the sounds she collected, playlist 39

a meditation on 50 first dates.

Have you ever seen the critically acclaimed* (*in my heart) movie 50 First Dates? Lucy (Drew Barrymore) plays a woman who gets into a tragic car accident and consequently possesses a condition where her memory restarts from the day of her accident every day. (Wha?) And every day, her family reconstructs moments to make her day as ordinary as possible, so she can go through the same motions over and over again: a newspaper from the day of the accident, the same breakfast plated in the same way, yadda yadda.

Every day I wake up, I feel I’m living this, too. Or maybe more of a Groundhog Day, where I’m in need of a more fervent escape from the barrage of news, far too many Zoom calls, and suffering. Sometimes I wonder if my mind is conjuring this, and it’s all a very long dream, and I’ll wake up and hug everyone around me and say hello on the bus and ditch the hand sanitizer and skip in the street.

My thoughts of what is today going to hold? have been reduced to in what order am I going to do the same things I did yesterday? There’s little surprise, and I don’t feel particularly sanguine about the days ahead. I wake around 6:30am, and fall asleep around 9pm. The thrills I find are in: binge-watching Netflix (Friends From College, Community, and, to my shame, probably Too Hot To Handle), Ryan Heffington’s dance classes on Instagram Live, early morning walks with Armchair Expert (connecting me to my commuting routine in some very small way).

I feel very fortunate. I am healthy, my family is healthy, my friends are healthy. I have a job. I have a roof over my head and a family who will graciously have me as a temporary resident as I escape the urban confines for a little while. Yet I also hold the duality of suffering with me, too. My dear friend M has moved back to Chicago, but we can’t reunite because of social distancing. My dear brother M who moved to New York City in the middle of this pandemic. Our family friend S who runs a nursing home. My oldest friends M and K who work as a resident and nurse at a major hospital and a care center in New York City and Los Angeles. A host of friends who have lost their jobs.

I was hell-bent on not letting this get me down, but now I’m surrendering. In such an unprecedented time, how can we not from time to time?

Something I’ve been doing to keep this in perspective is remembering how (mostly) privileged U.S. events have been for me throughout my life; no Spanish Flu, Great Depression, World War. And while these struggles left destruction in their wake, they also left hope, resilience, and strength. I know that the latter will find us; it’s just a matter of when. Keeping the idea of the hedonic treadmill in mind.

>>> PLAYLIST 39: HELLO? <<<



  • Trying to write as much as possible, going for walks, soaking up the sun in the backyard while reading books, savoring good food, and talking with friends and family. A few of the books I've read recently: Things You Save in a Fire by Katharine Center and Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart.

  • Remembering GRAPES during isolation.

  • I’m trying not to listen to COVID-19 news all the time. I'm also trying to watch a bunch of movies from my childhood and the ‘90s.

  • On observing your days in a different light: I’ve saved 2 hours a day not commuting; been out in the yard with the kids for an hour each day after lunch, playing with the kids; been working out everyday; video conferencing with my family in New Zealand; watching movies. I think this is going to fundamentally change the way companies think about remote work and I am here for it! 

Chin up,