Lockdown is boring

My big sis Jeanne lives in Brooklyn with her husband Michael and their youngest child, Chris. They’re safe and sound, thank goodness, but my sister’s work shut down, so she’s had plenty of time to ponder the mysteries of the universe (and perhaps her Netflix queue).

She’s come up with a list of “Things to ponder when you are bored”:

  • You are a bit disoriented when you wake up like that was a terrible nightmare and then you realize that you’re waking up to live the nightmare. 
  • You hear sirens all day long. On weekend nights when your kids were young and out late, you prayed they listened when you said “don’t drink and drive.” Now you pray for other reasons.  
  • Your husband doesn’t know which bandanna to choose (thank goodness you ordered them before “currently unavailable”). He ponders whether to align with the Crips or Bloods and opts for both. 
  • You used to skip lunch at work now it’s a five star production.  
  • Your unwind beverage of choice was a nice glass of Cabernet.  Now it’s straight Gentleman Jack. 
  • You eccentric father who never believed in doctors believed peroxide could fix most ailments: teeth, skin, etc.  Who knew?  
  • How can you not purchase a Dr. Anthony Fauci bobble head?  
  • Amazon Fresh says they update delivery availability throughout the day.  They lie. Fresh Direct doesn’t even offer a future delivery date to choose.  
  • I always wanted to live in Montana.  
  • I forgot my ID on my last walking adventure to NYC.  I was not able to get an Ezra Keats Snowy Day library card. My husband brought his ID and got his. He doesn’t even know who Ezra Keats is. I read, he bought the kids candy.  
  • I have a drawer that must have 10,099 buttons.  
  • J Crew sent me a spend $100 get $50 free coupon.  That’s not happening.  
  • A liquor store is considered an essential business.  Go figure.   

Hang in there, sister. Things will get better someday…

So close, and yet so-cially distant.

In case you missed it (and there’s a 99.9% chance you did miss it), the podcast that I co-host is yesterday’s news! Er, I mean, it was in yesterday’s Cincinnati Enquirer. What do you mean you don’t subscribe to a newspaper? What do you mean you don’t even know what a ‘newspaper’ is?

“Daddy, this iPad is broken…”

Luann Gibbs wrote a “Top 10 ways to practice social distancing” article, and there we were, right at the top of the list. OK, eight spots away from the top of the list. But still, we got some ink!

Full disclosure: Luann Gibbs used to work at 97X, the station that is the focus of our podcast. But neither Dave nor I knew that she was going to mention us.

“Extra, extra… two old guys talk about a radio station that died a decade ago!”

It was our “the new phone book’s here” moment.

Actually, Dave and I don’t harbor any delusions of grandeur. (Occasionally, we do have delusions of adequacy, but we lie down until those go away.) Our podcast is extremely niche. Some podcasts have thousands of regular listeners, some have hundreds… we have “tens” of listeners. As I often say, “we’ve made about 50 people very happy” by bringing back fond memories of a small-but-mighty and much-beloved indie rock radio station. But it’s always nice to get a bit of recognition for the hard work you’ve done.

And now that we’re all under house arrest, there’s never been a better time to check out some new podcasts.

That sinking feeling

My employee communications job has turned into “crisis communications” of late (thanks a lot, Wuhan exotic animal market!) and there have been a lot of workdays that have stretched into worknights. (Which also explains my lack of posts recently.) So the last thing I needed when I got up on Wednesday morning was a clogged bathroom sink. But that’s exactly what I got. Actually, it’s not exactly what I got… I got exactly TWO clogged bathroom sinks. Our master bathroom and hallway bathroom are back to back upstairs, and share the same drainpipe.

I played a bit of “plunger ping-pong”: plunge the master bath sink and the standing water would go to the hallway sink…. plunge the hallway sink and it’d go back to the master side. I did manage to yank a field mouse sized lump of hair out of one drains (ah, the glamorous life!) but it was clear that the clog was farther down in the pipes.

I’m far from handy (and far from handsome… sorry Red Green), but I was 72% confident that I could pull out the pop-up plug and/or disassemble the PVC pipes below one of the sinks and clear the clog. But I also was 99.9% sure that I’d screw up the reassembly (which is in tight quarters in a vanity), and we’d then have a leaky drain on our hands. And I was 110% sure that I didn’t have time for this nonsense, with my company’s head of HR and COO already pinging me about the latest corona-crisis.

I got caught up in work and forgot about the clog until that afternoon, when I suddenly remembered that one of my co-workers has a husband who is a master plumber. And they live nearby. And she said he gives a “friends and family” discount to her co-workers.

So I pinged her via our company’s instant message system to get his phone number. I also couldn’t remember his name. Here’s what happened next:

It was a bit crazy. Freaky. Eerie. I mean, what are the chances that she’d use the bogus name of “Herbert” in a chat with a real Herbert’s son, on the very day that he passed away a decade ago?

I’ll spare you the rest of the chat, but we wound up having a nice little conversation about my father. The day started with a lot of frustration, but it wrapped up with some warm fuzzy feelings. Guess things — including clogged sinks — happen for a reason.

Oh, and the ghost of Herbert must’ve heard us summoning him from the Great Beyond, because after I texted Erin’s husband and we arranged for him to stop by the next morning, I went upstairs and the drains were working fine. Thanks, Pops… for everything!

I know the feeling

Same, outlet, same. That’s why I’m shopping at the thrift shop where you live.

Well, I’m also here because my daughter likes to bring me along to get the old man discount on the clothes she buys. But I have to pay for them, and then I’m broke again… it’s a vicious cycle.

That’s OK, though, because this Friday is payday!

Freaky Friday

I loved this recent headline:

Not the part about someone going to prison. I wouldn’t wish that fate upon anyone… well, other than drivers who go one mile above the speed limit in the left hand lane, cable installation schedulers, and the occasional president.

But I didn’t even know that “Hot Pockets heiress” was a thing. A Hot Pocket is just a calzone, right? I’m pretty sure that was invented long ago. Maybe her family “invented” the microwaveable part of the equation, or they patented their famous “cold, spongy crust and roof-of-the-mouth-burning filling” combination.

Then again, if Mean Girls taught us anything, it was that there’s a fortune to be made in still-cold-but-somehow-really-hot convenience products.

I wonder if the Hot Pockets heiress ever dated the Pop Tarts scion. If they got hitched, that would certainly be a marriage of convenience. Instead she paid $100,000 to have someone correct her kid’s admissions exam, and another $200,000 to have her daughter admitted to USC as a bogus athlete.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to invent Toaster Corndogs or a microwaveable Twinkie. Time to cash in.

Award-winning moments from the 70s

You can keep your Survivor and your Bachelor. The Masked Singer can stay masked forever for all I care. Because way back before reality shows made celebrities out of ordinary people, there was a reality show that turned celebrities into pseudo-athletes. And it was pure television gold. Feast your eyes upon the glory that is… Battle of the Network Stars!

  • Howard Cosell at his bloviating best
  • Robert Urich at his jerky worst
  • Mr. Kotter kicking butt
  • Epstein loving Mr. Kotter kicking butt
  • Richie Cunningham and Laverne together
  • Farrah and Wonder Woman together
  • Kojak, baby!
  • 50% of the “athletes” smoking heaters
  • Schneider from One Day at a Time
  • The original Richard Hatch
  • Bruce Jenner when he was Bruce Jenner
  • “hullabaloo”

Truly a wonderful way to spend nine and a half minutes. Aw, who am I kidding? I watched that sucker three times, just trying to luxuriate in the glorious 70s-ness of it all.

Most of these folks have left us, but Gabe Kaplan is still around. (All that running kept him in shape… or maybe it was the lack of smoking.) I think he should lead the U.S. delegation in the opening ceremonies of this year’s Olympics.

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