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Joy for the Week Ahead 6 April 2020


I've been feeling mildly annoyed that I'm receiving so many emails trying to sell me things. Is anyone else experiencing this? I feel as if I'm under assault from online course providers, marketing coaches, and various online sellers who seem to assume that everyone out there is stuck at home with a healthy income and nothing to do. Please rest assured that:

  1. I'm not trying to sell you anything, and
  2. I do not assume that you are sitting comfortably at home, collecting a salary and waiting for things to get back to normal.

We're all experiencing the current crisis in our own unique ways. Please know that wherever you are, and in whatever situation you may be in, I am directing thoughts of loving-kindness your way.

Here's my list of joy for this week:

  • Self-massage to address stress and anxiety. Rachel Richards has a great YouTube channel with self-massage techniques to combat stress and anxiety. Here are two that you can try: Self Massage and Meditation for Anxiety and Stress, and Face Massage for Headaches, Jaw Tension, and General Anxiety.
  • Isle of Calm Spotify Playlist. Created by the music people at National Public Radio, this is six straight hours of calm music. No money needed, just a free Spotify account.
  • The Metropolitan Opera. The Metropolitan Opera of New York has cancelled the rest of its season, of course. The COVID19 pandemic has been a disaster in so many ways, including for people who make their living in the performing arts. But for those of us who aren't able to regularly get to New York City or who can't afford tickets to the opera, the Metropolitan Opera is broadcasting performances from their archive on their website. I watched Macbeth today, and then I tried one of the links to a previous broadcast (Barber of Seville) and what do you know, it was still functional. So if you don't like the looks of tonight's broadcast, try one of the others, it might still be available.
  • Support your local art house cinema. If you have a local independent theater, please check to see if they are linked to the Kino Marquee initiative, which is offering online screenings of indie films that you would otherwise be able to see at your local theater. It costs $12 to rent a movie, and you have five days of access. The profits are split between Kino and the local theater. I want to encourage you to support your nearest theater because that's the point, but if you don't have an independent theater or can't figure out if they've managed to sign on with Kino Marquee (I'm not finding a lot of information on which theaters are participating), my local theater, Red River Theatres, is participating in a virtual screening of Extraordinary, an Irish film that has garnered some great reviews. It's a comedy, which is a huge plus right now! Here's the summary. Extra Ordinary (R/2020/94 min.): In rural Ireland, a driving instructor named Rose (Maeve Higgins), cautiously applying her considerable supernatural talents (a love/hate relationship), agrees to assist Martin (Barry Ward) with poltergeist and possession problems. A washed-up rock star (Will Forte), in cahoots with the devil, has sinister plans for Martin's daughter (Emma Coleman) in an attempt to regain stardom. A very funny ghost story which has more on its mind than you might expect — successfully mixing audacious humor and horror elements.
  • Free art books. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is closed, but is offering lots of online art for you to browse through, as well as educational resources for both kids and adults, and even an online 360-degree virtual look at some of the Met's most famous displays. They are also offering hundreds of free art books for you to download and examine in PDF form.
  • Cheatsheets for cooking. Last but not least, possibly my favorite handy tool for the week! Buzzfeed has compiled a collection of cooking hacks from all over the web, ranging from “A Guide for Cooking and Baking Substitutions” to “Optimal Food Storage” to “When You're Out of Eggs.” There are some easy spice mixes and even a plan for leftover vegetables! Even though I'm trying to patronize local restaurants who offer curbside takeout, I suspect most of us are cooking more than we ever did before. If you're trying to cut back on the number of grocery store visits, you may be ending up with lots of groceries that need some innovative techniques in order for you to enjoy them!

I hope these will help you to face the week ahead with some joy! I will be back on Friday with my usual newsletter. If you have suggestions, tips, or questions, please do write. I've been trying to get back to everyone as quickly as I can!

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