Another day, another check-in

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Hello ladies, and how are you all? I’m pretty decent, everything considered, and am hoping you are too.  I’ve been doing a lot of cooking around here—if one good thing comes from this awful time for me, it is that I’ve stopped ordering takeout daily and started making my own food again, which is nice, as I’m actually not bad at it. And, because the mask my mom gave me before things got really bad is pretty trashed by now, I’ve been skulking around outside (on the rare occasions that I do go outside) in this robber bandana getup. Please let me know how you and yours are faring in the comments, and have a peaceful weekend. I present the following to you for your amusement, education, or both:

  • I’ve been listening to a ton of Brazilian music—it’s just the thing for preventing one of my darker moods—and have especially been enjoying songs by a guy called Seu Jorge. Here is his awesome cover of Starman by David Bowie.
  • The third season of Ozark has arrived, and you can watch it on Netflix. It’s a freaking dark show, and the occasional violence can be a bit much, but if you haven’t watched it—and you loved, say, Breaking Bad—you will likely enjoy this too. Laura Linney is genius as a housewife who’s gone rogue, and I love Jason Bateman in anything.
  • I made this soup, and it is as delicious as it is easy.
  • Several of you have asked for suggestions regarding where to give money during this time to support those who’ve been financially affected by this crisis. Today I donated here  to a fund set up to support out-of-work domestic workers.
  • Horribly, Adam Schlesinger, of the band Fountains of Wayne, and who also wrote songs for the TV show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend died this week of Coronavirus complications. Here’s a very pretty song of his called “All Kinds of Time.”
  • Several of you have asked about where to find handmade masks; I purchased a few from this Etsy store.
  • The Getty Museum in L.A. asked people to recreate classic paintings with stuff they had lying around the house, and the results are awesome.

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Comments

60 Thoughts on Another day, another check-in
    Rachel in Portland
    4 Apr 2020
    11:07am

    Those Getty recreations are amazing–and bring to mind that incredible series by Nina Katchadourian, Seat Assignment, from back in time when we we flew places on airplanes http://www.ninakatchadourian.com/photography/seatassignment.php
    (Did I learn about it from GOACA? I think I did!)

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    Alysa
    3 Apr 2020
    2:24pm

    I am considering myself very fortunate during this awful time. Modern technology has allowed me to work from home for my university job, and am grateful that I still have one when so many people have lost theirs. I live alone and both of my amazing parents have been dead for years. My heart goes out to those who are dealing with the additional struggle of caring for aging parents on top of everything. It was hard enough taking care of my father who had dementia the last few years of his life when the world was “normal.” Taking long walks outside and seeing nature do its spring thing, reading a Joan Didion biography, Netfilx, chatting or texting with friends, and yoga classes via Zoom (so awesome; no driving, looking for a parking spot, nor do I even have to shower first) with my favorite studios and instructors are helping to calm me. And I just discovered Orville Peck. What a phenomenally talented singer he is. He is unlike anything I have ever heard or seen before. That voice (swoon), those balletic moves and those outfits!! Just wow. So nice to have a new obsession as a diversion.

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      Lynne
      6 Apr 2020
      11:38am

      I discovered Orville Peck a while ago and had tickets to see him in two weeks in my hometown in one of our amazing venues, which, of course is canceled. His voice is beyond amazing, and if you haven’t watched any of his music videos, do watch! Sexy, dreamy, and funny. Hopefully his show will be rescheduled when the world resumes (I say when, not if as I have to stay positive).

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    Emily TL
    3 Apr 2020
    3:22pm

    Such a good reminder – I love Seu Jorge (just one more reason to thank Wes Anderson) and music is something I have been using to reprogram myself with each day. I have been listening to albums that have been important to me. It is uniquely comforting to rest in an entire album in the order I used to hear it on vinyl, tape and CD instead of playlists. Yesterday I listened to the ’96 eponymous Fountains of Wayne album. Sink to the Bottom is still a favorite of mine. Thanks for mentioning Adam – his death was one that hurt. Thanks for keeping us connected to each other and things that matter/help. Wishing all of us health and peace.

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    Expat Wonan
    3 Apr 2020
    2:56pm

    In a bind because she had to go outside, a biochemist friend of mine turned an old bathing suit into a mask. It’s protective, comfortable, decorative and reusable.

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    Expat Woman
    3 Apr 2020
    2:57pm

    In a bind because she had to go outside, a biochemist friend of mine turned an old bathing suit into a mask. It’s protective, comfortable, decorative and reusable.

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    Jax
    3 Apr 2020
    2:57pm

    I like Helen Rosner’s Roberto soup — I only object to her naming it like it’s her own invention. It is very similar to and derivative of a few different Mediterranean soups — Portuguese caldo verde or Minestrone, Tuscan white bean, sausage & kale soup. She doesn’t credit those earlier versions.

    RIP Adam Schlesinger. I had the Fountains of Wayne album, Utopia Parkway, on repeat for a few months in 1999!

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      MARGARET
      3 Apr 2020
      3:23pm

      I’m mad at Helen Rosner because she was bragging on Twitter about letting her dog off leash in a park the other day–and got pissy when a bystander said something. People, leash your dogs!

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        Kimbersam
        3 Apr 2020
        3:32pm

        Co-signed!

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        Jax
        3 Apr 2020
        6:05pm

        Agree 100%
        Funny, we just went for a walk in a park near us (we’re lucky) and 3 different people had something like 10 different dogs all OFF LEASH.
        They weren’t dog walkers, I think. I think they actually own that many dogs. Made us shake our heads.

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    Jeanne
    3 Apr 2020
    6:46pm

    Kim: Your blog and podcast were featured on Cup of Jo today <3

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      Kim France
      3 Apr 2020
      8:17pm

      I saw!

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    D.Morgendorffer
    4 Apr 2020
    1:02pm

    I have been with my husband since I was a junior in college. I have been with my hair stylist since I was 25. My husband understands me; my hair stylist understands my hair. I have fine, wavy hair that requires a cut that gives my hair “movement” (Is my hair like Medusa’s? I don’t know.). So, I have been doing something very sensible. I have been googling Crystal Gayle hair care tips. Crystal Gayle recommends scalp massage and a high protein diet (don’t we now all feel vindicated for buying that variety of beans we usually never eat?). In my Crystal Gayle search, I stumbled into a long hair forum circa 2012. The long hair forum recommended cocoa powder for dry shampoo, if you are brunette. If any brunette GOACA find yourselves with dregs of cocoa powder too scant for hot chocolate or pudding, now you know what to do with it!

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    Ann
    3 Apr 2020
    11:10am

    I am still on the East Coast with my parents, but feeling pressure to return home to my husband and daughters. I’m so torn. My parents really need help and with everyone on lockdown, it’s hard for my sisters who live about an hour away to get here. Meanwhile, my cousin who lives down the street just lost her husband to a brain tumor, two nights ago, in home hospice. We’re all heartbroken for her and their sons. Why is life so cruel sometimes?

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      Mary
      3 Apr 2020
      2:26pm

      So sorry to hear this, Ann. My mother died of a very aggressive brain tumour, glioblastoma, in 2017. It was beyond horrible.

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      c.w.
      3 Apr 2020
      12:49pm

      I’m so sorry, Ann. You must be overwhelmed. I’ll be thinking of you and your family.

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      Mamavalveeta03
      4 Apr 2020
      1:11pm

      Separation is particularly painful at times of sorrow. I’m so sorry, Ann.

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      Karen
      3 Apr 2020
      5:45pm

      Ann, sending hugs your way.

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    Sarah J
    3 Apr 2020
    12:34pm

    Lots of Seu Jorge’s Bowie covers in The Life Aquatic. So good!

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    Caryn
    3 Apr 2020
    12:37pm

    We have been cooking and baking up a storm here – balanced out with once-a-week carryout from one of our small, local food businesses. Yesterday we ordered the “family box” from a Polish takeaway in Detroit’s Eastern Market, and it was fantastic (carbs on carbs on carbs)! My company announced yesterday that all employees world-wide will be paid through June 1, which is comforting and overwhelming all at once. Local universities and convention centers are being converted into care facilities in anticipation of the virus’ peak in the next 9-14 days. Daily workouts in the garage and miles-long dog walks have been saving my sanity, along with Zoom calls with friends. And I can’t believe I am going to divulge this, but I downloaded TikTok and have watched more funny animal videos than I can count… Be well!

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    T
    3 Apr 2020
    11:54am

    Re Seu Jorge- Felicidades is, in a word, dope.

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    Tahe Z
    3 Apr 2020
    11:57am

    First, I am so sorry to hear about Adam Schlesinger’s passing. Don’t know if you and he were acquaintances or friends, Kim, but it’s been hard to read about these people who you think are going to be around for the long haul all of a sudden die of this bizarre virus.

    As I type this during work hours, I’m trying to stay motivated in front of my computer with my sweet dog curled up right against me on this beautiful spring day. Later on, I have to work up the courage to go to the grocery store and work my way through the picked over aisles. The last time I went was a soul crushing event. I found a store that gets much less traffic so there is a better chance of finding the things I need.

    One thing I started doing is making CDC-approved face shields for medical staff. I don’t have a sewing machine, but I wanted to help somehow. If you want to take a look, this is my friend Paige modeling one (also a former Sassy and Lucky mag reader). She is the one leading the charge on this project:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/B-M88mvjsgT/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

    Hope everyone is doing alright. @Ann I’m sorry about your cousin’s husband. It’s never easy, but this added layer we are all experiencing makes these kinds of events particularly hard. <3

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      Rae
      3 Apr 2020
      2:12pm

      Tahe Z, I just got home from the market and found it a pretty comforting experience. It was organized and fully stocked. They had a system for letting people in a few at a time, they were sanitizing the carts before customers used them, the had many markers for social distancing on the floors and the checkout was managed and distanced. Most of all they had everything in stock and had limits on certain items so no one could hoard the TP, flour, yeast, peanut butter…I know this experience is likely very different in different areas of the country / world but hopefully you will find the same?

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        Tahe Z
        3 Apr 2020
        2:27pm

        Hi Rae, It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve been to the store so hopefully things have improved. I also got barked at by the cashier at Whole Foods for stepping over the newly added yellow line to the floor and that I should have read the sign! There is so much visual stimulation in there and I was already stressed from the experience at the other grocery store that was out of everything, that I didn’t notice the 8.5×11 sheet of paper taped to the side of the display at the end of the register that said in small print to stand back. Fingers crossed that today will be better!

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    sc
    3 Apr 2020
    12:27pm

    Schlesinger’s death hurt. A reminder to brace for the others to come… The healthcare workers/ delivery folks/ grocery workers – are all such humble heroes – they make me want to burn down the useless, grifting leaders even more —

    And yet – there is sunshine (I’m in LA) – and dog walks – and Brazilian music – and dance parties with out of school kids who just think it’s all nonstop fun times because Mom and Dad are home now –

    So that will lighten our hearts and carry us through. Focus on the good. Play the music loud. And laugh at the fart jokes of 7 year olds…

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    Mamavalveeta03
    3 Apr 2020
    11:14pm

    I haven’t been doing so well the past few days. A good friend’s daughter died suddenly, presumably from COVID19, leaving behind 3 young daughters, 2 grown children, and her husband in Scotland. She went to bed with a fever and was gone by morning. No funeral, no comforting my friend. I just can’t wrap my head around it.

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    susanm
    3 Apr 2020
    5:58pm

    Honestly, I am doing better this week. Last week I was terrified that if my city had a surge and had to triage for ventilators, I would be triaged out (over 60), and would die. This week, I looked at the data and realized that only 30% of the people on ventilators get off and recover, so this was the wrong thing to worry about! Now I am doing very intense social distancing. have masks, gloves, and have terrorized my family into good protocols around handwashing, etc. I’m deep into The Mindy Project, which I never saw, and just finished Unorthodox, which was amazing. read The Overstory by Richard Powers and am about to start The Starry Sea by Erin Morgenstern. Doing a virtual seder next week!

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      MARGARET
      4 Apr 2020
      10:45am

      Overstory was AMAZING. This is a great time to get lost in a giant book!

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        susanm
        4 Apr 2020
        8:32pm

        It is a 600 page book and amazing, but I didn’t love it, tho the writing was brilliant.

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    c.w.
    3 Apr 2020
    1:16pm

    On Facebook people have been posting links to the Getty art recreations and it does my heart good to see how wonderfully creative people are even when the world seems like a dire environment. Or perhaps the dire environment stimulates the creativity? The face masks on Etsy that you link are sold out, but there are a zillion other people making them so you can still easily purchase one (or more) from a different seller. On our block many people have been coming out onto their balconies every evening at 6 to applaud, holler, ring bells and otherwise carry on. I have joined them the last couple of evenings, but I also worry in this red state of mine if people see this 6 p.m. demonstration as support for trump. ugh. I take my pilates classes (when things are normal) at Ballet Austin. They have put up a bunch of short videos––pilates, yoga, barre etc.––for free and even though the videos are short, they do get you moving. Also included are some videos of what ballet dancers have in their bags, how they sew ribbons on their shoes etc. if you have kids at home that love dance (plus, I think they’re going to be putting up some hip-hop class videos soon so bored kids might get into that). http://www.balletaustin.com

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    BRETT JACKSON
    3 Apr 2020
    1:28pm

    A GORGEOUS ROBBER IN LIBERTY of LONDON !!!

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      Kim France
      3 Apr 2020
      2:17pm

      Hahaha

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    Alice
    3 Apr 2020
    1:50pm

    The funny thing about the song “All kinds of time” is that it’s about football and I’m pretty sure you, Kim, are not a sports fan whatsoever. That was the genius of Adam as a songwriter..he had a very wry sense of humor and could wrap up jokes inside punchy melodies,

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      Kim France
      3 Apr 2020
      2:18pm

      Not a football fan, but I grew up in Texas, so I’m football-literate.

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    MARGARET
    3 Apr 2020
    12:46pm

    I am REALLY MAD at a lot of incompetent people in charge but I can’t do anything about them. So I’m channeling my anger by compiling a list of companies I will no longer patronize, now or in the future. For example, Sephora promised support during the quarantine, then fired their employees via a video (while Ulta is paying worker salaries PLUS gave all their warehouse workers $2 per hour raises). Everlane fired staff for unionizing. I’m also making it a point to purchase stuff from small businesses that are really hurting right now! Check out the bags from the The Transience. They have a perfect squooshy hobo called the Hammock in a camo print so dark it looks black in certain light. If I ever go outside again I’m going to look so cute with it.

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      Jax
      3 Apr 2020
      3:01pm

      Yes, after being longtime Amazon Prime members, we’re now considering cutting out as much Amazon patronage as possible. Trying to buy direct from the brands or trying alternatives — can’t believe I’d see the day when Walmart would do better than Amazon by their workers.
      And also supporting local stores first, as possible.

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      Heather
      3 Apr 2020
      12:56pm

      Margaret, is that list share-able, as a Google Doc or similar?

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        MARGARET
        3 Apr 2020
        2:36pm

        Heather, I don’t have a google doc but I guess I could make one! Right now I’m in the process of researching when I hear about shitty stuff companies have done. I also want to list companies who are doing good stuff, like Christian Siriano retooling his business to make masks. I think it’s important to link to reputable articles so we know it’s not just hearsay (I know for a fact the Everlane and Sephora stuff I mentioned is true).

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      susanm
      3 Apr 2020
      5:50pm

      Yes, I don’t know if I can ever buy everlane again, and they were one of my top go tos. They were NOT honest with employees–and there brand is transparency. RRRGGGGHHH.

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        Jax
        3 Apr 2020
        6:11pm

        Yes, Everlane’s had lots of issues with how they manage their employees, their “people culture”.

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    Heather
    3 Apr 2020
    1:02pm

    I follow a lot of hiker-related content on Instagram. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has asked all thru-hikers (folks intending to hike the entire Appalachian Trail in one go) to get off the trail. This is peak thru-hiker season for GA, NC, TN, and VA, as most hikers begin the trail in mid-March. One particular concern is that many ‘trail towns’ are in rural, impoverished areas, medically underserved in the best of times, and largely food deserts with the exception of maybe a Dollar General — so there’s concerns about thru-hikers bringing the virus with them as well as cleaning out what food and supplies are available. Many states and National Parks have closed their facilities along the trail, but of course, much of the trail goes through National Forest and other less-regulated types of public lands. I’m stunned at the selfish asshats who insist on continuing their thru-hikes and posting dumbass shit like “you can’t get the virus from trees” and “it’s just the flu.” Needless to say, I’ve done a lot of unfollowing lately.

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      Ellie
      5 Apr 2020
      12:29pm

      “I’m stunned at the selfish asshats who …” is a sentence that crosses my mind so many times a day, with so many different endings.

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    HickfromStyx
    4 Apr 2020
    1:19pm

    New challenge. DS, rescued from campus a few weeks ago, now has an ear problem and needs to see the ENT. The ENT has been in quarantine. They are the ones most likely to be exposed to this, and it happened. Final online exams are around the corner next week. It’s the weekend, and DS does not want to go to a walk-in clinic or urgent care because of the risk. What to do? Wait until Monday, take painkillers and try to see the family doctor? Go to urgent care and risk Covid-19? There’s also a dispute between government and doctors, because the government cut doctors’ fees this week (yes, in the middle of this pandemic). Phone consultations are part of this dispute. We are supposed to use an automated phone app now for situations like this, instead of a doctor. Live doctors don’t get paid for phone consultations. Ugly. What would you do?

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    dahlia
    5 Apr 2020
    12:48pm

    In the early 90’s, Sassy ran an article about buying second-hand children’s T-shirts and cutting out the neck. My best friend and I trotted off to our trusty local thrift (RIP, Thrift Town in SF) and got ourselves some shirts. One of them is among my husband’s favorites of my garments. We sold our house, gave away almost everything we owned, and took off to Mexico on a sailboat a couple years ago. I’ve thrown this shirt out several times, and James always fishes it out, and I wear it some more for him, and I think about time and love.

    So I woke up today on a little sailboat in Mexico, which I have been inside for heading on a month now, in my California is for lovers. T-shirt. The shirt has done that weird permanent rotation so that the C is in my armpit, always, which is probably why I try to toss it. There’s a big splotch of the pink paint from the inside of the kitchen cupboard in the first and only place I ever lived alone, and a yellow one from the living room of the flat we sold in San Francisco, where we shared a house with friends. There are holes, and runs, and it is still amazingly flattering to my bosom out here in middle age. My best friend has been dead for 15 years, but I can still see her combing through the racks with her bangs in her eyes.

    Thanks for being here, Kim.

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      Kim France
      5 Apr 2020
      2:02pm

      Thanks for sharing this, Dahlia. Just lovely.

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    Ellie
    5 Apr 2020
    12:43pm

    Thanks so much for the kind, encouraging words about my mom last week, GsOACA. I am so relieved to report that she began to feel better last week, and she passed the 72-hours-without-symptoms mark this past Friday. So she is out of in-home self-isolation, although still not leaving the house.

    And it’s been really good for my peace of mind. I was able to focus enough to read 2 whole books since Friday! If anyone is looking for reading material, I’d recommend Jessica Anthony’s Enter the Aardvark (I liked the Victorian taxidermist timeline better than than the closeted-gay-Republican Congressman one, but enjoyed her writing style–a lighter, shorter version of Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell?) and really recommend Hallie Rubenhold’s The Five, which is a truly stunning book about the women believed to have been killed by Jack the Ripper. If you like good popular history or historical non-fiction, this is really good. Plus it’s a very satisfying kick in the nuts to the Ripper History Industry that tends to wallow in some pretty gross, sexist voyeurism. So two thumbs up for a history of these five women in their own right.

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      susanm
      6 Apr 2020
      6:43pm

      Also loved The Five, so great!

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    Jeanne
    3 Apr 2020
    5:12pm

    Hi Everyone. Doing ok here. I can checkmark about 4 of the covid risks factors (fun huh?) so my husband had to do the grocery run for all of us. Wowee that was an interesting experience. I sent him with a list with everything organized by aisle because I know this is not his wheelhouse. And we video chatted the entire time so I could help him. What is usually a 30 min trip for me took him almost 2 hours! Towards the end, I just blew off the remainder of the list because his patience level was kaput. We are following cleaning protocol of outside items and that took another 30 min for a full cart plus some items for my parents. It’s the new reality for the meantime I guess. The good news is that most of the items were available in the store minus the stuff we all know is in short supply. And about half of the people wore gloves and masks. Meanwhile my friend’s parents sent out invitations for an Easter party. They are rabid Fox news followers. I just can’t get my mind around their mindset. My teens are more responsible than they are. I think there are some people won’t believe it until someone they know personally gets it or dies. Until then it’s a hoax or overblown.

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      Ellie
      5 Apr 2020
      12:50pm

      Am hearing a lot of stories about husbands getting crash courses in how basic domestic tasks work…

      Hope your friend is not going to that Easter party.

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      Meg
      5 Apr 2020
      5:37pm

      Jeanne I am laughing because my husband and I shop locally once per week now and yesterday’s run was almost entirely men (who I never see in this grocery store) who were on phones with a significant other. If I weren’t so stressed to get in and out I would have stopped to help several of them. I hope he got most of the good stuff! Be well.

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    saochi
    3 Apr 2020
    10:02am

    Brazilian GOACA here (US based). So great to hear our music is helping you. It’s one of my passions and has kept me sane through many other difficult times. Enjoy!

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    Maria
    3 Apr 2020
    10:07am

    Thank you for the suggestions! And by the way, that scarf shows off your beautiful eyes!

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      Kim France
      3 Apr 2020
      10:08am

      Aw thanks, Maria!

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    Candy
    3 Apr 2020
    10:12am

    Thanks for these great links, Kim. What a nice way to start the day. Loved the people recreating classic art. I can also vouch for the Roberto soup — I have made it and it’s easy and delicious, plus the story behind it is fun to read.

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    Caroline
    3 Apr 2020
    10:22am

    Thanks for this post Kim. And the podcast one as well! Very welcome distractions:-)

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    Liz
    3 Apr 2020
    10:44am

    Those masks are cute, but it doesn’t seem like she used anything to make them other than cotton, and from everything I’ve read, the virus can go through cotton. You need with something with a filter or a heavier material (Popular Science recommends reusable grocery bags). I plan to make one this weekend.

    Things are ok. My husband and half of his company got laid off a week after they’d had a meeting with staff to tell them not to worry about laid offs, so that was shitty. We’ll be ok financially, but I don’t know who’s hiring right now, so he might be pretty bored for the next couple of months. To alleviate some of that boredom, I started outdoor running with him. God, it is so much harder than treadmill running and so far I am not a fan, except that I really do need to get in shape, so hopefully this helps. I want to make a mask for it, though, because there are just so many people outside, it’s hard to always maintain the 6-foot rule.

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      Kathi
      3 Apr 2020
      1:34pm

      https://www.popsci.com/story/diy/make-diy-face-masks/

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        Susanna
        4 Apr 2020
        8:38am

        Omg, that one looks like SO MUCH WORK! intimidating. Here’s a very easy one I’ve been using, no sewing required—works for a bandana or a cloth napkin or any square piece of fabric, really:

        https://bit.ly/3aK4eVx

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    Lisa
    5 Apr 2020
    10:50pm

    Hope everyone’s doing well. My COVID-19 experience started late February with a whirlwind week. Went from packing my bags to visit my daughter doing a semester abroad in Italy – by end of the week, trip cancelled as well as my daughter’s program and we were picking her up at the airport at the same time we were scheduled to fly out. Very happy to have her home unscathed. Heartbroken for the folks in Italy. We’re doing ok up here in Boston. They’re finally getting more strict with regulations and restrictions. Masks and curfews start tomorrow morning. Stay healthy.

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    Ela Aktay
    6 Apr 2020
    5:34pm

    I was so, so , so sad to hear about Adam Schlesinger’s passing. He’s such a talented writer. And you posted my absolute favorite song of his, “All Kinds of Time.” I love that song so much because it is about a single moment in time and he describes it so beautifully.

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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