Surviving the Quarantine and adjusting to the new normal
These are definitely historic times. Never before have I done daily inventory on basic household products with a constant mind on rationing. “Ok, I got 2 eggs left. I can use those for pancakes or meatballs! What to do?” “How’s the toilet paper?” “Did I just hear my neighbor sneeze?” This is my new interior monologue. It can get overwhelming. Like many, I went from very structured days to the opposite. As it looks like this will go on for awhile, it’s time to be grateful for every little thing. This blog is turning out to be a life saver. I look forward to sharing interesting, well, hopefully, content to those of you that read and I truly appreciate your support and comments. My hope is that we come out of this a kinder world where generosity and thoughtfulness are lauded and praised and the new normal.
I loved my time spent in England as a student many years ago. Often heard there is the term “Get on with it.” I met people who had seen war and the devastation that comes with it. As well the sacrifice, the humanity and ultimately, the triumph of the human spirit. In keeping with that, I thought I’d share a few things I’m doing to get through and adjust. Not easy, but when will we ever get this opportunity to stop and smell the roses again?
I’ve always loved reading. Admittedly with technology, my face is usually next to a tablet over a book. Nothing replaces reading a good book, nothing and I’ve compiled a list of books I’ve read over the last 2 years or so that I can highly recommend.
- The Barbarian Nurseries – Hector Tobar’s brilliant work about Southern California, class distinction and race
- Defending Jacob – Willam Landlay pens a brilliant novel soon to be a miniseries on Amazon Prime (Apr 24) starring Chris Evans
- The Old Man and the Sea – Hemingway’s Pulitzer prize winning novel is a classic read. Last day with Hemingway shows his house in Cuba.
- Uncle Tom’s Cabin – I read it in high school and then in college. Reading it 2 years ago made the most impact. Its a work of bravery.
- The Lonely Polygamist – Brady Udall. The first book I read on my new Kindle probably about 3 years ago now. What a tender, moving novel where you care deeply for the flawed protagonist.
- Behind the Beautiful Forevers – I love India and can’t wait until things are cleared to go back. It’s a fascinating place. Katherine Boo’s non-fiction look at Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity is inspiring although sometimes harrowing, but comprehensive.
- The association of small bombs – Indian American author Karan Tahajan pens a page turner I read in 2 days. It’s a heartbreaking work about terrorism, family and six degrees of separation.
- Catch and Kill – Although Tarana Burke started the MeToo movement, Ronan Farrow has lit a torch to it with his investigative journalism and expose’ on this long lasting exploitation of women across all industries. In this work, we learned how they tried to quash him too.
- The Emperor of Ocean Park – Tremendously entertaining debut novel by Stephen L Carter. A murder mystery involving the elite African Americans of Martha’s Vineyard and the quest to become the next Justice of the Supreme Court.
- Caramelo – For those who like travel, Sandra Cisneros hilarious journey with her family of 7 as they road trip from Chicago to Mexico City is filled with heart and soul. A must read.
The 2 Books I’m currently reading:
- Becoming – Michelle Obama’s best selling autobiography. Enough said
- The Underground Railroad – Colston Whitehead has caught Hollywood’s eye with this intriguing work mixing reality and fantasy.
Other things I’m doing:
Exercise – I’m lucky to have purchased a stationary bike and all the fixings 3 years ago. At https://www.onepeloton.com/ they are offering an extended 90 day free trial for those that have access. Serious workouts available.
Jigsaw Puzzles – Love em Love em. Currently working through a 2000 piecer of LA. Free online crosswords here https://www.boatloadpuzzles.com/playcrossword
Binge watching – I’m not really into much on TV that’s not sports oriented. Gentified on Netflix is hilarious and well written. We need more Latino and Asian actors in prominent Hollywood productions. Executive Producer America Ferrara has a major hit on her hands. Chernobyl on HBO is top quality and riveting. Parasite, 2020 Oscar winner for Best Picture has electrified South Korea and a world of young film makers who can now dream of film and story in their native language. Films speak a universal language and this film grabs and holds from the first frame.
Home workout – My friend Ashley C is doing really well with her Youtube Channel, Fit Body by Ashley. If you like dancing and Rumba, this is the workout for you. I can’t really make it through them, but I’m proud of her and think she’s got a really good thing going.
There’s no way of telling how long this uncertainty will continue. Prayer and Meditation are helping greatly. On the homepage of this site is a quote by Charlie Chaplin, “Humor heightens our sense of survival and preserves our sanity.” I’m blessed to be raised in a house where there was a lot of laughter and I try to keep it the same now. Staying away from the news helps. I also recommend getting news sources from outside of this country. BBC and Al Jazeera are available on Youtube and much more objective and journalistic than the news sources that seem so biased here. For me, however, The Golden Girls and Everybody Loves Raymond reruns will do just fine.
What are you doing during this time? Got any favorite Books?