New Year Resolutions: Exercise in the Time of Covid

Coming to you from the cyberpunk dystopia that will not end, a series of New Year’s Resolution-themed posts, because the only way out is through.

My fellow apocalypse-sters, you and I both know the importance of exercise. It keeps your meat sack in working condition, helps you sleep better, gives you energy, and can even boost your mood, which we all need these days, so desperately.

Remember when we used to go walking at the mall with friends? Or logging an hour on the elliptical at Planet Fitness? When we could learn Tai Chi in the park? Or maybe you’re like me and never did any of that?? Because exercise is hard to make yourself do under the best of circumstances and these are not even mildly okay circumstances. I don’t know about you, but my body is trying to become one with my couch these days, so I’m willing to try something.

If you, like myself, have hit rock bottom fitness-wise, you’ll be glad to know that SPL has a lot of online exercise videos through Kanopy, Hoopla, and the lesser known Access Video. Exercise videos are great – you just follow whatever the people on your screen are doing until you collapse into a sweaty heap, zero brain work involved. You can do Pilates Essentials, Bollywood Burn, or Dance and Be Fit. Find out what Jeanette is blasting next, may her body rest in pieces. You could even transform your entire actual life with yoga, according to Dashama Konah Gordon. This last one isn’t exactly an exercise video, but I couldn’t sleep at night unless I shared this Super Swordfighting Series for how to do cool movie sword fights. I think that would transform my life. Continue reading “New Year Resolutions: Exercise in the Time of Covid”

100 Years of Agatha Christie

In October of this year, we get to celebrate Agatha Christie being brought into our lives. Her first novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles was published in the U.S. in October of 1920. The United States was first to be introduced to Hercule Poirot. He would go on to be the main character in 33 of her novels, 2 plays, and 50 short stories, and be the only literary character to ever have a written obituary in the New York Times. His death was written into Agatha Christie’s novel Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case. Poirot had his own television series that aired for 24 years on ITV, not to mention many renditions of his books made into movies, most recently Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express.

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Virtual visits: Art collections and experiences online

Uncertainty about safe and healthy travel these days has caused many of our plans to be interrupted or canceled. For hours we had planned itineraries, scheduled exhausting (but fun!) days, and made must-do, must-eat, and must-see lists, but sadly those lists will remain unchecked for now. The strolls we imagined we would take in renowned parks and sites? Not going to happen. All the delicious food we were supposed to enjoy in the quaintest of restaurants and cafés? Still untried. And the paintings, sculptures, and other pieces of art that we planned to visit and study in world-famous museums? Luckily we can see those by virtual means.

Photo of Musee d'Orsay and Pont Royal
Musee d’Orsay and Pont Royal, by Daniel Vorndran / DXR

Continue reading “Virtual visits: Art collections and experiences online”

Move That Body

One of the things I noticed the most about being home the first few days of self-isolation was my lack of movement. With gyms and some parks and playgrounds closed, and with more people sheltering in place, innovation began to occur. My local yoga studio started doing free yoga classes online via YouTube. Talking to my friends on social media or Facetime, I heard their gyms have created at home workouts to get them through week by week. Not everyone has that kind of access, but the library can help!

Access Video, which has unlimited video-on-demand, can be watched on your computer, tablet, or phone. Access currently has a Yoga, Pilates, and more section right now. It also has something for every age. If you are homeschooling your kids they offer Pilates Kids – one item of note is Study Break Workout: “Refocus, energize, learn better, and have fun with this innovative program that teaches kids simple breathing and exercise techniques that can be performed while seated in a chair at a desk” (Access Video). Continue reading “Move That Body”

The Yule Log Times Three!

An 1848 drawing of St. Nick hauling a Yule log
Seattle Weekly

Each of us has a picture that pops into our minds whenever we hear about the yule log. Whether it’s a log on the fire during Winter Solstice, a decadent dessert, or a cozy mystery. Here are a few items in our collection to celebrate the yule log in its many forms!

For apartment dwellers or those of us without a fire place you can stream your yule log fix! Access Video offers an hour of log burning, with music included, in The Ultimate Yule Log – “the Christmas classic! Instrumental and vocal music set against yule log fireplace footage. Songs include “Silent Night,” “Deck the Halls,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” ”O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “Good King Wenceslas,” and more!” Continue reading “The Yule Log Times Three!”