Saturday’s Bike Ride Commute (2/26/11)
I had forgotten how lovely a Saturday morning bike ride can be. This town is so quiet and peaceful on weekend mornings. That tranquility is a blessing and a treat, such a welcome contrast to weekday mornings where everybody is rushing to work. Yesterday, I decided to be a little ambitious and try to get some work done, thus soothing my rising anxiety that my research is going nowhere fast. The unfortunate thing about biology is that sometimes my critters are not as ambitious as I am, leaving me feeling a little less accomplished than I would like. It’s not enough to put something on my to-do list—getting something done requires some cooperation from my subjects.
Such is life in the lab. Though I was bursting with energy in the morning, my adventures quickly wore me out, and I ended up on the couch for a pre-dinner nap. When I woke up, I almost decided to feast on leftovers because I was feeling too lethargic to cook, but ambition got the best of me, and I made one of Melissa Clark’s recipes from In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite: Crispy Tofu with Peanut Sauce. It was terrific. After dinner, I gathered all my courage and sat down to watch Schindler’s List, a movie that terrified me during some of the most subtle moments. There are certain Holocaust images that haunt me—the piles of wedding rings, the abandoned luggage, the cattle cars packed with people on their way to the death camps—and to watch a movie about the Holocaust is a hard experience for me. I’m very sensitive to bad news, but at the same time, I’m fascinated by World War II and the Holocaust. I’m a mutt of European descent, and the fact that the Holocaust took place in Europe and was carried out by the country from which my paternal grandfather emigrated makes the Holocaust horrors eerily close to home. Part of my liberal leanings comes from my feelings about World War II: if you see the world through an “us versus them” lens, then you’ve already lost the war. We won’t save the world with our violence, but we might be able to do it with love. Or at the very least, empathy.