Oh, chickens, I wish things were looking a bit more cheery as we head into another terrifying COVID surge that seems pretty hell bent on ruining Christmas, or at least significantly f’ing with it anyway. A variant that spreads much faster than the previous ones AND is more adept at evading immunity feels like an especially cruel blow, adding more anxiety to what is an already stressful week during the absolute best of times, to say nothing of this dystopian, interminable nightmare of a pandemic. No one knows much about Omicron yet, but one thing that seems definite is that you’re safer if you’re boosted, so please get on that if you aren’t already. As for this weekend, it appears that laying low is the wisest move, especially if you’re planning to see friends and family next week. I’m trying to look on the bright side and remember all the frenzied pre-Christmas weeks in the days of yore, when I would have killed for a day or two with nothing to do except bake cookies and watch crappy holiday movies on Lifetime in my pjs.
But, life goes on, and one high note from this week was that I dogsat for a friend and spent one memorable night sharing my bed with one boyfriend and three dogs and a cacophony of cross-species snoring. I also had the perfect takeout meal of short ribs and polenta from Korzo, an always reliable Hungarian spot in my hood; started to read The Anomaly, a totally engrossing French thriller recommended by one of zillions of those end-of-the-year lists I’ve perused in recent days; and watched the first half of Landscapers on HBO. And a few nights ago I caught up with an old friend who I hadn’t seen in a year and a half and heard about her pandemic elopement (!) over a delicious dinner in the outdoor section of Miss Ada.
If you’re feeling ok about being indoors (masked up, natch), Kings Theatre is staging its Hip Hop Nutcracker this weekend, which sounds fun to me, and I’ve also had my eye on the new shark exhibit at the Museum of Natural History that opened this week. A lot of us are, of course, behind the eight ball on our Christmas shopping, and in years past I’ve found great stuff at the American Field market, which hits the Brooklyn Expo Center both today and Sunday. Looking to take the edge off? The always funny Butterboy has some pretty special guests like David Cross and Janelle James lined up for its Monday night show at Littlefield; and Drunk Planet Earth, which is billed as a mashup of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Animal Planet and a drinking game, is at Easy Lover Bar on Tuesday night.
In all honesty though, this coming week feels like a good time to remember how many people are struggling to keep it together and could use some help right now. I’m setting aside some time to donate some old coats and drop food off in my local community fridge, which requires very little planning or time. You could also reach out to a friend or neighbor who is alone or dealing with something difficult and remind them you’ve got their back. If we all do little things like that, the situation just might be a little less bleak than it appears when you read basically anything that has been published on the internet in the last 48 hours. Please be kind and generous to yourself too, and be careful in these (once again) scary times. Cheers, and whatever your Christmas week looks like this year, it is our sincere hope that it is joyful and safe and full of love.