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  • Impact Austin


In 1985, Nobel winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote Love in the Time of Cholera. It was quickly and highly acclaimed. Today, in May 2020, Impact Austin brings you “Obsessions in the Time of Corona.” No expectations of fame for this writing project!

With social distancing in place, our Zones initiative sweetly pivoted into Zoom cocktail hours. Sixteen women gathered on May 19 to consider this oh-so-important topic: what are we obsessed with as we shelter in place and work from home? Our group included 4 board members (thanks Jessica, Jenny, Allison and Deanna), one brand new member (welcome to Summer!), and Tammy, the member-rep for 2019 Community Partner Austin Bat Cave. Rounding out the group were Zones leader Tonya, facilitator Robin, and Beth, Linda, Judi, Sue, Alice, Kali’, Barb, and Office Manager Nicole Genovese. We introduced ourselves and chatted from our living rooms, home offices, patios, and at least one closet. All of us were pleased to share our current obsessions.

Cooking, baking, and acquiring the foodstuffs to do both are common quests. When flour was in short supply, Linda managed to find so much that weekly baking is now part of her family’s routine. Their current favorite is this Easy Marble Cake from the Flour & Spice blog: Judi acquires baking supplies from member-owned Brentwood Social House, at the same time picking up other grocery items, a latte, and their amazing Fat Rascal scone (her true obsession, if we're honest). Libby and Robin cook dinner almost every night, and Robin notes the Zen-like benefits of food prep and chopping. Curries are often on her menu these days. Others among us named our favorite restaurants for curbside pickup: Flores Mexican Restaurant in Dripping Springs; Odd Duck and Suerte downtown; and the always-reliable P. Terry’s that is everywhere we need it to be. Jessica recommended Johnson’s Backyard Garden and their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program for boxes of fresh, organic vegetables. For extra culinary inspiration, Libby recommended the cookbook Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat; there’s even a four-episode Netflix series to complement it.

To offset all that cooking and eating, our group talked about what we’re doing to MOVE. Kali’ loves her downtown walks, photographing the public art and beautiful scenery that she finds. Sue found her way back to yoga, and she recommends Serasana, with various locations and excellent Zoom classes. Tonya enjoys Yoga with Adriene on YouTube; Adriene is also from Austin. Robin misses the opportunity to train Parkinson’s patients in boxing at 413 Fitness. Tammy works diligently to transform her garden. Several of our dogs LOVE having us quarantined at home because we’re suddenly more reliable as walking partners!

Calming activities are also important in this stressful Coronaseason. (So is a glass of wine now and then; see a later blog entry for more info about that!) Two of us enjoy needlepoint. Jenny LOVES puzzles! Linda practices meditation. Many are dedicated readers; Jessica recommends a laugh-out-loud book called Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. Robin and Judi are into podcasts, recommending these: The Daily; Imagined Life; Serial; Boomtown; Gangster Capitalism; Last Day; History Chicks; Mobituaries; Stuff You Missed in History; The Drop Out; Dolly Parton’s America; Revisionist History; White Lies; and Fresh Air.

What is YOUR favorite obsession in the time of Corona?


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