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How are you staying sane(ish) during the current pandemic?

Started by SueC, March 24, 2020, 11:48:24

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BiscuityBoyle

Quote from: undefinedI don't have much time for Sartre

I've never had much affinity for him (he's too steeped in certain philosophical traditions alien to me, his persona is pretty tedious, never cared for his prose style etc) but he's what the French call incontournable, i.e. too central a figure to ignore for someone in my line of work. And once you go beyond the famous "existentialist" texts like Being and Nothingness or Nausea, he has some pieces I found more compelling, the majority of which are collected in the fifth volume of Situations, entitled Colonialism and Neocolonialism. He was incredibly articulate and insightful in his criticism of the French colonization of Algeria; and even if he didn't apply the same critical acumen to certain other colonial situations (see his disappointing encounter with the great Edward Said), his contribution to post-colonial studies can hardly be overstated.

In particular, the germ of the idea that 20th century European fascism represents colonial oppression turned inward is found in his work. It has since been taken up and developed by Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire, Johann Chapoutot and others, but it can all be traced back to Sartre.

SueC

Comedy keeps circulating on emails and forums - here's some interesting examples friends came up with that I thought I'd share:

Out of masks?  Think laterally!  ...plus, these are easy to wash, and you can use them for their normal purposes again when the pandemic is over:



A friend who's an ICU/ED nurse writes:  "Tonight having ventilator patients and fun doing the whole suiting up for airborne precautions and COVID. Putting respirators on and off does not help the hairstyle and one's professional image begins to deteriorate. Good reason to keep the patients unconscious so they don't see what kind of a whacko was taking care of them.
Me when the respirator comes off..."




My editor sent this medical joke:

A male patient is lying in bed in the hospital ... wearing an oxygen mask over his mouth and nose. A young student nurse appears and gives him a partial sponge bath.

"Nurse,"' he mumbles from behind the mask, "are my testicles black?"

Embarrassed, the young nurse replies, "I don't know, Sir. I'm only here to wash your upper body and feet."

He struggles to ask again, "Nurse, please check for me. Are my testicles black?"

Concerned that he might elevate his blood pressure and heart rate from worrying about his testicles ... she overcomes her embarrassment and pulls back the covers.

She raises his gown and lifts his wedding tackle gently to do a visual on the testicles.

She looks very closely and says, "There's nothing wrong with them, Sir. They look fine."

The man slowly pulls off his oxygen mask ... smiles at her ... and says very slowly, "Thank you very much. That was wonderful. Now listen very, very closely: Are - my - test - results - back?"



...and last but not least, one of my adopted sisters has sent a link to what one UK family is up to during lockdown.  It's not on YT but worth checking out:  Family music time!


@Ulrich, turns out Mike Scott is going to do daily instalments of readings for a bit and there's three out already.  How about some Sherlock Holmes?


I hope everyone is well and in good spirits.

SueC is time travelling

word_on_a_wing

It feels like the universe is giving some unique lessons? 
 ie very sociable people being forced into an isolation, which is hard for them, but possibly a useful learning experience. Meanwhile, at least in my case, those who are yearning for peace and the chance to clear the mind and would gladly isolate for weeks/months are not in the position to do so, but instead busier than ever.

I've had a particularly busy and stressful 48hrs, not enough time to rest, and then awoke early to my alarm again this morning (groan... I need more sleep!) ...as I transition awake I hear "you're putting in so much effort ... but it's all just a Dream"
...ahh, interesting ✨

"Where the flesh meets the spirit world,
Where the traffic is thin..."

SueC

SueC is time travelling

piggymirror

To stay sane, aside from reading and listening to music or making love (those who can)...

...one of the things I like to do, is to look at pictures of beautiful places (landscapes or man-made, I don't care).

So here is one.

This is the small town of Puentedey, in Spain (for those who know Spain, it is between Burgos, Reinosa and Bilbao, more or less).
The river Nela carved all over the centuries this natural tunnel under the hill where the village was later built.
The name "Puentedey" comes from the old Latin Pons Dei, "God's Bridge"...


Source: Wikipedia: photo by Joan

SueC

That is indeed a gorgeous spot, @piggymirror.  Here's a shot of the Australian coastline near Port Campbell, Victoria.  Very different geology to the South Coast of WA, which is mostly granitic with white sand, but beautiful in its own way...



Granite and white sand at a local beach here, in Frenchmans Bay:



And this is Cable Beach, on the Southern Ocean side of the Torndirrup peninsula from Frenchmans Bay (which is on the King George Sound side):



I take comfort in the fact that beautiful places like this will exist long after I cease to. :cool


...OK, I've just done the first large solo grocery shopping trip since social distancing began in Australia.  Usually I do that every two weeks, but we've delayed it and Brett has popped into the shops and bought bits and pieces on the way home instead, or we've gone to the nice little hippie supermarket (not necessarily an oxymoron) in Denmark (a coastal town here) after going on decent walking trails there for exercise.

In all, everyone was very polite, and quite sombre.  I make a point in difficult times not to forget to be warm to people and acknowledge and smile etc, and a few others apparently do too (in Denmark, lots of people, but then that's us hippies for you...).

Miraculously, toilet paper is back in the aisle, but we didn't need any because we've gone over to the old hippie trick of using flannel squares from repurposed worn-out bedsheets.  There's only so many old bedsheets you can use to throw over your climbing beans during heatwaves, so this one got a new job, and the shoebox of cream-coloured squares in the smallest room of our house looks very civilised.  As we have compost toilets and this is completely biodegradable material, it gets chucked down, but a hippie friend of mine on a conventional flushing toilet has now gone over to using fabric squares for number ones and chucking them in a lidded water bucket to soak as you would cloth nappies.  She's still using toilet paper for what she calls "parcel deliveries" and I call number twos, and says she's going to stick with that from now on, to reduce toilet paper consumption and therefore unnecessary deforestation (even of plantations - the carbon dioxide really is better off staying in the trees...)

It was nice that red lentils had made a comeback to the shelves.  As we grow much of our own F&V, have beehives, and obtain milk, meat and free-range eggs directly from other local farmers, I really only get things like seafood, cheese, butter, cream, yoghurt (because the medal-winning Greek yoghurt is so much nicer than what I've been able to make experimentally so far), dried legumes, spices, pasta, rice, polenta, burghul, nori, bulk walnuts/almonds/cashews/Brazil nuts, olive oil, mushrooms and other things we don't grow ourselves, and toiletries on my shopping trips.

Brett's workplace is running flu clinics on weekends because of COVID-19 and they are doing the flu shots for over-65s this weekend.  Brett is on an extra shift this morning because of it, so I chauffeured him to work while he had an extra cup of tea in the passenger seat.  It was his choice of music, and he put on One Hundred Years off Paris while we speculated why someone would call an album Pornography (we have a number of theories).  This afternoon, I'll pick him up again and we'll go for a hike - Mt Melville and maybe a coastal track after that if we're extra keen - so that he can actually spend a day at home tomorrow, since he's been at work 6 days straight.  We're both looking forward to Easter, which is a long weekend here - although he might get roped into running another flu clinic shift then too (but that's OK, we'll just go hiking again afterwards).

We're painfully aware that little has changed for us, except I can't stay in town and visit friends as I normally would, on a day like today.  But here at home, things look as they always do, except obviously we're not running our farmstay at the moment, and not having friends over.  We're extremely aware that it's super fortunate Brett is working in health and therefore not stood down.  He has to work longer hours and has a higher exposure risk, but I also have more time, because of the Airbnb closure, to pick up work he'd otherwise do around the house and farm, and to prepare extra nutritious food and support him as much as possible so he's completely off duty when he gets home, and then the onus is on recreation, exercise and relaxation.

How's everyone else travelling?
SueC is time travelling


SueC

Bwahahahaha!  :lol:

Now what we really need is a parliamentary Dalek that exterminates people who don't behave well, do a lousy job, or are only there to feather their own nests, or the nests of their friends.

Another Dalek classic that might help immunity by lowering stress levels:

SueC is time travelling

SueC

Quote from: BiscuityBoyle on March 31, 2020, 23:08:41
Quote from: undefinedI don't have much time for Sartre

I've never had much affinity for him (he's too steeped in certain philosophical traditions alien to me, his persona is pretty tedious, never cared for his prose style etc) but he's what the French call incontournable, i.e. too central a figure to ignore for someone in my line of work. And once you go beyond the famous "existentialist" texts like Being and Nothingness or Nausea, he has some pieces I found more compelling, the majority of which are collected in the fifth volume of Situations, entitled Colonialism and Neocolonialism. He was incredibly articulate and insightful in his criticism of the French colonization of Algeria; and even if he didn't apply the same critical acumen to certain other colonial situations (see his disappointing encounter with the great Edward Said), his contribution to post-colonial studies can hardly be overstated.

Thank you; it's always good to hear an insider perspective!  :cool


Quote from: undefinedIn particular, the germ of the idea that 20th century European fascism represents colonial oppression turned inward is found in his work. It has since been taken up and developed by Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire, Johann Chapoutot and others, but it can all be traced back to Sartre.

A rumination here:  I imagine Freud would have had similar thoughts on that topic...

The problem with all the silos of academia etc is that sometimes people don't see outside of their own particular silo, into other silos or even the world outside those silos.  In fact, I think this is a massive problem - that human thought, especially academic thought, has become too split and specialised and there's so little integration into a whole, people are just beavering away so separately in their own little towers, not enough bringing it together and making it more than the sum of the parts.  It's like a whole bunch of moles in their separate tunnels in the darkness, while the world is blowing up.

So Sartre (and you can substitute various other philosophers here, same argument) is credited within a particular silo for having original thoughts that in all probability had independently occurred to a number of people not in that silo, before and after his time.  I think it would be wise to assume that in most cases of thought, nobody has a monopoly on a particular thought.  That's even true with calculus - Newton or Leibniz?  Well, both, and perhaps a few other maths geeks at some stage as well.  Not everyone who has a particular set of thoughts gets official credit for it.

Brett was telling me this morning about one of his favourite authors, Terry Pratchett.  He listened to one of his speeches once, where he said he had a great idea for a story, and rang up a friend and explained the story idea to him, and his friend said, "Yes, it is a great story!  That's why Fred Brown wrote in it 1952." :lol:

Anyway, one of Brett's favourite cartoon pages is this, and he's got me hooked too... on the remote off-chance that you've not seen it yet, enjoy...

http://existentialcomics.com/



Best wishes and hang in there, @BiscuityBoyle:)

@word_on_a_wing, are you sleeping any better?  :1f634: :1f634: :1f634:
SueC is time travelling

word_on_a_wing

Hi Sue,
Yes thanks I managed to get more time for sleep. It's a bit of a see-saw at present: a few days rest, a few days of extra high stress and time demands. Apologies for the rant during my pressured and fatigued state.

Funny you mention sleep, as I am becoming acquainted with Max Richter due to his album Sleep. It was performed in entirety (>8hrs) a few years ago and a clip of it being played at the Sydney Opera House appeared on my social media feed. I had never heard of him before, and yes I have now gone into a musical rabbit hole. So much beautiful music that feels to be both heart-aching and soothing at the same time. The Blue Notebooks album is also lovely. His music feels like what I'm needing right now, in such a chaotic and concerning time.

"Where the flesh meets the spirit world,
Where the traffic is thin..."

SueC

Quote from: word_on_a_wing on April 05, 2020, 16:50:23Yes thanks I managed to get more time for sleep. It's a bit of a see-saw at present: a few days rest, a few days of extra high stress and time demands. Apologies for the rant during my pressured and fatigued state.

It's good you're sleeping better, and there is absolutely no need to apologise for ranting on this thread because a good rant can be really cathartic and therapeutic.  Besides, your rant was very mild.  So here, have a ten-voucher booklet for free rants, which is perpetually replaceable like a bottomless cup of green tea.  ;)


QuoteFunny you mention sleep, as I am becoming acquainted with Max Richter due to his album Sleep. It was performed in entirety (>8hrs) a few years ago and a clip of it being played at the Sydney Opera House appeared on my social media feed. I had never heard of him before, and yes I have now gone into a musical rabbit hole. So much beautiful music that feels to be both heart-aching and soothing at the same time. The Blue Notebooks album is also lovely. His music feels like what I'm needing right now, in such a chaotic and concerning time.

Thank you very much for sharing that - what a beautiful project!  :heart-eyes  I'd have loved to have been in the audience - an 8-hour lullaby in that place, with those views and that music, and a Sydney audience... (lived there a couple of years and get a little nostalgic for the landscape and cultural stuff) - but to see the clip was the next best thing, so thanks again. :cool

It's always great when you can discover music that goes with a situation or feeling, and embodies that for you.  It's sort of like chicken soup when you're in bed with a cold, but better than that...

Take care! :)
SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

A tiny little bit of work came in, which I'm thankful for.

Over the weekend, I did something I normally don't have much time/patience for: crosswords! :cool

Going on a hike in the landscape behind our town was also quite rewarding.
If only I'd thought of the right words...

dsanchez

Quote from: SueC on March 24, 2020, 11:48:24What's working for you just now?

cycling as usual... nothing more than social distancing, plus it keeps you fit :)

2019.06.08 Dublin
2019.07.04 Novi Sad
2019.07.17 Athens

SueC

I had a really exciting thing happen to me today:  An unexpected in-person social encounter!!!!   :cool

I wrote it up on my online journal, from which I will "reprint" the relevant excerpt:

***********************************************************************************************

Well, I'm sitting here typing while putting our sheets through the wash - all I do with sheets is wash them in plain water with a generous sprinkling of (real) lavender oil, and then it's such luxury to sleep in them - no detergent residue, dried in the sun, crisp and clean and smelling of flowers. I only put sheets through laundry detergent occasionally; pillow slips more often - if there's no grease, there's no point, and this is so much more skin-friendly. ...after the sheets are through, I'll add some detergent for the rest of the wash - I wash with a twin-tub machine, so I can do eco-friendly sequential washing in the same water (sheets, whites, colours, farm clothes, dog blankets - then drain and put the rinse water in - very clean clothes compared to other machines, much less water, detergent and electricity used). Here's a picture of wash day a few years ago when the laundry was newly constructed:



Anyway, I often sneak in a little writing while waiting for each stage of washing to finish before my intervention is once more required, and in the middle of that, half an hour ago, there was a knock on the door. I'd forgotten to put the milk bottles out in the letterbox (a capacious old beehive box, very rural) so my friendly neighbour with the milking cow came up with the milk, to tell me she needed my bottles! Hahaha, they were in the back seat of the car this morning when I rode to the front gate with Brett, but we got kissing goodbye at the road verge as is our tradition, and apparently today, that erased pretty much everything else from my mind, because the bottles went to town with Brett.  :beaming-face

We do have some spares, so I got those, and then this lovely neighbour and I sat down at the required social distance on two separate benches and had a good chinwag. We're both alternative types and both in the volunteer bushfire brigade and we often have a good laugh at the many crazy aspects of the world together.    :lol:  <- 2m -> :lol:

I passed on a spare copy (writer's copies) of a magazine I write for to her, as I usually do, because she's a perfect person to pass them onto - not just a dreamer and a thinker outside the box, but also an ideas collector and implementer. Ideas simply stay in her head and eventually get put to good use in many ways.  :cool   Then we had a little tour of the vegetable garden. We often compare notes on what we're growing, and exchange ideas and seeds. I have tons of rhubarb at the moment and just made a lovely berry-rhubarb tart; she hasn't got any yet so she left with a bunch of rhubarb, a Mountain Corn cob to try (the seeds she grew didn't make it this year and she's not eaten this variety before), some fine-leaf basil, a head of fennel for seed, and a pocketful of Giant Russian sunflower seeds straight from the flower head. She also tried some of my unusual salad greens - mizuna, red mustard, and wasabi greens (which taste just as the name suggests) - to see if she might like to grow some, because I always have spare seeds.

So, we both got a lovely social interlude this morning, just because I forgot to put the milk bottles in the letterbox and she therefore had a valid excuse to come and see me during this time of pandemic. I walked her back to the gate and we had another good laugh, about toilet paper panic buying and surviving without celebrities.  :lol:  :evil:

And on top of that, the sun is shining for the first time in three days - it's been bleakly overcast here for days. So, all is shaping up for a lovely, productive day.

***********************************************************************************************

That was the first half.  The rest is about animals, and if anyone is interested in that they can look here: https://www.horseforum.com/member-journals/trotters-arabians-donkeys-other-people-479466/page64/#post1970853667

Hope you're not all going up the walls!

SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/social-distancing-with-mike-scott-of-the-waterboys-979631/

QuoteThe coronavirus shows up all our habits, social attitudes, core beliefs, systems and societies in new and unexpected lights. It shows up our leaders, too -- we can see ever more clearly who they are: the authentic and the charlatans.
If only I'd thought of the right words...