Good morning. You doing okay out there?
We’ve been quarantined for a week now and we’re trying to figure out how to exist in this space where the boundaries are blurred. To be honest, I wasn’t very good at it at first. I’d wake up at 6 AM and work until 10 PM, my work cell phone never leaving my hand. By the third day, I wasn’t sleeping and my heart was racing—I could feel the anxiety, the stress on my systems, shortening the days of my life. 76.9 years. Now, 76.8 years. And so on.
He brings me bagels from our favorite shop, which is now just takeaway. I make dinner with vegetables so we’re eating at least one green thing a day. One of us will randomly put on a song that we had playing over in our head and then we stop everything to have a dance break. But it’s not all perfect in our 600 ft apartment. One day on a stroll to get coffee, we got in a loud fight after he refused to put his phone away for the 10 minute walk. I leave coffee cups everywhere and probably don’t walk the dog enough. His conference call voice is so loud it gives me headaches. This is where we are, negotiating these new spaces.
On Saturday night we watched a movie together, and afterwards he asked if we could talk. “It’s hard to pretend like this is any other weekend. We’re just watching a movie while things are breaking down around us outside these walls.” He wants to be part of the solution—because of course he does—so he’s moving down to DC for a little while where he can help with relief efforts. Since it looks like I’ll be working from home for awhile, I might join him too. We’ll see.
I told my Bello Collective friends that this feels like a defining moment to me. What was I doing with my time before and why does it feel so wasted? How do I make sure that work takes exactly as much time as it needs and not a minute more?
Like everyone else, I’m reading and writing and cooking as a means of sustaining myself. You won’t find much below on the coronavirus—I hope this can be your balm, your reprieve— but I hope you are paying attention and figuring out how to focus on the next right thing.
- I just want to be friends with Samin Nosrat. Don’t you?
- What the literal fuck?
- Why don’t you learn a thing or two about Wuhan, China?
- David Sedaris on eulogizing a complicated parent.
- A photographer’s parents wave farewell.
- How to solve the New York Times Crossword.
- What the Obamas’ portraits reveal about the Changing American art canon.
- At any given time, 65% of my personal anxiety can be attributed to money dysmorphia.
- After reading this, I will finally forgive myself for hating the 10% of Infinite Jest I actually read.
- A review of Katherine Collins’ The Love We Don’t Know (just a reminder that criticism can sometimes be as beautiful as the thing it seeks to criticize).
- The noise of the infinite scroll.
To Do and See
- Take Yale’s “The Science of Well-being” class for free.
- Try a 14-day free trial of these in-home bar method classes. All you need is a chair.
- Now is your chance to do all of the New York things without leaving your sofa. Watch opera. Enjoy standup. See films from the Tribeca Film Festival. Sway along with the virtual piano bar at Marie’s Crisis Cafe. There are so many experiences for you to stream—the world is at your doorstep.
- What a gorgeous way to visit these National Parks.
- Why books are here to stay.
- Every weekday, Flow State send out two hours of music that’s perfect for working.
- A very chill Steve Martin plays a banjo balm.
- You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry for these tahini brownies.
- This vegetarian ramen looks pretty easy.
- All of the “easy” recipes you encounter this week will be for pasta. At least this sweet and spicy tofu with soba noodles also has protein and fresh vegetables.
- You and I both know you need some sour cream and onion biscuits right now.
- I’ve already made this gingery black bean buddha bowl twice, and let me tell you—it makes a mighty fine work from home lunch. I bet it would go well with this crispy tofu with maple soy glaze.
- Eat a goddamn grain. Enjoy these warm overnight oats.
- The weather keeps shifting, so keep this recipe for Pasta e Ceci and Cheesy White Bean Gratin close by.