The ABCs of Beating the Shelter-in-Place Blues

Those of us fortunate enough to be healthy and sensible enough to be home are still susceptible to secondary symptoms. While some report of a loss of smell and taste stemming from COVID-19, I have lost the ability to hear myself think.

I have thoughts(!) but can’t seem to assemble them. So here are some, with apologies for the alphabetical order in lieu of logic.

My daughter Phoebe stumbled upon a new word that captures well the desire to make use of this time while honoring the heroism of completing simple tasks: Accomplimissions.

One pint of McCormick Culinary Blue Food Coloring is approximately a lifetime supply of blue food coloring.

Of municipalities with more than one thousand people, Huntington Woods currently has the highest Census response rate nationwide, followed by Pleasant Ridge.

A lot of people have dogs. Also there are a lot of birds.

ESPN got quite the pancake wobbler with the abrupt cancellation of the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship (Kelowna, not Ljubljana), but ESPN+ has a cashspiel of documentaries, including Bad Boys and The Fab Five.

The Ford Escape Orchestra premiered with violin performances by Judah and Phoebe in relatives’ driveways, including …

Ford Escape Orchestra

… their Great Grandma Marge, an exemplar of sophisticated social distancing who knows that one should dress for the day, even if it consists of crudités for one and the Sunday Times in one’s solarium, on the remote possibility that one may host a spontaneous performance of Minuets #1 and #2 in one’s driveway.

The laundry hamper has to be the most underrated thing that you can put other things in. I put all the things in my collection of hampers.

The best thing about homemade ice cream — beyond being ice cream you can make at home and make blue — is the prerogative to determine your optimal ratio of ice cream to cookie dough. At press time, this is still more socially acceptable than eating straight cookie dough, though that is subject to change.

Virtually all of the jingles my children know are for insurance companies.

Note to ESPN: Knitting has unrealized potential as a spectator sport.

Laundry Laundry everywhere, nor any hamper to hold it.

Pro-tip for home fort builders: air mattress roof with ironing-board scaffolding.

@RushmoretheNewf reached 80 pounds before 7 months. He says hi!

Ozark is outstanding, but they talk about the Law of Large Numbers like it’s string theory.

Judah turned 11 this month and relished the surprise porch parade and blue cake, both fully compliant with gubernatorial guidelines.

Porch Parade

The word “quarantine” appears 200 times in the archives of the Detroit Jewish News and Chronicle, the oldest in a 1916 article adjacent to an advertisement seeking investors for Paige-Detroit Motor Car Co, Continental Motors Co, W.K. Prudden & Co and Reo Motor Car Co.

I’m not the first stellar parent to observe that watching television with captions is reading. Disney’s Robin Hood boasts verbose vocabulary, successive synonyms and ambitious alliteration — suspicious snake, silly serpent, reluctant reptile, cowardly cobra, procrastinating python, aggravating asp.

I’m cautiously optimistic that Summer in the City will return for its … 19th year. Hope to see you there.

I have been hosting trivia online with NEXTGen and Come Play Detroit. Test your trivial knowledge and tolerance for my voice next round.

Trivia Night

The point that coffee cools to a degree that is unpalatable for my wife is the exact temperature at which I can drink it without scalding my mouth. All morning we swap Anthropologie ceramic mugs back and forth. This compatible caffeination has been the single biggest bulwark against and the choppy waters of sheltering in place.

Once you’ve experienced the thrill of MAX, it is hard to go back to non-MAX mode of the Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Vacuum Cleaner. Do the soft-woven nylon and anti-static carbon fiber still pick up crumbs and pet hair from kitchen corners? Sure, but there just isn’t the same adrenaline rush — the revving motor, the speed at which the powerful direct-drive cleaner heads suck unsuspecting playroom flotsum and jetsum into the bagless cylinder.

The Waterpik ultra water flosser can get food out from in between your teeth, but the real reason to have one in your bathroom is as a precision power washer for your shower. The grout trouncing and caulk shocking — exhilarating, albeit more effective if you don’t have blue food coloring on your hands. The only downside is that you might be reluctant to point the pik at your gums once you’ve witnessed its sheer hydro-velocity.

The xylophone owes much of its success, like Paul Lynde on Hollywood Squares, to its recurring role in these alphabetical acrostics.

There comes a time in every parent’s life when you are surpassed by your children. I just didn’t expect it to be this soon or to happen with both kids at the same time or to come in the form of competitive backgammon. They call it “suitcase,” which is cute until they take turns reducing you to fifteen stranded checkers and a wayward cup of dice.

Zoom, I guess.

Goodnight Zoom
Art by Sammy Rosenzweig