How's everyone doing? How are you doing? Personally, the five days since Wednesday evening have been some of the strangest and most surreal of my life—and I'm guessing your experience has been similar (as my friend put it, "This episode of Black Mirror sucks."). To reference another sci-fi show—because they feel like the only context I have for all of this—I feel like I've been living in a twilight zone, between a reality where nothing has tangibly changed in my life, but also everything is drastically different. Most of my friends, myself included, are strictly adhering to the social distancing guidelines (this Washington Post article beautifully illustrates why it's so important), but at the same time, I see Stories of friends enjoying the Museum of Ice Cream and continuing gym classes. My friend's boss is even telling her and her coworkers to go "work in the conference room" if they feel so uncomfortable being around people, completely invalidating her concerns (note: not the same thing as "panic"). The news is strange and full of clear messages that have made me question reality, like when I walked past a packed bar last night, just before our governor closed them all, on a rare outing with Jonah. On Thursday, after braving some apocalyptic lines at my local Trader Joe's that have thankfully calmed down since, Jonah and I made the decision to postpone our wedding, as so many couples, including several friends of mine, have had to do. I'll be writing more about that, what our original plan looked like, and what we anticipate doing instead, but for now, I'm finding comfort in making the most of the seemingly endless time we have at home and the fact that everyone I know is healthy. Lots more home content coming your way soon, but for now, here are some of the things I've been enjoying:
Now that my brief but passionate affair with Love is Blind is finally over, I've been craving something with a bit more substance and, at Kelly's recommendation, began watching Dark on Netflix. I've been watching the series incredibly slowly, taking it in at 20-minute increments, so I'm only three episodes in but I'm already hooked. Though the show is in German, it only takes a few minutes to get used to the subtitles (or a few weeks at home to learn German...), and the reward is a series that feels like a cross between Stranger Things and True Detective Season 3.
I'm not much of a baker, but last week, while working from home on a rainy day, I remembered a Food52 recipe for "Milk Bread," (not to be confused with milquetoast... ;) named for the dry milk powder that goes into it. The bread is exactly the kind of comfort food I want to eat right now: subtly sweet, dense, and delicious with eggs in the morning but also as a side to the warming soup I made on Thursday night.
By complete coincidence, or maybe because I'm secretly a witch, I made three strangely prescient book choices in the week before learning about COVID-19: I read two books about epidemics (one that freaked me out, and one that now feels strangely familiar and is worth reading now more than ever: The Dreamers by Karen Walker, which I wrote more about here). I also bought a Kindle Paperwhite, reasoning that I would want something light and easy for our since-canceled honeymoon, but had no idea that it would become my favorite resource for at-home entertainment. Over the past several days, I've downloaded countless books to my Kindle (bingeable book recs coming at you soon!) and just tore through two last night that I highly recommend: Glennon Doyle's memoirs Love Warrior and Untamed. Like some of my other favorite memoirs (The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy and anything by Dani Shapiro), her books are raw and powerful as she navigates addiction, an unhappy marriage, a divorce, and finally her marriage with Abby Wambach (talk about a freaking power couple).
P.S., I'm still making an active effort to purchase books from independent bookstores whenever my patience can stand it (I'm planning on allotting $100 to buying books online and over the phone today from some of my favorite L.A. stores: Skylight, Stories, and Book Soup). You can find other independent bookstores here and if you live in L.A., Book Soup in West Hollywood now offers "Drive by pickup" so you don't have to go inside.
As if I could love Michael Barbaro more than I already do, the New York Times podcast, The Daily, has started to put out Special Episodes that are heartwarming to balance the doom and gloom of the news. Over the weekend, a writer for the Magazine read an excerpt from Love in the Time of Cholera (incidentally my new wedding hashtag is #loveinthetimeofcorona... just kidding) and reflected on something else contagious: kindness. Wesley Morris (side note: I adore Wesley Morris) read an excerpt from Edna Lewis's cookbook In Pursuit of Flavor about storing refrigerated foods correctly and the Times' executive editor Dean Baquet read a highly applicable C.S. Lewis piece. I'm looking forward to more!
1. "I went on a date with every presidential candidate so you don't have to."
2. I posted this above, but this "Coronavirus simulator" deserves two spots.
3. How to be a part of the slow fashion movement.
4. If you're also unable to find hand sanitizer, consider making your own.
5. Harry Styles' Tiny Desk Concert.
6. I'm probably the last person to see this viral "hand kaleidoscope" video from 2017, but it's a must-watch if you haven't either!
7. The winery Sophie James (a favorite of Emily's!) recently, generously sent me a few bottles and helped me discover I actually love Pinot Noir...
8. For everyone feeling lonely: Now could be a good time to foster a dog
9. "Quarantined Italians Send a Message to Themselves 10 Days Ago: What They Wish They Knew Then"
10. Our office's favorite local coffee shop is suspending operations right now—support the owner Tohm and his family by buying your coffee from here instead of the grocery store.