Strategies for Working Remote because of the Coronavirus

Photo by Georgie Cobbs on Unsplash

As many communities are recommending physical distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are working from home. While working remotely has many conveniences, this new environment has many challenges. Here is some advice to help make working at home and sheltering in place easier.

The other day the beau and I wanted to listen to “Born Slippy” by Underworld specifically from the Trainspotting soundtrack because the album version didn’t sound like we remembered. We found the song on Apple Music, except it wasn’t real. Someone created a cover of all of the songs from the Trainspotting soundtrack and released it as an album.

Of course, this is all legal, the creator of the cover songs just has to pay royalties, but it must be lucrative enough to recreate a soundtrack from the 90s. I miss soundtracks, specifically from the 90s, because that was where…

Photo by Alexander Popov on Unsplash

I drive up to two hours a day in traffic. The congestion in the Bay Area has become so bad that some days it can take me 60 minutes to or from work to drive the twenty miles home, even with access to the carpool lane. So I spend a lot of time thinking about traffic. Reader, I am taking this rant in a direction I never thought possible. Perhaps it is the traffic that has addled my mind. My thoughts venture to a place where I don’t have no expertise or understanding. This analogy emerging from myth mind confounds…

Photo by Dose Media on Unsplash

The other day I was talking with my friend, Emily, about planning. It prompted me to think about why I tend to make a lot of plans in advance and why others don’t. I don’t know why some people are planners and some people aren’t. I don’t know how anyone can not be a planner.

In high school, some art students painted above the doorway to the cafeteria a quote from John Lennon, “Life is what’s happening while you’re busy making plans.” I looked up at the words every day at lunch and thought, screw you, Lennon. Can anyone make…

@chiragggg Bangalore, India

I’m writing on my iPad while the power is out at my house. I was going to write something about the Oscars, but it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to catch them this evening. So I’m sitting here thinking about what we take for granted. Of course I take electricity for granted. As soon as my iPad runs out of power my world will be turned into a black mirror reflecting my unshowered self and then where will I be? (Side note: I really need to take showers earlier in the weekend to avoid such issues. Also, be more…

Examining superheroes, weight, and eating as a result to trauma

An image of Fat Thor from Marvels’ Avengers: Engame.
An image of Fat Thor from Marvels’ Avengers: Engame.

Note: This essay contains spoilers for many films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe including, most recently, Avengers: Endgame.

A couple weeks ago I about wrote why there are no fat superheroes. I did not mention is Thor from the film Avengers: Engame. Many people wrote hot takes and thoughtful pieces on Fat Thor when the film came out, but I needed time to process Fat Thor and how he represents fat people in general. At the beginning of Endgame, Thor is a traumatized hero unable to cope with the trauma of losing family, home world, and identity. …

Exploring design, size, discrimination, and connection at work

Credit Paul Rogers, New York Times

Most days, I struggle to find a comfortable seat that supports my body. Though I’m not the fattest person in the world, I’m definitely bigger than most other people. My size makes it difficult to find a chair that doesn’t constrain my body, leave marks, or hurt my back. If I’m going to a theater from the early 20th century, I expect to be uncomfortable few hours, crammed into a seat when people were much smaller. When choosing to eat an older restaurant, like those Italian American places with dark wood and leather, accented by brass fixtures, served by waiters…

Lessons on body size and representation from the film “Shazam!”

Note: this essay has small spoilers for the film “Shazam”

Photo by Craig McLachlan on Unsplash

On a recent Saturday night, I searched my usual streaming services for something fun and relaxing to watch on television. A friend recommended the film Shazam! and critics agreed, so I watched. Shazam! is the story of a teen boy who is chosen by a wizard as a champion to defend the world from the seven deadly sins. By saying “Shazam” the boy turns into a muscular, attractive adult superhero. Towards the end of the film his foster siblings also get this power. …

Choosing the Right Notebook for Everyday Carry or Bullet Journals

A pocket notebook can be a great tool to carry with you at all times. Many people are switching to pocket journals from smart phones to keep track of lists, to-dos, sketches, ideas, notes, and anything else that may come up during the day. These pocket notebooks are durable, slim, and easy to take wherever you go. But these also can take a beating in your pocket which makes them ideal if you want to “process” them later, transferring the contents to a smartphone or larger notebook. …

How I Separate Shame from Writing

Whenever I sit down to type, or I get out my notebook to write, usually prose, sometimes nonfiction, I have a small panic attack. Who do you think you are? The message echoes in my head: you’re not good enough, you’re not a writer. I’ve never published anything in my life. I’m not a famous novelist, or journalist, or memoirist, or humorist. I’m just a person at a keyboard putting words in order. I’m not a writer but merely a typist. Who do I think I am?

I started to declutter my office. I emptied boxes from my closet, and…

Ryan Ludman

I write personal stories, book reviews, and other essays about productivity, food, and culture.

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