What’s currently helping me get through my sick days under quarantine?
I drink a lot of warm Korean barley tea sweetened with coco sugar, almost drown on drinking water, order soups and meals for the family via Grab Food (feel slightly guilty not being able to cook for more than a week), listen to sentimental love songs* (Bread and James Taylor are both medicine for the weary soul), watch a lot of Crime Scene Kitchen (Joel McHale is a ham!), Hudson & Rex, ice skating tournaments** (2022 ISU European Figure Skating Championships at Tallinn, Estonia) and discovered I enjoy watching rhythmic ice dance skaters more than the soloists–there’s more fun choreographed dancing and more upbeat music (Who would’ve thought disco music and ice skating go well together. Apparently, they’re a perfect combination.). I watched Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts (20th anniversary special) twice and cried over it. And now I want to re-read the series and relive the magic. Also, I read a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfiction. Before we got sick, mom and I would religiously watch reruns of Buffy on Hits channel during weeknights. Sadly, they stopped at Season 2 finale when Buffy averted an apocalypse brought about by her vampire ex-boyfriend Angel/Angelus. I coped with the sudden loss by turning to fanfic and then I discovered I could binge-watch the series online for free…yes! (Let the binge-watching commence!) It’s my current guilty pleasure–re-watching Buffy and reading fanfic.
Admitting this led me back to a specific memory of reading Paulo Coelho’s By the River Piedra, I Sat Down and Wept in 4th year high school–when a classmate who was also reading the same book for her English book report asked me whether I already got to the good part.
Me: Huh? What good part?
Classmate: The sex, of course.
Ooooh…that “good part”. I must’ve blushed automatically, but she needn’t know that she was talking to a pro who’s really good at finding out where the “good parts” are in novels. It was a secret pastime. Now, at this point in time, I’ve already read so many “good parts” that I know which ones were written well. And as a reader with omnivorous tastes, my verdict is still this: Women writers write the most satisfying love scenes with emotional impact.
*P.S. They don’t make sappy-but-feel-good love songs like they used to in the ’70s-’90s.
**My current favorite pair skaters are Charlene Guignard + Marco Fabbri from Italy and Olivia Smart + Adrian Diaz from Spain. They’re a pleasure to watch. The Russians are kinda over-the-top in technique–their skating is flawless but lack the emotion and entertainment factor.
For soloists, Ekaterina Kurakova from Poland recently caught my eye. She shines in every performance, plus she’s got a natural charm and infectious joy that makes me smile when I watch her skate. I would love to see more of her. But for perfection + flawless technique + grace, Russia’s Kamila Valieva is currently the darling of the skating world.
***P.P.S. If you don’t know it yet, I am a huge Spuffy (Spike + Buffy) shipper. As in “I will go down with this ship” level. But definitely not a huge fan of Angel. If anyone’s interested, I’m your go-to girl for Buffy talk.