Someone Sent Me on a Neighborhood Safari

Friday, July 3, 2020

Y'all ready for one of the most delightful stories of my quarantine? Here we go.

The other day, I was walking to Cafe Social Latinoamericano, one of my favorite new local spots, while talking to my mom on the phone. It was mad hot outside, so I stopped under a shady tree while we wrapped up our conversation. 

At some point, I looked up... & found a little surprise!

No Regrets: 11 Good Quarantine Purchases I've Made (So Far)

Monday, June 29, 2020

I'm not spending much money these days, & that's a good thing. I'm not really going anywhere or doing anything, so what would I be spending money on, anyway? I'm buying groceries & the occasion new pair of athleisure gear to suit my never-wearing-pants-with-a-waistband-again lifestyle, but we're not really even ordering takeout, for the most part. 

My wallet thanks me, especially because I have a few weeks of furlough throughout the summer – but I have made a few extremely worthwhile purchases during this time of otherwise-very-few purchases. Inspired by a similar post from Simone of Skinny Dip, here are my best quarantine purchases.

I Have Hobbies Now

Monday, June 22, 2020

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, if you'd asked me what my hobbies were, I would've said reading & writing; I would've said that I don't have any other hobbies. But you know what I haven't done much of of under quarantine? Reading or writing. 

I've read just five books since this began, but four were reread on audiobook, which doesn't seem to count? My lack of writing speaks for itself, too, evidenced by the minimal posts seen here as of late.

Instead, I've been... you know, trying other stuff. I've been working a lot, & while I feel extremely fortunate to be employed, I've been working so much that I don't want to spend any of my free time in front of a screen if I don't have to.

Here's what I've been up to instead.

UPDATED: 22+ Links to Help You Learn About and Act for Racial Justice

Friday, May 29, 2020

Let's get a few things straight, right up front: The first is that you can find much better & much more comprehensive lists of "how to act for racial justice" & "resources for antiracism" elsewhere (& I have linked to some of them below). This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, nor an overall how-to in antiracism/racial justice work.

Because, to be clear, I am not an expert in anti-racism/racial justice work. I am not trained in racial diversity, equity, & inclusion (REDI) principles. I aspire to be both an ally & an activist, but neither of those labels are the sort you can give to yourself; you have to work for them, continually & indefinitely. 

I am nobody. I am a white person who is trying. But I am also a white person with a medium-sized audience that includes many other white people, & I feel that with that comes a responsibility to help others to join me in learning, acting, & continuing to educate both ourselves & others around us.

Kaput Your Mind to It: Our Hand-Picked Trivia Questions

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Smiling couple stands on a front porch
Photo by Amber Patrick / A Terror Musical

Last weekend, we gathered on Zoom with friends (as friends are wont to do these days) for an evening of trivia. Each couple wrote a round of 10 questions on a pre-determined theme. Mike & I chose a round we dubbed "Kaput Your Mind To It," which was ostensibly a miscellaneous round... comprising topics our friends would expect from the two of us.

We came in third overall, if only because a few of the rounds were basically impossible (lookin' at you, friends who chose the topic of "space"). I thought it'd be fun to share the questions we chose & see how hard you think they are. We thought they were really easy, but... you know, we're probably a little biased.

On a Roll: My Quest to Bake Allll the Carbs While Quarantined

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Hello again, from my surprisingly active adventures in quarantine baking!

These locked-down weekends have been spent whipping up all the carbs & breads I could ever dream of, & more than I could ever consume on my own. Luckily, between putting some in my freezer & participating in exchanges with friends, I've been able to experiment my heart out while making sure none of it goes to waste.

Last month, I received my first box from Love Local CLE, which I first told you about in a recent post. A project of Central Kitchen, they've partnered with local farms to create weekly bundles of fresh produce, meats, & more, originally intended for restaurants - with contact-free pick-up near downtown Cleveland.

"Don't Live It Twice": The Advice That's Getting Me Through the Pandemic

Monday, May 11, 2020

I once had a coworker, a rabbi named Marcus, who gave me some of the best advice I've ever received: When you worry about events you can't control, you live every experience twice: once as you worry about it, & again as it happens. 

And isn't that exhausting, he asked? Why force yourself to do so much extra living when you could cut it in half & only live each experience once, as it is?

 Marcus died of cancer in 2016, but his advice has always stuck with me - especially now, in the middle of a global pandemic, when I am worried about everything.

Passover Under Quarantine: How We Got Creative with Our Seder

Monday, April 20, 2020

I work for a Jewish organization & very much identify with my Judaism, but I am not always what you might call a "practicing Jew." I don't belong to a synagogue, I don't observe all the holidays, I rarely observe Shabbat. I've always eaten bacon, & I rarely fast when it comes time for the holidays that call for it.

But I love Mike's & my annual tradition of holding a small Passover seder at home, just the two of us. I love the seder plate he bought me a few years ago. I love remembering the time we ended up going out for Thai food because I couldn't scrap together a Passover dinner. I love trying.

This year, I felt like I needed Passover more than ever – so even though it was, in fact, more difficult than ever to observe it, I knew I wanted to. I couldn't go out to acquire most of the items the holiday requires... so I knew I had to get creative.

Learning to Cook Under Quarantine: 9 Things I've Made Recently

Sunday, April 12, 2020

What are you up to under quarantine? I know we're all sick of being asked that, but I, for one, am a little surprised how I've been spending my time: I haven't been reading. I've barely been watching TV. I've been working & playing Words with Friends. And in between, I've been cooking.

I've never enjoyed cooking, & for the most part, I never needed to do much of it. Mike cooks at home, & we live in a restaurant-heavy area so until now, I got by on eating what he makes, going out, & ordering in.

But we're not going out or ordering in right now, & Mike can't be expected to do all the cooking under quarantine - so here I am, learning to cook, & feeling surprisingly enthusiastic about it.

Here are a few of the best things I've made lately, including links to recipes & behind-the-scenes tips where applicable. Tell me: Whatcha makin'?

Quarantine Life: A List of 8 Good Things During Bad Times

Monday, April 6, 2020

The world is bonkers right now. You don't need me to tell you why. No matter where you are, we are all in some sort of similar situation right now, the world over.

I mean, sort of - in a general way.

I know, of course, that all of our specifics scenarios & circumstances vary greatly, & know, too, that I am incredibly fortunate to have a work-from-home job, good health & health insurance, a safe home, & relative overall security during a time when so many people do not.

I do not want to discount all of those; they are, truly, the epitome of privilege in this moment. I just mean to convey that... well, we're all dealing with this, in some way or another. We're all scared. We're all sad. We're all unsure. We're all hurting, somehow or another.

And so, I'm keeping a little list. It's a big list, actually - a big list of little things that are still good, that are keeping me happy, that are allowing me to find joy in the everyday, even when the everyday is so very unstable & unknown.
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