Quarantine life has posed many alternatives for us to consider–from how we work, to how we cope with stress–and this is especially true with reading habits. I have been reading a lot more, often for hours at night to decompress. Some days, though, I am not in the mood for heavy reading, but want to enjoy some literary entertainment with the fast accessibility of a movie or TV show. Graphic Novels have always filled in this gap for me insofar as they occupy the disparate space between abstract language and strict visual signfier; graphic novels fuse the signifier and signified seamlessly for an engaging literary experience that has the depth of a novel with the visual cues of the best visual mediums. Below is nine recommended graphic novels that I’ve read separated according to general age range. I encourage teens and adults to read “down” from their age group as these picks transcend their audiences’ age range.
Coltrane was a true virtuoso. Unlike Mozart, though, he wasn’t born a musical genius. Instead, he practised, practised, practised. On the bus during road trips, he would shadow exercise his fingering on the sax for hours on endlessly. Endlessly curious, his musical career changed jazz and popular music’s trajectory like no other artist—encompassing Be Bop/Hard Bop, Blues, Pop, Avant-Garde, Free Jazz, and Ballads. What sets Coltrane apart from his contemporaries and modern artists for me is that his musical voice helps smooth my worries, has eased my pain over some of my most wretched heartaches, has helped me discover patience within myself, and continues so effortlessly to permeate my cerebral and spiritual faculties like no one else. Not everyone can say that their favourite artist named a song after them either (wink wink). I’ve been listening to a lot of Coltrane while I work from home—indeed, as I write this—to encourage a flow that sweeps me into an effortless effort. Coltrane has such a massive discography from his tragically shortened life that I thought I’d highlight some of my favourites to get you started. All albums here are hyperlinked (click on the pictures) to their Hoopla links. The album above, from the superb 2017 documentary, is a great general introduction to the breath of his work. What follows are some of my favourites.
Did I brush my teeth today? I wonder as I fire up my laptop for another day of working at home. As I sip my coffee and reply to the latest emails, I become increasingly aware of my unwashed hair, but since there’s no one to see it, what’s the harm in leaving it just one more day? Then again, I do have that important Zoom meeting at 2 pm. I should probably look a little more presentable for that. Surely some muted lighting will help hide the tired, dark circles under my eyes. And there’s nothing that a high ponytail can’t solve.
As each day melts into the next during social isolation, it’s easy to neglect even the most basic self-care rituals. I was never a high maintenance gal to begin with, but I feel myself slipping even further into lazy habits. The problem is, once you start wearing your pyjamas around all day, the malaise can trickle into other areas of your life.
Beauty isn’t just about the superficial. How you feel about your appearance can have a strong negative impact on productivity and energy. You might stop video chatting with your family and friends because you “don’t look good right now.” You’ll probably skip that afternoon walk worried because your hair is frizzy and your grey roots are showing. And now that you’re in your pyjamas – so soft and warm – a little nap couldn’t hurt. But once you’re in that cozy bed, it’s oh-so-hard to get back up again.
So what can we do to feel better in these challenging times? How can we create a realistic and manageable beauty routine while being kind to ourselves? Continue reading