lewis (Georgia, Democrat), regarding how Dr. King inspired him and how he met him.

The segment was originally aired on NPR’s Morning Edition on Jan. 17, 2020, and especially poignant as Rep. Lewis is in treatment for pancreatic cancer.

On Facebook for the holiday (via its Facebook page), PBS NewsHour shared the link to its website‘s re-posted from Jan. 21, 2019 (and it looks like the interview was from 2018): an interview with Reverend William J. Barber, who co-chaired in 2018 the revived Poor People’s Campaign, 50 years after one of Martin Luther King, Jr., did it. As we face the presidential election campaign in 2020, Barber reminded us of what King tried to get us to face: what kind of democracy do we want? What are our moral values and how do we define justice?

A lot to reflect. We’ll keep trying.

(cross-posted at sswslitinmotion.tumblr.com)

Happy New Year 2020!

Hey everybody: have a Happy and Healthy New Year! Goodbye 2019; you have got to be so much better, 2020… wait, we made it to 2020?

OMG, it is 2020! We’re living in the future and it’s been 20 freakin’ years since the year 2000? (yeah, kids, back in the day, we thought that Y2K would be scary and weird…. well, the 21st Century kind of has been scary and weird but we have to keep at it to make the world better – right?).

Oh, and a great meme to end 2019 and begin 2020:

The Barbara Walters meme was so great that Saturday Night Live alumnus, Cheri Oteri (who had played Barbara Walters on SNL), showed up as an amusingly bemused Barbara Walters on CNN’s New Year’s Eve special with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen. Oteri’s appearance sent Anderson Cooper into one of his giggling fits…

Oh 2020, if only you can just keep us laughing in a good way!

(cross-posted at sswslitinmotion.tumblr.com)