Monday, March 23, 2020

I'm Still Here

Just added. If you have instagram on your phone, you get get IGTV with it where loads of short plays, mostly about isolation but many funny, are on there under The 24 Hour Plays. These are  performed by well-known actors and range from a few minutes to a bit longer. For theater lovers for sure. 

Haven't seen another person in eight days now. Yes, I talk on the phone and text and email, but it is eerie. We have had some nice weather and I have taken a few walks. And now is the time when not driving becomes a problem. I am leery about taking car services now. Lucky to be able to order some of the things I need online. My driver./cleaner will not come until this is over.

Watching BLOOD on Acorn, which is pretty good. BETTER CALL SAUL manages to keep the same vibe year after year. Listening to lots of podcasts. Just found the ones for Desert Island Discs, which should be fun. Rewatching SEX AND THE CITY just for a nostalgic look st NY. Will it ever be like that again? Lots of stuff is bound to be left behind.Didn't much like BLOW THE MAN DOWN on Amazon but it was probably just me.

Reading the Tuesday book of the French series, but I am going to take a break after this one. I don't think you are meant to binge them. Yes, read them in order but not in immediate succession. Reading the Jeanne Bassinger book on THE MOVIE MUSICAL, which is loads of fun.

What about you?


Jerry House said...

We're pretty much self-quarantined except to provide needed transportation services. Amy is moving back from Boston, so we dropped Jessie at the airport so she can drive her back here. Ceili doesn't drive and needs a ride to and from work so we help out there. With the schools closed, Christina has been home with Jack -- keeping an active 7-year-old isolated is a time-consuming chore. Mark's college campus is closed for the rest of the school year. Walt is still driving to work every day. We're somewhat concerned about Erin because she is working at Chick-fil-A thirty hours a week, often at the drive-through. Everyone is being cautious and socially distancing and all that. The entire family appears to be doing well.

The real bummer is that they closed the beaches here. There goes our favorite time to center ourselves. Oh, well.

Watching a lot of television. A few passable movies and a lot of dreck. If something sounds interesting on Netflix, we'll watch the preview and, more often than not, reject it. I did watch a couple of Ngaio Marsh's old Inspector Allyn show which I enjoyed -- SCALES OF JUSTICE and DEAD WATER. There's still a lot of interesting stuff on YouTube: Neil Diamond singing "Sweet Caroline" with the words "hands, washing hands, I won't touch you, and you won't touch me" was a stand-out. So many people doing parodies of Dolly Parton's "Jolene" as "Quarantine." Watching Trump pat himself on the back constantly as he tries to bluster his way through this crisis is a bit off-putting.

Also off-putting is watching the spring-breakers on television. Yes, kids that age are notoriously self-centered and dumb, but do they have to be that STUPID?

I've been reading a lot of short stories this week, mainly older collections. Henry Kuttner's THUNDER JIM WADE collect the five Doc Savage clone novels/novellas he wrote back in 1941. Louisa Baldwin's THE SHADOW ON THE BLIND collects the ghost stories she wrote in the 1890's. Stephen King and Bev Vincent's anthology FLIGHT OR FRIGHT has seventeen stories that will make you never want to fly again. I'm currently reading an old science fiction novel by Eric Frank Russell, DREADFUL SANCTUARY. I have enough book on hand to last through an infinite amount of pandemics.

And some sonovabitch keeps taking my parking spot!

Through it all, we're all healthy and happy and somewhat bemused by these strange times. We have enough needed supplies to keep us going and. if we don't have it on hand, we probably didn't need it. I am encouraged by so many stories of kindness from all over. And I am super happy that I can spent so much time cuddling with my honeybun on the sofa -- life can't better than that.

Se you on the other side, Patti. Stay healthy. Stay safe. Stay happy.

Margot Kinberg said...

We've been staying in place, too, Patti. It is a little eerie, but it's necessary right now. And so far, we're well. Stay safe and we'll all get through this.

Steven A Oerkfitz said...

Only been going out for groceries, prescriptions and take out. Did go to B&N. Only talk to people face to face in passing in the lobby or the laundry room.
Just finished Sun Down Motel which I liked. Now reading Silver by Chris Hammer, his sequel to Scrublands which I liked a lot.
On tv-Curb Your Enthusiasm, Better Call Saul, Babylon Berlin season 3,The Plot Against America. Just binged a 7 part documentary on Netflix-The Tiger King which is full of odd characters. Like a Carl Hiassen novel brought to life.
Just went to my 8:00 appt with a retina specialist to find the clinic closed until april 5. Nobody called me which pisses me off. Can't even tell them off since there is no one in the office.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Luckily my dentist called me to cancel an appt. I am looking into ways to get groceries delivered.
Jerry- We were told older and younger family members should not mix especially. Be careful. I worry about all of you.

Steven A Oerkfitz said...

Patti-I believe Kroger delivers for a $9.95 fee.

Jeff Meyerson said...

This is a bit long, so feel free to skip or skim.

Well, we got home safe and sound on Saturday afternoon. On the positive side, the weather was gorgeous - low 80s from Palm Beach Gardens to Fredericksburg, Virginia. But apparently, half of Quebec (in past years it seemed to be mostly Ontario, but the last two trips has been Quebec) was in Florida and had to get back to Canada before the border closed Friday night. They were all on I-95, many, many of them driving big RVs and towing cars, bicycles, kayaks, etc. There was a much smaller number of Ontario plates, and way more than usual from New Brunswick too. The hotels were fine, but...breakfast ranged from fairly good (SpringHill Suites in Lumberton, North Carolina was the best), to thoughtful (Residence Inn in Fredericksburg had individual bags with combinations of yogurt, muffins, various fruits), to unacceptable (Fairfield Inn in Kingsland, Georgia had a little leftover cereal and a few yogurts behind the counter, but luckily there was a Dunkin Donuts next door). No eggs, of course.

For lunches, we got foot long subs (one to share) at Subway and ate in the car. Dinner? In Kingsland, there is a Sonny's BBQ across the road from the hotel, and two lovely women were outside taking orders (they also had a takeout window) and bringing the food to the car. We took it back and ate in the hotel breakfast room, otherwise empty. In Lumberton, they had opened Your Pie Pizza directly across the parking lot from the hotel. They had an outdoor patio where up to 10 people could eat at a time (spaced out; there were only 4 people eating there we were were there). It was interesting. For $8.95, you get a 10 inch pizza made to your specifications as to crust (white or wheat), type of sauce (we got marinara), cheese (shredded mozzarella, fresh whole mozzarella, etc.), toppings (I got red onions and mushrooms), meats (sausage, pepperoni). For another $3.95 you get a salad and a drink.

So, we managed. The trip Saturday from Fredericksburg to Brooklyn was quiet and fast. We went home, unpacked a few things, then walked to the Avenue to the supermarket and bought $100 worth of food for several days. They were pretty well stocked, other than toilet paper (of course) and, surprisingly, pasta. Those shelves were bare. But milk, ice cream, eggs (one carton to a customer), yogurt, fruit, vegetables, meat, chicken, you name it, all available. We can order online if we want and get it delivered, or order in store and get it delivered (though I took it home). Local restaurants seem to be open for takeout and delivery, but a lot of small businesses are closed, to reopen...who knows when, if ever. The nail salons and hairdressers are closed. Libraries, closed. Movies, closed.

Jeff Meyerson said...

One highlight of Florida this year was the discovery of The True Oldies Channel on the radio. You probably know dj/entrepreneur Scott Shannon (you can look him up, I'll wait). He is still on NY radio, but long-time favorite WCBS-FM has gradually moved from the '50s and '60s to the '70s and now seems to play mostly '80s music I don't even know or like. (And keep off my lawn!) He told me (via email) that TOC is a "labor of love" for him. This plays pretty much anything from the mid-50s (a lot of Everly Brothers, some Buddy Holly, Elvis, Chuck Berry) through the '60s (a lot of mid-60s stuff like the Dave Clark Five and Gary Lewis & the Playboys for some reason) and '70s, mostly. And they take requests and play them. I asked for (and got) Jorgen Ingmann's 1961 instrumental, "Apache."

They are located in Palm Beach County (perfect for us!) but you can listen online (, though without the commercials for Cucina Cabana Ristorante or the Lake Worth Gold Mine.

/end unsolicited commercial

Jeff Meyerson said...

One thing we did not have in Florida was Netflix (or Amazon Prime, or HBO, or Acorn, or...). (Our landlady agreed to Jackie's request that she get a Smart TV by next year, when we will be back.) Fortunately, there is a huge branch of the Palm Beach County Library ten or so minutes from us and as residents (albeit temporary ones) we were able to get a free library card (for five years). The Gardens Branch has racks and racks with probably thousands of DVDs to borrow, including many television series, including a lot of foreign ones. And unlike Brooklyn, which buys three or four separate DVDs to cover a single season of a series, they buy the complete sets, so there will be four discs in one box. We finally got to see the great Danish political series BORGEN (all three seasons), as well as season two of THE GOOD FIGHT. Also, we watched several series of LEWIS (will catch up with the rest next year). And we saw movies we'd missed. We also saw one or two new movies a week ($5 on Tuesdays), as well as some we'd missed via Redbox (ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP, TERMINATOR: DARK FATE, ROCKETMAN, YESTERDAY).

Rick Robinson said...

Sorry if there are typos -- I'm doing this from the iPhone. Tiny little keys.
Patti, I'm so sorry you're feeling so isolated. I wish there was something we could do. Apparently most people are much more distressed by staying at home than I, but then I lived along for decades before getting married. Yes I was working then so I saw people during the week, and said hello to neighbors on weekends, but I spent a LOT of time by myself and was happy with that. Now, staying home is no problem. I wish the library were available, though. Still, I have enough books here to last years.
We're working our way through SANDITON on PBS, and enjoying it, and we watch a couple of shows on DIY and on Smithsonian channel. We have a few movies I've DVR'd we can watch, and one from Netflix.
We got out and pulled a few weeds yesterday, but today and the rest of the week will be rainy, so we'll be inside reading, working on a puzzle and such. I'm listening to a lot of classical music, and jazz.
We ordered some furniture a month ago, and were supposed to have it in another week, but there may be delays due to C-19. Fine, but the things it replaces are going this week, so there'll be empty spaces. Oh well.
I've stopped watching the White House briefings, they drive me crazy, tick me off, and seem like nothing but campaign crap. They ought to give Biden and Bernie equal time. Meanwhile we wear out Klobachar 2020 T-shirts proudly.

Breathe clear

Jeff Meyerson said...

We both have books on the Kindle from the library, as well as others in the Cloud Library. Every day I seem to get one more thing from the hold list that has come in. They have recently added a feature where if you are not ready to take a book, you can postpone it for 7 or 14 or 21 days. You stay at #1 in the queue, so after that date, you get the first copy that becomes available. I did it with two books this week, as I have three things downloaded now.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks, Steve. I end up paying my cleaner a lot more than that.
People have given me ideas-
Jeff-Megan seems to be having a much harder time getting food in Queens. Strange, that.
I was never good at staying home. Neither was Phil. Even when we had kids we were always at the library, at the movies, at the park, visiting friends, going to museums. I see my son operates the same way with his kid. Different strokes, take care all.

George said...

We're doing well in Western New York. With the mild Spring weather, Diane has been doing some yard work: raking leaves, trimming plants, picking up fallen limbs, etc. We've made a few trips to the grocery stores. Sometimes whole shelves are bare. We ran into that last week when all the bread was gone.

But, mostly we've been reading, listening to music, watching TV, and communicating with our friends and family.

I'm hoping the coronavirus outbreak peaks in a week or two and we can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Stay safe, everyone!

Rick Robinson said...

Of course the libraries here are CLOSED, so we can't get all the stuff Jeff is able to. Still, we have enough on hand.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Of course, Megan eats a lot less than we do...

TracyK said...

Patti, I am sorry you have been alone for so long. I don't care about going out, but I am sure I would be more anxious if I was alone, mainly because I would not have other people to distract me. Even so, I am having sleepless nights and worrying too much. I think I inherited that from my mother.

My husband is working at home and although we are across the table from each other on laptops, we don't talk much when he is working.

I did get to weed in my tiny garden on Saturday, I can't do much in one session but anything helps. But it has been raining here a good bit so I haven't had much opportunity. I think this week will be dry.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am clearly talking about being alone too much. People call me often but I have never been a telephone talker.
Megan eats a lot less than anyone. She promised me she would eat carbs for once.

J F Norris said...

I found the 24 Hour Plays site over the weekend. Watched a slew of them. Some were duds, IMO. My favorites were the ones with Hugh Dancy, Rachel Dratch and Marin Ireland. Loved Ireland on Sneaky Pete a couple of years ago. We almost saw her in a one woman show back in 2019 but Joe was tired of plays so we skipped it. Bummer! The one with Rachel Dratch is hilarious, I think. I sent it via text message to a slew of my friends as a pick-me-up in these days of being shut in and quarantined.

All my theater plans for the next couple of months have gone up in smoke. Chicago theaters followed suit with Broadway and shut down last weekend. All theaters, Equity and non-Equity houses alike.

Some of my creative friends in theater, actors and designers, are in a panic. They can't even return to temp office work. I was giving them all the news about The Actor's Fund hoping that they can apply for financial aid.

I work at a pediatric hospital and will continue to work from home. Interesting having to document every thing I do, how many hours spent in order to justify my pay. I feel like an office temp all over again. Haven't done that in over twenty years.

Joe is an oncology nurse and the clinics remain open for all the patients. They have 15 admissions with the virus at his hospital. He's going in every day and dealing with not only his patients problems but some irrational fears and kooky behavior. I hear some very funny stories about family members who just don't get the "no visitors" rule at all, don't understand one use only gloves and masks, and all sorts of other things that Healthcare workers find ironically amusing. Guess it's not so funny to the ill-informed.

Trying not to do any errands that require using public transportation. I don't have a car. So it's either bike or walk now. Last Friday I went into the hospital for the last time and on the bus I was appalled that people were coughing and hacking and sneezing and not covering up. Leopards can't change their spots, I guess. I'm stayign away from buses and trains for a while.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Hi John
This is the most I have ever heard about your personal life. Oh, some I knew, but not such a full picture.
I have been trying almost all day to order food online through instacart or shopt but so far no luck. I could walk up to the one store near me but perhaps today's shelter in place order will have made everyone crazy. I can probably go a week or so if need be.
Stay well. Not a cliche anymore, huh?

Rick Robinson said...

John, I'd get punched in the nose, I guess. Why? Because I probably couldn't resist saying "Cover your cough, for God's sake!" to people who don't do that. Just like I want to say "back off" to people who insist in standing close in line. So I stay home all the time. We are availing ourselves of curbside pickup when possible, and senior hours at the market. We haven't tried grocery delivery, but are interested.

Gerard who is not logged in. said...

I am once again happy about how nice my family has it. My wife is able to work from home. I am both working from home and going into the library as the only person there. I have a lot of vacation and sick time if I need it. The children are old enough to occupy themselves. None of us are are sick. My biggest complaint is trying to keep the children from sleeping too late.

I am concerned about my parents - 81 and 76 years old - in Illinois. My brother arranged grocery delivery to their home but they still have daily home health care come in for an hour or two. With the library closed I could more easily drive down and assist them, but I don't know if I have COVID with no symptoms.

Re above comments:
The new Overdrive feature for delaying holds is a nice one.
So many people rely on public transportation in cities and riding them now seems like such a risk.

BVLawson said...

Glad to hear you're doing well, Patti! But I'm very sorry about the isolation part. A lot of folks around our neighborhood are still taking walks out and about (with or without dogs), and they manage to stay far enough apart for safety's sake.

It's funny - this should be the perfect time to read and write, no? And yet, I find it quite hard to undertake either, although I've heard other folks say the same thing. I'll keep persevering, as I guess we all have to find a way to do.

Hugs from afar, with hopes that some of the treatments being used in various trials with patients will help turn the tide very soon.

Gerard - who is not logged in said...

It's Friday which reminds me I am about 6 books behind on recording that information on my blog.