The bug.

God. What. A. Week.

I try to keep my sense of humor in all things — adjusting it for mordancy as circumstances dictate. But this week is chapping my ass for sure. Our alt-weekly pretty much folded this week. Most alt-weeklies — all of them — pretty much did the same, across the country. If your advertising model is pinned to nightclubs, bars and restaurants, and all of them are closed, everywhere, it’s lights out, folks.

And that was only part of the misery that has asserted itself in, what? The last week.

And here we are.

I am not enjoying the daily briefings. If only I could have the simple faith of a MAGA-head; I’d feel so much better. Instead, I find them deeply terrifying, the sight of the people we need to trust with our very lives, kowtowing to this idiot. Meanwhile, the tide is rising in Michigan; cases tripled from yesterday to today and I’m starting to read social-media posts from doctors talking about hospitals right here in GP, “inundated,” in their words.

I’m keeping my sanity, but it’s starting to fray, just a bit. It helps that Kate is finally home. I went to hug her and she said, “I don’t want to bring home the ‘rona,” and I informed her that in our house, we have officially decided to call it “the bug.” Because we watched “The Wire,” and honor it.

I bought dog food standing in a line outside our pet store, too. That was weird. But they have a really cool vibe, and I’m sorry I couldn’t go inside:

Anyway, Eastern Market is open this weekend. I’m going to go. Also, my trainer is offering semi-private sessions, and I’m going to those, too. It’s not back to normal, but I need to get at least a little way there.

Let’s get through the weekend.

Posted at 8:32 pm in Current events |

112 responses to “The bug.”

  1. Dorothy said on March 19, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    You say you’re fraying; I feel like I’m fracturing. I know it’s all real and it’s the first thing I think of when I wake, trudging toward the bathroom and downstairs to get my juice and two daily pills. But I sure as hell wish I could wave a wand and make it all go away. Mike and I agree it’s the uncertainty of it all that is really disquieting. My head won’t allow me to imagine what the world is going to be like in 2-3 weeks, let alone several months.

    Have I asked here already if anyone has read The Dutch House? Tom Hanks is reading it to me on an audio book format. I started listening to it the day before he announced his diagnosis, so it sort of feels like he’s recuperating at my house and the only time he ever speaks is when I want to listen to him read this book. It’s swell!

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  2. alex said on March 19, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    My office is getting it together so that we can work from home. I suspect there may have been a squabble between denialists and realists, but who knows. In any case, I have to drag my office computer home for the indefinite future and make my job my life like it has been anyway only now they get to own me when I’m in my undies and chain smoking.

    Supporting our local eateries and tipping like we’ve been dining in. Noshing on our stone-cold favorites at home and lamenting about how poor they taste without good company.

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  3. Mark P said on March 19, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    Try to imagine this lasting for three months. There is no way I can see that it can go on that long. I just have this feeling that at some point we’re going to say, “OK, as you were!” And let the chips fall where they may.

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  4. Kaye said on March 19, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    Please comment regularly as we navigate this fresh hell. As a long time lurker I think of you as neighbors, on the other side of the fence perhaps, and will be concerned if you go silent.
    Dorothy – What a terrible loss for Stephanie’s family! Your post here cushioned the blow for me. Sending good energy for the whole family. I enjoy her writing and am mesmerized by her knitting.

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  5. Suzanne said on March 19, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    Well, this won’t lift your spirits. More from the Grifters Only Party

    Two so far. Betting there will be more.

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  6. Sherri said on March 19, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    Mark P, I, too, find it hard to imagine people are going to continue to do this for as long as it would take. The problem is, the way to get around social distancing is with massive testing and contact tracking, and we need a functioning federal government to do that. I had a really rough day yesterday contemplating those two things.

    I train in a small boutique gym that only does one on one training, in separate rooms, so I’ve been able to keep training despite the shutdown of gyms here. I desperately need that, for my mental health.

    Redmond is figuring out how to hold open public city meetings when you can’t hold a physical meeting. Our City Hall is closed through the end of April. They’re working out how to use Microsoft Teams and allow public testimony in public hearings.

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  7. LAMary said on March 19, 2020 at 10:18 pm

    I’m probably at the same space you are, Sherri, regarding the need for and lack of federal government that inspires trust. I just watched California’s governor speak about new quarantine guidelines and he was smart and empathetic and he inspired trust. The mayor here in LA has press conferences and he gives coherent answers and is a leader. Then there’s Trump. I have little faith in his ability to lead us through this and out the other side. He lies. His intentions are questionable. After every press conference there are corrections and retractions of the statements he’s made. He is utterly corrupt and lacking in empathy.

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  8. Suzanne said on March 19, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    Third one

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  9. Sherri said on March 20, 2020 at 12:21 am

    This is not the first time I’ve said this, but

    The Republican Party must be destroyed. Absolutely fucking annihilated.

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  10. susan said on March 20, 2020 at 12:41 am

    Curl up and die, as I said. But that got JK clutching his pearls. Poor dear.

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  11. Sherri said on March 20, 2020 at 12:48 am

    There’s an Imperial College study out, which was the cause of my really bad day yesterday. This article looks at the implications of that study and how we might adapt to it.

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  12. Dexter Friend said on March 20, 2020 at 2:00 am

    Communicating with the family recently, it’s apparent things are getting shaky. Granddaughter is coming Saturday from Commercial Point to retrieve $265 worth of meat I bought today at Jacob’s Meats in Defiance. She is staying for a while there with my daughter’s family who are still in Florida. The county they are in has one reported case so far, but Fort Lauderdale was crawling with the bug. They are flying back in 48 hours. Every report I hear has me croaking at a 25% risk factor , for all my ailments + age 70. My adopted “One Day at a Time” belief sustains me now. This awful virus is a B movie, right? I am imagining this shit, right? No? At least my daughter’s family won’t have to resort to cannibalism , with that freezer of theirs about to be crammed full of steaks, chops, and burgers. Actually , my luck jumped…I won $7 on a lottery line game.

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  13. beb said on March 20, 2020 at 3:09 am

    One of the cable channels is hosting a 94 hour marathon of “Too Cute” a show about puppies being puppies (ie cute). That’s a nice soother.

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  14. Deborah said on March 20, 2020 at 4:50 am

    Holy cow, I’m away from the Internet and the tv for 5 or 6 hours and all hell breaks loose. It’s amazing how fast things are happening. I for one want to see Trump’s stock dumping records and for his family too, he needs to resign pronto, but we all know that’s not gonna happen.

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  15. alex said on March 20, 2020 at 7:28 am

    Bracing for another day at the office. I suspect my day will be filled largely with preparations for the big decampment.

    My elderly folks are holding up well so far. They’re worried about plans being cancelled — granddaughter’s graduation, travel to the George Bernard Shaw Festival in Canada, etc. They’re going to confine their shopping to Walgreens and a small rural grocery store frequented mostly by the Amish.

    I’m frankly looking forward to working from home.

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  16. Deborah said on March 20, 2020 at 7:52 am

    Read this on twitter this morning “It’s a shame it’s so dangerous to congregate right now because we should absolutely be rioting”.

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  17. Connie said on March 20, 2020 at 9:03 am

    So I left my little street this a.m. for the first time in a week. Never left the car, I made a quick trip to Wendys to try their new breakfast menu. Biscuits and gravy were skimpy on the gravy, breakfast baconator was interesting. I prefer my bacon without sausage, and having it on a hamburger bun is just odd. So there’s your Wendys breakfast review.

    Did I ever tell you I met Wendy years ago? She was 16, I was 24.

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  18. Deborah said on March 20, 2020 at 9:15 am

    I’m so glad to be leaving Chicago for a while, I love the city but the thought of being around when many people might die because of density would be devastating. Yesterday they sent out a notice that the doormen in our building are reducing their hours, the maintenance guys are wearing masks and the management office is closed, they’re working from home. I was concerned that maybe someone in the building had contracted the virus but my husband assured me that they would have alerted all of us if that were the case. With common elevators and laundry room, not to mention the exercise room (which I wouldn’t go anywhere near), this place is more like a cruise ship. Yesterday IL had 288 cases and NM only 23.

    Also, bad news about CA being shut down, my husband is thinking that we should curtail our trip there. This is the saddest part because his granddaughter is really hurting and could use some cheering up. We haven’t absolutely ruled it out yet, we’ll see what happens in the next few days.

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  19. Deborah said on March 20, 2020 at 9:29 am

    Scratch that, today IL has 422 cases.

    Connie, how in the world did you happen to meet Wendy? My claim to fame in that department is that I met Joe, the guy who started Trader Joe’s (who died recently) at a party I attended in Pasadena with my sister-in-law, she knew him, his wife had Alzheimer’s at the time, met her too.

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  20. nancy said on March 20, 2020 at 9:50 am

    I can beat that. My high school best friend’s brother dated Wendy. We all went to the same high school. Wendy was two years behind, and her sister Molly was in my grade. Molly and her sisters were the naming inspiration behind Sisters Chicken & Biscuits.

    That chain didn’t last long. I’m sure they’re not bitter.

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  21. Connie said on March 20, 2020 at 10:08 am

    I worked briefly in Wendy’s local library when she was in HS, and helped her with a homework assignment. This was in Upper Arlington, where I understood she went to high school.

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  22. Peter said on March 20, 2020 at 10:13 am

    Beb, that sounds like a great thing to have on while I’m doing work. I’d be happy if they rebroadcast that Alaskan Railroads program where they just had a camera on the engine during a normal run through the wilderness, or even the 11 hour Arby’s marathon where a camera was trained on an oven that had a brisket in it. Good times.

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  23. Deborah said on March 20, 2020 at 10:48 am

    Did she wear her hair in pigtails?

    I have no doubt that we’re going to hear from LAMary, that she personally knew Estée Lauder or someone like that.

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  24. Deborah said on March 20, 2020 at 10:54 am

    Did she wear her hair in pigtails?

    I have no doubt that we’re going to hear from LAMary, that she personally knew Estée Lauder or someone like that.

    When I try to send this it tells me I already said that, but when I look at the comment list it’s not there?

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    • jcburns said on March 20, 2020 at 12:15 pm

      Just have faith that the gods of the internet will show it to you eventually.

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  25. Connie said on March 20, 2020 at 10:54 am

    Pigtails, but not braided. Tied low below her ears 70s style.

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  26. Deborah said on March 20, 2020 at 10:55 am

    Oh now I see it and it was duplicated. Sorry.

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  27. LAMary said on March 20, 2020 at 11:28 am

    No Estee Lauder direct reference. But back when I was selling fancy food in NYC, when I met Leona Helmsley, my favorite customers were the owners of a restaurant called Vienna 79. It was one of the few 5 star restaurants in NYC. They were not open for lunch, but I would always show up for my sales call at noon and eat in the kitchen with the chef and the owners. They were all Austrians and the guys I worked for were first generation Austrian American so our product line had some of the stuff they needed. Eating in the kitchen was amazing. They would try out recipes, serve leftovers, cook simple things from some of the ingredients they used for the fancy menu stuff. We would put together orders which frequently included hard to find Austrian things. Some were specific requests made by their regular customers. One was Klaus von Bulow whom I don’t think was Austrian. Another, a woman who dined there several times a week, was Estee Lauder.
    She was Austrian. So I never met her but I supplied her food.

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  28. Deborah said on March 20, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    I knew it! Great story LAMary.

    Here’s an interesting piece that I would love to know if the journalist among us here think is accurate. It was written by a professor of journalism at NY University (I think?) as if he were an executive of a major news organization, which of course he is not. My favorite part was where he describes a “truth sandwich”

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  29. alex said on March 20, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    And don’t forget that Wendy’s dad got his start in Fort Wayne at a restaurant most memorable in local lore for its resistance to desegregation.

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  30. jcburns said on March 20, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    I interviewed Wendy at the Ohio State Fair in college. Asked the important question “what toppings do you like on your burger”?

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  31. Dorothy said on March 20, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    These Wendy stories/anecdotes are really fun and I’m enjoying the hell out of them. However I am not a fan of Wendy’s burgers. Maybe it’s because I don’t do ‘wet’ toppings (relish, mayo, mustard, etc.) on bread, so the only toppings I’d get are lettuce and tomato and cheese. When I bought one the meat was cold and the cheese unmelted. I should probably try another one someday.

    I talked to Paul Newman’s assistant on the phone one time when I worked at Kenyon. And I talked to Jamie Lee Curtis when she called my boss’s line.

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  32. LAMary said on March 20, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    Correction: Vienna 79 was 4 star, not 5. I don’t think 5 stars existed.

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  33. Scout said on March 20, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    I’ve been ‘working’ at home for the past week. Which means I turn on the laptop, check work emails, send a few emails to coworkers then obsessively read about ‘the bug’ online all day. I will go the office later today when I know no one will be there to pick up some paperwork to help get me through another long and boring week next week. We’ve been going out for a walk or a bike ride every day, and trying to soak up some vitamin D in the backyard. So far social distancing in AZ has closed everything down but we are permitted outside. On our walks we pass others with the same idea and we wave to one another from a safe distance.

    I am not surprised at all about Burr and Loeffler. We all know the grifters occupying the WH did the same thing, and that there are countless others who had inside knowledge long before we did about how serious this is. But I am mad as hell that they are on the record trying to downplay the pandemic while simultaneously dumping stock.

    Laura Ingraham took to Twitter to demand an end date to the pandemic. Republicans are useless wastes of oxygen.

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  34. ROGirl said on March 20, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    My company is finally rolling out a WFH policy, to start next week.

    Many years ago I was on a flight from New York to Detroit, and Bonnie Raitt and her band were also passengers.

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  35. Julie Robinson said on March 20, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    Went to Kroger this morning when they opened at 7 am and was finally able to buy onions and tomato sauce. I mean, how can you make a decent almost anything without those. We are pretty well stocked up now and I think we could feed ourselves and Mom for two or three weeks. Except we will really miss fresh produce.

    Hubby has been working from home four days now and ran back to the office for stuff he forgot for the second time. Good thing he can still get in. To give him quiet, I’ve been either going over to Mom’s or napping. Lots of napping.

    Hey, I met Wendy too, and Ronald McDonald, and Colonel Sanders…what, you say they were actors?!?!?! I’m shocked, shocked I tell you.

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  36. Dave said on March 20, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    I never met Wendy but I remember her relating the story that when she graduated from high school, they all got into the car and her father, Dave Thomas, had no idea where her high school was.

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  37. Mark P said on March 20, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    Speaking of Wendy’s, way back in the mid-1970’s I stopped at a hamburger place in Carson City, NV, called Judy’s. It was decorated exactly like the Wendy’s of those days. After googling it I find that it was not my imagination, but was in fact an actual hamburger chain that looked like Wendy’s. One site said it was a chain in the South, but Nevada was the only place I ever saw one.

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  38. Sherri said on March 20, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    I was once on a plane returning to Pittsburgh, and was standing in the aisle waiting to get off behind a man with no neck, and realized it was Franco Harris. Another time I was waiting for a friend to arrive at SFO and realized that the man waiting there with me was Vida Blue. We had a very nice conversation.

    She’s not nearly that famous, but I like the story: Kate Starbird is a former basketball player who played at Stanford and professionally, and now is a professor at UW. I was a fan of her basketball career and I’m a fan of her professional work, and a few years ago I ran into her in the bathroom at a basketball tournament. I told her how fascinated I was by her research, and she was so happy that someone wanted to talk to her about her research rather than about her basketball career!

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  39. Deborah said on March 20, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    We’re in the car heading to NM, we’re making good time. That was the fastest we’ve ever gotten out of town, lots of trucks though.

    LA Mary I read your Estée Lauder story to my husband who’s driving, he laughed. I had to give him the back story on Wendy’s and Trader Joe’s. He reminded me of the really good Austrian cafe we always go to in NYC, Cafe Sabarsky which is in the Neue Gallery, an Austrian art museum which is owned by Estée Lauder’s son. It houses the Woman in Gold painting by Klimt. There’s a great Helen Mirren movie about that painting by the way. Anyway, the cafe had the best breakfasts and desserts, just scrumptious. Actually now that I think of it I think I heard that Cafe Sabarsky closed. Which is a shame, never mind.

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  40. Dorothy said on March 20, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    RO Girl – in 1990 my husband was about to get his bachelor’s degree after going to night school for about 12 years. On the way to the mall I heard a commercial for WDVE, local rock station, who was bringing Bonnie Raitt to the Starlake Amphitheatre in a week or two. They wanted listeners to send in post cards to enter a competition to win front row seats, backstage passes, a limo ride to the concert and dinner for two at a nice Italian restaurant. Since Mike was graduating very soon, I entered the competition, thinking it might be a nice graduation gift. Lo and behold we won!

    When the phone call came I was cooking outside on the grill and kept asking the woman on the phone if she was SURE we won. Finally she said in exasperation “I was there – YES YOU WON!” The concert was 72 hours after the phone call. We got a sitter for the kids. When the limo came we asked if the driver could take the sitter and the kids around the block once since none of us had ever been in a limo before. It was a fun evening, and we got to take a few pictures with her back stage. We used the dinner tickets several weeks after the concert because it was too much to do all in one evening (the restaurant was not close to our house).

    This couple next to us in the front row arrived drunk and kept getting louder and more intrusive as the concert went on, and when Bonnie had enough, she had them ejected. So backstage the first thing I said to her was “We were sitting next to the idiots you had tossed out. They weren’t with us!” She laughed and laughed.

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  41. Deborah said on March 20, 2020 at 2:55 pm

    I googled it and maybe Cafe Sabarsky didn’t close after all. Well it’s closed now because of the virus. So is the museum which I spelled wrong, it’s Neue Galerie. It’s a couple of blocks from the Metropolitan museum of art.

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  42. Dave said on March 20, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    They’ve just closed all the restaurants in Florida so, along with the beaches being shut down, as well as the bars, there’s no spring break in Florida.

    Meanwhile, my hair stylist sister is sitting home in Ohio, both of her kids are out of school, one in high school and the other in college, her husband, eh, he’s a semi-bum, I’m wondering how she’s going to get by now.

    I’m really concerned for my children, true, we’re in that senior citizen group that should be concerned but I’m more concerned about our children and grandchildren.

    Safe travels, Deborah, and Dorothy, that is so sad to lose an infant, I don’t know how a family copes with that. I suppose it’s like most things, you live with the pain and the pain lessens, one hopes.

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  43. susan said on March 20, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    Decades ago, I was at a fruit stand in New York City. I noticed one of the guys who worked there staring at me. He finally came up and exclaimed, “You’re Patty Duke, aren’t you!” ?? I didn’t know who Patty Duke was.
    “No, but this is my sister, Marma,” I said, pointing to my friend. I knew who Marmaduke was.

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  44. Jeff Borden said on March 20, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    One way to alleviate stress during the Covid-19 crisis is to keep that lying bag of shit tRump off the TV. These so-called “press conferences” are beyond worthless and only serve to underscore how poorly we are served by this empty husk.

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  45. LAMary said on March 20, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    Vienna 79 is closed and has been since 1984. One of the owners, Karl Zartler became a good friend and I lost touch with him. I just googled his name and found out he’s been a waiter at Peter Luger, an old, famous steak house in Brooklyn, for 35 years. I know it was always one of his favorite places.

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  46. LAMary said on March 20, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    Here’s a video of Dr.Fauci trying not to laugh at Trump’s press conference.

    And the big health care company Trump mentioned was doing a lot of Covid 19 testing is Oscar. Jared Kushner’s brother is part owner of that company.

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  47. ROGirl said on March 20, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    Great story, Dorothy. I saw Bonnie at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor. A bunch of people from my dorm had the seats in the first 2 rows center.

    I listened to the press briefing on the radio until I couldn’t stand it any more. Pence’s head is firmly inserted up Trump’s rear end.

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  48. TGF said on March 20, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    Rep. Gov. DeWine’s well-informed moves for protecting public health are drawing the Crazy Town Chowdahead Deniers out of the GOP woodwork —

    Anyone that’s traveled I-75 through SW OH will recognize Solid Rock church as the home of Touchdown Jesus. Some feel god commented on their braggadocio in June 2010 —

    Some suspect that there will be a surge of infection detection among those that attended Wednesday’s service starting around 28 March. Whether that’s god’s will or just science… well, sigh.

    I’d also be looking for stories about infection detection surges in IL, FL & AZ starting around 27 March.

    NNall — MI is sitting right at 10 days post-primary. With a 10 – 14-day incubation interval, I’d venture this explains the surge you’re seeing in positive tests.

    This country should have been testing hi-risk candidates (int’l travelers) since January. But not with a Denier-in-Chief at the helm.

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  49. alex said on March 20, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    Went to Kroger after work and it was truly a sight to behold. Packed with people and picked clean. Couldn’t get soy or almond milk so will attempt that later. But did manage to get plenty of frozen fruit for smoothies. Whatever people are eating, they ain’t eating healthy.

    No meat left except for some pricey flank steaks in the $20s. I snagged two. A couple of packs of ground Italian sausage. I grabbed one. Some shrink-wrapped cooked hams. Grabbed one of those. I figure all of these can be used in soups.

    In the canned veg aisle, nothing left except Mexican stuff. No tomatoes. So I grabbed two big cans of tomatillos. In produce, no peppers left except poblanos. Perfect. I’m making tomatillo-poblano chili with flank steak tonight.

    In the rice and beans aisle, nothing left but farrow. Already had some in my cabinet; it will go great in a soup.

    Bringing my work computer home on Monday and a flash drive with everything I’ll need for the next several weeks. Need to buy a wireless antenna, though, because my computer doesn’t have wifi.

    So glad it’s the fucking weekend. I really need to just relax and get used to the new normal.

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  50. Suzanne said on March 20, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    You know if the coronavirus caused pregnant women to miscarry, the GOP would have been on it from Day 1.

    And there is this:

    “The critical shortage of medical supplies across the U.S., including testing swabs, protective masks, surgical gowns and hand sanitizer, can be tied to a sudden drop in imports, mostly from China, The Associated Press has found.“

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  51. basset said on March 20, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    Friend in San Antonio says he went to HEB (big chain grocery store) this morning and saw an armed, uniformed guard patrolling the TP aisle. Not quite so bad here in Nashville, Dollar General has both name brand and house brand tp last night. If we can just keep the virus away from Mrs. B we’ll be ok.

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  52. Jessica said on March 20, 2020 at 7:59 pm

    Our local independent grocery has been doing a land office business since all this started. They have excellent relationships with suppliers, so they have pretty much everything except flour and wipes and shelf-stable milk.

    This is great, because their future has been looking shaky since an Aldi opened a block away from them. I now think they will survive. Over the last several years they expanded their beer and wine selection, which also helps. By a quirk in Maryland alcohol law, they can sell the stuff where chains can’t.

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  53. David C. said on March 20, 2020 at 8:50 pm

    Suzanne @ 50. The Rs wouldn’t give a damn if it caused women to miscarry just as they don’t really give a damn about abortion. Well, other than that it’s a way to push women around. It it had turned the steel in their guns as limp as their dicks they would have cared, but I can’t think of any other reason they would have.

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  54. alex said on March 20, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    Abortion is the GOP’s goose that lays golden eggs. It’s a reliable way to get single-issue voters to the polls who otherwise wouldn’t be bothered and they tip the scale in favor of Republicans. The party apparatchik know it would be the death of the GOP if movement conservatives ever really got their way. But it probably won’t come to that because the last four years have sealed the party’s doom.

    The tomatillo chili is a winner and it’s totally improv, which is what chili is supposed to be. As my mom tells me, chili was a Great Depression dish where people threw all of their canned beans and tomatoes and meat into a stew. Depression chili is the typical midwest version with kidney beans, hamburger, onion, chili powder and some bay leaves.

    This batch needs to stew for about an hour and a half yet, but the taste testings so far are awesome. It was a 2.25-lb. flank steak cubed and browned in salt, pepper and ancho seasoning in chipotle olive oil, followed by two sliced up onions and four diced poblanos to clean up the fond, followed by a shit-ton of diced garlic. (I cooked the meat in small batches and cooked the aromatics in the fond, then added back the meat.) Then I put in about 6 tablespoons of Penzeys Chili 9 chili powder and two teaspoons of ground cumin. Then two large cans of tomatillos and two large cans of San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes, and mashed them all up with a spatula. Then two cans of black beans, rinsed, and 32 ounces of chicken broth.

    Documenting here so I can duplicate in the future if need be.

    The aroma is killing me because I haven’t had a bite to eat yet this evening. And I’ve been stumbling over a Labrador Retriever we’re babysitting who has been going apeshit over all the food prep. Best evening I’ve had in a long time. Life’s really kind of an adventure right now and I’m going to roll with it.

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  55. LAMary said on March 20, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    Got an email from my employer today saying the furloughed employees should be ready for at least two months of furlough, not two or three weeks. I am eligible for unemployment, thank goodness.
    On a happier note, my long awaited Costco “same day” order got here after four days of waiting and included some items I didn’t order and didn’t pay for. I called them and they said I should keep it. One was a package of steaks, the other a box of salad greens. Altogether about 35 dollars worth of free stuff from Costco. It’s been a while since we’ve had steak, so yay inept Instacart guy.

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  56. beb said on March 20, 2020 at 10:13 pm

    Alex you’re making my mouth water. We had hamburgers on hawaiian buns since regular hamburger buns were sold out. They were cute and tasty. Food-wise we are well stocked but TP will only last till next week. Could get dicy.

    I feel fame-shamed because I never anyone famous. Not that I would have recognized a famous person if I saw them.

    Goggling Dr. Fauci + facepalm got me this:
    I can’t help thinking Fauci’s days are numbers at WH. Then again if Dr. Fauci were free to speak his mind Trump would be in a world of hurt.

    And I see where the Republicans are trying to bal out everybody except the poor. You know, the one group of people most in need of money. Arses.

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  57. alex said on March 20, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    Closest I ever got to fame was via an insane star-stalking boyfriend when I was much younger. He worked in advertising and was great at faking press credentials and dragged me along on some of his exploits and I was terrified the whole time. I was his “photographer.” Got him some good shots too.

    He lives in Santa Barbara now and I haven’t spoken to him in 20-some years.

    I remember when we crashed a stars-only Cirque due Soleil presentation on Navy Pier with fake press passes. Can’t remember who all was there except for Oprah and Irv Kupcinet, but it was quite an affaire. Probably what gave me premature ischemic heart disease.

    I was with him one time when we happened to be walking behind Woody Allen and Soon-Yi in Streeterville accompanied by a 6’5″ burly-ass body guard and he tried to make conversation with them. They weren’t receptive.

    He crashed other events without me because I just didn’t have the nerve for it and managed to chitchat with Tom Cruise and Liza Minelli, that I recall.

    Of all my exes, he’s the only one I don’t maintain any contact with because he was just plain bouncing off the walls crazy.

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  58. Deborah said on March 20, 2020 at 10:44 pm

    We’re at a Hampton Inn in Liberty, MO. 500 miles driven today and bracing for about 700 tomorrow. We hope to be in Santa Fe by 7 or 8 tomorrow evening. Today had a couple of panic moments related to a resident in the condo building approaching LB today asking her if she would take care of his wife who has Parkinson’s if something happened to him. That would be impossible for LB since her surgery last week. It was unclear what the poor guy meant, but after some frantic emails and phone calls with his son in CA who owns the unit where they live it got resolved. This couple is in their 80s and the unit is on the upper level. The wife scares the living daylights out of us as she haltingly makes her way up the exterior stairs up to their unit (no elevator). She doesn’t like her husband or anyone else assisting her. It’s really sad. They really shouldn’t be living in that unit up there. When I get there I’m going to see if I can help them getting groceries etc. it’s heartbreaking.

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  59. Deborah said on March 20, 2020 at 10:51 pm

    That’s funny Alex, just read your post, one time in NYC my husband and I were behind Woody Allen and Soon-Yi for blocks and blocks when we were walking down the street after going to the Met. The funniest part was watching the faces of people walking towards them going the other direction. Lots of those people told us who they just passed as though we didn’t know.

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  60. Deborah said on March 20, 2020 at 11:16 pm

    Just catching up on the day’s events and found the zoom-in of Fauci’s face when Trump referred to the “deep state department”. Fauci actually had to touch his face to conceal his expression. Hilarious.

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  61. Dexter Friend said on March 21, 2020 at 2:02 am

    I have a long history of running into athletes and talking to, yelling at, and being ignored by them, too many to list. I have also met and spoken to Studs Terkel, who later mailed me a copy of his book, inscribed ” To _ _ _, a gallant survivor of Hard Times”. But I will recount one little anecdote about a Hall of Fame ballplayer. In 1967, Satchel Paige did his last tour, with the Indianapolis Clowns. The team was scheduled to play at the Waterloo, Indiana high school field, doing their show. I saw the parked bus at a motel and rode my little Honda there to get Satchel’s autograph. “Don’t you go knocking on his door…he’s entertaining in there.” No dice. That day and evening it rained hard. I went to the ball field. There, in uniform, stood the magnificent Satchel Paige, eating a hot dog. Nobody seemed to even know who he was. I was too much in awe to approach him, as he stood there in sanitary hose and stirrups, flip-flops crammed between his toes. Many years later, with respect for the old Negro League players coming to the attention of current writers and fans, Satch and the oldtimers got their due. Oh…and yes, that was the team I played on the next 2 summers, when the owner got nervous from the riots and integrated the team. For the only time in my life, I was a minority.
    Jeff B. : Rachel Maddow called for not televising Trump’s daily updates, for all the lying he does.
    I am not in panic mode, but getting a little more nervous the past day. I found dog and cat food at Walmart, and the checkout man asked me how I was doing. I instantly blurted out “Okay except I have been watching TV news all day and I am scared shitless.” He just laughed ever so quietly and grimly. I watch MSNBC all day so I hear Cuomo and de Blasio give their updates. They are both great. I posted a few times on Facebook how I wish de Blasio was the candidate for POTUS. Cuomo projects a very believable and stern image of strength. Neither one dispenses anything but the truth. We are in for a very rough 3 weeks now, with nothing but hope after that. Maybe a little relief, maybe …well, worse yet. A friend I called today to Facetime with for a couple minutes responded to my “How are you?” with ” I am a little fucky right now”. I told him I feel ya, I feel ya my friend.

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  62. beb said on March 21, 2020 at 3:26 am

    For a long time I thought TV was giving Trump too much air time. They would play something he said then the reporter would summarize the Democratic response. Too me they should have given the Dem as much air time as The Republican got. If there wasn’t enough time in the story slot to air both, then air neither, but stop giving Trump the last word when he is always wrong.

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  63. Connie said on March 21, 2020 at 5:55 am

    You think no toilet paper is bad? Last night someone posted on a local facebook group about their fruitless search for tampons. So I can see that as a stock up item.

    Based on three trips in the last nine days, my husband says Kroger is mostly ok and stocked in the morning. By mid afternoon, no eggs, no frozen pizza, limited bread, not much meat.

    So famous people meets, I remembered that many years ago I went through a receiving line for Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. So there, can you beat royal?

    Last night Dorothy and I both watched the Playbill sponsored youtube performance of Leslie Ann Warren in Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, originally televised in 1965. That was a blast from the past and I still knew most of the words. I must agree with Cinderella and her fairy godmother. Impossible things are happening every day.

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  64. Connie said on March 21, 2020 at 6:37 am

    My husband: did you see Kenny Rogers finally decided to fold em?

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  65. Suzanne said on March 21, 2020 at 7:43 am

    The Leslie Ann Warren Cinderella brings back such memories! I was 7 in 1965 and it was magical to see. My parents let my 9 year old sister & I stay up late to watch it, which made us feel so grown up. “In my own little corner in my own little bed…”

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  66. Deborah said on March 21, 2020 at 9:12 am

    Not a lot of testing done on this yet but now would be a good time to quit smoking

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  67. Sherri said on March 21, 2020 at 9:52 am

    Okay, let’s try this. I set up a Zoom meeting where we can hang out on Sunday, March 22 at 3 pm PDT. The details are here:!Atkosto9G5MXgYk-D78YTcIn0LYhJg

    (Sorry for the extra level of indirection, but when I post the invitation directly, my post doesn’t appear, presumably caught by a spam filter.)

    Pop in, say hi to fellow nn.c’ers, chat a bit, and we’ll see how it goes.

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  68. Julie Robinson said on March 21, 2020 at 11:07 am

    We’ve got Cinderella on DVD so I didn’t tune it, but now I wish I had. We had Judy from Netflix and invited my mom over to watch with us. So sad, so depressing.

    May I claim fame through a child? My daughter met and chatted with Queen Elizabeth and the king of Norway when she was in London. She was visiting friends, one was Norwegian, and invited her as his plus one to a reception celebrating the long friendship between the two countries.

    Since I got home from Orlando on March 10 I’ve only gone out to buy groceries. For we introverts, it’s not so bad. The rest of it is horrible of course. But I don’t mind staying home, where I have endless entertainment and endless chores.

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  69. alex said on March 21, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    “In my own little corner in my own little chair I can be whatever I want to be!”

    Suzanne, I remember Cinderella being a ritual in our household, along with “Amal and the Night Watchman” and “Peter Pan.” I think I must have been junior high age when I first heard the term “Peter Pan syndrome” referring to male immaturity and I was like “But Peter Pan’s a woman.”

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  70. nancy said on March 21, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    Amal and the Night Visitors, you mean.

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  71. Little Bird said on March 21, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    If anyone needs tampons, I have a whole bunch leftover from before “the change”. I can easily send them out. There’s probably enough for one or two cycles. Wrappers are intact.

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  72. LAMary said on March 21, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    Connie, I can beat that. Andy Warhol.

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  73. alex said on March 21, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    Visitors! Duh. Guess the long-term memory neurons are going now too.

    Just had a hysterically funny chat with one of my old buddies from Chicago. He works for Binny’s and I assumed he’d be out of work, but in fact he says the liquor stores and marijuana dispensaries are remaining open as “essential businesses.” Ha!

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  74. jcburns said on March 21, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    The Zoom meeting link in Sherri’s comment #67 will take you to a page where, if you don’t have it, it will download Zoom, either as a desktop app or a link to the app in the Android or iTunes store. I’m just mentioning it because they really, really, really want you to download their app, and honestly, I’m not into it at this point. Apparently there’s an article here that talks about how you can get around that. Here’s another article that says Zoom’s forced app is irresponsible.

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  75. Deborah said on March 21, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    My husband went to Binny’s in Chicago to buy some stuff to take with us to NM, he said there were a bunch of security people working, they must be expecting a lot of theft or something.

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  76. LAMary said on March 21, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    We did a production of Amal in high school and we used to call it Amal and the Night Crawlers.

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  77. Sherri said on March 21, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    If people don’t want to use Zoom, that’s fine. It’s the easiest way I know to hold a free online gathering. If no one’s interested, I’m not offended.

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  78. jcburns said on March 21, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    Well, what I’m saying is there’s a difference between using Zoom in the browser or downloading Zoom the app. I would probably go with the former, but Zoom the company is pushing the app download hard, because it helps their growth numbers.

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  79. Sherri said on March 21, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    Satya Nadella is definitely not Steve Ballmer:

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  80. Deborah said on March 21, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    Our condo association uses zoom. I was able to call in on my iPhone without downloading an app but no video.

    We stopped at a Walmart in Dodge City KS and was able to get everything on our list except TP, flour, ground beef and a few other items I can’t recall. We were able to get a lot of stuff we wanted though. And everyone was so nice.

    We still have 6 hours to go.

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  81. Jakash said on March 21, 2020 at 5:33 pm

    Neil Steinberg’s sons return from law school to the leafy, suburban roost, one brings him a “Corona” cigar, and he declines the suggestion to purchase a gun during the present crisis. Nothing earth-shaking, but a fine post, nonetheless.

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  82. Connie said on March 21, 2020 at 7:03 pm

    New word: covidiot. Definition seems self evident to me.

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  83. Dorothy said on March 21, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    Oh man, I’ll be there tomorrow for the Zoom meeting! Looking forward to it! That’s noon for me. I’ll use my laptop and it should work fine since I already did the Zoom thing with my boss and three co-workers on Thursday. Kinda nice that we won’t need to wash our hands first before we virtually shake hands!

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  84. Jeff Borden said on March 21, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    I was walking Cosmo earlier today on Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Square, which is usually bustling with activity, but I felt like Harry Belafonte wandering through an empty New York City in “The World, The Flesh, The Devil,” one of the doomsday Cold War thrillers that terrified me in grade school (along with “On the Beach,” “Fail Safe” and those “Twilight Zone” episodes.) It’s pretty fucking creepy.

    Our government is led by morons and our Congress is stuffed with paltroons who use vital information on Covid-45 not to warn their constituents, but to sell their millions in stock or invest in medical companies. How fucking comforting.

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  85. Deborah said on March 21, 2020 at 8:01 pm

    Dorothy, when it’s 3pm Pacific time it’s 4pm Mountain time where I’ll be, 5pm central time and 6pm eastern time. There may be some differences in different states that don’t have daylight savings time.

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  86. Jakash said on March 22, 2020 at 12:43 am

    Yeah, Jeff B. There were a fair number of folks a little further south walking in pairs, walking their dogs, or walking/running solo, but the lack of traffic made it seem like Christmas morning or a winter Sunday at 8 a.m. Except that it was a sunny (though cold) Spring Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Makes it more favorable for running in the street to leave plenty of clearance from those on the sidewalk, for whatever that’s worth. Pretty fucking creepy, indeed, like the kind of movie that I watched when I was younger but don’t even like to watch anymore.

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  87. Dorothy said on March 22, 2020 at 6:31 am

    Yeah, as I was getting into the shower this morning all of a sudden I thought “WAIT. Sherri said 3 PM PDT – that’s 6:00 here. DUH!”

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  88. alex said on March 22, 2020 at 10:39 am

    Today gotta go in to work to get some stuff done while my computer is still on the server. At home I’m rearranging so’s I can set up my home office. It’s actually kind of fun as I love decorating. My den, which seldom gets used for anything except as a repository for mid-mod furniture finds, will serve as my new work space. My family room, which is overwhelmed by a big work table, will get some additional lounge furniture and it will be a more relaxing space. Win win! Why the hell didn’t it occur to me to do this before?

    If time allows, and my computer successfully downloads that app, I’d be game for a face-to-face meet-up at 6 eastern.

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  89. LAMary said on March 22, 2020 at 11:14 am

    In case you’re being mobbed by Dutch people:

    ‘Afstand houden’ translates as ‘to keep (one’s) distance’. You can use both imperative forms ‘hou afstand’ and ‘houd afstand’. The latter form is more formal. Another common command form is to use the infinitive: “Afstand houden!” If somebody is getting too close to you these days, you can ask: “Kunt u afstand houden alstublieft?” You may also come across the variant ‘afstand bewaren’: to maintain distance.

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  90. Maria said on March 22, 2020 at 11:28 am

    If you can, tune in Andrew Cuomo on a news channel or website. He is astonishing articulate, well informed, and forceful.

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  91. LAMary said on March 22, 2020 at 11:42 am

    Andrew Cuomo takes after his father, Mario. I always thought he would make a great president.

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  92. Connie said on March 22, 2020 at 11:56 am

    I have connected on facebook with several groups whose members are sewing face masks for local hospitals. Several patterns are out there. Tightly woven Cotton fabrics from your stash will do. Two layers, ideally the inner one flannel, washed old flannel sheets are ok. They will be able to be hospital washed at least a couple of times. Word is the elastic is the first thing OK

    Yesterday Joanns announced that you could come in and sew in their sewing machine store area which had been rearranged for social distancing. Supplies are free and home sewers are able to pick up 1/4 inch elastic for the ties. Word in the groups is that 1/4 elastic is no longer available anywhere on the internet. Same size bias binding is also acceptable.

    Within the last 24 hours I was invited to join three different mask sewing groups. Highland, Mi, Holland, Mi, and greater southern Indiana. The southern In group was started a day or two ago at the suggestion of Deaconess Hospital in Evansville. They have now announced that they have received thousands, sufficient for the moment, and sewers are being referred to other hospitals in their own areas. Beaumont hospital in Royal Oak has announced where its donation box is located. There are a couple of local drop off points which will be picked up for bulk delivery.

    I know Dorothy and I both have the necessary stashes. And I think I know where there is a basket filled with various sizes of elastic and binding.

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  93. Connie said on March 22, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    My seventy something year old BIL Fred and his wife usually spend the winter months somewhere warm doing mission work. They have been in Weslaco TX for the last two months and headed home yesterday.

    Jeff(tmmo), I believe they are very near where you have been with your mother, as he mentioned going to church in South Farr.

    As we talked about the news he had an epiphany. He has an unopened case of 12 N95 masks in his truck. As soon as he gets home he will be looking for a place to donate. I suggested he save one for his 98 year old mother, who he does not plan to visit right away.

    Correcting post above: the elastic is the first thing to go.

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  94. LAMary said on March 22, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    We did a major cabinet and pantry cleaning an reorganization the other day and found a three pound bag of coffee beans that expired in 2018. They were vacuum packed, so I thought they could be fine. My sons were not so sure, so we made a pot of coffee an yes! They were fine. Really good, in fact. Eighteen dollars worth of coffee that we did not have to toss. Don’t ask why I had lost a big bag of coffee beans in my pantry. It’s a long story.

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  95. Jakash said on March 22, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    We now have footage of Jeff Borden’s stroll though Lincoln Square, referred to @ 84. Evidently, Cosmo is invisible, though. 😉

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  96. Julie Robinson said on March 22, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    Just watched a video of someone making a mask. It’s something I could do easily if I hadn’t completely destashed my sewing supplies when we moved. I have to wonder if they are really useful, or are they to make us feel like we’re doing something. I did read that locally they have enough.

    We’ve been having my mom over for dinner every night at 6, so I’ll just pass on my greetings to everyone.

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  97. alex said on March 22, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    Nah, Jackash, I’d recognize that floating fat ass anywhere. Psycho lady from a publishing outfit where I used to work.

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  98. Connie said on March 22, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    So my little hometown near Holland has a jogging Santa Claus. He has been spotted all over town the last couple of days. People are reporting sightings on a facebook group.

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  99. Mark P said on March 22, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    I have been wondering about the false positive and false negative rates for the Covid-19 tests, and what I have found is not particularly reassuring. Based on what people seem to have found around the world, the only test results that are accepted as reliable are positive results. There have been too many cases where someone tests negative, even more than once, and then a short time later tests positive. So it seems that a negative test simply cannot be relied upon. In some cases, people who have tested negative are still put in quarantine for the required time, usually 14 days. One of the main reasons seems to be that you need to experience symptoms before the virus can be detected in the nose or throat, probably brought up from the lungs by coughing. Before that happens, you can be not only infected, but also sick, and still test negative.

    Of course positive tests are useful to separate those that have Covid-19 from those that have the flu, but at this point, it doesn’t look to me like widespread testing will do any more to slow the spread than simply making everyone stay at home.

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  100. Suzanne said on March 22, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    I keep having the sickening thought that this pandemic is tailor made for Trump. At this point, he can do whatever the heck he wants, really, since mass protests are impossible.

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  101. susan said on March 22, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    Sherri, have you heard about this?

    ZOOM monitors the activity on your computer and collects data on the programs running and captures which window you have focus on.

    If you manage the calls, you can monitor what programs users on the call are running as well. It’s fucked up.

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  102. susan said on March 22, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    This from EFF. “What You Should Know About Online Tools During the COVID-19 Crisis

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  103. Dexter Friend said on March 22, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    Man, this is getting old in this pre-peak time. I watched Gov. De Wine talking of dead relatives in his past , and of daffodils, trying to be as folksy as this ghostly/ghastly character can be. A rumor of road closures which had zero validity freaked out my wife as she was loading up her car in Commercial Point for the trip home. There are no goddam road closures, but “The Surge” is yet to come, as the doctor-in-charge there with De Wine warned. Here, no reports yet of The Bug, yet…one death in Lucas County (Toledo’s county). Here, I heard the problem with food in stores is not the supply, it’s finding enough help to keep continually re-stocking . Our granddaughter did make a grocery run for us out the goodness of her heart, and said it was slim pickins everywhere. But we are totally stocked now for quite a while. I just fried up a bigass T-bone thick steak. I am not used to steaks like that, and could only slice off a third of it and Carla Lee can make a stirfry for herself out of the rest. Nope, giant cuts of beef ain’t for me anymore.

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  104. alex said on March 22, 2020 at 6:35 pm

    Well, just got home so missing out on the live chat. My Pants is on TV right now.

    Eww, he turned the podium over to Agent Orange.

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  105. Deborah said on March 22, 2020 at 6:40 pm

    Alex, it’s still going on.

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  106. Deborah said on March 22, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    I understand Trump made a snarky comment about Romney being in isolation during the presser today. I don’t watch Trump and I was on the zoom get together with Sherri, Dorothy, TGF and LB during the presser. From what I’ve read online somebody mentioned that Romney was asking if Senators need to be quarantined since Rand Paul has tested positive and was in the gym this morning. After that Trump said something vile, but I can’t find what he said. Why are senators going to a gym anyway?

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  107. LAMary said on March 22, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    And Romney’s wife has MS.

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  108. Sherri said on March 22, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    Thanks to TGF, Dorothy, Deborah, and Little Bird for joining in on the Zoom meeting today. It was nice to chat with you! I’m happy to host another one, maybe in a few days.

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  109. Dorothy said on March 22, 2020 at 8:09 pm

    What Trump said, when a reporter told him that Romney was self-quarantining, was “Oh that’s too bad.” Apparently it was the WAY he said it – and then he denied that he was being sarcastic when he said it.

    The Zoom chat was fun. Too bad we didn’t have more faces and/or voices present!

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  110. Suzanne said on March 22, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    Currently watching Pandemic on Netflix. I was concerned about COVID-19 before but I am terrified.

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  111. alex said on March 22, 2020 at 9:05 pm

    I’m game for the next meet-up. After tomorrow I’ll be working at home and staying put. It was a whirlwind today — prepping for living and working, going in to the office to do the same, hitting the grocery one more time for extra food containers and other staples. Still can’t buy a fucking onion in this town and I don’t know how I’ll cook without them. I ordered carryout from one of our fave local restaurants. I gave them two $20s for $23 worth of goods because I’m worried about them. They said they need $1,200 a day to stay open and so far they’re making their goal. One of our other fave places decided to fold after Thursday night.

    Watched 60 Minutes tonight while I inhaled my carryout. Took a little leisure time to watch cooking shows. Now back to getting the home office together.

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