Back to Work Reality Check

VintageSubwayVintage subway marker in midtown

Four days off and back to work on Tuesday. A jarring mental adjustment from all the fun, self-expression and more fun outside of the 9 to 5 cubicle life.

To transition back to the workplace, I’m borrowing an idea from a NY Times’ column in the Sunday Review section called “DOWNLOAD.” (Not sure why it’s called that)

But I liked the topic headings. So here goes:

READING  I’m currently reading 3 books: Quiet —  the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking by Susan Cain (about people like myself, introverts — those who treasure alone time and avoid crowds at all costs); Beyond the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo (an extraordinarily novel so far, emotionally moving without being maudlin), so well written and oftentimes funny, despite that it’s about the worst sections of Mumbai, the horrifyingly corrupt government of India, the abysmal life of those living on next to nothing under the radar (an excerpt: “…in Annawadi, fortunes derived not just from what people did, or how well they did it, but from the accidents and catastrophes they dodged. A decent life was the train that hadn’t hit you, the slumlord you hadn’t offended, the malaria you hadn’t caught.”); and Poet in New York (Frederico Garcia Lorca) – Spanish and English version (it’s enriching to read the poems in Spanish, too, even if my command of the language isn’t quite what it once was). I chose to read this collection in preparation for a celebratory event I plan to attend at the NY Public Library in June.

WATCHING  Just finished the first season of Broadchurch, a BBC America detective 8-part series (part two is due out in the summer). Watched all 8 episodes in a fit of obsession on a recent day off. I plan to watch the Bletchly Circle, a PBS 3-part-er that aired recently and stars one of the actresses from “Bleak House,” which I loved. Been watching lots of movies, too. Highly recommend: Fill the Void, an Israeli film just released. I’m a big fan of Israeli cinema, for its artistry, honest emotion and deeply compassionate understanding of the human condition. Nurse Jackie is my #1 favorite TV show (downloaded from iTunes). I don’t watch network anymore, except for the 7:00 A.M. news, even though the anchors and their drama are a constant source of aggravation for me.

LISTENING  Vampire Weekend, a band (of students) out of Columbia University. Crazy over a song called Ya Hey. Hey, ya, the whole album is good!

FOLLOWING  My bliss. Back to playing the fiddle again (yay); spent the whole afternoon working on (and close to finishing) a painting — which always makes my day.

PUZZLING  Over a song called Tarantella Paesana, which I was trying to learn on the mandolin (an old piece of junk instrument I’ve held onto for years) but gave up this afternoon when I couldn’t even turn the pegs to tune the damn thing. Switched over to the fiddle. Delighted that the song is a fit for this instrument, in a gypsy sort of way.

EATING  Baba Burgers (Ganesh’s Wholesome Cookery); grain patties of millet, lentils, brown rice, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, sunflower seeds (don’t forget to remove the husks from the sunflower seeds or, like me, you’ll think you’re eating watermelon when you’re spitting out the “pits”), bread crumbs and spices, created by an individual called Brother Dhaman. The labor-intensive recipe comes from a booklet called Integral Yoga circa 1974. The recipe serves 10, so lots of back-up patties in the freezer in case of a nuclear attack. As veggie burgers do, these completely fall apart in the frying pan…but, hey, they’re healthy and tasty — if you add barbecue sauce and serve them inside a croissant with potato salad on the side.

ANTICIPATING  A 4-day work week!

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